Shop Talk

Best New Power Tools of 2010 – 2011: The Honorable Mentions

  • It has occurred to me that in a previous article highlighting my top 5 picks for the most exciting new power tools of this year, I didn’t give these “honorable mentions” the face-time they deserve. As a result, I am now morally compelled to revisit them and provide the reasons each of these tools deserve their spaces among the top 10 most innovative, exciting, and generally awesome new power tools of 2010 and 2011.

    Recognizing these tools in no particular order, I’ll begin with:

    – Makita’s SH01W 12v Compact Cordless 3-3/8” Circular Saw:

    This is the kind of power tool that everyone on planet Earth should own. It’s industrially powerful and high-performance while still being one of the most compact tools I’ve ever encountered. The thing weighs only 3.3-lbs rendering it simple to maneuver and operate, and despite being so extremely compact, the SH01W circ saw still has a 1” cutting capacity big enough to cut through just about anything you’d really need it to. The saw is extremely comfortable to use, offers a surprising amount of power from such a little tool, and runs with one of the most sophisticated lithium-ion battery systems on the market today – it’s truly an ideal addition to any crafter’s power tool repertoire.

    – Makita’s LXFD01CW 18v Compact Cordless 1/2” Drill-Driver:

    Quite like the circ saw above, this high-power drill is surprisingly compact while still throwing around a huge amount of power. At just over 7.5” long and exactly 3.3-lbs the tool is ideal for use in awkward spaces or through time consuming applications that require the toughness of a bigger, 18v drill. Additionally, with variable speed options and a 4-pole motor delivering 480-in/lbs of max torque, the LXFD01CW drill driver is seriously tough, and industrially versatile. The tool also works with Makita’s intensely advanced lithium ion battery system using an 18v battery that is everything from lightweight to long-lasting and charges in only 15-minutes flat. All in all, the drill is awesomely powerful while maintaining the compact design features that allow you do a lot more work with a lot less bulk.

    *Additionally, if you are more interested in a slightly smaller drill, Dewalt’s DCD710S2 12V MAX drill-driver kit is a
    really cool, really smart option. It’s another one of those power
    tools that surely every human on Earth could find use for. It’s super compact and powerful, and weighing just a measly 2.4-lbs and boasting variable speeds and 1,500 RPM, this little drill-driver is a real firecracker.

    – Dewalt’s DW611PK Compact, Two-Base Router Kit:

    This tool is awesome- it’s a fixed-base/plunge-base combination unit that unites the compact and ergonomic design of traditional trimmers with the power and high-performance of a fill-sized router. It delivers 1.25HP for tough applications and variable speeds and fast transitions between bases for a variety of different applications. The fixed-base has an extended sub-base for more contact with work surfaces and enhanced user control, and the plunge-base features a large base platform for greater stability under heavy loads. The clear, LED lit sub-base even accepts universal template guides. The tool’s soft-start motor features constant electronic feedback to maintain motor speed throughout every cut, and with fast bit changes, impossible accuracy and precision, and too many more things to list, the DW611PK is a really stinkin’ cool router pack.

    – Milwaukee’s 2458-21 M12 Cordless Palm Nailer:

    Palm nailers are notoriously cool and this little sucker is one seriously awesome power tool. Eliminating the hassle of cords and hoses and delivering big-time power in a surprisingly compact, cordless and ergonomic package, the nailer can work in otherwise impossible areas while still boasting an impact mechanism advanced enough to handle even the toughest nailing jobs. The 2458-21 is also outfitted with a comfortable hand-strap to ensure you maintain optimal productivity and safety on the job. So, of course, you know the tool is small, but it weighs just 3.4-lbs ensuring users are comfortable during awkward, overhead, and continuous work, and because the thing also incorporates an industrial magnet collet to securely hold your framing nails and an LED light for greater visibility, you can operate the tool easily with only one hand. It’s brilliant.

    – Milwaukee’s 2625-21 M18 Cordless One-Handed Hackzall:

    Another one-handed beauty with a comfortable, compact, cordless and ergonomic design, this tool is perfect for every type of user; it’s powerful enough for the most industrial applications, and compact and comfortable enough for home-users – seriously, despite big power, a variable speed trigger, LED light, Quick-Lok for fast blade changes, and an advanced lithium-ion battery system, the saw weighs only 4.1-lbs. The 2625-21 is truly sophisticated. The thing additionally features Milwaukee’s patent pending dual gear anti-vibration system for unmatched comfort and stability, and delivering an intense 0-3,000 strokes per minute, this recip saw can easily cut through virtually everything and do it with smooth, fast precision.

     And that sums it up, but just in case you missed the first article featuring the top 5 most exciting new power tools, here they are in no particular order and in a very serious nutshell (click on the tool description for more information):