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You can easily get benefit and all the useful help with the help of best air impact driver and can be easily kept at home. These are having powers of electricity which cannot be compared with the other services. The anchoring driver screws that are used have instruments that are easily used and it needs special attention as well. Impact drivers are usually good at prices and you may easily purchase them at affordable rates without difficulty and this may enable you to get the benefit from them and can easily be kept at home that help to ease all the facilities and fulfill your needs.  These are effective and are helpful in every respect.

 

Which type of screws is beneficial and well used?

These are made easily drive and are greater screws holder that contain more on it when they are usually compared and matched with the other tools that are related. These are having same concept and are of several different types. The two main types that are beneficial are known as DEWALT and Makita that are used side by side together and their views are easily seen by others. This helps the fraction driving work easily and efficiently. The DEWALT contain duty that is heavy with 18 volt impact new driver.

They are basically long term work as they are having easy powers with them that are along with the methods and are of 18 volt usually of the impact driver. This helps to give techniques for hand and is easily counted through the DEWALT. Dewalt solutions are helpful and can be easily used whenever needed.

Why is it good with impact driver?

Need with the help of impact driver:

There is a motor available that is without frame and is of electric and is basically of the DC825KA incorporation that provides magnesium and with it the material provided is used for delivering tool with proper support with the help of longevity.

There is proper convenience with the grip pertaining that provides necessary benefits. It is supposed to be with sizing that are different and can easily be transferred with different design and model that helps to increase with the help of easy lining into different parts with energy that is low and with 6lbs.

There is also a new dynamic available that contain better torque and also helps in it to work fast and easily with critical electric supply and that also influence people to work properly with this type of material and tool working. This a good type used.

There is a charger that is having an hour charger in the DEWALT DCF885C2 20 volt that can easily be trusted and is compared with the pain of other volt of 20 with the battery power and with equipments that are easily used.

Makita 18 volt LXT Lithium Ion that is wireless Impact and is also New driver. The new type is the Makita solutions that can be easily used over 3 months and can be easily used for several years and are beneficial.

There is good torque with the motor that is of electric and produces easy handling with critical torque with it and can easily be compared with others. You can get it up to 50% and are well used.

The different style and shape helps to decrease the energy that is low and is forcing too cozy and that tool that is not much complicated and is easily used with the command. There is a new design achieved for the Makita that is built properly with BROUGHT ABOUT light and can be easily checked as well. you can increase the life time and the ability of tool to be used and help to create heat hardened tool or material.  It also have easy chip that is made along with the charger.

You must check for the battery size along with the charger that is simply defined and used with the latest voltage and with the packet of battery used completely.

There is pair of battery of the lithium ion which is seen on the Makita’s BTD141 that is usually of 18 volt and this power is greatly used. It contains several speeds with the help of charger and with the belt lift that helps power supply done easily with the tools and is having proper stability. The charger is also having proper warranty that can be beneficial for you to use at your home as well.

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These are often in demand and people may often use them in cordless way. They are easily to grow and fast tools that are often used. You may check them easily and are considered as less weight too with compatibility and power that is high. You may check for the best impact driver 2016 that may guide you further to help your work done easily.

They are fast speed with easily torque that may be used without getting coiled again and again. They may often become reaction less torque that may be speed up and are advertised easily. You may not see them getting kicking it back or they are visible for the users who use them to check the rotational one torque.

You may say that impact drivers are hardly used as better than the drills and are different in their own perspective. They are fasteners and are usually cordless drills with holes on the, and can easily drive at fast rate with the depth within it and precision.

These must be usually used with the help of impact rated screw driver bits and are usually tougher still works and that are non impact bits that helps to reduce and loose that may be break afterwards or when it is properly used.

BEST 18V THAT IS BRUSHLESS AND KNOWN AS MILWAUKEE M18 FUEL:

It is easily used by the users and is having great and easy runtime with proper brushes in it that can be easily used and are fast enough to be used. The speed is good and has different settings of torque which are in hand and can be driven easily without problems. This is the best type of the cordless driver of impact that is usually used by the users.

RUNNER UP THAT IS MAKITA LXDT06 WHICH IS BRUSHLESS:

This is known to be one of the best types usually used and in this type more power is included and is a good way to use among the users and the prices achieved are the lower rates one.

This type is still recognized as the most powerful one and is compactable as well and is the best impact driver easily used by the users today on the market. Mostly it is found that used in the USA with its newer type that is Impact driver that is of Makita 18V TD148D that still provide with different torque and several speed with smooth features available.

This is also known as the brushless motor that can be easily used and is used for the long term as well as compared with several other types of the brushed motor impacts that are cheap.

BRUSHLESS THAT IS CHOICE OF EDITOR’S DEWALT DCF886:

This brushless driver of impact that is the Dewalt DCF886 is not considered as the first one without brush of the 20V max model. This is not recommended to most of the users but are often used by many and found adverse features to them. The compact part is the DCF895 and it provides speed that is great with appropriate torque requirements and checking the motor properly that helps to give the right type of energy and power supply in the long term.

This is different from that of the original motor impact of the brushes. This is easy to use and handle by the users and its prices differ as well. It contains two battery kit that may be priced as about $280 or can be less as that of $200 or for the bare driver it may be up to $130 and it may be a driver as well as the drill part.

20V MAX PORTER CABLE THAT IS KNOWN TO BE BEST BUDGET 18V:

You must get the right type of impact driver that is suitable for you and that must be used appropriately. This is not known to be a stellar performer but can be built easily and used properly by the users and are known to be easily reliable with the performance that is accurate and detectable. It provides good result and the prices range differently that are also beneficial.

The price which is seen for the 2 battery kit is usually $125 that is seen mostly but you may also see it going as high as $140 or may also be challenging with as much as that of $99. If your budget is low then this is a must thing to be considered and check for some of the extra robustness. This can be solid and are ranging in different prices that may be from $100 and can goes up to $125.

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“We’re forever selling high-speed drill bits, saw blades and sandpaper for the belt sanders,” Hader says. “Those are the big sellers, but there are a myriad of other little things that you have to have, like chuck keys and the like.”

Another good point about selling power tool accessories is that while discount stores may sell tools, they generally don’t offer a wide selection of accessories.

For example, Shands says his accessory assortment contains items that aren’t likely to be found at the discount stores.

“What we have here, you’ll never find at Wal-Mart,” he says. “We have a few of the lower-priced items, but we really specialize in the higher-end, contractor-grade items.”

In addition to stocking a higher-quality accessory than found in the discount store, you can also distinguish your store by having a wider selection of sizes, and a selection of more unusual accessories than discount stores are likely to carry.

Discount stores also usually don’t promote accessories – leaving you an uncontested opportunity to promote your accessory line.

“Every circular we send out has some type of accessories in it,” says Shands. “And it really seems to bring customers in. Sales of accessories go up every time we send out a circular.”

He adds that even accessories such as metal-cutting saw blades, which seem highly specialized, are effective ways to draw customers to the store.

Though some retailers suggest that accessory promotion is a waste of time (“Everyone knows that if you have the saw, you have the blades that go with it,” says one), most retailers agree that it is worth the time, even those who have basically left the business of selling power tools to others.

Most retailers also agree that offering expert advice on exactly which accessory is right for the job for those who aren’t sure, is another way to distinguish your store from your discount competition.

“The customer here gets service,” Shands says. “I mean from someone who knows what they are talking about, not just some high school kid. Not only can we tell them exactly what accessory they need, we know how to do most of the things they’re doing. We can take them through their entire project, to make sure they know what they’re doing.”

He adds that talking to the customer allows the chance to explain the benefits of better-quality accessories.

Taking the time to talk to the customer also gives you a chance to suggest additional accessories that could assist with the job at hand.

For example, if a customer is buying a circular saw blade to cut paneling, he may also be interested in a cutting guide to ensure a straight cut.

“We generally try to accessorize them when they’re buying the tools,” Eckman says. “We don’t pressure them, but if they’re buying a drill, for example, we’ll ask if they have the drill bits they need. Or once we findout what they’re doing, we’ll suggest something that will help them with the job.”

One retailer who recently designed an endcap with an assortment of drill bits and saw blades says that she expects it to generate sales.

“If someone’s buying a tool in the next aisle and doesn’t turn around and see the regular aisle where the bits are, they’ll see the endcap and think, |Maybe I’ll need some bits.’ Also, it’s a good way to attract people who weren’t even looking at tools.”

Table : POWER TOOL PRODUCT SHIPMENTS

(Dollar figures in millions.)

         Shipments   % Change   Shipments        % change
                              (1987 dollars)   (1987 dollars)
1987    $1,886        N/A       $1,886            N/A
1988     2,155       14.3%       2,104            11.6%
1989     2,304        6.9        2,157             2.5
1990(*)  2,437        5.8        2,211             2.5

(*) Estimated. Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1991.

Table : RETAIL SALES PROFILE

POWER TOOLS

How have your sales of power tools changed over the past 12 months?

Increased   33%
Decreased   13
No change   54

How have your profits on power tools changed over the past 12 months?

Increased   20%
Decreased   15
No change   65

What percentage of your total sales volume do you attribute to power tools?

Less than 5%   65%
5-10%   22
More than 10%   13

How have you changed your selection of power tools in the past 12 months?

Increased   24%
Decreased   8
No change   68

Do you plan to change your selection of power tools in the next 12 months?

Increase   15%
Decrease   4
No change   81

Source: Hardware Age Retail Panel, 1991.

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Do-it-yourselfers and contractors both love power tools, and have amassed quite a collection. For example, a study conducted by Shea and Associates, a Cincinnati, OH-based research company, shows that 82% of American households own electric drills, and another 41% own circular saws.

Despite this popularity, power tools get mixed reviews from hardware retailers. Some say power tools are good sellers that return a fair profit. Others have a list of complaints: They’re too price-competitive, there’s no margin, and all the discount stores sell them.

“About the only time we sell a power tool,” says Frank Eckman, president of Lancaster Hardware, in Lancaster, PA, “is when ServiStar is promoting them. And it seems that there’s always someone promoting some kind of power tool. The rare exception is when a guy is in the middle of a job on a Saturday and his drill burns out. So he runs in here because it is the closest place.”

This type of increasingly common situation in hardlines outlets has led many retailers to concentrate their selling efforts on other lines, while maintaining a downsized selection of power tools.

And as far as the tools go, this strategy is understandable. The Shea study, for example, projects flat growth in power tool sales throughout the 1990s. And a study done by the U.S. Department of Commerce concurs, saying power tool sales can be expected to grow only “marginally” through 1995.

But when it comes to power tool accessories, downsizing is out of the question for most retailers.

“Accessories always seem to sell,” says retailer Eckman.

The Shea study goes so far as to call power tool accessories “one of the hottest product groups at retail and a staple of the industrial supplier.” Every type of accessory the group studied is projected to show sales increases through 1997.

The Commerce Department study also says accessories is where the excitement is, calling them a “fast-growing” segment.

The reasons for this projected increase in accessory sales are clear. Not only are power toolspopular, but in the hands of an active D-I-Yer, a power tool can last several years. Accessories, however, break, dull, wear out or get lost. In addition, one power tool can do a wide variety of tasks, but without the accessories to do the job at hand, it is virtually useless.

“When you take chucks and bits and blades and everything else into account, we probably do more business in accessories than we do in the tools themselves,” says Steve Shands, owner of Garner’s Ace Hardware in Searcy, AR.

Even basic power tools need accessories to meet consumer demands. For example, most cordless screwdrivers come with a bit or two, but the consumer soon finds that they’re too big for many screws. Now they’re ready to buy some accessories.

There’s more good news: Accessories produce better profit margins than the tools they are made for.

“There’s no question that accessories produce better margins,” says Jim Hader, president of Hader Hardware, a 12-store chain in Cincinnati.

Of course accessories cost less than the power tools do. As a result, they are less price-sensitive.

“The lower line of power tools are extensively shopped in this area,” says retailer Shands. “If someone is going to spend $60 or $70 on something, they’re going to look at the Wal-Mart and try to save a couple of dollars. If they only need a bit or a blade that’s going to cost a few bucks, they usually have already started the job and they’re not going to run all over town and try to save a quarter.”

Though accessories are less price-sensitive than power tools, most retailers carry an entry-level line to appeal to the exceptionally price-conscious customer. Most note, however, that even inexperienced do-it-yourselfers are often willing to buy better-grade, higher-priced accessories.

“We try to build an image of quality for our store,” says Shands. “If someone is looking at saw blades, I’ll tell him, |I don’t know how often you’ll use this, but if you buy the better line, you’ll keep if for years.’ I think the customer can see that buying one blade for $15 is better than buying four or five for $6.”

He notes that despite having a selection geared to professional users, about 70% of the store’s sales are to do-it-yourselfers.

Since the electric drill is the most commonly owned power tool, it’s not surprising that drill bits are the most commonly purchased accessory.

Other popular accessories include: circular saw blades, bits for cordless screwdrivers, batteries for cordless tools, and a wide variety of accessories for use with rotary tools used by hobbyists and craftsmen.

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New Saw Devil line of concrete and asphalt saws from Stone Construction Equipment is a first for the company

Stone’s has launched its new Saw Devil line, which compliments the company’s line of concrete mixing and finishing equipment and asphalt-compaction products, with three models–two manual and one self-propelled. Based on the most popular sizes and configurations, and designed for the contractor who does concrete and asphalt flat sawing to depths of 6% inches, the saws are available with a wide variety of engine and blade size options.

Features of the Saw Devil line include vibration-reducing all-steel box frame construction, unique adjustable handles with padded handgrips, exclusive hip control bar on manual models, easy adjustment of blade guard to change from right to left cuts, and self-locking acme screw to quickly raise and lower the blade.

Model CS1, smallest in the line, is a lightweight manual concrete saw, which is ideal for small flat cutting jobs, expansion joint cutting, conduit channel cutting, and other flatwork. The CS1 accepts 12- and 14-inch blades for cuts to 4 5/8 inches deep. Available engine options include an hp Honda, a 7.5-hp Robin, and a 7-hp Briggs & Stratton.

The mid-size Saw Devil, the CS2, is a heavier duty model intended for small to medium-sized contractors, rental yards, and municipalities. This walk-behind unit delivers the precision cutting needed for pavements, walkways, ramps, and other flat-sawing applications. Operating controls are easily accessible on the conveniently located console, and the CS2 has heavy-duty front 4-inch wheel guide and rear cutting pointer. Blade sizes are 12, 14 and 16 inches for cuts to depths of 5 inches. Engine options are an 11-hp Honda, a 13-hp Honda with cyclone air cleaner, a 9-hp Briggs & Stratton, a 16-hp Briggs & Stratton, and a 5-hp electric.

The self-propelled CSP3 Saw Devil effectively handles all types of production cutting: parking lots, streets, floors, etc. All controls are located on the easy-to-reach control panel, and infinitely adjustable handles move up and down and in and out to match the operator’s size and preference, as well as the cut angle. CSP3 features include an on-board high-capacity fuel tank; exclusive weighted, self-locking blade crank that raises and lowers the blade quickly and easily and automatically locks blade in place for accurate cutting; blade depth indicator; and heavy-duty front 4-inch wheeled guide and rear cutting pointer.

Fourteen-, 16-, and 18-inch blades deliver cuts to 6 5/8 inches deep, and four engine options include the 13-hp Honda with cyclone air cleaner, 18-hp Honda Twin, 20-hp Honda with remote cyclone air cleaners, and 16-hp Briggs & Stratton Vanguard.

Saw Devil Specifications

 

Model                        CS1
Operating weight (lb.)       175
Dimension                    36.5"x26.6"x34.5"
Blade capacity               12", 14"
Cutting depth                3 5/8" w/12" blade
                             4 5/8" w/14" blade

Engine options               7-hp Briggs & Stratton
                             7.5-hp Robin
                             8-hp Honda

Fuel capacity (gal)          1.6
Drive                        Push
Performance speed            Push
Suggested list price*        $1,500

Model                        CS2
Operating weight (lb.)       310
Dimension                    47.3"x26.6"x36.75"
Blade capacity               12",14",16"
Cutting depth                3 5/8" w/12" blade
                             4 5/8" w/14" blade
                             5 5/8" w/16" blade

Engine options               9-hp Briggs & Stratton
                             11-hp Honda
                             13-hp Honda
                             16-HP B&S Vanguard
                             5-hp electric
Fuel capacity (gal)          1.7
Drive                        Push
Performance speed            Push
Suggested list price*        $1,995

Model                        CSP3
Operating weight (lb.)       475
Dimension                    54"x26.75"x37"
Blade capacity               12", 14" 16", 18"
Cutting depth                3 5/8" w/12" blade
                             4 5/8" w/14" blade
                             5 5/8" w/16" blade
                             6 5/8" w/18" blade
Engine options               13-hp Honda
                             16-hp B&S Vanguard
                             18-hp Honda Twin
                             20-hp Honda Twin

Fuel capacity (gal)          2
Drive                        Hydrostatic
Performance speed            90 fpm
Suggested list price(*)      $3,225
(*) List prices range from $1,500 to $6,000 depending on model configuration.

     
      
      
  	

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I want to split my own firewood this year. Which tools will make the job most efficient?

If you’re envisioning Paul Bunyan employing his double-bitted axe for everything from felling trees to splitting, it’s time to rethink. The axe is actually not a splitting tool–it’s designed as a cutting tool. Instead, you can opt to use better-suited hand tools, such as a splitting maul, wedges, a sledgehammer, or a combination of the three, to get the most heat out of your firewood.

If you’re not interested in swinging a maul or sledgehammer, consider using a dedicated hand splitter, such as the WoodEze Smart-Splitter–a splitting wedge attached to a slide hammer that you raise vertically above the log and slam into it. You can also choose a hand- or foot-powered hydraulic splitter, for which you supply the pumping power–the hydraulic ram does the rest.

When you’re short on time or energy, or expect to split several cords, you may find that a powered splitter is an ultra-efficient luxury worth the investment. Hydraulic splitters are typically rated by their maximal hydraulic force, measured in tons. Most hydraulic splitters rely on a power source to pump hydraulic oil into a hydraulic cylinder (ram) at high pressures, causing the cylinder’s piston to move. The end of the piston is generally attached to a flat plate or anvil (on models with a stationary wedge), or to a splitting wedge (on models with a stationary anvil), and is positioned on a track such that, when it moves, the wedge and the plate squeeze a log between them until it splits. Some so-called dual-action hydraulic splitters have an anvil at either end of the track with a wedge that can split in either direction. These models can increase your hourly output considerably because you won’t need to bring the wedge back to the starting position before loading another log.

Many lightweight models are available with a maximal hydraulic force of 4 to 8 tons. These machines are usually powered with electric motors, so they’re quiet, and you can safely operate them indoors if desired. Though ideal for splitting dry wood, these little powerhouses can effectively split green wood up to about 12 inches in diameter, assuming it isn’t one of the more difficult-to-split species, such as American elm.

If you’ll regularly need to split green or dry rounds up to 24 inches long and 12 inches or more in diameter, choose a splitter with at least 12 tons of power–16 tons or more would be even better. If possible, choose a machine that will operate in both vertical and horizontal configurations, so loading and positioning the wood will be easy from any angle. These machines are heavy, but most are mounted on an undercarriage for mobility. The electric models in this range will likely require a 220-volt electrical source. If you already have a tractor with a three-point hitch and hydraulic system, a PTO and matched hydraulic pump, or a skid-steer loader, you can sometimes save money on a splitter with the same capacity by choosing the tractor or skid-steer mount option. The tractor will power the splitter.

When you plan to split stuff with a diameter of 24 inches or more, or tackle a particularly tough species, then consider a model with 20 tons of capacity or more. In general, if your firewood needs add up to several cords each season, the larger models will serve you well–and they’ll be able to handle smaller jobs, too. Relatively new are high-speed units that rely on mechanical advantage and inertia to split logs, with a cycle time that’s significantly faster than that of most hydraulic splitters. Currently available in rating equivalents up to about 35 tons, options include the DR Power RapidFire and the Super Split.

No discussion of splitting tools would be complete without mention of another screwtype design–the Stickler. You can power this very large, cone-shaped woodscrew by bolting it to a car, truck or tractor axle, or by coupling it with a tractor’s PTO, stationary engine–name it and you can use it. Set the screw spinning, stab the end of a log onto the screw, and keep the log from rotating. As the screw pulls its way into the log, the log will split. Good for logs up to 3 feet long and 40 inches in diameter, this may well be the least expensive and most versatile option, not including wedge and sledge. Like all log splitters, it requires an attentive operator, but is capable of serious production. (The Stickler appeared on the cover of Mother Earth News in 1976.)

 

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Waterproof Splice

An effective way to insure a completely waterproof splice when repairing a broken electrical wire or cable is to use a length of small-diameter clear plastic tubing to cover the finished splice. Slide a 10′ length of this plastic tubing over one of the wires first, then twist the two wire ends together and solder in the usual manner. Slide the plastic tubing over the soldered connection, then wrap one end of the tubing with electrical tape to seal it off.

Cut a small hole in the plastic tubing and squirt silicone rubber compound in through this hole until the tubing is full. When the compound starts coming out the other end of the tubing, wrap that end with more tape to seal it and keep the silicone in place. Inject more compound if necessary to make sure both ends are full (using clear tubing makes it easier to see when the inside is full).

New Use for Teak Oil

While I was applying teak oil to the teak trim on my boat I accidentally spille some onto the textured fiberglass swim platform attached to the transom. This swim platform is dark blue and had a faded look that I could never seem to brighten up.

I wiped up the oil spill almost immediately, but noticed that this area now looked better than ever. I finally decided to use the teak oil on the whole platform. It now looks great and the color stayed bright the whole season (the brand I used was Star brite Teak Oil).

Dual Hitch-Balls

I regularly tow two different trailers: One is for my boat, the other for my personal watercraft. The problem is that each trailer mates to a different size ball: The boat trailer needs a 2″ ball; the PWC trailer needs a 1 7/8″ ball. Early on I decided I didn’t want to endure the hassle of constantly changing trailer balls, so I came up with a slick solution that lets me mount both balls on the same receiver hitch.

Balls come in either male or female. The former is mounted on a male stud, the latter in a threaded hole. I simply bought one of each and screwed them together. Be advised that some balls are threaded coarse and some fine, so you must make sure they are compatible before you leave the store. Also, to make sure the threads don’t work loose, I sealed them with Blue Loctite.

Wiper Blades

Even skippers who are otherwise meticulous about maintenance usually forget about the windshield wipers on their boat. Seldom used, and often neglected, wipers tend to smear and streak when they are turned on because the blades pick up grime and accumulate salt particles. Unless this is cleaned off, the blades actually ride on particles of foreign matter and do not make full contact with the surface of the glass.

Rubber wiper blades are supposed to flex as they move back and forth across a boat’s windshield so that the sides of the blades as well as the edges, come in contact with the glass (see drawing). If the blades do not flex they cannot wipe properly. They are probably dried out and need to be replaced.

If they are not dried out or cracked, clean off the rubber by wiping the blades with a 3M kitchen abrasive pad which has been sprayed with a liquid household cleaner such as Formula 409. Then rinse the blades off with fresh water.

Bilge Pump Protection

The most frequent cause of bilge pump failures is that the pump or float switch gets clogged by debris in the bilge. For years I have prevented such problems with the simple system shown here, suing an empty plastic bowl or tub that originally held margarine.

I first drilled a number of small holes around all sides of this container so that water could enter easily without allowing foreign matter to pass through. Then I fastened it down to the bottom of the bilge with a couple of short stainless steel screws (it could also be cemented down with silicone or similar adhesive sealant). The bilge pump is set inside this to keep floating debris from coming near it or its float switch.

If the pump is the nonsubmersible kind that has a hose running down into the bilge, leave the original lid on the tub and push the end of the hose through a hole cut in the top as indicated in the drawing. This hole should be a snug fit so that the hose will stay in place. The hose should extend down to within about 1/2″ from the bottom of the tub.

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Electric Sanders

  • The most widely used type of sander is the finishing sander, which comes in three basic styles–rectangular pad type, palm-type and random-orbit disc type.
  • Palm sanders and random-orbit disc sanders are the most popular and the most versatile. Palm sanders have a higher orbit speed than the larger pad-types, so they give a smoother, almost scratchless finish. They also are lighter and easier to handle than the conventional pad-type sanders, especially when working overhead.

 

  • The best-quality randomorbit disc sanders also leave a very smooth finish (as smooth or smoother than a palm sander) that is free of swirl marks and scratches. Many find that they are also faster-working than most other finishing sanders. On the other hand, disc-type sanders can’t reach into corners as well as palm sanders or rectangular pad sanders can.
  • One worthwhile feature you should look for on any finishing sander you buy is a dust-catching system of some kind–usually a removable bag that attaches to the back. The best systems are those that have a perforated backing pad and use perforated paper so that dust is sucked right through the paper as fast as it is created. This also helps keep the paper from loading up and clogging. Instead of having their own dust bag, some “dustless” sanders come with an adapter that permits hooking them up to a standard shop-vacuum by means of a long hose, but these are generally more cumbersome to use around a boat.
  • Belt sanders are powerful, fast-cutting machines that are suitable for use on large, flat surfaces to remove heavy layers of finish or smooth down and reshape the surface. They are heavier to handle and generally not suitable for fine smoothing and finishing.
  • There is one other type of finishing sander that has been introduced in recent years–the detail sander. This has a small, triangularshaped, sanding pad that oscillates at high speed to permit sanding in tight corners and inside crevices where no other sander will fit. First introduced by Fein Power Tools, Inc. (412-331-2325), similar machines are now also available from at least two other companies (Ryobi and Bosch). Fein makes accessories that permit their tool to also be used for fine sawing in tight places, as well as scraping, sanding and polishing. With accessories, the detail sanders from Bosch and Ryobi can also be used for polishing, and Ryobi’s sander can also be used for scraping.

Miscellaneous Tools

“Best” does not necessarily refer only to quality–it also means selecting the tool that is best for each job. For example, if you have to drill in a narrow space or corner where no drill will fit, then the “best” tool for the job would be one of the closequarter, right-angle drilling attachments from Terry Tools, Inc. of Buffalo, N.Y. (716-854-0633). As shown in box at left, these have a right angle, compact chuck that sticks down less than three inches from the drive shaft. There are also models that have no chuck at all–the bit fits into a little socket and is held in place with a setscrew–so these right angle attachments will fit into even tighter places (bits can also be cut down to make them shorter).

 

Another versatile drill accessory is the Unibit step drill from American Tool Co. (800-767-6297). Shown on the previous page, this is a multiple-size hole cutter that will bore up to 13 different size holes in materials up to 3/8″ thick. More like a set of attached hole saws than a typical drill bit, you push the cone-shaped bit in until it has bored the size hole you want, then pull it back out. Ideal for use in sheet metal, fiberglass, plywood and plastic, these unique bits eliminate the need for carrying around an assortment of hole saws. They come in various sizes, from self-starting bits that will bore holes from 1/8″ to 1/2″ in diameter to one that goes from 3/16″ to 7/8″ in diameter. Hole-enlarging bits, also cone-shaped, are available to enlarge existing holes to as large as 1 3/8″ in diameter.

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When it comes to tools, the theory that “you get what you pay for” almost always holds true. The best tools usually cost more, but in the long run they actually cost less–because they don’t wear out as often and they generally save you time and effort.

As a rule, it’s best to stick to well-known brands that have a reputation for quality. Certain brands have more than one level of quality. Sears, for example, sells both top-of-the-line Craftsman hand tools guaranteed for life (if you break one, Sears will replace it at no charge–no questions asked) and lowerpriced tools that are not in the same class. Stanley Tools, another well known company that has been around for more than a century and also makes different lines that vary in quality, has a comparatively new line of hand tools that are guaranteed for life–their Contractor Grade tools that are aimed at the pros.

Excellent tools are also available from small, more obscure companies. Nautitool, Inc. (800-822-3620), for instance, offers a line of high-quality, stainless steel hand tools specifically made to tackle the toughest engine room chores and resist rust and corrosion, making them ideal for marine use. Its stainless locking pliers, which comes in 7″, 8″, and 10″ sizes, are almost too beautiful to use. Other stainless tools available from the same company include adjustable wrenches, screwdrivers, scrapers, and hex keys, to name just a few.

With power tools, it’s even more important to stick to the best brands. You can’t go wrong, for example, with such brands as Black & Decker, Craftsman, Bosch, DeWalt, Hitachi, Makita, Porter Cable, Ryobi, Skil and Milwaukee–as long as you stick to the best models they each offer.

To help you select the tools that are “best” for marine use, both in terms of quality and applicability to work aboard boats, here are some pointers on what to look for, as well as some guidelines you can follow.

Electric Saws

  • The most useful type is the saber saw (also called a jig saw), but stick to one of the heavier-duty “professional” models that have a 1/2-horse-power motor (3.5 to 4.6 amps). They are much better for cutting through fiberglass and thick wood, and will also cut faster and be easier to handle. The more powerful models will also accept longer, bayonet-type blades that can be used for plunge-cutting. For maximum versatility, choose one that has variable-speed control, or at least a choice of speeds. The ability to change speeds is especially useful when cutting many plastics, as well as materials of verying thicknesses. At least one company (Makita) also makes a cordless jig saw that’s handy for cutting moldings and thin metals or plastics.
  • As for circular saws, there are small cordless versions offered by Skil (shown above) and Makita that are very handy for many small cutting jobs. Electric circular saws are are seldom useful on a boat, but these cordless models are compact, easy-to-handle trim saws that have fine-tooth blades 3-1/2 to 4 inches in diameter (enough to cut through 3/4″ plywood). Good for cutting moldings and trim, as well for cutting plywood and plastic panels, these handy saws give such a clean cut that the edges of sawn materials seldom need sanding.

Electric Drills

  • AC power is not always available on a boat, so it makes sense to select one of the powerful new 12-volt cordless drills or drill/drivers, such those made by Skil, Makita, Porter-Cable, and DeWalt. (The most powerful cordless drill is the new 14.4-volt Driver/Drill from DeWalt).
  • Stick to cordless models that are reversible and offer variable speed control. These will enable you to use hole saws and large-diameter boring bits, and they can also be used for driving and removing screws. Another big advantage of variable speed control is the ability to start your drilling at a very low speed–this makes it a lot easier to keep the point of the bit from skipping around when starting to drill into a hard surface.
  • Choose a cordless drill that has a removable battery. If the drill has a built-in battery you will have to stop work each time the battery runs down so that you can plug the tool in to recharge it. With a removable battery you can have one battery charging while working with another so that when the first battery runs down all you have to do is switch batteries. Another drawback to a built-in battery is that when it wears out (all batteries do eventually) the whole tool must be returned to a service center to have a new one installed–and this can cost almost as much as a new tool.

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Along with interest in high-end tools has come demand for the accessories to go with them. Long a mainstay of the power tool department, accessories are stronger than ever, say retailers and wholesalers.

“Accessories are accelerating a lot faster than tools,” says Jim McLaughlin, tool buyer for Hardware Wholesalers, Inc. (HWI), the Fort Wayne, IN-based dealer-owned wholesaler. Sales are up in the neighborhood of 15% to 20% for us.”

Retailers say accessories account for an average of 6% of total sales, and that it is a lucrative 6%. Some, for example, say accessory margins typically top 45%. And since mass merchants and discounters that sell power tools usually don’t have the accessories to go with them, you can capitalize on your full selection to increase add-on sales and your full-service image.

“There are only a couple of price-sensitive items in power tools,” says retailer Benson, “so you can lure in customers with the tool and make up the profit difference with accessories. By charging a high price on accessories, you can double your money.”

You can also afford to stock a large selection of accessories because they need far less space than the power tools themselves.

“Power tool margins are so slim with discounters beating it to death, you have to carry a good accessories inventory,” says retailer Sheahan.

He and others recommend that a minimum accessories inventory should include bits, blades, holsters, sanding accessories, battery packs and battery chargers.

Repair service can give you another competitive edge.

“We are the ones who show the tools and take care of the warranty items,” says Hugo Zenker, manager of Freese Hardware Co. in Lakewood, OH. Offering warranty service, he says, sways customers who might otherwise have patronized the competition because of lower prices. “Service takes over on something like price,” he says.

Like any expensive product on your shelves, however, high-end power tools interest shoplifters and dishonest employees. Consequently, many retailers have been forced to chain and lock power toolsor put them out of reach. Many display their tools behind locked, glass doors.

“We keep our power tools under glass cases,” says Daniel F. Casaletto, manager of Ace Hardware & Home Center in Lake Zurich, IL. “I don’t like to do this because it takes them out of the hands of the customer, but we looked into another method which was too expensive.”

Some have taken other measures to protect their power tools.

“Our power tools are chained down,” says Richard Miller, manager of Harrison’s Ace Hardware in Hamden, CT. “This makes it difficult to show them to customers, but it’s necessary to do,” he reports.

Not all retailers have had to sacrifice accessibility to their power tools to maintain security, however. “We have a gondola with a glass security case bottom,” says Bob Taylor, president of True Value Home Center, Virginia Beach, VA. “The tools are wired to electronic boxes. This doesn’t impact sales because you can pick them up, touch them, maneuver them. But it does eliminate shrinkage, and prior to having the security system, we had a lot of theft.”

Interestingly, some retailers say that having their power tools locked up actually enhances their stores’ high-quality, service-oriented image to customers. Since store employees must be available to answer questions and demonstrate products, customers are treated to a high level of attention.

So while stocking high-end tools might require more attention on your part, it’s worth the effort. These tools can distance you from the competition, enhance your service image, bring a healthy profit margin, and establish your store as the place where the serious D-I-Yer can find what he needs.

U.S. MANUFACTURERS’ SALES OF POWER-DRIVEN HAND TOOLS ($ Millions)

Annual

Year           Total           %Change
1980           2,083.8          9.1%
1981           1,983.3          -4.8
1982           1,594.8          -19.6
1983           1,591.3           -0.2
1984           1,824.1           14.6
1985           1,895.4           3.9
1986           1,924.4           1.5
1987           1,879.8           2.3
1988           1,951.2           3.8
1989-Estimate  2,050.0           5.1
1998-Projection3,030.0           4.5*
  • Average Annual Growth, 1988-1998P

Source Business Trend Analysts. 1989

POWER TOOLS

How have your sales of power tool products changed over the past 12 months?

Increased                      46%
Decreased                      18
No change                      36

How have your profits on power tool products changed over the past 12 months?

Increased                      26%
Decreased                      21
No change                      53

What percentage of your total sales volume do you attribute to power tool products?

Less than 1%                   12%
1-5%                           61
6-10%                          16
11-20%                         5
More than 20",                 6

Have you changed your selection of power tool products in the past 12 months?

Increased                      45%
Decreased                      14
No change                      40

Will you change your selection of power tool products in the next 12 months?

Increase                       20%
Decreased                      6
No change                      74