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Starting off on the right cordless foot


Nunya

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Hi,

 

First post.  Part of this might be answered by existing threads.  Searched and didn't see one.

 

I would appreciate any sincere attempt to be helpful.

 

I want to buy my first cordless power tools (drill, saw, etc).  I've been doing some reading on this, but would like to get some feedback from users.  My usage could be described as frequent DIY / home user.  Intermittent heavy use, but nothing as demanding as daily construction industry.

 

1.  12v vs. 18v:  I'm sure this one's been covered before.  While hoping to avoid the age-old "Ford vs. Chevy" type of battle, I'm interested to know the few fundamental, practical differences between these two systems that anyone should really care about when evaluating?  Based on the usage I described above, does one of these voltages seem more appropriate than the other for me?

 

2.  Kit or Single:  When I make my first purchase, I'll likely get between two and four tools and some extra batteries.  In general, is buying a kit a good way to get started, or is it better to buy each tool separately?  I'm not only thinking of price, but about which models of tools typically appear in kits (maybe not ones that are otherwise desirable).

 

3.  Batteries:  Any important issues to be aware of?  My biggest fear here is after I invest in 10 tools and multiple batteries (over time), the company discontinues my battery and "upgrades" to another version that just barely doesn't fit my tools.

 

4.  Craftsman Nextec:  Within the realm of 12v tools, are these just toy tools or serious enough for real use?  It looks like a cool idea.  Universal handset, with plug-on tool heads.

 

4.  Other:  Like the old saying, I don't know what I don't know.  Anything else I'm not experienced enough to ask, but I should know?

 

Thanks.

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Welcome to the forum Nunya. 

 

You are about to get inundated with suggested tools, companies, battery platforms etc! If you are going to be using the tools with intermittent heavy use, I would consider going with the larger 18v line. 18v tools or 20v as the case may be, will power through most tough jobs and be able to finesse the smaller jobs whereas 12v tools may get bogged down. An 18v circular saw from most of the companies will easily rip most types of plywood and MDF and an 18v recipe can tear through a floor with little problems.....in most case. Corded power tools still have a place!

 

As far as purchasing a kit? In your case, I don't think that's a bad idea. You can easily drop $300 or more but you can walk away with a hammer drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, impact driver, flashlight....etc from and of the large companies. Normally these kits include two high capacity batteries. That is normally enough to power all your needs.

 

A continuance to my last statement...all of the major companies offer work ready, industry standard tools and batteries. Now you can expect 3.0ah or more batteries with a kit purchase (the standard is almost 4.0 and 5.0!) with cooling technology and rapid chargers. Batteries, like the tools, should not be a problem.

 

Craftsman Nextec? They have a small but useful range of 12v tools available. But if you are considering heavy use on occasion, a 12v line might be great as a second set of tools.

 

As far as not knowing much? Who cares? Your at the right place, lots of opinions and experience here! And we are always glad to help separate a guy from his money!

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I just had this discussion on here the other day about 12v vs 18v and I ended up getting the Milwaukee M12 Fuel hammer drill and impact with a free right angle drill from Home Depot. I currently have the Milwaukee 18v too so this is not my only tool line. Describe what you consider intermittent heavy use. Also what tools would you want, as in circular saw, sawzall, drill, etc. Also a budget you want to stay around. You can get a decent diy Ryobi multi tool combo kit for the price of a drill/impact kit of Milwaukee or Dewalt.

I am a diy guy who uses my tools weekly and I upgraded to Milwaukee last fall from Black and Decker 18v and my new 12v Fuel (brushless) are way stronger than my bd 18v tools, my M18 tools destroy them. That being said, Dewalt, Rigid, and Makita all make a great product. Ryobi, Kobalt, Porter Cable and Craftsman make decent products for the homeowner. I have corded tools for each of my cordless because I was used to the black and decker. After using Milwaukee and a friend's Dewalt tools I know I could throw the corded ones away for the most part. If I am going to use a saw for extended periods I would still grab a corded. I hope that helps...

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Also check out the special tools offered before you buy a conventional combo set. I love the size and feel of the Milwaukee Hackzall compared to a conventional sawzall and for the light duty jobs I use it for its perfect. I use it to cut conduit, pvc, steel pipe, and I have cut a few pieces of wood too. Bosch has a very similar saw and they also make great tools. It still comes back to your budget and what tools you mainly want.

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First off, Welcome to the Crew!

I agree 100% with ChrisK (I start a lot of posts that way). The 18v-20v end of the market is more than likely where you should be looking. Since at times your projects can be demanding the 12v will not be able to keep up with everything.

I am a contractor, I use the Milwaukee 18 for EVERYTHING big and small jobs.

As far as brands go, anything from Milwaukee, Dewalt, Bosch, Makita. These companies all make great tools, and they are so close in comparison that's why there are so many tool fight reviews and comparison videos. So in the end you cannot go wrong.

As far as kit vs single goes I would go with a kit. You may not need that second or third or fourth tool yet, but you will and when you do you will have gotten it cheaper.

What is your budget?

And keep checking the forums, guys are always posting the latest deals on tools.

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Some great info above, the m12 line will satisfy most home owner needs. In terms of battery the tech is still fairly new and don't see the slide style going away anytime soon. Figure out what you want to spend, what tools you might want, currently Milwaukee and makita have the best 18v line ups, even though I'm partial to dewalt. Start with a kit as your base then go with bare tools.

Depending on your needs though you can go with a RIDGID or porter cable megakit, you can get their 5 tool kits and batteries for 4-500 bucks and are pretty solid tools.

Jimbo

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welcome to the forums, any question is a good question.

our member base is made up with tool users from all the major brands and not very often you will come to the forum and read how bad a brand is. let's face it they are all mass produced so they is a chance of problems here and there with every brand. The second level to that issue is what a brand offers and handles their warranty.You will see warranty coverage from 2yr to life time, however that is very confusing as well. Some of the brands look after warranty very different from others. You will be investing some good money into whatever brand you choose, most big box stores have tools on display and some have some set up to actually try, get a feel of the tool, make sure it is comfortable for you, just because I like the feel of one doesn't mean you will not every total is created equal nor are our hands and arms. 
As mentioned above 18v/20v is probably a better bet for you even through the new 12v systems will do most things the bigger brothers will do them for sure. Some brands cater to different area's of the work force, DIY world, depending what you will be doing now and in the future most all brands cover the 5 basic tools Drill/Impact/Circular Saw/Reciprocating Saw/Grinder. These days most all brands offer tools that will fit the bill so it is hard to make the wrong choice. My best advice to you is get your hands on some of the tool brands out there get a feel of them and pick the brand you are most comfortable with. 

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Hi Welcome to the crew Nunya. Lol,i like that name. like Nunya bizness :)  

 

Anyways silliness aside, I agree with the above posts  Im a DIY guy too. Im currently using Porter Cable and Bosch. Neither have let me down.

 

Ryobi is a great choice for DIY guys too,they are low cost,work good,and there is a good amount of tools in the lineup.

 

For stuff around the house like furniture assembly and such i really like my 12v stuff.

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For an inexpensive and reliable set, don't dismiss Ridgid.

They are made by TTi (Milwaukee / Ryobi) and have a great warranty. You can also get ridiculous deals on them from HD.

The warranty is about the best you'll find for inexpensive tools, IF you register it, or you get nothing!

You can usually get a drill, impact, batteries and charger for under $200.

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.18v-compact-drill-and-impact-driver-combo-kit.1000742190.html

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another thing to think about to is all these brands offer tools that are suppose to be ready to work when you are, suppose to do what they are intended.... and do it well each and every time. Well the company does one part by offering these such tools but the owner has a part of this responsibility as well. I've seen guys wreck great tools in a very short time due to lack of knowledge of use, care and control or simply not caring so in saying that just because some guy says ..ya don't buy that it's junk might be because he misused it right from the start and thinks it is the tools fault......

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I would also like to point out that the Milwaukee 18v charger also charges their 12v pack so just because you start out with an 18v don't mean you can't get 12v too. Depending on the tools may dictate the voltage. This is my setup with a mix of both. 2394cfc19f1060ab1d9e0f970ad2819b.jpg

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Welcome to the forum nunya I'm a lil late to the game here but most has been said here already. Looks like your gonna need 20v line lol I use Dewalt there chargers also charge 12 v line as well. The xr version is brushless which meens longer battery usage cooler motor more efficient. Most brands have a brushless line too. This might also be something to think about. Kits are a great way to get started then you can go bare tool for the special tools you may need. Good luck.

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I would also like to point out that the Milwaukee 18v charger also charges their 12v pack so just because you start out with an 18v don't mean you can't get 12v too. Depending on the tools may dictate the voltage. This is my setup with a mix of both. 2394cfc19f1060ab1d9e0f970ad2819b.jpg

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I am a little weighed toward the Milwaukee line of both the m18 and m12 because of the specialty m12/18 tools they make. Where others mainly look for a decent drill and driver, in my work, it becomes priceless using the pvc shears, copper tubing cutter, pex expander tool, shears, palm nailer, etc.....

Whatever your choice, I'm sure they will work just fine.

As usual, another awesome bunch of posts from everyone involved, well put.

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18 hours ago, Dano123 said:

I would also like to point out that the Milwaukee 18v charger also charges their 12v pack so just because you start out with an 18v don't mean you can't get 12v too. Depending on the tools may dictate the voltage. This is my setup with a mix of both. Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

 

That is a huge plus imo.

 

I wouldn't dismiss factory reconditioned. You can find some really good drills with impact driver, two batteries and quick charger sets from CPO on eBay at times. My friend bought the stand alone Porter Cable drill(2 batteries, charger and bag) for $50, impact driver would have added $30. I previously had bought a Milwaukee drill and impact driver, 2 batteries and a quick charger for $110. Both of our stuff arrived brand new, not a scratch or scuff on them. The PC isn't a bad drill but the Milwaukee is a powerhouse in comparison, side by side you can easily tell the more powerful tool just by the sound. Also PC is an hour long charge for 1.5Ah battery, Milwaukee is half an hour.

 

Any of the big tool brands make great tools. I tend to prefer Milwaukee and think that's the best line to get into because of the options to expand. B&D isn't a terrible consideration if you may consider expanding to electric lawn tools but their tools aren't going to be as powerful as a Milwaukee or Dewalt. Ryobi has an extensive lineup but I don't trust their batteries at all, it seems that the cells just don't last and it takes a ridiculously long time to charge them.

 

I'd stay away from Craftsman, their future is rather bleak and support might not be there when your battery goes. Who knows if they'll even be around while the warranty is still in effect, at some point I imagine Sears/Kmart selling Craftsman as part of a liquidation of assets but who knows who may buy them and what their plan would be. Sears/Kmart have been about a year from closing up shop for about 9 years, so who knows if this is really an issue but I don't think it's worth the risk.

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Manufacturers have realized whether a tools is reconditioned or not it still has their name on it and that's what matters in a world where marketing trumps reality.  One of the few places you'll see the benefit of that is reconditioned tools are almost equivalent to new.

 

The best advice I can give is pick at the upper end of your price range.  That is of course if you want these for a hobby of job.  If you just need to hang a few pictures and assemble Ikea furniture, that money is better spent elsewhere.  Nice tools will make your life easier, and you won't be kicking yourself when one of the tools won't finish a job.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would go with 18v, not only for the extra power; but also because of the greater variety of tools. As for which brand, that would depend on your needs. If you happen to have deep pockets, Milwaukee Fuel is a very strong brand. If money is an issue than Ryobi is your brand and in my opinion (as a member of team lime green) it is hands down the best brand in that price range. As a benefit Ryobi also offers many uncommon tools that most other brands do not i.e. the tire inflator, and two different sanders.

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I went through this process a couple years ago when I was looking to replace my Milwaukee nicad set. I started out buying two separate M12 Fuel(brushless) hammer drill and impact driver kits. That way I got two chargers and four batteries. And free tools with each purchase. Then I got the M18 Fuel Circ and Sawzall as bare tools with a free charger/batteries, some tools just need the 18volt power.( Although I do have the M12 Fuel hackzall- mini sawzall.)

 

Many times a year HD has Milwaukee sales with free bare tools (right angle drill, lanterns, batteries, heated coat, and lower price items). Just go to HD.com and type in "Milwaukee free tool" in the search bar.

 

In terms of buying on a budget, Ridgid is good for a pro and Ryobi is great for a homeowner (with lawn care equipment). DeWalt is now making lawn care equipment also. Something to think about. I have used all mainstream tools, Dewalts, Ridgid, Ryobi, Portercable and even Festool.

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You can't go wrong with any brand really. If you want to expand past a drill/impact driver I would suggest buying into a 18/20v platform just because cutting tools need that additional power. Ryobi is great just because of the huge selection of tools you can run a string trimmer, lawn mower, or nail gun on one battery platform. The other nice thing about Ryobi is the deals you can get 2 packs of 4.0ah batteries on sale occasionally.  Like others have mentioned Dewalt has added yard tools to their lineup now also. Ridgid is also a good option but they might not have every tool offered that you would like

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