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Tool Buying Guide.. (For the Beginner)


comp56

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Tool Buying Guide....
 
Tools have been around for a very long time helping people everyday from just being there to show manhood to down right making a living. Everyone has to start somewhere, some people are lucky to have other people in their lives to help with this part of life by showing them the ropes. I'm going to go over a few things you should think about if you are ready to have tools be part of your everyday life for helping with self accomplishment or profit.
 
There are many brand names available that tend to show off their flagship tools, with ads that tend to make the tougher jobs look simple, that is all well and fine if you have experience with tools but what if you don't.
If you are ready to dip into the tool world and have very little to no experience here are a few things to think about. 
 
You can start out with basic hand tools like a hammer, tape measure, and a hand saw but now days we all want convenience as well..... so power tools are usually the way to go. Many brands offer corded power tools in pretty much every shape or form but taking a step further are cordless power tools. Now in saying that many brands have most all cordless power tools needed to do almost every tasks. 
 
Some manufactures cater to different area's of the work force, not all brands offer all kinds of tools in every field, think about what you might want to do with your new tools now and in the future. This is important because it can reflect on what brand to buy into. This without saying there is nothing wrong with buying into more than one brand or battery platform but you may want to do this in the future.
 
There are also different power in tools mainly in the volts you see advertised. 12V and 18V/20V are the most common, most tool companies offer many tools in both power ratings. These tools are very different in size and power, the 12V options offer adequate power to handle most things with a compact size as well. The 18v/20v versions are usually the power houses of the line of tools offered. So the question is do I need one or the other or both, well this is where it can get tricky, the 18v/20v versions of the tools are not only larger and heavier but usually come with a larger price tag as well. Again it is not wrong to have or want both but if you are just starting out, the larger more powerful 18v/20v is usually the way to go to get started.
 
Another thing is all the talk about brushed or brushless versions of tools, not all tools are equal not all brands offer all tools in both versions. The newer technology is the brushless tools and they usually come with a higher price. Is the brushless style needed? well not totally. They will however offer slightly more power and battery run time but that is not saying a brushed version is not good.
If you are just starting out most times the best economical way to buy your tools are in combo kits, you will receive multiple tools that are mainly paired up with a drill/driver and an impact/driver,
Note about impact drivers: Although most manufactures introduced the impact driver not all that long ago and deem the new tool to be the drivers of all drivers they don't play nice with every application. As impact drivers tend to pound or hammer when driving, an impact driver is still a great tool for many applications however for some delicate driving a regular drill will do a better job. 
Some of the larger kits will tent to include a reciprocating saw, circular saw along with a light of some kind. These kits generally come with 2 batteries ranging in power ratings of small compact 1.5 ah right up to 5.0ah batteries and a matching charger. You may think I'm never gonna need these extra tools that are included in the kit but when you add up the costs the more in the kit the cheaper the individual tools become, so in saying that once you do own them and you find you don't use them there is a good chances someone will purchase them from you to help offset the original cost.
 
Do some research, think about what you will want to do, find a big box store that have these different brands on display so you can get a feel for the tools in your own hands, just like seeing a fancy sports car, it may look great but not always are they comfortable for everyone to drive.
All different tool companies come with all different warranties for their tools, some are very different from one another some are better than others as well. This can reflect on what brand to buy into but it shouldn't.
 
I am not going to go into what brand is best or what brand to try and avoid but I would stick to brand names that are known. 
I hope this helps by giving you something to think about before jumping into the tools world.....Good Luck!
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I know what you're getting at, and everything is spot on, but i keep thinking of your one post awhile back LOL it was something Like Milwaukee no I don't want Milwuakee to give you any Milwaukee nudge in any direction Milwaukee toward one brand or Milwaukee another because etc etc haha why do I remember the goofy stuff, but forget my wife's birthday

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I know what you're getting at, and everything is spot on, but i keep thinking of your one post awhile back LOL it was something Like Milwaukee no I don't want Milwuakee to give you any Milwaukee nudge in any direction Milwaukee toward one brand or Milwaukee another because etc etc haha why do I remember the goofy stuff, but forget my wife's birthday

Can't argue with a guy that has nothing but quality tools and great experience with a brand.

Jimbo

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Well said Comp. My most used power tools are my drill, impact, miter and circular saws. My advice starting out is to buy a better quality cordless drill and impact and save a few dollars with a cheaper saw. I have used my $90 HF miter saw for hundreds of cuts over the last 3 years and it still works great.

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39 minutes ago, KnarlyCarl said:

I know what you're getting at, and everything is spot on, but i keep thinking of your one post awhile back LOL it was something Like Milwaukee no I don't want Milwuakee to give you any Milwaukee nudge in any direction Milwaukee toward one brand or Milwaukee another because etc etc haha why do I remember the goofy stuff, but forget my wife's birthday

your right, however I wrote the guide directed towards beginners, when I posted the dig about Milwaukee it was among experienced tool users and partly joking....

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It may help to put this specific example here as well in saying that impacts are not exactly the answer to all screw driving applications. If someone is expecting to drive in painted exposed fasteners, as I have before, an impact will hammer on the screw, removing a lot of the paint, compared to a regular drill, or even a screwdriver if it's that particular. I just brought up this example because all the manufacturers push the impact as the answer-all to every driving scenario. Don't have to get into that mindset that you must have a drill with an impact, the drill was all I was used to growing up, and mostly corded ones at that.

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Yea too back up what Carl said I never had an impact until a few years ago, growing up it was only drills, I knew guys that ran two drills. But the right tool should be used for the right job, I would love to see, other than metabo, an impact that had a clutch like a drill with the settings other than 1,2,3. On my Dewalt the high gear rocks in at 1825 in pounds of torque at over 2000 rpms, just insane and not needed for a lot of stuff. So don't get caught up in having the biggest and baddest tool on the market.

Jimbo

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Great write up Comp. Very informative. +1 on what Jimbo and Carl said. I had never even heard of an impact driver until I got my current job and my boss handed me what I assumed was just a small drill and it started clattering and I assumed that I broke his tool. When I worked with my dad growing up we used a corded one speed old Makita drill for any and all screws with the exception of drywall where we nailed it and used a screwgun.

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Back to getting a baseline for a beginner to start with, there's a ton of opinions and viewpoints about any tool you're looking for. Reviews on YouTube are awesome, I'm a sucker for them, but don't rely soley on that for accurate information. The real test of a tool is of course the test of time. Thats what consumer product reviews are generally good for. Amazon has them on just about everything, and probably anything you're looking for has several consumer reviews, good and bad. Just make sure to go through both sides of the story, I usually run through a random couple of reviews on both positive and negative columns to get a feel for a pattern that consumers have noticed about the tool. That way, I dont just have to take one person's word on it, there are several others to back it up. There might be an aspect on a certain tool someone didn't like, but it may not be a big deal to you in your mind, and vice versa. As mentioned before, also give your tools a trial run at a retailer before you buy.

And then there's this forum for advice, if nothing else, we'll steer you in the right direction!

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  • Eric - TIA pinned this topic
  • 4 weeks later...

nice write up very good info. def agree about the impact never had one but now that I do idk what would do without it. the place I thought I went to cheap was my miter saw but turns out the Kobalt 10in compound miter saw actually rocks for 180 bucks and cuts like 12 in wide or somethin crazy like that.

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