Circular saw review

ROK Circular saw review

There are some tools that you just can’t do without if you’re anything like keen when it comes to DIY – and a decent circular saw is one of them.

It may not be a tool that comes out very often, but when you need one, there’s nothing else that will cut so quickly, accurately and with so little effort. If you’re making anything involving sheet materials – with chipboard, MDF, plywood and the like – or need to make a thick length of timber thinner, then you need a circular saw.

ROK has a tool that will meet all but the most demanding requirements for a price that won’t put too many demands on your wallet. The WCS1200 is a well-specified saw that, like most of the tools in the ROK range, will keep most users perfectly happy – it’s not a tool for professionals, but neither will it let you down when you need it to work hard.

Circular saw review

Circular saw review

Pretty basic but a good tool that is standard

The WCS1200 follows the standard pattern for this sort of tool. The body of the tool, containing a smooth running 1200W motor driving a 185mm diameter blade at 4,500rpm, is mounted on a baseplate, about which it can be pivoted to control the depth – a maximum depth of cut of 63mm is achievable.

A spring loaded guard covers the blade – it retracts as the tool is offered up to the workpiece – and there’s a clamp on either side at the front of the baseplate to secure a fence, which comes with the ROK and allows you to make parallel cuts of 150mm or so. There’s also an outlet for dust extraction on the top of the fixed blade cover, and an adjuster at the back of the baseplate which allows the baseplate to tilt up to 45˚ for mitred cuts.

So nothing to frighten the horses there. The whole tool feels nice and solid, helped greatly by the large front handle, complete with soft-feel grip, which let’s you get a really good grip on the saw. The trigger is nicely placed, as is the button that has to be depressed before the trigger can operate – a sensible safety feature. I particularly liked the depth-adjuster knob. Often this is hard to operate and not especially accessible, but on the WCS1200 it was large and readily to hand.

Circular saw review

Circular saw review

It performed well in testing

The WCS1200 performed well in my tests. It glided through 19mm MDF and plywood without labouring, and the blade produced a good clean cut. Deep cuts in softwood were no problem either, whether across or along the grain. The new, sharp, saw blade helped here – this is one tool where a blunt blade will really dent performance.

Easy to operate, competent performance and light on the wallet – the WCS1200 is definitely deserving of a place in your toolkit.

Power tools: Drills reviews

ROK Powertools 1000W Hammer Drill – Product Review

With the recent advances in battery technology, many tradesmen and diy users have all but stopped using a mains-powered drill. After all, when you can get a tool such as ROK’s WCD24 that will cope with tough screw driving jobs and drill into metal, masonry or wood, why would you need one?

The answer, of course, is that performing a lot of tough drilling jobs will eat up the power in your battery. if you have a lot of holes to drill in steel, or find yourself wanting to attach shelf brackets to a brick wall, a mains tool will do the job more quickly – and never run out of power.

But if you’re only going to use it occasionally, then you won’t want to part with a lot of cash for a mains-powered drill – so the ROK WHDC1000 could be just what you’re looking for. It’s a simple, no-frills tool that is robust enough to cope with most jobs around the house and workshop.

Drills reviews

Drills reviews

It follows the theme of other ROK tools with a solid yellow casing, inset with soft-feel black. It has a satisfyingly large trigger, topped by a level to switch forward and reverse functions, with a switch to set either hammer or drill-only operation on the top. There’s a standard collar to take the supplied auxiliary handle – which also holds a simple plastic depth gauge – and a lock-on switch on the left hand side of the handle.

Handy keyless chuck

The keyless chuck will take bits from 2-13mm. It requires two hands to adjust, but the metal knurled collar made it easier to get a good grip for secure tightening. Two metres of cable gives a reasonable amount of movement around a socket, too. And it all packs away in a tidy carrying case.

Anyone who’s owned a mains drill before will find nothing to frighten the horses here – but that doesn’t mean that the WHDC1000 isn’t worthy of a place in your toolbox. For a start, it’s one of the quietest mains drills I’ve ever used – a pleasant surprise and one that surely says something about the quality of the components used in its manufacture. The trigger gives very positive control over the variable speeds, with smooth transition all the way up to the maximum of 2,800rpm – and the hammer action made short work of tough masonry. And with forward and reverse features and slow speeds, it’s great for screw driving, too

So, powerful enough for most, smooth, quiet, comfortable to use and with all the features you’re likely to want – for pennies under £30 what more could you want?



ROK Powertools 24V Cordless Hammer Action Drill

What’s not to like about a 24V powerhouse like this that will leave you change from fifty quid?

Not much at all, especially when it’s as robust and well-equipped as the ROK WCD24 – and comes in a tough carrying case with a set of drill and screwdriver bits.

Drill/drivers have become more and more popular as battery technology has advanced – the days when you had to turn to a mains powered drill for anything other than a bit of light screw driving are long gone. ROK’s offering doesn’t disappoint here.I found that it was well able to cope with pretty much anything I threw at it – from drilling 13mm holes in timber to driving 50mm screws (without pilot holes), the tool never ran short of breath.

ROK Powertools 24V Cordless Hammer Action Drill

ROK Powertools 24V Cordless Hammer Action Drill

So let’s look at the nuts and bolts. The WCD24 weighs in at close on 2.5kg, thanks to that chunky battery, but despite that it’s well balanced and, coupled with a nicely-shaped handle and a well-placed trigger, proved comfortable and easy to hold and use.

Smooth trigger action on this drill

The trigger was smooth and fed in the power gradually, making it easy to find a suitable speed for the job in hand. On top of the tool there’s two-position switch: in position 1 the speed runs from 0-500rpm; in position 2 from 0-1400rpm.. The forward/reverse switch is handily placed just above the trigger and is easily slid from side to side with a thumb or forefinger, so there’s no need to take your hand off the tool to select the direction.

The torque of the tool – the amount of turning force it will apply before it cuts out – is set via a 10-position ring on the body of the tool. This feature is used when driving screws and will prevent you driving them too far into the work – on the ROK it worked well and I particularly liked the positive click settings.

The WCD24 has the added bonus of hammer action, giving it the facility to drill into masonry. The function is activated by a ring just behind the chuck and when the drill is running at full speed it produces 22,400 hammer blows a minute. I had no problems drilling 6mm holes into brick – though, as with all drills of this type, using the hammer action for long periods will hit the battery hard and reduce the amount of time needed between charges.

The keyless chuck requires two hands to operate – one to hold it still and the other to twist the adjustable part. With a maximum capacity of 13mm, the chuck was positive with little play, but required a fair bit of force to stop drill bits slipping.



If the WCD24 has a fault though, it’s in the charge time – three to five hours is a long time to wait if the power runs out midway through a job. But fast chargers cost more, so the inclusion of a slower charger does keep the overall cost of the tool down. An extra battery (NOTE – IS THERE ONE AVAILABLE??) is always handy and would help avoid long periods of down time.

The tool is supplied with a briefcase-sized carrying case, a notably chunky additional handle (which clamps around the body and helps steady the drill), six drill bits, six screwdriver bits and a magnetic holder for the screwdriver bits as well. The case also has space for the charger.

So, 24V power, plenty of functions, and robust construction at a very competitive price. As I said, what’s not to like?

Power tools: Make Dad Happy This Christmas

Make Dad Happy This Christmas

It’s a well known fact that Dads love power tools. Why wouldn’t they? Small and marvellously portable, most power tools today pack a lot of punch for a reasonable price. The question is, what has your Dad got and what hasn’t he got? Make sure that you don’t order him any doubles….check out his tool shed and if he’s missing any key elements you’ll know which power tool he will most appreciate under the tree this year! Some of the most important and desirable power tools are as follows!


Jigsaws are excellent tools; they’re basically a fancy type of electric saw which allow users to cut in curved lines. So unlike a traditional saw which only manages straight lines, jigsaws may be used for fancier projects such as cutting out patterns in wood or particle board and for making fun items such as some children’s toys as well as frames and decorative pieces.

Some jigsaws can be purchased with a set of various blades so that the user may choose the best for his or her purpose depending on the project.

Impact driver

Forget about cordless screwdrivers and treat your Dad to a high powered impact driver. Impact drivers are great for getting screws in at top speed as well as for loosening large bolts or nuts which may be stuck. Impact drivers come in a variety of shapes and sizes and your budget will best dictate your choices!

Electric saws in tool store

Electric saws in tool store

Mitre saw

Mitre saws are designed to make precise, angled cuts to timber and they’re excellent for Dads who like to construct frames, planters and many other pieces of fancy woodwork. Any keen carpenter would love a good quality mitre saw to play with!


This has to be the ultimate Dad-toy. A shredder is a must for a keen gardener and most especially for anyone who has a large garden! Drum style shredders are particularly good and today’s versions are very quiet compared to the style of yesteryear! Throw in your pruning waste and wait for it to be smashed up into smithereens…then add it to the compost heap!

Hedge trimmer

Make your Dad’s hedge trimming exploits a dream with a speedy and powerful trimmer made just for the job! Hedge trimmers are not the same as hedge cutters…they’re designed for thick branches whilst trimmers do just that! They take of the little, messy parts of the hedge and help to keep them looking good. Much faster than a rusty pair of shears!

Working tool

Working tool

Remember that when choosing power tools for someone else…especially for your Dad, check that he hasn’t already got something similar lurking in the back of his workshop or tool shed! This is especially important if you’re not already familiar with power tools and don’t know a drill from a screwdriver! Choose well and your Dad will be a very happy man on Christmas morning!

If you’re not sure which model or style to go for, speak to someone who knows their stuff…most retailers will be more than happy to give your some good advice and ensure that you buy the best power tools possible!