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Old 01-02-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
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Need Power Tool Help/Opinions

Need power tool help/opinions.
All my power tools are corded and 'newest' is at least 25 years old. Need to buy new cordless drill & circular saw. My past experiences from years ago with cordless tools is disappointing at best, makes me feel no cordless [COLOR=#0072BC ! important][COLOR=#0072BC ! important]tool[/COLOR][/COLOR] can come close to competing with corded tools.
Who makes the best for my needs - "best" meaning (in no order of precedence or preference)...
...fully interchangeable batteries between all the tools
...battery that can sit for months of no use
...battery that has quick recharge that are reasonably light weight that fit the hands well, are balanced & easy to handle
...individual hard carrying cases for each tool
...good warranty and manufacturer that honors that warranty

There are probably other factors that will influence me but I can't think of them at the moment.

I can't say that cost isn't a factor but it is not the most important or even second important factor.

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Old 01-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DCMAC214 View Post
Need power tool help/opinions.
All my power tools are corded and 'newest' is at least 25 years old. Need to buy new cordless drill & circular saw.

I can't say that cost isn't a factor but it is not the most important or even second important factor.
Go to a pawn shop and buy ONE (I'd look for a impact driver).
ANY driver/drill though (it really doesn't matter which brand).
Use it for a while and see what you like or don't about that maker/model.

Then make your OWN choice based in your experience of your OWN needs based on your OWN actual use.

As to the saw... don't expect to be framing a house using a cordless.
Bryan. 2000 Georgie Boy Pursuit.

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Old 01-02-2011, 12:03 PM   #3
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I still want most of my power tools corded. The batteries to the cordless tools have to be charged and they run down when in use. I do keep a cordless drill as a convince. But I still need the corded tools fro any heavy work.

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Old 01-02-2011, 12:54 PM   #4
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Hello - I have had good luck with DeWalt 18V; over time I have purchased a few kits and ended up with multiple batteries and chargers. If I have a big job, then I leave one battery on the charger ready to go. I find that charge time of a depleted (not dead) battery is on the order of an hour. Shelf life of the charged battery is good - on the order on months. The Lithium batteries are the best for storage.

I found individual storage cases took up too much space - I ended up with a large bag for all.

I would second the comment about the impact driver - very powerfull and smaller than a comparable drill/driver.

In terms of adequate for the task - I have found all but the cordless circular saw very adequate. It may be a case of how you define heavy.


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Old 01-02-2011, 01:16 PM   #5
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I have used Dewalt and have been pleased. The convenience of no cord makes it great. I got two sets and keep one set of batteries charging all the time while I use the other set. Works for me, even when I was building sheds and remodeling.

Take care,
Dan and Kathryn DeBruin plus dogs
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:20 PM   #6
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We full time and I just went the other direction and replaced my old cordless tools with corded ones. In the coach I'm never far from an outlet and the limited power from cordless tools, the charging equipment and batteries just became more hassle than it was worth to me.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:34 PM   #7
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I just gave my son in laws my tools. Did not think I would need them while on the road.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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Most of the "big box" retailers offer package deals that include several tools in one case. Batteries are interchangeable and storage is easy. As for brand there are several that are great but size and weight should be a consideration.

I wouldn't recommend anything lower than 18 volts but would likely choose the 24 volt system. An extra battery kept on the charger when working lessens the inconvenience of battery drain.

Good luck.
Del & Charlotte
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:17 PM   #9
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I have almost every Ryobi (Home Depot Brand) in 18 volt. I have been pleased with their performance over the years. If I was starting over again, I would probably choose DeWalt with lithium ion batteries.
Wayne & Roberta

08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis......It's really weird being the same age as old people. I thought getting old would take much longer.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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If you are interested in heavy duty and get into projects where the cord would otherwise be necessay for longevity, choose battery tools from Milwaukee, Bosch, Makita & DeWalt, maybe Rigid also; choose one brand & stick w/it so batteries & chargers are interchangeable. Go 18V and lithium batteries. Get a set (usually 3 tools plus a flashlight plus two batteries & charger) to start, then when you add a tool, add one that has its own battery & charger as a kit. Aim for a full set w/3 batteries & two chargers, which should, by managing charging while working, keep you in power indefinitely for 98% of chores.

I chose Makita's 18V LiIon set and have rebuilt the drill/driver/hammer-drill, that's how much I've used it. Make sure you use the gears & speeds so you don't lug the motor down in high gear. These things are now so powerful you can overheat & melt parts if you don't use the gears sensibly (I know, that's what I did to the drill after ~4 years, tho notably after a lot of deep 3/4" holes in concrete & rock, and a lot of 5/8" holes in motorhome frames of 1/4" steel). The Bosch or Milwaukee would have performed equally well I believe, tho the DeWalt stuff,popular w/contractors I know, seems to be a bit more "disposable." Can't really say about Rigid but I see them in contractors sets a lot.

Most brands now have a 1/2" drill in the 4-tool set that has hammer capacity, and a scaled down 1/2 or 3/8" drill. Makita (and probably others) has "compact" batteries that use the same charger, weigh less than the full size and they make, w/the compact drill, a fair compromise to get into tight places. The only thing I haven't seen is a great right angle drill that is truly compact, so I carry the Craftsman Mini-T corded drill for those occasions when way-cramped quarters come calling.

The new battery vibratory blade tools (knock-offs of the Fein Multi-Master) are monster battery sucks, & if you need that type of tool, I'd get the Fein (spendy) or the Dremel corded version. I also carry a Roto-Zip w/the flexible drive extension which can take a bonafide carbide die grinder 1/8" shank bit that is slower than a full 1/4" die grinder bit/motor but for the compact size will get the job done on the road when you have to shave some thick metal.

Same observation as above re: bloated roto-molded cases chew up storage space badly, & bags or custom made storage solutions will save a lot of space. I thought about permanently mounting one of my chargers to the MH frame, but decided that the tool bag moves enough to other places that the charger needs to stay mobile as well.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:44 PM   #11
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Every time I seem to need a power tool in a hurry the cordless ones are always dead. I bought a good extension cord and carry mostly AC driven power tools.
Brian, Loretta & Lucy (Golden Retriever)
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:23 PM   #12
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I have a corded drill, but rely heavily on my Ryobi One + cordless tools that use the same batteriess. Love my angled drill! My Ryobi is better than my old Dewalt, just my opinion.

Greg & Lynn (Full-Timing)
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:34 PM   #13
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Brands are a toss-up. Dewalt makes Black and Decker, and many more brands are like that. The bottom line is; you really do get what your pay for. Were I buying a cordless driver/drill, saw pack today, I would definitely buy one with lithium-ion batteries. Right now I have a Sears Craftsman 18.4V driver/drill, flashlight pack which is about 8 years old, and a Black and Decker 12V drill and circular saw pack, which is about 12 years old. When those two packs die, I will definitely buy lithium-ion powered tools. They are much lighter weight, easier to handle, smaller, and the charge lasts just as long.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX,Infantry retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:24 AM   #14
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I agree with those who say most name brands will give good service. As has also been said, Lowe's and home Depot both have sets with multiple tools that share batteries. Most sets come with 2 batteries, but if you plan to use several tools at the same time, you may also want to consider buying a 3rd battery. Stick with tools that have higher voltage.

The newer tools have lithium ion batteries that will last longer. I also think lithium ion batteries don't have as high a tendency to self discharge like NiCad. I don't use my drill that often, and when I do, the NiCad batteries are frequently dead even though I charged them the last time I used the drill.

FWIW, I have a Ridgid drill that has a charger that will recharge the batteries in 20-minutes.
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