Milwaukee Cordless Cable Stripper:
The Milwaukee cordless cable stripper is one of the most popular home automation devices. It was designed with safety in mind and it does its job well. However, there are some drawbacks when compared to other products available today. The main drawback is that it requires a power source to operate properly and thus will not work if disconnected from any electrical outlet. Another drawback is that it only works with standard household wiring and cannot be used to strip your house’s electric wiring.
Finally, it is expensive at $199.95.
Greenlee Fish Tape:
Greenlee fish tape is made up of a special blend of natural ingredients that prevent damage to the insulation of wires when applied correctly. Greenlee fish tape comes in several colors including black, red, blue, yellow and white. It is easy to apply and does not leave residue on the surface of the wire. You can use it to protect your wires while they are still attached to the wall.
DeWalt Cordless Cable Cutter:
The DeWalt cordless cable cutter is another product that can be used for cable stripping. It is an older product without the safety features or brand recognition that Greenlee and Milwaukee bring to the table. However, it works well enough for most applications. It is a little harder to find at your local big box store, but Amazon usually has it in stock and at a discount.
A fish tape is a long, thin cable that can be fed through narrow spaces to route wires. It is most commonly used in the construction industry to route wires through walls. In most cases, it is easier to use a fish tape than to try to drill holes in walls at just the right angle to route wires.
Cable Stripping Drill Attachment:
A cable stripping drill attachment can be used to strip away the outer layer of a wire without damaging the internal copper wiring. The main problem with a drill attachment is you need to have a drill to use it. If you have a corded drill, it will work just fine. However, most people prefer to use a cordless drill in the field and these batteries don’t last long enough to power the attachment for very long.
Milwaukee M12 Tools:
The most popular Milwaukee tools are their M18 series products. This comes as no surprise since M12 products were only introduced a few years ago. However, the M12 series is gaining in popularity and for good reason. Even though cordless tools are more expensive than their pneumatic counterparts, they offer some distinct advantages especially in the field.
Along with the standard drills and impact drivers that most people associate with Milwaukee, their M12 series also includes less glamorous (but still very useful) products like the circular saw, jigsaw and reciprical saw. These products are perfect for a person that needs a tool for occasional home improvement jobs and doesn’t want to hassle with dragging out the big tools or dealing with the expense of hiring someone else to do the job.
The M12 series also includes a impact wrench, but it is not the greatest tool of this type on the market. It lacks the power to consistently drive lag bolts into wood and its relatively short battery life means you can’t use it for extended periods of time. It does have its place for quickly removing lags that have already been installed, but if you need to put them in, you are probably better off with a standard hammer drill.
M12 vs. M18:
The most important thing to remember when shopping for tools is that the M18 and M12 are not the same. They share the same battery platform, but all of the tools are different in some way. This means that you can’t substitute an M12 impact driver for an M18 without significant loss of performance.
If you have the money, it is better to buy the more powerful M18 product since it will be more versatile. On the other hand, if you are shopping on a budget, the M12 series might be all you can afford. Just keep in mind that not every product is going to perform as well as its M18 counterpart.
When it comes to choosing between the two, most professional contractors will tell you that M12 is good enough for them since they can afford to buy the more powerful M18 versions and have no desire to carry extra batteries. At-home handymen and diy-ers will probably find that the extra money spent on M18 tools is worth the significantly better performance.
M12 vs. Other Lithium-Ion:
The M18 isn’t the only player in the cordless market. The other choices are from Dewalt with their DC Li-ion platform and they offer a wider range of tools than Milwaukee. However, there isn’t a perfect substitute for every Milwaukee product. You can’t, for example, replace an M18 impact wrench with a Dewalt unit. The performance just isn’t there.
The other player in the cordless market is the older, and much cheaper, NiCad and NiMH platform. These tools have a lower cost of entry, but they also have a lot of drawbacks. The number one problem with these older types of batteries is that they have a “Memory”. This means that whenever you don’t completely drain the battery before charging it, a small amount of power remains in the cells which then becomes impossible to fully charge afterwards. This then reduces the capacity of the entire battery and eventually will cause it to fail completely.
If you only own a few older tools, this may not be a problem for a long time since you will constantly be replacing the batteries.
There is also the fact that these tools are limited to an Amp rating that is usually much lower than any other type currently available. The high-capacity versions are often too expensive for most people.
Due to all of these drawbacks, the M12 and other Lithium-Ion types are the recommended types for serious DIY and professional use.
One of the most popular cordless tool series for both professionals and homeowners is the Dewalt DCK series. These tools have been a staple in many people’s tool boxes for years. For reasons unknown, Home Depot does not sell these tools on their website or in their stores. The only place that they can be purchased is at their retail stores. If you have a Home Depot near you, it may be worthwhile to pick up a few DCK tools since they are very comparable in power to the M12 series and may be cheaper.
Due to the reasons listed above, I cannot recommend any other cordless tool series. The only other types worth looking at are the old Professional S Series by Porter-Cable and the newer LX models by Ryobi.
The PC Professional Sxx series can only be purchased at specialty retailers like ACE Hardware or small online stores. They are very powerful for their size, but they have an even shorter battery life than the M12. The specialty retailers also tend to be more expensive than buying online. The only advantage to these tools is that they can use more types of batteries.
They use the older S series, the newer SV series, the newer Li-ion and even the older Super-Rapid Batteries by PC (anyone remember those?
). This does give you some extra options if you already own a few older PC batteries.
The Ryobi’s LX series is only available at Home Depot and worth looking into. They are a professional series and very competitively priced.
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