Tool Trends

News & overviews from the trade show floor

Still More Power For Cordless Tools

Manufacturers continue to up the ante for power and run time in cordless tools. Bosch, Wagner, Porter-Cable, Ryobi and Makita have all introduced 14.4-volt cordless drills. The new drills aren't just more powerful; they're designed for better balance and greater comfort than their predecessors.

•Bosch, Makita, Hitachi and Milwaukee have increased the capacity of their Ni-Cad battery cells to 2 amp-hours for maximum run time. •If holding a cordless drill for long periods makes your arm tired, check out Hitachi's belt pack, which holds a pair of 12-volt batteries tethered to the drill with a short cord. •Also newsworthy: a new cordless reciprocating saw from Milwaukee and a cordless chainsaw from Makita.

New Fences

Delta's recent purchase of Biesemeyer shook up the world of aftermarket tablesaw fences, fueling a flurry of new product development. The result: No fewer than eight manufacturers have come out with new fences.

•Models from Jet, Powermatic, Vega and Voss technologies are based loosely on the Biesemeyer design.

• Delta's new Precision Saw Guide fence looks like a smaller version of the Unifence.

• New models from Grizzly, Excalibur, and Modulus lock to both front and rear rails.

•Prices range from $275 (for Grizzly's Shop Fox Fence) to $479.95 (for the Modulus SSF-100). Watch for a complete Buyer's Guide to these new fences in an upcoming issue of American Woodworker.

Report to the BOSS


Marking Gauge

■ The Veritas Wheel Marking Gauge relies on a hardened steel cutting disc instead of a pin, for scribing clean lines that won't tear the grain. With a thick brass face and thumbscrew, the gauge looks and works great. (Price: $18.95) Lee Valley Tools, Ltd., (800) 871-8158. Circle #646

Report to the BOSS

I Delta's new Bcnchtop Oscillating Spindle Sander (a.k.a. The BOSS) sets a new standard for benchtop oscillating spindle sanders. It has an 18-in.-dia., cast-iron table; a '/4-HP, direct-drive induction motor; and a spindle that accepts drums from '/2 in. dia. to 3 in. dia. A built-in fan draws dust through a slotted table insert and deposits it in a dust bag, or you can hook up a shop vacuum for greater efficiency. (Price: Si95 for model 31-780) Delta International Machinery Corp., (800) 438-2486. Circle #647

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