I am working on remodeling a small cabin. It has no power to it at this time. Who makes the best quality cordless tools? By Christmas it will have solar panels for lights and other needs, so the tools will need to be energy efficient as well.
Hey blambert 1957,
Aboveaveragejoe here at The Home Depot in Atlanta, and I've got some tips and advice on cordless tools. So it sounds like your going green all the way with the cabin, solar panels, and now for power tools! Before I 'hammer' away a 'cutting edge' solution to your question, I've included a great video guide that talks in detail about selecting the right cordless power tool.
I spoke with my hardware guru Ray the Hammer and he stated also what the video says as well, but we both agreed to break down several key points when considering a new cordless drill.
Lithium-Ion batteries are not only lighter, charge faster than older Ni-Cad batteries (which makes them more energy efficient) but they also instant start in cold temperatures. Judging that it'll be cold where you will be come this Christmas, that will definitely be an advantage
The Home Depot sells every one of our brands in a value pack kit, so instead of picking up a cordless drill one day then a reciprocating saw the next time around, save a good deal of money and grab the entire kit. It's a big savings and for me, I like the fact that pretty much every kit comes with a big satchel like carry case to carry all those tools around easier!
While all brands we carry have great value and options that best suit your needs, check all of our brands in the store to really see what you really need to work on in the cabin. For example, some brands may have a kit that's great for just drills and cutting. But you may really need to upgrade to something like a hammer drill or impact driver that the other company just doesn't provide. Which leads me to the next point....
The best way to really get knowledge of our selection of cordless drills is to take them for a test spin, literally! I'm glad you are needing tools at this time of year because The Home Depot has fantastic selections always around the holiday season and about every store has tool demo areas where you can really touch, grab, and work with the right tool that you prefer the most. Better yet, Ray the Hammer told me that your local store more than likely has vendor representatives working the stores and they always have their tools on hand for you to test and ask pertinent questions about their products.
Hope this helps you out, and if you have any future projects at the cabin, feel free to let us know and post some pics of the place, sounds like its going to be a great escape!
+1 For lithium-Ion! I have to drop in and say that if all the cordless tools you have used are Ni-Cad you are in for a serious surprise the first time you get to work with L-ion. They let you work harder, and longer, and (thankfully) are a whole lot lighter!
The other big revolution that we are seeing in cordless power, is the use of the cordless electric Impact. Impact drivers help you do more work with less effort. We have all been there, at the end of the day, stripping Philips fasteners because we are too tired to put enough pressure on our drills. With impacts you only need about a quarter of the force on the driver, you get to let the tool do so much more of the work. Impacts are especially useful when driving new-age self tapping fasteners where more force is required.
There are lots of great brands to choose from these days, I think AboveAverageJoe offered the best advice, head into the store and fondle them all, buy the one that fits you the best.
Obligitory eye candy, Lithium Ion Cordless Impacts:
Let us know what you end up getting and how you like it.
DO NOT BUY RYOBI PRODUCTS... THEY DO NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCTS , BATTERY - CHARGER TERRIBLE . HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO USE MY TOOLS FOR MONTHS NOW B/C OF RYOBI AND THEIR TEAM. I FOR ONE SUGGEST DEWALT PRICEY BUT WORTH IT
If you will Google cordless tools or a specific brand name, you'll get a lot of information about power and about batteries. I just spent over a week looking for a cordless circular saw. While lithium ion batteries are best, they are also very expensive. The number one issue I found during my research is that no matter what tool brand you choose, the battery quality is not yet consistent, the batteries are not as dependable as they should be, and you'll need more than one and a charger and power source for the charger to be sure you have a working drill. You should still be prepared for unexpected and premature battery failure. I did not find a battery that has a low voltage warning light or sound. Your drill will just slow down and stop, and you won't get any warning when this is going to happen. If I were in your situation, I'd buy a portable generator and a corded drill. The other thing to check out is that some drills have plastic parts - like a plastic chuck - that will deform or melt with repeated use. There are many comments on the Internet about this issue.
I have the DeWalt 18 volt compact lithium ion impact driver and drill and they are really small and light weight but have alot of power. they are great on a charge. and chage in 30 mins. constant power though out the whole job. great tools.
I agree , dont buy the green ryobi lithium cordless tool set. The batteries and charger are complete garbage.Not long after purchased the batteries proved to be defective, possibly also the charger. Your right ,spend a little more and buy dewalt. Ryobi if you should read this SHAME ON U!
You can't beat Ridgid tools, they have life time warranty . I've been using them for a couple of years and no problems.
I have a 12v Lithium ion drill that I "carry" around that so far has been great. I have some older nicad Ryobi's that have mostly gotten the job done. A woodworking friend who uses their cordless tools much more than I has been very happy with their 18v Ryobi tools. My experiencesmostly with 18v over the last 5-6 years:
Some general observations:
Home Depot has been really good to me and to the organization I buy supplies for. Despite the battery frustrations, the Ryobi tools have mostly gotten the job done at a reasonable price. I have no question that HD would have replaced any of the failed parts if they had failed within the warranty period.
I am an apartment maintenance supervisor in the process of rehabing 120 units and have been using Ryobi for over 12 yrs now. Ive only had 2 problems with triggers and Home Depot has taken back both tools and exchanged with no hassle at all. I have both the green and the old blue tools and have had very good luck with them. My power tools are up against tough jobs and tough competition EVERYDAY. Our shop tools include Hitachi,Milwaukee, De Walt and Makita. The Ryobis have stood up gainst all of them and in some cases out performed them for basically one third of the price. I will say that the NiCad batteries are hit and miss but so far had great luck with the lithium ions.
Ive been using power tools for over 30 yrs now and have yet to find a FAULTLESS brand or tool ---They all give out at some point, however the Ryobis have lasted as long or longer than anything else Ive used and the price is very attractive.
As with any tool, they're only as good as the last time you maintained them. That goes for batteries as well. There's no question that LI batteries are the way to go, for all the points mentioned above. There's on drawback on LI batteries and that is heat build up during use. If you have jobs that require extended run time for the tool, consider switching the batteries periodically to allow them to cool or not get so hot. LI batteries build up heat as they discharge. Whether you have Ryobi, Dewalt, Ridgid, Milwaukee or Makita, keep extra batteries on hand.
One point I'll add about Ridgid, it's called a Lifetime Warranty, even on the batteries. The important thing is to register the warranty.