14 October 2015

REVIEW: Aldi Workshop Specialbuy Ranges

Oh, you are special.

Keen to get the house looking half-way decent before the Christmas festivities begin in earnest? Don’t pay a handyman to fix the place up… do it yourself! Fortunately laying your rugged, manly hands (you have them too, ladies) on suitable tools is far easier, and cheaper, thanks to Aldi’s two up-coming tool-laden Specialbuy ranges. We hit the workshop and check them out.

Landing on shelves in Aldi supermarkets on both 15th and 25th October, the ranges include a great mix of tools and accessories that even the most lax DIY-er will find useful. Unlike previous workshop ranges from Aldi, which have focussed on packs of screws, nuts and little bitty bits, these two Specialbuy releases are awash with genuinely impressive gadgetry.

The range released on 15th October includes: a Bench Grinder (£29.99), an XL LED Workshop Inspection Lamp (£24.99), a 300w Multifunction Tool (£19.99), an Industrial Hand Truck (£19.99), a Double Drive Ratcheting Screwdriver (£12.99), and smaller pieces of equipment like Heavy Duty Padlocks (£3.69 each), a 120w Halogen Floodlight (£6.99), and a mix of clothing such as base layers, work shirts, work trousers, and work gloves.

Meanwhile, following quickly after on 25th October, there is a Table Saw (£89.99), a suitably Sci-Fi sounding Arc Welder (£39.99), an Electric Planer/Belt Sander (£29.99), a Multifunction Aluminium Ladder (£49.99), a 710w Reciprocating Saw (£24.99), a 18v Cordless Drill (£19.99), and a mix of smaller bits like a Premium Axe (£9.99), a 12 piece blade kit for the Reciprocating Saw (£4.99), and a HSS Drill Bit Set (£6.99).

As ever, the low prices Aldi are offering this kit for is a definite eye-opener, so to check them both out be sure to visit www.aldi.co.uk/en/specialbuys/

Aldi were kind enough to furnish us with a piece of kit from both ranges to test out on Test Pit Towers. Which, if we’re being honest, is a bloody state and in need of some DIY TLC. They sent us the…

300w Multifunction Tool

What at first glance appears to be a simple sander actually turns out to be a remarkably useful tool. The Multifunction Tool can sand, saw, scrape, and cut, and does so easily thanks to the included 24 piece accessory set. As the name suggests it is a powerful 300w, capable of 23,000 rpm. The unit itself is nice and light, being laid out very well. There are grip plates on both the top and under sides, while the handle on the side is perfect for keeping it steady when you whack on the power.

We’ve been using it to sand down an old table and were quite impressed with the results. The key thing here, as it is with many of the items we've reviewed from previous Specialbuys, is the price. This just doesn't work like sub-£20 tool should; looking, feeling, and producing results like something that is more than twice that cost. And it even comes with a three year warranty. For a general purpose tool that is just as good for craft and carpentry as it is for DIY, you really can't go wrong.

Available from 15th October.

...and the...

710w Reciprocating Saw

The Reciprocating Saw is something of a beast, and we must admit to being a bit intimidated by it at first. Lets just say that if this baby was cordless, you'd be set for fighting off the zombie hordes once the apocalypse hits. The unit, which allows you to swap out the blades for tackling different materials (we were also supplied with the 12 piece blade kit), is nicely weighted and feels extremely solidly built.

The whole forward section of the saw can be rotated through 180 degrees, allowing you cut straight on, or sideways. The front also features a pivoting guard so you can really lean into the saw as you cut, without fear of damaging it or the blade. Also, while in use, this thing really isn't as noisy as we assumed it would be, but obviously that depends on what you are sawing through. The additional blade pack covers all the bases, including saw blades for different thicknesses of wood and metal. For home DIY work, where you might be cutting shelves and other short bits of timber, this is ideal.

Available from 25th October.

Aldi have also put together a series of DIY videos, presented by Jo Behari. Check them out:

© The Test Pit

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