18v tools

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jay H, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Soon to be a new home owner and I know I'm going to need tools so I casually look at the various hardware ads, online and off.. Can anybody recommend a decent say starter set? I know I'll need a drill and circular saw, not sure if I'll need a recip. saw but hey, some of those 4 tool kits aren't terribly expensive.

    I also saw some reconditioned ones online, are they reliable, should I worry about them?

    Lowes has this really cheapo brand called Firesafe or something like that, but they have a 4 brand thing for $129 or so but they also have a Hitashi seemingly midprice 4 piece combo for $269 or so. that would be somewhat halfway between the cheap Firesafe and the expensive DeWalts...

    As far as my intended use, I plan on making a bunch of bike holders in my basement using 2x4s and dowels so I'll need a drill and stuff to drill out holes and i will be making a kayak carrier on the floor joists (so I can slide my kayak in and out through the basement window...) Anyway, nothing major at least yet...

    Jay
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I prefer 110v plug-in tools. They are much cheaper, have much more torque, and never run out of juice in the middle of a job. That's just me though. The rechargables are very neato though and they work well.
     
  3. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Firestorm is Black and Decker's low end. I've found that most of the low-end cordless tools are pretty low on torque.

    I have a Dewalt 14.4 XRP set that I picked up at Costco for $300. Drill, circular saw (will cut a 2x board, no problem), and recip saw. Oh, and one of those snake lights. As I am working on finishing my basement, this set is seeing LOTS of action, and it works quite well.

    I've heard Hitachi cordless stuff is good, but I've never tried it.

    Philip has a point about the endless power of corded tools. I have both- but the cordless tools get ALL the use.[​IMG]

    Todd
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I've been pleased with the 18 volt Ryobi tools sold by The Home Depot. I bought a starter kit for around $130 early last year and have since added a couple of pieces. When I know I have projects coming up I charge up a couple of batteries, so I'm ready to go, and if one runs out it goes back in the charger while I switch to a fresh one.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  5. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I agree about going the corded tool route. Yes battery is nice and you never have to worry about where you are when you are working but you get a lot more torque with a corded tool. Plus for the same price as a decent battery tool....you can get close to top of the line corded tool. Like all rechargables.....they die and need to be replaced and that can get costly. If you dod want to go battery powered than Ridgid at HD comes with free batteries for life. They are a bit more expensive but they are well built tools. Avoid Firestorm....it is crap. Also, don't think that just because Dewalt is expensive that they are the "best".....they too are owned by Black and Decker. A couple of good brands that makes stuff in your pricerange to look at are, Hitachi, Ridgid, a few good "cheap" brands are Ryobi, Delta, and Skill. Top brands are Bosch, Makita, Milwakee and some Dewalt stuff. Another brand to not leave out is Craftsman. I have one of there midlevel circular saws and jigsaw (a must have) and they are great. If I were you, a few good tools to start out with is a circ. saw, jigsaw, compound miter saw and a good drill. I would get corded everything to save money and if taken care of will last a long time.
     
  6. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    another corded tool user here. unless i'm working on something that it's a total pain in the ass to bring power to, i dont use cordless. the torque increase you get is worth the minor inconvenience of dealing with a cord.

    CJ
     
  7. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    Hey Jay! I'm another corded-tool fan. I could never get the psychic "I know I am going to need that drill tomorrow so I better charge the battery tonight" thing down. So much easier to just plug something in, do the job, and unplug it.

    Do you have a Harbor Freight there in "Obscuria"? They have very good deals on adequate (not exactly "Craftsman") quality tools. I have had no problems using off-brand tools from Harbor Freight for years. (And they are cheap enough that I can buy one drill for the house and one to carry in the car, for example.)

    (BTW, thanks for all the great bike advice. I have to take the bike for one more scheduled maintenance appt, then hang it in the basement -- on hooks I got from Harbor Freight! -- till the cold snowy winter goes away... [​IMG] )

    Cords rule!

    MC
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    You know, once charged, batteries will magically hold a charge for a considerable amount of time. So no psychic powers are needed to have a useable tool. Of course, if you mostly use tools to do projects that you've planned in advance, making sure the batteries are charged is no problem, either.

    And I'm amused that most of the posts in a thread in which someone asked for advice on which cordless tools to buy are arguing against buying cordless tools at all and signing the praises of corded ones. I don't get it. If someone posted a thread in the hardware section saying "I need recommendations on a DLP RPTV" would you expect to see 80% of the replies being from happy plasma owners saying "No! Don't buy that, buy what we have!"

    Actually most of us who own cordless tools also own a few corded ones for those rare times when they're absolutely necessary. But with 18v power, improved battery life and better motors, that happens less and less. I haven't hit a job yet that my 18v cordless drill couldn't handle.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  9. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Joseph, I understand where you are coming from but the the tool and plasma/DLP thing really is apples to oranges. The original poster stated in the post:



    He is asking for advice on a starter set of tools.....which leads me to believe he has never owned tools....which in turn means he has not a lot of experience with the various tools that are out there and some of the shortcoming with types of tools. I don't think it is a bad thing to try to help him get the most bang for his buck. We are just giving him more options to choose from. A lot of people when they are looking at tools immediately think that corded tools are not popular anymore and are fizzling out. This is because the cordless is soooo heavily advertised. Why is that??....because they cost more. I am certainly not saying not to buy a cordless tool. I in fact highly recommend owning a cordless drill AND a corded drill. All others I opt for corded or air tools.
     
  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    ... in a thread called 18v tools. So that was already assumed in the post itself and didn't need to be repeated. (Or, considering the replies, maybe it should have been.)

    [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  11. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Joe, this is a silly "debate". The purpose of a forum is to ask questions and get advice. That is what we are offering......advice from ALL angles to help him out. If you want to stay inside of the box and only offer advice on what you own that is fine.....I as well as others are just trying to offer advice from all points so he can make a better informed decision. That, again, is the purpose of this forum, to learn and to help others. Comments like this are not helping:



    This thread was going very well and a lot of people had a lot of input and advice.....why you needed to fit this in the thread is difficult to understand. I am sure if it was a crime a mod would have stepped in.....like one probably will do soon......
     
  12. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    As cheap as some of the 18v cordless tools are (great suggestion about harbor freight tool store or big lots if they are in your area) I'd advise get one since a drill runs for about $20. Since your post indicated you don't have tools which implies most likely you're not a power user (pardon the pun) then rechargables are a much better option for those touch-up jobs you'll encounter when putting together particle board furniture, hanging pics, and etc. If you intend to do a project which may take several days with a lot of sustained usage then corded or air is the only way to go. I own all three and the rechargable is the one used 99% of the time so ymmv.[​IMG]
     
  13. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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    See, I disagree. I think if you're not a big tool user, um, I mean DAILY tool user, that a corded tool is better because it is ALWAYS ready with no prep work. (And even tho it is true that batteries may keep some charge for a while, I have always found that they keep the charge till just when I need to use them, then they poop out. And I'm a "frequent" tool user, not a "sometimes" user. I can't always plan to charge the batteries before a job. But I can always just plug the drill in, use it, and unplug it, B-I-N-G-O.)

    Also, I have had experience with batteries and chargers that BURN UP after extended times. Hmmm, what's that burning smell? Oh! It's the recharging battery melting the charger and dripping plastic on the tile!

    Unless you are DAILY tool user, used to just swapping out one battery for another every day, I think corded tools are much more economical.

    Just my opinion, seeing as how this is a really sensitive subject. [​IMG]

    MC
     
  14. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    I would agree that especially for larger tools like circ saws and recips, corded is going to beat cordless at every price point. A cordless drill is helpful though, but I like having both (Makita cordless and corded). Recip saws are great for doing renovation and for cutting timber for use in landscaping if you don't have a chainsaw. But if thats not in your plans right away, you can always hold off and rent one later. Something else that no one else has mentioned is that if you have neighbors, getting to know them and becoming friends can go a LONG way in reducing your spending on new homeowner tools. My previous next door neighbor was a great guy and was happy to loan me his nailgun, toilet snake, pick, chisels, table saw, and miter saw when I needed them. That alone saved me easily over $1000+ for a bunch of tools that I used 2x or less times.

    Since you live in NJ, is your basement concrete/stone? if so to drill those holes you'll probably need a masonry (or hammer) drill and a set of masonry bits. Harbor Freight has good deals on lower priced hammer-drills that are perfect for spot use. And lots of their hand tools are guaranteed for life, so even if the cheaper tool does break you can always get a new one. Perfect for tools you'll only use a few times a year.

    Take the money you save and buy a good shop vac for the basement if you already dont have one. They are indispensable for keeping cobwebs and dust from building up in a basement, and are great around the house for non-carpeted rooms as well. Home Depot's RIDGID line are great and usually on sale around this time of year.
     
  15. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Actually, I like the debate about cordless vrs corded. I think a cordless drill is useful, but say a circular saw would be less. Figuring you need a table anyway for best results so unless you're a clutz and cut your extension cord or for some reason your table is far away from an outlet. I'd agree with the corded ones.. However, just looking at a sales circular, they seem to advertise all the cordless ones... That's the only reason I mention it.

    As far as my XP, I've used power tools for a bit on and off, various projects, but I've always borrowed from my father who has a mishmash of old tools, and some new ones... He has a corded Skil circular while a cordless DeWalt drill...

    I will check out Harbor Freight too! One of my first projects as mentioned is making a bike stand in my basement and also a MacGuyvered kayak storage system...

    Jay
     
  16. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Matt and his neighbor thought......I do the same thing.... I also second the shop (wet/dry vac suggestion. I have used mine a MILLION times. Like I and others have mentioned.....I would get a decent cordless drill and a good corded one. Everything else....especially saws go corded. Using a battery powered circ. saw and if it runs out of juice a little can be dangerous. I was actually in HD and Lowes today and saw some decent drill for pretty good prices. I have never heard of Harbor Freight but they seem to be good from what people say so certainly check them out. For about 250$ you can get a decent cordless drill, corded drill, circular saw and a jigsaw. Like I said, I have been VERY happy with my Craftsmen Circ saw and jigsaw. You can get them both for about $110 right now. Don't bother buying into the laser line stuff that is out there by the way. Do your own measuring and follow your own lines. You can get a good quality Hitachi, Makita or Ridgid cordless drill for 90$ and a decent corded drill for 40$. More expensive than the Ryobi pack you saw but these will be tools you will use a lot and will last a LONG time if you take care of them.
    I find that a lot of the tools in those packs are not useful. 2 usually are and the other sit around. Don't make a purchase thinking..."maybe I'll use that".....you won't. Think about what you are going to use now and a few years down the road and buy them seperately.
     
  17. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I'd agree with Evan's advice. A cordless drill is MEGA-useful. The other tools- less so. I do like the cordless saw- less trouble than finding my always-misplaced extension cords (I have 5- yes, I am that dumb[​IMG] ), just to cut 2-3 2x4s. But, for real framing, I use my circular. Well, actually, I use my 12" Dewalt compound miter.[​IMG]
    For an initial set of tools, a corded circular, recip, and drill are a good start, and get a decent cordless drill at the same time.

    Regarding the cordless drill- 95% of the usage on mine is running screws- everything from 1/2" wood screws, to 3.5" masonry, and everything in between. I literally have no idea how I coped without one, just for this use alone. Running screws with a corded drill takes too much finesse, IMO, and lowers your productivity.
     
  18. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    If you're going to be messing with concrete floors or walls, then by all means get a corded hammer drill. Those things need a lot of power, battery won't last long.

    That being said, for the stuff you're talking about, cordless should be fine; I doubt you'll be messing with anything worse than a 2x6, most will be 2x4 or less.

    A great combo to have for the work you're looking at is a cordless set including a cordless saw (for the odd jobs), and a corded compound miter saw. Use the latter to dimension all your lumber to what you need. Use the cordless saw to cut out the small notches/angles/trims, and maybe short panels from plywood, that sort of thing.

    Cordless recips I have had no use for. The one (!) time in the last 20 that I needed one I rented it. Same with a cartridge powered framing nailer.

    A quick check with Consumer Reports wouldn't hurt either - in December 2004 their top picks for medium-duty work were the Makita MForce DK 1052DL, DeWalt Heavy Duty XRP DW4KIT-2, and the Milwaukee 0923-29, all for a mere $500. The Ryobi Super Combo II CK518F came in 7th, which was at the top of the less-than-$500 group. You might want to get a reprint; their website is Consumer Reports (online).

    HTH, Mike
     
  19. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    What Evan said. A cordless drill is indespensible. Cordless everything else, especially cordless saws, probably aren't worth the extra expense or frustration due to (lack of) power.

    I also agree to avoid Black & Decker's Firestorm tools. They're cheaply designed and won't last long.

    I disagree that, since DeWalt tools are also Black & Decker, they also could be cheaply-designed. DeWalt tools aren't just rebadged Firestorm tools. The primary difference is that DeWalt tools are very well designed. A DeWalt drill, for instance, will have true ball bearings for journal bearings, whereas a Firestorm drill will have just a metal collar that wears (thus increasing wobble) with each use. Though they come from the same company, the two lines of tools are worlds apart in quality, precision, and design.

    And I've got three more words of advice for you that will save you a lifetime of frustration:

    Square-Drive Screws


    Wait... Does the hyphen make that two words?
     
  20. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I've had the same experience. Doing screws with a corded drill is tricky because of tha massive amounts of power involved. It's nice though, I recently installed a heavy TV mount above my bar and I had to go deep into studs, I'm not sure a cordless would have been able to handle the screwing duty but my corded did very well. I do have a cordless screwdriver that's a must have IMO.
     

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