Makita Brushless Grinder Review – DGA504Z

Makita has forayed into brushless 18v tools before now, but never outside the standard tools. They’ve got brushless drills, impact drivers and rotary hammer drill, like many other brands. But Makita is launching brushless technology into other important tools, and spearheading the move with the brushless grinders, DGA504Z and DGA505Z.

This is a great move from Makita because while their standard 18v grinder (DGA452Z) does the job, it is criticised for being a little underpowered. The new brushless models are anything but underpowered. As you’ll see in the video below, stopping this cordless grinder is no easy talk, it just refuses to give up. You may consider leaving your corded grinder at home with this in your toolbag.

With great power and longer runtime, the most important boxes are ticked. Other nice features of this tool include:

  • Available with regular switch (504) or paddle (505)
  • Reduced size handle for better grip
  • Toolless guard rotation and removal
  • Rotatable head for angle flexibility
  • Compatability with 1.5Ah, 3.0Ah, 4.0Ah and 5.0Ah batteries

On the downside the new grinders are about 45mm longer and 400g heavier than the previous model, but neither of these bothered us much. As can be expected, the price is significantly higher than the old one at AU$250+ for the tool only.

Makita have hit a winner with this great grinder,and they’re one of the first to make one brushless. Can’t wait to see the brushless circular saw, jig saw and others that are bound to follow.

Bosch Green Sanding Roller – PRR 250ES Review

Today we got to play with a tool we’ve never seen the like of before, Bosch’s sanding roller – PRR 250ES. This has been released and priced for the DIY range, but may also appeal to a lot of tradies.

This is the most versatile sander you’ll ever use. It has a variety of attachments that allow you to sand just about anything. You wouldn’t use it to sand a whole table top, but it has no equal in getting into tight places. it also does very well polishing stainless steel (and probably aluminum) and removes heaps of material with an 80G sleeve on the drum/shank.

It’s very light at 1.3kg and comfortable in the hand, if a little long. It doesn’t make enough noise to warrant earmuffs, but glasses are a must. The guard looks bulky and annoying but its actually quite handy because you can easily move it around as you work, and it has a dust extraction port.

This is a tool i want on my shelf. You have to watch the video to get a real appreciation for just how much punch has been packed into this tool.

DeWALT 18V 5Ah Battery & DCD995 Brushless Hammer Drill

Dewalt has recently released 5Ah batteries in Australia, 5Ah! That is one helluva gas tank.These batteries will of course work with any of Dewalt’s 18V XR range, but will be especially welcome news to users of the high-draw tools such as the grinder and circular saw.

We got to test it out with Dewalt’s latest and greatest drill, the DCD995. This is a serious tool. It builds on the very successful 3-Speed DCD985 heavy duty hammer drill, but with the following differences:

  • 250g lighter (1.6kg bare tool)
  • much shorter (213mm)
  • combined mode selector
  • more powerful (80Nm!), and
  • Brushless.

The stylings on Dewalt’s brushless tools are sexy too. We still love having a middle speed for tasks that are too difficult in top speed, but a little slow in first.

What can we complain about? Ocasionally the gear selector doesn’t want to move the first time you try, but it’s never a real issue. We couldn’t really find any other fault with it, except that it took a while to get here. Some people might miss the separate mode selector and clutch ring, but we don’t. This really shouldn’t be your main tool for drilling fine fasteners!

Another cracking tool (and battery!) from Dewalt.

Milwaukee Gen II Compact Drill & Impact – M18 BDD & M18 BID

Milwaukee has FINALLY brought out a compact ‘compact drill’ to their Australian 18V line in recent months. Users of the red tools have always had great premium drills available (including the amazing FUEL) but never a good compact drill, until now.

What’s in the box?

  • M18 2606-20 Compact Drill Driver
  • M18 2657-20 Impact Driver (2-Speed)
  • 2 x 2Ah slim batteries
  • M18/M12 charger
  • Blow-moulded plastic case

M18BPP2D 202C 3 Reviews From OZ: Milwaukee Gen II Compact Drill & Impact   2606 20 & 2657 20

M18 Gen II Compact Drill Driver

SPECS

  • Model number:              2606-20                |             M18 BDD
  • Weight (no battery):      2.9lbs                    |             1.43kgs
  • Length:                          7-1/4”                   |             196mm
  • Torque:                         500 in lbs              |             60 Nm
  • No-load Speed:            450 / 1,800 RPM
  • Motor:                           Brushed 4-Pole
  • Chuck:                          13mm ratcheting metal sleeve

This drill is what Milwaukee users have come to expect, elegant and powerful. It had no trouble in our tests driving a 16mm, 250mm auger bit deep into treated pine, though it did heat up. I’ve never had a drill pump out hot air that was uncomfortable to the hand, but this did. I suppose I’m glad the heat was coming out rather than staying in the tool.

The metal chuck on this unit is really nice. It has no wobble at all and is very comfortable to use. If chuck crush were a real thing, I’d have it bad. You get two gears, both of which do an excellent job delivering the drill’s hefty punch.

PROSRock-solid chuck, Powerful, Compact

CONS: Puts out a lot of heat

M18 Gen II Impact Driver

SPECS

  • Model number:              2657-20                  |              M18 BID
  • Weight (no battery):      2.2lbs                      |              1.00 kg
  • Length:                          5-1/2”                     |              140 mm
  • Torque:                         1500 in lbs               |              169 Nm
  • No-load Speed:             2,000 / 2,750 RPM
  • Impacts per Minute:      2,450 / 3,450 IPM
  • Motor:                            Brushed 4-Pole
  • Chuck:                           1/4” quick-change

In refreshing the M18 brushed drill and impact, I’m pretty impressed Milwaukee has gone beyond the standard single-speed impact driver. Their 3-Speed FUEL impact driver is of course still top dog, but having a 2-Speed brushed unit at this price point is sweet.

It’s also a powerhouse, at least the match of the brushless impact drivers we tested against.

What else is there to say? It’s comfortable, well-made and simple. My only disappointment with this tool is that Milwaukee has stuck with a single LED light, rather than the popular three-LED ring setup.

PROS: Powerful, Compact, 2-Speed

CONS: Single LED light

Final thoughts on the kit:

On sale this twin pack can be had around AU$300, an absolute steal. The slim 2.0Ah batteries are great for keeping down the size and weight of the tools. We were surprised that Milwaukee has supplied this basic kit with the dual voltage charger, capable of charging M12 and M18 batteries.

At this price point, and backed by the Milwaukee 5 year tool, 2 year battery warranty, I can’t recommend the kit enough.

   

18V Planer Comparison – Makita BKP180 vs Bosch GHO 18V-Li

A cordless planer is not a tool that everybody sees a need for. Yet I bet that anyone who has used one won’t want to give it back. They really can be a pleasure to use, and the Makita and Bosch planers are exactly that.

The main specs are as follows:

Bosch GHO 18V-Li  –   2.6kg, 82mm blade, 1.6mm cut depth, 14,000RPM

Makita BKP180       –   3.3kg, 82mm blade, 2.0mm cut depth, 14,000RPM

The Makita’s extra weight is noticeable, but also excusable as you get a much heftier base plate that should serve tradies well. Other than this, the Bosch has two unusual features:

  1. It only has one cutting blade. This does keep blade cost and maintenance down, but is probably the reason it doesn’t have quite as much grunt, and a just-respectable cut capacity of 1.6mm
  2. It has left and right dust chutes! This means that users can direct the chips/dust in whatever direction is least annoying to clean up. It also make fitting a dust bag or dust extraction vac too easy.

Both machines gave a very sharp finish. Both gave very good run times (69.5m and 66.5m for the Bosch and Makita respectively on 3Ah batteries). The Bosch is often a little more expensive . The Makita has a more user-friendly safety-lock.

So, which do we recommend? Well, we love both. If keeping mess to a minimum is vital to you, then the Bosch. For everyone else, the Makita is probably the better choice.

FEIN 4 Speed Drill Review – ASCM 18 QX

Do you need a high-end cordless drill? Do a lot of steel drilling? Look no further than FEINs new 4 speed drills, the ASCM 18 and ASCM 18 QX.

Not everybody is able to justify up to $700 for a cordless drill kit, but if you’re livelihood depends on the speed and precision of your steel and aluminum drilling, maybe you can. I wish I could, this tool is superb.

What makes it so good for drilling in metal? 3,850 RPM! As you might expect, we can hardly fault this unit. It has great power, great feel and terrific batteries. The German’s sure know how to make quality stuff.

We also did a short review on the impact driver, impact wrench and compact drill that fills our their 18v range.

Makita 18V DHP481Z Review – Brushless Hammer Drill

Write-up edited for accuracy upon further testing.

Makita has a tonne of 18V drills, and this isn’t the first brushless one. But it IS their first brushless heavy duty drill, and they are making some big claims about it, 125N.m. of claim.

Newton metres (N.m.) is how torque is measured, and that’s a good 50% more than any of it’s competitors claim. To quell your doubts about it”s torque, Makita have included a side-handle long enough you could unblock your toilet with it (not a suggestion).

We like the feel of this drill, and it certainly ripped through some redgum with a 16mm and 24mm auger bit. However it’s electronic protection seems to prevent it from shining in really intense torque tests. It was also able to pull down huge coach bolts into treated pine easier than competitors.

Does it live up to Makita’s claims? No it doesn’t, but it is a great drill Yep I think it does. The weight and length put it right inline with the competition, and the power is a cut above. So feel free to use the side-handle however you want. Ignore the side handle at your peril!

DeWALT DCF880 18V – 1/2″ Impact Wrench Review

A couple of weeks ago i had a box waiting for me when I got home from work. I’m not sure there’s anything better than new tools at your doorstep.

I was really keen to see how well the 18V XR DCF880 performed. If it could take off my ute’s wheel nuts, then I couldn’t ask for anything more. Well, it does. It’s unbelievable that such a small tool (its the same size as the impact drivers) can pack such a good punch. I like it so much that I’ve sold my Bosch high torque wrench, I’ll just never need more power than this.

If you’re more sensible than us, you might not need this AND an impact wrench. If you’re mainly driving screws, get the impact driver plus a socket adapter. If you’re working with nuts and bolts more often, get a 1/4” hex adapter for the wrench.

We love this little tool, and the fantastic LED lights will just be so handy under the bonnet.