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Odds are that if you’ve been watching live TV lately, you’ve caught this Half Time Drill Drive advertisement. The idea for the product certainly has appeal: Who hasn’t been involved in projects requiring a drilled pilot hole followed by a screw? But chucking and re-chucking the drill bit and the screw driver head takes forever and is an annoying, repetitive task.

While we at Toolmonger reserve judgment on the longevity and durability of this innovation, we applaud the outside-the-box thinking it took to create this solution. If you’ve used the Half Time Drill Driver we’d love to hear what you think of it.

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Sean gave you a quick mention of DeWalt’s new 20V MAX line recently, and I’ll agree: it’s damn interesting. We’ve got a lot more information on these coming, but let’s start out with the most commonly-purchased power tool, the drill/driver.

First and foremost, let’s get this out of the way: If you looked at the 12V MAX line and thought, “Wow! That looks pretty modern compared to previous DeWalt tools. I wish they’d update the 18V line the same way,” then you’ll be happy. That’s pretty much what they’ve done. But as the origin tools of the new 20V MAX line, these three tools say a lot about DeWalt’s latest direction. Read on for details.

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Since DeWalt was acquired by Stanley, we’ve had a sneaking suspicion the the yellow and black would be appearing in many arenas of retail combat where they currently do not. That was correct, but the speed and quality with which they began the assault was classic Stanley planning. Take the launch of the 20v Max line, for instance: 13 tools that look great and, from everything we’ve seen, function on par with the biggest names in Li-Ion.

DEWALT announces the launch of its new 20 Volt MAX* Lithium Ion system, which includes a compact drill/driver (DCD780C2), premium drill/driver (DCD980L2), two impact drivers (DCF885C2 and DCF885L2), compact hammer drill (DCD785C2), premium hammer drill (DCD985L2), reciprocating saw (DCS380L1), circular saw (DCS391L1), SDS rotary hammer (DCH213L2), right angle drill (DCD740C1) and work light (DCL040).

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It’s got to be a difficult deal when sitting down to do the year’s rollout plan on some of these tools like the rotary hammer. Milwaukee and other toolmakers are constantly trying to keep customers who want more choices and their preference of simple production runs, even when fewer SKUs might be better for a balanced budget. Either way, customers still need to drill big-ass holes in tough materials.

The newest 5/8″ SDS Rotary hammer is 10.9″ long and 4.6 lbs. heavy — smaller and lighter than it’s ever been. It packs 1.5 ft-lbs. of impact energy, turns at 0-3,700 RPM, and features the latest in anti-vibration tech. All this power on hand, and the first question out of everyone’s mouth is always “When are you going to do a cordless version with the same power?” If they do produce a cordless version of some tools, will there still be wailing and gnashing of teeth when the corded version is shelved for a while or not upgraded as often?

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Only a week after the Bosch event where Makita and three other competitors stacked up against Bosch to drive screws, the folks at Makita have released a new challenger to their 18v lineup. The LXFD01 is the name, and the game appears to be pushing the rest of the field for small form factors and big power.

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You’d think manufacturers have done just about everything possible to make drill bits perform better, but it seems they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Colt, a German drill bit manufacturer, recently introduced some new bits with what almost looks like a four-flute design.

Made of alloy steel, the Twinland brad point bits use a 25º flute with a recessed land — the land is the raised area of the spiral bit. By creating a void in the land, the design removes chips faster and helps prevent one cause of burning, where chips get between the land and the hole wall. The second “land” surface also is supposed to improve guidance and accuracy.

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Whether you want to build a unique storage case for your coin collection or find a classy way to mark the year you built your woodworking project, you’ll be hard pressed to find the right-sized bit in a regular Forstner bit set. What you need is a coin-sized Forstner bit set.

There may be sets for other countries’ coins out there, but we’ll talk about sets that have bits for the 6 sizes of U.S. coins. The bits for the U.S. coin sizes are more or less as follows:

  • Pennies: 19.1 mm or 0.751″
  • Nickles: 21.3mm or .839″
  • Dimes: 18mm or .709″
  • Quarters:  24.1mm or .949″
  • Half Dollars: 30.6mm or  1.205″
  • Dollars: 26.6mm or 1.047″

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Good Forstner bits can be expensive; you don’t want to just chuck them out when they get dull. You could bring them in to be sharpened, or you could do it yourself with a few simple tools that you can acquire separately or buy in a kit from several different retailers.

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From the how-the-hell-did-we-miss-that-one department, last summer Milwaukee introduced an arbor that you twist to release the hole saw. Forget about un-chucking the arbor to change hole saws; no more knuckle-busting wrenches to loosen the jammed nut holding on the saw — just twist the base of the arbor and the hole saw pops free.

The system does have its limitations. It only works with hole saws up to 1-3/16″, which isn’t large for a hole saw. The arbors are available with 3/8″ or 7/16″ shanks and supposedly work with all hole saws, even non-Milwaukee ones.

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TM reader Douwe turned us on to this deal at Lowe’s: a 81-piece Irwin drill/driver bit kit with case for $15. The kit includes a combination of twist drill bits, spade bits, and a ton of screwdriver bits, and would make a nice addition to that 18V cordless you got your buddy for the holidays. Sure, you can find more complete sets, and you can probably build yourself a custom kit more perfectly aligned to your needs. But for $15 you can’t go wrong. We’re finding the same kit selling elsewhere for twice the price.

Irwin 81-Piece Tool Accessory Kit w/Bag [Lowe’s]