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Pictured above is DeWalt’s DCF895B 1/4″ impact driver. What’s the difference, you ask, between it (the new hotness) and the almost-identical-looking DCF885 that Chuck ran down last week? Well, to start with, it features a brushless motor, which reportedly delivers significantly longer runtime. We don’t yet have one of these in hand, but considering the interest you expressed in the DCF885, we thought we should at least take a look at the technology. Read on to find out why DeWalt thinks brushless is important and how they’re implementing it in this tool.

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Let me be clear: we’re not necessarily recommending you buy this. In fact, we wonder whether it’s worth the cash or not. That said, however, we’re always interested in cheap-ass tool alternatives, and there’s something intriguing about the idea of a sub-$100 portable band saw. (Compare that, for example, with about $230 for Mikwaukee’s model.)

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Anyone who’s a fan of the yellow and black has probably noticed that since the Stanley/B&D merger, DeWalt’s lineup has moved into the fast lane in terms of forward-thinking design. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these are no longer the same old tools with a slightly-upgraded battery or a vaguely different case. For more about this change (and the beginnings of the 20V MAX line) check out our preview post about the 20V MAX drill-drivers last summer. For now, let’s take a look at one of the tools — specifically the DCF885 1/4″ impact driver.

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Milwaukee has long targeted many of their specialty tools at electrical trade professionals, even to the point that they work closely with some of the electrical trade unions’ training programs in order to learn more about what electrical pros need, and of course to get additional exposure to future customers. So it’s not a big surprise that one of their newest M12 tools is a cable cutter, designed to replace ratcheting-style hand tools electricians use to cut big cable.

Milwaukee claims that the two biggest problems they saw with existing cordless cutters were cost and size; they don’t fit well into crowded electrical panels, and they’re so freakin’ expensive that most folks just go with the cheaper manual option. So they figured a reasonably-priced M12 addition might do the trick.

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With this latest update, Bosch continues down the path set for cordless SDS gear over the past couple of years: lighter, more runtime, and improved ergonomics. As is often the case, the improvements are more evolutionary than revolutionary, but over time these changes add up to significant improvements. Let’s take a look under the hood.

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Though we haven’t tested one of these in person, we’ve been quite impressed with the bang-for-the-buck value of Ryobi’s updated One+ line, identifiable by their video-game-green color. And we’re glad to see the cordless recip get the updated treatment as well. Besides the obvious new look, some other pretty upscale features lurk under the hood, including a cushioned anti-vibe handle and an adjustable, pivoting shoe.

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Ok, so maybe it’s more of an evolution than a revolution, but Black & Decker seems to have definitely discovered how valuable a cheap, simple cordless screwdriver can be to the average user. Back when the original SmartDriver came out, we saw lots of press comparing it unfavorably to the Bosch PS20 (which cost three times as much) and other drivers with more features and tech. But we stuck it out, pointing out that for a certain market segment, the SmartDriver’s simplicity (and cheapness!) scored big. Now Black & Decker offers a whole freakin’ line of SmartDriver-inspired inexpensive drivers. Read on for the rundown.

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Rather than trying to guess what various tradesmen and consumers will want to buy together (and then creating a zillion different “kits”), Hitachi’s trying something new — simply offering what amounts to volume discounts on purchases of a broad category of tools. In this case, they’re trying out the idea with compressors and nailers. This strikes us as a great idea.

Here’s how it works: when you buy Hitachi’s EC510 compressor, you automatically get 20% off the price of one of five finish nailers. (See below for the full list.) If you buy two of the nailers, you get 30% off the package. If you buy three, you get 40% off the package. It’s a “roll your own” kit.

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I often wonder if the level of common sense we have is directly proportionate to our dependence on others to think for us. I’m inclined to believe that, in this case, whoever made this picture is having some fun with us. Then again, I saw a pen attached to the desk at the bank the other day with a ball chain that had a breakover clasp in the middle of it and had to think to myself that it was the worst security device ever.

I’m not sure what kind of demo is going on here, but were you to steal this the joke’s on you. The Bosch model kicks the crap out of it and you’ll run out of charge before you can show it to your friends — also, no charger. Then again it did hang around long enough for someone to take the pic, so maybe everyone knew that already.

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With the introduction of the green-batteried li-ion line a few years ago, we became fans of Ryobi’s power tools. While the early (blue) One+ line pretty much defined (in our opinion, at least) the price-cheap and quality-cheap low-buck tool line, the updated li-ion versions flat blew us away. We thought the li-ion One+ drill compared favorably to models offered at twice the price; you could actually pick up a whole multi-piece kit for under $200. That’s not bad. Of course, Ryobi has always been in the garden tool market as well, so we’re interested to see what comes of Ryobi’s new 40V li-ion line, which applies most of the same technology to a battery pack large enough to power higher-draw tools, like the chain saw pictured above.

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