The Power8 Workshop is the first cordless bench top [tool system] in the world, a unique and innovative new product [that] provides a full portable workshop in one armoured case.
The main feature of this system are the cordless tools that can be separated and reconfigured into benchtop tools using a common base.
We can really appreciate the theory behind this system, but how well does it work? From the looks of it, there may be a few sacrifices when compared to standalone benchtop tools, at least in terms of stability and power.
Since we do not have a first hand experience with this unit, our perspective is only based off of the Power8’s marketing images, descriptions, and videos found online. Let’s start by examining some of the videos clips from the Power8 website.
The first video clip that we watched featured the drill press. There is a blurb recommending that users wears eye protection, which is always a good idea. But… the video then shows the drill being lowered into a hand-held piece of aluminum! This is a HUGE no-no.
After that, we watched as a hole saw was being lowered into a hand-held board. As before, we have to assume that the other hand is still operating the drill press, meaning that only one hand is holding the board. That the unclamped 2×4 support rotates and moves freely and that the base is not clamped down is another concern.
Then there’s the table saw video, which at one point does recommend ear and eye protection. Then, we see a hand reach for a piece of scrap wood that rests adjacent to the blade, which is still heard rotating after a demo cut.
I don’t even want to talk about the video that shows one hand serving as a featherboard while the other starts to guide a push stick during the first part of another demo cut.
A brief news article about the inventor mentioned that the inventor stated that he could make millions from a new power tool station, designed in his home garage. (We wonder if this is the same garage that we see in the background of several video clips.)
From the tools’ FAQs – how robust is the product? All the products have passed drop testing from over a metre on to concrete. What other tests did they pass, and where were they done?
We think that modular tools are a great idea, but this system needs some improvement before we could find it appealing. Who is the target audience? Probably rookie DIYers or homeowners looking for an all-in-one system. This system definitely does not look like it could hold up to serious DIY or professional use at all, but it also never makes that claim.
This *might* be a good complementary tool since it all fits in one compact box, if all those plastic components are as durable as they should be. Still, the video clips worry us – they convey, perhaps falsely, that this system was designed or at least demonstrated by a novice tool user.
If the inventor happens to read this, please, please, PLEASE update those video clips or at least add a few more safety precautions. For example, when using a drill press or handheld drill, the workpiece MUST be clamped down! This should be especially emphasized when drilling metal – extruded aluminum angles, for example, which can shred flesh should the bit bind.
Lastly, there are reasons why there are no cordless table saws, scroll saws, or drill presses. While there are quite a few attachments and accessories that can be used with cordless tools to simulate the operation of benchtop tools, they usually aren’t held with high regard.
Despite our complaints and the videos which encourage hazardous operation practices, we think that the theory and design behind this tool system is sound and admirable.