Power tool specs

I've often said that Makita stuff seems to punch above its weight. I've got a 860w Makita router that performs better than a 1200w 'shed' own brand, a 950w circular saw that eats 38mm worktop & a 14.4v combi that I reckon would see off a lot of 18v tools.
I wonder if this is down to the way they quote the figures.
When I were in the pressure washer game there were a trade body what laid down standards for measurement of pressure, flow rate & temperature.
At one stage I worked for a Danish manufacturer (Gerni) who quoted exact performance figures for each machine. The standard laid down rules for where in the pressure could be measured, how it should be measured & the tolerance allowed. Pressure was +/- 10% and in their brochures Karcher always used actual test pressure + 10%, whereas Gerni used actual test pressure - which made the Gerni machines seem less powerful.
Temperature was a bit flexible in how you measured it. Gerni quoted max temp as 135c because that was what you got at the nozzle, Karcher and all the others quoted 150c because that was what you could measure at the machine. The 10 metre pressure hose lost you 15c before the water got to the nozzle, so the machines produced the same heat.
DIY pressure washers aren't covered by the trade body & the claims are outrageous. 'Maximum' pressure 120 bar often means 85 bar working and if it reaches 120 bar the pump head splits!
So, I wonder if a Makita 860w is another's 1200w depending on how you measure it? Perhaps Makita quote the correct figures & others quote 'maximum' figures?
Is there a standard measure?
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

I think your points are valid. Only independent testing by a suitably trustworthy body would get over the moving goalposts. And that isn't going to happen. :-(
Many years ago I had a small Bosch circular saw which worked excellently. Its rating (a few hundred watts) was pathetic compared to B&D and other makes. The explanation I got (from where I cannot remember) was that all the rest used plain journals whereas the Bosch had some form of proper bearing. Not at all sure if that was the case but it sounded good. :-)
Now I see the Jan-Mar 2008 Bosch sales catalogue (BluePrint) which says about a new mid-range drill driver:
"They can run for longer too: up to 30% more screws per battery charge due to a newly developed gearbox."
Consideration of losses internal to the tools (fans, bearings and gearboxes being obvious areas) might be part of the explanation.
--
Rod

Hypothyroidism is a seriously debilitating condition with an insidious
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Obviously not true though.. if you really were losing a few hundred watts in the bearings they would be glowing white after a few seconds. There may be something in the motor efficiency
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On 2008-03-23 13:50:35 +0000, "dennis@home"

There is. The excess energy has to go somewhere. This is why cheap angle grinders have a lifetime measured in minutes and may catch fire.
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message

<snip>
I do have some sympathy for the power tool makers here, and not just because I worked for one many years ago.
Take a simple tool like a mains-powered drill. What matters about its power? Is it the maximum power it can deliver at the chuck, running continuously - which is how you might rate an electric motor used on a production lathe? Or is it the maximum power you can use in short bursts, as in, say, drilling a succession of large holes in masonry? If so, do you assume the drill runs on no-load for a while between holes, enabling the fan to cool it, or that it's left stationary between holes? Is it always the maximum power that's important, or the maximum torque? And what happens if the torque-speed curve is such that it falls away so rapidly with decreasing speed that the drill stalls easily?
This is looking at it purely from the electrical point of view. What about the effect on mechanical components of running at maximum output? A pair of gears might transmit a relatively huge amount of power for a couple of minutes occasionally, which might be what matters when you encounter a re-bar in your lintel, but how do you take into account that their life under these conditions will be short? Six-tooth pinions are fine at 1 rpm in a longcase clock, heaving a seconds-hand round, but drill makers routinely use them at 30000rpm on the end of armatures.
So, in the end, it's a matter of judgement: the manufacturers' and the users', and I really don't think that a single figure, or a set of figures, or even a couple of graphs, is going to help anyone a great deal. So we'll carry on as we do now: marketing departments will insist on quoting implausible and meaningless numbers, and we'll carry on buying on the basis of hearsay, budget, and prejudice (or accumulated wisdom, as some prefer to call it). Oh, and engineering judgement - but not fancy colours or go-faster stripes.
--
Kevin Poole
**Use current month and year to reply (e.g. snipped-for-privacy@mainbeam.co.uk)***
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Autolycus wrote:
<SNIP>

I'm actually put off of Hitachi because of the Dan Dare design. I understand that they are extreemly good tools, but they just look plain silly to me.
Bells & whistles seem to be the favourite way of adding value to cheapo power tools. Lasers in particular are a bit of a waste of time IMO.
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
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On 23 Mar, 15:30, "The Medway Handyman"
I wouldn't buy trainers that looked like recent Hitachi.
I don't think I'd buy a games console that looked like recent Hitachi.
Why would I want a drill that looked like a Wasp T-12 SpeechTool ?
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wrote in

What strange logic for someone who makes his living using tools. If it is good and well priced then you get it.
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On 2008-03-23 01:38:11 +0000, "The Medway Handyman"

The conventional wisdom is that the input power is quoted. That's fine as far as it goes but what actually matters is the output (mechanical) power at the business end. The motors in good quality branded tools are more efficient in those of the generic Chinese private label junk.
So if you look at it in terms of what you're getting out vs. the quoted figure, then Makita will appear to "punch above its weight". You will find the same from (e.g.) Bosch, DeWalt, Freud and Festool routers. I would argue that these tools are punching *at* their weight and that the generic junk punches at way below its apparent weight. We've had threads here before about products such as PPPro, which although quoted at 2000 or 2200W are delivering a mechanical output equivalent to about 1400W from a proper tool.
The reasons for this are cost, use and marketing. For the low end of the market, the characteristics required are for low usage rate and in short bursts. They can get away with a low efficiency motor that turns the spare electrical energy into heat. They are gambling on the usage pattern being low enough that the motor won't fail within the (apparently generous) 3 year warranty.
This is also convenient from the marketing perspective. it looks far more attractive to the uninitiated to be offered a router with 2200W "power" as compared with the 1800W of the branded competition. Add in a worthless laser guide, chunky handles for "real men" and a 3yr warranty and they can be sold by the container load with an acceptable percentage being returned to go in the skip.
The same has happened with cordless tools. The branded manufacturers have gone for good mechanics, decent motor and especially decent batteries. Makita have executed particularly well on that strategy which has allowed them to have a comprehensively good stable of cordless drill drivers for a number of years. Panasonic did a very good job with battery technology a couple of years back and bravely produced a 15.6v drill when everybody else was adding 18v products. To the extent that they could market it, it was an interesting differentiator. In product tests, it was not very far short of what the 18v tools were doing mechanically, but the amount of work per charge was way better.
At the other end of the market, the marketeers simply moved upwards in the voltage stakes to 18v 24v, 32v, simply adding in extra cheap cells. I can remember Screwfix advertising a 32v drill for 32 - 1 per volt was the banner. No doubt they sold a few to the terminally stupid.
Therefore of course a Makita 14.4v product will outperform a generic 18v product.
It's for these reasons, and lack of proper backup, that I won't buy Chinese generic tools. It simply isn't worth it.
By the time one compares the branded product of power/voltage N with the generic of N + 50 to100% and looks at usability, precision and service, the decision falls very obviously with the quality branded product.

Did it actually make a difference in operation? The principle is the same as above although not perhaps quite so stark. Why didn't Gerni alter their specifications and test procedures to the same as those of Kaercher or perhaps quote two sets of figures (pointing out which one the competition uses)? This would have analogous to quoting input and output power for a drill.
I think from what you've said before, Gerni wanted to sell a quality product honestly to a discerning market and the market shrank.

Same thing. Nobody in the target market can measure it and the measurement means are not described.
I haven't looked at the required set of standards for a CE declaration on pressure washers. Undoubtedly it includes electrical safety and electromagnetc compatibility, but probably not a lot more.

You could look at it that way.

Only of people's stupidity in putting purchase price and headline spec. numbers in front of what *actually* matters.
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Andy Hall wrote:

<SNIP>>>
In the end they did, it had started to affect sales, so they told the same lies as everyone else.

Partly, but much more to do with a small privately owned company (GERt NIelson) being bough by a large conglomerate (Nilfisk Advance). Managers with no knowledge of the industry, graduates with no knowledge of anything, short term planning to satisfy shareholders, downsizing staff who had been there 20+ years. A story as old as time.
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Same thing happened to Babel Construction, total lack of communication.
--
Ian White

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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
saying something like:

Bloody Jerry builders.
--

Dave

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Andy Hall wrote: <snip>

<snip>
Bosch (at least) have now hit 36v.
<http://www.bosch-pt.com/uk/en/gw/newdeals/media/p5-6-BluePrint-Q4.pdf
The next generation will probably run off PoE. :-)
--
Rod

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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
saying something like:

I have a 7.2V Makita cordless drill that was given to me about 15 years ago as a pressie. I never used it, thinking it was a bit of a toy and it got shoved in a cupboard and forgotten about until last year. It's actually an impressive little tool, the gearing makes the bugger capable of doing all of the work I ask it to and the build quality is beyond reproach. I bought a couple of modern NiMH batteries for it and a proper intelligent Makita charger to keep it company. In fact, I was so impressed with it I bought another hardly-used one via the Bay for the grand price of 0.99. Now, armed with my two old Makitas, I can drill and screw all day long and the cost has been negligable.
Quality counts, in the end. When (if) they finally die, I'll be looking for replacements in the 14.4V Makita range as they are now dirt cheap used.
--

Dave

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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Partly, but I expect that losses in the mechanics of the low end tools end up eating more of the available motor output power in heat and vibration. You can easily feel the difference in use in many cases.

Hard to know... you could for example quote input power (or more correctly input current) with the chuck stalled. It will give a hogh sounding figure but no indication of the actual mechanical work the tool will achieve.

Not that I am aware of. The only tool maker that routinely seems to publish input and output figures right across the range is DeWalt. Vis:
http://www.dewalt.co.uk/powertools/productdetails/catno/D21721K /
(On the battery stuff they publish only output power)
--
Cheers,

John.

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Presumably they're using a dyno to measure the actual power available at the tool mounting?
Even that won't be the whole story - what we really want to know is how well it saws/drills (in our hands, not someone else's) - which will depend on the quality/concentricity/flexing of the tool (and our personal skills/style etc) - and in real world conditions.
Best test is still borrow a mates and use it for a hundred cuts/holes with it.
When it comes to pro tools, they're virtually identical in features and specs at a particular price point anyway.
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snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

Yup, use is the only real test that counts. The specs ought (in theory) give you some clue as to the capabilities in advance of purchase, but probably only within a class of similar tools.
--
Cheers,

John.

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I doubt it. There seems to be very few standard measures about. IME the older or more expensive something is the more likely it is to be somewhere like it's actual specifications. OTOH the old stuff that I have is bloody old (Ingersoll Rand compressor that's as old as the hills, B&O, Akai and Arcam hifi gear, some of it 40 years old - you simply don't see hifis with 5 kilos of aluminium on the front anymore), so then I begin to wonder if the reason it's still around is because it's the quality stuff of the day, and that there were a load more people chucking out crap at the same time...
Then again, I had a look around an electrical shop the other day and couldn't believe some of the guff they sell - they had a "surround sound system" which consisted of 5 tweeters and a mid / bass driver in a subwoofer casing. It was blatantly obvious with all the speakers within 3 feet of each other that only high pitches were coming from the tweeters and all speech was coming from the subwoofer...
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