Utility tools: Drill attachment cuts overhead cable faster, safer

utility tools utility equipment utility supplies IDEAL Merlin PowerBlade
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Utility supplies: Utility linemen have limited options when it comes to cutting high-capacity, high-strength ACSR (Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced) cable commonly used in overhead power lines, or the "guy wire" tensioned cable installed to improve utility pole stability. Old-fashioned loppers and manual cutters will distort ACSR cable into an egg shape, or leave it with dangerous burrs and sharp edges. More recently, companies have introduced stand-alone battery-powered ACSR cutters but these cost several thousands of dollars while requiring extensive maintenance, putting a strain on cash-strapped municipalities.

Filling the needs gap is the IDEAL Merlin PowerBlade. It fits onto the standard corded or cordless drills that electricians carry with them everyday, so there is no need to waste time with special battery packs or chargers. Once installed, the Merlin Power Blade is held securely in place with an adjustable torque arm, while the user grips an ergonomic, textured Santoprene handle for added stability. Next, the user simply pulls the drill's trigger to cut through thick ACSR cables in 20 seconds or less. This compares very favorably with manual cutters that typically require 2-3 minutes to cut through ACSR. To assure little or no cable distortion, the Merlin PowerBlade blade is uniquely contoured to provide clean, rounded cutting of ACSR cable.

"Merlin is a natural extension of our highly successful PowerBlade concept. It brings all the advantages of PowerBlade to utility linemen who, until now, have had to tolerate the drudgery of manually cutting thick ACSR," said Bruce Hartranft, Senior Product Manager for IDEAL. "PowerBlade eliminates the poor quality, muscle strain and high labor costs associated with manual ACSR cutters with a safer, faster and more accurate cutting alternative that reduces expenses for utilities."

Despite its innovative technology, the Merlin PowerBlade is far from fragile. IDEAL employed a new proprietary heat treatment method that achieves extreme hardening of the blades, a benefit that translates into hundreds, if not thousands, of cuts before requiring replacement. Heavy-duty gears are protected within a reinforced, all-metal housing to maintain peak performance. Nothing has been left to chance, including the non-slip user grip that folds for easier storage or to fit into tight spaces.

Available immediately at IDEAL authorized distributors, the new Merlin PowerBlade joins the IDEAL PowerBlade 750 and Big Kahuna PowerBlade cable cutters in the industry's only drill-attachable family of cable cutters.

For more information about IDEAL or other products, click here to go to Utility Products’ Buyers Guide.

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April 2014
Volume 18, Issue 4
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