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I have started a side business :grinpimp: doing carpentry and construction, from handy-man type simple work through medium sized construction projects. I have lots of tools but am realizing that my DIY, homeowner tools are NOT going to suffice and last. I have a circular saw that is older than I am, and while it is solid as a rock (and heavier than one too), the deck is tweaked and not square. My sawzall is a third or fourth generation hand-me-down Milwaukee and while it, too, works fine, is no longer sufficient for a professional role – it gets hot and slings grease and doesn’t work well. My jig saw is junky and my good cordless drill is on its last legs...

I prefer quality and longevity to cheap, quick fixes. I realize that if I were using these things every day, they (particularly the cordless tools) wear out fairly quickly. I would rather pay more up front for a tool that will last for years and perform properly than get a deal on a tool that'll only last a year or so... And as I’m only doing this part time (on the side – evenings & weekends), they get worked, but not 40 hours a week.

That all being said, I am soliciting recommendations and opinions on drills (3/8", 1/2", & hammer), sawzalls, jig saws, circular saws, etc... corded and cordless. :flipoff2:

I have a 12v cordless Porter Cable drill that has served me VERY well for 5+ years but the batteries are getting bad... I'd replace it with another - my neighbor has a very nice PC 19.2v drill that I like, but I've read that PC has had problems with their batteries. The reviews I've read say as much too.

Honestly, I know that many folks like Yellow Decker (DeWalt) but I've always been leary of them :rolleyes: . But, I do like some of their stuff... I just don't think its worth the money in a long term durability sense.

I like the Milwaukee and am looking at their 18v 1/2" Lok-Tor series drills.

I am also looking at some of the combo. kits that have drills, saws, sawzalls, etc... The versatility for jobsites is the key here. I don't always have easy access to power and it seems that one of these kits is easier and cheaper than a generator. If you buy a set, you only need one set of batteries compared to having a Milwaukee drill, a PC sawzall, etc...

I don't mind dragging extension cords, but having to plug things in and switching back and forth gets old...
Any comments on corded versus cordless quality, cost, longevity?
 

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I grew up in a cabinet shop. For the most part all of our tools were Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Hilti, and the occasional Craftman. We rarely had any problems with these. If you are planning to use you tools professionally buy the best you can afford. The worst thing that can happen is to be on the job site or pressed for time in the shop and a junk tool takes a dump on you.
I use this thinking for all "professional" tools. Not only power but hand tools as well. The same goes for consumables like blades and bits.
Sorry to get off on a tangent. Hope this helps.
 

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Sawzall Milwaukee Super Sawzall

Jigsaw Bosch top handle

Milwaukee 1/2 inch drill

Bosch hammer drill

Circ saw I love my pc sidewinder, Im not a worm drive fan.

Cordless.....I like my 24vDewalt system, has a converter so you can plug them in 120 but big$$

If you just need a drill/driver you will carry often go with 12v for weight savings. I like the 12v panasonics

Batt saws are handy, but the run time is very short for continous professional work
 

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This is the stuff I have and use. Just remember you get what you pay for.

Milwaukee
Super Sawzall
Hole Hawg's 1/4", 3/8", 1/2"
Hammer drill
Screw gun (drywall)
Chop Saw
Porta band
Variable Speed Sander 6"

Porter Cable
Old (mid 50's) belt sander
Old (early 50's) 1/4" drill
Old (late 40's) 8 1/4" saw
7 1/4" saw w/mag plate
Router 3 1/4 HP variable speed
Plate joiner
Sander 333 5"

Skill
Mag 77 7 1/4" Saw

Miller Falls miter box
 

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I agree with Chi, except for the Bosch top handle, you usually want more control with a jigsaw and the barrel style gives you a great deal more control... unless you have girlie hands (small). Also, old PC's have a much better depth adjustment. They raise vertically rather than tilting, which gives a much better wrist angle. Nice when you need to cut a few thousand feet a day.
 

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When you are looking at tools remember that most brands make one of their tools better than they make others. For a heavy duty circular saw try to find an AEG, they are heavy but can cut through anything.
 

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sawsall saw= Portercable tiger saw. top notch
Circular saw= Portercable Light, powerfull, strong
Jig saw= Bosh. they are the best
Cordless= Milwakee or portercable. The new Bosh stuff look pretty good too.
I love the hilti hammer drills, but i dont love the price. i like the bosh stuff for the money.

I too try tp stay away from dewalt. some of there stuff is good, but its all way overpriced.
 

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Another vote for the barrel handle Bosch... It's a fine, fine tool.

I particularly like my left-handed PC circ saw (I'm right-handed -- I just like a "backwards" saw)

Never gonna buy another dewalt anything.

Frankly, I just use a crap tool till I "know" what I need. Then I go for the best I can afford. That way I don't end up with good tools I don't use. Ferinstance: I don't use a hammer drill anywhere near enough for a Bosch or Hilti. I _do_ use my tablesaw all the time, so it's a unisaw.
 

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It seems a lot of people aren't to fond of DeWalt, but my family is in the home construction business, and our trim carpenters are 75% DeWalt and 25% Porter-Cable. All of their DW stuff has held up fine in daily use, so it may not be the best but in my opinion it's still good stuff. They have several DW drills, 2 large DW miter saws, a DW planer, sander, jigsaw, biscuit jointer thing (you know what I mean). As for PC they have the tiger saw mentioned earlier (looks kinda cheesy and is a little big, but works well) and a PC compressor that seems to run nonstop.

A Delta table saw as well. And I believe most of their guns are PC or Paslode. Also, the framers pretty much use Skil, PC, and Makita circ saws. My pick would be Skil. The Makita is nice, but I swear it's 10lbs.

Good luck with your new business. A lot of work out there right now.....
 

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plunkinberry said:
I am soliciting recommendations and opinions on drills (3/8", 1/2", & hammer), sawzalls, jig saws, circular saws, etc... corded and cordless.
Craftsman 16.8v 3/8" drill. $100. I use it with holesaws & step-bits all the time.

Makita SDS 7/8" hammerdrill (corded). $280. I don't piss around with masonry bits in a jacob's-chuck wannabe hammerdrill on concrete :shaking:

B&D Sawzall (corded) $70. Couldn't believe it had the knock-off store brand beat on price, power, and quick release blade. Felt just like the DeWalt... painted orange, and had double the warranty. :grinpimp:
 

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as for the dewalt stuff which i think i own every one they make :D be wary of the kitted stuff. check the part numbers as they put in a lesser quality tools in most kits i have seen.
 

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For a screw gun, get a Panasonic. I have worked with most, and I think they are the best out there.
 

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plunkinberry said:
I like the Milwaukee and am looking at their 18v 1/2" Lok-Tor series drills.
Funny you should mention that. I have that very drill (w hammer option). At first it was impressive, it'd rip my wrist when it hung up unless I had two hands on it. But one day I got it jammed up in concrete (just doing like a 1/4" hole for a small door kick plate anchor) and it started making sizzling sounds and smoking a little. At this point the drill was not very old, maybe two months. Ever since then it's never been the same. Power is down and for whatever reason it eats batteries. I might get a couple minutes of drill time before I have to swap batteries. I don't think it's the batteries as they do fine in my 18V cordless impact (which I love).

I like Milwaukee but even some of their tools aren't the greatest. I can't decide if I like my Milwaukee chop saw.
 

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u2slow said:
Craftsman 16.8v 3/8" drill. $100. I use it with holesaws & step-bits all the time.
Craftsman's big on odd-ball voltages like that but they won't be supported forever. I'd avoid them if possible. Stay with the standards like 14.4, 18 and 24
 

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what about hitachi they make a sweet compound slide and come with laser.....also i picked up the bosch 18v hammer drill which i am impressed with but i use my makita 12v when i am doing cabinets for weight and size reasons
 

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Stick to professional grade tools.

Buy Milwaukee, Porta Cable, Delta, or Bosch.

Do not buy DeWalt. Sorry. They are junk. I burnt out a drill on my first cabinet. That piece of shit went back to the store and I never bought one again. I melted the plastic cooling fan drilling 1/8" holes for shelf pins. :mad3:

Cordless is nice, however you need a ton of batteries. Otherwise you'll be swapping them out all the time. Not to mention you need to keep a supply on the charger at all times. Don't use an undercharged battery, you'll burn out your battery/tool.

Personally when I did work on the side. I used a 4 way gang box. Electrical box with 4 outlets. I had my saw (table/chop/skill), lights, and shop vac hooked up to it. Used a cordless drill and kept at least one battery on the charger all the times. Also kept one fully charged, plus the one in my drill.

Lighting in most homes sucks, especially spaces where your more then likely going to be working. Crawl spaces, closets, garage, attic, new construction, etc. The 4 gang will give you all the power you need. Besides you can only use one tool at a time, unless your shop vac is being used as a dust collector on your saw. Home owners really appreaciate that one. :flipoff2:
 

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I have a Milwaukee 1/2 hammer drill, and have beat it for 5 yrs, and it still works great. I just bought a Bosch sawzall; I like it, but it is a beast. 1-1/4" stroke, cuts quick, and it'll make you tough. It also has 2 bright white LEDs by the chuck, which are nice when you are cutting in a dimly lit area. the chuck is neat too- push the blade in and it locks, turn the chuck, the blade comes out and awaits a new blade, no more turning to put a new blade in.

On a side note, I work in the telecommunications business, and I get out to a lot of job sites. Almost all of the contractor I see working are using dewalt, ridgid or milwaukee. Not they are all good, just mentioning what I see.

I also have a milwaukee 1/2 cordless hammer 14.4v. it works great, the batteries have lasted good. The only problem i had was after the 4yr mark, the housing around the clutch starting getting loose. however, it has been dropped from 10ft many times.

stay away from any cheap things, like ryobi..
 

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been doin this stuff for years
skil mag 77 skil saw
porter cable 5'" skil saw
porter cable 4" skil saw
milwaukee sawz alls
bosch hammer drill
bosch table saw
bosch jig saws
milwaukee hole hawg
bosch routers
panasonic cordless drills
panasonic impact driver
porter cable belt sander
senco air guns finish
brad
sheathing stapler
hitachi stick framer
bostich roofing nailer
rol air compressor
dewalt palm sanders
stilleto framing hammer
estwing finish hammer
makita 12" compound miter
cmt blades
lenox blades

this gear is used full time and is the culmination of years of work and getting rid of any crap tools
 
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