Earlier in the week I gave you a sneak peek at some of the new tools Dewalt is bringing to the market in 2015. Well, here’s the closer look I promised.
Details are still slim for most of these new tools, so the closer look is mostly in the form of more photos and first-hand experience. And by first-hand experience, I mean however much handling I was able to squeeze into my short time with each tool.
Before you leave the post, please consider leaving a comment answering what could be an easy or very difficult question. Which one are you most excited about? Or… tell us about the tools that you might want Dewalt to come out with next.
I think that the ToughSystem Bluetooth radio is by far my favorite of Dewalt’s new tools. No wait – it’s the cordless miter saw. Or maybe the new heavy duty impact wrench? But that rotary hammer looks good too and I wish I had the opportunity to try it out. I’ll be thinking this over a bit more. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the sneak peek!
Since this is a long post, here are some shortcuts:
- Dewalt ToughSystem Bluetooth Radio & Speaker System
- 20V Max Bluetooth Battery Packs
- Cordless Miter Saw
- Heavy Duty Brushless Impact Wrenches
- DCN660 Cordless Brushless Finish Nailer
- Brushless Rotary Hammer & Dust Extractor
- Deep-Cutting Brushless Band Saw
- Threaded Rod Cutter
- Mini Air Blower
Dewalt ToughSystem Bluetooth Radio & Speaker System
The new Bluetooth radio (model DWST08810) doesn’t look all that enticing in photos (or does it?), but it was downright drool-worthy in person. It’s built tough, and I think that IP54 was thrown around a couple of times. Maybe not, I don’t really remember. I was too busy oohing and aahing over the darned thing.
I maxed out the volume, but the unit wasn’t as loud as I thought. Maybe the Bluetooth-connected device was set to a low volume. In any case, the sound was crisp and clear.
It’s got 4 speakers – 2 on each side – for nice sound coverage. Or at least I’m surmising it has good sound coverage. It’s hard to really test this when you’re standing right next to the radio.
The Dewalt rep emphasized that the dainty power cable was a temporary thing and that the real one is still in development. Or something to that effect. You can’t see it here, but keep what I said in mind in case you see photos of the ToughSystem radio elsewhere with a frail-looking consumer-grade AC adapter.
The rubberized control panel felt top-notch.
Did I mention that the Dewalt ToughSystem radio will command a $200+ price tag? I think they said $230, or something like that. That’s a lot to pay for a jobsite radio, but I think you’re at least getting your money’s worth.
Underneath the top hatch are two storage compartments for your music players. One has an aux input port and a USB port that I know nothing about. Maybe it can charge your mobile devices, or maybe it can work with a thumbdrive full of MP3s?
I’ll check with Dewalt about what the USB port can do, but the easiest thing would be to wait until they send an official announcement about the radio. I have dozens of more pressing questions to ask.
The top hatch has a waterproof and dustproof seal, as does the battery compartment. The ToughSystem radio can be operated by battery or AC power, but I’m still left wondering as to whether it can charge cordless batteries too.
ETA: Oct 2015
20V Max Bluetooth Battery Packs
Let me just say one thing first: Dewalt would not have created Bluetooth-equipped battery packs if there wasn’t a large enough customer need for them.
Similar to Bosch’s wireless charging system (be sure to read my good and bad take on it), these are the kinds of tools and accessories that are best understood by those that will see benefits from their use. If you’re thinking who the heck would want something like that, these aren’t for you.
Before seeing these in person, I never would have said hey, I really wish my power tool batteries could connect to my smartphone. But after hearing their spiel and learning what they can do, I can see the benefits for certain users.
Once you pair a battery pack to your smartphone, you can receive status alerts and see important information, such as battery capacity, charging progress, and the temperature of a pack.
You could also enable and disable connected battery packs from your phone. They didn’t really specify the benefits of this, but I’m guessing it locks unauthorized users from operating a tool.
Oh, and there’s a special place on the top of each battery pack where you can write in a user name or ID number. I guess it’s simpler and neater than using a sharpie or masking tape.
Bluetooth-equipped battery packs will cost about $20 more compared to non-Bluetooth packs.
Cordless Miter Saw
I already posted about the new Dewalt DCS361 cordless miter saw, but it was nice to see it in person.
The 20V Max cordless miter saw won’t be a life-changing experience, but it’s still a nice design. A lot of thought must have went into this saw, and it shows. Weight was shaved off where it was okay to do so, and user controls were fine-tuned using Dewalt’s accumulated years of know-how.
Did I mention that the DCS361 is a sliding miter saw as well? I’m sure you noticed in the first photo, but figured I’d remind you since a lot of people miss it. The saw at the media event was set up for cutting trim and 2x boards, and so I couldn’t test the saw out to its full capacity.
For what it’s worth, the sliding mechanism was pretty smooth. I checked it out because of this post discussing poor Dewalt sliding miter saw gliding performance. The rep looked at me funny and told me I didn’t need to slide it around to cut the 2x board that was set to be cut.
Although the DCS361 saw can fit standard-sized 7-1/4″ blades, Dewalt went ahead and designed a special blade for the cordless miter saw. They already have Precision Framing ($15+ via Amazon) and Precision Finishing ($18+ via Amazon) blades, and the new one is designated a Precision Trim blade.
I don’t think I wrote about Dewalt’s Precision Framing and Finishing blades, but I particularly like their 6-1/2″ Precision Finishing blade for cordless circular saws.
I did some looking, and Dewalt already makes Precision Trim circular saw blades for 10″ and 12″ miter saws ($50+ via Amazon). The Amazon listings show that those blades were released years ago, which could be why I was oblivious to them.
Do other brands make 7-1/4″ clean-cutting saw blades? Dewalt said that the new Precision Trim blade cuts with less tearout, providing for a cleaner cut of trim materials. The saw left the 2x board I cut with an exceptionally smooth surface, and while there was tearout, it was really minor.
I had to wrap my hand around the side grip handles. They look a little rough, but were smooth and bare-hand-friendly. A very nice touch – thank you Dewalt design engineers!
One of the Dewalt reps showed off how you could even carry the saw by the side handle.
As someone who hates lugging around off-balance miter saws, even when carried with two hands, I think this is going to be a big selling point. A cordless miter saw is of course designed to be portable, but there are portable tools and tools that you actually don’t mind moving around.
Heavy Duty Brushless Impact Wrenches
I wrote about the new Dewalt Brushless impact wrenches last month, and it was nice to see them firsthand.
Yep, they’re compact, and yep, they’re heavy. But it’s worth it.
The new impact wrenches pack a crazy amount of torque. I tested the DCF899 1/2″ drive impact wrench, or maybe it was the DCF899H. I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t check out the anvil socket retention mechanism.
They had a bin full of these large lag bolts just sitting around. I forget the size, maybe 1/2″ x 4″? 5″?
I didn’t feel like putting it back into the bin.
So I drove it into the solid wood wall. Now… how to get it out?!
I also gave the DCF898 7/16″ quick release chuck impact wrench a whirl. It was equipped with a long auger bit. 18″? Maybe 12″. No, I think it was 18″. Do they make 14″ augers?
There was also a utility pole stump to test it out on. Not that I expected it to, but the impact wrench didn’t bog down in the least.
Blast From the Past: What are 7/16″ Hex Impact Wrenches Used For?
I think that these tools will be a big win with heavy fastening tool users and utility workers. They can remove lugs as well, although I don’t think the 1/2″ impacts were specially designed for automotive users.
Just to remind you – check out my preview post of the heavy duty impacts for more details and specs.
Dewalt DCN660 Cordless Brushless Finish Nailer
Dewalt’s already got a cordless brushless framing nailer (actually they have two, but the 2-speed DCF692 has become much more available), and now they have the new DCN660 finish nailer added to the mix.
The DCN660 nailer accepts 16 gauge angled nails.
I tried it out, and while it felt a little bulky, it worked like a charm. The brushless motor should give it a good balance between power and runtime efficiency, as is evident by Dewalt’s choice to pair it with a compact Li-ion battery pack.
I couldn’t get a good answer about how well the brushless nailer performs compared to air nailers, but I was told it comes close.
Brushless Rotary Hammer & Dust Extractor
There wasn’t any opportunity to try out the new brushless SDS rotary hammer that I previously posted about, but I was glad to see it. It’s TINY. Not pocket-tiny, but smaller than I remember Dewalt’s older rotary hammers being. I believe it’s the DCH273, but please don’t hold me to this.
It had some nice anti-vibration features, most notably shocks-isolated impact mechanism. This is based on my watching the Dewalt rep push the bit against a hard surface and watching the nose section of the tool move in and out along with the mode selection switch.
Power and runtime specs weren’t discussed, unless it was when I was distracted, but we know that the UK model can work with SDS drill bits nearly 1″ in size (24 mm).
As if the compact rotary hammer wasn’t enough to make me ooh and aah, there’s a new dust extractor too.
I wish it was a universal extractor, like Milwaukee’s M12 HammerVac dust extractor, but it’s not. I believe it only fits this one tool.
But there’s a big bright side to this – it doesn’t have its own power source, and so there’s only one battery to futz around with. Imagine that you’re drilling some holes and your attached dust extractor runs out of juice, forcing you to stop and swap out batteries. Even worse is if you don’t have a spare and have to wait for a charging cycle. And that’s why the new Dewalt extractor is powered by the rotary hammer’s battery.
Deep-Cut Brushless Band Saw
Dewalt came out with a 20V Max cordless band saw, model DCS371 some time ago. I didn’t think too much about its 2-1/2″ cut capacity because it seemed like a good size. But a lot of users wanted something bigger.
This new band saw has a much deeper cutting capacity. How deep? I don’t recall. Maybe 4″?
What’s the capacity of Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel brushless band saw? 5″. Maybe Dewalt’s new model matches it. I’ll have to get back to you about this.
I didn’t try it out, sorry.
The debut of the new deep-cutting saw gave me an opportunity to check out the DCS371 as well, which I had never seen before. It’s small – a lot smaller than it looks like in photos. Not quite as compact as Milwaukee’s M12 band saw, but it has greater cutting capacity.
I’m holding onto the compact saw with one hand so that I could take a photo with my other. It’s heavy enough that it requires a two-handed grip. And the new deep-cutting saw definitely requires two hands.
Threaded Rod Cutter
When it was sitting on the shelf, I couldn’t quite make out what this was. But upon closer inspection, I found it to be a threaded rod cutter. Sorry, that’s a lie, I had to ask a Dewalt PR rep. Could you have identified this as a threaded rod cutter from 8 feet away?
Fred was just talking about threaded rod cutters in my Olympia compact bolt cutters post. These nifty tools cut through threaded rod without mangling the threads! If you’ve ever cut threaded rod before with bolt cutters or even a reciprocating saw, you know what I’m talking about.
This isn’t the first-ever cordless threaded rod cutter, as Hitachi also makes one, but it caught my interest. The dies can be rotated for size selection, and removed. Dewalt’s product manager for the tool also mentioned that they’re looking into increasing its versatility.
Maybe this will start off as a threaded rod cutter and move into other tubing or pipe cutting applications as well.
Mini Air Blower
Someone said that it looks a lot like Milwaukee’s M18 cordless air blower, and it does. But c’mon, many air blowers have the same general design.
One Dewalt rep said that the blower is not for shop and jobsite cleanup tasks and that it’s more for blowing the dust out of holes in masonry prior to anchor installation. Another said that it’s good for general purpose cleanup tasks.
Well, I liked how compact it looked.
And it comes with a trio of nozzle attachments. That’s what these are, right? I forgot to ask.
Most of the tools will debut between now and this Summer, while some, such as the blower and threaded rod cutter, are slated for mid-Fall release. This is subject to change, but I think you’ll see all of the tools hit the market before the end of the year. Maybe I’m wrong about this, and if so I expect that someone from Dewalt will correct me shortly.
Poll: Which Tool Are You Most Excited About?
I told you this question was coming. Which of Dewalt’s new cordless power tools are you most excited about?
Don’t have a favorite? What kind of tool would you want to see Dewalt come out with next?