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TOOL NEWS: Rockwell shows new cordless tools to WOOD Magazine

If you’re not familiar with the line of new Rockwell tools—sold at Menards home centers as well as online retailers such as Amazon.com—then let me bring you up to date. For decades, Rockwell was one of the standards in woodworking machinery, and later changed its name to Delta Machinery (after starting out as Delta back in the 1930s). Now another U.S.-based company is licensing the Rockwell name for its own brand of portable power tools.

Rockwell's Mike Mangan talks about the H3 Rotary Hammer

Rockwell's Mike Mangan talks about the H3 Rotary Hammer

Rockwell’s Mike Mangan stopped by the WOOD Magazine shop Thursday to show us the new offerings from his company, predominantly 12-volt lithium-ion cordless tools. (Rockwell’s Lithium-Tech tools feature a neon-green housing, while its nickel-cadmium cordless line and corded tools are gray and light bronze in color.)

First is a 12-volt lithium-ion compact drill/driver, which sells with two batteries and charger for $130. It has two speeds with a variable-speed trigger, 16 clutch settings, 3/8″ three-jaw chuck, and an LED light. This tool weighs just 2.2 lbs.

RK2510K2_12V Lith Drill-Driver

Next is a 12-volt multi-function impact driver with a 1/4″ quick-connect chuck. This tool uses a four-position selector switch to provide drilling, screwdriving, and impact modes. In drilling mode it has a top speed of 2,200 rpm. Switch to screwdriving mode and it tops out t 600 rpm. Then go to one of two impact modes for up to 3,000 impacts per minute. This tool sells for $200 with two batteries and charger. (The charger also has a USB port for charging cell phones, laptop computers, or digital music devices such as an iPod.

WOOD Magazine Tools Editor Bob Hunter checks out the impact driver.

WOOD Magazine Tools Editor Bob Hunter checks out the impact driver.

RK2515K2_12V 3-in-1 impact Driver

Also new in the 12-volt lithium-ion line is the H3 Rotary Hammer Drill. This tool provides users with the best of two worlds: a concrete-drilling tool that doubles as a standard drill. The tool features a Special Direct System (SDS) chuck that’s standard on rotary hammers, and uses bits with the mating slots to hold them securely. It produces 4,800 blows per minute, and Mangan says it will drill 15 1/4″ holes in concrete on a single charge. Switch to standard drilling mode with a speed up to 900 rpm, insert the included standard three-jaw chuck, and you’re in business to drill in wood. Despite its heavy-duty features, this tool weighs just 3 lbs and sells for $180 with two batteries and charger.

RK2513K2_12V H3 Rotary Hammer Drill

Also new in the 12-volt line is a cordless version of Rockwell’s SonicCrafter multifunction oscillating tool. Its variable-speed motor lets the attachments move from 5,000 to 20,000 oscillations per minute. It sells for $170 with two batteries and charger. This tool cuts, saws, sands, and scrapes using different attachments. You get seven attachments with the tool plus 20 triangular sheets of sandpaper.

RK2514K2_12V Lith SoniCrafter

For more information, go to rockwelltools.com or call Rockwell at 866-514-ROCK.

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