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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-21-2011
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Best Rechargeable Tools

What is the best brand of rechargeable tools for use in the corrosive environment of a sailboat on the ocean. I currently have Ryobi 18 volt set. The most used is the standard drill and then the 5-1/4" circular saw. But the handiest of them is the angle drill for tight spaces and since there are few straight lines on a boat the sabre-saw is real handy as well. They also have a new (again) 18 volt miter saw that uses a 7-1/4" blade with the recommendation of using their lithium battery.
Does anyone know how the Ryobi brand holds up compared to any of the others?

Thanks and Happy Sailing To All,

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Last edited by cruisesailor; 04-21-2011 at 12:15 AM. Reason: sentence construction
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I have DeWalts personally. For my use, construction they seem to hold up better than Ryobi. BUT< that is not to say Ryobi does not build or make a good bang for the buck tool. I do have a few Ryobi items, but prefer the dewalt stuff, as I can move batteries from one to another tool, charger etc. Most of my stuff is 18V, but do have a smaller sized 12V drill to go with the 18V. The 18 being the work horse, the 12v when in tighter spots etc.

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Old 04-21-2011
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I would say one thing which is that the Lithium batteries are a great improvement on the old NiMH ones. My NiMH-powered drill was always flat after having been left for a few weeks, while my new Lithium one keeps a charge for ages and will work when you need it.
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Old 04-21-2011
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I like Ryobi tools, they are good all-purpose homeowners tools. As blt said, they are a little light- duty for daily contractor use, but for general boat repair and maintenance Ryobi tools are just fine. However, any power tool will be useless on a boat if it is not stored properly. Keep your power tools in a waterproof bag with a container of silica gel, and give the surfaces a spritz of boeshield from time to time.
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Lithium batteries are an improvement to the old batteries
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I don't have any experience with Ryobi tools. No makes as far as I know have any special anti corrosive qualities. Have always used Makita's. A little expensive but well made. Some of the 9v's have lasted 15+ years. Now have a Makita 18v lithium and a set of Porter Cable recharables, drill, sawsall, circular saw and light. Well made but maybe a hair under the Makita.
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Old 04-21-2011
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I agree with the others re: the virtues of lithium batts in rechargeable power tools. Lithium vs. NiMh or NiCd is more important to me than make.

Don't know if any tool has a leg up when fighting corrosion. I've left my little Makita driver/drill on board for the last year and it works fine.
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Old 04-21-2011
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Makita is my favorite. I too have 9,6v drills that are 15 years old and still working. Ryobis are disposable tools in my opinion. I used my 90 degree Ryobi drill under salt water one night and it still worked for several weeks thereafter.But it got the job done and earned it's keep.
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Old 04-21-2011
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I have a Milwaukee 28V system; 2 speed Hammer Drill, Flashlight, Circular saw, Reciprocating Saw (I am surprised at how often I use this), and Impact driver. The 28V tools are heavy, but they go on forever. The batteries have a TEST button, which lights a set of LEDs to tell you their state of charge. When the batteries do run down, they're back up to full power in under an hour.

That said, I usually use a 18V Black & Decker cordless drill for drilling/screwing projects because it is lighter and smaller (to fit in cramped spaces). The batteries are NiCd, and they take several hours to reach a recharge, and they drain quickly.

It's good to have both options.
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Old 04-21-2011
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I've used a Craftsman cordless drill (14.4V NiCD) on my boat for years. I figure that I can always find a Sears, or OSH, to get parts and/or warrantee service, and I don't use it nearly enough to justify the expense of a really nice high-end brand. Also, I got a nice 12V recharger, so I don't have to worry about hooking up the shore power, or using an inverter, to charge up the batteries. Besides, no warrantee I know of will cover the saltwater dunking that is bound to happen sooner or later.
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