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  1. #1
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    Home Improvement Mags: Best Cordless tool system?

    Ahoy, after some preliminary searching I find a few threads about cordless drills. However I am looking for information about the full cordless systems. I really want a collection of batteries and tools that all work together. Probably a drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, portable wet/dry vac, and maybe one of those things that has the small toothed blade out the front that can cut straight into drywall. Given the desire to have a 1 type of battery solution, I am looking for any thoughts about the tools as a set. Anybody have any "the drill was awesome, but the other tools were balls" stories?

    I have no brand allegiance, probably want something in the 18v +/- one step. Likely getting most of the tools around the same time (over the next year or two), but would like some ability to get replacement batteries/parts 10 years from now.

    What say you?

  2. #2
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    Milwaukee makes a good set. It all depends how much work you're gonna do with them. If its allot think about a corded saw all and circular saw. When it comes time to get another set I'm gonna go them or Bosch. Then again it all depends how much you want to spend. Rigid makes an affordable set

  3. #3
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    I recently got a Dewalt 18v drill with 2 batteries as a gift. It was my first decent cordless drill and I have been extremely satisfied with it. So I'm slowly picking up other tools from Amazon. Right now I have the 1/2" torque wrench and I've got my eye on the reciprocating saw next.
    Brandine: Now Cletus, if I catch you with pig lipstick on your collar one more time you ain't gonna be allowed to sleep in the barn no more!
    Cletus: Duly noted.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NmbrdDays View Post
    Milwaukee makes a good set. It all depends how much work you're gonna do with them. If its allot think about a corded saw all and circular saw.
    That's interesting. I just finished talking with my dad (spent the last 30 years working construction) and he said just the opposite; that unless you're going to be using them every day, go chorded. If it is something you're only using a few times a year, by the time you factor in replacement cost of batteries, the cost/use goes WAY up.

    I just got a few tools as a grad present, and the only chordless ones were the drill and impact driver. The rest (saws-all, circular saw, jig saw) I got with a chord. Cheaper, should last a long time, don't have to deal with batteries (of course, the same could be said for not having to find an extension chord)
    Quote Originally Posted by Smoke
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmer View Post
    That's interesting. I just finished talking with my dad (spent the last 30 years working construction) and he said just the opposite; that unless you're going to be using them every day, go chorded. If it is something you're only using a few times a year, by the time you factor in replacement cost of batteries, the cost/use goes WAY up.
    I hear that, but I think that is a daily construction consideration. From a home construction standpoint, having the ability to have all the tools stored in a relatively small space that can be quickly pulled out has some real advantages. For super high usage, I would totally go corded, but for use 1-2 times a week on average, I think having a good cordless set has some real usefulness.

    Raw cost, corded will be cheaper. Fixing the fence on the far side of the yard becomes much more daunting though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmer View Post
    chorded...chordless...chord...chord
    ....Why?
    focus.

  7. #7
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    As a home owner hacking on my house or the GF's house the power tool I use the most by far seems to be a drill and so its nice to not have to run a cord to drill A hole or 2 mount some bindings or something small and for this I got a cheap cordless I inherited from my dad or at GF's she also has a cheap cordless

    BUT If its bigger job or I gotta drive a bunch of LONG deck or DW screws I drag out the old BD corded drill or for cutting an old the old skil saw because they always have enough power and since its a bigger job that is going to take a long time I don't mind running cords

    To resheath a buddies floor in an old ski cabin which is pure screw driving a whole bunch of deck screws and cordless portability wouldn't matter I was given a construction quality screw gun and the battery only lasted for 1 and 1/2 4x8 sheet of decking or so, so we were worrying about having enough battery power, If I had brought my old BD drill it would easily have done the whole thing no problem, of course a contracter would have the enough batteries yada yada but all that would cost $$$$

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmer View Post
    That's interesting. I just finished talking with my dad (spent the last 30 years working construction) and he said just the opposite; that unless you're going to be using them every day, go chorded. If it is something you're only using a few times a year, by the time you factor in replacement cost of batteries, the cost/use goes WAY up.
    No f-in way. You would be a fool to buy anything corded in this day and age for home use.

    I got a Craftsman 19.2V set with a small circular saw, drill, and trouble light back in 2005. When I first looked at the saw I thought it was a toy. It's proved me wrong 100x over. It's got the power to rip wet 2x4's. The drill has also stood up very well, the chuck is getting a bit worn. I don't thing I've recently done the drill any favours by using it to mix tile mortar.

    It's nice that Craftsman has added new 19.2v lithium batteries in the same format. If and when these batteries die it will be nice to upgrade and not loose the whole set of tools.



    I can't saw enough how good this little saw has been. Using a straight edge guide I've cut and ripped butchers block countertops.

    This thread reminds me I need a new blade for it.

  9. #9
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    I have not been able to break a very cheap Ryobi set from Home depot after ~10 years, one home remodel, one full cabin rebuild plus regular day to day stuff. Dropped drill off roof of house once years (by mistake) never missed a beat. Just a pair of replacement batteries one time. I don't think it's worth spending extra on bigger name brands.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  10. #10
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    I have a Milwaukee combo set with a drill, impact driver, sawzall, and light. It also came with two batteries for around 400 from the Depot. I would definitely recommend it for around the house type of stuff. The real cost in all of these cordless tools is the batteries and there are only a couple of manufacturers so the most of the other differences is all marketing hype. Brushless vs brushed motors will make a difference but you are going to be making a serious investment a brushless set. As far as corded vs. cordless you are going to get a lot more potential power from a corded option. The corded options will be less expensive and and a better option for tools that require more Kw for the job like saws and the like.

  11. #11
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    I had a big kit of NiCad cordless stuff about 10 years ago -- 18V Ryobi package from Home Depot -- drill, sawzall, small circular saw, vacuum, flashlight, 2 batteries, charger. The only thing in it that I ever really used was the drill, and even then, I preferred my corded drill. The NiCad batteries just didn't last long.

    I craigslisted that stuff, and picked up an 18V lithium-ion Porter Cable drill w/ 2 batteries. Charges much faster, holds charge longer than the NiCad stuff. Much better quality too, but I knew the Ryobi stuff wasn't that great when I got it.

    To the O.P. -- for corded vs. cordless -- think about what tools you are likely to need to walk around with in the yard, or places that are hard/PITA to run extension cords (attics, crawlspaces).
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  12. #12
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    im in the makita 18v Lithium-ion camp. batteries are spendy but tools (especially the bare tools) are very reasonable given their quality.

    Side note; if i was buying up new tools today, i would skip the regular drill driver and buy the impact driver and hammer drill.

  13. #13
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    Corded tools for around the house don't wear out so how does a power toll company sell more product ...different colors and battery power

    The BD drill & skil saw I bought 30-40 yrs ago are still kicking so unless I wanted to be a conspicuous consumer I would have a hard time spending $ to replace them to do the odd job, I can't see needing battery power before I check out and the one battery powered drill I do own is only because somebody died

  14. #14
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    I've got a milwaukee set with drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, grinder. With two batteries we rock the $h*t out of that thing all summer building and absolutely love it. Heaps of hours on it and no problems thus far. Trim work, stairs, roof repair, fence, etc, all have been super smooth thanks to the portability/versatility. Does not have the power/ high cost/ lifespan etc. etc. etc. but when I can easily walk out and make a quick cut/hole with no setup/prep it is worth more than the tradeoffs. I'm also loving the reciprocating saw for large diameter tree pruning.

  15. #15
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    A few years ago I read an article in a woodworking magazine that explained how Nickel based (Ni-Cad and Ni-MH) batteries will lose their charge capacity over time if they are not used frequently. I have certainly experienced this with my lightly used Ryobi set.

    For this reason alone I'd look into Li batteries as they aren't affected by periods of inactivity.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmer View Post
    chorded...chordless...chord...chord
    Quote Originally Posted by Mustonen View Post
    ....Why?
    chorded = bop

    chordless = modal

  17. #17
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    ryobi seems to have a bad rap, but we had a little 12v at work that lasted longer than me at that office! We did use it every day so I guess that plays into the NiCd battery thing...
    ... jfost is really ignorant, he often just needs simple facts laid out for him...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustonen View Post
    ....Why?
    2 hrs sleep, 2 hr workout, then trying to post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Smoke
    Cell phones are great in the backcountry. If you're injured, you can use them to play Tetris, which helps pass the time while waiting for cold embrace of Death to envelop you.

  19. #19
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    I have a bunch of dewalt tools that I'm really happy with (18v li-ion). The drill and impact driver are the only ones i really use. I prefer the power of the corded saws and router.

    FYI, li-ion batteries are great for weight (nice when you're reaching above your head to drill holes) but they go from good to dead in seconds. There's no warning that the battery is about to die. The big heavy batteries tend to slow down before they die to give you warning, which is why most contractors prefer them.

  20. #20
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    I like my Makita stuff. But you can by the cheaper Ryobi or Costco stuff and buy a new set every other year for the next 5 years for the the same price. If you are a contractor than it pays to get the high end stuff . Otherwise go cheaper.
    License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations

  21. #21
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    Dewalt -- not so much because it's good but because you will never ever have trouble finding parts, batteries, chargers, etc. on Craigslist. I beat the crap out of my hammerdrill and have used the trim saw and saber saw for roughing in a kitchen, adding a 240V circuit (cutting conduit and poking through a wall), etc. Both are still doing fine. Hell they even make a full-on rotary hammer for the 18V system that can drill a few bolts in granite.

    The other thing I'm really really happy I bought was a drill press off Craigslist. $35 for a 12" Ryobi benchmount press that wears like iron. Very very useful. Would be worth 250% what I paid, although at the time I was skeptical of even paying $35. That's been really handy.

    Oddly enough the Black & Decker 18V hedge trimming / leaf blowing / chain sawing tools are not bad either and their batteries are dirt cheap. I would not buy everyday tools from that line (I prefer Dewalt personally) but the ones I have bought have been trustworthy.

    If you just need a tool for one job, buy a piece of shit from Harbor Freight and then sell it on Craigslist. (Or don't -- some of their tools, like the 10" tile saw, are actually much better than the price would suggest; most suck, though)

  22. #22
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    No f-in way. You would be a fool to buy anything corded in this day and age for home use.

    I got a Craftsman 19.2V set with a small circular saw, drill, and trouble light back in 2005. When I first looked at the saw I thought it was a toy. It's proved me wrong 100x over. It's got the power to rip wet 2x4's. The drill has also stood up very well, the chuck is getting a bit worn. I don't thing I've recently done the drill any favours by using it to mix tile mortar.

    It's nice that Craftsman has added new 19.2v lithium batteries in the same format. If and when these batteries die it will be nice to upgrade and not loose the whole set of tools.



    I can't saw enough how good this little saw has been. Using a straight edge guide I've cut and ripped butchers block countertops.

    This thread reminds me I need a new blade for it.
    count me a happy fool spending not much for cheap tools that work. Cordless drills are great, the rest of the stuff, not so much. Batteries die, jobs need more than one thing so you wait for batteries to charge. But whatever. Makita's been ok for a few things.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    count me a happy fool spending not much for cheap tools that work. Cordless drills are great, the rest of the stuff, not so much. Batteries die, jobs need more than one thing so you wait for batteries to charge. But whatever. Makita's been ok for a few things.
    You get it. Cordless drill are great. I would never buy the cordless circular saw and or a saw all. Maybe is tiny Milwaukee one for a few cuts. Batteries die too quick when they are in the saw and waiting for them to charge is a waste of time. Stick to cordless drill and power for everything else.

    I am in the trade so that may put weight on my opinion but even doing home work, it makes you happier when things go smooth. Countless trips to home depot and waiting for battery's to charge annoys me. Plus you don't have to keep running back and forth to get a new battery every 4 cuts. In the end you get what you pay for.

  24. #24
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    about 10 years ago I was tired of having to deal with dead batteries half way thru a job, So I took one of my old Makita 9.6 drills, connected 2 long wires to it and made it a 12 volt drill. No more dead batteries.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post


    .
    Got one of those cordless circular saws in a combo pack, didn't really want it but it was basically free. Its fucking awesome, use the thing all the time.

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