Cordless power tool advice sought

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Avoid Erbauer from Screwfix - I made the mistake of buying a 1/2" router of theirs for the router table of my Triton 3000 workcentre (another mistake, don't buy one!). Wrecked it in no time flat - but it was only about £80 so I binned it and bought the Triton version for over £240 - it's still going strong and is a superb tool.
 
Must be Lithium Ion to avoid the dreaded battery memory effect. They are the most expensive but its for a reason. Next NiMH and last by a long way NiCAD. Sharing a battery platform/charger for several tools is useful but there are limits. There are also consumer and professional quality tools from the same manufacturer. Be prepared to have them nicked!

Not quite correct - it's only NiCad that has the dreaded memory effect, NiMH is supposed not to - although after a number of years 3 of the 6 NiMH battery packs I have for my 3 Axminster White cordless drills have given up the ghost and are no longer available - and getting them rebuilt is about £70 per pack!

Don't know about LiIon, they're relativly new on the block and I have no personal experience with them - plenty with NiCad from my model aircraft days though, nearly lost a large glider when the batteries went TU! My Axminster kit is about 5-6 years old and has had plenty of use!
 
Avoid Erbauer from Screwfix - I made the mistake of buying a 1/2" router of theirs for the router table of my Triton 3000 workcentre (another mistake, don't buy one!). Wrecked it in no time flat - but it was only about £80 so I binned it and bought the Triton version for over £240 - it's still going strong and is a superb tool.

His new boss has just given my son a ½ inch Erbauer router, used for one set of work tops whilst the DeWalt is being serviced…………it'll do as a 'My First Router' but we don't see it lasting.
 
I find that each company makes some good tools, some bad, so I tend not to look at brands but choose a tool that I think works well and suits the purpose. On cordless though you obviously have to stick to one make - i'm using bosch blue 18V and 10.8V tools. Their 4ah batteries seems to be lasting very well and have the power indicator on the batteries, which is handy. Panasonic are also great cordless tools, but the 18V hammer drill is lacking power against bosch one. Makita has the biggest range in 18v cordless, but their batteries aren't as long lasting in my experience.

P.S. I'd argue about Festool making the best woodworking tools. I use Mafell plunge saw and jigsaw and they are both superior to Festool. I do, however, also have few Festools. The Rotex 150 sander is the best, most versatile sander in the world period.
 
Not quite correct - it's only NiCad that has the dreaded memory effect, NiMH is supposed not to - although after a number of years 3 of the 6 NiMH battery packs I have for my 3 Axminster White cordless drills have given up the ghost and are no longer available - and getting them rebuilt is about £70 per pack!

Don't know about LiIon, they're relativly new on the block and I have no personal experience with them - plenty with NiCad from my model aircraft days though, nearly lost a large glider when the batteries went TU! My Axminster kit is about 5-6 years old and has had plenty of use!

I've used all rechargeable battery technologies with pro video and photo equipment . Everything from lead acid to Lion .

As stated , NiCad do suffer from memory effect unless carefully discharged/recharged , NiMh is better and LiIon holds a much greater charge density .

Certainly in the case of photo/video batteries , esp for lighting where long/deep discharges are commonplace , much as with power tools , LiIon do perform very well , but damage can be done by over discharging where they can go into a 'sleep' mode which sometimes cannot be recovered from - this is not good with pro video batteries costing upwards of £5oo !

In terms of power tools , the 18V Bosch ones I mentioned lasted me 15 years with care taken to discharge well but not excessively - these were NiCad - but Bosch wanted £120 each for replacements against the kit of two drills , two batteries and charger only costing £150 , replacements being still about the same price . Mine were the green consumer range used for home DIY and the odd set building job at work . At work we had a lot of the blue pro Bosch tools which suffered from the same battery problems over time .

For my own use I decided against buying Bosch again , but had for a while been aware of the Ryobi modular system . Having played with the tools in the shop they felt just as well made as others , and six months on my opinion hasn't changed . Some of the cheaper chargers are a bit iffy , but they do a six battery charger for heavier users ; individual tools and batteries are very well priced , to the point of being able to have a spare unit and change from the price of others .

The 4Ah LiIon batteries seem to last forever ; I've never exhausted even one on a single task , and I find myself flagging before the batteries do :)
 
Wouldnt touch Axminster with a bargepole if trade.

quite happy with milwaukee. Despite the name not American. One battery system / charger for the lot.
 
With theft,damage and loss being common,spending a fortune is not the be all and end all.
Dewalt XR for me,good range, flat bottomed batteries for stability when not in use,kit boxes that stack well,performance on a par with all the majors, compact drills and impacts,little lights on the front,some of the lads love them some love Makita.
Go to a showroom and feel them,they will spend a lot of time in your hands so weight and feel are vital.
 
With theft,damage and loss being common,spending a fortune is not the be all and end all.
Dewalt XR for me,good range, flat bottomed batteries for stability when not in use,kit boxes that stack well,performance on a par with all the majors, compact drills and impacts,little lights on the front,some of the lads love them some love Makita.
Go to a showroom and feel them,they will spend a lot of time in your hands so weight and feel are vital.
Some very good points especially the one concerning ergonomics- these are tools you are going to be using daily-day. While that 18V all purpose " raygun" of a drill may well be capable of drilling through the hull of the Bismark after using it for several hours assembling kitchen units you will long for that tidy lightweight Makita??
 
I think , as with many things , it is important to go to a store which has items on display so that you can handle and play with them to see if they will suit you .
 
DeWalt are Black & Decker in drag (so you'd be as well buying B & D)

Whilst B&D do own DeWalt, that's the end of the connection as far as I can see. All of my best tools are DeWalt (Router, plunge saw and mitre saw) and, whenever an old power tool fails, I now replace it with a DeWalt.

You only have to handle them to know they are some of the best tools out there. I rate them equal second place along with Mikita (top spot to Festool, but that's way too much for me to spend).

Check the prices: DeWalt stuff isn't cheap; they wouldn't be able to sell them for that much if they were B&D quality.

Check to see what the tradesmen use: Most of the builders, Electricians, etc. use DeWalt.
 
I'm kind of in this business. We are a power tool distributor for FLEX powertools, which we chose because we are mainly a stone masonry tooling supplier and they provide specialist power tools for working stone that the big brands don't. They aren't budget though.

The two biggest brands in the UK in order are

1- Makita
2 -Dewalt

Dewalt is associated with B&D on a corporate level - that's where it ends, the tools didn't change.

The above two are going to give you the biggest variety of products and back up.

Go for Festool if you're a serious carpenter or kitchen fitter. Expensive and good.

Hilti - everything this company does is top notch - and it's priced accordingly.

FLEX - as Festool but with a bias to Metalworking, stone masonry and decorating - but with very specialist products added.

Bosch are on a par with Makita and Dewalt.

Other brands worth looking at - Milwalkee.

In reality, Dewalt or Makita and you won't go far wrong. I personally have Makita cordless tools from the days I was working with my hands.
 
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Most of my battery tools are Makita.
Only issue I've had so far is failing batteries. Circular saw will run a battery right down & they get quite hot. If you don't allow them to cool before re-charging the charger gets stroppy and declares the battery faulty. Once faulty, it can't be charged. I have sent 6 back to Makita over the last few years, all out of warranty, but Makita have replaced them with new ones every time.
 
As an occasional DIY user of power tools, I would also give De-Walt a nod. I resisted buying cordless tools for a long time as the (professional) versions were very expensive and the battery characteristics meant they needed regular use to justify the cost and to maintain the battery in decent condition.

I have subsequently bought a De-Walt Drill / Driver and it really is excellent. It is an 18 Volt model with Li Ion batteries and I was amazed at the power of such a lightweight machine. I now hardly ever use my mains powered drill as the De-Walt can handle anything I need it to do. The charge seems to be retained for ages so that you are not met with a flat battery if you haven't used it for several weeks.

As stated above, my experience of power tools is limited, but 'Blue' Bosch and De-Walt seem to have a reasonable reputation amongst the tradesmen I have encountered.
 
The higher the battery voltage the more torque so, for heavy jobs, 18 Volt kit is better. Anything with plastic gears will break before metal gears. Lion batteries tend to discharge quickly when they run low, prompting an immediate battery change, but they pick up charge very quickly

Grober makes a good point: heavy kit is great but hard work. I bought a new cordless drill & screwdriver recently & read a few reviews online. One chap said he was a theatre lighting engineer and running up & down ladders with heavy tools was hard work and they were difficult to use at height. I thought about this and bought a relatively cheap Makita 10.8 Volt set that is perfectly good for drilling & driving screws. It's easy to handle and good for confined spaces

I'd wait till Screwfix has a good deal on something 18 Volt with two Lion batteries and go with that

Nick Froome
 
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I'm kind of in this business. We are a power tool distributor for FLEX powertools, which we chose because we are mainly a stone masonry tooling supplier and they provide specialist power tools for working stone that the big brands don't. They aren't budget though.

In reality, Dewalt or Makita and you won't go far wrong. I personally have Makita cordless tools from the days I was working with my hands.

He has wisely, in my view, decided to buy 'different' to the boss/rest of the lads who all use DeWalt. His thinking is based on watching them swap batteries, end up with having to sort out gear because they have been cross borrowed.

He has also narrowed it down to Makita or Bosch but just needs to understand what he is looking at………minimum requirement is 18v, 4ah combo-drill and impact wrench with at least two batteries and charger. If he spots a set with more items and extra batteries that looks good value, he may well spring for that.

The search continues……
 
He has wisely, in my view, decided to buy 'different' to the boss/rest of the lads who all use DeWalt. His thinking is based on watching them swap batteries, end up with having to sort out gear because they have been cross borrowed.

He has also narrowed it down to Makita or Bosch but just needs to understand what he is looking at………minimum requirement is 18v, 4ah combo-drill and impact wrench with at least two batteries and charger. If he spots a set with more items and extra batteries that looks good value, he may well spring for that.

The search continues……

Like this
Makita DLX2005M 18V Cordless li-ion 2 Piece Cordless Kit (2 x 4Ah Batteries) (DLX-2005-M)
 
I have been trashing my makita kit recently, it doesn't seem to be quite what it was. Hitachi are working well as a new brand to mistreat. Dewalt are fine. I have a tendency to buy fairly randomly. I suspect it just doesn't really matter what you buy, some will work, some will annoy. Some will fall into a pool of concrete. Only experience and time will tell. All the above comment seems fair enough. Personally I find festool to be not worth the money. Wadkin however are a joy once you start setting up your own workshop.

Whatever he buys I wish him luck.
 
He is going to a decent tool shop tomorrow to feel up some tools (I think that's what he said, anyway :D ) and see what's what. Thanks to all for the sound advice. Much appreciated.
 

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