Are Cordless Rotary Hammer Drills Worth The Cost?

Is a cordless rotary hammer rill worth the cost? While the initial outlay can be double or even triple what you are paying for a corded tool, consider a few facts that will help you decide if they are worth the spend.

Convenience. While we don’t often think of the convenience factor when looking at a power tool, really that is what it is all about with cordless tools. A cordless rotary hammer drill is always at the ready (assuming you keep your batteries charged!). You won’t be spending time looking for your power, running a cord and then rolling the cord back up. Open the case and drill, put the tool back in the case, easy.

Power. There was a time when cordless rotary hammer drills were only considered for use in lightweight applications like 3/16” holes. Today’s tools arecordless rotary hammer incredibly powerful rivaling corded tools of the same capacity. For instance the new Bosch GBH18V-26K24 will out work many corded hammers. When you pull the trigger, you can just feel the power. Most of these tools are now rated for thin wall core bits as well, making them even more useful.

Run Time. New battery technology is the driving force behind the increase in usefulness of all cordless tools. Most cordless hammers are packed with 2 battery packs and most of the batteries included have increased mah capacity. Remember in the world of batteries, all things being equal, mah represents your gas tank or run time, more mah, more run time. If you have stayed away from a cordless rotary hammer because of run time, trust me you won’t be disappointed.

Cord Cost. One hidden cost to consider on any cordless tool is extension cord cost. A good quality extension cord can be very expensive and they can have a short life span on the site with all the traffic. Cords are a common theft item on the site as well. And did you know, using long extension cords can actually damage your corded tool?

Safety. Safety, safety, safety! More and more time is being spent on job site safety and a lot of focus is being put on concrete dust, including that resulting from Cordless Rotary Hammerhammer drilling concrete. Here is where a cordless rotary hammer drill can really shine. Many of the current tools can be purchased as a fully self -contained dustless unit with the vacuum on board. Not only can you purchase a dustless rotary hammer cheaper than buying a corded hammer and separate vacuum, consider the space needed in your truck, each truck to haul the unit. Add to that dragging it around a busy site, tripping over the cords or working on a ladder, a cordless rotary hammer drill is a no brainer.

Warranty. Most power tools have a 1 year warranty. But did you know that most cordless tools have a better warranty, some between 3-5 years? Many of these warranties require you to register your tool, but that is really a small price to pay for such an excellent warranty.

Consider the points above when you are looking to add a hammer drill. I think you will find some real benefits from purchasing a cordless rotary hammer drill.

Malco MSHC Dual Sided Magnetic Driver

Malco MSHC 1/4" - 5/16" Dual-Sided Hex Chuck DriveHere is a great little driver you will find useful in all kinds of applications, the Malco MSHC Dual Sided Magnetic Driver.  The foremost feature you will notice on the driver is the dual driver, 1/4″ on one side and 5/16″ on the other.  You will find many hex screws fall in to that range.  For instance,  most #8 hex sheet metal and hex self drilling screws will have a 1/4″ head and the #10 & #12 of the same type of screws will have a 5/16″ head.  Moving to your tapcon type anchors, the 3/16″ hex head tapcon will have a 1/4″ head and the 1/4″ will have a 5/16″ head.  With this one driver you can handle a large portion of your screw driving.  If you are a sheet metal guy, you know that most every screw you install will be a 1/4″ or 5/16″ head.  But there is another advantage to having the dual head.

Easy Magnet Cleaning With The Malco MSHC Driver.  One of the frustrations with magnetic drivers is that they are magnetic and hold any metal shavings that may develop.  Cleaning the shavings out of a regular socket can be hard if not impossible.   Soon you have a build up that makes it harder for the screw to seat properly in the driver.  If you check out the video for the driver you will see how easy it is to clean.  Simply pop off the socket and you can pull the shavings off.  Check out the  Malco MSHC Dual Sided Magnetic Driver along with a video on it at CosntructionFastening.Net

Choosing The Correct Power Level For Ramset & Hilti PAT Tools

Choosing the correct power level for use in your Ramset, Hilti, Simpson, Powers or other powder actuated tool is easy when you keep in mind a few basic principles and understand what the different power levels are.

As a rule of thumb, you will want to use the lowest power level that will get the job done.  This provides a safe fastening and demands less of your PAT tool.  Keep in mind, that in concrete you are typically looking for ¾”  to 1” embedment and in steel, you are looking for a embedment of ½”.  There are some variables such as if the steel is thinner than ½”  you will pierce it which is fine.  When choosing a pin for your application, keep these numbers in mind and you will have the correct length of pin.  At that point, you want to start with the lowest power level available for the tool.   Usually when you have the correct power level, you will still have some of the fluting still left on the pin after you install.  If your pin doesn’t set to the desired depth, jump up to the next power level.

Power levels for Ramset and Hilti tools are somewhat standard throughout the industry, all though you will see some exceptions here and there for specific tools and applications.   Loads are distinguished by numbers and color.  For numbers, low to high, 1-5.  They are also identified by color going from low to high: Brown, Green, Yellow and Red.  For the strip and disc loads you may not find the brown very easily, start with green and you should be fine.  It is important that you test your tool rather than just compare it with what others are using on the job.  Different tools may be set a little different.  For instance, a yellow in a disc tool may closer to the power developed by a strip tool with the same color load.  Power loads for Ramset, Hilti, Simpson, Powers & other PAT tools.

Some tools have a power adjustment feature.  I am not a big fan of these tools (more working parts) but they offer you the luxury of stocking just one power level.  Remember though, they can only drop the power level of a load, not increase what you have.

Most of our customers have enough experience that they can look at the application and just know what power level they will use.  Most settle in on 2 different power levels for their trade.  If you are new to using a PAT, invest in a couple boxes of every power level available for your tool.

To sum it all up, start with the lowest power level for your tool and work your way up until your pin is setting to your desired depth.  Choosing the correct power level for your Ramset or Hilti tool will ensure a safe working environment along with trouble free operation.

Stainless Steel Bridle Rings

Stainless Steel Bridle Rings Stainless Steel Bridle RingsStainless Steel Bridle Rings.  If your application is in a harsh environment containing certain chemicals or outdoor use, you may be looking for a stainless steel bridle ring.  Our bridle rings are 316 stainless for added corrosion resistance.  Available in both 1-1/4″ and 2″ diameters with either a screw end made to screw directly into wood or a 1/4-20 thread version.  The 1/4-20 thread stainless steel bridle ring can be used in conjunction with a beam clamp, Sammy Screw or concrete anchor for installation.  While designed for installation of cable, we know our customers are finding many outdoor uses for them including marine and garden applications.

All of our stainless steel bridle rings are sold in packages of 20 to help you buy just what you need for the project.  If you need help finding a suitable anchor for your install, give us a call toll free at 1-877-212-2377 and we will do our best to help out.  While you likely won’t find many installs requiring a stainless bridle ring, when you need them, you now have a source!

Simpson Titen HD Anchors

While you have many options for fastening racks and other fixtures to concrete and block, but have you tried the Simpson Strongtie Titen HD Anchor?    The Titen HD anchor is a concrete screw anchor that is easy to install and leaves you with a nice finished hex head.  The anchor is also removable making it perfect for temporary installs or future moves.

Installing The Simpson Strongtie Titen HD Anchor
Installation of the anchor is simple.  Drill a hole the same diameter as the anchor, so for a 3/8″, drill a 3/8″ hole about an inch deeper than intended installation clean the  hole and install.   The Titen HD has are real advantage over some of the competitive anchors that use special bits or even strange hard to find fractional bits.  Everyone has a 3/8″ or 1/2″ hammer drill bit, but 7/16″ or 9/16″, not so likely.  A cordless impact driver makes quick work of driving in the anchor.

Simpson Strongtie Titen HD anchors are available in diameters from 1/4″ to 3/4″  in a variety of lengths.  The standard finish is zinc which works well for most interior work but you can find mechanically galvanized and even stainless steel for more demanding environment.

Check out the video below to see how fast and easy the Simpson Strongtie Titen Anchor installs.  Available online at ConstructionFastening.Net


Replacement For The Ramset J Master L1701 Ladd Clips

ramset ladd clip j master l1700 l1701 l1801The Ramset J Master Ladd clip, part number L1701 for bar joist installations and the L1801 for purlins have been discontinued by Ramset.  Both clips were installed with the L1700 install tool.  The good news is we have a replacement for all three that will offer you a few advantages, including a tool to tie the grid wire for you.  More about the Purlin Master at the end of the post.  The Purlin Master tool will allow you to something with our  bar joist and purlin clips that you could never do before with the Ramset L1700 or L1801.

For the Ramset L1701 Bar Joist Clip  

Our replacement for the Ramset L1700 bar joist clips is the VOH14 clip.  This clip mounts to 1/16″ to 1/4″ vertical flanges typical with bar joists.  The clip can be used with the Ramset L1700 tool but a better choice is the HOIT-AL which features a spring lock that snaps into the clip so it will be more stable while you install.   These clips are available pre tied in lengths of ranging from 4′ to 8′.

For the Ramset L1801 Purlin Clip   

To replace the Ramset part number L1801 purlin clip, we are offering the ADOC14 clip.  As with our bar joist clip, this clip can be installed with the Ramset L1700 tool but the HOIT-AL is the recommended tool.  Our purlin clip is angled for use on z purlins.  If you have a vertical flange purlin we would recommend the VOH14.  At this time we are not offering the ADOC14 purling clip pre tied on our site, but you can give us a call and we can do it for you.

For the Ramset L1700  

As mentioned above the HOIT-AL is what we are using in place of the L1700 tool.  The real advantage for the HOIT-AL tool is how it allows you to click the bar joist or purlin clip securely on the the tool so it is nice and steady as you raise the clip to the ceiling.  Like the Ramset L1700 tool, the HOIT-S can be mounted on piece of 1/2″ EMT pipe with a set screw connector or if you have the Lamgaster Plus tool, there is a plug that will accept the tool.

If you install bar joist clips or purlin clips, you really need to check out the video on the Purlin Master tool.  The Purlin Master not only installs bar joist an purlin clips, it ties the grid wire on the clip for you, all from the floor!  Please keep in mind the Purlin Master will only work with our VOH14 and ADOC14 clips.  

Chuck Extender Drill Extension Tool

Chuck extender drill extensionThe new Chuck Extender tool lends itself to so many applications. For instance, the CE-2 is a 27.5″ fixed length making it perfect for applications where you are drilling or fastening to the floor, no more bending over! The Chuck Extender is available in 3 sizes. The CE-2 is fixed at 27.5″, the CE-3 is a two stage tool that extends from 40.5″ to 64.5″ and the CE-3 that extends from 77″ to 139.5″. So what are some of the applications?  Any drilling extension application such as hole saws, spade bits, high speed bits etc. where you need the reach.  One application that we have heard of that is a real back saver is drilling holes in steel decks to drop in Blue Banger rod hanger anchors and support rod anchors that are installed before the pour. Other applications  for the Chuck Extender include installing screws and screw in type anchors like the Sammy Screw. To be honest, we know that there are many more that we simply haven’t seen or heard of yet, but we are confident you will find all kinds of uses for this great little tool!  Includes 3/8″ key less chuck.

Batteries & Chargers For Ramset Trakfast & T3 Tools

Ramset Trakfast T3 T3SS Batteries Chargers

Ramset Trakfast T3 T3SS Batteries Chargers

Ramset Trakfast and T3 tools are know for shaving time off the job.  Sometimes though even what should normally be  a quick job can get 30 minutes added to it simply because of tired batteries.  Most nicad batteries only get so many cycles (charge and run) before they will start to loose capacity.  If your batteries are not holding a charge very long any more or if you have been limping along on just one or two batteries, adding a new one can really cut down on frustration and save you real time.  Choosing the correct battery for your Ramset Trakfast tools is fairly simple.  The original Ramset Trakfast tool, the TF1000 and the TF1200 use a cylndrical battery as shown at the far left in image above.  Part number on the battery is 7505012.   If you have the latest version of the Trakfast the TF1200 your battery is the newer version (shown in the center abvoe) that clicks into the tool, part number is B0092.  This in my opinion was a huge upgrade for the Trakfast line as the TF1100 tools were known for problems with the battery connections.  This click in style battery solved the problem.  This same battery, B0092 is used in the Ramset T3Mag and the T3SS tools as well.

Another real improvement  from the very first gas tools offered by Ramset is the charger.  The original chargers were always suspect to the batteries not settling in properly for a good connection.  The new charger, part # B0022 is  a dual bay charger and works with the original Trafkast tool batteries along with newer style batteries used by the TF1200, T3Mag and T3SS.  Such a simple idea adds so much to the usefulness of the tool!

So there you have it,  a little basic info on batteries and chargers for the Ramset Trakfast and T3 tools.  You can find batteries and chargers for these tools along with pins fuel cells and parts online at ConstructionFastening.Net or give us a call toll free at 1-877-212-2377.

Lubrication For Hilti, Ramset, Simpson & Other P.A.T. Tools

cleaning ramset hilti toolsWe get asked all the time, “what should I use to clean my Hilti or Ramset tool?”  Usually what the customer is hoping for is a cleaner that they can spray on and their done.  Really cleaning your Ramset, Hilti, Simpson or any powder actuated tool is a two part process.  Step 1 is to remove built up powder on the tool.  In our shop we have a bench grinder that makes cleaning the outer surfaces of the barrel very easy to clean.  For the inside, we use a stiff wire brush.  One trick is to cut the handle off and stick the wire brush in a cordless drill for quick work of the inside of the barrels.  If you don’t have a bench grinder, wire brushes and a little elbow grease will do the job.  Your goal is to remove the built up powder as best you can.  Most tools come with brushes but we do stock a cleaning kit with brushes and lube.  Step 2 is the lubrication of the parts.  We favor the Tri Flow product for our in house repair and cleaning work.   We like to spray the parts and let them set for a minute or two.  Tri Flow has teflon that will leave a light film that seams to make subsequent cleanings a little easier.  Whatever you use, Tri Flow, WD40 or a gun cleaning lube,  DRY THE PARTS OFF!  If you don’t dry the lube, powder will stick to the tool making it much dirtier, much faster.  So how often should you clean the tool?  Well, if you clean your garage once every 5 years, it doesn’t hurt the garage any buy you sure have to work a lot harder to get it clean than if you just maintain it once and a while.  Same with your Ramset  & Hilti tools.  A quick clean every 300-500 shots is much easier than trying to do it when it has fired  a few thousand rounds and won’t operate smoothly.

Bit Tips & Drivers Designed For Impact Drivers

 impact tech bits for impact driversIf you use an impact driver, you can attest to the fact that they are great little lightweight tools.  You also may have noticed you are snapping a lot of tips and drivers. Impactech bits, holders and drivers are designed to reduce breakage.  They have a built in torsion design that allows them to flex and absorb impact much better than standard bits.  Standard bits can snap at only 19 degrees of toque.  In testing the Impactech bits achieved a 55 degree rotation before breakage.    When you combine the impact bit with the impact bit holder, you end up with two torsion areas.  Our contractors are telling us these are the best tips they have used to date.   A hidden savings we like to point out is found in the down time and frustration snapping tips causes or even damage to the work surface.  Tips are available in phillips, straight, square and torx in lengths up to 6″ along with a variety of sockets and bit tip holders.  If you don’t see what you are looking for give us a call.