TOM KRAEUTLER: Welcome to this edition of The Money Pit's Top Products Podcast. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
Well, the news is out, and it is good – home improvement spending is up, and most of the activity comes from homeowners fixing up what they have because they can't necessarily afford to move.
But if you're investing in your home, it is also a good idea to invest in quality tools that will carry you through the long-term. Here to talk about some tools that can do just that is David Lee. David Lee is the Director of Global Product Marketing for DeWalt Power Tools Accessories.
DAVID LEE: Hi, Tom, thanks for having me.
TOM KRAEUTLER: So accessories have really come a long way. There are lots of ways, even if you are a hardcore tool user, to find accessories that make all your projects just that much easier.
And, today, we're going to talk about two of those accessories, one of which is a saw blade technology that you've come up with, and the other is an impact-ready Cleanable Nut Driver.
So let's start by talking about the Precision Trim saw blade product.
DAVID LEE: Sure. And as you mentioned, the accessory is going to have a huge impact on the performance of the tool and how you perform the application. And this particular range of saw blades is for miter saws and table saws, and for delivering quality cuts. And we've come out with some additional technology to what's been in the marketplace to help improve that quality of cut.
And the first blade we're talking about is the Precision Trim. And one of the things that is different about the saw blade and one of the things we tried to address is the need to cut accurate cuts and clean cuts.
One of the things that happens when you have a blade traveling on a saw and moving very quickly is that there is a lot of vibration.
TOM KRAEUTLER: Right.
DAVID LEE: And one of its – we found kind of a new innovative way to control that vibration and control the accuracy of the cut, and it is actually, if you look at the blade, you will see some what we call anti-vibration slots that have been laser-cut into the plate.
TOM KRAEUTLER: Yeah, isn't that pretty typical for saw blades to have vibration slices in them? Is there something different about the way these are done?
DAVID LEE: There is. That's a great point. You'll see different and different orientations of slots on many different high-end woodworking saw blades. What we've done different is used some simulation technology to actually determine where to put the slots and the orientation of the slots so that it actually reduces vibration.
Typically, what you'll see are slots on saw blade plates, and they're often – they call them expansion slots, so to help prevent warping and things of that nature.
TOM KRAEUTLER: I see.
DAVID LEE: But what is most beneficial is this ability to control the vibration, and we've designed these specifically to accomplish that.
TOM KRAEUTLER: So, as a guy who has spent many years building custom stairs and railings - it was one of the jobs that put me through college – I'm definitely very sensitive to the fineness of the saw cut. If we didn't get a good cut, we couldn't assemble the hardwoods that we were working with.
And I also spent a lot of time working with trim as a trim carpenter and, in that role, same kind of thing – if you didn't have a clean blade, it made your job a lot tougher because you had a lot of extra fray in that wood.
What I didn't realize, though, based on what you're saying, is that that fray and that roughness of that cut come as much, I guess, from the sharpness of the blade as it does from the vibration of the blade. Is that true?
DAVID LEE: That's true. There's – and we'll talk about the tips in a minute. That's certainly a big, important factor, but another huge factor in saw blade performance that most people don't realize is the plate itself.
The quality of the plate and how you control a plate when it is spinning – and that's exactly what we're speaking of – and this new plate technology has a big difference and has a huge impact on actual performance in the cleanliness of that cut and also the feel when you're cutting. If you think, when a blade vibrates, it is moving back and forth, so you're actually cutting a wide pass through that material, and when you reduce that vibration, it is actually a smaller pass, and you can feel that and actually a smoother cut in addition to the finish.
TOM KRAEUTLER: We're talking with David Lee. He's the Director of Global Product Marketing for DeWalt Power Tool Accessories.
Now, what about the coatings that are on blades today? I know that there are a number of different ones. You guys have a product you've added to the blade, called Tough Coat. Is it sort of like Teflon for the saw blade?
DAVID LEE: It does. That is exactly what it is. There is a portion of Teflon in the coating that helps to reduce resistance. That is correct.
TOM KRAEUTLER: Oh, so it is Teflon.
DAVID LEE: That's right. There's an element of Teflon in the coating. That's correct.
TOM KRAEUTLER: So what kinds of projects do you recommend the Precision Trim blades to be most effective with?
DAVID LEE: Well, where we really focused on that is – hence, by the name – those trim applications - cutting crown molding, cutting all types of hardwoods. Anywhere where you want a thin-curve woodworking quality cut, that is what these blades are designed for, and the trim carpenter is at top of mind for these applications.
TOM KRAEUTLER: As a former trim carpenter, you know, we always used to say, "The more teeth, the better." Do the Precision Trim blades – is there only one blade, or are there a number of ones where you can choose based on how many teeth, or does that not matter anymore?
DAVID LEE: No, it definitely matters. It is a great point. And where there is – we have 12 different blades that range in diameter from 8-1/2 inches to 10 inches and 12 inches, so for any table saw, miter saw, I think we have it pretty well covered. And for the two-count, we start for the small diameters and as few as 24 up to 80 teeth. And then, for the 12-inch blades, we go up to 100 teeth.
What you said is an important point because, obviously, the more teeth you have the finer the finish.
TOM KRAEUTLER: Right.
DAVID LEE: So you have to slow down the cut a little bit or it will be naturally slower when they have more teeth. But, in the finish, the quality cut certainly improves with the more teeth you have.
TOM KRAEUTLER: David Lee is the Director of Global Product Marketing for DeWalt Power Tool Accessories.
So another power tool accessory that you guys are developing is called a Cleanable Nut Driver. This is one of those products that you think of, "Why didn't I invent that?" And, "What took so long?"
DAVID LEE: [Chuckles] Exactly. And this is – well, one of the things about our group is we spend a lot of time talking with end users and on job sites and, to be honest with you, the idea came from the end user here. And when we would talk about frustrations they would have in completing everyday tasks or applications, we couldn't talk to a person on – particularly on someone that is fastening metal fasteners; they all use hex head fasteners and use nut drivers to accomplish this.
TOM KRAEUTLER: Yep.
DAVID LEE: And metal shavings build up in the end of that nut driver. It only takes a number of screws for this to happen, and when it does and can no longer seat and hold that fastener properly, it is a real challenge.
TOM KRAEUTLER: So there's a lot of downtime. They have to stop to clean it, or they start to strip the heads and that sort of thing. Right?
DAVID LEE: Exactly. And so this is a very simple concept, and we basically have a button on the side where you slide, and it raises the magnet up and exposes it so you can clean it and remove those shavings, and get back to doing your job.
TOM KRAEUTLER: Really simple operation and really handy. So I guess, you know, once you pick one of these up, you never want to kind of head to the job without it.
DAVID LEE: Exactly. And this is small and, as simple as it is, this makes a huge difference to someone's life if they're using it for their living. And we have gotten a great response from users on this product.
TOM KRAEUTLER: Good. Well, well done.
David Lee from DeWalt, thanks so much for filling us in on today's edition of The Money Pit Top Products Podcast.
If you'd like more information on these products, you can head on over to the DeWalt website, which is DeWalt.com - spelled D-E-W-A-L-T(dot)com – or you pick up the phone and call them at 1(800) 4DEWALT. That's the number 4 D-E-W-A-L-T.
DAVID LEE: Thank you, Tom. Appreciate the time.
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