Drill and impact set for $150-$200?

My needs/usage is primarily DIY stuff around the house, and looking to get into a little woodworking - I want to build the kids an outdoor playset for starters. I’ve inherited corded tools including table, miter, circular and jig saws, so I don’t forsee needing to add these as cordless later on.

I’m trying to decide between:

$150 Ryobi brushless hammer drill + free brushless impact deal at HD, includes one 4ah battery total

$99 Makita brushless drill + $99 Makita brushless impact both include one 3ah battery.

Either way, I’ll be adding a Ryobi string trimmer that also comes with a 4ah battery. But then the Makita string trimmer (tool only) seems reasonable.

How about some of the BF deals on Dewalt at Acme ?

Aside from the in store deals, nothing there seems special vs the Dewalt deals elsewhere. Would the Dewalt DCK283D2 kit with 2ah batteries be better than the Makita or Ryobi with bigger batteries?

I’m now considering these M12 Fuel sets that include drill, impact, 2 and 4ah batteries plus free extra tool. My head is swimming in options!

And the Makita 18v brushless sub compact.

I’ve never been happy with the Ryobi Drills Drivers I have and have given them to drill-less relatives or use them where I want to preserve my good drills, stirring paint, lending to a neighbor, etc. These mostly came in kits where I wanted the other tool(s)/batteries and so were very low cost. I like many Ryobi tools, but not the drills/drivers.

On the other hand, I have both the Makita 18v brushed compact and 18v brushless subcompact drills and drivers and think they are great. I’ve used Bosch and Hitachi Drills but definitely prefer Makita. The subcompact drill is really great for my use (getting into small spaces), but if I were getting my first drill and driver it would be the compact drill and driver. It kind of spoiled me for other drills/drivers. You could also look at the Amazon coupons. I’ve seen excellent Makita drills and drivers/kits on the clearance shelf at Home Depot. Mainly because it was the brushed version and they were phasing it out, I think.

Others may have other favorites. I’ve never used Dewalt or Milwaukee.

If you end up doing much woodworking building things, I’d suggest not to go with 12v unless you plan on adding an 18v. I did use 12v to get into small spaces for a while. You could go to home depot and try out their drills, they often have a display with demos where you can use the drills/drivers.

Curious as to where the 12v would come up lacking in woodwork, outside of the swing set, which will be 3” screw and lag bolt intensive, but I have a cheap corded drill for backup.

I just came back from HD and got to play with the Makita subcompact and a M12 brushed. The battery on the M12 was about dead but I really couldn’t put one way over the other.

I’ll second the recommendation for Makita over Ryobi, if you can afford it. Ryobi does make good tools, but it’s their accessories that in my eyes are their claim to fame (hot glue gun, dual inflator, sanders, lighting, etc.). The new brushless tools are definitely a step up, but like ktash, I get the drills in order to get the other tools. Then the drills become my loaners, or used for things like running the drill-powered 3" car polisher, or similar stuff. I’ve handled the subcompact Makita tools quite a bit, and really like the feel and size of the tools, and the power when I’ve been able to demo them, I keep having to remind myself that I already have like 4x more drills than I will ever need, so don’t add the cool black awesomeness to the collection.

With Makita too, if you do decide to expand, much of their OPE is quite good, and they have better options for other tools like the circular saw, recip saw, a trim router, sander, etc. than Ryobi does.

I have the Milwaukee 12V fuel tools, and they are my “daily drivers”, I love the size and weight, and expansiveness of the M12 system. For most regular household tasks, they’ve been good enough. But there are the occasions that they feel a little weak or slow compared to the 18V tools. The Makita subcompact tools combine the best of both worlds, and you’ll definitely appreciate the extra power the first time you need it.

A note on the Ryobi string trimmer(s), I do see two bundled with the 4Ah battery. This one:
I have a friend that had one, she thought it was underpowered, I concur with that assessment (we do live in Texas, with thick St. Augustine, so that may play a part). Runtime wasn’t super great, and it also stopped working after a couple months. She traded in for a Ryobi hybrid which was a bit better, but she still borrows my Ego if she forgets to string trim for a few weeks.
The other one:
With the brushless motor, this one has better runtime and power on paper, but according to protoolreviews (found under opereviews), it suffers from vibration issues. You’ll also find I think that 18V just seems underwhelming on a string trimmer in general, even with the milwaukee and a 9Ah battery I tried for a while, there were times you could tell it was 18V and struggling to keep up. You’ll also find reviews about ryobi batteries not lasting as long as other brands, especially in high drain tools, and you’ll only have one battery with this trimmer. If it runs out, you’ll have to wait for it to charge to finish up. If you aren’t going Ryobi for your tools so you have extra batteries or can justify buying them, that’s another reason to maybe look elsewhere.

For $40 more than the $159 ryobi listed last, you can step up to an Ego trimmer with 2.5Ah battery, which I cannot recommend enough. If you aren’t planning on any other OPE, you might get in the same issue with only having one battery (which charges even slower than the Ryobi), in which case I’d take a look at whatever brand you buy into if you do want to go cordless. If you are looking at other OPE like a blower or hedge trimmer, Ego’s products all around are fantastic, and you’ll be able to get a few more batteries that way. I think the HD-stocked blower was on sale at my HD today when I was in there, I noticed it on an endcap with some signage and I think the price was less than the typical $179. I’d have to go back to look though to see what it was, I don’t see anything online pointing to a deal on it. But you’ll also be able to find deals on Ego stuff a few times a year, and again, everything I’ve used of their stuff has been fantastic. I think you’ll be happier with it in the long run than a Ryobi trimmer.

Makita also has their 18Vx2 tools, which extend into their OPE lines. They are a good way to get more power than even an 18V tool, but still use your 18V batteries. I don’t see the 18Vx2 string trimmer in stores, but if you can happen to find one somewhere, I’d try it out. Even bare tool it’s more expensive than the ego, but it might be an excuse to buy more Makita batteries, and it’ll use the same ones your tools take if you go with Makita.

My M12 Fuel impact driver can run 3" screws without too much sweat. The impact wrench can do it no problemo, but that’s maybe a bit overkill. My common example of when 18V power really helps is with larger hole saws, or large spade bits (particularly the bosch self feeding ones). Granted if any of it binds up, 18V is more likely to take your arm off and destroy your workpiece, but the 12V fuel drill seems to bog down more often than I like dealing with on those large doings. The brushed M12 drill was even worse, so the fuel m12 is a huge improvement, but if I’m drilling anything over an inch or hole sawing anything more than 2" or so, I’ll usually reach for the 18V.

Expandability in 18V will be better as well, I know you aren’t looking at that specifically right now, but if you did want to get a cordless planer or trim router or similar down the road, 12V isn’t going to be able to help you much. And for the most part, whatever you can get in 12V, you can probably get in 18V. So other than a weight and maybe size tradeoff, 18V is a better line to buy into, particularly as a first/only cordless lineup.

The 12v can bog down on more demanding tasks as others have mentioned. One example is drilling pocket holes. The 18v Makita just zips right through them. With the 12v it can feel like a struggle. Especially if the bit is on the down side of sharpness.

Also, woodworking can be addicting :face_with_raised_eyebrow: The 18v platform can be expanded more later if you find that’s true for you. When I started I was just going to do one project. . . But of course, different people have different needs, so there’s no one best solution.

Are you tracking me, cause I’ve seriously just been looking at the Kreg system.

Anyway, after another trip to HD, and playin with a Makita with no security devices on it, I’m settled. Makita subcompact it is!

Kinda torn between the Makita Subcompact or the $99 Black Friday Makita Brushless Drill and $99 Brushless impact mentioned here: http://toolguyd.com/makita-18v-brushless-drill-kit-xfd061/

Do I need the extra torq provided by the compact vs subcompact?