Dewalt held their 2017 media event in the Rehearsal Hall of BridgeStone Arena, in Nashville, TN. Bridgestone Arena is home to the Nashville Predators and was host to the Professional Bull Riding series event that was the cap of the media event Friday night.
I’d like to thank Dewalt for inviting us to their media event. The standard disclaimer applies for this event: media event hosts often cover airfare, hotel accommodations, food, and in some cases entertainment.
We’ve established that this year’s Dewalt Media Event in Nashville wasn’t as large as last year and didn’t have as many new tools, but there were still plenty of brand new and recently released tools to fill the 13,000 square foot hall.
Here, I’ll give you a quick look at most of the tools we saw at the event, but I’ll skip most of the ones Stuart has already covered in his post: The Top 5 New Dewalt Tools From Their 2017 Media Event.
In order to make this long post easier to digest, I’ll break the tools into categories and provide a table of contents:
Table of Contents
- Cordless Nailers
- Brushless Grinders
- Measuring Tools
- Hand Tools
- More Cordless Tools
- Concrete/Dust Extraction
- Licensed Tools
This is just going to be a quick overview. If you have questions about a particular tool, you can ask in the comments, or you can wait until we post more details on select tools in later articles.
I’ll begin where we started the day: the new cordless nailers.
Dewalt has expanded their line of 20V Max Cordless nailers with four more tools:
- 20V Max XR 18 Ga Brad Nailer
- 20V Max XR 18 Ga Narrow Crown Stapler
- 20V Max XR 15 Ga Angled Finish Nailer
- 20V Max XR 18 Ga Flooring Stapler
All of the new nailers feature tool-free depth adjustment, multiple fire modes, and a low nail lockout. Here’s a closeup photo of the 18 Gauge Flooring Stapler
I didn’t include the DCN890 brushless 20V concrete nailer with the other brushless nailers because it was in a completely different rotation.
I got a chance to try it out, and it was pretty impressive. I’ve never used anything but a powder actuated nailer to drive nails into concrete, and so I was really surprised how quietly and easily it drove the nails into concrete.
They also had an accessory pole for the concrete nailer for fastening high above your head.
There’s more than one way to make nailers more portable. One way is to make them larger, but more self-contained. The other is to make it easier to take your air with you.
Pneumatic nailers can be lighter and much more compact than battery operated models. For users who prefer using air nailers, Dewalt recently announced a FlexVolt compressor. Since you don’t have to keep the nailer close to a power outlet and can take it with you, you don’t have to lug around as long of an air hose.
Using identical pneumatic nailers, they compared the performance of the Ridgid 18V cordless compressor with the Flexvolt 60V Max compressor while firing them as fast as the participants could manage. One guess which compressor could keep up in the demo.
Note: the above image is not an accurate comparison of the size of the two compressors. I was just trying show both in one photo.
The Ridgid has a 1 gallon air tank, and the Dewalt FlexVolt a 2.5 gallon tank. The Dewalt also has a higher maximum operating pressure and higher airflow rating.
Dewalt has an all new line of corded and cordless brushless grinders. When they say grinder, mostly they mean angle grinders, but they are also introducing a new 20V Max brushless die grinder. It features 3 speed ranges, a variable speed trigger, and an LED light.
Here are some of the other new brushless grinders Dewalt is releasing:
- 20V Max XR 4.5″ Angle Grinder (DCG413R2)
- 20V Max XR 5″ Flathead Grinder (DCG413FR2)
- 20V Max XR 1-1/2: Die Grinder (DCG426M2)
- 5″/6″ Paddle Switch Small Angle Grinder (DWE43244N
- 5″ Brushless Slide Switch Small Angle Grinder (DWE43231VS)
The press release also says there are “ten additional units ranging from 4.5” to 7” size options with a variety of switch options and variable speed available on some models.”
The grinders that can’t be locked on (like the paddle switch grinders) will also be tether-ready. Above is an example of a tether that has been “inactivated.” You can see the red area exposed which means the tether has done it’s job in keeping a tool from falling and now needs to be replaced.
Here is the 5″ Flathead grinder, designed for working in tight spaces.
This demo shows the difference in stopping time between one of Dewalt’s new Brushless Angle Grinders and a Metabo Grinder with Fast Brake. Besides the fast stopping time, the brushless grinders feature an E-clutch that shuts it down when the wheel is pinched.
Plumbing and Electrical
Most of these electrical tools are mentioned in Stuarts post a year ago about Dewalt’s trade focused tools, like the cable cutter, the die and die-less crimpers, and threaded rod cutter. What’s new this year is the 20V Max cable stripper.
With the cable stripper, Dewalt now has a line of power tools for every step of terminating an electrical cable with a connector. The process goes like this: You use the cable cutter to cut the electrical cable. Then you feed the end of the cable into the cable stripper to expose the conductors. Finally, you crimp on the connector with either the die or dieless crimper.
Here’s a closer look at the stripped cable, albeit a little blurry.
Stuart’s Note: Hey, that’s me! The cable stripper takes a few tries to get the hang of it.
The result – a stripped cable ready to be connected.
Dewalt also demonstrated the new 20V Max Drain Snake which we’ve previously posted about and the 20V Max PEX Cold Expansion Tool.
The cold expansion tool can handle type A PEX from 3/8″ up to 1″. Made in Charlotte NC, the tool comes with 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ head and is compatible with other competitors heads.
Dewalt is also coming out with a food-grade grease to use with it.
First off, they talked about how they added a rafter hook to the 60V Flexvolt circular saw and the DCS570 20V Max brushless circular saw they introduced in the spring. The updated saws are currently shipping, but they are the same model numbers as the saws without rafter hooks, so you need to be careful when buying one if you want the rafter hook.
Unfortunately, there is no retrofit for adding a rafter hook to the several thousand saws that were sold before the design update.
They also talked about the 20V Max Compact Reciprocating saw and the break away blades, but there’s no new information about those tools.
Next up was one of the stars of the show, the rear-handled 60V max blade-left framing saw. One thing Stuart didn’t mention in his first look was that Dewalt claims the saw can deliver 2400 max watts of power. That’s impressive. For comparison, the max power you can derive from a 15A outlet is 1800 watts.
This spring Dewalt launched their Flexvolt 60V Max track saw. The DCS520 uses a 6-1/2″ blade to get cuts of 2-1/8″ at 90° and 1-5/8″ at 45° when it’s on the track. The best price I’ve seen is about $580 for a kit with a 59″ track, 6Ah FlexVolt battery, and charger.
Buy Now: Bare Tool | Kit | Kit with 59″ Track (via Acme Tool)
I missed getting any photos of the new laser distance measures at the show, but I can show a comparison photo I took at home of the new DW030PL — the device that Dewalt is claiming to be the smallest laser distance measure on the market — with their 9′ keychain tape measure. They also recently announce a 65′ and 100′ laser distance measurers as well.
Dewalt is launching a new 35′ XP tape in September for $40. This is the tape with the dual spring technology and 13 foot standout that is already available in 25′. Shown here is an example of how tough the new blade coating is (top).
They took a 60 grit sanding block and ran it 30 passes over an XP tape and a competitor’s tape. The sandpaper barely touched the coating XP tape, but it exposed metal on the competitor’s tape. Obviously this test can be biased, the presenter could have pressed harder when sanding the competitors tape, but it was an effective demonstration nonetheless.
Although they’re not strictly new, Dewalt was showed off their 20V line of rotary lasers. This model has a roll cage that protects the laser, an IP67 rating, and comes in a T-Stack box with batteries, charger, and all the accessories packed in a foam insert. It’s available in both green and red.
After the nailers, they showed us their new line of sledge hammers and axes with carbon fiber over-strike protection. The carbon fiber is not meant to make the hammers and axes lighter, it is there to make them 25% more durable.
Here’s the new sledgehammer.
Here’s the new 4.5 lb ax.
Somewhere in all this I missed the aviation snips. And since Stuart’s already covered the carbon fiber stapler, we’ll leave that out too.
Dewalt also briefly showed off several new ratchets. They have a new line of 180° flex head ratchets, a stubby ratchet for low and fast torquing, and a line of ratchets with a bi-material handle for a more ergonomic grip.
Here’s the stubby ratchet – isn’t it cute?!
More Cordless Tools
Dewalt introduced a new 20V Max 1/2″ Mid-Range impact wrench to fit between their compact and high-torque impact wrenches. This impact is only 6.95″ long, weighs under 4lbs with a 5Ah battery, and can deliver up to 330 ft-lbs of torque. It’ll come in both hog-ring and detent anvil style.
They did mention a line of Flex Torque screwdriver bits for impact applications that they are introducing next year. They have a torsion zone which allows them to flex 15% in release and relief. That’s all the information they had and I did not get any photos.
The 20V Max fan and tripod light have already been covered, but I still wanted to show you a photo of the tripod light illuminating a dark hallway at the show, given how impressive it was.
Another totally new tool for Dewalt is their 60V Max dual-handled paddle mixer. It’ll be available in Q1 of 2018. The battery is completely enclosed to prevent contamination and it has a variable speed dial to control the speed for different mixing applications.
Stuart’s Note: I demoed the mixer, it’s incredibly powerful while still being manageable to use. The controls were especially convenient to access.
It was interesting how Dewalt decided to spend all their time talking about the ToughBox models they already had on the market and completely ignore the new piano boxes they are about to release. These new boxes open on the front and top to give you easier access to the 16 gauge steel shelves and floor of the box. The 49″ high and 31″ deep boxes will be available in 49″ and 61″ widths
Dewalt is going all black on their new 36″ and 52″ chest and cabinet combos. These are consumer retail-focused models, similar to the previous yellow-colored ones, positioned a step below the industrial-focused storage units they showed off last year.
They are also introducing a 60″ rolling workbench with pegboard. Rather than using a sliding mechanism, the pegboard fold backwards to store against the back. It also has a charging drawer that’s lockable with the rest of the workbench.
Both the rolling workbench and storage combos have 5″ x 2″ casters, drawers with 100 lb full extension slides (the bottom drawers have two per side), and will be available Q4.
Adding onto their Tough System racking line they introduced a tall and short racking system for vans.
As you can see in the above photo, the arms fold out of the way when the racks aren’t being used. This low profile solution allow you take out all the boxes and use the full capacity of the van for materials if you need it. The short rack will run $199 and the tall $249. Dewalt will have an online configurator where you can drag and drop boxes onto the system and order your custom configuration.
Stuart’s Note: This van racking system was designed with Sortimo and is crash-tested.
Dewalt introduced one new anchoring product to expand their “Dewalt engineered by Powers” line: the Mini-Undercut+ anchor.
The Mini-Undercut+ is designed to be used in post tension slabs where the wire tendon is very close to the underside of the slab (the slab above is upside down). If you were to breach the wire while installing an anchor, you’d be looking at a very expensive repair. So the Mini-Undercut+ works in a 3/4″ deep drilled hole and accepts a 3/8″ rod.
Dewalt’s Dust X+ is a cordless adhesive installing system that is ICC approved for installing adhesive anchors. It consists of a Portable Power Station, FlexVolt 60V Max 1-9/16″ SDS Max Combination Hammer, a dust extractor, and SDS Max hollow bits.
This system drills the hole and completely removes the dust so the hole is ready to accept the anchor and epoxy.
They also talked about their new HEPA filter box that will fit all three drill bit shrouds for their SDS Max Hammers. If you already own a drill with one of these dust extractors, to become Table 1 compliant all you have to do is purchase the new filter box.
Dewalt is introducing these dust control systems to make their users Table 1 compliant. Their thought is that as long as their customers are using Dewalt products correctly they are automatically compliant with the New OSHA Silica Standards.
Table 1 compliance requires three things: a HEPA filter, a filter cleaning mechanism, and a commercially available shroud.
This year Dewalt has built on their Tool Connect platform again with several new bluetooth-enabled tools, a connector that allows Tool Connect to track any 20V Max tool, and a tag that allows Tool Connect to track any tool or material at the jobsite.
Stuart covered most of the information about Tool Connect in this post. One of the interesting things I gleaned from the presentation was that the only way you can remove the Bluetooth adapter from the tool is to bring it to the service center (or take the tool apart?, shhh).
The IP68 Bluetooth tags will be available soon. They’ll have a sealed battery that can’t be replaced but will last 3 years.
They went really in-depth into the new WiFi Mesh system. This $1500, IP67 rated unit can deal with dust, cold, heat, and rain. The first unit needs AC power and an ethernet connection. Every unit after that in the network only need AC power. They estimated that you need one unit for every 10,000 square feet.
The units will create a self-healing mesh network to provide wifi access over the entire jobsite. If a unit fails or gets damaged, the mesh network will compensate for the lost unit, but there may be degraded coverage in the area.
They gave an example of Mortenson Construction piloting this product. They said it saved at least 10 minutes a day and 2% off the bottom line of their labor costs. The take away was that unless you are running a commercial construction site, this really isn’t for you right now. They hinted at extended capabilities that might be useful for a smaller job site, but wouldn’t answer direct questions.
Dewalt showed off two pieces of software to make specifying structural anchors and Mechanical Electrical Plumbing (MEP) systems easier.
Dewalt Design Assist is made for the structural engineer. It supports all of Dewalt’s structural anchors and has all the international design codes built into its rules.
Dewalt Hanger Works is a plugin for Autodesk’s Revit building information modeling software. You model the PEM systems you are going to install and Hanger Works figures out where all the hangers need to go.
While I was supposed to be paying attention to the accessories spiel, I walked over to the back where Dewalt had several additional products on display that wouldn’t be in the rotations — products like the industrial rack above.
Stuart’s Note: There will be 2 sizes of racks, and the main benefit was said to be easy setup. 2 units can combine to form a workbench. Each unit will come with a mix of wire and engineered wood shelving.
Dewalt has several new footwear options, including a shoe with breathable Kevlar webbing.
Hidden among the products in the back was a 20V Max, 68,000 BTU jobsite heater. I did some searching and Dewalt does have some “portable” propane jobsite heaters that require 120AC for the forced air, but this runs off a 20V Max battery so you don’t need an AC service. Living In Minnesota, the first thing I thought when I saw this little heater is that it would make ice fishing more enjoyable.
You may have noticed in the last few months that Dewalt has been sneaking new battery chargers, inverters, and other automotive products into the automotive section of the hardware store. This 1400 peak amp jump starter with compressor and USB charging is already in stores.
This was just a quick overview of all the products Dewalt presented at their 2017 media event in Nashville. Are there any tools you think we missed? What is your favorite new tool? Do you want more information about any of the tools shown here? Let us know in the comments — or wait for us to write more detailed posts about the products we find the most interesting.
And in case you missed it, there are a few more of the new tools discussed here: Top 5 New Dewalt Tools From Their 2017 Media Event