IRWIN Tools – New Products and Demonstrations

Test Drive – IRWIN Tools at Bristol Motor Speedway

Earlier this month I traveled to Bristol, TN to spend some time with the folks from IRWIN Tools learning about their products and attending the Ultimate Tradesman Competition. I also had the pleasure of watching a Nascar Race at Bristol Motor Speedway and experiencing an amazing ride in a Ford Mustang around the famous track for several laps at speeds reaching 100 mph!

The competitions were tons of fun but the purpose of my trip was to spend some time learning more about IRWIN Tools including some great hands on demonstrations. I really enjoy spending time with the product managers from tool companies because they typically know more about the products than anyone else. The folks from IRWIN were no exception which left me with some great information.

IRWIN Tools Drill Bits

One of the categories that caught my attention was IRWIN’s Drill Bit Category. When I think of IRWIN the first thing that comes to mind for me are Vise-Grips and Quick-Grip clamps. However, IRWIN has a huge selection of drill bits ranging from wood bits to concrete and steel. I had the chance to test some of their drill bits including two that I was very impressed with.

First up was the Speedbor Ship Auger Bits with WeldTec (pictured above). These drill bits are designed to last longer cutting through nails. SPEEDBOR with WeldTec Ship Auger bits are MADE STRONGER and LAST LONGER because a harder cutting edge is welded to the base material. As you can see above and below I was able to drill right through row after row of nails without damaging the bit. Not only was I able to cut through nails but it was really fast!

I also tested the Speedbor MAX Speed Bits. These bits really impressed me with their speed and clean hole cutting. These are perfect for drilling holes in foundation plates, drilling holes for electrical wires and even small plumbing pipes. Just this week I noticed an electrician on one of my jobs using these to drill holes for his wires.

These really are the new and improved spade bit that we’ve all grown up with. These bits combine the best of a spade bit with the best of a spiral bit. If you haven’t tried one of these bits you really should as I’m convinced you’ll be hooked just like I am!

To see a full range of the wood drill bits that IRWIN offers check out their Wood Drilling Catalog.

IRWIN Circular Saw Blades

IRWIN also offers a large selection of circular saw blades for all kinds of applications including wood, vinyl siding, cement siding and even table saws and cordless circular saws. I was particularly impressed with their new Marathon with WeldTec Circular Saw Blade.

The key to this circular saw blade is the welded carbide tips. Anyone that spends time on a construction site knows that circular saws end up cutting through nails all the time. So it was a fun demonstration when the product specialists showed us how the Marathon with WeldTec Circular Saw Blade handled nails.

First the demonstration included a comparison of a popular Diablo saw blade ripping through a 2×6 with nails every 3 inches. The Diablo blade got about 9 feet or so before it finally gave up and the demonstration ended. The downfall of the blade was hearing and seeing the carbide tips flying off as it hit the nails. Next up was the Marathon with WeldTec performing the same exact test. This Marathon blade had no trouble cutting down the entire 12 foot length and it was ready for more. You can see the tips are still in place in the photo above the Diablo one.

I’m told the Marathon with WeldTec blades are about 20% more in cost however it’s pretty obvious that they will outlast the cheaper blades so the payback should be worth it.

IRWIN Vise-Grips

We also tested the large selection of Vise-Grip pliers. As you can see from the photo above Vise-Grip has a large selection of pliers to handle any task. They have taken the time to improve upon classic designs with improvements in comfort, grip and durability.

Final Thoughts

We’ll be testing and reviewing more IRWIN Tools in the coming months. However, I wanted to share some thoughts about IRWIN Tools that I hadn’t previously thought much about. IRWIN Tools is a global company with 48% of their sales overseas! The IRWIN Tools company includes some incredible brands including: VISE-GRIP®, MARATHON®, QUICK-GRIP®, SPEEDBOR®, STRAIT-LINE®, Unibit®,  and HANSON®.

So regardless of what trade you belong to or what home improvement project you’re tackling it’s likely IRWIN Tools has a tool or accessory to help you with your job. I’m also quite impressed with IRWIN’S commitment to promoting the Trades and bringing more focus and praise to the folks that help build the world we live in.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz, and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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