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Thread: Buying new Li-Ion tools - which ones?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Itapevi, SP - Brazil
    Posts
    391

    DeWalt 60/20V system

    Personally I prefer Makita battery tools for their quality and broad options of different tools working with same 18V batteries... but I had to go with DeWalt as they have better availability and service in my country.

    DeWalt surprised me with the quality of their brushless tools and I decided am happier when they decided to release 60V tools... but maintaining the battery compatibility with their "old" 20V system.

    BTW DeWalt 20V system doesn't look different from their competition in 18V... 20V is only the open circuit voltage when battery is just loaded... like their competition... but 60V is really a tech difference.

    I recommend DeWalt 60/20V system.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,571
    I'm switching over from DeWalt to Makita - only because I fell in love with my cordless Makita track saw - and I prefer to not have to mess around with a mix/mess of batteries and chargers.

    In googling around, I see that Makita added a 3 year warranty to their batteries in 2015, so maybe the problem has been fixed...
    I believe Makita revamped their batteries a few years back. The newer ("yellow tab") ones have vastly improved electronics & are far more dependable. It's important to note the time frame involved when people complain about Makita batteries.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
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    1,123
    Blog Entries
    1
    I use my dewalt 20vmax every day. I also use Ryobi One for outdoor stuff. My needs there are modest so their cordless string trimmer, leaf blower and pole saw fit my needs. Iím down to just one internal combustion engine other than the car. I have a John Deere tractor with snow blower attachment. Everything else is battery.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NE Connecticut
    Posts
    529
    Update: I thought about it for quite a while, did some research, put my hands on some tools, and ended up with some really nice Makita tools. I switched to Makita because I am very impressed with their track saw and the 12" SCMS I used to own. The reviews were excellent everywhere I looked, too. Nothing against Dewalt - my Dewalt tools have served me very well - I just felt that Makita had the edge on quality this time around.

    I splurged on brushless for everything: drill/driver, impact driver, and recip saw. The recip saw is one of their 36v (two batteries) tools because one of the things I hated about my old Dewalt recip saw is that it was so underpowered compared to the plug-in version. The Makita 36v is NOT underpowered.

    Makita had (has?) a promotion this month where they were giving away two free 5Ah batteries with certain 36v tools, so I now have 6 batteries and two chargers (three bays total). The Makita chargers are hefty pieces of equipment compared with my old Dewalt chargers. They have fans and provide more information about battery status. They also seem more solidly built. They have a significantly bigger footprint, however.

    All of these tools are heavy, which I don't mind since I mostly use them for construction/renovation and prefer more power. Even so, I was able to get quite slow speeds out of both the drill and the impact driver by squeezing the triggers lightly. The fit, finish, and overall feel are excellent. They obviously have plastic bodies but they feel more solid than my old Dewalts. I should say that, although I bought these from HD, I had to order them online since the models I wanted are not carried in any of the stores near me. I spent a lot of time on Makita's web site comparing specs and knew exactly which models I wanted when I ordered. The models I looked at in the store seemed more consumer-oriented and lighter.

    On a related note, I also got rid of my Dewalt sidewinder circular saw and purchased a Makita magnesium hypoid circular saw, which has a worm-drive form. It is considerably heavier than the Dewalt but I REALLY like this style of saw much better; it feels more like an extension of my arm and less like a tool I am pushing. It is also more powerful - I cut a pallet into firewood yesterday in what had to be a minute flat.


  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,571
    Good choice!
    LOL!

    Seriously though, since February when this thread started until today, I've been using the heck out of my Makita cordless stuff.
    (I even sprang for a Makita cordless string trimmer!)
    I even found a ton of use for the 18 V cordless circular saw that came in the three tool kit.

    I've found a couple things - none of the Makita brushless tools - 18 V or 36 V lack anything in the way of power. I even go so far as o say they surpass a corded tool.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W Evans View Post
    I read the recent post about modern Li-Ion tools, but am looking for some specific recommendations.

    I have some Dewalt 18v tools from 20+ years ago. I am very pleased with their performance and durability, but they are huge and heavy compared with more recent tools and I am reluctant to spend more money on batteries given the age of the tools. My last two batteries are on their last legs, so I think I will sell my tools now and upgrade rather than buy more batteries.

    I am aware that I can buy a 20v conversion kit for my tools but, as I said, the tools are old. The price difference between the conversion kit and a new Dewalt 20v Max XR brushless drill & impact driver kit with two batteries is less than $100, so this seems like a reasonable thing to do.

    I am not a pro, but I take on large-ish home improvement projects like building sheds and raised garden beds, working with landscaping timbers, building decks and stairs, etc.

    I need a cordless drill, impact driver, and recip saw. I might add a cordless angle grinder and circ saw to my new set.

    Especially in the winter, I can go a month or more without using my tools. At other times I use them for hours every day for weeks.

    Since I'm starting over I don't mind changing brands, but I'm not necessarily looking to do so. I am most interested in longevity of tools and batteries. I don't need anything beyond basic features, and I don't need a huge selection of compatible tools, or extreme power.

    What are your recommendations or experiences?

    Thanks.
    Hi Brian,
    I think they are all pretty good. I have quite a few of the Milwaukee 18v and about the same number of Ryobi. I have been buying the Milwaukee for may years - I still have some of their 14.4V drills that still work great. I like the Ryobi drills for their light weight. The Milwaukee drills are heavier, but pack more power. I suppose that it depends on the price. The Milwaukee or probably the most expensive, but in my opinion offer the best quality and appearance.
    David

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W Evans View Post
    Update: I thought about it for quite a while, did some research, put my hands on some tools, and ended up with some really nice Makita tools. I switched to Makita because I am very impressed with their track saw and the 12" SCMS I used to own. The reviews were excellent everywhere I looked, too. Nothing against Dewalt - my Dewalt tools have served me very well - I just felt that Makita had the edge on quality this time around.

    I splurged on brushless for everything: drill/driver, impact driver, and recip saw. The recip saw is one of their 36v (two batteries) tools because one of the things I hated about my old Dewalt recip saw is that it was so underpowered compared to the plug-in version. The Makita 36v is NOT underpowered.

    Makita had (has?) a promotion this month where they were giving away two free 5Ah batteries with certain 36v tools, so I now have 6 batteries and two chargers (three bays total). The Makita chargers are hefty pieces of equipment compared with my old Dewalt chargers. They have fans and provide more information about battery status. They also seem more solidly built. They have a significantly bigger footprint, however.

    All of these tools are heavy, which I don't mind since I mostly use them for construction/renovation and prefer more power. Even so, I was able to get quite slow speeds out of both the drill and the impact driver by squeezing the triggers lightly. The fit, finish, and overall feel are excellent. They obviously have plastic bodies but they feel more solid than my old Dewalts. I should say that, although I bought these from HD, I had to order them online since the models I wanted are not carried in any of the stores near me. I spent a lot of time on Makita's web site comparing specs and knew exactly which models I wanted when I ordered. The models I looked at in the store seemed more consumer-oriented and lighter.

    On a related note, I also got rid of my Dewalt sidewinder circular saw and purchased a Makita magnesium hypoid circular saw, which has a worm-drive form. It is considerably heavier than the Dewalt but I REALLY like this style of saw much better; it feels more like an extension of my arm and less like a tool I am pushing. It is also more powerful - I cut a pallet into firewood yesterday in what had to be a minute flat.
    Hi Brian,
    I have a Makita 36V track saw and I think it's great - very nice a capable tool. But I still like the Milwaukee for many of my 18V tools. I think it's a matter of personal preference. Of course - I have many of the Ryobi tools as well. The Ryobi seem to be lighter weight with less power and robustness compared to the Milwaukee, but their lighter weight is a big plus for many of my jobs.
    David

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    433
    My battery powered tools are almost all Makita. Reason being that the tools and batteries from many years ago work with the tools and batteries currently offered. Yes sometimes I have to clip off the bump in the tool that prevents using older batteries but it still works perfectly. I used to own Dewalt stuff but they kept changing battery designs which made the tools obsolete. Many quality tools available but I look at long term compatibility and Makita seems to be the one brand that focuses on that.

  9. #24
    Most of my cordless tools are Ryobi 18V. The reciprocating saw is definitely less powerful than my corded DeWalt. I have the little 5 inch circular saw and it is handy sometimes but no match for my Milwaukee corded saw. I have two Ryobi drills and an impact driver. I've drill 1/2 holes in my boat trailer with one and drilled 2 1/8 in solid doors to put in lock sets. One broke doing this, however. I also have the right angle drill, and the vibriating tool (no match for my corded Fein). I really like the cordless 18 gauge nailer.

    I also have a Bosch click 12 volt drill and it is much smaller and lighter than the Ryobi tools but still pretty powerful.

    I just got a Milwaukee cordless angle grinder with two 6 amp hour batteries. It is a BEAST. A little heavy for little tasks but it is more powerful than my two corded angle grinders. My son uses a lot of Milwaukee tools for car work (1/2 and 3/4 impacts plus some other stuff).

    None of my better Ryobi lithium ion batteries have quit on me but one of the small cheaper ones did. The one that quit has no gauge to tell you how much charge is left. A similar one is still working fine, however. I have two left less than 2 amp hours, 2 three amp hours and two four amp hours. Drills and impact drivers can use any of the batteries but the bigger tools really need the bigger batteries.

    i used to have a DeWalt cordless back before lithium ion batteries. I'm sure they are better now but I thought the Ryobis were an upgrade to my old DeWalt.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    3,758
    I'm still using every Makita Li battery that ever came with a tool, including the white and black combo that have the half sized batteries that came out before the LXT's came out. One advantage is that they work, with one small modification, in my Graco cordless airless sprayer that the Graco batteries only last about a year in. I thought I had one go bad once, but it turned out to be a bad charger.

    Also, my Home Depot often has the bare tools in the closeout bin in the back once in a while. I bought an angle grinder for $20, and a sawzall for 15. I think people thought they had the battery with the tool, and brought them back with the boxes kind of beat up, for return when they found out they didn't have batteries, or chargers.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 06-21-2019 at 7:39 PM.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Grassy Lake Alberta
    Posts
    919
    I have all Milwaukee M18 fuel tools now. I switched to one platform in 2012. As a carpenter with crew it was a mess with different brands and chargers. Way simpler now. I have a lot of friends in trades here in Alberta and would say that 30%are Makita,50 % Milwaukee And 20% everything else. Really do not see much Dewalt cordless stuff. My tool trailer is full of their corded tools though. I do not know if we got a bunch of bad batteries shipped here or the Makita batteries had trouble with our weather but it was a big problem about 6-7 years ago. When I switched to one brand I talked to all the trade/subtrade guys I knew about what they were using ,at the time Makita was number one. However the battery problem was mentioned to me more than once. I had my first Milwaukee battery fail last summer it was 6.5 years old and used continuously for all 6.5 years -20C to+ 30C. I really like the durability of the tools and I have a Milwaukee repair center in Lethbridge which is 45 minutes away if/when I need it. Dewalt has to be shipped out for repairs.

  12. #27
    I have Bosch and Milwaukee 12 and 18 volt drills. I also have Bosch and Milwaukee 6 1/2 inch 18 volt saws. I seem to reach first for the Bosch. Recently I bought a Ryobi set of a router and a nailer because I will only use them outside my little shop infrequently. The Ryobi came with a good deal on batteries. They sound cheap but so far have worked well. I'm resisting the urge to buy an 18 volt reciprocating saw but suspect I'll break all speed limits getting to the store if a good deal comes up. It will likely be either Bosch or Milwaukee but the Ridgid would be tempting if the right battery deal came with it.
    If I was starting over I suspect I would wind up with mostly Festool because all reports are very good and they are not made in China.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rochester, Minn
    Posts
    99
    There was an issue with Makita batteries several years ago. The sensor in the battery ran off one cell, and if you didn't use if for quite a long while (months) the battery could end up far enough out of balance that the charger would declare it to be a "bad battery" and refuse to charge it. I lost one battery that way. So for weekend warriors at least the "bad battery" stories have a basis in fact, but I am fairly sure that the problem is no longer present. One small issue that I noticed when doing a major house remodel was that my brother-in-laws Dewalt impact spun a fair bit slower than my Makita. The end result was that he was happier with mine and I was happier with his (he's a professional and I'm a hacker.) But that was almost 10 years ago so may no longer be true.
    Terry T.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Grassy Lake Alberta
    Posts
    919
    I have noticed longer run times with brushless tools and also longer tool life. Lithium ion batteries are also way longer lasting (run times) and overall lifespan of the batteries. After that pick your poison (brand ). My previous experience with cordless tools was usually when the batteries crapped out the tool was not far behind,as in the useful life of the batteries was the same for the tool. Cordless technology has come a long,long ways. I wonder how much better it will get in the next 10 years ?

  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Highland MI
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    3,559
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    I have an old 14.4 volt Dewalt XRP, the real thing back then. heavy as all get-out. My Dewalt replacement battery died after 12 years, A new Dewalt battery was $70. Got a no-name on Amazon for less than $20, delivered less than 24 hours after I ordered it. If it lasts more than 5 years I will be happy. Keep it as a backup. Current driver/drill combo is an 18 volt PC probably 8 or 9 years old, still works fine. Just finished a project replacing the PT boards on my dock with composite decking, removing, predrilling and setting nearly 600 screws. One battery change on the larger batteries. My son got the newer PC 20 volt version, nicer with more features. If i were buying new, I would likely go Milwaukee brushless.
    NOW you tell me...

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