FEATURE: High-performance tools
By Helen Wright23 March 2016
Modern power tools are already highly refined products, but manufacturers still keep coming up with new ways to improve them.
Shaving a few grams of weight off a hand-held saw can make a real difference to fatigue levels at the end of a working day, while extending the battery life of cordless power tools can lead to greater on-site convenience and time savings on projects that all add up and could save money and effort.
Meanwhile, as the campaign for improved dust management, especially on site and in the workshop, is becoming more of a priority in the construction industry, attention is also being focussed on health and safety at the power tool level, with new dust management systems being introduced for power tools.
And security is another area of development, with the kind of fleet monitoring technology that is so well-known when it comes to larger construction equipment now being applied to power tools as well.
First to power options, where there have been plenty of recent developments. Take Dewalt’s latest drylining tool - the DCF620 18V XRTM Brushless Lithium Ion Drywall Screw gun – for instance. This screw gun sports company’s Extreme Runtime batteries, either as two 2.0Ah or two 5.0Ah XRTM high capacity lithium ion battery packs with fuel gauge indicators as well as a naked unit.
The company said that one 2.0Ah battery allows the user to drive up to 2250 screws, whereas the 5.0ah battery drives up to 6000 screws per charge.
The new screw gun weighs 1.99kg with the 2.0Ah battery pack and offers 4400rpm (no load speed), which Dewalt claimed was comparable to the speed of a corded product.
New battery technology from Makita has also been introduced with the launch of its CXT range of 10.8V tools featuring a new slide battery as an addition to their current 10.8v tools featuring the cluster style batteries.
It said the new 10.8V Lithium-Ion slide battery, similar to the 18V Li-Ion battery used in the heavier tool range, has multi-contact terminals to ensure stable contact under extreme work vibration conditions.
The slide battery is said to fit easily into the tools and new chargers and has the same high level of structural strength as well as having built-in protection to prevent overload or over discharging.
The tools are supplied with 2.0Ah batteries with a 4.0Ah version available as an option.
These new slide batteries have protection overload circuitry, will operate down to -20°C and have a 4-stage LED fuel gauge indicator.
The new 10.8V slide battery is fitted to the company’s latest ‘CXT’ range of tools which includes a Combi Drill, Drill Driver, Impact Driver, Reciprocating Saw and 85mm Circular Saw.
Meanwhile, Makita sad it has also introduced new dual power dust extractors that can be powered by mains or battery. It said the VC2201MXI /VC2211MX1 M model was powered by a 1050W motor, available in either 110v or 240v mode, which delivers 22.0kPa maximum suction with an air flow of 3.5m³/min to pull material into the 22 litre stainless steel tank.
Makita added that the new extractor also featured a new automatic self-cleaning filter system achieved by two triple function filter units. The unit weighs 16.3kg and boasts a 5m power cord.
For its part, the new DVC861LZ L-class extractor is operated by both AC mains power and DC batteries, using the twin 18V battery system. This is a dry material vacuum that has a 1050W motor that will generate 24kPa maximum, suction in mains mode, and 9kPa suction when powered by battery. Maximum airflow is 3.6m³/min and 2.1m³/min respectively.
Makita has also expanded its laser measuring instrument range with the introduction of a laser distance measure. There are now three laser distance measures in the Makita range providing operational capacity for 30m, 50m and 80m.
The new Makita LD030P laser distance measure is designed for indoor application with a range from 2m to 30m and boasting three functions – single measure, distance tracking or full area calculation. The device is 117mm by 53mm by 25mm in size and robustly built with edge protectors.
And the manufacturer has also introduced a new cross line laser in the form of the SK104Z, which it said had clear line visibility up to 15m. This visibility will reach 60m with the detector set in laser in pulse mode, which Makita said also reduces battery consumption.
Makita said the main improvement on this new model was the increased return of the cross-lines in both vertical and horizontal directions. It said this meant the projection of the lines was not only visible to the front surface, but they are projected back across the ceiling area, floor area, and side walls of a room – making it well-suited to stud work or pipe work applications.
Many new power tools are also planned to be launched at the upcoming Bauma Munich exhibition, taking place in Germany in April (turn to page 14 for the full showguide). improved performance has been the key message with these upcoming models too – with lower weights and improved battery life taking centre stage.
Stihl, for instance, said it planned to present what it claims is the world’s first battery-powered cut-off machine, the TSA 230, which was awarded it the distinction of ‘Bauma Innovation Award 2016 Finalist’.
Designed for civil engineering, pipe-laying, roofing and much more, the cut-off machine boasts zero-emission cordless technology and weighs 5.6kg, including battery. Fitted with a 230mm abrasive wheel, the TSA 230 can cut through materials up to 70mm thick.
Stihl will also showcase its MS 261 C-M chain saw, which it said had undergone an extensive model upgrade and now weighs 300g less, with no loss of power. On the contrary, at 3.0kW, the company said the chain saw was in fact up by 0.1kW over the previous version. At the same time, it said many components had been optimised in terms of ergonomics.
And Stihl will also showcase new accessorise for its power tools, including new 36 GBM and 36 GBE diamond abrasive chains for concrete cutters.
Hilti will also be at Bauma Munich, and said it would present its expanded range of diamond wall saws with CutAssist technology. The saw also features the manufacture’s Equidist technology for tacking touch materials such as reinforced concrete. It said its Equidist technology would be a focus at the show – an arrangement of diamonds on the cutting edge that is said to improve performance as well as service lift.
Hilti also said it planned to present its new On Track asset tracking technology – an RFID and barcode scanner system that works together with cloud-based software to keep track of tools. The software is said to provide centralised data storage that can be accessed any time.
Meanwhile, General Equipment, which will be represented on the EuroGate stand, will present its CTS12 Rip-R-Stripper – a tool for removing ceramic tile, hardwood flooring materials and other coverings.
The company said a direct, impulse type blow force is provided by a wide range of 35lbs (15.9kg) weight class electric breakers manufactured by Hilti, Bosch, Makita and Hitachi. It said the
stripper’s design allowed the operator to work in a more productive, upright position, and addressed jobsite exposure to knee and lower back related concerns.
A wide range of industry-standard, 29mm hexagon and 152mm shank accessory tools, including chisels and scraper blades, are also available, according to General Equipment.
Another brand represented in Europe by EuroGate, Rhino, will be showcasing its petrol-powered post drivers. The machines are equipped with a Honda GX35 4-stroke engine and feature Rhino’s CIS vibration dampening system. It has designed the Rental-Pro Post Driver specifically to European standards – a machine capable of driving posts up to 100mm in diameter.
For its part, Stanley Infrastructure – a division of Stanley Black and Decker – said it would be demonstrating its hydraulic power packs working with breakers, chainsaws and grinders at Bauma.
It will be interesting to see how the 2016 power tools launches have been further refined to make them well-suited to the rental industry.
This is a feature from the March 2016 issue of IRN. To read the full article, with extra images and information, subscribe to the magazine: http://www.khl.com/subscriptions/magazines/international-rental-news/