My brother bought an entire set of cordless Ryobi stuff from Jewsons (think
it was anyway) on an offer for about £340 or so.
Has a chopsaw/mitre saw, combi drill, reciprocating saw and other stuff,
came in a large plastic cabinet store on castors with a flip top for the
From memory, I think it's a mixture of 24v/18v and has couple of batteries
He was happy with it when I saw him last, he's re-building the kitchen in a
currently rented house (an unusual arrangement, but then he's prone to these
complex housing arrangements...).
My recollection as to the exact kit is a little hazy - I'm waiting for him
to call me back today so I'll ask what is in it and what he reckons to it
after the couple of months use that he's had from it when I speak to him and
email me at
richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
Just spoken to him.
It's all 18v kit, includes compound mitre saw, combi drill, reciprocating
saw, torch and a circular saw. Was £300, but he reckons that was a special
He's very happy with it all. Only downside is that he's worried about the
drill because it's smoking under load and smelling of overheated windings,
but then he's just admitted to using it to drill a 150mm hole through a wall
using a diamond core bit, which seems to have caused the problems...)
He also noted that it was probably the same drill as the PPro one at £115 or
so in B&Q.
email me at
richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
Well, since he bought a complete set like this it's unlikely he has
experience of decent pro tools.
I'm not saying they aren't excellent value for DIY, though. However, for
things like kitchen work I'd have thought mains tools more useful - I
can't see a circular saw doing much before the battery goes flat, for
*The more I learn about women, the more I love my car
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW 12
Not quite - he's of a similar outlook to me (though normally rather more
extreme), so has a fair smattering of industrial stuff around.
I'll find out how he gets along with the circular saw. He has a huge Makita
with alloy baseplate and the lot, which I have borrowed on a couple of
occasions. My thoughts are that this is slightly too big and heavy for
frequent use which is why he wanted a smaller one, and the battery tool
might have just fitted this gap for smaller cuts. He's most unlikely to use
it for slicing up MDF panels though, which is where the Makita excels.
Given the choice of buying just one circ saw, I'd go for a moderate sized
corded industrial model every time, as I suspect he would also.
email me at
richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
Maplins have a couple of 24 volt ones with batteries that look like my
imitation Makita's. I am so in love with my £75 copy that I am thinking
of getting one of the Maplin ones.
Maplins are selling them for £40. I went around Argos and they want half
as much again for mere 18 volt ones. This imitation Makita is ideal for
drilling out mortice catches and I even used it to fit some maortice
locks a few days ago. It needs to be charged up well though. 2 batteries
drilled through 1 1/2 door locks. I had hung the two doors though; so
much power had that drained and I'd used the drill the day prior and not
One excellent machine!
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Saw a kitchen fitter at work today using a Ryobi 2.1 kW router. I asked him
what he thought of it, was it up to the job and was it well made. He had
two 1/2" routers, the other being an ELU (DeWalt before takeover) at 1.8 kW.
He said the Ryobi was certainly a pro tool and very well made, and as good
as the ELU. He had the Ryobi for about 4-5 years. He tended to use the
Ryobi because it had more power and sailed through worktops.
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I've been checking loads of reviews and been able to get the feel of
some drills albeit with little battery power. Having spoken to many
retailers I've ruled out DeWalt as they seem to have more trouble than
is implied by the brand image and price. Makita get very good
feedback. Bosch is middling. My own experience with Bosch has been
some really great tools and some really rank ones like 2 previous
mains drills that couldn't take any abuse.
I really like the feel of the Makita (esp the speed control which is
the best so far) but want to check out a Panasonic before I finally
Ryobi have also had very good reviews so it's not ruled out for the
price. I did get the price wrong though - it was £170 for the combo of
combi drill and saw.
The only thing that pee'd me off was seeing some Makita drills being
made in China and still at premium prices. Surely the difference
between the cost of production in Japan and China is huge? I saw one
12V DeWalt drill which didn't even state the country of manufacture. I
looked over every inch of the drill, box and instructions to no avail.
Was thinking about buying online from the USA as the dollar is so weak
to the pound but not sure whether the chargers are supplied 110 only
and thus more hassle than it's worth.
All will be revealed soon.
On 23 Dec 2003 05:47:15 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (StealthUK) wrote:
I have had several Makita drill products for some time and found them
excellent especially speed control at low revs which still maintains
Also, they have a broad range of products and the interchangeability
between chargers and batteries is good so there is something to be
said for sticking with a brand with cordless tools.
The Panasonic products, especially the drills have been reviewed well
in the U.S.
I would check spares availability. I've never had a problem with
Makita or with DeWalt, although don't have DW cordless products apart
from a screwdriver.
The labour cost is one element. Others are the design, the quality
of the components used, the QA of the finished product and the spares
backup, not to mention recovery on R&D. There is a big difference
between sourcing a product from China withj indeterminate quality
standards and badging it, vs. a product that is assembled there with
known QA and components.
I've certainly done that and with tools it makes a lot of sense. It
can also be cost effective to make a trip just to go tool shopping for
a couple of days. Travel light and pack the tools as luggage for
the return. This balances off shipping costs to an extent and you
have £145 duty and VAT free allowance on the return.
At a rate of over $1.70 it is certainly even worth shipping if you
watch out for the costs.
Generally chargers are 110v only, but this is no big deal. I have
numerous 110v cordless tools and a few mains ones as well.
All you need to do is to buy a yellow site transformer here (about
£40) and a U.S. extension cord or multiway outlet. Chop off the U.S.
plug and fit a yellow one to plug into the transformer.
The cost saving on a couple of tools easily pays for the transformer.
That's fine. It really depends on your scale of values and your
I tend to follow the principles of John Ruskin and avoid
John Ruskin, 1819-1900 Author, Critic, British Philosopher, Artist
"It's unwise to pay too much, but it's unwise to pay too little.
When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all.
When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the
thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and
getting a lot - it can't be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder, it's well to add something for the
risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."
"The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of
Low Price is Forgotten."
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
By definition, that is not possible. There is a cost associated with
designing, manufacturing and supporting products of quality.
It has always been possible to buy cheap products, and that has not
changed since the dawn of time. This is achieved by cutting corners
such as design content, quality of materials, quality of
manufacturing, adding gimmicks (mitre saws with lasers are an obvious
example of this) and by not supporting the product.
There is nothing wrong with the consumer choosing to go for the second
route if he wishes, but don't try to kid yourself and everyone else
that the cheap product is equivalent in all ways to the quality one
because it is obvious that it is not.
As far as tools are concerned, you only have to look at product
reviews and it is extremely rare that cheap, private label products
come out as best of breed. Sometimes they come out as good value for
money - that's not in dispute - but best of breed? No.
We mentioned the Taunton 2004 Tool Guide recently ----
Bandsaws - top were Laguna and Delta, bottom were Ridgid (HD private
label) and Grissly.
Biscuit Jointers - top were Lamello and Porter Cable, near the bottom
Circular saws - top were Milwaukee and Porter Cable, best value
Cordless drills - top were Panasonic, Bosch and Milwaukee, bottom were
Ryobi and Grizzly
Cordless reciprocationg saws - top were Porter Cable and Milwaukee
Pillar drills - top were Delta and Jet
Midsize Routers - top were Bosch, Porter Cable and DeWalt
This is quite conclusive.
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