Hitachi UR 18DSDL Site Radio -Wedge Shaped Sound

Aimed at:- Anyone who needs a tough radio – mostly site pros I guess.

Pros:- Bluetooth, phone charging and good sound and lots more.

Dedicated worksite radios are now quite common. Thank goodness.  The old paint-and-plaster-splattered, slightly out of tune, and usually very loud, radio tuned to Radio 1 is now nearly a thing of the past. The wonders of Bluetooth, MP3 players and new broadcasting technology mean that site workers have no excuses for poor sound quality and endless audio rubbish. Workers and clients can breathe a collective sigh of relief. In fact I had a client come over and examine the Hitachi a couple of weeks ago because he did not believe that the sound he heard (some Bob Dylan if you must know) was coming from something that he didn’t recognize as a radio.

I am rather taken with the shape of the Hitachi UR 18DSDL  - it is a bit like a Hitachi Black and Green cheese wedge trapped inside a wedge shaped cage. This not only looks very modern and “designer” but clearly the outside cage provides some bump protection, an assortment of ways to carry it and a stable base on which it can be sat. Even on a dirty and dusty worksite, only the cage will be in contact with the muck. 

Modern listeners have become fussy, so it is not enough to simply have a radio – lots of other features have to be included too. This radio has to be set up like any other electronic device like a phone or tablet. Time to head for the instructions!

Probably the key thing here is fitting the backup batteries into a small compartment contained within the main 18v battery compartment at the back of the radio. It is a bit of a fiddly job, but once done should last a long time.

A standard 14.4 or 18v Hitachi battery is probably the most common power source for the radio on site. All you need to do is open the back compartment and slide it in on the rails provided.

There is also a mains adaptor provided with the kit should you run out of battery and are lucky enough to have mains power on site.

Now you can set the time, date, alarm, sleep etc etc settings using conventional computer logic. Anyone used to setting up a tablet or phone or games console would be very familiar with this process. To tell you the truth I wondered about all the settings – it is just a site radio isn’t it? But a short poll amongst a few friends soon showed me. Apparently you never know when you might need these functions, so better have them than not.

The radio can receive DAB, AM and FM bandwidths, so users should have all they need, including listening to England (hopefully) winning the cricket on Test Match Special or on Five Live.  There is a choice of manual or automatic station selection and users can then select presets so that they can go to the stations they want very quickly. The folding antenna on the back of the machine can be adjusted for the best reception.

Digital radio can be very sophisticated and a good listening experience and this Hitachi has its DRC (Dynamic Range Control) system that can make quieter sounds easier to hear when the radio is used in a noisy site environment.

Equally, bass and treble can be adjusted to suit, so there really is no need for distorted sound whichever station or method you are using to listen.

I am a happy iPod user, and I love the idea of having only my choice of listening on hand, especially when I am on my own in the workshop where my choices won’t affect anyone else. The Hitachi is capable of playing back from smartphones, MP3 and other devices. Some devices small enough (like iPods) can be fitted into the front of the radio. Simply open the front cover and adjust the ratcheted holders left or right to hold the device securely. It took me only a few minutes to set up my iPod to play via Bluetooth through the radio. Simply select Bluetooth mode on the radio and on the device, and enable them to pair before listening!

Some devices will need either an L cable or straight cable to connect with the radio; both are cheap and easily available.

Smartphones and other small devices can also be charged via a USB cable connection to the radio in every other mode except AM mode. As long as the volume isn’t past 21 level, charging should take place.

There is a lot more to like about this Hitachi apart from its practicality. The two big speakers on each end of the radio provide good quality sound in stereo, where possible.

The wedge shape is quite compact and makes it easy to place the radio in a position where it is stable and not that easy to knock over. I found that I could run the radio for several days before I needed to recharge the main 18v batteries that I used. In the workshop, with easy access to mains power, it made sense to use the AC adaptor.

Just about everyone I asked commented on the quality of the sound. It is great to have the adjustments for bass and treble so that both music and speech radio sound good and are easier to hear.  Having all the radio options, FM, AM and DAB, means that you can have the sound quality and the stations that you wanted. Some of my clients thought that was a great idea – especially the more elderly ones to whom slightly out of tune Radio 1 was not their favourite!

The control panel is logical and easy to use, providing lots of options for the way in which to use the device. All in all, I think the Hitachi UR 18DSDL is a well thought out, well-designed piece of kit that I am sure many Hitachi users will adopt wholeheartedly. Adopting a battery platform these days means that brand loyalty is a major part of deciding which bits of kit to buy, so I think it might be a shame if this radio doesn’t get more of a following. Oh well, there is always the mains adaptor option! 

 

Click here for more on Hitachi, inculding  Power Tools reviews, such as the CV 18DBL Cordless Multi ToolCS Chainsaw.

For more information on Hitachi Products within the Tool Trade, please visit www.hitachi-powertools.co.uk

Draper Hard Graft Wipes -Effective Cleaners and Antibacterial Too!

Aimed at: pros and amateurs alike who need to clean up difficult things like grease and glues.

Pros: Easy to use, lots of them and big wipes too.

Wipes and cleaners have become very much part of the tool market as Health and Safety concerns have inevitably focused on healthy skin too. The days are gone when cleaning up was done with powerful solvents that left hands and skin stinging and dry. I confess that I always have a canister of wipes in my workshop and I use them regularly to clean away a variety of glues, paints, varnishes and oils.

The new Draper Hard Graft Wipes come in a large black and orange tub that holds 90 wipes. Opening the flip top lid seal the first time reveals a foil covering that seals the wipes for a good shelf life. Once this seal is broken you have to pull the first wipe from the centre of the roll. A simple system of grooves in the lid guides the wipe so that it can be pulled through and then separated from the next one, which is trapped in the groove ready to be pulled out for next time. The lid actually provides a decent enough seal to prevent the wipes from drying out.

Testing wipes is a good excuse for getting dirty hands, and it says on the container that Hard Graft Wipes are effective on glues, oils, sealants and paint – although this list is clearly not exhaustive.

Accordingly, my first job was to check and top up the oil in my car as this inevitably results in greasy, oily hands. I did all the other maintenance checks too, and when my hands were suitably dirty I pulled out a wipe and cleaned my hands. Results were pretty well immediate – the oil was quickly transferred from my hands to the wipe and I was left with sweet smelling, slightly slippery hands. If left for a while, the slippery feeling soon evaporates, but if you want to, a quick wash with ordinary soap returns the hands to “normal”.

Mostly I use woodglues, and even after I had allowed them to dry on my hands, the active ingredients in the wipes just lifted the residues off my fingers and left my hands clean. Superglues on the other hand, are very differently formulated. I had a little experimentation by putting a popular make of make of superglue on my fingers and letting it go off. Initially, the Hard Graft wipe didn’t appear to be shifting it, but after a while as I kept flexing my fingers the active ingredients crept under the glue and lifted it off. Result!

Both gloss and emulsion paints were shifted with the Hard Graft wipes, and as expected, the oil-based gloss took a bit more wiping and handwringing, but I was left with clean and sweet-smelling hands. 

With their capacity to shift oil and residues, the wipes are also great for cleaning tools and equipment and wiping down at the end of a working day. I used the wipes to clean dirty finger marks from a newly-painted door after I had fitted some new handles for a client, when a damp cloth had failed to do the job.

The Draper Hard Graft Wipes that remain have now been given a prominent place in my workshop ready for cleaning my hands as needed. Good Product!

Click on this link to see a video of the Draper Hard Graft Wipes: - https://youtu.be/F65OY3KMH1k

For more information on all Draper Products, please visit www.drapertools.com

 

Active Products’ ProSeries range capitalises on the trend for gadgets

The gadgets industry is growing fast. Increasing interest in useful and affordable technology is one of the reasons why the AP ProSeries range of torches and spotlights has taken the market by storm in the last three years

Products like the 100 Lumens Head Torch have been racking up 5-star ratings and glowing reviews across popular, well known retailers. They have also become popular gifts at Christmas time, and manufacturers Active Products have experienced increased demand year on year from retailers in the run up to the Christmas trading season.

Ted McLoughlin, Sales Director at Active Products, explains why he thinks the AP ProSeries torches and spotlights have become popular Christmas gifts: “I think it’s a combination of their affordability, their usefulness during the dark, winter months, and all the nifty features that make them efficient, durable and fun to use. The AP ProSeries 100 Lumens Head Torch, for instance, has a really clever on/off motion sensor that you activate with a simple wave of the hand. It’s a fantastic hands-free gizmo for gadget lovers, as well as being handy and practical for dog-walkers, runners, cyclists and anyone who might be tinkering in their shed on a dark winter’s afternoon.”

The range benefits from Active Products’ partnership with Cree, the innovators behind the LED bulbs in the ProSeries torches. A Cree bulb is energy-efficient but pumps out double the light of a standard LED, and lasts 50,000 hours longer.

The AP ProSeries range, including the 100 Lumens Head Torch, is available from B&Q, Halfords and Argos with an RRP of £25.99. More detail about the range can be found at www.approseries.com.

Dust extraction specialist launches updated hire equipment cleaning cabinet

A specialist dust extraction firm in the UK has launched its second-generation DC Box, which is a purpose built cabinet that helps hire companies combat and contain harmful dusts when cleaning returned tools and equipment.

The DC Box acts like a fume cupboard, containing dust from equipment that’s cleaned inside it and then filtering the air. Cleaning can be done with the integral air gun and vacuum suction hose, improving the lifespan of hire equipment and ensuring that any hazardous dusts are removed before further hire.

                                                                                                          

James Miller, Dustcontrol UK’s General Manager, commented: “There’s a huge requirement for this amongst hire companies at present – something we’ve recognised and responded to. Equipment is placed into the box via a door and sliding tray. Three hand hole openings on the front allow the operators to handle the equipment inside during the cleaning process, whilst a third functions as an air inlet.”

The cabinet is also equipped with a light that allows users to clearly see if equipment is clean and the tray has a rotating mesh top for ease of access and use. Large particles and other waste drops into a plastic bag at the base of the DC Box, helping with the efficiency of the clean. An AirCube 500 is integrated into the system, which means its HEPA H13 extraction capabilities constantly clean the air inside and remove smaller airborne dust particles that  can be generated during the cleaning process.

James continued: “With hire companies, equipment is often returned dirty, which can generate large amounts of dust within hire depots. The DC Box efficiently contains and extracts this dust, helping to improve the lifespan of the hire equipment whilst also stopping the spread of airborne dust within the depot.”

He concluded: “It makes the whole process of cleaning the equipment much safer to undertake by reducing the potential hazards that handling such equipment can present and helps hire companies meet workplace exposure limits for dust.”

Dustcontrol UK, based in Milton Keynes (UK head office), has developed a series of mobile dust extractors and air cleaners specifically designed to separate fine and hazardous dusts, such as silica dust.

Dustcontrol equipment uses HEPA H13 filters, unlike most other products, which only use M class filters. The use of H13 filters guarantees that the products remove 99.97% of all particles greater than 0.3 micrometres from the air that passes through the equipment; meaning air exhausted from the products is the cleanest it can be.

For further information on Dustcontrol UK’s new products please phone 01327 858001 or email[email protected]

For further information visit www.dustcontroluk.co.uk

Tighten the Grip on Profits

In continued support of its stockists, Carl Kammerling International has extended its already popular range of Avit toolbox essentials with the addition of a three-piece insulated plier and cutter set.

An ideal starter kit for electricians, the set comprises of an Insulated Combination Plier 180mm/7”, an Insulated Side Cutter 160mm/6”, and an Insulated Long Nose Plier 200mm/8”.

Understanding that durability and strength are key requirements for professional results, the expertly robust pliers feature hardened and tempered jaws for outstanding long-term performance.

This toolbox essential is EN60900 approved and has been specifically tested to 10,000V of electricity, offering the peace of mind an electrician needs when working with sensitive electronic components.

Having consulted with customers, Carl Kammerling has developed its merchandising solutions in order to maximise sales. A counter box that holds four sets has been introduced, meaning the products can be placed at the till point, encouraging last-minute purchases.

Graham Godfrey, brand manager, Avit commented: “We are always looking to extend what are already our popular ranges to ensure we are producing products that fit the requirements of our stockists and their customers.

“As with all Carl Kammerling’s extensive tool innovation, new products are not thrown together but are created as a direct result of the company’s long-standing collaboration with end users - before, during and after tool development.”

For more information or to place an order, please contact Carl Kammerling International on 01758 704704 or visit www.carlkammerling.com

 

Leading independent hirer takes over as hire association chairman

 

Andy Martin, Managing Director of Martin Plant Hire, is the new Chairman of HAE EHA, taking over from Adrian Watts from Hirebase. Andy leads a long established independent plant and tool hire business with 12 depots in Scotland.

Speaking about his new role, Andy said; "It is a great privilege to take on the Chairmanship of HAE EHA, working with fellow board members; the wider membership and Graham and his staff team. I want to thank Adrian for his work on behalf of the hire sector and his commitment to help drive change."

He added; "I've been impressed at how HAE EHA is directly supporting members to navigate the future for the hire sector, particularly with the Hire Convention 2015 held in Loughborough this week. I am determined to see a stronger voice for independent hirers within the association and, also HAE EHA to have better information about the sector and what we are contributing as this will strengthen our influencing and awareness activities. All in all, an exciting and full agenda ahead."

Adrian Watts, the immediate past-Chairman, who succeeds Kevin McGuinness as Honorary President, said; "I wish Andy all the best in chairing the HAE EHA Board and working with Graham in speaking up for the hire sector. I am very grateful for the support of members and the association team during my time in office and to Kevin for taking on the role as President over the past four years."

 

Carl Kammerling Toughens Its Screwdriver Range

Driving forward design and innovation, Carl Kammerling International has further enhanced its market leading range of VDE screwdrivers with the introduction of two impressive sets – the C.K Torque Screwdriver with VDE Interchangeable blades and the C.K dextroVDE Interchangeable Bladed screwdriver set.

Precision German engineered for reliability and long-term performance, the new C.K Torque Screwdriver Set is set to become a toolbox hero among electricians and a sales generator for stockists.

Regulation BS 7671:2008 requires that electrical equipment be installed in accordance with the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Facilitating the majority of settings for the tightening of electrical equipment terminal screws, the C.K Torque Screwdriver set comprises a 1.5 – 3.0Nm torque screwdriver handle, 2 x 1000V VDE terminal screwdriver modulo (plus/minus) blades - sizes 1 and 2, a torque adjustment key, a user guide and a calibration certificate, all contained within a practical fabric storage wallet, that features a convenient belt clip for just RRP £94.99 (ex VAT). Spare blades are available at RRP £7.99 (ex VAT).

Understanding the diverse nature of electricians’ work and the collection of tools required, Carl Kammerling has introduced the dextroVDE 1,000V Interchangeable Bladed screwdriver set, offering a more compact and lightweight solution to carrying a full set of standard screwdrivers.

The 10-piece set comprises a 1000v VDE High Torque Screwdriver Handle, a 1000v VDE precision Screwdriver Handle, and eight 1000v VDE blades in slotted, pozidrive and terminal modulo tip types. This cost-effective set (RRP £34.99 ex VAT) is housed in a handy fabric storage wallet that features a convenient belt loop. Spare blades are available at RRP £3.49 (ex VAT).

With voltages as low as fifty Volts potentially proving extremely dangerous, if not lethal, the VDE approval of the new C.K VDE screwdriver sets offers electricians maximum safety. Only tools marked ‘VDE’ have passed the rigorous tests set by the VDE Testing and Certification Institute, including being specifically tested to 10,000V of electricity and only these tools offer the peace of mind an electrician needs.

Graham Godfrey, brand manger, C.K tools commented: “As with all Carl Kammerling’s extensive tool innovation, new products are not thrown together but are created as a direct result of the company’s long-standing collaboration with end users - before, during and after tool development. Working in partnership in this way ensures that Carl Kammerling is able to deliver tool solutions that are best suited to the actual work undertaken by professional tradesmen and are matched to each sector’s specific and unique requirements.

“We are constantly working to offer stockists something truly new, helping to increase footfall and making a real difference to their bottom line.”

For further information please visit www.carlkammerling.com or call 01758 704704.

BoSS PROVIDES PLATFORM FOR PASMA TOWER WEEK

PASMA Tower Week is back for another year and from the 2nd until 6th November, PASMA members, including Youngman group’s BoSS Towers, will be highlighting safety at height.

Tower week, currently in its third year, was established by the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) to promote the use of towers as well as exchange information on the development of height safety in general.

PASMA is the leading industry body representing the interests of manufacturers, suppliers, specifiers and users of pre-fabricated access equipment. They provide and oversee the industry standard training scheme and publication of safety-related knowledge, information and guidance.

As a PASMA member, Youngman group will be highlighting the versatility of their BoSS towers and their safe and productive use via their LinkedIn page, BoSS Towers & Access, during the week sharing some exclusive video content.

PASMA Managing Director, Peter Bennett said, “Tower Week is a collaborative effort between PASMA and our partners. Together we are aiming to produce a special week that will benefit the industry and make a real difference to keeping people safe.”

“With an increase in partnerships and new ideas, Tower Week 2015 promises to be the biggest and best yet.”

Although Tower Week perfectly highlights BoSS’ relationship with the leading industry body, it’s the work that is carried out through the whole year that reinforces why these partnerships are paramount in promoting safety at height.

The comprehensive product range from BoSS resulted in PASMA recently using the popular BoSS Ladder span and BoSS plus products whilst undertaking refurbishment of its head office in Glasgow.

BoSS’ customer and Taskforce member, FLOW Access Systems, were commissioned by PASMA to assemble and erect the BoSS towers as part of the ongoing maintenance of the listed building.

Flow Access Systems is a well-regarded and capable PASMA approved hire & assembly company. Their staff are PASMA trained and they came out on top when members of PASMA were asked to bid for this prestigious project.

One of the issues FLOW Access faced when building the towers was space restraints due to the layout of the building fronting a main road.

Maintaining access as well as keeping the structure in situ for as little time as possible were vital aspects that needed careful consideration when undertaking the project, and all of this could be achieved by utilising an aluminium access tower structure.

FLOW Access used the BoSS Ladder span with additional BoSS Plus components because high clearance frames were needed to allow access in and out of the building.

The BoSS Ladder span is ideal because the integrated ladder allows frequent and easy access for painting; 850mm width narrow-span frames were selected because of the space restrictions, and as previously mentioned, one of the very important benefits of prefabricated tower systems is that they are so much quicker to install and dismantle especially when compared to heavier, more traditional scaffolding.

Jason Carlton, Product and Commercial Manager for BoSS Products said, “BoSS Tower builds have more than the minimum components demanded by EN1004 and since its establishment its reputation has been built on safety, by providing the best possible tower builds. BoSS also has the largest range of additional components available to enable complete flexibility in demanding environments”

“This means we could provide FLOW Access with the ideal range of products for the  job allowing them to spend less time building towers and more time for essential maintenance to take place”

Safety standards and best practice should always be considered when employing a company which is why PASMA’s website provides a full list of its accredited members.

Notes to Editor

To learn more on the events that are taking place across the country during PASMA Tower week, visit their website, https://www.pasma.co.uk.

For further information on BoSS towers or to locate your nearest hire centre, please visit:

http://www.youngmangroup.com/brands/boss-towers

For further information of PASMA, including how to become a member please visit:

https://www.pasma.co.uk

For further information on FLOW Access please visit:

http://www.flowaccesssystems.com

 

Draper Tools Redline Launch Reveals Britain’s Home-Improvement Skills

To support the launch of its Redline range of tools, Draper Tools has commissioned a study into the state of the nation’s home-improvement skills and attitudes.

The research revealed a national lack of confidence in many areas of home improvement, with one in five Brits having tried and failed to put up flat-pack furniture and a quarter of people admitting they’d damaged walls trying to put a picture up.

Designed to tackle a wide range of home repairs including gardening jobs, car and bike maintenance, decorating, furniture assembly and much more, the Redline launch has come at the right time with over  a third of people saying that an affordable range of tools they liked, would help them to have a go at home improvements.

Home-Improvement Hang-Ups

It seems some home-improvement help is definitely needed. The study of 2,000 people found three in ten have tackled dangerous electrical or plumbing jobs with the wrong tools and confessed to having ‘no idea’ how to do the task. Half of those surveyed said they would be unable to change a tyre on their car if called on to do so, while less than a fifth were confident they could even keep a household plant alive based on previous failures.

Doing the decorating is a challenge for many Brits with four in ten struggling with painting walls or applying wallpaper, while the thought of bleeding a radiator or removing it from the wall is a fearsome prospect and features high on the list of jobs Brits are stumped about.

Age of Handiness

There is hope though; the study found the average person does start to get the hang of home improvements at the age of 29. This might be thanks to the internet, which is, by far, the place Brits will most likely turn to for home-improvement advice. Fifty per cent of people said they turn to tutorial videos on the web in order to get by, while a fifth admit their dad is still the first person they call if they need something done.

Tom Draper, Director at Draper Tools commented on the findings:

“There have been so many changes in recent years such as the recession, the rise in renting and of course the upsurge in online tutorials, how-to guides and help-videos, all of which may have impacted the nation’s handy skills. Ahead of our Redline launch, we wanted to try and get a better picture of Britain’s handy skills and abilities when it comes to household maintenance and repair jobs.  

We were also keen to understand the nation’s feelings towards home improvements. What the research showed us is that despite there being some insecurities surrounding tackling these kinds of tasks, Brits do want to make their mark and have a go at home improvements. A fresh coat of paint throughout the home, better storage and new flooring were found to be among the most desired improvements for homes today.”

Redline to the Rescue

Featuring quality hand-tools, motoring essentials, decorating tools and more, the comprehensive Redline range offers a fantastic, affordable solution for consumers looking to tackle their home-improvement hang-ups. And there are plenty of repairs that need doing, with 16% of Brits admitting they currently have at least two unfinished home-improvement projects around the house.

What’s more with so many consumers turning to the internet for help with home improvements, Draper Tools has also created a number of handy how-to videos online at www.drapertools.com.

To find out more about the Redline range of tools visit www.drapertools.com or contact your Draper Tools sales representative for copies of the range brochure. Keep an eye on the Draper Tools social media channels for more statistics and findings from the handiness survey.

 

Flex Random Orbit Sander -You’ll Wonder Where the Vibration Went!

Aimed at:- Pros in a number of trades– woodworkers, decorators, shopfitters, carpenters etc.

Pros:- Quiet with less vibration and very good dust collection system. An up to the minute product.

I am a great fan of random orbit sanders because they save me a lot of time. I do a lot of furniture making, general woodwork and decorating and the random orbit sander will cope with all of these various working conditions with the right speed settings and the right abrasive papers. Inevitably I have a few favourite sanders that I use constantly, and I have even been through a couple of them over the years. So, I wasn’t expecting to be impressed or surprised when the Flex ORE 150-5 landed on my doorstep – I thought it might be “just another random orbit sander.”

The Flex arrived in what now seems to be customary stackable Lboxx – not a criticism at all. I think the judicious use of quality kit boxes can help tradespeople be more organized and more secure, and as it happens, this particular Lboxx is one of the best. It has a custom space for the tool and accessories as well as for the long cord and all the inevitable bits and pieces, like sanding discs that collect with a tool.

Some might say I am being fussy, but another small point that I liked with this and most other Flex power tools is that the instruction books have dedicated pages to each language with all the good quality pictures and diagrams clearly marked with the language section. No need for that frustrating flip backwards and forwards between the diagrams and the instructions.

The tool itself follows the standard layout of a random orbit sander. The motor is placed vertically above the sanding platen with a nicely placed bit of black rubberized overmould where the sander can be guided right above its centre of gravity. A longer handle containing the switch trigger is at right angles and it also has a grippy bit on top. I am pleased to say that the trigger switch and lock-on button are very simple to operate because that is what is needed on a sander that is used continuously and switched on and off regularly.  

While the main body and motor housing is made of Flex Red plastic, the orbit housing is a solid alloy casting followed by a robust plastic skirt that holds the fan and dust extraction mechanism and port. The machine looks slimline and sleek and weighs about 1.8 Kgs – just enough to make it comfortable to use on walls and ceilings without too much hassle, but heavy enough so that you don’t have to push down on any horizontal surface being sanded.

Finally, the hook and loop covered sanding plate is of as good quality as I have seen anywhere, but has the added advantage of having a number of perforation patterns all over the base. This means that the Flex can be used with just about any brand of sanding disc as well as the multi-holed and mesh based discs on the market. A time and money saver for me – I like the flexibility of having a wide range of discs to choose from because I sand a wide range of surfaces.

Flex make two different versions of this sander – the 150-3 has a 3mm orbit and the 150-5 has a 5mm orbit and you can spot the difference because on the top of the handle there is a 3 or a 5 included in the overmould. The bigger orbit version will speed up sanding and I find that I don’t really need the 3mm orbit version for what I do – I simply adjust via the speed wheel and the grit of the sanding discs I use.

The milled wheel switch at the back of the top handle controls the orbit speed – a very useful range of 11,600 to 20,000 no load oscillations per minute, so you can be sure that work proceeds quickly.

Compared to yesteryear, dust collection on sanders is so much better now. Obviously, manufacturers have worked on this because we have discovered just how dangerous dust inhalation is. Flex’s solution is to use a clear plastic box holding a pleated microfilter that fits onto the nicely ribbed dust port underneath the main handle. This is as at least as efficient as any other good random orbit sander I have used, and is better than many. For most jobs this system will be good enough so that only the minimum of dust escapes. Of course users should always use a good dust mask when sanding, whether indoors or out.

However, connect the sander dust port to a vacuum extractor and the results for escaping dust are really excellent. Just remember to set the extractor so that the vacuum created doesn’t pull the platen too hard down onto the sanded surface.

Efficient sanding, good dust collection and easy handling are two boxes I would expect to check on any good quality sander I might use, but what makes a sander go from being one of the crowd to one that sort of becomes the one you choose to use every day – a sort of “go-to” tool?

We are now in the area of personal preference, but the one thing that stood out for me is that the Flex 150-5 is very well mannered. The motor noise is well controlled. I could easily use it in my back garden without annoying my neighbours over the hedge, about 20m away.

Secondly, the vibration transmitted to the hand is minimal so that I found that I could comfortably use it for longer. Now, there has to be some vibration because it is a random orbit sander – but lower noise and vibration levels make for a machine that feels modern and efficient – becoming a “go-to” tool?

Overall, there is a great deal to like about the Flex 150-5. It is unashamedly a professionally rated machine with a price tag that reflects this. There are no cut corners – it feels like a pro machine when you use it. From the 4m long power cord to the efficient dust collection options, it feels like a machine that will stand hard work every day. In my view a very welcome addition to the echelons of high quality random orbit sanding machines.

Aimed at:- Pros in a number of trades– woodworkers, decorators, shopfitters, carpenters etc.

Pros:- Quiet with less vibration and very good dust collection system. An up to the minute product.

For more information, please visit https://www.flex-tools.com

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