Tradie tested


Choosing the right tool for you can be a pretty difficult task. Technology is moving so fast, and there’s so many great brands on the market, making a decision about where to spend hard-earned legal tender a real problem. We don’t have all the answers, but here’s a few tools we’ve put through the wringer in real worksite testing, and how those tools stood up to the abuse.


Designed to perform in the very toughest applications with today’s new generation of harder-hitting, more powerful hammer drills, DEWALT’s XLR Full Head Carbide drill bits offer the ultimate durability and life. We discovered the DEWALT people had done their homework well. Tested in the most demanding conditions, these drills bits offered a level of durability we hadn’t seen before.

STANLEY FATMAX 18V brushless drill driver

Get into those tight and restricted spaces with this cordless beauty! We jammed Stanley’s drill driver into some of the tightest spaces we could find, sometimes working at angles that just didn’t seem possible. But it hacked the pace, no matter how unlikely the situation. The FATMAX proved very handy and reliable, screwing into a variety of materials. It even has a flashlight built in for added convenience.

Lenox Metal Max

Constantly changing the abrasive wheel on big cutting jobs is a pain. It costs a lot of time, too. White-paper tested MetalMax delivers 1000 more cuts and 30 times longer life than thin-bonded cut-off wheels*, and that means more time working and less downtime. In our eyes Lenox has always made the best metal-cutting blades out there, and it made short work of the steel on our job and lasted a ridiculously huge number of cuts. For getting serious work done, these blades are the real deal!

STANLEY FATMAX structural foam toolboxes

If you’re after a sturdy, water- and dust-resistant toolstorage solution, look no further. You can be sure these toolboxes will last, surviving every worksite condition we could throw at them. The structural foam used in the construction is made from thermoplastic resin and flake mica, and it can cope with the pounding a hard-working tradie dishes out. You could even store your electrical equipment in these boxes, they’re that good. An all-round water seal keeps the contents dry and a portable half tray keeps smaller items at hand while leaving plenty of room for the big stuff.

Sidchrome 440 Pro Series spanners

TAFE instructor Andy Goodall said it all after using the Sidchrome 440 Pros in the workshop. “My original spanners are a far cry from the Pro spanners we’ve been testing in the institute,” he said. “The Sidchrome 440 Pro Series offers an I-beam shank and, due to the shape of the beam, when applying torque to the spanner, it distorts less, and so more force is transferred to the fastener. These spanners would make a welcome addition to any serious technicians’ toolkit.” Say no more! It’s pro gear for sure.

DEWALT 8m tape measure

The team at What Tradies Want magazine get to try more tools in a month than most tradies would see in a decade, and they had a few opinions on the DEWALT 8m measuring tape. They chucked it off a second-story construction site onto a variety of surfaces – including concrete and metal bars – and were rapt they could see hardly any damage. They were rapt in the tape’s performance, too. They raved about the eight-metre standout, the compact design and the soft stop lock. Those guys generally raved about the tape start to finish. We especially liked tester Matt Page’s thought to sum up the DEWALT… “It’s very comfortable to use, compact, yet super strong. I think it’s so tough it could even double up as your worksite cricket ball.” How’s that?