Tool advice

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What's the point of replacing them if they work? I have an old B&D scroll saw that's actually made of metal and has been with me for at least 25 years and it appears to be better made than what I see today. Ron

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Some of them need replacing (triggers broken, etc.) I actually took a look at B&D again, but was told that they are no longer considered a "good" brand, just like Skill, Ryobi, etc. Makita seems to be a brand many are quck to recommend. You are the second person to mention pneumatic tools. I'll have to take a look at them.
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Harry wrote:

B&D has various lines (as do most others)...professional, homeowner, etc. Their Pro stuff is as good as anyone elses. Also, you can replace triggers, etc.
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Well, you are talking to someone who just "pretends" to be a handyman :-) Seriously, though, not having experience with brands, etc., it's hard to tell whether some powertool is good, or a good value. COuple that with the fact that many (most ?) sales people don't really know much about the tools they are selling and... For example, HD has a set
Black & Decker GelMax 14.4 Volt Drill/Studfinder/Flashlight for $80
I don't care for the flashlight and the Studfinder, but it comes with 2 batteries (which is good). My first impulse was, B&W is a descent band, 14.4 Volts sounds powerful enought, and the price is not bad. But when I talked to the sales people and they told me, "... you really want to stay away from B&D, you really want this 18 Volt Makita for $199,..." That totally confused me.
BTW, I hadn't though about the replacement part route. I'll try that, as well - thanks!
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B&D is a good brand, but it is the lower priced, homeowner brand. DeWalt is the same company, and their pro line.
I as a home owner, have had good luck with the B&D versa pack system of battery tools.

That is the biggest difference between homeowner and pro tools, the latter have a service network to keep them going, You might check on the latter, since the Milwaukee dealer/service in my sells refurbished tools as well as new.
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Don't you think the inside of the tools may differ a bit when the price doubles?
I have a Ryobi cordless drill, Replaced the switch for $26 and the batteries are also shot after 18 months. .
I have a Panasonic drill for $200 that is more powerful, lighter, has better speed control, a one hand operating chuck, better feel overall.
They Ryobi is good for the guy that drill a hole a month and drive four screws a month. You don't see them being used very often by the pros though.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:
[...]

I was all set to buy a Panasonic when my DeWalt DW972 died, but then Costco had the NOS DW972 kit--the drill, the charger, two batteries, and the case--for $67. So I had to buy another one. I'm already heavily invested in DeWalt 12V stuff anyway, and I *do* like the drill, so it made sense.
Panasonic does make killer cordless drills.

I used a 12V Ryobi around the house two or three times a month and it was fine. Then I rebuilt/extended a 200' picket fence with it, and it still worked, but it was noticeably weaker. I gave it to my sister when she bought a house, and I think it did fine for her for another year or so.
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Certainly. My point is, pro tools are expected to be serviced and repaired, and kept running. Home owner tools are more disposable, and less thought is made for servicing them.
When I buy my tools at http://www.thetoolman.com (they are local to me), and a Milwaukee service center, I know they will stand behind them, more than a box store.
I certainly don't expect the same from the no-name (house brand) imports, but they don't cost the same either.
Pros and consumers have differing goals with tools, and totally differing opinions on price vs reliability and such.
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Unless you plan on using the tool every day, the Black & Decker, with the 2 batteries sounds like a good deal. Even if you find something less expensive than that (at least 14.4 V), it would be good for a weekend-type use.
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wrote:

Take yer newmatic drill to the top of a 20' ladder one time...by yourself. Get back to us!
Skil has a nice, cordless package now. Its an 18v. cordless circular saw (7 1/4 blade!!), recip saw, drill, and a battery, I think...for just under $200. I wish I had seen it before I just bought my new drill.
Also, consider Harbor Freight. I just bought an 18v. 1/2" 2 speed gear box drill there...hammer drill!!...for under $30. Couldn't be more pleased. Juice tester light on the battery...keyless chuck... handy, strong magnet on the drill...bit holder there, too...level...twist out of the way battery. Extra battery was $8.95. A charge lasts me about a month.
HF has some good quality stuff.
Good luck.
Have a nice one...
Trent
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I took a look at Harbor Freight, and I saw that they carry brand names at comparable prices. I also saw that they carry some cheap brands that I have never heard of before (Chicago Electric, Drill Master, etc.) I wonder how those compare to Ryobi, Skill and other "generic" brands.
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Those are not generic brands. Chicago electric is the name Harbor Freight gives their imported tools.
Tool Shop is the one Menard's (a big chain by me) uses. MIT (something Industrial Tools) is the one at the local Ace - in the el cheapo bin.
Ryobi is a brand, it happens to be Japanese. Skill is a brand, they are still in business, although I think bought up by someone.
If your going to buy a container load of tools, the factories, in most likely China, will slap what ever name you want on it, that is what is meant by generic import tools.
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Sorry, I *did* get the terminology all messed up :-( But, I think I got the answer to my question (in a round-about way <g>). Ryobi and Skill are brands, it's just that they are lower quality that others (DeWalt, Makita, etc.) Chicago Electric, Drill Master, etc. are imported, no-name, cheap stuff that is named by each store that imports them. So, in terms of my question, as to how they compare, the quality of these store-named-imports are lower qiality than the low-priced brand ones (Ryobi, Skill, etc.) RIght?
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wrote:

Lower quality? No. Simply different specs. Some are production tools...some are handyman tools. Both are good quality...but within their own realm.

No...that's not correct.

Wrong. Within their own right, the quality is good.
A good analogy...sailing. If yer going 5 miles along the Atlantic coast, a 30 hp motor and the Queen Mary or similar super liner will both get you there. One will cost more...and be over kill for the task at hand. They will both have the quality to get the task accomplished.
But if yer goin' from New York to England, the 30 hp motor probably won't make it. The QUALITY will still be there...but will be overshadowed by the enormous task at hand.
Enter into the equation...prejudice. Many folks are prejudiced as to the tool and the retailer selling it.
An example? If I had a choice between a DeWalt & a Ryobi...I'd take the Ryobi every time!
Have a nice one...
Trent
Budweiser: Helping ugly people have sex since 1876!
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I'm so confused :-( I mean I understand the logic, and I understand that part of this is personal preference, and all that, but from an "amateur handyman's" stand point, let's see. If I needed a cordless drill to have around for the ocasional use, an inexpensive 14.4 V Chicago Electric would be fine. However, if later on I wanted to, let's say, finish my basement, then I'd need to go out and buy a more expensive model. Is that right? Or unless I use the cordless drill on a daily basis, to make a living, then a cheaper model would be O.K., even if I decide to do some bigger projects around the house?
Like someone else said in this thread, it'd be good if someone had experience in long term use of many different models, so they could give a comparative opinion. But, that is not a very common thing, so...
BTW, why would you take the Ryobi every time, if you had a choice between a DeWalt and a Ryobi? I think I'm missing something.
Finally, I want to thank you, and every one else, for your thoughtful comments.
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You can also buy the cheaper model, use it, and when you get enough "I wish it had...", then go look for a good model, that does what you are looking for in a tool.
You can _always_ sell used tools at a garage sale.
If you buy, say a $40 hammer drill, and after putting in a couple dozen fasteners, decide you want a bigger, better one, but by then you will know what it is your looking for.
There is an awful lot of brand name favoritism out there in the tool world.
The right tool is the one that gets the job done, at a price you can afford.
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Harry wrote:

Long term does not mean anything. It is the amount of use that determines the life span of the tool. You can buy a cheap tool, use it a few times a year to cut a few pieces of wood, drill a few holes or drive a few screws, and it will probably last as long as the most expensive tool. My Ryobi 18v cordless is a few years old, and if I add up all the times it was actually running, it would probably only add up to a couple of hours. I probably pick it up no more than 10 or 12 times a year and use it for a couple of minutes of actual running time. If you are using a drill/driver for wood, it probably takes less than 5 seconds of running time to drill a hole or drive a screw. The biggest continuous job I did with my Ryobi drill was installing a vinyl picket fence on 3 sides around my inground pool two years ago. The fence consisted of 14 - 8' sections, screwed between 4x4 PT posts, and included 2x3 studs that I slid into the hollow plastic fence rails for added strength. Each 8' section required 4 hangers with 6 screws for each hanger (2 to hold the hanger to the 4x4 post and 2 screws on either side of the hanger to hold the rail), for a total of 24 screws per section. Including the hardware for two gates, that's probably around 360 screws. At 5 seconds per screw, that's about 1800 seconds, or 30 minutes of actual running time ( I did have to replace the battery at least a couple of times).


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Ok, enough of this drivel. All tools are NOT created equal. One 18V drill may be 10 times better than the other. Price usually does indicate the quality, durability, features, etc. Albeit some comparable models may differ in price by more than 100 bucks. For occasional around the house handyman tasks, i.e. hanging pictures, doors (hinges) etc, the cheaper thrift store models will suffice. If you are a little more adventuresome by building your own deck or shed, remodeling your basement etc, you may opt for a more expensive tool if you plan on completing the job before you burn up the cheap model. In other words don't try to use a 3 cylinder economy car to pull your houseboat. Yes both are vehicles that get you from here to there, but one is better designed to pull the boat. Same deal with the drills. When you step up again and decide to start your own handyman company and build decks and sheds for "others" then you need to get into a more "professional series" piece of equipment. The DeWalt cordless products fit that description. Next step down Craftsman Professional, Bosch High End. Then on Down to the Skill, Milwaukee, Ryobi, Craftsman, Rigid, Porter Cable. After that you get the home tinker stuff like the Chicago Electric, more Skill, Black and Decker. Yes I know DeWalt is Black and Decker but FYI Mercedes is Chrysler. So to sum it up for you, If you don't need a $300 dust collector drill sitting in your already cluttered garage, opt for a $39 Chicago. If you want a little more drill for only a little more money go with a Craftsman (regular series), The professional Series is quite a bit higher. The Firestorm, Skill etc are all in the same range and some come with some nifty little toys that you probably won't use, like a light, sander, etc.
ReRe

Long term does not mean anything. It is the amount of use that determines the life span of the tool. You can buy a cheap tool, use it a few times a year to cut a few pieces of wood, drill a few holes or drive a few screws, and it will probably last as long as the most expensive tool. My Ryobi 18v cordless is a few years old, and if I add up all the times it was actually running, it would probably only add up to a couple of hours. I probably pick it up no more than 10 or 12 times a year and use it for a couple of minutes of actual running time. If you are using a drill/driver for wood, it probably takes less than 5 seconds of running time to drill a hole or drive a screw. The biggest continuous job I did with my Ryobi drill was installing a vinyl picket fence on 3 sides around my inground pool two years ago. The fence consisted of 14 - 8' sections, screwed between 4x4 PT posts, and included 2x3 studs that I slid into the hollow plastic fence rails for added strength. Each 8' section required 4 hangers with 6 screws for each hanger (2 to hold the hanger to the 4x4 post and 2 screws on either side of the hanger to hold the rail), for a total of 24 screws per section. Including the hardware for two gates, that's probably around 360 screws. At 5 seconds per screw, that's about 1800 seconds, or 30 minutes of actual running time ( I did have to replace the battery at least a couple of times).

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chillermfg wrote:

I have a lot of yellow tools myself, and I do like them. But they're not all by themselves at the top of the heap, as you imply.

Putting Milwaukee, Porter Cable, and Ridgid in the same category with Skil and Ryobi? If you're a troll, call me gullible. If you're serious, that's ridiculous.
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Evidently you don't use the Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Skil or Ryobi Cordless equipment. When we think of corded tools, the class changes significantly. Like the Dewalt. Their corded stuff leaves a lot of room for improvement, but their cordless is pretty damn good. The Milwaukee cordless, well...let's just say I would by the Skill or Ryobi long before another Milwaukee comes near my toolbox. The Porter Cable was pretty decent although the battery life was short. Not just run time, but life span in general. And no I wasn't burning in memory by short charging or half charging. I still have my first cordless drill at home. A 12 V Dewalt that I bought back in spring of 97. Except for having to finally replace the 2 batteries, the drill still works without a hitch. 3/8" keyless chuck. I can still turn a 3/8" Black and Decker corded drill backwards with it. Another feature of the DW that I like (some others feature it too) is the auto brake. Since then I have owned a B&D, Milwaukee and an 18V Professional Series Craftsman. I was reluctant to buy the Craftsman as I have the used the regular series numerous times and wasn't really impressed. The professional series was pretty OK and managed to build a 12 x 20 deck on 4 charges. Keep in mind that was over 20# of 3" deck screws + countersink and pilot holes. As far as the my Milwaukee, it was good for light stuff and tinkering. Could not handle the rigors of drilling concrete or automobile firewalls. No it was not a hammerdrill, but my DeWalt did it and my Craftsman does it now. ReRe
chillermfg wrote:

I have a lot of yellow tools myself, and I do like them. But they're not all by themselves at the top of the heap, as you imply.

Putting Milwaukee, Porter Cable, and Ridgid in the same category with Skil and Ryobi? If you're a troll, call me gullible. If you're serious, that's ridiculous.
[...]
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