I’m a long time lurker, so thanks for opening this forum! I need advice on buying a new tool for my use, and I’d like to know your thoughts:
Basic DIY drilling (hanging, fastening in the house, errant fixing)
More advanced garden work (building a shed, fixing up chicken coops, etc).
Fun super-amateur “projects” - tables with leftover wood, ec.
I am willing to spend basically whatever, within reason - I want cordless, brushless, durable and long lasting. Doesn’t have to be the most powerful thing in the world, as my uses are limited to the above. I believe in “buy it right the first time” and not replace things just for fun. From poking around here, seems I’m looking at either Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch (and mabye makita?). The Festools seem a little bit too pricey, but I’m opened to being convinced.
Now my first question, do I want an impact drill or just a “normal” drill?
Second, are ANY of the “combo” multi-tools worth it (eg B&D MATRIX), as having a jigsaw addition would be great (I don’t own a saw, I just borrow a circular saw the few days of the year I need it).
Well maybe i read into your question “I want quality durability and reliability” am I right?
The brands you listed are all very good choices and have a lot of offerings for future expandability. If I were to go out and buy into a new line of cordless tools it would be without a doubt Milwaukee, but I use tools to make money, but, you a self described DIY’er I would steer you to Ryobi. To sum up why they to have an outstanding lineup of tools, excellent warranty, and a cost to performance ratio that just cant be beat. I know you wanted brushless and they don’t yet offer one in the US but do abroad so I’d expect them to hit our shores in the near future. There used to be a time in the not so distant past that we would use a drill to turn screws and a drill will still get that job done, but once you use an impact you will never use a drill other than to make holes again. as for a multi tool… they have one too AND it uses any of the Ridgid attachments. so here are some links…
For some of the uses you mention (maybe not building a shed), have you thought about a 12V system? The tools are much lighter and pack as much performance as bigger drills did 10 years ago. Then maybe for the heavier tasks you can buy a 1/2" corded hammer drill. It’s always nice to have something corded with a lot of power when you inevitably run out the batteries and the 2 times year when you have to drill into cement.
I’ve have a 12V Bosch driver with hex shank drill bits that covers about 75% of the tasks I do. It’s really light and fits in a small go bag. Something like the M12 Fuel 1/2" drill would cover even more stuff, plus the M12 line has a lot of good tools. I think that’s the way I would go if I lost all my tools and had to start over. I’m not the only person, if you go back and read some of the comments over the years on ToolGuyd, I’ve seen other people say the same thing .
I would also second the Ryobi route. The tools I’ve used are adequate and while every other company has changed battery styles at least once, you can use the same old tools with new batteries, or new tools with old NiCads.
Ummmmm Sufficient? well yes they make a small blade one, you could make a few cuts in some ply and 1x but while I own a battery powered circular saw, I have a hard time using the word sufficient do describe them. For the $150 for a bare 12v tool I’d recommend spending $50 on a corded full size and 100’ extension cord.
Yeah, unless you really need a circular saw to be portable. You’re best bang for the buck is corded.
That said, battery powered circular saws do have their place. I have a 5-1/2" blue Ryobi circular saw that cost me $20 at a second hand store, I already had the batteries, so it wasn’t much of an investment. I prefer using the very light Ryobi over my full size corded Dewalt to break down sheet goods. After a while I bought a better carbide blade for $10 to make cleaner cuts. I’ve tried cutting 2x4’s with it and it struggles a bit and really drains the battery, but I’m sure a more recent saw would be somewhat better.
That reminds me, I didn’t say it before but another thing I like about the 12V tools is they are much less fatiguing. I’m not a huge guy, I’m 5’10, have small hands, and sit at a computer for a good portion of the day. I have both a M18 drill and driver and with the 4Ah batteries, and after using them for a long duration, the weight is a factor.
Honestly, the brushless line from Makita are the best tools I’ve ever used. I own the brushless hammer drill XPH07, brushless impact driver XDT09, brushless circ saw XSH03, brushless barrel grip jigsaw djv181 (not available in the US, I ordered from Canada. It’s amazing). If you want individual reviews, check out toolaholic and toolpig on Instagram. They test all these tools against the competition so you get to see what they’re worth. I’m in the same situation as you, as a diyer, but I believe in buying the best tools possible, and to me that was Makita
And here’s another reason why I picked Makita. They have over 100 differs cordless tools, a lot more than the competition from Milwaukee and dewalt. For example, if you need a cordless sander the only conpany you’ll get it from the 3 is from Makita.
Some good advice has been proffered here. A M12 drill from Milwaukee would probably do very well for your “hanging stuff around the house”, and most installation/repair tasks save a full house remodel. But if you’re going to want a cordless reciprocating saw down the road - then an 18V drill might be a better place to start. I agree that a mid-range corded circular saw will be easier on your wallet and have better cutting capacity than an inexpensive cordless saw. I’d advise starting with a few good tools – and not be lured by the siren song of a big combo kit that sometime throw in “tools” that you may use very infrequently. Once you have a job in front of you – know what tools you need – then your buying will be better focused. It’s sort of like buying a whole set of chisels because the price per chisel looks good – when a ¾ inch one might be the only one you really use
Yeah, that’s true. I was just saying what my thought process was, even tho I’m not a professional right now, I still preferred professional quality. But if you feel ryobi is professional quality, then that’s great. It’s definitely a lot cheaper than Milwaukee/Dewalt/Makita
Given your states uses being primarily home projects, I would recommend a Ridgid combo. The tools are very solid, and the Lifetime Service Agreement is perfect for someone using them for personal use. All you have to do is register them, and then you get free batteries and service for life. They are better quality than a Ryobi, they are also manufactured by TTI, same as Milwaukee, and they are running a sale I believe currently at Home depot where you can get a free set of batteries or tool, if I’m not mistaken. There is an available cordless circ saw as well.
Also, I would agree with the above, although you CAN “drill” with an impact driver, I wouldn’t do it. A drill is a drill, and an impact driver is an impact driver. They serve different purposes, and each does that purpose very well. I use drills for drilling holes, and setting hardware screws, or any screws that you wouldn’t want to risk stripping out. I use an impact driver for setting self tapping wood screws, or lag screws deep into wood and pulling parts together.
The reason I keep bringing up the drill difference is because there is no definitive place on the 'net where I can find the differences between hammer, impact and “normal” drills, written in laymens terms. I find myself a pretty handy person who can put together and think creative solutions, for example, but I don’t know the terms that help me distinguish between those drills. So I guess I want the basic drill, which can do everything reasonably well (but not some things the best).
Well if you want a quick and dirty explanation of the difference here you go.
A drill just spins the bit and can go anywhere from really slow to really fast.
A hammer drill spins the bit just like a drill, but now imagine using a hammer and a chisel on a concrete wall. You hit the head of the chisel with the hammer and break off a small chunk of the wall, then you turn the chisel a few degrees and hit the head again. Now imagine doing this thousands of times a minute.
A rotary hammer is like the bigger cousin of the hammer drill. It can hammer more powerfully.
For an impact driver, imagine using a wrench on a nut, then take a hammer and hit the wrench to turn the nut a few degrees. Repeat over and over. This is basically what an impact driver does.
There are trade offs between an impact driver and a drill. An impact driver usually turns slower, especially under load, but you can get enormous torque. Generally you need to use special unhardened bits/sockets with an impact driver, if you use hardened bits they can shatter.
Also with any hammering or impacting device you want to use hearing protection.
I just read the rest of your original post so I’ll answer more of that. Your first question was should you buy a drill or an impact driver. Others have explained this but I’ll do it too. An impact driver is designed for driving fasteners while a drill is designed for drilling holes. If you’ve never used an impact driver you’ll be surprised at how much faster and easier it is than a drill. Whatever brand you end up buying from, here’s what I’d do. The first power tool I ever bought was a drill and impact driver combo kit from Makita. It came with a drill, impact driver, and 3 batteries and a charger for just over 200. All brands offer these for various prices. But that way you get the tools you’re looking for and batteries, which are more expensive than tools in some instances. Now you’re in a brand and you can buy bare tools for cheaper. I know that’s a lot so I hope it makes sense
If you want a brushless regular driver drill, not a hammer drill, I think your only options are a compact model. I know they are sold by Milwaukee and dewalt, and I think Makita is working on one but it’s not out yet. Why don’t you want the hammer option tho?