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Fein added an interesting feature to some of the angle grinders in their WS 14 line; they replaced the switch with four touch pads — two in the front and two in the rear.

You start the grinder by touching one of the font pads and one of the rear pads. The grinder will continue to operate as long as you touch one of the four pads and will slow to a stop when you release it. Just so you don’t accidentally start it, you can lock the grinder off.

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Not many people are going to need a stainless steel pipe polisher, but the tool just looks really cool.  You can use Fein’s RS 12-70 to grind pipe welds, sand pipes to a satin finish, or polish pipes to a mirror finish and anywhere in between.

The variable-speed sander can drive the belt to speeds up to 22 m/s.  The belts rides on what I’m assuming are spring-loaded arms that allow the belt to flex around the pipe so you can surface all 360° of the pipe in only two passes.

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Fein advertises this tool as more than a detail sander.  In fact, after reading one of their blurbs on it, I always get the feeling that it could remodel my entire house single-handedly.

That might explain why I’ve always been a bit dubious about it.

Fein claims that because the MultiMaster oscillates — as opposed to reciprocating or rotating — it can sand, cut, plunge cut, scrape, rasp, and even grind.  They make a zillion different attachments to aid it in accomplishing these tasks.

But the price catches me as well.  Is this tool really worth $300+?

All that said, I’ll admit that I’ve never laid my hands on one.  I’m hoping some of you have and will share your experiences.  Is it worth the price?  Does it really work well for all the tasks Fein claims?  Let us know in comments.

The MultiMaster [Fein US]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s this?]

 

post-fsn400e2.jpgRemoving old, hardened grout from tile joints can be a major pain.  There are a lot of ways to go about it, but almost all of them involve either damaging the tile, generating tons of grout dust, or both.  (We can tell you first hand that grout dust is not good for your health.)

We’re not saying that this is an inexpensive solution by any means, but if you’re re-grouting some priceless tile or are removing grout on a daily basis — we’ve been there and feel your pain — Fein has a tool that does the job without making a mess of the tile or your lungs.

Their FSN 400E dustless grout remover works by vibrating a sandpaper-like “blade” (using fine diamonds for grit) at up to 22,000 times per minute to pulverize the grout into pieces small enough to wipe away but not so small that they’ll fill the air.  It features variable speed settings, and you can attach the blade in 12 different configurations to optimize its shape for your particular task.

The FSN 400E retails around — get ready for this — $675 in various kits.  It’s easier to find in Europe than here in the states, but if you look around a bit you can indeed find it.

The Supercut FSN 400E [Fein UK]
Street Pricing [Froogle]

 

post-feinmm.jpgGerman tool company Fein offers this unusual tool which they claim can cut, grind, raso, sand, plunge, and scrape. 

Our first thought was that this looks very much like any other detail sander notwithstanding the addition of some pretty creative attachments.  Indeed, in the Fein website’s FAQ they admit that the MultiMaster evolved from their detail sander and that the new attachments will retrofit to the older sander.

As skeptical as we are, we were surprised to find a number of positive reviews PDFed up for download at the Fein site.  A number of reputable publications have found applications for the tool, and spoke well of it.

The MultiMaster comes in five variations:

  1. the MultiMaster XL — the largest kit with “most popular accessories,” including a carbide rasp, polishing pad, profile sanding kit, grout blade, segment saw blade, universal E-cut blade, scraper blade, hook & loop sanding pad, metal carrying case, and screw set, which lists for $436
  2. the MultiMaster RS — a smaller set which deletes the polishing pad and profile sanding kit and lists for $326
  3. the MultiMaster Start – a smaller set yet which further deletes the carbide rasp, grout blade, and segment saw, listing for $227
  4. the Cordless MultiMaster — a cordless version of the “Start” kit powered by a 9.6v NiCd battery and listing for $499
  5. and the Pneumatic MultiMaster — an air-powered version including the hook & loop sanding pad, segment saw blade, and scraper blade, listing for $291

(A detailed product comparison is available here.)

A quick jaunt over to Froogle showed that street pricing for the MultiMaster is a bit lower than list with the Start kit leading off around $165, yet this still seems awfully expensive for what it is. 

The MultiMaster [Fein]