Cordless Metal Cutting Circular Saw Blades

Some years ago Panasonic released a 12 volt metal cutting circular saw with a 4-3/8″ blade.  My first thoughts were this looks like an as seen on TV tool.  Then they started selling and fast.  These little tools were great for cutting mild steel like strut rod and EMT.  As a matter of fact, cutting threaded rod was now very easy as the tool left a clean burr free cut.  Later Panasonic released a larger 15.6 volt version as well.  Today you can find cordless metal cutting saws from DeWalt, Bosch, Makita, Milwaukee and many more.

The applications for cordless metal cutting saws include cutting EMT, ladder rack, basket tray, wall brackets and as mentioned earlier threaded rod.  HVAC installers many times use them for cutting duct.  The duct acts as a sound chamber hence the cordless metal cutting circular saws are often called “screamers”.   Cutting solid materials is loud but not near as loud as cutting hollow material.  Hearing protection and safety glasses are a definite requirement.

You can buy saws that are specifically metal cutting saws.  These tools feature more blade shielding which is important as the tools throw off a lot of tiny metal shavings.  An added consideration is that these application specific tools can match the RPM of the saw to the blade making for more efficient cuts.  If you already have a cordless circular saw or even a corded saw for that matter, metal cutting blades are readily available for mild steel, thin steel as well as aluminum and other non ferrous metals.  We handle cordless metal cutting blades from Tenyru.  Tenyru is well known for top quality circular saw blades and their metal cutters are no exception.  We are a full line Tenyru dealer so if you don’t see the blade your are looking for in our store, give us a call.

Cordless metal cutting saws are truly a nice little addition to your install tools.  As mentioned earlier you will find them from many of the top cordless tool manufactures.  Many of them offer a bare version of the tool to keep the cost down as you likely already have the batteries and charger.  Give one a try!


Ramset L652 LADD Ceiling Clips

Ramset sold a tool for years known as the LADD L1600 ceiling tool.  It was a very simple tool with hardly any moving parts.  You would load the single shot loadRamset L652 Ceiling Clip For LADD L1600 Tool in backwards, with the primer facing up and then insert the ceiling clip which had a special pin which had a dome on it.  The ceiling clip was Ramset part number L652 and was also known as a LADD ceiling clip. When you compressed the tool against the ceiling, the dome of the pin was pushed into the load setting off the load and driving in the pin.  The tool was loud but actually did a very nice job even in harder concrete.  The tool would screw on to a piece of pipe, so you could make your own extension pole for the tool as long as you liked.

The tool has been discontinued for some time but you will see them in use here and there.  We have stock on the original Ramset LADD L652 clip for use in the L1600 tool.  If you are looking to update your ceiling tool, we are recommending the Ramset Viper 4.  While Ramset has no longer carries the L652 ceiling clip, we currently have stock that we are clearing out, check out our closeout page.

Extension Pole For The Plastic Body Ramset Cobra Plus

pole tool for plastic body ramset cobra plus

If you have one of the plastic body Ramset Cobra Plus Tools sold by one of the big box stores, we now offer an extension pole to fit your gun.  If you check the picture, the latest Ramset Cobra Plus is a nylon body tool with a larger plastic housing on the front of the tool that also serves to dampen the noise of the tool.  If your tool looks like the one in the picture, click here to choose from either a 6′ extension or 8′ extension pole for to fit.  If your tool is a standard Cobra tool or the metal body Cobra Plus tool, check our install tool section for either the LS350-6 6′ extension or the LS350-8 8′ extension.

Using an extension pole with your Cobra Plus tool offers you several advantages including faster and safer installs.  Any time you can save a trip up a ladder, you are saving time and reducing risk of falls.  We recommend the 6′ pole tool wherever possible as it will accommodate most jobs.  The 8′ may be the answer for taller ceilings but down the road, on a lower ceiling, you may actually find yourself bending over to pull the trigger.

If you haven’t purchased a Ramset Cobra Plus tool as yet, please consider the standard Ramset Cobra Tool.  The standard Ramset Cobra is based on the time proven Hilti DX-350 tool.  The tool is fully serviceable and parts readily available.  The  Plus tool is offered in most big box stores and has gone through several versions.  Not only are parts sometimes hard to find but it can be hard just to identify, which tool you have.

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.

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.

Long SDS MAX Hammer Drill Bits For Hilti, Bosch, Milwaukee & Other Tools

extra length sds max bitsExtra long bits to fit SDS MAX rotary hammers can be hard to find, but many times are real necessity on the job.  Less common than the smaller SDS rotary hammers, SDS MAX rotary hammers are often used where larger holes are drilled on a routine basis.  SDS MAX rotary hammers are available from Hilti, Bosch, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Makita and others.  FYI, Hilti calls their bit a TEY bit but SDS MAX bits are totally interchangeable, so if you have a larger Hilti tool it takes an SDS MAX.  Long length SDS MAX bits are available in diameters starting at 1/2″ up to 1-3/8″ that will drill up to 31″ holes.  Many times in existing facilities like hospitals, schools and many older buildings, you will run into an application where you simply will need one of these longer length SDS MAX bits to get through the wall or floor.  Smaller hammers handle bits up to 3/4″ that will drill 31″ but after that, there simply is too much resistance for these smaller hammers to handle.  At that point, the SDS MAX Rotary hammer will fit the bill.  If you are not sure what type of shank you hammer drill takes, give us a call 1-877-212-2377 we will help you out.  Keep in mind that in addition to the longer length SDS MAX bits, we also have a complete line of SDS MAX core bits when you need holes up to 6″ in diamter.