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Who made the best Ni-Cad tools?


PutnamEco

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Agree. The Makita and Dewalt were tops. Bosch wasn't too bad, at least the ones I had

Dewalt and Makita are all I ever really had access to back then. Both seemed to have a pretty good service life but the Makita batteries always seemed to run longer than I expected.

You guys don't think Milwaukees last entry into the Ni-cad line ups was a good one? I always thought my Milwaukee set was one of the best. The circular saw certainly was, the Hatchet sawzall was a bit funky and the hammer drill just plain ran forever, a lot longer than the Dewalt or Makita, and they had that awesome Rockford Fosgate based radio. I remember the Makita saw as being kind of weak and the handle wasn't exactly all that comfortable to grab a hold of. The Makita hammer drill had the brutal to shift gear box that "some people" were breaking the switch off of trying to shift gears. The Bosch hammer drill was pretty good, their reciprocating saw was my favorite of the Ni-Cads. The Bosch circular saw was pretty good, not great but good, and they did have a dual charger that came with their sets. The Dewalt hammer drill was a real screamer and would drill pretty quick, but it seemed to have about half the run time of the Milwaukee, although surprisingly their circular saw had a really decent run time. I don't clearly remember the Dewalt recip saw, but I think it might have been one of those ones that really vibrated. I do remember that I could out cut it (just barely) with the Milwaukee hatchet saw.

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I was thinking more along the lines of the batteries rather than the tools themselves. As I said, my only extensive access to Ni-Cad tools was with Dewalt and Makita. I always liked Milwaukee stuff and it now makes up 90% of the power tools I own, but back then I just didn't use them enough to really vouch for them either way.

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  • 1 year later...

I say B&D and DeWalt (basically one in the same), but they blew it when they didn't make an impact driver to accept the 18volt NiCad batteries. Granted they wanted to promote their new LI battery technology by forcing everybody run right out and buy up new drills when the old ones, not to mention all the spare NiCad batteries we'd purchased for them, still work just fine.

 

When I do have to upgrade to LI batteries I won't be buying B&D or DeWalt just because of that blatant disloyalty to all their existing NiCad powered tool owners. 

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I say B&D and DeWalt (basically one in the same), but they blew it when they didn't make an impact driver to accept the 18volt NiCad batteries. Granted they wanted to promote their new LI battery technology by forcing everybody run right out and buy up new drills when the old ones, not to mention all the spare NiCad batteries we'd purchased for them, still work just fine.

When I do have to upgrade to LI batteries I won't be buying B&D or DeWalt just because of that blatant disloyalty to all their existing NiCad powered tool owners.

To be fair, Dewalt held onto the stem packs as long as they possibly could until the point came it was prohibiting their ability to include the features they needed to remain competitive.

They botched the transition. They got a lot of criticism for trying to run both the Nano and Max platforms at the same time. The Max platform was ridiculously slow to expand and had only 2 or 3 tools for the longest time. People that needed to upgrade their cordless kit knew Max was the future, but couldn't wait forever on core tools to come to market.

Dewalt lost market share because of all that. They didn't throw their Ni-cad users under the bus though. They continue to sell and support the Ni-cad/stem pack stuff.

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I used to think dewalt were good. But for some reason my Black & Deckers batteries seem last way longer tho. One thing I learnt from the passed nicad cells don't handle well with high humidity surrounding. They seem to go bad faster in time. In hawaii humidity is high. My batteries usually start doesnt hold charge for longer than a year. I also used to leave my tools stand on the ground on my cement floor, cement holds moisture and I think it messed up my battery packs some how. I could be wrong. But I did have 2 batteries die on me when they were use to be good, but then doesn't use them form like a couple months. All the sudden they don't hold charge anymore. Very strange to me....

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To be fair, Dewalt held onto the stem packs as long as they possibly could until the point came it was prohibiting their ability to include the features they needed to remain competitive.

They botched the transition. They got a lot of criticism for trying to run both the Nano and Max platforms at the same time. The Max platform was ridiculously slow to expand and had only 2 or 3 tools for the longest time. People that needed to upgrade their cordless kit knew Max was the future, but couldn't wait forever on core tools to come to market.

Dewalt lost market share because of all that. They didn't throw their Ni-cad users under the bus though. They continue to sell and support the Ni-cad/stem pack stuff.

I'm with you conductor, dewalt did try. But then those nano li-ion pack were so damn pricey. I remembered they were like $130buck ea. Plus you have to use the yellow dual chemistry charger only for the lithium pack. Thats another 75bucks for the charger. (I also heard there were many people didnt know, went bought the nano pack and charge it with the black nicad changer and blown their brand new nano pack and return it back to the store.) I used to had 13 tools from the 18v line myself. With 3 okay batteries out of 5 at the end. I was done keep buying the compact drill and 2 small battery packs kit for 99bucks. When I need new batteries. Ended up with like 3 or 4 compact drills and keep trying to sell it for 25bucks on CL. Not even have much people call. I was going to buy the nano pack. But find out needed the yellow charge. Like I said they are about $200 bucks for 1 battery and charger to start. Might not just invested the money to they new 20V max. And I went for most of the XR brushless line...
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I say B&D and DeWalt (basically one in the same), but they blew it when they didn't make an impact driver to accept the 18volt NiCad batteries. Granted they wanted to promote their new LI battery technology by forcing everybody run right out and buy up new drills when the old ones, not to mention all the spare NiCad batteries we'd purchased for them, still work just fine.

 

When I do have to upgrade to LI batteries I won't be buying B&D or DeWalt just because of that blatant disloyalty to all their existing NiCad powered tool owners. 

We still make an impact driver that accepts the 18v NiCad batteries. It's the DCK825KA. Dewalt is not forcing anyone to switch to the 20v platform. We still sell all 18v sku's, Dewalt just launched a new 18v grease gun in that platform. 

 

Blatant Disloyalty? Dewalt is still selling 18v Nicad and Lithium, I don't know how you consider that being disloyal...

 

To be fair, Dewalt held onto the stem packs as long as they possibly could until the point came it was prohibiting their ability to include the features they needed to remain competitive.

They botched the transition. They got a lot of criticism for trying to run both the Nano and Max platforms at the same time. The Max platform was ridiculously slow to expand and had only 2 or 3 tools for the longest time. People that needed to upgrade their cordless kit knew Max was the future, but couldn't wait forever on core tools to come to market.

Dewalt lost market share because of all that. They didn't throw their Ni-cad users under the bus though. They continue to sell and support the Ni-cad/stem pack stuff.

 

Botched the Transition? There was no transition, you can't have a "transition" when nothing ever went away. 

 

"Only 2 or 3 tools" for the longest time? When 20v was launched, they released 10 tools, the Premium Hammer Drill, Premium Drill, Compact Drill, Compact Hammer Drill, Impact Driver, Recip Saw, Circular Saw, Right Angle Drill, SDS Max Hammer, and light. 

 

First 20v Max Tools:

top-app.png

 

Now there are over 30 tools in the platform. 

 

"Dewalt lost market share because of all that" - Doubtful 

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Gator: As for the "botched transition" comment, let me rephrase. There was a perception, real or imagined, that change was coming, but was slow to come. Despite Dewalt's attempt to squash the myth, many people feared the Ni-Cad platform was being put out on the ice for the bears. It didn't happen, but we're talking about perception here.

I didn't realize there were 10 tools at launch and I'd bet most others didn't either. I also wasn't counting 4 drills and 2 impact as 6 separate tools. I remember the drills, impacts, and work light. I don't remember the SDS or circ saw being there at launch, but if you say they were there, they were there.

Dewalt absolutely lost market share. I know without any shadow of a doubt there are a LOT more people using Milwaukee than there were 5 years ago. I can't imagine anybody realistically attempting to dispute that. The bulk of those users had to switch from something, and it stands to reason that at least a portion of them switched from Dewalt. That doesn't mean all these people switched because of anything Dewalt did wrong, but let's face it, Milwaukee stepped up to the plate and turned their line around.

In a market share figure there are only 100% points to deal out. Milwaukee without a doubt commands more than they did, so somebody's went down. I suppose in theory it could have come solely from everyone else, but we both no that isn't the truth. Remember, we aren't talking about sales, only market share.

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With the change from stem to slide packs it gave a person the motive to possibly switch to another brand because it offered an excuse to considered another power tool brand. Back in the Nicad days Dewalt had the 18v lineup locked down there were the other players, but for cordless tools its what everyone was buying back then. Now there are so many more options I would love to see the numbers of cordless tool market share over the years.

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Like I mentioned when found out just one dewalt 18V li-ion nano pack plus a yellow charger was going to cost me about 200bucks and I'm done with the nicad packs. I did almost switch to Milwaukee fuel when I was choosing which li-ion platform tool company to upgrade to. But I ended up back to the yellow dewalt;) Just wish dewalt will release more and faster on the BL line sooner thou.

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  • 2 weeks later...

weren't Makita mainly running Ni-Mh(?) when everyone else was running Ni-Cad?

 

With regard to Dewalts initial 20V / 18V XR line, I've never once seen a DCD990 in (aus) stores, and rarely seen the right-angled drill. Most stores had the large hammer drill, compact drill (or 2), impact driver, recip saw, circ saw, SDS and light. 5 or 6 real tools to choose from, and they came out slowly. Grinder should have been available at launch. But I'm proud to own them :)

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  • 4 months later...

My B&D 18 volt NiCad PS1800 drill just bit the dust. I figured it would probably be the batteries that would go first since NiCads have that nasty habit of needing to be completely drained before being recharged or they form a less than full recharge limit that tends to grow more and more restrictive over time. I was wrong. Much to my surprise after almost 7 years of use the batteries are still pretty much fully chargeable. It's the drill itself that last time I tried to use it flashed and stunk like a cheap shorted out skunk. Hopefully it was a bottomed out brush but, since they are not externally accessible, I have not yet checked. It was nice having two drills alike and four interchangeable batteries. That way I could drill and drive without having to change bits and without running our of power. Guess I'll have to shop around for another drill or send this one to the nearest B&D repair shop.

 

So, in answer to "who made the best NiCad tools" I can't very easily propose we fly the orange and black flag can I? 

 

Anybody have an old B&D18 volt NiCad (the slide on - not the stem pack) drill they no longer want?    

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This is kind of a tough question to answer.  I, like many back then, was a DeWalt guy.  I had around 15 tools, I also had a Milwaukee 14.4 Hammer Drill.  All of my DeWalt stuff is long since been trashed due to motors burning up or gears burning up, the only one I have is the Milwaukee and it still works.  

Milwaukee wasn't really even a player, most people didn't even know they had battery tools so its kinda of hard.  If I had to choose again I would probably go with the Milwaukee since the one I still have is still running but that's one example and not a good sample for reliability. 

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Yea It's funny how big of a player Milwaukee is in cordless tools now compared to 5/6 years ago. They have a very aggressive management team. Milwaukee doesn't seem to be afraid to spend the money on R&D right now. I think Dewalt wins just by how big the 18v xrp lineup was back then. Black and Decker was already being down marketed to more of a home owner grade tool even back then. Not to say they didn't have decent products. All I know is I got b&d cordless chainsaw pole saw and the damn battery charger was like a 12 hour charger or something. It wasn't even a smart charger either it could fry the battery if you left it plugged in. This wasn't that long ago either 3/4 years I think I had to trim branches that were growing over my garage on a neighbors tree. The pain of living in the city! You have to maintain things other people planted so they don't damage your property.

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Yea It's funny how big of a player Milwaukee is in cordless tools now compared to 5/6 years ago. They have a very aggressive management team. Milwaukee doesn't seem to be afraid to spend the money on R&D right now. I think Dewalt wins just by how big the 18v xrp lineup was back then. Black and Decker was already being down marketed to more of a home owner grade tool even back then. Not to say they didn't have decent products. All I know is I got b&d cordless chainsaw pole saw and the damn battery charger was like a 12 hour charger or something. It wasn't even a smart charger either it could fry the battery if you left it plugged in. This wasn't that long ago either 3/4 years I think I had to trim branches that were growing over my garage on a neighbors tree. The pain of living in the city! You have to maintain things other people planted so they don't damage your property.

Agreed!  People can say what they want to about the TTI accusation but they were probably the single best thing to happen to Milwaukee.  Its really an interesting partnership they have, its almost as if TTI is a silent partner that is letting Milwaukee run wild with ideas and a limitless blank check.  

 It couldn't have been cheap to let them not only start a new line of tools but to go all in with tools that have never been brought to market before, so you know it has been an expensive road and makes me wonder how long it took to recover the initial investment?  

I love that Milwaukee is like its own company and makes me wonder if that's how its treated.  Unlike Ryobi, Ridged, AEG that have TTI managing those companies Milwaukee operates as if its in competition with them as well, not calling them out but damn sure setting themselves apart from them. 

 They still have their HQ here in the U.S. all of their R&D is here, their social media people are here, their testing all happens here and they still have the most manufacturing facilities of all the brands here.  

 

 They have (what I think is innovative) the most aggressive and unique form of advertising.   You don't see Milwaukee ads anywhere, or at least nearly as much as any other.   I noticed their advertising dollars go to direct to consumer purposes.  They have giveaways, "Test It Before You Can Buy It" campaigns, free battery/tool promotions and the like.  I think this was brilliant and has obviously worked in a huge way.  

 I'm surprised more companies haven't taken notice, they will still spend $10,000.00 in a magazine ads for a year or upwards to $100,000.00 for television commercials and thousands on FaceBook ads when it seems like direct to consumer funding is so much more profitable.    It seems as though some are starting to come around like DeWalt and Irwin but its no where as aggressive.  

  I was initially concerned with spending thousands on a new line of tool, especially a new technology (Lithium) by a manufacturer that wasn't really known for their battery tools, but I am glad I did.  I was equally hesitant with their brushless line but dropped $600 on the M12 impact and Hammer drill when they first came out and so far it seems to be as promised.

 In the end, it seems as though Milwaukee has the gumption to fight it out and they actually do put their tools through the ringer before bringing them to market.  With aggressive campaigns, highly aggressive warranties, great customer service among other attributes, the others better take notice or face the bitter fact that they will eventually look like Milwaukee did 5/6 years ago.    

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I'm living next door to one of those myself.

 

It happens to be a rental and the landlord is very "frugal" and knows absolutely nothing about trimming trees but does it himself anyway.

The result is the ugliest hat rack you've ever seen. That poor poplar tree!

It kills me when people do this, they don't realize hack-racking a tree can be very detrimental to its health.  Uggh!   *SMH*

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