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Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in New Tool Info | 0 comments

Cordless Tool Update

The world of cordless tools continues to be a race to see who can come out with a bigger battery first and who can develop a tool with a more powerful motor.


festool 18 volt 4 mode drill

festool 18 volt 4 mode drill

From Festool, the new 4 in 1 drill features a four-speed gearbox which provides loads of torque for hogging out material with large diameter drill bits and then quickly switches over to deliver 3,800 RPMs to blast through concrete with its hammer drill functionality. Of course this features a brushless motor, as their drills have for years, with a 5.2 li-ion battery. The Festool 4 in 1 ingeniously combines a drill, hammer drill and impact all in one tool. In addition they have a new cordless track saw that beats all.

cordless festool ts55c   track saw

cordless festool ts55c track saw

bosch wireless charging

bosch wireless charging


Bosch has a new wireless charging system as well as a socket ready impact that will handle 1/2″ sockets turning out 1650 in-lbs of torque as well as your traditional 1/4″ shank bit tips. 5 and 6 amp batteries are now available.






With the increase of battery power to 5 amp and the “coming soon” 6 amp batteries, you are seeing cordless tools that just a few years ago were not even feasible. Dewalt has a new cordless miter saw with a vertical capacity for
baseboard against the fence of 3-1/2″, crown molding vertically nested of 3-5/8″ or crown or base lying flat. It will cut 8″ @ 90 degrees. In addition you’ll get a tig welder that runs on 120 volt power or an internal li-ion cordless battery allowing you to run about 15 sticks on a single charge in the cordless mode at 140 amps in the tig mode and weighs about 25 pounds, making it very portable.



milwaukee tool 48-11-1850 5 amp red lithium battery

milwaukee tool 48-11-1850 5 amp red lithium battery

    • Milwaukee –With their latest Li-ion battery packs, Milwaukee doesn’t care about being first, they care about being the best.
    • Milwaukee Tool has a very strong following in the brushless motor world and will soon release their 2nd generation Fuel Brushless with a 18 volt hammer drill with a wrist twisting 1200 in lbs or 100 ft pounds of torque  and a 5 amp battery standard, a 2 speed gearbox topping out at 2000 r.p.m’s.
    • Next up will be a 6 amp battery and a 9 amp battery. Stay tuned. The 9 Amp should be a great upgrade for high draw tools, portaband-circular saw-hole hawg right angle drill-hand planer- mag drill-sds rotary hammer and the like but not really intended for a traditional drill or impact.
    • While it might not make sense to upgrade from a 4 to 5 amp battery, but  if you have some of the older 3 amp batteries that are loosing their power and  umph it might be time to upgrade your battery packs to the 6 amp when they arrive which will double your run time.
    • In addition Milwaukee Tool has come up with a way to get even more power from a brushless motor with increased efficiency of the magnets hence the 1200 in-pounds of torque in the generation 2 brushless tools.

 Be on the lookout for the 2897-22 due to start shipping in August 2015.

Check out our previous blog post on cordless



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Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in New Tool Info | 0 comments

Lithium Ion Batteries are Changing

It doesn’t seem like that long ago we were happy to have a 2.0 lithium ion battery. Lithium was such a better battery than ni-cad, we thought we had died and gone to heaven.

Then there was 3.0

Next came 4.0

Today we have 5.0 and a number of manufacturers are working on a 6.0

But the transportation community may have something to say as there are shipping restrictions on shipping lithium batteries over 5.0

The challenges of free enterprise!

Just how much power do we need? Or, is it that we want all we can have. Just like the computer industry, as computers get faster software keeps improving.

Cordless is the fastest growing sector of the power tool industry, with the introduction of brushless motors which deliver between 20-30% more power and in many applications rival an electric tool from a power standpoint.

Take a look at the video on the Milwaukee 7-1/4″ Circular Saw if in doubt.

Just had a visit from a major power tool company who has a prototype out for a cordless table saw.

Stay tuned as we race toward a better cordless tool

Check our previous comments on cordless



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Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in New Tool Info, Tool Repair Problems, Woodworking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

Ni-cad vs Lithium-Ion Batteries

Check out our latest video on Ni-ad Cordless Tools and Batteries vs the newest Lithium-Ion battery technology

Filming courtesy of Tom Tynan and Home Show Radio  



Steady advances in voltage and applications have made cordless tools the first choice on most projects for you and professionals. For years NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) batteries reigned supreme. Recently, though, they’ve been displaced by newer Lithium Ion battery technology.

Lithium-ion batteries are smaller in size, require less maintenance and are environmentally safer than Nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries. While they have similarities, Li-ion and NiCd batteries differ in their chemical composition, environmental impact, applications and costs.

Which battery is right for your cordless tool?

That depends on the job and your wallet. Typically, Lithium-ion batteries are smaller and lighter than a NiCad battery. Lithium-ion also two to three times more expensive than NiCad. On the other hand, Lithium-ion has virtually no self-discharge. This allows a lithium ion battery to be stored for months without losing charge.

One does not provide more power than the other. An 18V Lithium-ion battery has the same potential to deliver power as an 18V NiCad battery.18V is 18V. How long it provides it is another story. The best measure of run time is how many holes are drilled or how many boards cut on a single battery charge. In this test, Lithium-ion battery-powered tools win.

That has more to do with the efficiency of the tool than the battery itself. Brushless motors in most Lithium-ion-powered tools make better use of battery power. That leads to the misconception that the battery has more power.

NiCad batteries range in capacity from 1.3Ah to 3.0Ah. In comparison, Lithium-ion batteries range from 1.1Ah to 3.0Ah. Just as the gas tank size is only one factor in how far a vehicle can drive on a tank of gas, applications per battery charge factor in voltage, capacity and the efficiency of the tool. Clear as mud?

NiCad batteries

Nickel-cadmium batteries suffer from a “memory effect.” The battery remembers the point in their charge cycle where recharging began. During subsequent uses, voltage will drop at that point as if it had been discharged. That’s why it’s wise that you use a NiCad battery until it’s totally dead before recharging With this kind of proper use, a nickel-cadmium battery can last for 1,000+ cycles before losing capacity.

Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, are low maintenance. They resist the “memory effect” and tolerate a wider ranged of temperatures. Their only serious drawback is fragility. They also require protection circuit to keep working safely.

Both will perform for roughly the same number of cycles. While the Lithium-ion battery may provide more voltage, it does so at significantly higher cost compared to a NiCad battery.

Since absolute performance is roughly equal, choosing between Lithium-ion and NiCad batteries come down to simple differences: Lighter, longer-lasting and more expensive, or heavier, more consumable and cheaper. The choice is yours.

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Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in New Tool Info | 0 comments

Pick a Table Saw But Not Just Any Table Saw

When you decide it is time to invest in a new piece of equipment it is a really good idea to create a list of criteria to use for evaluation. This helps you to be sure you are comparing apples to apples. A table saw is such an essential component of your workshop I thought you would find it useful to know what criteria I use to evaluate and select my table saw(s).


Delta 78-940 Biesemeyer T-Square Auxiliary Fence


#1 Fence

Few accessories are as important as a good fence. Today almost all fences  are a modification of the time tested, shop proven Beismeyer style fence. This fence uses a 3 point contact on the fence head to ensure that it locks square to the blade every time; once it is adjusted that is. The repeatability of this fence means you don’t need a tape because it is already built into this system. It is a very accurate measuring system – learn to trust it and you won’t be sorry.



#2 Motor

Whenever possible I opt for  a 3 H.P. motor so that I have the ability to cut anything. Sometimes, however, home shops don’t have 220 volt power readily available. If this is the situation you are in then you will want to look at a hybrid saw, which is a very good alternative.

If you  do have 220 volt power but not the budget for the 3 H.P. then your best option is to go ahead and get the hybrid saw and rewire it for 220 volt. In this case a 1 1/2 H.P. hybrid motor that is wired on 220 volt will get you the performance of a 2 H.P. motor.  It’s a  simple way to get more power even if you can’t spring for the bigger motor.


Powermatic 1791230K 64B TABLE SAW 1.75 HP 115/230V 50″ FENCE WITH RIVING KNIFE


#3 Riving Knife

What the heck is a riving knife you ask.? A riving knife is the new style splitter mechanism that is directly behind the blade, but a riving knife moves with the blade keeping a constant distance between it and the blade. A riving knife moves with the blade since it is attached to the trunnion while a splitter is attached to the frame of the saw and as the blade is lowered the distance between the blade and splitter increases therefore the chance of a kickback can actually get worse and that is one reason most people will remove it along with the guard.

I know how much everyone loves blade guards but, even if you are the guy that throws his away as he is un-crating the saw you will want to put a riving knife on your  saw. It does not get in the way and since most table saw injuries are caused by kickback this will eliminate this danger. Take my advice – save your fingers with this handy knife, you’ll be very glad you did.

WARNING- If you use thin kerf saw blades make sure the riving knife on your new saw will accept them.



#4 Dust collection

Dust collection may be the last thing you are thinking of when deciding which saw you want to buy. In fact you may not even have a dust collector right now. I can almost guarantee, however, that before too long you are going to want one. What I’m saying is that before you make the final decision on your saw please check, and maybe even double check, that your new saw has a port that you can attach that dust collector to. (And, when you do get that dust collector please don’t hesitate to send me a note of thanks for reminding you about the port!)

#5 Availability of Parts and Service

There’s nothing worse than finding a good deal on a discontinued model of saw only to realize that finding parts and service for the “good deal” is almost impossible. When you invest in a major piece of equipment like a saw you want it to last for years, if not decades.

Since 1954 Circle Saw has offered parts repair and replacement to our customers. And, we are an authorized warranty center for Jet, Powermatic and Saw Stop. The bottom line… you can buy with confidence from Circle Saw.


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Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in New Tool Info, Show off your latest project, Tool Repair Problems, Woodworking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

IMPORTANT! Porter-Cable Recall

We’ve just learned that Porter-Cable has determined that because the handles on the 3 H.P fixed based routers are not insulated, a user could be shocked. Clearly, this represents a serious potential hazard which has prompted Porter Cable to issue this recall. The following models are affected by this recall:

  • 7518 5-speed
  • 7519 1-speed
  • 7519 EC 1-speed/has an extended chuck22
  • 7519-60 1-speed/uses 220-volt power source
How to resolve:

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled routers and router bases, unplug the routers and contact Porter-Cable for a free replacement router base with insulation on the handles. Porter-Cable can be contacted toll-free at (888) 344-7973 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday; by email at , or online at On the website you will need to click on Important Safety Notice/Recalls (at the very bottom of the page), then select 2014 for more information

Porter Cable Recalls 3-1/4 H.P. Routers

Porter Cable Recalls 3-1/4 H.P. Routers

Courtesy of the Consumer Product Safety Commission

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Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in New Tool Info, Woodworking Tips and Tricks | 0 comments

How to Pick the Right Table Saw Blade

When looking for the perfect saw blade for your table saw one of the first things to consider is the horsepower of your saw. While a 3 horsepower 220 volt or larger will do fine with a full kerf saw blade, lesser powered table saws such as contractor saws and bench top saws will do better with a thin kerf blade.  A thin kerf  blade will put less drain on your motor so that it does not slow down as much as a full kerf blade. You can certainly use full kerf blades on the lower powered saws, just realize they will not cut as fast. A full kerf blade is determined by the thickness of the carbide.  A full kerf blade is .125″ while a thin kerf blade  usually runs in the neighborhood of .093″ For ripping material on a 10″ table saw you want to be in the range of 18-30 teeth. For crosscutting, 60-80 teeth will give you a cleaner cut. If you are a one size fits all type of person a 40 or 50 tooth blade will do ok in all  operations, but excels in none.

Table Saw zero clearance insert

Zero Clearance Insert

For applications where you need a splinter free cut on both sides of sheet goods (plywood and melamine) a blade with an ATB or a Hi-ATB top grind and a hook angle ranging from a +2 degrees to a -6 degrees will give you the best cut; and, if you want the absolute best cuts add a zero clearance blade insert and size it to the blade you are using for sheet goods. My favorite for a great crosscut or for cutting sheet goods  is an ATAF blade. While not every manufacturer offers these, Tenryu, Diablo and Freud do. If you look closely, not only is the top of the tooth an alternating bevel ( hence the term atb ) but the face of the tooth also has a bevel, actually referred to as a shear angle, which slices through the material drawing less power from the motor but also giving a super clean cut. This tooth geometry is similar to a spiral router bit in that it shears more than cuts. ATAFR_ToothGeometry           Image courtesy of Tenryu Saw Blades         Saw blades are like shoes,  pick them wisely and they will give you long service for years to come,buy cheap ones and you will be replacing them soon and complaining all the time.  

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