The tools you need when working on loft conversions

The tools you need when working on loft conversions

In the next instalment of our Toolbox series with Makita, the team look at the tools you should keep close at hand when working on loft conversions.

When it comes to sizing batons and joists, the Makita DJR360ZK Twin 18V LXT Reciprocating Saw makes light work of cutting jobs. This machine is powered by two 18V LXT batteries, delivering an impressive 36V of power that can tackle higher demand applications with ease, offering up to 3,000 strokes per minute.

What’s more, the two-speed selection and variable speed control trigger offer users flexibility to adjust the tool according to the task. The DJR360ZK also benefits from an ergonomically designed handle that is well balanced for comfortable operation, even over extended periods of time. Blade changes are fast thanks to the tool-less blade changing mechanism.

Alternatively, for larger workpieces where more accurate cutting is required, use the DHS660Z 18V LXT Circular Saw. Its 165mm blade diameter and bevel cutting capacity of up to 50 degrees makes it suitable for the majority of jobs. Helpfully, the DHS660Z features Makita’s Automatic Torque Drive Technology (ADT) that automatically adjusts the cutting speed to suit the load conditions, for optimum operation at all times.

The DHS660Z also includes a blower function to keep the workpiece clear of dust and provide users with maximum visibility of the cutting line – and this is further aided by the in-built LED job light. There is also an overload indicator lamp that quickly alerts users to overload and helps prevent damage.

For making accurate angled cuts, the Makita DLS714NZ Twin 18V LXT Slide Compound Mitre Saw is a great toolbox addition. Thanks to its Twin 18V technology, this machine delivers output that is comparable to electric models, making light work of any task. It can cut up to 300mm x 52mm in a single pass and features a double sliding mechanism to ensure optimum positioning.

To protect the tool during use and ensure it continues to perform at its best, the DLS714NZ features a battery protection circuit that is designed to prevent the batteries from over discharging, over heating or overloading. Finally, the DLS714NZ is easy to transport thanks to its compact design and the handle’s anti-slip elastomer surface, which is ideal for getting the machine in and out of the van, and for use in restricted areas like lofts.

Drilling and fixing

For general drilling and fixing tasks, consider Makita’s DLX2283TJ two-piece ‘brushless’ combo kit that includes the DHP485Z 18V LXT Combi Drill and DTD153 18V LXT Impact Driver. As with all LXT machines, these tools offer the output, durability and reliability needed to handle regular professional use. What’s more, the kit includes two 5Ah batteries and a fast charger so users can effortlessly switch between tools and tasks. For maximum efficiency, both machines include variable speed control that automatically adjusts the output to suit the task in hand. These machines are also comfortable and easy to operate thanks to their ergonomic design.

When it comes to securing drywall, the DFS452Z 18V LXT Screwdriver is an ideal companion. This machine is incredibly versatile and can be used with 5mm capacity drywall screws and 6mm capacity self-driving screws. It also features variable speed control and has the option of forward or reverse rotation depending on the user’s needs. It also has a handy belt hook to keep the machine close at hand when not in use.

In addition, the DFR551 18V LXT Auto Feed Screwdriver is perfect for repetitive fixing and rapid screw driving tasks like fixing drywall or floorboards. It offers a no load speed of up to 6,000rpm and the screw feeding mechanism has been designed to reduce screw fall and ensure durability. The DFR551 also features Makita’s Push Drive Technology. This means that the screwdriver bit only rotates at full speed when the screw is pressed against the workpiece, reducing power consumption and extending battery run time. This feature also minimises noise for increased user safety and less disruption to those nearby.

Thanks to Makita’s LXT battery technology, the majority of these machines can be powered by the same battery (or batteries), making switching between tools and tasks effortless. To find out more about Makita and its products visit:

Accessories to suit the above core range:

Cutting and sizing

For use with the DHS660Z Circular Saw, Makita’s Efficut Saw Blades cut 2.4 times faster than standard. They also allow for 2.4 times more cuts per battery charge cutting wood and 1.6 times more cuts per battery charge when cutting metal, in comparison to equivalent, conventional saw blades. For wood cutting tasks, the B-62979 saw blade is ideal.

In addition, the B-08894 saw blade can be used with the DLS714NZ Slide Compound Mitre Saw. This quality 190mm blade is fully hardened and tensioned with 24 high grade tungsten carbide teeth to ensure a sharper, longer lasting edge.

When using the DJR360ZK Reciprocating Saw, use the B-10637. This is part of the Super Express blade range, which makes light work of cutting through a wide range of materials including wood (including wood with nails), chipboard, metal aerated concrete and plastics.

Additional useful items

For any trade professional, staying safe on site is a top priority and it is vital that tradespeople protect themselves with effective dust extraction – especially when working on cutting, sanding and sawing tasks. As such, Makita’s VC3012M and VC2211MX1 M-Class extractors are a brilliant addition to any tool kit.

Finally, for improved precision and straight lines, Makita’s SK105DZ 12VMax Red Cross Line Laser is perfect. It has two brightness modes to suit all job site conditions and is compatible with both LXT and CXT batteries depending on user preference.

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