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Though a lot of people we’ve talked to don’t like the PS10 form factor — many seem happier with the drill-like PS20 pistol-grip style — I’ve always been a huge fan. The Bosch PS10 is hands down the best tool I’ve found for general light assembly and disassembly around the house and shop. For example, I used mine to quickly remove and re-drive about 30 machine screws to re-organize some 19″ rack mount gear in my studio. What makes the PS10 so great, IMO, is that the combination of its straight/90-degree shape and a trustworthy electronic clutch with soft-start — the trifecta for tasks like the ones I described above.

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Admittedly, I’ve never really desired a drill-type chuck on the PS10, even though it does bear a strong physical resemblance to any number of small right-angle drills. But adding a chuck to the PS20 did wonders for its general usefulness. Does the same hold true of the PS11?

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Remember those cool screwdrivers Lowe’s released last year? You know, the ones that always turned the screwdriver the same way no matter which way you turned the handle? It looks like they’re out in the open now, and True Value has created a competing set that you’ll see in stores in the next few months. TV calls it the “SwiftDriver.”

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Mag drills are the tool of choice for steelworkers who need to drill big holes in, um, uncomfortable places, like, say, 20′ up the side of a vertical steel tube. The drill forms its own mount by magnetically gripping the steel (or other ferrous metal) into which it drills. As you might expect, mag drills are also generally larger than their standard counterparts because there’s usually not as much requirement for mounting when drilling smaller holes. What makes Metabo’s mag drill different is that it’s cordless, too, eliminating the need for both mount and wired power.

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Starting this March, when you buy an M18 Drill Driver or Hammer Drill, you’ll get the mutli-volt charger you see above, which can charge both Milwaukee’s M18 and M12 batteries. If you’ve already got some of both, you’ll be able to buy the charger yourself as an accessory at a to-be-determined price, but what really interests us is the fact that they’re going to ship this model out as the default charger. As far as we can tell, this is Milwaukee saying “If you use our M18 line, we figure you’re likely to use our M12 line, too.”

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It’s hard enough to tell how deep you’re drilling with rotary hammers when you’re drilling downward or sideways, but drilling overhead makes it even more difficult. Try “feeling” your way to a perfect depth while your arms burn like mad. DeWalt claims to feel your pain, which is why they just launched a depth control system — you know, to remove the guesswork. The cap you see in the picture above mounts to the bit and serves as a stop to keep you from over-drilling. You can adjust its size by twisting it then locking it in place. Seems pretty simple.

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Unless you’re a janitor or in the video game repair business, you’ll probably only need security bits about as often as the Cowboys make it to the Superbowl. Still, it’d suck to be out of beer and burgers when it actually happens. That makes ‘em the perfect cheap-ass tool buy. And for a whoppin’ $10, Harbor Freight will hand you the set above, including bits for hex, hollow-hex, Pozi, Torx, hollow-tip Torx, square, and spline fasteners, plus some slotted and Phillips to boot.

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As it has for the past four years, the end of this year warrants a few posts about the hardware that emerge as tough and rugged gear. Some publications (and apparently readers) are content with the quick mention of a tool and a feature list. We actually use the tools we write about — new, old, or well-used, they all get a workout just the same. A few, like the Bosch ps21, stand out as remarkably handy to have in the shop.

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At their event this summer, Milwaukee was making all kinds of to-do about their new brushless motors. We were quite literally taken behind a tall black curtain (the kind from which strippers normally pop out) into a hushed little area and shown the brushless rigs. It was our first glimpse of the M18 fuel lineup. I should have been paying more attention to what Steve and the guys were saying, but once behind the curtain I was still hoping for strippers.

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It looks like the new DeWalt cordless drill design philosophy is making its way into the Porter-Cable line. Note in the picture above some key refinements, direct from the DeWalt drafting board: a thinner handle with TPR molded grip, a much more compact design, and a slide-type battery. Though each such design decision brings a bit of good and a bit of bad, we’re fans of all three.

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We’re in the process of putting together a killer cordless drill comparison for release a few months down the road, and we’re looking for some reader input. Specifically: What’s your favorite inexpensive cordless drill? And why?

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