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Advice Needed on what to replace my lost power tools with


Satorikn

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I'm a handyman. Involved in some framing, light assembling and miscellaneous home installations.

I know there is two forums already with each pros and cons, i apologize if this is one of those threads everybody hates, but this is driving me crazy, as i cannot decide (between Milwaukee m18 or Dewalt 20v/60v Flexvolt)

 

I owned a Brushless 20V DeWalt Impact, Hammer Drill, Recip. Saw and a FlexVolt Circular Saw.

Long story short, i lost those tools and while i have used Milwaukee before i had zero complains about DeWalt.

Milwaukee tools look nicer than DeWalt, and many, many people have tried to talk me into switching over, but Flexvolt looks like a game changer for the future. DeWalt is a little bit cheaper, but while money is important, since i am starting over i'd rather take the one that makes me happier, i'd like some feedback on which company should i rebuild my power toolbox.

I like how Milwaukee looks (red is my favorite color), they are the Apple of construction tools. I am kind of tech inclined, and i liked the OneKey system, the performance is usually "lower" than DeWalt, sometimes it makes it even with comfort, torque, convenience (rafter hooks and attention to detail), but something tells me, Milwaukee sooner than later will annouce a new lineup of high voltage tools to compete (with Makita 36, Dewalt 54).

DeWalt is known to be reliable, i like backwards compatibility for flexvolt and 20v and power. I hate the yellow, really.

 

I would love your input on which to choose, i love Milwaukee attention to detail, i believe Dewalt's power,  if you have experience or own both, i'd love the input, thanks.

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I'm heavily invested in Milwaukee, after years of using nothing but Dewalt. When I invested in a cordless line this last time, Dewalt was caught in a slow transition between their 18V and 20V line and despite what Dewalt reps will tell you, they really dropped the ball on the transition. I didn't have 2 years to wait on them to get their shit together, so I went with Milwaukee. 

 

That being said, if I were starting over today, I would go with Dewalt if I were primarily looking for higher voltage tools, and Milwaukee if I were going to focus more on 12V tools. 

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6 hours ago, kornomaniac said:

From those 2 I'd pick DeWalt for the 'big' tools powered by flexvolt.

 

I would as well, plus they're at least assembling some of their tools here in the US.  Additionally, I like the compatibility of the non-Flexvolt chargers with the almost stagnant 12v Max system.  The Bluetooth speaker, USB charger, and ToughSystem radio are nice to run with a 12v battery if needed or desired.  When Flexvolt came out, I almost felt as though it was a natural evolution.  Granted, none of DeWalt's lights or power tools are cross-compatible between 12v and 20v, but hopefully you get the idea.  That said...

 

2 hours ago, DR99 said:

I would said Milwaukee in an instant just because they had awesome promotions back in the day, but now the promo's are not as great.

 

Some of their promos are hard to pass up, though.  I picked up the Fuel circular saw when it was bundled with the 9.0Ah battery and quick charger--$225 after military discount.  I waited for the Sawzall bundle to drop to $200 before picking it up, getting the 10% discount again.  So, a little over $400 for what costs over $900 regularly!  Also, if you have a Home Depot that has slow moving holiday promos, you can make the deal that much sweeter.  The Rocket light that sells as a bare tool for $199 was bundled with a 5.0Ah battery and charger a while back.  Milwaukee is currently running a deal where buying the Rocket nets a free 5.0Ah battery.  So, $199 for the light with $258 worth of batteries and charger thrown in?  Easy buy. 

 

16 minutes ago, Conductor562 said:

I'm heavily invested in Milwaukee, after years of using nothing but Dewalt. When I invested in a cordless line this last time, Dewalt was caught in a slow transition between their 18V and 20V line and despite what Dewalt reps will tell you, they really dropped the ball on the transition. I didn't have 2 years to wait on them to get their shit together, so I went with Milwaukee. 

 

That being said, if I were starting over today, I would go with Dewalt if I were primarily looking for higher voltage tools, and Milwaukee if I were going to focus more on 12V tools. 

 

I agree, based on observations here and at other forums and blogs.  I'm a relative newcomer to the power tool addiction, but it seems that B&D knows how to alienate people with their transitions.  A few years ago all I had were Porter Cable 18v lithium tools, most of which I picked up on clearance (should have seen what was coming with PC 20v Max being out).  When they were pulled from shelves at Lowe's and became a Ni-Cad only platform (which they started as), I wasn't surprised, but I also wasn't happy.  I did make up my mind that I wasn't going to merely switch to the new PC platform (a decision that in hindsight was good, given the lack of expansion in that line).  I bought a DeWalt drill and impact kit and haven't looked back.  Even so, DeWalt has been slow to release some things, causing me to expand to other systems.  Their fan comes out in October, I needed one immediately, so I bought the Ridgid with a great deal..  Their stand light would prove useful in the field, isn't available yet, so I got the aforementioned Rocket.  Also, some of DeWalt's tools lack features of their competitors' versions.  Even the Flexvolt saws lack a rafter hook, which seems to upset a lot of people.

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4 hours ago, DR99 said:

I would said Milwaukee in an instant just because they had awesome promotions back in the day, but now the promo's are not as great.

 

They're pushing batteries right now, it will come back around to free tools. I'm pretty happy with the free battery promos, we all need batteries and the m12s have been getting the 6.0Ah batteries instead of the 4.0Ah.

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Personally, I'm VERY happy with Milwaukee. Thus far I've only been disappointed by the nailers and the m12 OMT. The jigsaws need updating but they still work well. I do wish Milwaukee had a better chuck like Makita or Dewalt but it's a minor annoyance. The Milwaukee lineup is outstanding, the charger charges m12 and m18 which eliminates the need for multiple chargers(I use multiple but in different areas). Milwaukee is the king of lighting, everyone needs lights. Also the best warranty of the big companies, 5 years compared to 3 years, that's a pretty big difference.

 

Makita would be who I'd go with if I wasn't with Milwaukee. Good lineup, well built and the compact drill is tiny! The X2 platform is genius and continually growing.

 

Dewalt is a solid choice but it pains me with how many battery platforms they have. No real 12v line, it's basically dead. I hate the 3-speed transmission on the drill, it always gets stuck and you have to blip the trigger to switch gears. I don't really have the need for flexvolt for basic power tools, it's a decent way to push their OPE with the benefit of being able to use the batteries on other tools...but kind of a smack in the face for anyone that bought into the 40v line. That's not exactly unusual for Dewalt, their 18v platform is still supported but they haven't dropped the price on those batteries even though NiCad has become dirt cheap. Also they took forever to release an adapter to use the new batteries, basically to help 20v sales.

 

Of the secondary brands, Ridgid seems solid. Nothing top in the class but continually building the lineup and a lifetime-ish warranty, including batteries.

 

Kobalt seems to be pushing hard with the 24v lineup. The tools feel a lot better than the previous power tools, cheap batteries with name brand cells. Their history is not promising, lacking support long-term but indications point towards a change. The lineup is pretty darn small but it has most of what an average user would want.

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Go for 2 of the major platforms. It's not twice as good having one, it feels more like 5 times as good picking the best from each. One extra charger and battery doesn't cost much. 

 

Makita, Dewalt or Milwaukee. If one only, Makita. 

 

I chose Makita and Dewalt. They both seem to have more best in class tools (or close to) and better high power approaches (X2 and Flexvolt) than Milwaukee. Also less expensive.

 

It's really great having those two. A blend of the best, and the two platforms that compliment each other the best imo. When you see a new Flexvolt tool or new Makita impact come out, no prob, you can have both!

 

Good lighting is easily found without needing a tool platform. It's also far less expensive. Buy corded and 18650 floodlights/flashlights/lanterns with usb or generic battery chargers.

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D W makes some good sense. You don't HAVE to just pick one. In the US, availability is a bigger issue than here. You don't get nearly the ranges in Bosch, Metabo, Hitachi etc as much of the rest of the world has.

 

If you have good access to Makita, they're highly worth considering. I think for working with timber, Makita and Dewalt cordless are top picks because:

 

Makita - 5" ROS, Brushless router, jigsaw, planer Recip, circ saw, multi-tool and impact driver.

Dewalt - Framing nailer, finish nailer, BL drills and impacts drivers, BL planer, FV circ saw, FV table saw, FV drop saw.

 

Milwaukee can keep up with those with excellent drills, impacts, recip and circ saw, but not the others.

 

As you can see, Makita are tops for finish work, Dewalt are tops for framing. Just my humble opinion.

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I have Bosch and Makita. Two platforms are great. I wouldn't say Makita is cheaper. In fact I would say they are probably the most expensive. They have an excellent range of tools though and I am happy with them. Bosch definitely has a smaller line of tools but there is just something about them that I like. I supplement with Makita what I can't get with Bosch.

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I'm DeWalt and Ryobi, DeWalt for "real" tools ie drills, impacts, saws and Ryobi for "supplemental" tools ie light, glue and caulk guns, brad nailer, fan, OPE and the oddballs.  Between the two any cordless tool I'll ever need is available.  

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1 hour ago, rrich1 said:

I have Bosch and Makita. Two platforms are great. I wouldn't say Makita is cheaper. In fact I would say they are probably the most expensive. They have an excellent range of tools though and I am happy with them. Bosch definitely has a smaller line of tools but there is just something about them that I like. I supplement with Makita what I can't get with Bosch.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

Bosch is fine is you know you only need certain tools and don't want anything specialty.

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I've recently heavily invested in both red, yellow and blue. Yellow is proving disappointing in tolerances, there's too much wobble in the 887 and the 323. The M28 is just stunning, but sadly looks like it's about to be dropped altogether. Haven't had the chance to really push the blue offerings yet. 

 

As said previously, no harm in having different platforms. Milwaukee are quite rightly criticised for trying to do everything from one voltage, if they do drop their 28 Volt range, I'll probably drop them. 

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After much consideration, i am going Yellow.

I was much seduced by the Red's attention to detail, but since most of my job involves demolition and framing, the 60V circular saw, the recip. saw and the (well 20v) nailguns made it for me.

 

Makita was in consideration, but to match the circular saw power i would have to get two battery packs, i have some dewalt stuff left from the tools that i lost, so i guess that FlexVolt won this for me.

 

FlexVolt, in my humble opinion, is the next cordless generation, and others will follow to match corded power on the cordless platform.

At least i would be in a current platform, and not waiting for the next generation of say, Milwaukee, and then hate myself because i will be kind of stuck on m18, i know they have the fading m28 series, but although i am not an expert, they will follow the competition, FlexVolt is turning a lot of heads, not perfect, but power wise can only get better.

 

Thanks everybody for your input, it truly helped.

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I don't have the FV circular saw because I prefer blade left.

If you prefer blade left, get the 20v saw and put a FV battery on it. It makes a world of difference.


Also, make sure to pick up the oscillating tool. Super handy for finishing cuts the circular saw can't.


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8 minutes ago, Mordekyle said:

Also, make sure to pick up the oscillating tool. Super handy for finishing cuts the circular saw can't.

And EVERYTHING else!  The oscillator is my favorite tool, I actually enjoy using it, the DCF887 is my most used tool, I like it alot but using it (almost) feels like work lolololol.   

 

@Satorikn It's an excellent time to buy too, with Labor day deals popping up constantly on a lot of the core 20v stuff.

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