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We asked all you Toolmongers out there about a couple of products recently, and here’s what you told us:

Magnetic Strip Tool Storage: Hot.
Though the majority of responders seemed to like magnetic storage — in certain situations — a number did express concern about the fact that these strips can magnetize tools over time.  This may not be a problem for you, but you’ve got to keep it in mind.

Bandsaw Quick-Release Blade De-Tensioners: Hot, but not for $150.
While everyone agreed that de-tensioning is a good thing, almost everyone panned the concept of spending $150 for an aftermarket de-tensioner.  (We’re a cheap-ass lot here at Toolmonger, and we’re proud of it.)

Makita’s Hybrid Impact Driver/Hammerdrill: Not.
While intrigued by the concept, readers pointed out that a) there’s a significant difference in form factor between impact drivers and hammerdrills because they’re each used in different ways and these can’t be easily combined, b) most professionals already own one of each, and c) this thing’s way pricey.

Cheap Paint Sprayers: Not.
Commenters’ experience ranged from terrible to bad, and many recommended a slight step up to a $150+ model for even reasonable responses.  Even then, readers say you should expect to spend a lot of time cleaning the sprayer — this isn’t the free-for-all, spray-and-forget experience most manufacturer try to sell you on.

Vehicle Dollies: Meh.
Readers didn’t show any strong response to vehicle dollies.  They did, however, point out some different sources of availability.  So, if you’re thinking about picking some of these up, check comments for deals.

Look for more Hot or Not this week.


4 Responses to Hot or Not Roundup

  1. nrChris says:

    Seems like there are a whole lot of high-end (read: expensive) screwdrivers with fancy batteries. I get by with a cheap B&D as well as a low end cordless drill. So my question for the hot or not crew is in a generic sense—are these high money high torque li-ion screwdrivers worth the coin? Hot or not?

  2. Chuck Cage says:

    Chris: That’s a question that’s really more answered by purpose than by desire. If you’re talking about the Black & Decker SmartDriver and the Skil iXO2, we’ve done hands-on posts on each. At $40, they’re not really that expensive, and their main advantage over older cordless screwdrivers is the fact that they remain charged while sitting in the drawer for months on end. They also offer some pretty decent runtimes.

    If you’re talking about Bosch’s PS10/PS20, they’re so much more powerful than any other drivers of similar size that they’re essentially a different kind of tool. While I’m not really much of a cordless screwdriver user — even the good ones like the ones mentioned above — I use the hell out of the PS10 and PS20. They’re powerful enough to drive 3″ screws fully into wood, and they can drive a ton of ’em on a single charge. They also stay charged for what seems like forever on the shelf, and they come with two batteries so you can swap ’em out while you work. At $125+, they’re pro tools in a pro price range. If you make use of ’em in your profession, they’d be worth every penny. The PS20 is especially practical around the house, too, though.

    So I suppose the question as to “whether they’re worth the coin” is really a completely personal one. Are they good values for their price? Yep. But whether that translates into value for you…

  3. James says:

    mrChris: I have a Mastercraft (Canadian Tire brand) 10.8V Li-ion 3/8″ drill. It’s light, feels good in the hand, and can handle tasks that my cheap 18V can’t without producing a burning smell (I guess from the cheap plastic parts inside). It comes with a 5-year warranty and sells for CAN$130, but I got it on sale for $90.

    As for screwdrivers, my Mom got me a 2.4V Ni-cd Skil screwdriver (the original long one) 2 years ago. I thought I would never use it, but I found myself using it one day while assembling and disassembling a computer and I loved it. The newer 3.6V ones look even better and I’ll probably get one at some point.

    Of course, if you’re happy with what you’ve got, stick with it until it breaks down. By then there should be plenty of lower-priced Li-ion options.

  4. Paul says:

    Dang! And I so want a magic paint sprayer too. None of them electric things work? With cordless drills it seems like the tools aren’t too expensive, but the batteries are! Pushing a car isn’t easy no matter what sort of wheels it is on. As fascinated as I am with magnets I still don’t want them near steel I care about. The least of my bandsaw’s blades concerns is the tension it is under.

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