Autumnal equinox tools, edition 2022
I’m a big fan of tools, I sell the tools that I don’t use anymore and buy new ones. Sometimes they stay in my collection for longer, even their lifetime, sometimes I sell them sooner. I don’t have too much storage space and I can’t keep them all, but maybe that’s OK, otherwise, I might have gone crazy. This time I’m going to review a couple of work lights, a cordless screwdriver and 2 sanders – tools for a workshop or to be used around the house. It is a good moment to share my experience with these tools and having a deadline helps to finish writing a post. The deadline for this one is this year’s autumnal equinox and it falls on September 23rd at 02:03 a.m.
Black+Decker BDCCF18N 18V compact flashlight is a handy work light that is always ready to use. I use it with a smaller 2 Ah battery to reduce its weight but of course, it can be used with any 18-volt battery. It has a pivoting head and is capable of up to 90 lumens of light. The handle provides a little additional comfort when holding the flashlight but it also allows you to stand the flashlight upright. The handle can be gripped with a maximum of 3 fingers and a thumb only and it’s too small for the whole hand. Of course, the light can be used in many situations, in night and day or whenever an extra source of light is needed. I like to use it during my spraying jobs to check the quality of a finish and also in the house, even to check if the chicken in the oven is ready to go.
Work light Bosch GLI 18V-2200 is very bright and produces 2200 lumens, which is quite impressive! I mainly use it for my decorating jobs and having 2 charged batteries is usually enough for a day. This is a big and quite heavy tool, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need. It’s splash and dustproof, its battery cover has a gasket. The light offers 2 brightness settings and 5 adjustment angles. What I like about it is the fact that it’s cordless and it still performs just like a traditional light, if not better. Contrary to Black+Decker batteries (especially 36V) and chargers, Bosch batteries have never given me any trouble and Bosch chargers are fast and fan cooled. They also have an ultra-fast mode which can be used in some urgent situations.
Cordless screwdriver Black+Decker CS3652LC 3.6V is more a gadget than a tool. It has a right-angle attachment and that was the reason I bought it. It’s well built and does the job, but I’ve noticed that some B+D tools have their labels poorly attached, they wrinkle and come loose and that way the tools look cheap. But other than that, it does what it’s supposed to do and I especially like its (not so) hidden feature – a work light. When the sliding switch is moved in between the forward and backward position, it sets the tool into the flashlight mode, when you press the trigger it doesn’t spin and becomes a flashlight. The screwdriver doesn’t have a battery level or a charging indicator, you leave it plugged in for 15 hours and it should be fully charged. This is a little too long for a tool – that’s why I call it a gadget. For precise adjustments, this tool can be used as a regular screwdriver – without pressing the trigger. So basically, for small, not frequent jobs this may be the only screwdriver you need.
Triton TSPST450 450W oscillating spindle and belt sander is one of these Triton tools that disappointed me and I decided to not buy any of Triton tools in the future. It required a lot of tuning, I fixed what I could but some things couldn’t be fixed. The main spindle is now nice and square, because of the washers I added below the motor fixture. The black backing plate, however, isn’t perfectly square to the table and it’s not flat. This is the main component that supports the sanding belt from the back and it’s just badly designed. The plastic body of the sander offers many pockets and slots for storing sleeves and accessories, I don’t use them at all. I keep all the stuff in a separate container. When I’m finished with sanding it’s just easier for me to blow off any dust from the sander and not blow away all these accessories. What I like is that I can sand curves square to the face (sides) of the workpiece, that is the belt spins from left to right at 90º to the worktop. I had another belt sander in the past, a different make, that used a vertical belt spinning from top to bottom, but there was very little control over sanding curves. It also looked less safe than this one. The safety of use is what I like about this Triton sander, horizontal belt sanders give an impression of being safer than vertical sanders, at least to me. This one is also light and easy to move from place to place.
Bosch PSS 250 AE 250W 1/3 sheet sander is in use more often than the other random orbital sander because it’s less aggressive and can sand in corners. It’s also better than a random orbital sander for sanding small parts. It’s very helpful in situations where the workpiece or the area is smaller than the backing pad – it does the job and leaves a flat workpiece, not curved towards the edges. I can tell from my experience that finishing sanders equipped only with clamps perform much worse than velcro pad ones. It looks like the velcro pads do all the difference – sanding sheets stay in place, don’t slip and are easy to replace. There’s a smaller version of this tool – a 1/4 sheet sander, but this one is easier to hold and operate and that means more control and precision. All these features combine together and offer an excellent tool.