seasonal tool bargains--what to buy?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by suburbanite, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    After helping my father build a shed and admiring how quickly it went using his power tools, I decided I should probably get power tools of my own instead of borrowing his all the time and not doing some projects at all because I don't have tools and would have to borrow his.

    Anybody have good or bad things to say about different brands?

    The hardware stores all seem to be having sales on them right now.

    Sears has a cordless Craftsman set at 19.2V with a reciprocating saw, jigsaw, trim saw (5 1/2 inch circular), drill/screwdriver, and florescent project light for about $200.

    Home Depot has a cordless Ryobi set at 18V, with reciprocating saw, jigsaw, trim saw, torque-measuring drill/screwdriver, spot-lamp project light, corner sander, and wet/dry hand-vacuum for $150.

    There are similar DeWalt sets running around for about $350, but my level of use probably doesn't warrant construction-job-site quality--in the total life of my tools they'll probably see what a construction site tool does in two months.

    Any thoughts about what tools are good to have and what will just sit in the box? Any thoughts about what brands are good or bad?
     
  2. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    LOT of people will blow off sears. They made some real crap up till the last few years. I just bought four of the 19.2 impacts and drills. I like them and they are as good as the Bosch and Hitachi they replacing. You can find some nice new hitachi stuff on the bay.
    Lot of people like the yellow but I don't buy it. The stuff is everywhere and places are full of reconditioned stuff. Nothing wrong with reconditioned but to much goes bad right from the start. RYobi is kind of a step child. there stuff is pretty good for the money. Same company that makes Milwaukee. We decide to try the Sears cause were always around one.
     

  3. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Are there any significant differences between 18V and 19.2V?
     
  4. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not really. I think it was Porter Cable that came up with the 19.2 I think they are the ones supplying the 19.2 for Sears. Ryobi's 18 volt batteries are pretty inexpensive. But you can find a LOT of Sears 19.2 on the Bay
     
  5. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    unless you use the battery operated tools on a regular basis the battery's IN my experence they seem to go bad in a short time, a few years, and will not hold a charge.

    I like my battery operated tools, but if there were going to be seldom used I think I would suggest corded tools, and the cost is a fraction, of the battery tools, and a medium quality cored tool many times is as good as better battery one, (for quality of construction)
    and the power is usually much better on a cored tool,

    I have a good number of dewalt battery tools, 1/2 drill, saws-all, grinder, circular saw, metal cutting circular saw, IN 18 volt, there good tools but there not the power or the quality of the corded tools the DRILL is the best of the tools for the power it has, and battery life, the grinder is anemic, and eats battery's, the saws are ok for light work, but if cutting 2X stuff they are light and under powered, for the portability there great, and power is reasonable

    but the corded tools are the heavy duty tools my corded tools will work circles around the battery tools, but there not as portable, but the cost is much more affordable,

    both have there place,
     
  6. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get A decent air compressor. And A nailer, they are great. I get alot of my stuff from Habor freight and tools. I have spent over $1,000.00 there this year. They have only been open 6 months here.I have only had one iten fail. That was the potatoe cutter. Good tools don't cost in the long run. they save you money..
     
  7. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    I bought a set at home depot, which has a 90 day return policy if unopened. Dunno yet if I'm going to return it and get something else, just didn't want the sale price to evaporate before I figured out what to do.

    Normal price $229. Sale price $149. 18V cordless Ryobi. Includes

    5.5 inch circular saw/trim saw
    reciprocating saw
    jigsaw
    torque driver/drill
    corner sander
    spotlight
    wet-dry mini-vac/'dustbuster' type vac.
    2 batteries
    1-hour charger
    tool bag

    I'm trying to figure out if this will prove to be a good buy, or if I should get higher quality tools if I'm going to buy a set like that. Originally I was just looking for a drill/driver...
     
  8. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    I thkn you got a fairly good deal, I paid $100 for my 18 volt drill cause it has a 1/2 inch chuck / jaw.... but i also got 2 batteries and a charger with it, and for a black and decker it has held up really well. I kinda wish i had bought a couple of them so i could have one for the house and one for the shop and anywhere else i might be workin....

    The little cutoff saw is gonna probably be a pain to use, but once inawhile you will find it to be a marvel and wonder how you got along without it.

    the reciprocating saw more than likely will work fine but will not have the power you need for certain types of cutting and may break more blades than you care to cause it gets stuck mid cut..... ive broke more blades than i care to admit with recip saws of all types, but it was the job at the time....

    The corner sander may or maynot find a use with you, depends on what al you are figgering on doing, i bought a profile sander a few years ago and paid for it on one job, including all the various types of sanding pads i bought with it.... they are handy units and the corner tool gets quite a bit of use over the moulding profiles.

    the spotlight is another iffy thing it all depends on what you already have around to use, and using it will certainly delay your using the other tools for long if you dont have a well charged battery laying in wait when the one that has been used as a light runs down [or you wait an hour to use the tool] so if i had one it would be the piece that gathered the most dust from non-use, it may however get used on some jobs over another light cause it was in the box and handy.... but i would rather not have it and have something else in MY set of tools.....

    Ryobi has always had quality tools in my opinion, my first experience with ryobi was a 12 inch single surface planer, the people that had me cut lumber used one to plane around 300,000 board feet of 8 inch and 10 inch dead white pine lumber they put into a private school and the owners home. and it never gave out and each board got a couple passes so that particular unit was built tough. and enough to impress me, as some of the other tools since ive seen with the ryobi name

    William
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you need cordless tools, or do you need power tools?

    I Love my old Craftsman 14v drill & flashlight set.

    But, batteries do not last forever. And they tend to be discharged when you need them. And for a bigger job, a saw or drill run out.

    Would you be better off with a set of 120v power tools?

    Just trying to figure out your needs.

    A 1/2 inch drill, a recipricating saw, a -um- Skil saw type saw, a radial arm or miter saw, and a person can do a lot of building. A small air compressor & a nail gun added and you can get a lot done.

    Us 4 goofballs used the above to restore a barn last summer, heavy construction. All 120v tools. I had my cordless drill along, but rarely used it in the heavy work. I use the cordless all the time around the farm for odds & ends - sure handy.

    I'm not sure cordless is the best way to go?

    --->Paul
     
  10. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    Dont know if its still the same or not but craftsman cordless toold were made by ryobi for years. Sears no longer gives the life time warrenty on power tools .
    Its a toss up my guess is the 19,2 is just an over juiced 18 volt set . wont matter which set you get you'll need more batteries . always do
     
  11. vallyfarm

    vallyfarm Well-Known Member

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    Suburbanite... I bought those Ryobi cheap tools a good 5 years age, and if i go more than two days without using them, I must be on vacation. They have been droped from the hay loft, the drill has been run over by tractors more than once,etc. Still have the same ones. The "sawsall" isn't the best design for friendly use, but I would HIGHLY recomend the brand. For the price of a "quality" brand, you could replace these 3 times. I've had Craftsman, DeWalt, and have used several others...I'll stick with the Ryobi's! By the way, I still use the origonial batteries. Mike
     
  12. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    The kind of stuff I'm thinking about is cutting access windows in drywall to run electrical cable and put in new outlets, or making a small open shed for garden gizmos, or putting up a motion sensing light over the garage door, putting up pre-fab shelves, with an outside chance of putting in some 'built in' type bookshelves (cabinetry) in my family room.

    Also a small possibility of re-doing some entry tile, but I'd probably rent a water-cooled tile saw if I do that myself.

    Unlike most of you I just have a suburban house to take care of, so I don't have barn roofs to fix or extensive fencing projects to build or animal shelters and coops to work on. So I don't know if that means cordless is okay, or if (with issues of battery charging etc) that means cordless is a worse choice.

    Most of the time I expect that I'll know ahead of time that I'm going to be fixing something, so I suspect that waiting an hour to charge the battery before starting won't be too much of a problem. I have unpowered hand tools for things like tightening a random isolated screw.

    My dad did mention that he thinks cordless circular saws lack power.

    Anyway, I'd like to hear more opinions. I don't need to use the tools right away, so I can wait awhile to learn more before deciding whether to return the stuff--Home Depot gives you 90 days with receipt.

    I guess I'll look at corded tools a little more carefully tomorrow to see whether the cost/benefit is more favorable.

    One thing about the cordless is if I'm doing any electrical work it will be easier not to have to worry about where to plug the extension cord while having the circuits in the working room switched off. But that is just one project I have in mind.
     
  13. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Craftsman are decent for the price you are paying the key is (and this is where most people who complain about poor batteries run into the problem) to run those batteries completely down before recharging them. We have a sears 18V cordless that came with two batteries and it's lasted for years, we run the battery down, have the other charging and swap them out. It has worked well for us. But ours gets a lot of use also.
     
  14. seymojo536

    seymojo536 Well-Known Member

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    Here's my two cents, I have a cordless set (Skill). I use this around the farm for the odd job that isn't close enough for an extension cord. Circular saw works fine but batteries don't last. The skilsaw is worthless. Drill does a nice job, it's the best tool in the set. But it's going on two years old and the batteries are getting weak.

    New batterya are 45 bucks each. But at the Home Depot they'll sell me a new drill with two batteries and a charger for $79. Go figure. Santa, are you listening?

    However, if it's a big job, that going to take several days or a lot of cutting. I haul out my Dewalt corded tools, attach a 2000 watt power inverter to my truck battery and Bob's your uncle. Now I can power all my stuff on a couple of dollars worth of gas. And I still have my Skill tools for anyone who might show up to help.
     
  15. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've got the 19.2v Craftsman, father-in-law has the 18v Ryobi. I've got more power, and you can't have too much power! It's distinctly an appreciable difference. The extra battery weight helps control the torque of the drill quite a bit.

    Batteries. Get two. That way you can swap one battery onto the charger while working with the other in the tool. Be prepared to buy new batteries in a few years, as they don't hold the charge as well when they age.

    Drill/screw gun
    I use it all the time. My corded drills hardly ever get used these days. This is the tool that the extra weight of the battery is helpful.

    Circular saw
    It's my first choice. It's a much more capable saw than you'd expect. Perfect for building gates and window frames and such. I find it much more controlable than the bigger saws.

    Reciprocating saw
    I don't use it very often, but I probably should. I tend to forget it's there and break out my big corded one instead. I just don't use this type of tool very often.

    Jig saw
    Don't have one, would like to though. It should work just fine.

    Flashlight
    Seems silly to me. I've got plenty of flashlights.

    Sander
    Never used one, a little skeptical of it as sanding is a long job.

    Vacuum
    If it actually worked, I'd love it. I've never met a cordless vac that worked worth a darn. But since I wouldn't have it in the kitchen or such, not sure how usefull it would really be.
     
  16. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    I bought the ryobi combo a few years back .
    It had the dust buster mini vac (worthless)
    the flashlight (used often)
    the drill (used often )
    the sawz all I have used for trimming trees and butchering once in awhile for cutting out a window . It tendeds to eat up batteries quick but does a decent job.
    the circliar saw gets used and doesnt do too bad on plywood , wont quite get clear through a 2x it too eats batteries quick and you need to keep a sharp blade .
    If you do buy any cordless kit buys at least one extra set of batteries.
    I bought the combo and the drill light set to have four batteries and two chargers then still had to pick up two more batteries but they get used a lot more than the average homeowners.
     
  17. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    Farminghandyman and ZYG are right about the batteries - use 'em or lose 'em. If you stay with the set you have, use the flashlight to discharge the batts completely once a week then recharge them fully - they'll last much longer for you. If you can get a set with lithium ion batts instead of NiCad, you'll probably get twice the run time on them and they are not as susceptible to temperature extremes, don't need frequent charging, and will give you twice to three times the service life. Check to see if your charger has an automatic shutoff so it shuts down when the battery is fully charged - NiCad batts hate to be overcharged, and it's real easy to put one on the charger and forget it.

    I just got a set from the Depot that is a Rigid 18v circ and ½" hammer drill - charger and 2 batts. The drill is a beast, the saw is weak (but cordless circs typically are) but darned handy for short, smaller jobs. If I were buying a set of cordless tools and $$$ were no issue, I'd get the Milwaukee 28v (lithium ion) set. I used a couple of the tools at a pro-day demo at the Depot and they are awesome!

    My priorities from what you told us your projects will be...
    Circular saw - corded
    Drill - cordless
    Miter/chop saw - corded
    Table saw - corded
    Orbital sander - corded
    Reciprocating saw - either depending on how much use - sounds like cordless would be handy for you
    A nailer would come in handy, but you may not use it enough to justify the expense.

    Side note - If you send in the registration cert. that comes with the Rigid tools, they have a lifetime warranty (including the batts).
     
  18. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

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    My husband likes Dewalt for most of the handheld power tools: cordless drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, etc.. He has a couple of Hitachi things and hasn't had any complaints. He also like Porter Cable. The big equipment: table saw, compound miter, radial arm, drill press, dust collecter, planer, are mostly Delta or Grizzly. He has some OLD Craftsman things, but doesn't buy them anymore. I assume from what the other fellas have said that the quality might have slipped a bit. There are a couple of brands, like Black and Decker, that he will not buy at all. A good cordless drill is probably the best place to begin. Best of luck. Enjoy shopping!
     
  19. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    The set comes with one charger and two batteries, to start off. You advise 4 batteries and 2 chargers, is that right?

    Could you elaborate on the limitations of the circular saw? What have you found when trying to cut 2 x 4's? I see this as potentially being the largest (wood size) of my tasks--to make light framing for small garden purposes--unless I decide to do the bookshelf cabinet project, which would be more cutting total but probably inch-thick solids and plys. Since they call the saw a 'trim saw', I'm guessing they intend it for cutting crown moulding and such rather than structural members? Would a little circular of this type be adequate for cutting engineered-wood or bamboo flooring (another project I've contemplated)?

    My initial quest before being tempted by the combo packages was to get a cordless drill/driver. There seems to be agreement that this is something worth having.

    So the other tools are more the question marks.

    The flashlight/vacuum things I regard as 'freebies' and aren't really part of the purchase decision, but what about the saws and sander?

    To cut into drywall, which tool is more suited, jigsaw or reciprocating (assuming you want to keep the removed piece for later patching)?

    I have a door that is the last thing to paint in a room--sitting there unfinished for a year--because the first coat didn't stick and I need to sand it and start again. An electric sander might make this a less tedious task. Would a battery operated one as in the ryobi kit be up to the job?

    Another possible factor in terms of the battery power--bigger means heavier. While I'm tall and built like a valkyrie, being female, at some point tool weight may become an issue for me. So I'm not sure a Milwaukee 28V would be a good choice even if I could afford it.
     
  20. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Oh, also, as a separate item, there's a little 3V pistol shaped electric screwdriver that sits in a charger-stand with no separate battery, and costs about $12. Does anyone have experience with these? Are they worth having for little stuff?