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Rational
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14,559 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I'm buying my first power tools, and I'm a little overwhelmed.

Talk to me about your experiences with such brands, and which ones you would buy.

Right now, I'm leaning towards DeWalt, with honorable mentions to Ryobi.

I'm not going to be doing serious, professional-grade construction work with them. This would be for occasional use around the house. The problem for me is: I'm a strong proponent of the "best to have it and not need it" philosophy. And thus, I would prefer to get the stronger/faster/more powerful tools rather than the ones that aren't. Thus I'm looking at DeWalt....I feel they are the better option. But damn, they are expensive!

However....I am open to another brand. Ryobi, perhaps? The Japanese do make good cars after all....

I also need a hand tool kit, and for that I'm looking at a $99 Craftsman tool kit on Amazon....230 pieces, IIRC.

My biggest problems are Chinese-made tools. I hate that. But unfortunately, there's not a lot out there that isn't somehow made in China. And certainly nothing within my price range.

On power tools, I would prefer to spend no more than $500-$550 at the most. Hand tools, no more than $100-ish.

I'm sitting on $1,700 (previously $1,900+ until just last week), thanks to Trump's stimulus (thank you Mr. President!), so I'm not hurting on cash, but I obviously don't want to spend all of that on tools, especially as I've got other things to pay for, like upcoming bills.

What are your thoughts? Thanks!
 

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I have had good luck with most any brand I have ever bought. I take care of them and they last. I used to like Makita because it was more affordable than DeWalt but I have had Craftsman that lasted ten years, and they were battery units. Now I figure I replace them if a better battery comes out. Though I have and old black and decker that used nicad but they now make a nimh that works in the old charger and works much better than the original battery. Just look for the unit that fits your needs.
 

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Banned
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544 Posts
You may want to consider Bosch. I run both Bosch and DeWalt, but typically reach for a Bosch compact tool when doing routine work around the homestead.
 

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Native Mainiac
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22,651 Posts
Think it's pretty much just pick the color you like the most. I have pretty much all DeWalt tools, both cordless and corded, but a lot of other brands are just as good or better depending on who you talk to.
I do still have corded Craftsman skil-saw and 1/2" drill that are over 30 years old, and still going strong. But it's not like they get used every day....or month, or even year.
 

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4,755 Posts
I prefer Milwaukee power tools for any corded and non-corded hand held power tools.

Exceptions being
Metal Chop saw: Makita
Wood Chop saw: Makita or DeWalt
Orbital sander: Dynabrade (air), porter cable (electric)
Belt sander: Porter Cable

For hand tools for cars and motorcycle I really am fond of Proxxon. I also have used a Metrinch tools set for years.
 

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I don’t use my tools professionally, but I do small projects and repairs around the house and yard. I have went with Ryobi because of the one battery for all tool thing. And the run sales on a 2 batteries and a charger pack and you get a free tool. I use their fans for my dog crates at training or at trials. I use their yard tools for my yard. Again all because of the decent price and one battery fits all thing
 

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308 Posts
I've actually had good luck with a Rigid that lasted me for 10 yrs of homeowner duty.
Got a red one now.

And I was in Sweet Home back in May o '19, before the China flu - can recommend the Point Restaurant.
 

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What tools do you need?
I imagine most people who don’t make a living with their tools will only need a few basics - drill, driver, circular saw.

I haven’t been let down by Ryobi. The nice thing is that when you need a bare tool that’s an oddball you won’t use often, you buy it without battery for a very good price.

But, the Dewalt 12v deal Lowe’s has going for a drill and driver combo is tempting.
 

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Just some guy
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622 Posts
I've had this Makita close to 15 years. It was the first generation with Li-ion and replace a Makita with NiCad. For the first 3-4 years it was used daily in my window covering business in addition to various remodeling protects around the house. It's still going on it's original batteries but I did replace it a couple of years ago with a Porter-Cable which is stronger and lighter. I keep the Makita at work for occasional use. The only reason I chose PC this time was price and local availability but it works just as well. DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Bosch, Porter-Cable, Hitachi are all good mid-level tools. I, personally, would stay away from Ryobi.


Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

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JAFO
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13,974 Posts
At the shop we have had the best luck with Milwaukee by far and the worst luck with Dewalt. These are tools that are used hard though. If you look at tool reviews Milwaukee is usually close to the top for performance.
 

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Semper Paratus
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28,188 Posts
the great thing about Ryobi is they have kept the same 18v battery interface for years.
 

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I’m with @FullClip, pick a color and go. I started on Milwaukee 12 V and just kept going, I use them professionally and daily, sometimes wish I would’ve went 18 V but my 12’s do fine for most of my stuff. Once in a while I’ll run into something that I can get done but I think having the 18 V would’ve made the job easier.

I have been looking at some of their yard tools like the weedeater and the blower so if I do start going 18 V it’ll start there.
 

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I have a set from Ryobi that I have had from their begining. I dont use them to earn a living, so for use around the home I am satisfied with what I have.

The hammer drill is great.

The mouse sander pad had separated and switch wont turn off but I take the battery out and its fine.

The impact works great.

I had the sawz all and burned that out.

Last week I bought the oscillating saw for a home remodeling project and it works great.

The secret for this set is the lithium batteries.
 

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I build houses in my spare time and have a pretty good selection of Milwaukee 18v tools. They’ve never let me down and since I have a few batteries, picking up the tool only buys when I need something else isn’t too bad on the pocket book. My brother has a good collection of DeWalt and they are great also. I’m not a brand loyalist, I try to buy the best I can afford and my overall tool collection has a bit of everything. For the professional and heavy use, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Makita, Bosch, and if you have the cash, Festool, will all get the job done and take some abuse.

Ridgid and Ryobi are also good, with the nod going to Ridgid. I’m not a big fan of Craftsmen and I’d stay away from the store brands like Menards’ line of cordless and the like.

Good luck and have fun shopping. Nothing like getting a bunch of new tools- better than Christmas when I was a kid!
 
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