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Cordless tools - Best Platform To Choose?

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grafter

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I'm just looking for some recommendations for which cordless tool platform to invest in, currently I have Bosch Blue drills and looking to add an impact driver and likely other cordless tools in future and it seems now it's all about choosing which battery platform to choose.

Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations/brands to avoid or if really it's all much of a much-ness.

I'm looking the Bosch GDR V-200 - brushless impact driver as I have the batteries and charger but also the Dewalt, Makita and Milwaukee offerings as my Bosch drills are getting old now and I will likely retire the oldest one soon.

Makita seems the most expensive but has an extensive range of cordless tools (like the look of the 18v trimmer router and jigsaw). Whereas Milwaukee seems pretty universally recommended. Dewalt seems cheaper but more of a mixed bag of reviews.

Any thoughts?
Thanks!
 

Phil Pascoe

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I have the DeWalt 18v brushless drill - it's faultless. I also have the jigsaw, which is great except for the base - the cam that locks it loosens, it has a permanent cable tie around the lever.
 

Trevanion

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I've got some of the new 18V Dewalt gear, I rate it very highly over stuff I've had in the past. I think Dewalt went through a rough patch over 5 years ago concerning quality control and they've been trying to get people back on their platform since so the prices are pretty reasonable and the build quality is excellent. There's also a plethora of tools on the Dewalt line, including a router now.

I had a Milwaukee set of 12V drill + impact driver where the drill needed a new motor coil after a couple of weeks of barely any use, and the drill came back in worse condition than it left with stickers stuck back down badly with super glue and such. The general consensus seems to be "not as good as they used to be", it's a shame because the actual build of the tools is pretty good but it seems the electrics let them down in most cases. I do still use them though and there are some tools Milwaukee do that are very handy and can't be had on any other system.

Recently had a Bosch 18V drill set, absolutely gutless with no power whatsoever and would keep cutting out when trying to use a 20mm spade bit. It wouldn't be too much of a problem if the ancient Dewalt 14v had no problem doing this whatsoever even after many years of hard use. Apparently, since they moved manufacture of certain stuff to Malaysia it's never been the same.

I've got loads of Makita gear, but it's all corded! Makita does make excellent cordless tools though and are in the same league as Dewalt in my opinion from what I've used. I don't rate the corded Makita Jigsaw I recently bought though, the Dewalt equivalent is a far better-built tool with a lot less plastic.

Of course, it's all subjective as all brands have their good and bad points and everyone will have a different opinion. I know someone who swears by Hitachi/HiKoki gear and absolutely hammers them without them missing a beat.
 

Selwyn

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For woodwork I'd say Makita.

Cheap, plentiful and a good range.

In my other work I use Milwaukee as well as they are a bit more industrial.

To be honest the batteries and chargers are so cheap you can use both
 

Raymond UK

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All my battery tools are Makita. I used to use Bosch but the Makita (push in battery) tools I bought about 15 years ago were so much better than the Bosch back then so I've stuck with Makita and upgraded them all to the Li Ion batteries.

I've got 17 batteries shared over 9 tools and been told to stop buying tools by my better half so be careful. Once you start buying it'll never end..... (hammer)

Makita has the biggest cordless range but I think Milwaukee has the upper hand at the moment and they make some really powerful tools. I'll not be changing as I now have too many Makita tools to do so.

You'll not be disappointed with the Makita router and jigsaw you mentioned. I have both and they're great. The jigsaw is fine with 3Ah batteries but make sure you get some higher amps for the router. I have two 5Ah batteries with my router as the 6Ah batteries are a fortune atm.
 

Selwyn

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places like powertoomate are the cheapest.

Don't buy kits - buy separate.
 

Yojevol

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De Walt for me. I've had gearbox trouble with 2 Makitas, one of them still limping on. I bought a brushless 18V DW 3 years ago. Good machine apart from the sudden stop when releasing the switch. It can be so harsh that the chuck unwinds itself thus releasing the tool. I've got used to it now.
However, as Screwfix have a very good offer on at the moment, I bought another recently and I'm pleased to say that a soft stop has now been introduced.
Brian
 

Phil Pascoe

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My drill spun the bit out when stopped quickly when new, but seems to have stopped doing it - whether something has changed or whether subconciously I use it differently, I don't know.
I think we need to be careful when comparing manufactures to only compare tools made in the last couple of years - all of them have had peaks and troughs in quality over the years. I have Bosch stuff that's 30 - 35 years old that is superb, and refuses to die (I don't use it for work any more) - but that is totally irrelevant to what Bosch turns out now.
I doubt anything made now will still be around in 30 years, though.
 

Sideways

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Today, I would recommend only buying into a brand who offers the latest batteries based on 21700 cells instead of 18650's. You can get 18V 4Ah packs made with just one row of cells which helps keep the weight down.
So that's metabo, bosch pro core, the new milwaukees etc.
And each to their own brand. I give priority to comfort / ergonomics / some specific features so I don't buy without handling first and brute strength alone doesn't influence me.
I've ended up with a patchwork of kit as I like the Fein multitool and brushless drills with 4 speed gearbox. Some Bosch including their little brushless impact screw / socket driver,. I have a 12v milwaukee that I bought to try out and wouldn't buy again but is proving hard to break. It's my beater for wire brushing and the like.
I dislike dewalt on principle + crude and for me uncomfortable.
Panasonic's top drill driver set are really comfortable.
Hikoki do a great cordless circ saw. Milwaukee's 18v cordless saw is comfy too.
Metabo's impulse mode is really neat on the better cordless drills.
Some corded tools can't yet be matched by cordless, and some maybe never will : mirka deros sander, most routers still, ??
 

Droogs

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Something for you to consider and I only found out this was possible to do very recently and wish I had known long ago, you can actually buy battery adapters that basically allow you to fit any battery to any tool. This includes the possibility of fitting modern LiFePo4 to old NimH based tools, these adapters cost around a tenner each. This means you can buy the actual tool you really want regardless of the manufacturer, 'cause lets face it we all want something that our fave doesn't do or does badly and someone else does well. It also means that we can continue using those tools we have loved using forevermore. To this end I have ordered a couple of these adapters to try as my combi drills are just NimH Erbauers as they do all I need but all my decent batteries are ones I got with my LiFePo4 Dewalt jigsaw, which was bought to do a specific project and hardly gets used now :roll: But hoping this adapter will give a new lease of life to the combi and impact driver.
Example about it below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMssklzoBAk&t=128s
 

Phil Pascoe

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Sideways":ne7nh7t4 said:
... I don't buy without handling first and brute strength alone doesn't influence me ...
Think what you use the tool for. A had a couple of chaps doing some work for me using 4ah Makita tools. One went off with the kit in the van, leaving the other with no tools. I lent him my DeWalt 18v 2ah drill, and an hour later he handed it back saying he would hardly have believed how much less wearing it was to use as it was way, way lighter - it still did what he wanted perfectly well.
The difference being that it needs charging more often - unless you're drilling endless holes in concrete or whatever, that's a good trade off especially if you're getting older and suffering from a bit of arthritis. :D
I've cut loads of firewood with my DeWalt jigsaw - I bought it because I'd already bought the drill with two 2ah batteries (I had a sander, a jigsaw and a drill pack up within six months :( ). I thought initially that I would need higher ah batteries, but it hasn't proved to be - I exhaust one, and by the time I've split and bagged everything up then used the second one the first is ready to go.
 

Rich C

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I have DeWalt tools and I'm very pleased with them. Mainly use the combi drill and impact driver, but in the summer the strimmer and hedge trimmer come out - being able to share batteries with the garden tools is nice as you don't have to worry about storing batteries over the winter.

It's worth spending a bit more on a drill to make sure you get one with a metal gearbox.

I have this impact driver: https://products.dewalt.co.uk/powertool ... o/DCF887N/

It's quite similar in specs to that Bosch one, about £65 cheaper (you can get one with a 4AH battery for £135) and has a couple of features I really like. One is it has work lights, which are frankly a must have - once you've had a tool with them you'll not want to go back. The other is the lowest power setting is 27 Nm which is just about perfect for knocking together flat pack and similar lower power applications. It means I don't need to ever use the drill as anything but a drill which saves faff swapping screwdriver bits over.

Something else to consider with batteries is that a 4-5 Ah gives more tool torque than a 2Ah as you can draw more current from them (more cells in parallel means more current).
 

sammy.se

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I have a high-torque version of a Makita Drill Driver. 18v. It's brilliant.



Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
 

Doug B

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If I was starting again down the cordless route I’d give https://www.cordless-alliance-system.com some serious consideration.
The batteries are made by Metabo but fit several makes, I’ve been using the Metabo chopsaw with a couple of their 8amp hour batteries for a year now & they really are impressive but the real bonus is it allowed me to buy the Mafell cordless track saw as a bare unit allowing a big saving.
If it wasn’t for the fact that my present site tools are all fairly recent ( last 2-3 years) Makita 5amp hour gear I’d be looking into the different brands the battery platform supports.

Personally having used most brands over the years I’ve never found much difference in like for like tools they’ve all had their faults, most folks have their preferences but it’s usually boils down the brand they’ve bought into.
 

MikeJhn

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Can't fault my brushless LiIon DeWalts, I bought these because of the weight of my Nimih powered Dewalt's that are still going after 30 years, that is not a miss type.

The power adaptor I have, to use the LiIon batteries with the larger Dewalts are all but useless, intermittent contact and seem to reduce the power of the tool even though the batteries have the same C rating.
 

sammy.se

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Doug B":1me81r0b said:
If I was starting again down the cordless route I’d give https://www.cordless-alliance-system.com some serious consideration.
The batteries are made by Metabo but fit several makes, I’ve been using the Metabo chopsaw with a couple of their 8amp hour batteries for a year now & they really are impressive but the real bonus is it allowed me to buy the Mafell cordless track saw as a bare unit allowing a big saving.
If it wasn’t for the fact that my present site tools are all fairly recent ( last 2-3 years) Makita 5amp hour gear I’d be looking into the different brands the battery platform supports.

Personally having used most brands over the years I’ve never found much difference in like for like tools they’ve all had their faults, most folks have their preferences but it’s usually boils down the brand they’ve bought into.
Very interesting.

I'd be really surprised indeed if any of the mass manufacturers (Makita, Dewalt, Milwakee, even Festool) would opt into this... Having a proprietary battery platform is a way they 'lock in' customers and sell more tools. I do like the idea of those battery converters I've seen more of lately, but I do wonder if subtle differences in the tool technology will create problems down the road in the tools.
 

Nelsun

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No particular recommendations for a brand as they each cater for (and are sometimes better for) different tasks e.g. cordless routers are a new hot tool (Makita, Milwaukee and Dewalt all have something amongst others) but not all manufacturers have one in their line-up *cough* Festool.

Be wairy of recommendations along the lines of "I borrowed a circ saw made by BrandX and it was way more/less powerful than my BrandY one". Some companies have multiple types of the same style of tool and, typically, they have smaller or more budget orientated models as well as their top of the range offerings. I have a boat load of Makita LXT stuff myself and researching what I'm after involves some work i.e. sifting through specs of 10 circular saws, 9 impact drivers, 8 recips, 7 angle grinders, 6 drill/drivers, 5... mitre... saws... You get the idea ;) They do cheap drills and they do expensive drills and you get what you pay for being the point here and that's the same for the bigger brands.

Whatever platform you go for be sure and keep an eye on whether a supplied charger is their fast or slow version; some will lump a slow charger if it's bundled with a tool. Slow chargers are the Devils work!
 

TheUnicorn

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I think it is all down to the tools you need, I'd make a list of what you need now and may need in the near future, total up in terms of quality and price and go from there. I've had a Bosch combi drill for years and can't fault it. I've gone for a few dewalt brush less tools in the last few months and am very happy with those too, though I know a lot of people say dewalt has gone down hill over recent years. I think as long as you go for a good quality range you can't go that far wrong.
 
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