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  #1  
Old December 25th, 2008, 19:56
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hubs97xj hubs97xj is offline
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Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

Looking to replace my well-used cordless drills, and I'm eying the newer Lithium-Ion whatever battery style. I'm looking for a drill, impact driver, two batts, charger, case/bag. Don't need much in the way of accessories, although lines/brands that let you use additional tools with the same batts could be handy.

Like to hear some feedback from real people. My BIL uses a beefier LI Milwaukee kit (28V, I think) at work (plumbing/HVAC outfit) that he speaks highly of, but I don't know anyone else personally who uses anything but Craftsman, DeWalt, or B&D, with the older Ni-Cad batteries. Any thoughts on cordless tools? What's been horrible, what's been great, how's battery life, etc?

Thanks for your input.
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  #2  
Old December 25th, 2008, 20:03
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

I think Skill and Dewalt are both engineered by Bosch now. Don't really know about the newer stuff much, but had a Skill NiCad that refused to die for decades. Outlasted everything else two to one, probably just an accidentally good batch or something.
I generally stick with Bosch now, mid range with as few electronics (bells and whistles) as possible. Though a good torque adjustment is really handy.
Matulka is what most of the professionals are using around here.
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  #3  
Old December 25th, 2008, 20:04
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

My dad loves his 18v Dewalt stuff. I have an 18v Craftsman that i love. To each his own i spose.
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  #4  
Old December 25th, 2008, 21:25
igotanxj igotanxj is offline
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

My makita has never failed me, it has a LOT of power for a little 9.6v too.
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  #5  
Old December 25th, 2008, 21:50
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

Makita, Millwaukee, DeWalt, and Snap-on are all very very acceptable. I prefer Snap-on just because I work (well got laid off from) a dealership and the Snap-on guy would warranty just about anything for us. He even warrantied a few batteries for one guy!
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  #6  
Old December 25th, 2008, 22:15
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

My Makita 14.4V (Ni-MH, I think - I know it's not NiCd) is finally having trouble holding charges in battery packs - after Gawd knows how many cycles! I've long since quit counting, but I'm sure it's well past spec life for the things.

Now it's a question of, "Do I get new packs, or do I replace the thing outright?" I keep wanting to look at the 18V DeWalt kits...

If I felt like they could hold up to the sort of use I'd put them to, the Ryobi One+ series at Home Depot looks nice - but I've not had good luck with Ryobi. I did get a Ryobi cordless for my wife (she doesn't push tools as hard as I do) and it's lasting her fairly well, but she doesn't drill holes through 6x6 for any reason, and never drills metal. I've had to punch holes through 3/4" thick plate a couple of times, and I want to make sure the thing will hold up...
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  #7  
Old December 25th, 2008, 22:17
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

Personally I'd like at the heaviest tools you think you'll use, then buy the other tools to fit the power pack. Something like a cordless impact, then buy the other tools to match
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  #8  
Old December 25th, 2008, 23:29
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

While I like DeWalt tools in general, I'm not a huge fan of their drills- I've used several 18V (are they also NiMH? I think the XRPs might be), and they had some quirks with the gear selectors, and were heavy working on a ladder or on my back. I used a 3/8" corded briefly, but it self destructed running a spade bit through 2x4s.

I've got some Ryobi corded tools as well which I am pleased with (miter saw and 4.5" grinder), but not used any of their cordless tools. Their drill/driver combo comes with the smaller LI batteries, while I would prefer the fullsize batts- an additional $200. Durability is questionable, depending on who you ask.

The Milwaukee seems to be a good unit, and gets good reviews (the BIL said his set is great, except for the sawzall, which he said was worthless for cutting black iron pipe, lacking guts), and we abused their Holehawg drills and worm-drive saws horribly when I worked for a tile and terrazzo firm (converting worm-drive saws for wet stone-cutting, mixing mortar and terrazzo with the drills). It's one of the more expensive pairings, but I was impressed by the abuse their other tools withstood.

I've read that the current Craftsman line are Ryobis (haven't confirmed, but wouldn't be surprised), and I've got a 14.4V drill that has flaky batteries. One of the more affordable units, but slightly higher voltage (19.2, IIRC). Same ability to use a variety of tools as the Ryobis, although I don't know if Ryobi tools can use Craftsman batts and vice versa. Not terribly impressed with my buddy's drill, which is newer, and apparently different than my Craftsman drill. My Hitachi (which belches smoke, and is about 6 yrs old now) still beats on it.

I don't have easy access to the Snap On guy anymore, and have zero experience with anything but their hand tools. I've used Makita corded tools, but not cordless. I've not heard any complaints regarding their tools, and liked what I've used. They've dropped the price on their pairing to around $200, IIRC, although there are no additional tools available that I've seen. Not a deal breaker, but something to consider.

One thing that bothers me is the lack of specs offered for most tools. I care greatly about runtime, inch lbs, and charge times, and not much at all about ad copy. With my current drills, I can drain a battery faster than I can charge one- on the days I've really used them, I wind up standing around waiting- not good at all.

Ridgid also has some tools, but I noticed my Ridgid vac is identical to a Craftsman vac- I suppose power tools are like most things- dozens of brands from only a few manufacturers. Best rating on the impact driver (~130 ft/lbs, I believe), but if it's really just a rebadged [insert brand], I don't see a point in paying a premium.

Yeah, I really geek out on things like this, but I've never regretted researching a purchase, while I've paid for impulse buys by buying the same things again. Looking for some feedback from other users, and it seemed logical to ask around here, seeing as this is a pretty hands-on bunch. Thanks, and keep it coming.
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  #9  
Old December 25th, 2008, 23:29
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

<hic> double post

Last edited by hubs97xj; December 25th, 2008 at 23:34. Reason: lag
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  #10  
Old December 26th, 2008, 06:35
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

When I was working construction I had the chance to use both the DeWalt XRP stuff and the LI Milwaukee 28V stuff, both worked really well, but the Milwaukee was awesome, plenty of torque, and the cordless drill would run all day long. Even the Saws-all would last quite a wile, we could get a good 10 min continuos use out of it, didn't get to try any of the other 28V stuff, but I'm a believer.
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  #11  
Old December 26th, 2008, 07:32
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

Dewalt 18V hands down!
I beat the piss out of them and they keep going.
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  #12  
Old December 26th, 2008, 08:11
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

I've used the Milwaukee 18V Lithium powered drill and its the best one i've used so far. The only down side is its weight, compared to the 18V makitas, hiltis and the dewalt its damn heavy, but its tough and can survive a lot of abuse.
If you want lightweight then I would go with the Hilti, the Makita is about the same weight but we broke two of them in one year. they wouldn't stay in gear any more and one of them was stuck in low gear permanently.

I use one of these for my small household projects or wroking on the jeep.
Milwaukee 12V subcompact drill
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  #13  
Old December 26th, 2008, 08:39
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

The only thing about Milwaukee, is you are paying for the red paint.
Back in the day, Milwaukee was the only player on the block for commercial / industrial use, any more, a Bosch or Dewalt will hold up just as well fo a fraction of the price.
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  #14  
Old December 26th, 2008, 09:34
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

Dad just got a Bosch 18v Litheon yesterday... Was pretty ****ing impressive, esp compared to his older ones.
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  #15  
Old December 26th, 2008, 10:01
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Re: Cordless Power Tools- What do you like?

I think it was Consumer Reports or something like that who did a rating on them.
Makita turned out #1 for the test.
I have always liked my Makita tools, always ran, took a beating and still kept going. One battery pack has a cracked case but still works aswell as the others after 5 years now I think.

Not sure if you have them in the US, but Rigid tools seem to work rather well too. Not to mention they come with Lifetime Guarantee on all parts, including the battery.
Dewalt from what I remember is a Black and Decker brand, and over the years have gone down hill in quality. Milwuakee I find is hit n miss, we had kits overseas for each section. The batteries were garbage lasting maybe a few minutes in some cases, at best an hour of casual drill use. But that could be a bad batch (of 18 or so batteries that is)

I would like to give Bosch a bit more time on the market before I buy any of their cordless tools, but if they are anything like their corded, they will be top notch.

When it comes to brute force and dependability Makita takes the cake, but with a lifetime guarantee its hard to skip the Rigids.
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