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Best brand of tools out there?
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chipchen
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Oct 4, 2009, 07:59 PM
 
I'm not an expert... I'm really not even an amateur... when it comes to tools and using them. But I'd like to get a nice set of tools... all kinds. So let me ask you guys that know... what do you think are the best brands in each category:

Hand tools: you know... regular screwdrivers and stuff for regular household work... maybe some pliers, wrenches... maybe SOME socket tools..

Power tools: drills, saws, etc... I've heard, that in general DeWalt is the best... but they're also the priciest. What about Craftsmen, Makita, Black & Decker, Ryobi (Home Depot brand?), etc? Any take on newer Li-Ion battery systems?

Other: Air compressors, pressure washers, etc....

I'm thinking about getting a set of hand tools and power tools for the home... I bought a Snap-on Electric Pressure Washer at Costco, though people online think this is out of character for Snap-on and that it's probably a re-brandded item. And I'm looking into getting an air-compressor/nailing kit... looking at Bostitch. Any help/opinions/experience, would be great! THanks!
     
Phileas
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Oct 4, 2009, 08:12 PM
 
I've got a bunch of Ryobi tools and for my limited needs they work just fine. I've built a smokehouse, planter boxes and all sorts of other small-ish carpentry projects with them. I've got the drill/driver, the hand held circular saw, the angle grinder, a sander and the jigsaw. I've also got a mains powered circular saw and a chopsaw.

I suspect that for a pro these wouldn't be adequate, but they're all I need.
     
Railroader
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Oct 4, 2009, 08:24 PM
 
Hand tools: Regular guy tools, craftsman. If you break it (you will) you can get a super quick replacement with no questions asked at any Sears. High end profession tools, Snap-On. The only Snap-On tool I have ever broken in 11+ years as a heavy equipment mechanic is the head of a ratchet I had at the end of a 8' cheater pipe.

Power tools: Excellent, Porter Cable or Milwaukee. Very high end, Freud.

Other: Depends on the products. Anything specific?
     
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Oct 4, 2009, 09:32 PM
 
Craftsman for hand tools. Lifetime guarantee and free replacement, no questions asked.

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reader50
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Oct 4, 2009, 09:32 PM
 
Hand Tools: Another vote for Craftsman. Though I like some specific hand tools from particular manufacturers. Examples: Vice-Grips and Channellocks over the generic Sears versions. If you have a Lowes in your area, they offer the same lifetime exchange warranty as Sears on their house brand Husky. No experience on how well Huskys last.

Power Tools: Milwaukee. DeWalt if you want to pay a bit more for a bit heavier tool.
- Makita ... seemed like the batteries die sooner than they should, and cost more than they should. Mine was a bit on the lightweight side too.
- Black & Decker ... this has become a bargain brand. They actually make a range from cheap to heavy duty, but all too often they've had a limited lifespan for me.
- Craftsman ... only used a few of their power tools. No opinion.
- Ryobi ... this is an independent brand that Home Depot and others carry. No experience with these.
- Lithium batteries. Yes. They weigh less and last longer. Reportedly good for more charge cycles too, though my lithium batteries have yet to quit. Unlike the NiCads which I had to keep buying before. Lithiums may cost a little more, but are well worth it.

Other: Air compressors tend to last. Since I haven't had one die of any brand, I can't offer an opinion on which ones to get or avoid.

Last time I checked, Bostitch is aimed at construction workers. Heavy, expensive, and way overkill for hobby work. Look into Stanley or Craftsman. Note that Stanley bought Bostitch, but they have continued their separate brands.
     
Captain Obvious
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Oct 4, 2009, 09:36 PM
 
don't even consider inexpensive power saws of any type.

why would you get such wide variety of tools if you hve no experience or immediate use for them? If you are going to have an air compressor you really should be able to justify it.

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ghporter
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Oct 4, 2009, 09:39 PM
 
Campbell-Hausfeld makes good compressors and power washers. These are "better than just consumer level" products, as long as you don't go super cheap-the <$100 compressor is good for filling tires and powering an airbrush, but not for running air tools.

I also vote for Craftsman for almost all purposes; Railroader is in one of the fields where Snap-On is a must but most of us aren't, and if you are, you already know about Snap-On. Power tools for simple stuff can be from Black & Decker (low end) to Makita to Porter-Cable (high end) without getting into the "pro tools" category. I have also had good luck with tools from (gasp!) Harbor Freight, but only for specific purposes (I have a torque wrench from them that has one use, and for $20 it was a no-brain decision), and if you need tight tolerances or long life don't go there.

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phantomdragonz
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Oct 4, 2009, 10:41 PM
 
Craftsman for all hand tools!!!

I dont know much about power tools... I use a craftsman C3 impact and drill/driver and LOVE them, although there are better tools out there...

compressors? The same IDENTICAL compressor that you can buy at home depot will be a few hundred dollars cheaper at Harbor freight EXACT ONE! (Check the part numbers you will find they are identical)
Campbell hausfeld makes good stuff... DONT GO OIL-LESS!!! they are loud!

buy the middle of the pack and you should be good to go as long as your income does not depend on it.

-Zach
( Last edited by phantomdragonz; Oct 5, 2009 at 12:16 AM. )
     
Teronzhul
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Oct 4, 2009, 11:16 PM
 
I'll vote for craftsman hand tools as well. There are other, better tools, but the ease of doing an in store no questions warranty exchange is what sells it.

As far as power tools, I use RIDGID tools for all my cordless power tools. Unless something has changed recently, they have the best warranty in the business. I even got an in warranty exchange of two NiCD batteries for free. I have abused my power tools on jobsites, and they keep working even though they do look as though they've been through hell. The keyless chuck on my drill did fail eventually, and it too was replaced free of charge, no questions. It is a little trickier to find a RIDGID service center though in some areas.

This also may not apply to the newer Lithium Ion tools, but the 18v NiCD batteries for the RIDGID tools had the greatest power capacity at 2.5 amp/hour when I was comparing.
     
King Bob On The Cob
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Oct 4, 2009, 11:39 PM
 
I broke so many of the cheaper tools from Wal-Mart and Auto-Zone before I just sucked it up, went to Sears Hardware and bought a Craftsman set. Awesome.
     
Cipher13
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Oct 4, 2009, 11:42 PM
 
Snap-On for high-end handtools, or something custom made. If you're just looking to buy from a hardware store, I'd go Kinchrome. Sidchrome gear used to be fantastic (so if you've got an old set, hang on to it for dear life), but not so much anymore.

As for power tools... Stihl.

Not sure whether any of the above brands apply outside Australia.
     
phantomdragonz
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Oct 4, 2009, 11:47 PM
 
the really awesome thing about craftsman tools is they have really great mechanics kits, I have done A LOT of basic mechanical things and beyond any specialty tools the craftsman tools have been top notch and had everything I needed.

-Zach
     
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Oct 5, 2009, 12:13 AM
 
Hand Tools: Craftsman. Their lifetime guarantee is just that. If you go into the tool section of any Sears store you will see a bin behind the counter with broken tools in it. If you walk in with a busted Craftsman tool, they will take it from you, go get a new one off the shelf, give the new one to you for free, and toss the old one in the bin. No questions asked.

Power Tools: A buddy of mine who does home renovations/restorations for a living swears by DeWalt and Porter Cable. They are pricey but seem to be indestructible.
(This applies to both battery-operated and corded power tools.)

Other (Air Compressor): Campbell-Hausfeld.

Other (Nail-gun): I've heard good things about Bostitch but i think they are at the very high end for professionals. Don't know what to recommend in the way of consumer-level brands.
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dowNNshift
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Oct 5, 2009, 12:17 AM
 
Most of my tool chest consists of Craftsman tools.
Craftsman is an excellent brand which I've had decades of success with. Although, when purchasing Craftsman tools be careful to note where they're made. The USA made Craftsman tools are excellent, however some poor quality Chinese made Craftsman tools (mostly automotive tools) have begun to show up.

A great alternative which I've had great success with is Kobalt brand (made in USA) which are sold at Lowes. I tend to prefer Kobalt breaker-bars and ratchets better.

I second the positive words about Li-Ion cordless tools. Many come with rapid-chargers and are interchangeable with their other branded products.

Avoid Black-and-decker. Most of it is Chinese made crap and will rust if ANY water gets on it.
     
turtle777
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Oct 5, 2009, 01:23 AM
 
Hilti, FTW.

Don't own any, but if money wasn't an issue, that's what I'd get.

Other than that, Bosch stuff is pretty good, too.

-t
     
downinflames68
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Oct 5, 2009, 02:01 AM
 
Hand: Craftsman for most things... Harbor Freight for torque wrenches and specialty stuff you barely ever use.

Powertools:
Bar-none. Dewalt makes pretty good stuff, but Milwaukee usually outperform them in every category. However, they ARE EXPENSIVE. If you are almost never going to use it, get a Ryobi or something cheap. But if you use it frequently, for your job, or you want THE BEST, get Milwaukee.

PS: I was a designer at Milwaukee Tool for 1.5 years. This just came out, which was one of my babies:



I was the leading that project from the thumbnail sketches to the final model.
     
downinflames68
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Oct 5, 2009, 02:06 AM
 
Oh... and BTW, Ridgid, Ryobi, and Milwaukee are all owned by the same company; TTI. Milwaukee is the BEST... Ridgid is "good for the price" and Ryobi is basically "entry level". Ridgid is definitely a good value, but the performance and durability of the casing as well as the gearbox and motors isn't comparable. Milwaukee doesn't make much of a profit on a lot of things compared to other brands, purely because their motors and gears are of such high quality.
     
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Oct 5, 2009, 02:26 AM
 
Huh. My hand tools are mostly from Menard's own house brand (Tool Shop, very creative) which, incidentally, have a lifetime warranty.

Which is now useless since there are no Menard's stores in this entire godforsaken state. My other stuff falls under the "whatever was on sale" or "whatever I could find in an emergency" categories.

Power tools? Pfft. I love power tools. The problem is the alarming rate at which I tend to injure myself (with anything, including ten-cent plastic spoons), so I have a self-imposed ban on using any particularly scary power tools (mostly things with blades). I have a Companion-brand (Sears house brand that was priced below Craftsman) power drill that has served my needs surprisingly well.

Ironically, boyfriend hates putting things together at all, let alone using power tools. Now I've got nobody to do the dirty work for me.
     
Buckaroo
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Oct 5, 2009, 09:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
Hand: Craftsman for most things... Harbor Freight for torque wrenches and specialty stuff you barely ever use.

Powertools:
Bar-none. Dewalt makes pretty good stuff, but Milwaukee usually outperform them in every category. However, they ARE EXPENSIVE. If you are almost never going to use it, get a Ryobi or something cheap. But if you use it frequently, for your job, or you want THE BEST, get Milwaukee.

PS: I was a designer at Milwaukee Tool for 1.5 years. This just came out, which was one of my babies:



I was the leading that project from the thumbnail sketches to the final model.
What is that thing?
     
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Oct 5, 2009, 10:53 AM
 
this is what is in my shop:

hand: craftsman for everything. from screwdrivers and sockets to knives and chisels. free lifetime replacement on almost everything.

power: porter cable (drills, grinder, sanders, biscuit cutter, etc) / delta (drill press, table saw, jointer, miter saw, etc)...they are the same company now if that wasn't already mentioned above. good quality and always local dealers/repair shops if anything should go wrong.

other: porter cable pancake compressor is great for jobs like interior framing/remodeling, trim, etc.i have a framing nailer, finish nailer and brad nailer. honda generators are the bomb; the portable quiet ones. get one. you won't regret it. get the 2000w one, it is around 50lbs, will last all day on a tank of gas. great for at home, camping and emergencies during power outages. pricey, so look for them on sale. but, you get what you pay for. you can carry on a conversation sitting next to it.
     
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Oct 5, 2009, 12:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Campbell-Hausfeld makes good compressors and power washers. These are "better than just consumer level" products, as long as you don't go super cheap-the <$100 compressor is good for filling tires and powering an airbrush, but not for running air tools.

I also vote for Craftsman for almost all purposes; Railroader is in one of the fields where Snap-On is a must but most of us aren't, and if you are, you already know about Snap-On. Power tools for simple stuff can be from Black & Decker (low end) to Makita to Porter-Cable (high end) without getting into the "pro tools" category. I have also had good luck with tools from (gasp!) Harbor Freight, but only for specific purposes (I have a torque wrench from them that has one use, and for $20 it was a no-brain decision), and if you need tight tolerances or long life don't go there.
I vote Craftsman, but not the cheap ones, screwdrivers especially. Get the mid- to high-range and they will last forever (and won't break in the middle of a job). That button is oh so convenient. New Britain used to make some good tools, but they're a NAPA brand and inconvenient to replace under warranty unless you have a big NAPA presence around.

As for power, Ryobi is very good, but this changes over time. DeWalt makes cheap stuff as well as good stuff, so pay more up front if you want it to last.
     
sek929
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Oct 5, 2009, 12:44 PM
 
Hand tools: Craftsman all the way, except maybe for chisels, in which case I use antique steel...holds a sharp edge waaay better than anything new you can find. For a hammer I prefer the 16oz Hart Tool Co. wooden handle hammer, mine has lasted over a decade of heavy use. Also, find the "Banana Knife" brand utility knife, best there is.

Power tools: I'll break it down into categories, with the most commonly-used tools first.

Battery powered drill / drivers: For the light-duty (~12v) I heartily recommend Panasonic. Don't let the name fool you, this drill has the strongest, longest-lasting batteries in 12v I've ever seen. It has a wonderful analog trigger and a heavy-duty ratcheting chuck. Batteries charge in about a half hour. For heavy-duty (18v +) you cannot beat DeWalt, period. We regularly use the hammer drill/driver 18v DeWalt drill and it'll snap your wrist off, power is not an issue...sucker is heavy though. Our electrician swears by Ryobi 18v, they don't last as long but they are half as cheap, so maybe it evens out.

Skill-saw (which is actually a brand): Makita skill-saws aren't very pricey, and we've had two in our lineup for, jesus, a long time. However, we've almost completely replaced both of them with two 18v DeWalt circular saws. We'll only bring out the corded saws when we need to do long rips through thick material or cutting posts, for everything else the 18v DeWalts shine.

Table-saw: You can't get anything better than PowerMatic, but their price reflects that. If you are looking for a good combination of portability and durability for a shop saw then I recommend Bosch and Craftsman. Stay away from Rigid table-saws, utter garbage.

Chop-saw: Hitachi or Makita if you need a little one (no sliding mount, 10" blade) and DeWalt if you want the BMW of 12" sliding compound-miter saws. Weighs as much as a small car.

Sawzall: Milwaukee. They invented the damn thing and I've never seen one stop working. They also have a much better system of dampening vibrations, no other Sawzall comes close. I'll also take this space to recommend Milwaukee for any type of corded drill/driver.

Get a nice Stanley tape measure too, one thing I can't stand is chintzy homeowner tape measures. However Stanley hand tools used to be known for greatness, before they got bought out. Now they produce low-quality Chinese crap.

Other:Air Compressor: Lots of good brands, we use a Bostich. In fact, it's the only compressor we've ever had. We put synthetic oil in on day one, and never looked at it since.

Nail guns: Hitachi, Hitachi, Hitachi. Don't bother with anything else. Get a Hitachi framing gun, siding gun, roofing gun, and finish gun. Case closed.

Anything specific you'd like to know about just ask, if there's one thing I know, it's tools.
     
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Oct 5, 2009, 12:54 PM
 
Precision Tools: Boxer Tools

Best set of precision tools I've ever bought. They have have a rubber grip.
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Oct 6, 2009, 12:03 AM
 
Makita is also good depending on what you want. I have a Makita dual slide compound miter saw that I picked over the competitions because of the cleanness of cut, power, weight and features. Makita's lithium stuff is light weight and has a very fast recharge on the battery (15 minutes give or take) but the battery doesn't last as long as others and the tools are not as durable. Makita's battery stuff is kind of high end home owner stuff.

Porter Cable makes a fine biscuit joiner.
Bosch makes good table saws.
DeWalt has very good jigsaws (the high end ones). Their entry level jigsaws are nothing remarkable.
Have a DeWalt planer that seems pretty good as well. Does the job on maple, and maple is pretty ornery.

As far as cordless drills go, just make sure you get an impact driver. Wonderful beasts.
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Oct 6, 2009, 05:21 AM
 
Yep: Craftsmen, DeWalt, Porter Cable.
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sek929
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Oct 6, 2009, 12:24 PM
 
I forgot to mention we use Porter Cable finish nail guns.

@Rev-O: I've never used a non Bosch jigsaw that I liked. The only DeWalt jigsaw I've used made horribly inaccurate cuts and the vibrations were a killer, could have a been an el-cheapo though. We have a DeWalt biscuit joiner and it works great, but I've also used PC and they're just as good.

The more I think about it the more I'd say get a Bosch table saw. They come with a movable, collapsible stand and the rip fence works smooth as silk.
     
chipchen  (op)
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Oct 6, 2009, 12:50 PM
 
Wow... thanks for all the responses. I forgot how fast threads fill up here in the lounge.

Anyone have any experience with KOBALT brand tools that Lowe's sells?

And is it just me, or do the Craftsmen Professional hand tool handles just look so cheezy and cheap? They're probably great tools, as everyone says... but the handles get to me.
     
phantomdragonz
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Oct 6, 2009, 03:03 PM
 
My friend used to work at lowes and swears by kobalt. He said the manufacturer is the same as the one who produces all the craftsman tools. They really look and feel identical to me
     
sek929
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Oct 6, 2009, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by phantomdragonz View Post
My friend used to work at lowes and swears by kobalt.
No offense, but listening to a Lowes employee about tools or how to use them is a bad idea. I'm convinced 75% of the employees at Lowes or Home Depot have never lifted a hammer in their life.
     
The Final Dakar
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Oct 6, 2009, 04:02 PM
 
Listening to a Lowes' employee would be as advisable as listening to a Best Buy employee.
     
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Oct 6, 2009, 04:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Listening to a Lowes' employee would be as advisable as listening to a Best Buy employee.
They both know a lot about tools though.

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Oct 6, 2009, 04:13 PM
 
Because they are tools.
     
phantomdragonz
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Oct 6, 2009, 04:32 PM
 
My friend works as a manufacturing supervisor now. He uses tools in his hobby as well. He is not your regular lowes drone he is pretty knowledgable.

I would agree with the regular lowes employee is not much better than worst buy, but I trust my friend a great deal...
     
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Oct 6, 2009, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Because they are tools.
Precisely.

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sek929
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Oct 6, 2009, 06:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by phantomdragonz View Post
My friend works as a manufacturing supervisor now. He uses tools in his hobby as well. He is not your regular lowes drone he is pretty knowledgable.

I would agree with the regular lowes employee is not much better than worst buy, but I trust my friend a great deal...
That's what I figured, no offense meant.

I have a few Kobalt hand tools (pliers, wire cutters, etc) and they perform just fine.
     
Teronzhul
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Oct 6, 2009, 06:16 PM
 
Craftsman and Kobalt hand tools are both made by Danaher. According to google anyway.
     
downinflames68
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Oct 6, 2009, 07:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by chipchen View Post
And is it just me, or do the Craftsmen Professional hand tool handles just look so cheezy and cheap? They're probably great tools, as everyone says... but the handles get to me.
They're incredibly stupid, if you're referring to the ratchets. Get the normal ones. I can't believe the "Professional" line has a completely round/cylindrical handle. I used a husky ratchet once with a "round" handle and it was the worst ratchet I've ever used, because you cannot INDEX the ****ing ratchet, in your hand. It just "turns" then falls off the bolt you were trying to tighten/loosen. The regular craftsman line does not suffer from this horrible design flaw. This was OBVIOUSLY some business/marketing major's retarded idea.
     
downinflames68
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Oct 6, 2009, 07:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Power tools: I'll break it down into categories, with the most commonly-used tools first.

Battery powered drill / drivers: For the light-duty (~12v) I heartily recommend Panasonic. Don't let the name fool you, this drill has the strongest, longest-lasting batteries in 12v I've ever seen. It has a wonderful analog trigger and a heavy-duty ratcheting chuck. Batteries charge in about a half hour. For heavy-duty (18v +) you cannot beat DeWalt, period. We regularly use the hammer drill/driver 18v DeWalt drill and it'll snap your wrist off, power is not an issue...sucker is heavy though. Our electrician swears by Ryobi 18v, they don't last as long but they are half as cheap, so maybe it evens out.
Milwaukee's V28 line completely destroys Dewalt. Same with the V18 lineup. I know dewalt has a huge "userbase", but it is NOT the best. Milwaukee's gearcases, gears, and batteries consistently outperform DeWalt in almost every category.
     
sek929
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Oct 7, 2009, 12:14 AM
 
Extra power is always nice, and those look like killer drills, but they're almost 150 dollars more than our 18v DeWalt was. I'll certainly keep them in mind, but a 28v hammer drill isn't exactly something everyone needs. As for the 18v Milawaukees I would most certainly buy one to replace a drill I already use, but that might no be anytime soon.
     
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Oct 7, 2009, 12:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Extra power is always nice, and those look like killer drills, but they're almost 150 dollars more than our 18v DeWalt was. I'll certainly keep them in mind, but a 28v hammer drill isn't exactly something everyone needs.
I use one to change my oil.
     
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Oct 7, 2009, 07:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I use one to change my oil.
If you use a hammer drill to change your oil, I think your drain plug is torqued a little too tight.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
The Placid Casual
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Oct 7, 2009, 11:04 AM
 
About 10 years ago I bought some 'Sandvik' pliers, snips, and screwdrivers.

Very expensive at the time, but still going strong. The quality has been excellent, and outlasted a lot of other brands I have used in the meantime.

Not sure if they are still made, but well worth it if you see them around.
     
downinflames68
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Oct 7, 2009, 12:24 PM
 
I did these too:



Impact rated bits and accessories. Pretty badass stuff. Here's a before shot from about 6 months ago:

     
turtle777
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Oct 7, 2009, 12:26 PM
 


Good stuff, Rob.

-t
     
Laminar
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Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
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Oct 7, 2009, 12:32 PM
 
Perhaps if the pictures were larger...
     
turtle777
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Oct 7, 2009, 12:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Perhaps if the pictures were larger...
You just got a too small monitor

-t
     
Laminar
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Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
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Oct 7, 2009, 12:40 PM
 
And you got a too awkward phrase.
     
olePigeon
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Oct 7, 2009, 01:06 PM
 
Anyone use PB Swiss Tools? They certainly look really nice. They're color coded and everything.
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dcmacdaddy
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Oct 7, 2009, 01:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Anyone use PB Swiss Tools? They certainly look really nice. They're color coded and everything.
Look interesting. And I am assuming Swiss-made hand tools will have the same level of durability and reliability as other Swiss-made products.


At one of my previous jobs we used a series of German hand-tools--the name escapes me but the handles were always blue--for taking apart high-end video projectors (big Barco and Christie projectors). They were recommended by the folks at Barco and were fantastic to work with. They were light-weight but quite strong, had grips that did not slip, and came in nice, neatly organised little kits (for hex-head drivers, pliers, wrenches, etc.). Sadly, the name of the company escapes me but they were German and there were, at the time, only a handful of American importers of the tools. Good stuff to work with, though.
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Oct 7, 2009, 07:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I forgot to mention we use Porter Cable finish nail guns.

@Rev-O: I've never used a non Bosch jigsaw that I liked. The only DeWalt jigsaw I've used made horribly inaccurate cuts and the vibrations were a killer, could have a been an el-cheapo though. We have a DeWalt biscuit joiner and it works great, but I've also used PC and they're just as good.

The more I think about it the more I'd say get a Bosch table saw. They come with a movable, collapsible stand and the rip fence works smooth as silk.
The Bosch table saw I have is the smooth as silk rip fence collapsable stand model. Fairly high end. Wonderful tool. HIghly recommended.
DeWalt jigsaws range from overpriced crap to amazing. I picked up their highest end model with single lever blade change 3 or 4 degrees of cutting between orbital and straight, etc, etc, and I can say it is amazing. Their less expensive jigsaws suck. Vibrating crap. Kind of my issue with DeWalt in general. They build powerful stuff, but it lacks finesse. Reason why I picked up the Makita 10" pulling miter saw over the 12" DeWalt. The DeWalt just muscles through everything and doesn't cut as cleanly.
Bosch also makes very good variable speed hammer drills. I've pretty much destroyed one at work, but after what I've put it through I'd say it is an absolute champ. Much better than the DeWalt variable speed hammer drill I personally own.
I completely agree with you about which brand to buy depends on which tool you are buying. I have a PC sawzall that is an absolute monster. Much more powerful than the Milwaukee I use at work. But the PC sawzall is a monster. The Godzilla of sawzalls. Best used to cut big thick stuff because it will just destroy everything else. Works for what I need it for, but not for the timid
Like all of PC pneumatic products. I have a PC framing nailer and finish nailer and both are very good. The Framing nailer is older so it is heavy, but it has been solid for many years.

Many contractors I know have switched to Ryobi for most stuff. Theft rates are so high on construction sites any more they'd rather lose a pos Ryobi tool than a quality one. Sad. Plus Ryobi's are cheap enough to be throw aways.

[edit: for the record I don't know a lot about cordless stuff. I have personal issues with cordless stuff, so I don't use it very much. Would never dream of buying a cordless hammer drill, circular saw, sawzall, etc etc. Just my pref.]
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