Black and Decker's new VPX system brings lithium-ion technology to light-duty tools. Li-Ion batteries weigh less than comparable NiCad or NiMH batteries, so VPX tools are compact, light in weight and powerful. Also, Li-Ion batteries don't lose their charge during periods of non-use, which is great for weekend woodworkers. The VPX system revolves around Black and Decker's compact, rechargeable 7-volt Li-Ion battery. Most VPX tools use one battery; some of them, like the 14-volt drill/driver shown at right, use two. Weighing just over 3 lbs., this drill is well-balanced and comfortable to hold, and it has plenty of power for woodworking uses. It has a dual-range variable-speed transmission (0-350 rpm and 0-1400 rpm), a keyless 3/8-in. chuck, and a 24-position clutch. This drill comes packaged with batteries and a charger—it's one of four VPX starter sets. VPX batteries are interchangeable, so VPX add-on tools are packaged without batteries—you save money by buying only as many batteries as you need. Batteries and chargers are also available separately. According to Black and Decker, the system will expand with additional tools designed for a wide variety of uses.
Black and Decker, www.vpxsystem.com, (800) 544-6986, Starter Set VPX1212X, includes 14-volt Drill/Driver, 2 batteries and dual port charger, $100; Starter Set VPX1101X, includes 7-volt Screwdriver, 1 battery and single port charger, $60; Starter Set VPX1301X, includes 7-volt Cutsaw, 1 battery and single port charger, $60; Starter Set VPX9031X, includes 7-volt screwdriver, 7-voltcutsaw, 7-volt flashlight, one battery and single port charger, $100; VPX Add-On Tools: 7-volt?Drill/Driver, VPX1201, $35; 7-volt Flashlight, VPX1401, $20; 7-volt Inflator, VPX1501, $20; 7-volt AC/USB Power Source, VPX3101, $20; 14-volt Hand Vac, VPX2102, $40; 7-volt Battery, VPX0111, $10, Single Port Charger, VPX0310, $20;?Dual Port Charger, VPX0320, $30.