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If you disagree here, feel free to call me out in comments. But I’m always confused when I see something like this on the Snap-On site. They’re offering a 1/4″ compact cordless impact driver, complete with two batteries, a charger, and a soft-sided case for $203. But are people really willing to pay 75% more for a tool just to have it come in red and black and show up via the tool van? Seriously, we can buy the Bosch PS41 for $135 all day online. And unless I’m missing something, the Snap-On driver’s specs don’t match up well, either.

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Over the last few years, we’ve seen Bosch roll out saws left, right, and backwards that address contractors’ aches and pains. They’ve got badass sliding/miter saws and table saws alike. What they rolled out last month is a 10” portable table saw that has an 18” capacity and a four horsepower motor that spins up to 5000rpm.

Watching the video from Bosch, the saw looks like the neatest thing since sliced bread, bells, and whistles. It fits in less than a two-foot space lengthwise and is an inch over 1’ width standing up, which works out great for hauling it in a truck. One-handed carry of its 45 lb. curb weight makes it reasonable to lug around. The saw guard is easy to snap in and out, which is good since that’s often the first casualty after being hauled up a flight of stairs or through a doorway on a jobsite.

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Shop air compressors are very much like the heater in your home: If it’s working, you really don’t pay it much attention. Only recently when we had a hiccup with our five-gallon Ridgid twin-stack did the thought even come up that this was a 5-year old unit that had put in hundreds of hours of tireless service. We decided to see how our favorite old compressor does against a field of modern competitors.

We shopped around until we found a good representative product from several manufacturers. The rules were pretty simple: Each unit had to be available at a home center or gear equivalent, needed to be in the 2-to-5 gallon range, and finally had to be able to power the shop tools we put into circulation on a regular basis such as trim guns, air blowers, and so forth. Four challengers to the Ridgid arrived in the shop for test. They are, in manufacturer’s alphabetical order: Bosch CET4-20, Campbell Hausfeld FP2602, Hitachi EC 89, and Makita MAC2400.

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So cutting foam rubber isn’t your thing; still, you’ve got to love a tool that has counter-reciprocating blades. The counter-reciprocating action is supposed to cut down on vibration and noise and give you more control for precise cutting of all densities of foam rubber, plastic foams, and even carpet.

Made in Germany, the 3.2A motor can produce 3,200 SPM (which I’m guessing means Strokes Per Minute) with no load. The tool operates with a long paddle-type switch and can be locked running. You can change the four different length blades without tools.

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The oscillating multi-tool must be a larger market than we first suspected, because Bosch and other manufacturers keep cranking out tools and attachments for them at breakneck speed. The latest we’ve seen is the MX25E corded multitool. Yep, you heard right: corded.

The MX25E, like any other of its kind, is built to do flush cutting, plunge cutting, sanding, grinding, grout removal, scraping, and whatever else you can manage to do with it — except this one is built to run with 2.5 amps of power and go all day, not just until a 12v battery runs down. We’re guessing Bosch talked to enough contractors who liked using an oscillating multi-tool, but didn’t want the hassle of charging and keeping up with the change out on the jobsite.

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The first day it arrived in the shop and we began cutting with it, we knew that the Bosch axial glide miter saw would make our favorites list this year with gusto to spare. It’s large, loud, rugged, and elegant all at the same time. Though competitors won’t admit it outright, this is a home run and everyone on the other teams knows it.

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We’ve touted the Bosch PS31 as the perfect homeowner drill: powerful enough for everything except drilling large holes in steel or masonry, small enough to fit comfortably in the hands of inexperienced folks, and built well enough to take abuse. And its compact li-ion batteries retain a charge even after lying in a drawer for months. As you might’ve guessed, these attributes also make it the perfect gift.

Specs are what you’d expect from a third-generation compact drill/driver: 265 in-lb. of max torque, a two-speed transmission (0-350 and 0-1,300 RPM), and a keyless 3/8″ chuck. Think of it as a PS20 on steroids with a real chuck.

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Bosch announced the recall of approximately 20,000 hammer drills. According to the CPSC “the models have a grounding system and trigger switch that could cause ground wire abrasion and/or ground connector failure posing a shock hazard. In addition, the switch could become stuck in the on position posing an injury hazard to the user.” So far no one’s reported any actual incidents.

Affected drills are the 1/2″ 2-speed variety with model numbers HD19-2, HD19-2D, HD19-2L, and HD 21-2. They were sold between September 2009 and August 2010. If you own one of these, you should immediately stop using the drill and return it to Bosch directly for repair. You can contact Bosch toll-free at 866-244-2110 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Bosch Recalls Hammer Drills Due To Electrical Shock Hazard [CPSC]

 

Bosch is missing out on a big market here in the U.S. by not selling their IXO Vino lithium-ion cordless screwdriver with corkscrew attachment. I mean, if you had a choice between a cordless screwdriver and a cordless screwdriver with a corkscrew, which tool would you choose?

Setting the corkscrew aside, the screwdriver has an integrated LED to illuminate fasteners in poorly lit areas and a built-in charge level indicator. It can be operated in forward, reverse, or locked mode for hand driving. The one thing that disappoints me is Bosch integrates the lithium-ion battery into the tool iPhone-style, so when the battery dies, the screwdriver is about as useful as a door stop.

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This summer I tried out a barrel-grip jigsaw, and I liked it. Some TM readers like ’em, too. But I’m always surprised at how many non-pros have never heard of ’em. Here’s the one I tried, which is on the market now: Bosch’s 7-amp model JS470EB.

The Bosch model feels quite powerful — at least as powerful as you want a jigsaw to feel. And it includes all the modern features you’d expect: a toolless blade-change system (which really does work one-handed), dial-set variable speed, and circuitry that adjusts power to keep the blade moving the same speed under load. Add to that a really comfy shape and rubber padding in all the right spots, and you end up with a surprisingly vibration-free jigsaw that just feels very precise.

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