18 VOLT CORDLESS
I thought it only fair to share my first impressions of this
wonderful new 18-volt tool set from DELTA. Yes I said Delta!
The longtime mainstay of American woodworking has entered the
cordless market with one of the most brilliantly thought out
cordless toolsets I have seen to date. This is not the complete
review yet but just a peek at this wonderful tool set before
your wish list is finished for this year.
I will be giving a full review soon but this may
be enough to whet your appetite until I get down and dirty with
these Delta tools. In the review I will test the number of brads
the nailer will fire with one battery charge and the number
of 2X4’s the circular saw will cut. We will find out how
long you can sand with the ultra tough 36 grit paper and how
many screws this 18 volt driver can sink on one charge. We also
will test the new Delta jigsaw and cut 12” circles until
the battery gives out in ½” plywood. Lets not forget
the dandy light and how long it can let us work after dark.
But before that I will let you know what I think of these tools
straight from the box.
The box it comes in barely covers the hard black
case the tools are safely nestled in. The outer cardboard shows
the tools and their specifications in several languages common
to the Americas. It tells us that these tools are warranted
for two full years and OSHA and underwriters laboratories for
safety have approved them. It also makes very plain that this
is a wood workers Six Pack. It shows a circular saw, a drill
driver, a brad nailer, a jigsaw, a pad sander, a flashlight
with a one-hour battery charger and two 18-volt batteries. From
the box alone you can tell someone was really thinking about
what would be useful for completing a project. By the heft of
the box when you lift it you have the distinct impression that
these are not toys (at least that is what my wife said). The
carrying case weighs a little over forty pounds so when you
grab it make sure you have a firm grip. The carrying handle
is placed in a cutout in the middle of the case with provisions
for a padlock to keep out tiny fingers (children).
The case opens to a tightly compact array of tools,
charger and batteries. From left to right the brad nailer is
first and I could not resist firing a few of the 1 ¼”
fasteners into a Doug fir 2X6 with a large knot to see if the
18 ga projectile would penetrate this obstacle. It did with
flying colors! They next tool was the 5 ½” circular
saw with the ultra thin kerf blade. You must charge the batteries
before any fun so I took that time to mount blades and look
over the manuals. I have not used the saw, but it bevels to
50 degrees and has an edge guide for repeating cuts like a lapstrake
hull would require. I have used other small circular saws of
this type and I have found them to be very convenient. This
particular saws fit and finish are as fine as any I have seen
so far. But the proof will be in the testing.
The next tool is a wonderful 18 volt jigsaw with
a 5/8th” stroke. It is has a variable speed trigger that
runs from 0 to 2700 SPM. Just the thing for making corner cuts
with a left or right miter to 45 degrees. The only small obvious
flaw I can see came or should I say did not come with the jigsaw.
The allen wrench used to tighten the blade must come from your
own stock because it wasn’t in my set. That was my only
complaint. Moving on we have the ½” drill driver
with a nice hand grip and a very decent twenty five position
drive clutch. It has a low and high gear setting and complementary
driver bits on each side. With a spirit level on the top 90
degree holes are not much of a challenge any more.
I think this Six pack is special because it also
has a third of a sheet sander as part of the nice selection
of tools. The sander has a standard on off switch as well as
standard paper mounting clips to make easy paper changes. The
ergonomic grip feels very comfortable for me and my big hands
but my wife says it is a little difficult to hold the sander
and to turn it on or off with one hand. I think she just might
not be familiar to the power switch but time will tell. The
next great tool is an adjustable lamp you can put down, aim
it, and then leave it to shine perfectly for hands-free work.
It also has an extra bulb under the reflector when you remove
it to change the bulb. Last but not least is the diagnostic
charger and two batteries. They charge in one hour and in the
full review we will see how long they last.
With this compact case and a tool for almost any
woodworking job you can see why I am so excited about this particular
set. I will put them through their paces in the next couple
of weeks and see how well they perform under pressure. If you
don’t want to wait they are available for sale now around
the country. I know my wife keeps asking about the brad nailer
so I know these tools will be used in everyday life. If I do
not get another opportunity, have a happy holiday season and
remember alcohol and boats don’t mix very well unless
it is the boats maiden launch.
From My Tool Crib To Yours,