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Cordless Power Tools

  1. #1
    Posting Freak BSR6's Avatar
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    Cordless Power Tools


    The batteries for my Porter Cable impact driver and drill set are spent and the impact driver is starting to act up. At this point, I've decied to buy into a whole new system. I want to go pro grade as I'm sick of wearing out tools. I'm not a pro but I take on a lot of projects so usage will be heavy for a typical homeowner/DIYer. I've burned through 3 impact drivers over the past 7 years, but they've all been homeowner grade so my guess is that's a factor.

    Frankly, I'm not a huge fan of batteries and tend to run corded tools for the heavier stuff (saws etc.) so the higher voltage options aren't something I'm looking at. For the most part I'm sticking to the 18V range (or 20 depending on brand). The focus is portability and lighter tasks. In the long run I'll be looking to acquire an Impact Driver, Drill/Driver, Multi/Oscillating-Tool, right angle drill, reciprocating saw, and possibly a small hammer drill under this new system.

    My understanding is that if you want good quality the top runners are Milwaukee and Makita. I've always been a Milwaukee fan but this is just my impression as I'm pretty far out of the loop in knowing what's good.

    Any recommendations on which brand is worth going with? I'm not too hung up on price since quality is a priority and the difference between the options isn't enough to concern me.

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  2. #2
    TWINS! xrocket21's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Milwaukee for sure.

    Im saving my pennies for an M18 impact.

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  3. #3
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    If I really wanted to get out of the "consumer" market and look at "pro" tools, I'd have a hard time getting away from Hilti.
    I'd also agree, I think of Milwaukee as the leader in the "prosumer" market.

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  4. #4
    Lifer backinthesaddle's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    I’ve been borrowing the tools of two buddies who are boat repair guys who work on top notch international traveling boats. One has Makita and one Milwaukee. Both seem top shelf and better then anything I’ve owned FWIW.

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  5. #5
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Honestly, Ryobi. I just bought my sister one of their 7" circ-saws and a couple batteries for xmas. Their system is amazing and has every tool you can dream of, plus a couple. Much easier on the wallet. And they have the latest rage bits too like brushless versions of most of their stuff. For a homeowner I think their tools are the way to go. I'd be buying their stuff if I were doing it over again.

    Milwaukee is the only other I'd consider.

    Quality is one thing. But tool selection is a bigger one. With what the batteries cost having to buy, keep track of and charge different batteries for different tools sucks. Buy into a system that has every tool you could ever imagine needing and then some. Ryobi and Milwaukee do this well.

    Ironically I own zero Ryobi and only a single Milwaukee tool myself. Instead I have 4 different battery systems with 4 different chargers and a couple batteries each. Don't be like me.

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  6. #6

    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Honestly, Ryobi. I just bought my sister one of their 7" circ-saws and a couple batteries for xmas. Their system is amazing and has every tool you can dream of, plus a couple. Much easier on the wallet. And they have the latest rage bits too like brushless versions of most of their stuff. For a homeowner I think their tools are the way to go. I'd be buying their stuff if I were doing it over again.

    Milwaukee is the only other I'd consider.

    Quality is one thing. But tool selection is a bigger one. With what the batteries cost having to buy, keep track of and charge different batteries for different tools sucks. Buy into a system that has every tool you could ever imagine needing and then some. Ryobi and Milwaukee do this well.

    Ironically I own zero Ryobi and only a single Milwaukee tool myself. Instead I have 4 different battery systems with 4 different chargers and a couple batteries each. Don't be like me.
    Have you ever tried the battery adapters between the brands from Ebay etc?

    I personally am committed to the Ridgid line and am plenty happy with them, but I would consider the adapters if a deal for another line came up.

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  7. #7
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    I have a bunch of Dewalt tools, including a 1/4 impact driver, drill, and big boy 1/2 impact with 1100ft/lbs of break force. Love them all, they all the use same format batteries, and all perform great. 18v max ones.

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  8. #8
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Personally I think it's more important to get the high capacity battery vs standard battery on whichever tool brand you decide on.
    We have Hilti and DeWalt at work for cordless impacts. The Hilti is about 3x the cost of the DeWalt, I like the feel and performance of the DeWalt better.
    Both of them kinda sucked with the standard batteries. When I planted 500 Xmas trees on our farm last spring, I could drill about 25 holes with the standard battery, and got between 60-70 holes with the high capacity battery.

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  9. #9
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by R7 View Post
    Personally I think it's more important to get the high capacity battery vs standard battery on whichever tool brand you decide on.
    We have Hilti and DeWalt at work for cordless impacts. The Hilti is about 3x the cost of the DeWalt, I like the feel and performance of the DeWalt better.
    Both of them kinda sucked with the standard batteries. When I planted 500 Xmas trees on our farm last spring, I could drill about 25 holes with the standard battery, and got between 60-70 holes with the high capacity battery.
    Is that your personal supply for life or are you going into business?!

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  10. #10
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Yeah, I have a couple 4.0A/h batteries for my DeWalts and it just lasts and lasts. Then again, I've only ever had to charge each of the other batteries once, even after doing my bathroom over. Drilling holes for 50 driveway markers in icy ground still won't eat up the smallest 2.0A/h battery.

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  11. #11
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Milwaukee seems to be the high end (for consumer tools) Makita and Dewalt are in the middle, and Ryobi the lower end.

    I’m pretty invested in the Makita 18v line myself. One of my best friends is a remodeling contractor and he’s had good success with it so that swayed my decision. I’m probably slightly higher usage than average homeowner. But like Bubba, I would also be tempted to go Ryobi though if I was doing it again.

    Check Craigslist/Marketplace too, I’ve seen a lot of good deals on combo kits listed there

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  12. #12
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Contrarian vote for Makita here. I'm recently into the 18V brushless line after 25 years with the same ugly old reliable 9.6V drill. Still works, but the Ni-Cad battery had seen better days. I'm using the drill, 1/4" driver, 3/8" impact, and 1/2" impact daily in an auto shop. Kind of a test to see if I can replace air tools. I'm a little underwhelmed on the torque on the 3/8", but haven't broken any fasteners either, so that's a plus. 1/2" does lug nuts and CV axle nuts OK. Battery life is great compared to my antique stuff. No experience with Milwaukee.

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  13. #13
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by xrocket21 View Post
    Milwaukee for sure.

    Im saving my pennies for an M18 impact.
    I'm torn, between the Milwaukee cordless or an air impact, the advantages of a cordless electric is obvious, and makes it practical to swap a set of wheels on my UTV, away from my yard, something I have done a couple times without power.

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  14. #14
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Cordless impact is the way to go. I gave all my air impacts away after the first time using my big Dewalt.

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  15. #15
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    I've got two 1/2" air impacts, my cheapie from Tractor Supply can likely be beat by a 3yr old with their bare hands. My old one I inherited from my grandfather, I'd be impressed if a cordless could out gun it. Anything it's failed on required cutting to remove. That said, at some point I will pick up a Milwalkie Fuel M18 1/2" to compliment my drill and 1/4" impact.

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  16. #16
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    Is that your personal supply for life or are you going into business?!
    Assuming you're talking about the Xmas trees? It's part of a business/retirement plan. We're planting 500 trees a year for the next 10 years. The Xmas trees are only a small part of the farm plan.

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  17. #17
    Posting Freak BSR6's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    The more opinions I seek, the more convinced I am to go with Milwaukee. It's a brand that's always stood out for me and virtually everyone I've asked has good things to say about them. Tool selection isn't an issue because pretty much every brand offers what I'm looking for.

    Now I'm debating whether or not I should go with the hydraulic impact over the conventional one.

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  18. #18
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    I've had a Milwaukee M18 set (drill, impact, sawzall, grinder, skill saw) for 6 or 7 years and they've done great. About 3 years of "pro" level use and homeowner tools since then. The hammer drill function is no replacement for a proper SDS rotary hammer, but it can do light stuff. Keep the sawzall blade mechanism lubed with a blast of WD from time to time and that's about it. Would buy again.

    My buddy is a general contractor and loves the Makita stuff FWIW.

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  19. #19
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Another happy Milwaukee guy. Have several tools I use daily. Have a 1/2" Fuel high torque impact that, while heavier than my IR air gun, has I would say, almost as much sack as my 3/4" gun.

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  20. #20
    Posting Freak Tas's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    OP.....which color do you like most?

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  21. #21
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by loudbeard View Post
    The hammer drill function is no replacement for a proper SDS rotary hammer.
    I have a now obsolete Ryobi ER-160 rotary hammer, weights about 8 lbs, has a ½hp 2 stroke motor, I use it mostly for drilling holes in granite with 9/16 SDS bits

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  22. #22
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Cordless impact is the way to go. I gave all my air impacts away after the first time using my big Dewalt.
    Meh. I'm a fan of air. Pretty much every time I fire up the compressor to use the impact I'm going to need it for the pneumatics on the tire machine anyways.

    I feel like it's a big investment upfront for a good compressor. But once you have it...

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  23. #23
    Lifer burnham's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    I have both a DeWalt, and a Makita kit. I feel like the DeWalt quality is far higher. The Makita stuff works well, but it's only a year old, and feels like it's five. We have a bunch of Milwaukee kits at work and have had some failures. We're using the tools on energized 14 KV a lot, which probably doesn't help things.

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  24. #24
    ain't nuttin wrong w/that scubasteveRR's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    as a plumber I have and use a shit ton of Milwaukee stuff. 12v and 18v impacts, drills, multitools, pipecutters, bandsaws, propresses, pex guns... ect ect. they all work great, tough as nails.

    They get wet everyday, sometimes soaked or submerged by accident.. they dry out and work fine after. highly recommend.

    being on a jobsite everyday i see a lot of Makita and Dewault stuff. they all seem to work fine from afar...

    i dont think you can go wrong with any of those 3 brands.

    Milwaukee tools tend to be more more geared towards my profession, which is why i have/use them.

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  25. #25
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Cordless Power Tools

    The Milwaukee line seems to have literally every tool ever imagined. I think they made some of the shit in their catalog up actually.
    By my view the Ryobi 18V system has everything any homeowner could want (and then some).
    The difference is cost. The Ryobi stuff is way more affordable. I argue it is good 'nuf for us homeowners.

    Most of my cordless power tools are Craftsman C3 system, now obsolete. I can still get batteries but the tools are disappearing.
    I bought a Dewalt 20V 1/2" impact for the shop. I have a pair of 2Ah batteries that I picked up for cheap on fleabay. I use the tool so infrequently that those batteries are fine.
    I have a pair of the Bosch 12V drill/drivers for working in the woodshop. Those small drills & drivers are a dream for assembling cabinets and furniture as well as general household use.
    As much as I like the Bosch system, the selection isn't great, especially for auto/machine tools. I decided I'd need to go Milwaukee for that. I was gifted a M12 grinder recently. Went to fleabay for the chargers and batteries for that too. Now I really want the 3/8" power ratchet.

    I stay away from cordless for tools like hammer drills and such that I use infrequently. Corded still works fine for that stuff. And corded is comparatively cheap. I see the latest rage is cordless jobsite/miter saws. Few homeowners will ever have need for such things.
    SDS rotary hammer I'd just rent for a job. No sense owning that. But I have a corded hammer drill that is good enough for drilling concrete for tap-cons and such. That's worth owning.

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