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Cordless tool packages, are they worth the money?

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Forum topic by RetiredCoastie posted 05-05-2012 05:24 PM 1829 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1906 days


05-05-2012 05:24 PM

I’m looking to purchase a battery powered tool package and I have a few questions. Which package has the best bang for the buck I.E. Dewalt, Porter cable, Makita, etc etc? Do the tools provide enough power to be able to cut plywood, 2 X 4s etc etc? I’m building a shed and am looking to get cordless tools to make the construction easier and so I don’t have to run extension cords. I already have a Makita drill and don’t really need another one but I would like to get a circular and recip saw but I’m unfamiliar with the different options or whether or not these tools are all that thy’re cracked up to be. Any input would be helpful.

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops


22 replies so far

View Paul's profile

Paul

352 posts in 2313 days


#1 posted 05-05-2012 05:51 PM

Mike,
I don’t have recent experience with these, I know batteries are better now than they were a few years ago but my past experience was not great.
You might check out CPO.COM These people have some good deals from time to time on reconditioned tools, I’ve bought a few things from them in the past. You might want to get on their mailing list as they have specials most every week.
Paul

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

View Dlow's profile

Dlow

70 posts in 1411 days


#2 posted 05-05-2012 05:54 PM

Absolutely they are! I work in construction and can honestly say that these tools are well worth the price you pay. They do have their limits but I think for what you plan to use them for, you won’t be disappointed. Of coarse there are great differences in the performance based on the voltage you get, as well as the type of batteries they have, bigger tends to be better and the Lithium batteries have a better overall lifespan. I’ve always used Dewalt 14.4v because I didn’t want the bulky 18v and have always had plenty of power for everything I’ve done. I also have an 18v hammer drill and recently bought the 12v drill with the lith battery and was surprised how strong it is. The one thing I’ve learned is that if they don’t get regular use( charge and drain) the batteries won’t last as long and can cost nearly as much as the tool to replace. My impact driver and hammer drill are both over 7 years old, my cordless saw is over 12 and looks brand new and the 12v is 2 years old. Like I said you won’t regret the purchase.

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RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1906 days


#3 posted 05-05-2012 05:56 PM

Thanks Dlow & Paul. Great info and much appreciated.

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View hunter71's profile

hunter71

2109 posts in 1910 days


#4 posted 05-05-2012 06:16 PM

I agree with Paul. BUY LITHIUM BATTERIES. I might also add that the top selling brands with equal size batteries does not vary much. Steer away from the bargain brands, like with everything “you get what you pay for”.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15024 posts in 2399 days


#5 posted 05-05-2012 06:56 PM

If you already have the power tools in 120 volt, I wouldn’t buy battery primarily for one project. I agree the lithium batteries are the best. Rigid tools have a lifetime warranty including the batteries and I have had good luck with them.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Philzoel's profile

Philzoel

277 posts in 1066 days


#6 posted 05-05-2012 07:08 PM

I have 2 kinds. Black and decker firestorm 14,4 volt. They are 12 years o
D and I am on 3 rd set of batteries. Drill, light, 5” saw, and saws all. No complaints.

Buy in kits at holidays, fathers day. Great discounts. Seems higher volts ought to weigh less, but 14,4 works fine

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15024 posts in 2399 days


#7 posted 05-05-2012 07:13 PM

BTW, Home Depot has a 30 day try out period. If you don’t like it for any reason, full refund.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View RetiredCoastie's profile

RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1906 days


#8 posted 05-05-2012 07:50 PM

Topamax wrote: “If you already have the power tools in 120 volt, I wouldn’t buy battery primarily for one project. I agree the lithium batteries are the best. Rigid tools have a lifetime warranty including the batteries and I have had good luck with them.”

Thanks Topamax for the input. I hadn’t looked at Rigid but I will. I agree I have 120V tools except for the recip saw but I would be able to use the skill saw, drill and recip saw on other projects. The wife would use the recip saw instead of getting my fine cut Japanese saw for trimming tree branches which she did when I was on a road trip. Thanks all for your input!

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15024 posts in 2399 days


#9 posted 05-05-2012 10:14 PM

I seem to get my recip saw into tight places where the battery one is a bit awkward or just won’t fit. It is a bit heavier than the 120 volt, but it is nice to not have the cord to drag about out in the open.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View jaydubya's profile

jaydubya

183 posts in 1535 days


#10 posted 05-06-2012 12:01 AM

I have the makita li-ion 18v hammer drill and impact combo and I LOVE it. I fully intend to get the recip saw, circular saw, jigsaw, and blower

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1792 days


#11 posted 05-06-2012 12:10 AM

ABSOLUTELY!!

Since I’m a light-to-medium duty user, I have all Ryobi One+ 18v cordless tools (two drills, hammer drill, impact driver, circ saw, recip saw, trim router, light). Some are Li-Ion and the rest are NiCad. I got one of their six battery chargers for the shop and never run out of juice. When one dies, I put it on the charger and grab a fresh one.

Whatever brand you choose, the big plus in picking a single brand is that you don’t have to keep multiple chargers around.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View mveach's profile

mveach

56 posts in 1106 days


#12 posted 05-07-2012 05:00 AM

I have a number of the craftsman c3 tools. not bad at all except the small circle saw is under powered. I hate to say it but if I had it to do over, I would probably with the PC 18 volt. while not the best on the market, the value for the dollar is very good. We got the 4 peace set at work because the price was just too good to pass up. Most of the guys at work aren’t concerned with taking care of the tools and to my surprise, these tools have held up very well. even the saw works quite well. Now they do not have the power of the Dewalt tools we have but, they don’t have the price tag ether. Now if if had a Home Depot here I would consider the Ridged because of the battery replacement guarantee,

View Sawdust4Blood's profile

Sawdust4Blood

362 posts in 1745 days


#13 posted 05-07-2012 05:19 AM

There are a lot of good cordless tools out there. My experience has been that it is always the batteries hitting the end of their service life that causes failure. As far as I know, Ridgid is the only company whose lifetime warranty on cordless tools includes battery replacement. Since replacement batteries can run a $100 a pop, that’s my go-to answer for cordless tools.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1004 posts in 2209 days


#14 posted 05-07-2012 05:56 AM

Some battery operated tools I like, especially the drills, drill drivers. Get the lithium. You’ll be glad you did. If I didn’t already have all the corded tools that typically make up these packages, I’d give it a good look. One thing to consider with any package is you are buying all of whateve that one brand is offering. This can work for you, if you have prior experience with the brand. For instance, I’d probably look at DeWalt or Bosch. That’s just me, though. It does limit your choices for individual tool selection. You may love the sawzall and hate the drill. For whatever reason. CPO reconditioned is an excellent idea. I have bought several reconditioned tools off amazon, well, more like the CPO amazon storefront. I see brand new packages a lot on CL. They make great gifts that the recipient may or may not want. Look on CL or ebay just after father’s day! Not far off.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View PutnamEco's profile

PutnamEco

155 posts in 2009 days


#15 posted 05-07-2012 02:06 PM

18v circular saws are not really up to construction projects, especailly not Ni-Cad powered ones, you are NOT going to be cutting much plywood with one. 18v reciprocating saws are not much better. 10 minute run time is about all your going to get. 28v-36v are more along the lines of what you’ll want if you plan on doing any serious construction projects, however the price these tools command would make it hard to justify for one or two larger projects. You would probably be better off running corded tools. If it is just for one or two projects, rental tools may even be your best option. Maybe even a rental generator, if your project is to far from an outlet for cords.

I have found that most tool brands have some winners and some losers in the cordless sets. I have had the best luck with Makita as far as sets go. Their circular saw, hammer drill, and impact driver are all good. Their recip saw numbs my hands with vibration. If i was forced to pick a set it would be the LXT601 as it has the largest number of tools I prefer. For occasional use and one or two construction projects this set may be all that you need. I personally would hold off on purchasing though, as I would be holding out for the brushless tools to be released through their line up. You could build shed with this set, but you would be charging a considerable amount of batteries cutting the sheathing, 3-6 cuts per charge, and 2×4s, maybe 20 cuts. This may hold your job up. With a 36v set you’ll probaly only charge 3-4 times a day.

I prefer a mixed set. My favorite cordless circular saw is the Hilti WSC 7.25-A36,It is a blade right saw, like a proper sidewinder should be. The Bosch 1671B is nice as well, but it is only a 6 1/2” bladed tool, the M28 Milwaukee Sawzall (0719-20) is really good and is my first choice. I prefer an 18v drill for most drilling, the Makita BHP451 is my current go to tool, it has held up remarkably well. The Makita LXT impact driver (BDT 141) is a sweet tool, as well.

I don’t have much experience with Rigids tools. The people that I know that do, have said that the warranty is sometime problematic as it requires registration and on occasion long waits for resolutions. There is a thread over on rigidforum about this.

I’m constantly surprised by the number of times I see Ryobi tools on job sites. I know of a couple people that swear by them. If I was on a strict budget I would have to take a long hard look at their line up.

-- “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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