The Anne of All Trades Blog: Tool Reviews

Milwaukee Battery Powered Random Orbit Sander

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This review was created as part of a paid affiliate program with the Home Depot

My first order of business with this and every product review is a disclaimer: I am not a professional contractor. I am a farmer and a fine furniture maker. When it comes to construction and renovation projects, I’m a DIYer and weekend warrior. That said, I doubt many professional contractors will be reading my tool reviews. My goal in reviewing tools and products is to provide honest feedback based on my own use and experience with these tools to other regular folks like me- wanting to get their hands dirty, try new things, and get the best value for their hard earned dollars.

Being so focused on handtool work for so long, I’ve conveniently found a whole lot of ways around spending much time with a sander. I was gifted an orbital sander years ago that I’ve only used a handful of times. That said, the only time I’d be very likely to use a sander would be out and about doing projects on the farm, so the fact that this is battery operated is a huge plus. I prefer all my farm tools to be battery operated because there isn’t power available on most of our four acres. This sander is going to find a nice happy spot on the farm tools cart.

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I did however, recently find myself in need of a sander (check out my Shavehorse video on YouTube to see this baby in action), and was immediately impressed by the effectiveness of the dust port on this tool. The removable canister collected a shocking amount of the dust generated by the tool and it made quick work of the job I needed it for. My one complaint about the dust port is that it doesn’t have a round connector, so that makes it tough to hook up to a vacuum, but honestly, it does such a good job just with the canister that that fact doesn’t worry me too much. And, in reality, while I’d definitely recommend this tool to a DIYer/homeowner, this isn’t a tool meant for production work. If you’re in the shop spending an 8 hour day sanding an enormous Maple table top, there is really no reason to reach for a battery powered sander. If you’re installing new baseboards and need to trim off just a hair of material or smooth out a small surface inside the house or out on the deck and don’t want to drag out an extension cord or sit in an enormous cloud of dust, this is the perfect tool for the job.

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Manufacturer messaging:

·      7,000-12,000 Max OPM output and variable speeds

·      Compatible with all M18 batteries and chargers

·      Part of the M18 system featuring over 150+ tools

Awesome Features:

·      Variable speeds

·      Very effective dust port

·      Battery powered

Things I wish were better/different:

·      The grip- I have really small hands, and it seems like this was built for someone with larger hands.

·      Dust port isn’t round

This tool retails for $99.00. Would I buy it?

I don’t do a whole lot of sanding, but if I were in the market for a portable sander, this would be a major contender.

*I acknowledge that the Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the Prospective 2018 Campaign. As part of the program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

 

Posted on July 27, 2018 and filed under Tool Reviews.

Ridgid Battery Powered Reciprocating Saw

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This review was created as part of a paid affiliate program with the Home Depot.

My first order of business with this and every product review is a disclaimer: I am not a professional contractor. I am a farmer and a fine furniture maker. When it comes to construction and renovation projects, I’m a DIYer and weekend warrior. That said, I doubt many professional contractors will be reading my tool reviews. My goal in reviewing tools and products is to provide honest feedback based on my own use and experience with these tools to other regular folks like me- wanting to get their hands dirty, try new things, and get the best value for their hard earned dollars.

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A single Diablo bi-metal nail-embedded recip saw blade made it through the entire demolition, site prep, and construction of the Tiny House project, which was equally impressive, especially considering that most of those cuts were through wood embedded with 3.5” galvanized ring nails. Diablo Recip saw blades are coated to prevent heat buildup and improve lubrication through the cut, but even after the coating had worn off, the blade held up very nicely.

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The Rigid saw was an absolute workhorse on the jobsite during the Tiny House build. I first used it to weaken the old shed frame prior to knocking the whole building down with my tractor, then we used it a ton during the framing process of the tiny house and a whole bunch more when cleaning up the build site. Because my animals have access to that whole area, I didn’t want any nails sticking up, and if you’ve ever tried to pull a ring nail with a hammer, you’ll understand just how handy that saw became.

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Some things that really stuck out to me during it’s use were it’s solid construction, it offers lots of power, lots of torque. I loved that you can engage the trigger to turn on the LED light to light your work before starting the cut. The locking mechanism next to the trigger also gave me a lot more peace of mind tossing the tool up and down to April on the roof and off ladders. We were running it off a 2 amp hour battery which still offered a solid run time and certainly made the tool lighter and more manageable at awkward angles, but I will definitely be looking into a 6 amp hour battery for the rest of the tiny house build because running back and forth to the house to charge batteries is a real pain.

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Manufacturer messaging:

·      80% faster cutting

·      65% more power

·      50% longer run time when paired with 6ah Hyper Octane Lithium Ion Battery

Awesome Features:

·      Brushless motor is quiet, quick start/stop time

·      Safety lock

·      Led light can engage without saw running

·      Comfortable ergonomics

·      Cord-like power

Things I wish were better/different:

·      If it can get smaller and lighter, I definitely won’t complain.

This saw retails at $149.00. Would I buy it?

Were this battery powered option available when I bought my corded Rigid recip-saw a few years ago, I would have picked the battery powered one hands down. I’m rarely using a recip saw somewhere it’s convenient and comfortable to deal with a cord, but both are great tools. 

The blades retail at $14.97 Would I buy them again?

Sure thing. This 6 piece kit is definitely worth the money.

*I acknowledge that the Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the Prospective 2018 Campaign. As part of the program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
Posted on July 27, 2018 and filed under Tool Reviews.