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New guy starting over...


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I was in woodshop over 20 years ago but took to a career path as a mechanic. I don't remember much of woodshop but I do remember I was great at it. Medical issues took me out of being a mechanic and my memory has gotten pretty iffy as well.

 

I'm settling down with a title as Maker and I'm fine with that. In the next few months I will be hunting for my next place and I will have room to set up a workshop. For now I'm trying to learn all I can while I'm waiting for the holidays to find great tool deals and rebuild my collection of tools.

 

I've been looking at the cordless lines of power tools and seeing what's new and it's crazy how there's a battery option for just about every tool including the zero turn style mowers... insane!

 

I myself will be dabbling in tools for wood and of course automotive even though i can't do much automotive work anymore. I'm still looking around for what i want/need and hopefully by the holidays I will have an idea.

 

I hope to learn from y'all and I hope I don't get flamed too hard LoL.

 

 

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Most of the time I will go cordless if I can. I don't have many corded tools. Mostly a few specialty tools from Festool. I currently have batteries from Ego, DeWALT, Milwaukee, and Festool. Many on this forum will likely have multiple battery platforms as well. There are advantages and disadvantages with having one or multiple battery platforms

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It really is amazing how much tool technology advances from generation to generation.  I found a fifty-ish year old wood shop textbook in the garage (and forgot to grab it...the house is being closed on right now) and looked through it briefly.  The power tools in the pictures were all USA made, corded, and dangerous by today's standards.  Twenty years ago I was a mechanic, relying on pneumatic tools and dragging an air hose everywhere.  If I got back in that business now, I'd use cordless tools in lieu of air tools, with few exceptions.

 

Like Jronman, I have multiple systems.  Milwaukee (M12 and M18), DeWalt (8v, 12v, 20v, and FlexVolt), Ryobi One+, Ridgid 18v, MetaboHPT (18v and MultiVolt), Bosch 18v, and EGO.  While there's a lot of overlap when it comes to basic tools (drills, impact drivers, and saws), each system has its pros and cons.  Some of the pros, for example: FlexVolt batteries can be used with most 20v Max tools, the One+ system has been around for over 25 years and doesn't look like it's going anywhere (IMHO, this is a big reason why Ryobi is probably the best system for the casual tool user), MultiVolt allows a choice between corded or cordless (I just got the adapter a few weeks ago), and Milwaukee is, well, Milwaukee.  While every brand constantly releases new and improved tools, Milwaukee seems to be the most aggressive, with their Fuel line on its second or third generation already.

 

As for cons, MetaboHPT and Bosch are simply not very established in the US when compared to the likes of DeWalt and Milwaukee, Ryobi is stuck with its pod-style battery (while every other 18v-class brand has changed to slide-on packs), Ridgid is a Home Depot exclusive in the States (but identical to AEG abroad), and DeWalt's 12v Max system is only now trying to compete with Miilwaukee's M12 (despite being around nearly as long).  

 

Each system has its strengths and weaknesses, so it's easy to see the advantage of owning multiple systems, but the biggest con of owning multiple systems is just that--owning and maintaining different battery platforms.  This is the reason I own at least a drill and some type of saw in each brand.  Simply put, if I'm going to the junk yard and need to bring my M18 impact wrench, I like the option of throwing an M18 drill and recip saw in the box without having to grab my Ridgid or another brand.  

 

A key benefit to owning different platforms is the ability to buy the "best" tools for your needs.  You might want a behemoth of a drill and go for the most powerful 18v model you can find, but find that you want a compact saw to go along with it.  Also, some manufacturers only offer specialty tools in one voltage or the other, while most offer something the competition doesn't.

 

Holiday sales are great for the average person, but I've amassed most of my tools by finding clearance deals.  One of the latest was a MultiVolt hammer drill for around $50 (originally $200).  If you have the time and patience, and especially if you have multiple Lowe's and Home Depot stores in your area of NC, you can score some great deals.  I've had good luck with holiday special buys early in the year, usually with 50% savings from the holiday sale price.  I've also lucked out when stores decide to stop carrying a particular tool (such as when the FlexVolt miter and tables saws were removed from some Home Depots) or a brand discontinues a product (most recently the Ridgid Octane line).

 

Anyway, welcome to the forums and best of luck!

 

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