Power Tool Recommendations

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Old 01-07-17, 11:04 AM
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Power Tool Recommendations

Hello everyone,
This is my first post on this forum, so forgive me if this is a redundant post.

I just purchased a new home and I am beginning to invest in tools and other home improvement hardware. In the past, I have seem power tool "systems" advertised, such as Ryobi One and WORX. I can see the advantage of having one interchangeable system for rechargeable batteries so that there is no confusion from tool to tool (for instance, my dad has to swap out Black and Decker/De Walt whenever one battery dies - which he says is a hassle), but I'm not educated enough on power tools to know whether or not this is just a gimmick.

So I suppose my question is two-fold: 1) are these systems a gimmick (if so, I'll just purchase the highest recommended of each tool) and 2) if not, which system is best to invest in?

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-07-17, 11:11 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

IMO it is more a marketing pitch. All manufactures have lines of tools the use the same batteries. However, the only cordless tools I use with any regularity are drills and impact drivers. Sure a cordless reciprocating saw is kind of handy, but they have nowhere near the power of a corded model and corded ones cost less.

IMO start with the drill/impact kit by Rigid. Register the tools and batteries and they will warranty them for life. Batteries are the thing that dies first. That will get you going for a few years and if you want to add more, Rigid has a good line of tools and batteries with a longer run time.
 
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Old 01-07-17, 11:41 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I'll keep Rigid on my radar. Is there a specific model number or battery voltage that works better than others, or is more universal in it's applications?
 
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Old 01-07-17, 12:00 PM
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Rigid is only sold at the big orange store. 18 volt lithium ion (sometimes called 20 volt max by others) is the best option for run time, weight, and longevity.

This one: RIDGID X4 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit (2-Tool)-R9602 - The Home Depot is a good kit that I personally used for my day to day work and an electrician. It has lasted me at least 3 years on the original batteries using it day to day. Some times you even get a battery power radio with the kit as well. At $150 it is a good deal IMO. They also have a kit that has a hammer drill if you think you might need to drill into masonry, buy IMO and SDS hammer drill is WAY better!

This kit: RIDGID GEN5X Brushless 18-Volt Compact Hammer Drill/Driver and 3-Speed Impact Driver Combo Kit-R9205 - The Home Depot would be a step up with the latest and greatest model. These are the brushless tools that use less battery power (more run time) while increasing power/torque. I have not used these but have a brushless in a Dewalt impact and I can agree with both the claims.
 
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Old 01-07-17, 12:49 PM
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Start with corded tools, unless you have a reason for cordless. Cordless tools are nice but if you're not staying on top of keeping them charged, they can be unavailable when you need them. Also, corded tools often have significantly more power.
 
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Old 01-07-17, 01:06 PM
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... and if you do go cordless, make it so all your cordless tools take the same battery! When you have two identical batteries that fit all the cordless tools you might have, the odds are better that you'll have a good battery. A battery used everyday will outlast one that is just used every now and then.
 
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Old 01-07-17, 02:32 PM
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Is it a gimmick to package tools such that they all use the same battery? I wouldn't call it that because, just as you learned from your dad, it's more practical and convenient to have them all use the same battery. Is it a gimmick to have multiple tools in a package? I wouldn't call it that because one guy may want the package with say 4 tools, and the next guy may want the package with 2 tools. In my opinion it's only a gimmick if you let it become one by loading up on a bunch of tools that you don't really need or want. As mentioned, I suggest focusing more on corded tools, although a cordless drill and impact driver will come on your radar fairly early on, and these two items are a good example of taking advantage of standard packaging. Keep your eyes open and you will find that you can often find these two packaged, along with a pair of batteries, for significantly less than the cost of purchasing them individually. Unfortunately, the best deals for these seems to be before Christmas, so it's a bit late now, but you'll see Father's Day and Memorial Day sales pop up too. You might also think about looking for companies that carry reconditioned tools; I know several guys who claim they had significant savings for very comparable quality. But, other than a drill and impact driver, again, I suggest looking at corded tools.
 
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Old 04-21-17, 02:22 PM
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As a professional who uses power tools to earn a living, my suggestion is that you get what you pay for. Ryobi are a bottom-end tool, and are not designed to last. If you ever have a warranty concern or question, you will find a complete lack of concern when you talk to them. I lean toward the Ridgid Tool line, because they offer a life-time warranty on just about every tool they sell--even the batteries. All you have to do is complete the registration process when you buy the tool. I have had some occasions where I had to use my Ridgid warranty, and they have always come through. May be a little more money at the start, but you will be dollars ahead in the long run.
 
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Old 04-21-17, 03:03 PM
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Candiver, welcome to the forums! While I concur with the difference in quality in tools, I do find that I have to fight Ridgid just to get a tool registered. They use one excuse after another not to endorse the warranty. I have a double bevel miter saw with offset motor, a nice sled tile saw, table saw on a gurney, etc. I find those tools fare better than do the smaller hand tools. Presently they have had my one hand reciprocating saw which totally died for about 4 weeks, now. I'm waiting to see what they do with it.
 
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Old 04-21-17, 04:05 PM
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The kits are ok if you have a need for everything in the kit. Cordless batteries are expensive so Ridgid's lifetime battery replacement may be a good idea. Corded drills are cheaper but cordless drills are very convenient. Read some tool magazines that do tool reviews to get an idea what the differences are and make your decision based on your needs.
 
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Old 04-21-17, 07:29 PM
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Not being a Pro, the Ryobi's work just fine for me even though I probably abuse them. I've had some for 4-6 years (in the dark blue, not the green) and never had a tool fail. And you can often find 2 packs of the 4 Ah batteries for about the price of 1 Rigid. I have a Rigid corded miter saw, and it's great, but I also have a Ryobi BT3100 table saw which also does everything I ask. Bought both of them when I worked at HD at a very steep discount.

BTW, both brands are made by the same company. You have a consumer quality and a Pro quality line...you have to decide which you need and are willing to pay for. Don't count on a battery warranty for more than a couple of years, if they change something your batteries may no longer be available and fighting for a credit can be a pain. Better to bite the bullet and have them rebuilt or do it yourself. That last is from a local Rigid repair center owner I spoke to a few months back.

Also btw, I maintain my batteries by just putting them in the jobsite radio every few months. Let 'em run all the way down, then back in the smart charger.
 
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Old 04-22-17, 03:25 AM
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putting them in the jobsite radio every few months. Let 'em run all the way down, then back in the smart charger.
I don't have one of those radios but I normally take a battery that is just about out of juice and stick it in my flashlight and let it finish running down before putting it in the charger.

It's hard to beat a quality tool! but a lot depends on how much you use it. Over the years I've had a lot of cheap tools that did fine in a diy setting although the ones I wore out usually get replaced with a better grade
 
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Old 04-22-17, 04:38 AM
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I have a Ridgid radio, too. I forgot. But it doesn't charge the batteries. It will RUN off a battery, though. Bummer. It's so big, it reminds me of a 1970's boom box. One of my helpers plugs his phone into a charger and has a bluetooth speaker that is about the size of a pack of cigarettes, I guess, I don't smoke, and it puts out great sound.
 
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Old 04-22-17, 04:51 AM
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Larry, I think Vic meant he puts the battery in the radio, turns it on until the battery is completely discharged and then puts it on the charger.
 
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Old 04-22-17, 04:56 AM
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Duh, yeah, now I see. I would have thought they would incorporate a charger in the radio so you could use it as an aux charger while listening to country music. Gee.
 
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Old 04-22-17, 12:35 PM
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I think some brands have the option (to run off battery or AC), but then you have to plug it in to charge the battery and listen to music, kinda defeats the convenience. And what if you have no AC? Guess you could use a car charger?

Anyway....

Back when my old neighbor the Master Electrician ran a small company, I asked what cordless tools he bought for his guys, expecting Dewalt, Milwaukee, or similar. He said "Ryobi...doesn't matter what I buy, they'll break them or lose them. I can buy 2 or 3 Ryobis for the price of 1 of the others." Guess he did something right, cause now he is founder and partner in one of the largest electrical and general contracting firms in the area.
 
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