Buying advice - multitool, random orbital sander and router

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20 Aug 2019
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Hi there.

I have recently got into woodworking and could really do with the following tools to help with my current DIY projects:

* Multitool
* Random Orbital Sander
* Router

As an amateur, I do not need to buy anything absolutely top end but would like to avoid buying anything so cheap that it is a false economy.

Any advice on what models to buy would be much appreciated.

If it helps, I have a Makita cordless drill and driver set. However, I am not convinced that any of the abovementioned tools actually need to be cordless (unless anyone thinks otherwise).

Any pointers would be much appreciated.
i find the multi-tool very useful as cordless - just a retired DIYer
And probably the same for the sander

BUT just depends on if happy to plug into an extension lead

if you are already on the Makita battery platform , then maybe worth a look at that range

difficult to say , in my experience buying some of the cheaper triton/lidl power tools - most have failed in some way and returned
So i now tend to buy tools from Dewalt and on the battery platform and for garden Stihl , a bit overkill , but i only want to buy once and when i use want it to work ......
If you're already on the Makita platform it might be the most economic route to continue on if you have suitable batteries. The cordless machines are going to be quieter than their corded equivalents but the batteries may make them heavier and less comfortable to use. With cordless router and sander you may lack power for heavier work but you could cross that bridge when you come to it.
Multitool I have a bosch £50ish jobbie. Always found it adequate for it's job. Corded but a cordless would be lovely.
Sander, I have an expensive £250 bosch, replaced a £60ish unit. I would never go back as the vibrations on the cheap one were horrid.
Router, I have a cordless palm router (amazing but not cheap) and a corded 1/2" Triton. The palm router gets lots of use now vs the 1/2" which is just too unweildy, I expect a cheaper cordeed palm router would be just as good.
my advice, id get a cheapish multitool, spend money on a good sander, and the triton routers are fine unless its a trim router then get the dewalt, better by far than the makita. i know you have makita batteries but most people mix n match over time, id def get a mains powered sander, the cordless ones are pretty gutless, i used a cheap one for years and recently upgraded to a festool, its great...but expensive.
My recommendations:

Dewalt multitool (corded or cordless, up to you, but if you go cordless might as well get Makita, also good)
Metabo Orbital sander (150mm)
Router - Maktia or Hikoki if you are doing 1/2" heavy duty stuff; Trend or Dewalt if you are doing lighter duty 1/4" stuff; Bosh or Makita palm router for light duty stuff
I have a Dewalt cordless multitool, it is something I tend to use for a few minutes at a time and in multiple location so I find the lack of a cord very helpful

the sander is a workshop tool and needs dust extraction so I have a corded model and its fine

I have a plunge router and a trim router, both corded, the trim router I would quite like a cordless version for speed and conveinience, but I don't really have enough use to justify the cost
Just to buck the trend a little.
I would definately go for a cordless multi-tool. Invariably I end up using it when things are in an awkward spot, the cord just makes it that much easier. If you can spring for the makita brushless I don't think you will regret it.
As far as the sander and router are concered it would help to know what sort of work you are doing. I am lucky enough to have a good range of routers (Triton 1/2" in a table, Trend 1/2" and 1/4" mains powered and a Makita 1/4" cordless) I find myself using the Triton in the table and the cordless more than anything.
A simialr story on the sanders. I have the Metabo 150mm Random orbit which has served me well for the past 15 years and I would replace in a heartbeat if anything happend to it. However I also have a makita cordless and again find myself reaching for it more and more simply for its convenience.
My experience:

Multitool - Not used a lot but when you need it, it's usually needed to do something in an awkward spot so having a cordless one is a real boon.

Orbital sander - Using it with a vacuum is essential IMO - it makes sanding so much more comfortable and the sander works better if the dust is being pulled away from the cutting face. And as you have to hook up a hose, having a mains cable too is no big deal. When you factor in the fact that the mains units are lighter and its a no brainer for me. Get a corded one - and if there is a little sanding that needs to be done in a tight spot, you can always use the multitool for that.

With the router it depends what you intend doing with the router. If cutting large holes/cut-outs - mortises, dados etc and are therefore looking for a 1/2", then I think getting a cable one makes sense. More power and you'll probably want to hook a vacuum with it. On the other hand if you are mainly look for doing round overs, champhers and smaller holes then a 1/4" cordless could be good - though personally I'd probably still stick with a corded one.
Multitool should be cordless.
Sander corded - look at makita and at bosch. You can pick the best tool for you without worrying about brand if you are on the cord.
Router - get the best you can afford. They are a uniquely versatile tool and you'll find uses for it. They are also a 22,000 rpm precision machine so don't buy cheap.
I strongly recommend a 1/4" plunge type, corded as your first.

Oh, and search the existing threads. Questions like this come up a lot and have been debated extensively. If you look, you will find more detail on each type of machine than the answers here. Simply because it is a common question and most times get summary answers and just occasionally a really detailed discussion.
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Fein cordless multitool is head and shoulders better than the rest, lower vibration is the standout. I still have my first corded one which is 30 years old now (Alan bolt slips a bit) but if you search you'll find a new one with batteries for £250. The original was £450 which was used in a cabinet making factory.
Makita palm router cordless bare with the extra shoes etc, 3d print a mount for the makita saw rails.
Mirka corded sander with abranet and extractor (mirka extractor is excellent but not cheap) with a plug switch.
I've just spent £1000 of your money there, but these 3 tools will do the job extremely well and last for a long time.
strongly recommend a 1/4" plunge type, corded as your first
Hard to fault that advice, though I'd add the caveat ""with a plunge base" as many of the big name good quality ones have that option. Whereas some of the cheap 1/4" routers that look like 1/2" routers don't have the flexibility of either a 1/2" router or a 1/4" with multiple base options.
Multitool is likely to be used in all sorts of places, so cordless definitely an advantage. Stick to Makita as you have their batteries. Dewalt is good, but from a personal point of view whenever I've used one, I don't like having to use the trigger, especially in awkward places.
Router and sander you really need to use with some sort of extraction, so not necessarily as important to have cordless. Others have made recommendations above.

However, do you have any sort of extraction you will use with the router and sander?
Hello, first question I would ask you is what amp are your batteries.

I have sold my soul to Milwaukee and have the above three all cordless. My battery start at four amp to 12 for Tablesaw, but the 12 amp ends up on the rattle gun mostly. It will loosen what the 5 amp won’t. Amp power makes a big difference to me.

So if Makita batteries around 4-5 amp stick there, if not you have a clean slate to join a platform.

Hope this helps.
An 18 volt 3 amp hour battery will deliver exactly the same power as an 18 volt 4 amp hour battery but for less duration, ie power will fall off quicker as it has less capacity.
That’s what I thought too, but 5 amp fully charged won’t loosen studs but the 12 will. I don’t understand it either.
Batteries have non linear discharge curves, 18 volt 6 amp hour battery should give 6 amps for 1 hour, probably 12 amps for 20 minutes so it is a law of diminishing returns. Your heavy load discharges the smaller capacity battery because it cannot maintain the current, if you measured it you would see if drop off quickly but the higher capacity battery can maintain the current the motor is drawing for a longer period without falling off so the motor produces the full torque.

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