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  #11  
Old 09-08-2012
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Re: Best power tools?

I love my Ryobi stuff and it has held up well to daily use despite the low initial cost. It has outlasted my DeWalt and Makita cordless drills by about 3 years.

Last year I needed a smaller form factor in cordless tools for working in tight spaces on boats because my other tools are just too damn bulky. After doing a ton of research I settled on the Milwaukee M-12 stuff.

The Milwaukee M-12 series is ultra compact, has the most extensive line up of any small cordless tool set out there, including pipe cutters, PEX expanders, scopes, etc. etc. etc.. The little 12V lithium ion batteries last longer than my 18V Ryobi's do but the Ryobi batteries are about 7 years old so not really a fair comparison. Still even the compact Li batteries last a loooong time.

The M-12 line also offers extended run batteries too. For working in tight spaces on boats I've yet to find any tools that beat the M-12, and I use them daily. The tools that get the most use are the two speed drill with hammer option, the right angle drill, impact driver and the cordless multi-tool. They have sooo many M-12 tools in this line up it is tough to keep track.

Daily I carry the 3/8" drill, multi-tool, impact driver, right angle drill, rotary tool (think cordless Dremel), charger & 6 batteries. They take up the bag & weight space of my Ryobi 18V drill, two batteries, charger and right angle drill but I carry a lot more run time and get a 15 minute charger to boot...

When buying tools for working on boats do not discount the value of the ultra compact 12V Li Ion products. I settled on Milwaukee due to the width and breadth of the line but if you are only buying a couple of tools then Bosch would be my second choice.

Milwaukee M-12
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  #12  
Old 09-08-2012
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Re: Best power tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
The Milwaukee M-12 series is ultra compact, has the most extensive line up of any small cordless tool set out there, including pipe cutters, PEX expanders, scopes, etc. etc. etc.. The little 12V lithium ion batteries last longer than my 18V Ryobi's do but the Ryobi batteries are about 7 years old so not really a fair comparison. Still even the compact Li batteries last a loooong time.

The M-12 line also offers extended run batteries too. For working in tight spaces on boats I've yet to find any tools that beat the M-12, and I use them daily. The tools that get the most use are the two speed drill with hammer option, the right angle drill, impact driver and the cordless multi-tool. They have sooo many M-12 tools in this line up it is tough to keep track.

Daily I carry the 3/8" drill, multi-tool, impact driver, right angle drill, rotary tool (think cordless Dremel), charger & 6 batteries. They take up the bag & weight space of my Ryobi 18V drill, two batteries, charger and right angle drill but I carry a lot more run time and get a 15 minute charger to boot...

When buying tools for working on boats do not discount the value of the ultra compact 12V Li Ion products. I settled on Milwaukee due to the width and breadth of the line but if you are only buying a couple of tools then Bosch would be my second choice.

Milwaukee M-12
I came in here to say the same thing. Everyone has different opinions/experiences with quality but you can't argue with the selection in the Milwaukee M12 line and it's very important to have compatibility between your cordless tools.

I started with the M12 right angle drill because I knew I needed the most compact drill for working in my Contessa. The rotary tool (dremel) and multi-tool soon followed and both have been fantastic for the boat with tight spaces and where running extension cords can be a huge pain. I even recently added the M12 inspection camera for some home electrical work but plan on using it to fasten a missing bolt in an impossible location on the boat.

Dewalt is great, Ryobi is a great value but none of them have these tools (and many others) in their lineup.

Last edited by asdf38; 09-08-2012 at 12:26 PM.
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Best power tools?

If you really want the best and are prepared to pay for it, go Festool. German engineering at its finest.
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Old 09-08-2012
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Re: Best power tools?

I tried Milwaukee cordless, they were nothing but problems. Makita cordless and Bosch or Dewalt corded, all the way. I haven't tried Dewalt cordless.
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Old 09-08-2012
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Re: Best power tools?

I will throw in an oddball. I have a Craftsman set that was made by Porter Cable. It was a big set that came with 2 drills (3/8" variable speed and 90degree), circular saw, jig saw, reciprocating saw, staple/brad nailer, florescent lantern, I think 4 batteries and a charger in 19.2 volt and it has held up for about 10 years. While I don't use them for work, I did a complete remodel of a kitchen, bathroom, and most of the rest of the house, as well as maintenance work on a 20 unit apartment complex for extra cash. I did not expect it to last nearly as long as it has. All the batteries still hold a good charge and for a home owner it is perfect. Well that stapler/nailer is useless, but the rest are good. They are heavy and bulky though.

In the past I had a Bosch 14 volt drill. While I liked it the batteries died in a year and a half. It did not seem any better built than the Craftsman as I would have expected being a fan of Bosch corded tools in the past.

I just don't see getting a Milwaukee/Makita/Bosch/Metabo unless you are making money off of them. I would put my boat bucks elsewhere.

Currently Hatachi seems to make very reasonably well made corded tools. I have a grinder from them that is an animal, my Craftsman "professional" one is crap.
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Old 09-08-2012
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Re: Best power tools?

We like our Makita cordless drill, but everything else is corded since I haven't had the need for anything else to be cordless.

Whatever you decide, I suggest that you get a spare battery or two for projects where you need to swipe out a battery while another is charging.
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Old 09-08-2012
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Re: Best power tools?

BTW, I bought a cheap Kawasaki cordless drill once, don't.
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Old 09-08-2012
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Re: Best power tools?

When I bought my house we had several project to tackle. I a few few power tools for the boat, but I needed more than a Fein Multimaster and a cordless drill. I found a great website for certified pre-owned tools. Take a look at cpooutlets.com.

I have no affiliation with them, other than a very satisfied customer. You can find a whole range of power tools at great prices. So whatever you decide I suggest pricing out your pick here.
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Re: Best power tools?

Dewalt right now.
They do the job, and the price is right. I'd have gone Makita except for the issue they all suffer from. The lights are always in the wrong place
I have no idea why they insist on doing this, every manufacturer does. Usually worse than no light, since they light up everything but the bit.
Dewalt's impact has 3 leds in a ring around it, so I get nice light, in an actually usable format.

If Makita would quit putting the lights in useless places(trigger guard) I'd probably buy one, but in small dark spaces those lights are nothing but aggravation with the exception of my dewalt impact.
I'd prefer Makita, despite the extra cost to switch yet again, and the loss of some of the functions I appreciate from dewalt since it would let me standardize even further(including my dremel tool, right now I have the Dremel brand Dremel which is fantastic compared to my usual jobmate/mastercraft ones.

The other advantage of the Dewalt line right now is that they use a single standardized charger for 12v charging, thereby eliminating the need for one for 12v and another for 18v.
Grip is much better, balance as well and the battery shape are better(they pack smaller, and don't roll away, so less likely to go overboard)
They still have belt loops too, which I use to secure a lanyard too, Makita rep couldn't figure out a solution for that.

If my rotary tool was the same, the 2nd charger wouldn't be an issue since I'd still have eliminated one, but I'd really prefer if Dewalt brought out some more tools in the lineup(Vacumn cleaner and rotary tool especially a heavier duty one like the Foredom).

As a final bonus, they have repair depots everywhere. If my Dewalt tools fail, I can drop them at the repair depot that day in town.
That alone is worth a lot if you need the tools for work like I do, if I break it, the depot is less than 10 minutes from the boatyard and the price is hard to beat if you're just working on your own boat. Unless you're really anal about standardizing everything(like I want to) and spending a bunch of coin to do that, or have needs for tools outside the standardized lineup, the other upsides of Dewalt are hard to beat, Makita and Milwaukee are great, but for useability, service and function if you just need the basics(drill, impact, right angle drill, LED lights etc)I'll take Dewalt any day.

Last edited by Jgbrown; 09-08-2012 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 09-09-2012
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Re: Best power tools?

One small but important comment: if buying multiple cordless tools, buy a brand that you can interchange the batteries among all of the tools. Spare batteries and a backup charger are also important so you can keep going and charging. I believe they have LI-on 1 hour chargers out now.

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