Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday ToolTalk: Black &Decker Firestorm – 18V

We haven’t talked tools in a long, long time. And the tools of today’s topic have been hanging around for a few months already. Little by little I’ve been putting them to use.

As an early birthday present to me, I snagged a multi-tool Black & Decker Firestorm 18V set. It included a drill, jigsaw, 7-inch circular saw, 90-degree drill, a flashlight and sander and two batteries. Another plus: those 18V batteries can be used to supplement my 24V weedeater/trimmer when that power source is fading.

The two tools I’ve used the most so far are in the picture: the drill and sander. The sander has been a godsend for the cabinet doors it’s sitting on top of. I have also used the jigsaw, making just a few cuts.

I happened upon this set for a great price and with free shipping. I was somewhat dismayed to learn, however, that B&D is shedding this line of tools. I can’t imagine why. They work and work well.

The drill lets you choose between torque and speed (though I’ve found torque to be infinitely more helpful) and gives you five settings for working as either a driver or drill. It’s a nice range of power and has made pretty quick work of most of what I’ve put in front of it thus far.

The sander has one of the coolest features ever. It has VELCRO to hold the sanding sheets in place! No more ripping at the edges to have to stop and replace the sandpaper. Fortunately, this is a feature they’ve kept on newer models, including the smaller “mouse,” so replacement sheets are still very easy to come by.

A tool that doesn’t use the 18V battery, operating under its own plug-in internal battery, is the 90-degree drill. It’s infinitely smaller than the other drill (even than my 9.6 V version) so I’m thinking it will work wonders on some of the harder-to-reach cabinet hinges – and without damaging the wallpaper.

I won’t do a full review since this isn’t a current product. But … I will say that if you come across this line of tools and have the chance to snag them, my advice would be to do it.

I'll do an update in the future on these and the other tools in the kit after I've used them.

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