Dewalt Plunge Saw Coming to the U.S.

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On Wed, 20 Aug 2008 12:24:09 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

If you're not familiar with the Journal of Light Construction, they have some of the best tool tests I've come across. They are mostly done by construction crews using the tools in their daily business for a month or more. So you hear about comfort in long term use, power in real life situations, balance, etc. in addition to job-site comparison of features. Since it's construction trades oriented, you don't get tests of jointers or hand planes, etc. But they do test bench top table saws, miter saws, and of course, every variety of cordless tool and things like hammer drills, rotary hammers, portable compressors, etc.
Since a lot of my projects tend to be home remodeling oriented anyway, I also like the features on best construction practices, new materials and techniques, etc. They have a regular column on the business side of the construction industry, a lot of which is dead on for small woodworking business too.
And no, I have no connection with the mag other than always finding it a good read.
Paul Franklin
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wrote:

Really? I happen to know a person who works for Wood magazine published by Meredith Publishing. He is a woodworker and does know about tools. I'd say you are just ranting and making stuff up and know about as much about how tools are really tested and by whom as you do about building a moon rocket.

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Gee ... and that qualifies _you_ in what manner?
--
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wrote

Today's officials with credentials are now qualified if they know a fella that knows of a fella... ;~)
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Did I offer my own credentials? No. Read closer. The person whom I do know and does test products for a woodworking magazine does know about woodworking. I have seen his results. Does this 41 shooter person know anyone who tests products for woodworking magazines? Or does he simply make things up to fit his story?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I'm pretty sure he does. <g>
He's also demonstrated that he knows his knowledgeable in his own right. I haven't caught him making stuff up - and he's about as opinionated as I am. While I doubt he walks on water, I think he's worth listening to.
HTH
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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On Aug 22, 2:04 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

You are being silly here. You obviously feel you know the exception to my global statement.
But in your comment (which made me chuckle) it was a "I may not be doctor, but I play one on TV." In your case, you don't even play one on Tv, though. You just "know a guy". But good for you for taking up for the whole profession in the name of your buddy!

No, I don't. But in the interest of fairness, crap is crap, and sadly, that's probably all it will ever be. Understand, I am not giving myself a pat on the back for having an incisive, calculating mind when looking at the product testing. But having read woodworking magazines from the days of when there were only a couple, it is possible that like many here, literally thousands of product reviews have been read by me. While that doesn't give me the special cognitive powers to interpret the quality of the current quality of tool testing articles, it does allow me to form my own opinion.
The quality of testing and the depth of the articles has fallen dramatically.

Not usually. I don't have to. Got my first job as a carpenter's helper in '72, and have sure been around a lot of tools since then. And now with 27 years of self employment as a contractor, I really lean hard towards the <<practical>> and economic side of things, much mroe than the esoteric.
You?
Robert (aka - nailshooter41)
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wrote

Did I offer my own credentials? No. Read closer. The person whom I do know and does test products for a woodworking magazine does know about woodworking. I have seen his results. Does this 41 shooter person know anyone who tests products for woodworking magazines? Or does he simply make things up to fit his story?
I gotta go with the "41 shooter" on this one. I've been reading the woodworking mags for more years than SWMBO could wish. I would like to have just a portion of the subscription money back. I don't know how big your workshop is but I bet my magazines would take up a major part of it. All that aside, you must surely realize that your experience with your friend is an isolated case. It's an anecdote. It's like someone insisting that their Yugo has never, ever given them problems. After all, it's possible. But, generally speaking, the quality of *all* journalism has declined appreciably. The Poobahs who make the financial decisions have made it that way. You *tend* to get what you pay for. You're not going to get Woodward and Bernstein on a small budget. And when your bottom line depends heavily on the advertisers you're not going to let some writer piss them off. So between the quality of what the payroll will allow and what the editor will allow, the quality of the product suffers.
Max
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wrote:

Robert,
To pick a couple nits: I'm not sure that high speed running for however long would be a really valid test. What might work is some weighted device to hold the sander in contact with a surface being sanded for 10-15 minutes per occasion, with repeats for xxx times, plus stops to change sandpaper. Then take the sander and have the same person, over a period of days with different sanders, test how comfortable it feels in use, horizontally, vertically, maybe even overhead. See how long it takes someone to change paper. See how effective the dust collection is--overhead sanding is a great test here, IMO. With drills, it's easier, especially if you can figure a way to automate the testing. But I'd just run each drill until the fully charged battery stopped doing its job. Do the same with each drill. Zing. You got the holes per charge, at least for that particular size hole. Your arm falls off the next day, of course.
I've got one of the new Delta 17" drill presses. That's a solid pleasure to use, with a table designed for woodworking. One day, I may even hook the laser up. I'd like to see some comparisons with old types, as well as checks of drill speed, etc. Run out, of course. That's a quick and easy check. Drill presses tend to be exceptionally useful, and, often, awkward, but it seems to me this one is less awkward than older units I've used. Maybe that's just me.
If one saw is to be used with a Forrest blade, then all saws need to be used with the same, or similar, blades. In fact, a Forrest (or similar) blade can improve saw performance. It can't do a thing to help poor runout on the arbor, a lousy fence or an uneven table unevenness, among other problems. I'm all for testing saws with blades OTHER than the ones they come with, because, unlike contractors, most woodworkers ditch the original blades on tablesaws, bandsaws and such as quickly as they can. It also evens out the tests. Everyone gets off from the same set of starting blocks. Too, Tools of the Trade may be doing destruction testing. That's a magazine I never seemed to have any luck with, but it does, or did, do good work the last time I looked (late '90s).
Some kind of basics need to be set up when a test is begun, but a lot of questions are answered with tool selection, right at the outset. Specs? All 3HP table saws should produce, within fairly tight limits, the same amount of power. All 5/8" arbors should accept any good blade punched for 5/8" use, something that's not always true. Saw tables should be flat within .xxx, but there's really nothing like a consensus here, among testers or manufacturers. Fit, finish, overall appearance. It doesn't seem as if those should matter much, especially the last two, but over the years, I've found that most of the manufacturers who provide a good looking saw with a well done finish also provide other quality features.
I'd love to test the Bosch against the Festool. I have both. But I'm not going to. Why? I try not to beat up my tools. I'll still use a screwdriver to open a paint can, and even to stir the paint, but I am not going to wreck tools, or even add excessive wear to them, that I might have to replace, tax deductible or not. Some one once asked me why I didn't buy more camera lenses, because they're all tax deductible. Big problem: earning the money from which you can take the deductions.
Speaking of which, I need to do that. Earn some money. I'm writing an article on rental garages---at road racing tracks.
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SNIP
I wasn't trying to design a test, just make a point. But then again, you help make mine. Your idea sounds like an intelligent test, one that could have useful results. I would really appreciate any "lab test" that would take the time to see how a tool performed over a period of time.
Yes, we know that a Stuttgart 450 SEL Super Sand will leave a better end product out of the box than a middle range priced sander. But how will that sander hold up after some real use? Is the extra scratch worth it? As with many, I literally wear tools out or rebuild them, so I am constantly balancing performance first, price second.
My Milwaukee tools are a good example. They used to be a 30 - 40% premium over other "professional" tools. But worth every damn penny. I have many of their tools and while some aren't my favorites in use, their dependability is unquestioned.
But how are we to know these things now? Spending money doesn't mean a good tool anymore. Relying on old reputations doesn't mean anything anymore. With all the cross tied ownerships and most tools being little more than a collection of assembled parts from around the world, who knows what to buy? Without significant, practical testing, we have to rely on word of mouth (dicey - I have a friend that thinks the reason DeWalt tools are yellow is because they are the gold standard) which isn't necessarily a good thing.
Pro or hobby guy, people that spend a lot of money on tools aren't likely to express their dissatisfaction or their mistakes.

A good test. My Sears Professional Drill 14.4v (that refuses to die) for which I paid the princely sum of $52 bucks at their reconditioning outlet will outdrive my DeWalt in a toe to toe test. How embarrassing. I paid $229 for the DeWalt when I bought it.
I only bought the drill because I needed a backup, but I mentioned to a buddy of mine how impressed I was with the battery life and torque. He had bought the same drill on my advice and coming up from a B&D, he chided me about using the Sears drill in the first place. He loved his drill, and compared to the Sears, the DeWalt feels better in the hand, and seems more well balanced.
But, boys will be boys. Controversy ensued, and we decided to find out just how good our drills were.
The lab test: Two fully charged new drills, a 5# box of 1 1/2" drywall screws, a couple of hard pine studs, and two six packs of cold beer.
The bet (which spawned the test): My Sears drill could drive within 25% of the total number of screws the DeWalt could.
We lit the barbecue. We then put the 2x4s on some sawhorses and got after it, driving the bugle headed screws until just flush. On battery one, the Sears drill out drove the DeWalt by about 20 screws. My amigo decided that he probably had a harder 2x4, and that was the difference.
So we flipped over the 2x4s and exchanged them so I now had the "harder" 2x4. This time the Sears drill outperformed it by only about 10 - 12 screws.
Total screws drilled per battery were in the 225 range, which was done in the worst way for the drill and the batteries, nonstop.
It was embarrassing for both of us, since we both had the same DeWalts. How could a Sears drill outperform such a well respected brand? Why did I pay that much for DeWalt drill? I took mine back and got a refund. He kept his because he had to beg his wife for the dough to spend that much on a drill.
And the drill that wouldn't die is still in my truck tool box, still going strong 4 years after its purchase. It is still a little unwieldy, still a little unbalanced, and all lettering, logos, and markings are long gone. It is scratched up badly, the keyless chuck is a bit bent, and it has sealers and caulk all over it. But it works every time I pull it out of the box.
When my last DeWalt 18v drill died after about 3 years of pretty good use, I haven't seen any need to replace this drill. The backup is now the main tool.
But my point is, that if a couple of knotheads at a Saturday barbecue can come up with a valid test, why can't the magazines? We even retested about a year later, and had about the same results. How hard would that be to duplicate in a controlled lab environment?
And if it was your job and all you had to do was think things through and be creative about how you tested drills, saws, etc., how hard would it be to drive over to a cabinet shop, out to a job site, or over to a furniture make and ask them what they find to be the most important features of a tool?

I know you were speaking in context of saws, but in the overview, I think that is true of most tools. Either they are manufactured with care, concern and pride, or they aren't. I think the big reveal comes when you first examine a tool, as this is usually evident.
It is obvious (to me anyway, maybe not to you as I think you may take it for granted) that your type of skills are what is needed in tool testing. I miss the old days of testing (probably about 500 years ago like everything else I am fond of) when some testers would take the tools to the shop and test for accuracy, build, and ease of use. Then it would go out with someone like a Tom Silva that knew how to use them (not abuse them) and they would get his opinion. If they were really hitting it hard, they would retest the tool in the lab after a few months in the field.
As the homogeneous masses of Chiawanese tools continue to flood the market, often replacing old favorites, I think we have less and less actual choices beyond the coloring and the graphics unless we are ready to take the big monetary leap to the Euro tools.
For someone like me that knows when purchasing that a tool could be lost, dropped, broken, stolen, left behind or abused, it is important to balance expenditure to realistic term of service.
In that light, I am not ready to spend $600 for a sander that will be a target for theft on a job site.
So what is a reasonable alternative to the $600 sander? Even if I tell myself I am buying a way of life, not a sander, it doesn't work for me personally anyway.
How do we find credible alternatives?
That's what I am looking for.
Robert.
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An excellent point. Which indicate...
1) If in fact two regular guys can come up with a test, why don't they hire those two regular guys? Cuz they don't want to create any information or results that regular guys can use.
2) It is obvious that these so called "testers" live in their own little world. Not much to do with ours.
3) Never underestimate the power of beer and barbecue!
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wrote:

Hmmm, the DeWalt is going to be higher priced than the Festool...? I wonder if that means Festool will UP their price to show that theirs is better. ;)
R
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wrote:

Hmmm, the DeWalt is going to be higher priced than the Festool...? I wonder if that means Festool will UP their price to show that theirs is better. ;)
Probably not, IIRC DeWalt will publish a "suggested retail price" and let the dealers/retailers play with pricing. Festool is pretty strict with its pricing policy.
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