2018 Tools In Action Awards

2018 Tools In Action Awards
Well, 2018 flew by and it is that time of year again where we present awards to our favorite tools that we reviewed in 2018. This year saw a lot of new launches and a lot of brand revivals. We sort of departed from the normal and instead of filling categories as we have in years past, we opted to pick our overall tool favorites. The winners aren’t listed in any particular order, can you imagine trying to do that? It would almost be like picking favorites between your children. All of our awards are unbiased, there is no fee to enter, and they have been handpicked by us out of the tools we have reviewed. While we are fortunate to have some amazing manufacturers sponsor us here at Tools In Action, this was not a consideration in these awards. These truly are the best of 2018, from all of us here at Tools In Action. Enjoy our top picks, in the 2018 Tools In Action Awards.

DeWALT: DWST17510 TSTAK Portable Bluetooth® Radio + Charger

DeWALT has really raised the bar when it comes to radios. We loved the sound and durability of the Tough System radio and new we have that in a smaller TSTAK size. This radio stands out for its SONOS like sound quality and seamless app integration. Check it out on Amazon for $199.00. Take a watch of our review of this Radio on our YouTube channel.

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The MEGAMAX could only have the power it has thanks to the new Octane battery. This modular system resembles the JOBMAX but in a super-sized format. Currently, there are three available attachments, a reciprocating saw, a right angle drill, and an SDS plus Rotary Hammer allow a lot of versatility with one power base. We have had one in the field now with an electrician and he has nothing but AWESOME things to say about it. This tool was a highly anticipated launch from Ridgid and was well worth the wait. Lifetime warranty and available at The Home Depot. Check out our review of the Ridgid MEGAMAX here.
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DeWalt FLEXVOLT 12” Miter Saw

Sure other companies have cordless miter saws but not with a 12” blade and the capability to run off of batteries or AC. This saw gets its roots from the legendary DWS780 miter.  That saw was known for its precise cuts, smooth glide, XPS Shadow light system, and durability. DeWalts Flexvolt 60V batteries provide impressive power on a cordless platform. All of that is present here with the addition to cordless. Check out our review of this DeWalt FlexVolt Miter Saw. As well, take a look at our video review here. Purchase this saw on Amazon for $499.00 with the AC adaptor.
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EGO 56V Blower

There is a reason that this has over 3500 4.5 star reviews on Homdepot.com. Power Beyond Belief is EGO’s tagline and I have to agree. This is the best most reliable blower I have used, all on the 56V EGO battery. Everyone that owns one says nothing but good things about it. We have seen how they manufacture these and nothing comes close, they take the extra step to make sure connections won’t come loose and you get longevity out of the tool. We have reviewed the 580 CFM Blower this on our site, as well as discussed these blowers on our YouTube channel. Check it out via The Home Depot for $299.00 with battery and charger or bare tool for $169.00.

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You might not think you would use this tool until you actually use one. Ryobi is always thinking ahead with their creative tools.  Anyone that has a dirty garage knows what I am talking about. This 18V powered machine devours up everything in its path. Dust pans are a thing of the past. Check out The Ryobi Devour Review as well as our video on our YouTube. Check it out via Home Depot for $149.00 with a battery and charger.

6 Dewalt Shop Vac

DeWALT DXV14P Vacuum

I have always like RIDGID vacs, they have done me well and until this appeared I was perfectly content. The new DeWALT is rugged, powerful and easy to store.  It was by far my favorite vacuum of 2018. We also reviewed a DeWalt Stainless Steel Vacuum that has quickly become a favorite in her shop too. Purchase the DXV14P for $133.25 on Amazon. Check out our video review here.

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Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits

Every year you can find these on sale in The Home Depot gift section. They are awesome bits for their price. They allow a drill to power through wood like it’s butter. We use them often for tool testing and them last and last. Check out our review on the Bosch Daredevil Spade Bits for more details. Check them out via The Home Depot for $19.97 for a nineteen-piece kit with a pouch.

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SouthWire Simpull Fish Tape

Fish tape, pretty exciting huh? Well, maybe not so exciting unless you use it every day and are sick of the rusty hard to use steel tapes or the brittle fiberglass ones that don’t get through bends very well and always snap. The SIMpull is made from a special material that doesn’t rust, break or get stuck in bends. It glides through smooth and can pull a massive amount of wire. How much weight do you ask? Well, it’s strong enough to pull an F150 Supercab up an incline. Yes, watch our youtube video on this. Southwire produces amazing innovations in their cable lineup. 125 feet of SIMpull will run about $99.98 on Amazon.

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Klein ET910 USB Meter

These gadgets are awesome! Maybe more for the geeked out or IT crowd, but they can save you a ton of time diagnosing USB ports and devices. They give you voltage, MAH, amps you name it tells you what’s going on. You can also use them to determine capacity on external USB charged batteries. My GoPro took 1107 MAH on the last charge, what did yours do? This model from Klein clocks in at just under forty dollars on Amazon.
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RYOBI Airstrike Nailers

I know what you are thinking, A non-pro brand as best nailers? These nailers get a resounding ovation because not only are they performers, they are budget friendly. We have even seen a few pros using them. Give them a try and you will be converted. We have looked at the Finish Nailers, The Brad Nailers, and our personal favorite, the Pin Nailer. Check these out at The Home Depot.
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Bosch Cordless Palm Router

This Palm Router from Bosch was easily one of my favorite tools of the year. The unique design improves the overall ergonomics of this router greatly. Not only is it comfortable to use, but the adjustments are easy to make so it is user-friendly. The 12V platform is a big hit for Bosch, and with good reason. This quickly became a constantly used tool in my shop for its performance and ease. Get all the details on this awesome tool in the Bosch Cordless Palm Router Review. This Router rings in at $149.00 bare tool on Amazon.

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DeWalt Cordless Jigsaw

DeWalt has seen a lot of great launches in 2018. The DeWalt Cordless Jigsaw was no exception. Providing exceptional performance with increased comfort made this tool a winner for sure. I appreciate the minimal vibrations, as well as the user-friendly features. Having never been a huge fan of Jigsaws in the past, this tool was a game changer for sure. This saw provides exception cut quality, all with the power you need to get the job done. We also did a video review on YouTube as well. This Jigsaw is available at The Home Depot for $179.00.

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Kreg Track and Stop

Kreg gets a lot of love for their pocket hole jigs, and with good reason! What you may not realize is the other specialty tools Kreg produces that should definitely receive their day in the spotlight. The Kreg Trak and Stop System is a combination of tracks and stops that allow a user to convert their miter saw into a production system for making repeatable and accurate cuts. If you do any sort of woodworking this is definitely a tool worth looking into! This Kreg tool is available for $139.99 on Amazon, although seems to be on sale for $124.00 at the time of publishing, so get it while you can!
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Gorilla Ladder

The Gorilla ladder is in a class of its own. While the ladder is extremely lightweight, it’s extremely durable and stable. From the simple fold and go design to the top wide step, this ladder is a perfect ladder for working up to 10′. The no-mar feet to the top tool tray makes this a step ladder. This ladder is available at The Home Depot for $39.98. For more information, check out the video review here. 

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Milwaukee Table Saw

All the power without the hassle of a cord. The Milwaukee 2736 is lightweight and offers plenty of power for a job site table saw. Couple the brushless motor with the Milwaukee M18 12Ah battery and you have some serious runtime. While we love the overall design, power, and features of this table saw, the Rack and Pinion Fence System makes this the top pick for 2018. This table saw is on special at The Home Depot for $549.00 with a 12Ah battery and Charger. Check out this saw in action in our video review. 
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Milwaukee Auto Lock Tape Measure

It’s rare that something like a tape measure can truly excite you. The Milwaukee Auto-Lock Measuring Tape measure did though, and with good reason! Not only does this tape measure have a few standout features like clear markings which included a fractional scale, a belt clip, and reinforced nylon for durability. The real shining star though is the auto lock feature. This was one of those things I never really knew I needed in a tape measure, but I sure like having it now! I am also happy to report, that as I mentioned in the review, my kids have a tendency to break even the most durable of tape measures, but this one is still kicking! This measuring tape will set you back $14.97 at The Home Depot.
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SKILSAW Super Sawsquatch Circular Saw

If you took a circular saw and virtually tripled its size, you would have a Super Sawsquatch from SKILSAW. Designed to cut larger pieces of wood than a standard circular saw, up to 6-1/4 inch deep, this saw is a beast. The 16-3/4 inch blade allows the cuts capacity, but the power comes from the motor for sure. The 15-Amp worm-drive motor allows this saw to power through virtually anything you put in its path. This tool is built well with a magnesium shoe and motor housing, designed to reduce the overall weight but remain strong. Check out our Skilsaw Super Sawsquatch Review for more information. The Super Sawsquatch is available for purchase on Amazon for $549.97.

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Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer

Ryobi is known for their homeowner line and how well they perform without breaking the budget. When looking at pressure washers, it’s almost impossible to convince most people to break away from gas to look at an electric option. The new line from Ryobi though has an astounding amount of power packed in each model. They are easy to use, efficient, and all around a great addition to any homeowners lineup. The turbo nozzle provided cleaning power as I have never seen before in an electric model, and is certainly a favorite among fans. Get all the details on this model in the Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer Review. This Pressure Washer costs $259.00 at The Home Depot. Check out our YouTube review for more information.
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The Hilti PM 40-MG takes a two-man job and turns into a one-man job.  Accurate, easy to use and easy to see the line, the Hilti laser features two vertical lines and a 360-degree horizontal line. Perfect for a wide range of indoor applications such as suspended ceilings, drywall, piping, walls, windows and more. This laser is definitely designed for the professional in mind and performs flawlessly. This laser runs about $700 dollars from your local Hilti distributor.
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Klein Electricians Multitool

Multi-Tools provide a lot of versatility to a variety of users. This particular multitool was designed with the electrician in mind, but its appeal won’t stop with them. Klein included seven key functions on this Multi-Tool, hybrid pliers, wire cutter, wire stripper, a pocket knife, a No 2 Phillips Screwdriver, slotted screwdriver, and a metal splinter remover. The operation is smooth, and each feature is well thought out and designed. This multi-tool is a staple in the center console of my truck and has come in handy more times than I can count. Not only that, I loved it so much, I purchased them as gifts on more than one occasion. For more information on this tool, check out the Klein Electricians Multi-tool Review. This tool from Klein is available on Amazon for $34.97.

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Milwaukee Impact Driver 2853

Milwaukee found a way to reduce the footprint of the 2853 M18 Impact Driver while not reducing the power. The 2853 is a solid impact driver that allows the user to not only get into tight spaces but reduce arm fatigue when using all day. Not dealing with tight spaces, no worries, this impact has all the power you would want in an 18V impact. In fact, this will give full-size impacts a run for the money. This model is available at The Home Depot for $129.00 bare tool.
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Milwaukee Rocket Lights

Milwaukee owns the Job Site lighting market and for good reason. Their lights are bright, have great run times, very versatile and easy to move around. The LED lights produce a true color and produce very little heat. With the new addition of an M12 Rocket Light, Milwaukee continues to dominate the job site lighting category. This light retails for $149.00 at The Home Depot.
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Bosch GLL3-330CG

The GLL3-330CG offers a single 360° horizontal line and two vertical lines, giving this a true 360 line of sight. The Bosch has an accuracy of up to ±3/32-in @ 30-ft and self-leveling up to 4°. The range is 200? and 330? with a detector. Add in the green lines, the accuracy, the IP54 rating, and the rechargeable battery and this is one awesome laser for any job site. We filmed a full review on our YouTube channel on this family of lasers from Bosch.  This laser is available for $449.00on Amazon.
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Southwire EDGEforce Knives

Southwire is known as an amazing brand that provides electricians with reliable and dependable tools. Southwire developed knives that not only could be used in the day to day lives of electricians but appeal to just about every trade imaginable. The New EDGEFORCE knives are made from D2 steel which is a blend of carbon and chromium metal, maintains blade sharpness longer than other materials. These knives also have liner locks, comfortable handles, and belt clips for easy access. We talk all about these knives in the Southwire EDGEFORCE Knives Review.

Sheepsfoot Pocket Knife $19.78

Hawk Bill Pocket Knife $24.73

Drop Point Pocket Knife $19.78

Tanto Pocket Knife $25.72

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DeWalt Steel Hammers

DeWalt brought new hammers to the market this year. With a slew of options on the market, it is hard to stand out from the crowd. The one-piece steel construction and the non-slip grip are excellent and well-performing features. The standouts though, have to be the tri-pull and magnetic nail holders. These hammers are comfortable, natural, and easy to use. Check out the DeWalt Steel Hammer Review for more information. These hammers will be available for sale soon at The Home Depot, but in the meantime check the DeWalt website for more information.



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