Knowledge is where distributors and merchants can offer a point of difference over pure play retail. FEIN UK’s Managing Director shares knowledge from the tool industry stalwart on how to speed up projects with Torque Magazine readers...
It’s often said that a “poor workman blames his tools,” which is an odd thing to say as many installers will know that without having the right tool, some jobs are virtually impossible! And, to use another well‐worn phrase, because “time is money” it’s especially important to make sure that your toolkit will help you finish a task as quickly and efficiently as possible, and to a high standard.
As a manufacturer of power tools and accessories, we’ve built up a lot of experience at FEIN in understanding what the equipment installers use every day needs to provide, so that they can work quickly, accurately and to a high standard. We’ve used this knowledge to create the following list of tips to help identify the tools that will enable installers to complete a project as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
The importance of multitasking
Tools that can tackle multiple tasks are a great way to streamline your working processes, as they enable you to spend more time focused on the work and less time setting up and packing down equipment or making trips to the van. They also enable you to complete a multitude of jobs, while generally having less gear to move around. Oscillating multitools are a good example, as they can be used for a long list of jobs, such as sawing metal and plastics, cutting tiles, silicone joints and carpets, scraping out adhesives, polishing and much more.
Our MultiMaster range for instance, is compatible with Starlock. Meaning, users can benefit from up to 180 accessories and 100% power transmission.
Easy to swap out attachments
If you do opt for using multi‐tools over single‐purpose power tools then it’s important to have the right attachments to hand and know that they can be easily swapped out without any hassle or fiddly connections.
Tools that have a simple click‐on connection avoid losing time when switching between tasks, with some systems enabling you to carry out quick tool changes in a matter of seconds. The connection between the motor and the attachment also determines the power transfer between the two and therefore needs to be robust as well as easy‐to‐use.
Having clear visual indicators on the attachment, such as its specifications and intended application, is another bonus, as it further speeds up the process of working out what tool you need next.
Having accessories and spares on hand
Even by using multi‐purpose tools it’s likely that you’ll need a long list of accessories as well as backups for the blades/drills/sanding pads/etc. that you know you’re going to be using a lot. Choosing a kit that keeps all of this together and in one place might seem like a simple idea, but the stress and time that it’ll save when that one crucial blade breaks and you can’t remember where you put the spares is worth its weight in gold.
The importance of durability
Using low‐quality tools for intense jobs or for too long risks equipment breakages, which will slow things down while you wait for a replacement. Even if the tool survives, it also risks the installer being in a situation where they just don’t have enough power to do the work properly.
Also, there is no guarantee a tool will have the ability to put out a lot of power for a long duration of time. This is particularly the case with battery powered tools as, if the battery is not properly protected, then it can be affected by overloading, overheating and total discharge issues.
Getting the right amount of power
Whilst we’re discussing power, it’s important to get the power level right, particularly when it comes to cordless tools. In general, an 18‐volt motor that provides 450 watts of power will be sufficient to handle extreme loads for a long period of time. Bear in mind though that different 18‐volt motors have different levels of performance, which will affect the intensity of work it can do. In addition, not all motors are the same, and ideally you want to choose one that is not only powerful but which can generate power at constant speeds even under load and which is also not going to be too heavy.
For example, FEIN’s MultiMaster 700 has an incredibly powerful 450‐watt high‐power motor which is suited for continuous use and overload for maximum cutting speed and rapid work progress. This multi‐tool has the ability to saw wood, metal and plastics, while also quickly cutting out tiles, and it comes with up to 60 accessories, making it ideal for an array of jobs.
Having the right tool for the job not only means that the work can be done quicker and better, but it also provides peace of mind for an installer that they have what they need at their fingertips and therefore don’t need to worry about breakages, failures, replacements and a lot of unwanted hassle sucking up their valuable time.