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Manufacturers are pouring on the effort when it comes to line-count-expanding cordless accessories — everything from job site radios to vacuums, specialty flashlights, and even digital cameras. But do you really expect this kind of functionality in your 10.8/12V or 18V cordless tools?

Here’s what we’re really asking: Say you wander into the local big-box looking for a cordless 18V drill/driver. Depending on the shop, you’re faced with between four and twenty choices of brand/manufacturer combination in all colors of the rainbow. Assuming that well more than half of these choices will effectively drill holes and drive screws — and eliminating brand loyalty and advertising as a decision-maker — why would you choose one over the other?

Sure, performance stats will likely enter into your head. But most pros (and many DIYers these days) know that unless you’re planning on drilling whopper-sized holes in concrete or steel, 400+ in-lbs of torque will more than do the job, which means most of the major-brand-name 18V tools will do the job for you as well.

So how ’bout all those other tools on the wall? Would you be more likely to purchase an 18V drill/driver if the manufacturer offered a wide range of other tools that’ll accept the 18V batteries you just purchased? Does the manufacturer’s choice to offer the tools in bare form (sans batteries) affect that choice as well?

Let us know in comments. You’ll help us settle a pretty big discussion we had here this morning.

 

41 Responses to What’s Your Favorite Cordless Accessory?

  1. Jordan says:

    All things being equal, I buy the brand that has the most accessories just in case I’d need them in the future. Do I think that I’ll ever need a battery powered garden sprayer? no, but I didn’t think I’d need a cordless circular saw at one time in my life, and now I have one that uses the same battery as my drill.

    Buying the accessories without the battery is a great option to have. Why spend more and accumulate more chargers, cases, and batteries?

  2. Dan says:

    Important to me is that the manufacturer is commited to their battery design for the long run so that I can get replacement batteries or tools later on. Offering such a wide selection of tools demonstrates this to me.

    As a non-professional doing occasional tasks around the house I don’t replace my tools very often, I’m using a Ryobi set that I bought reconditioned 8 years ago. The original batteries don’t hold much charge anymore, but I can go buy new ones at HD or online today. I’m waiting for them to offer the newer Li-Ion batteries and charger in an upgrade package.

    I actually bought the drill and impact driver kit on sale last year, kept the impact driver and one battery and sold the other battery, drill and charger on craigslist. In the end it cost me less than buying a new battery and the driver seperately.

  3. Gil says:

    Vibrator… >.>

  4. Chaim says:

    They don’t make it anymore, but I use almost every day my Ryobi 8.25″ 18v Miter Saw (P500 I think). Why they stopped making it, I can’t say, but it’s powerful, light, and accurate–all the manufacturers should consider this kind of tool.

  5. Paul says:

    I bought the Bosch 18v range because they had a cordless plainer. Not many other company’s do a cordless plainer. After this purchase I went on to buy the other tools in the range, circular saw, jigsaw, recip saw, and drill to use the same batteries. Impressed with my Bosch tools, I went on to buy most of their 10.8v range. And now the Bosch 18v Li grinder, SDS drill, impact driver. Some of these tools come in sortimo l-boxx’s so I’m buying those now too. Having a wide variety of tools in a battery range is a good insensitive to buy, it sucked me into brand loyalty.

  6. george says:

    there have been so many changes in the last year or so that i’m afraid to buy anything cordless except flashlights. so for now i’m sticking with corded tools. they don’t seem to go out of “style” within a year. i have a cordless drill/driver but yet use my old rockwell drill that i got in the early 70’s more.

  7. PutnamEco says:

    I work alone most of the time so a radio is a necessary accessory for my sanity. Following that would be a hand held vacuum, and then an area type worklight, not one like a regular flashlight, as I prefer a real flashlight rather than some clunky add on to a cordless tool battery. I also really appreciate my Milwaukee multi bay charger. It save me a lot of grief both in trying to find open electrical sockets and in being able to supply a steady stream of charged batteries.

  8. Jerry says:

    A few years back I committed to DeWalt 18V tools. I purchased an extensive assortment all at once as my job was changing from “in the shop” to “in the field.”
    Of course, since that time there have been so many innovations that I am somewhat addled by the choices. My greatest regret is that my DeWalts are not lithium ion so I suffer the extra weight. I take immaculate care of my tools so they are in wxcellent shape but batteries are beginning to die. Ryobi batteries sell for about half (or less) than the DeWalt so I may, as tools or batteries die, switch to Ryobi.
    As to how many different tools each battery can fit I can only say that I really desire to have at least one battery for each tool. Buying any tool without a battery will surely have me digging out the tool with the battery in it to use a different tool. If manufacturers could include at least one battery per tool, they would probably win me over quickly. Buy any tool, get a battery. Buy 6 more tools and you have one battery to use with 7 tools. Pretty nonsensical in my book. Especially since we all know that those batteries are really cheap for the tool makers.

  9. Julian Tracy says:

    Had and still use the Bosch 18volt Nicad stuff. 4-5 years later, batteries still going strong.

    Last year bought into the Makita LXT lineup. Have and use on a daily basis:
    Angled impact driver
    Angle drill
    cordless metal cutter
    radio
    vacuum
    6 1/2″ circ saw
    impact driver
    hammer drill
    grinder
    blower

    My bosch lineup has been reduced to the recip saw, 10″ cordless miter saw, 1/2 impact wrench, jigsaw and cordless planer.

    The remaining Bosch tools are excellant, the new Mak stuff is very nice. When my Bosch batts die, I’ll build an adapter to allow them to be run with the Makits LXT batts.

    Anyone that says they use a corded drill more than a cordless drill is either a fool or has a crappy cordless drill.

    Driving me nuts the way all the old farts disparage cordless stuff as pretty much useless for real work – total BS. They all must be referencing the cordless stuff from 10 years ago or something.

    JT

  10. Philip says:

    I bought into the DeWalt 18V line because of their wide range of tools. I wanted Makita or Bosch but DeWalt had more tools at the time (not sure if they still do).

    Their new 18V LI batteries will work with all my tools too.

  11. rob says:

    to Jerry dewalt has a li-ion 18v battery that will work with your tools look at the dewalt nano stuff

    butI biught makita lxt when is was still pretty new
    I own
    2 drills
    impact
    cordless sds
    circ saw
    recip saw
    radio
    grinder
    and the flassh light

    after building a custom charger and modding the hell out of my radio
    my battery collection has swelled to 13
    I’ll be adding to my blog with my radio mods soon

  12. fred says:

    I think that I’ve probably posted here at Toolmonger before that our most recent cordless tool purchases standardized on the Makita 18V LXT line and the more compact Milwaukee M12 tools. It had more to do with timing of purchase to replace older Porter Cable 12 Volt Drills and Makita Impact Drivers than how complete the lines were at the time that we purchased. Now over the last few years we added to both inventories and are happy with our decisions – for different reasons – but not necessarily happy with all of the items that we purchased in each lineup.

    Our purchasing decisions certainly were influenced by the availability of bare tools and bulk batteries – not needing batteries, a charger or one of those bulky blow-molded cases or nylon bags with every tool. I’ve bought no radios – just my thing – thinking that our customers would prefer a more sedate contracting experience most of the time.

    Our 18V LXT tool inventory is still dominated by 6339 Drills, 6914 Impact Drivers, BJR182 reciprocating saws, and BSS611 circular saws. We have a few less BTW450 impact wrenches, BSS501Z trim saws, and BJV180 jig saws. Following up the rear – in the “we bought one to try it out” category are a BDA350 right angle drill, a BGA452 angle grinder a BST221 stapler (what were we thinking ?) and a BTL 063 right angle impact wrench. We’re contemplating the purchase of a concrete vibrator too.

    In a totally different class – our M12 lineup is dominated by 2401-20 drivers, 2450-20 impact drivers, 2420-20 Hackzalls (I was skeptical – but am told they are go-to tools) and 2415-20 right angle drills. I always thought that cordless flashlights were just a gimmick to round out DIY sets sold at HD – but the M12 LED flashlight (49-24-0146) is a gem. We also bought a number of 2471-20 tubing cutters – which were a disappointment for us. In the try-it-out category we bought a 2451-20 impact wrenches and 2470-20 plastic pipe shear. I’m excited about their collaboration with Uponor – and may have to buy both the M12 and M18 PEX tools to try out – I’m hoping they will sell a bare tool without heads (expander cones) – as we have a goodly stock of these.

  13. Julian Tracy says:

    My Makita LXT right angle drill is pretty amazing for how small it is. At first, you think, oh, this’ll be great for cabinetry or tight spaces – it’s very small. But it’ll hog through 1″ holes in joists all day long. Not like a corded Milwaukee – but it’ll do it and it’s tiny.

    The cordless metal cutting circular saw rocks! I’ve used it for 3/8″ steel bar stock, aluminum thresholds, 1/8″ aluminum diamond plate sheet, and today, used it to cut 6″ galvanized ducts. Just set the blade to about 1/2″ and roll the duct on the floor with the saw held on top – nice, quick clean cuts.

    The blower is truly the hidden gem though. I had the 14.4 NiMh version for year, so I already knew, but I use mine for: blowing off miter and table saw, blowing off sheet goods in-between cuts, blowing up air mattresses, stoking a campfire, and most importantly, using it to clean off client’s driveways of sawdust – what a pain it WAS sweeping sawdust off concrete…

    The angle cordless impact was a recent impulse (treat) purcahase, but I’ve used it a lot in my current basement remodel job. Great for tight corners blocking with 3 1/2″ screws or for 1/4 zip screws into duct work. has like a 1 1/2″ deep head with the bit attached. I’m thinking it’ll come into it’s own with a 1/4 socket adapter when working on motorcycles or assembly work.

    JT

    JT

  14. Robert Dezendorf says:

    I started with the DeWalt 18 volts, then switched to Ryobi 18V because they has more tools and the batteries were almost half the price of the DeWalts. When the first DeWalt 18V battery went bad, I gutted it, lined it with the female guts from the Ryobi flashlight and some epoxy and created an adapter to run DeWalts with Ryobi batteries !

    Since I paid for all of them, I felt I had the right to do what I wanted just as I would have putting a Hemi Engine in a Chevy.

  15. Robert Dezendorf says:

    I started with the DeWalt 18 volts, then switched to Ryobi 18V because they had more tools and the batteries were almost half the price of the DeWalts. When the first DeWalt 18V battery went bad, I gutted it, lined it with the female guts from the Ryobi flashlight and some epoxy and created an adapter to run DeWalts with Ryobi batteries !

    Since I paid for all of them, I felt I had the right to do what I wanted just as I would have putting a Hemi Engine in a Chevy.

  16. Ashleigh says:

    I am both small and female. I therefor want the lightest weight to power ratio combined with a good balance. Early cordless tools [think gamechanging Makita and Dewalt drill guns] don’t balance right, and later cheap [think Milwaukie and Rigid]cordless are too heavy for me to use for 12+ hour days. I was lucky enough to experience the 1st generation of Makita 18v LIon tools during a semester abroad in London, and promptly purchased the 1/2″ Chuck Drill Gun/Impact Driver set when I returned to the states. Apart from the brushes starting to smell way too soon, I have been perfectly happy with these tools [as, I assume, has the imbecile who stole my first set].

  17. fred says:

    Just some thoughts: We have 40+ year old corded portable power tools that still are reasonably functional – maybe not all of the latest features – but still workable. I’m thinking about our big old Thor and B&D drills which we use for mixing mud. The same can not be said for cordless tools. That’s in part because of the rapid advances that have been made in battery technology – and also somewhat because of battery life. But for what ever reason, when you buy a cordless tool (or a stable of them) you need to figure this reality into your purchase. If you are expecting that you will pay them off over some extended number of years of use – you should think again. But – oh well – that’s true of most tool purchases – as the accountants tell me you need to look at the discounted cash flow (cash in versus out) and if you can pay for it within a year (or even on the first use) – you are much better off. It all depends on your “opportunity cost of capital”. The other issue with battery technology – is that it might be better to consider when you buy into a “platform”. If you had bought some older NiCad or NiMH tools when they were being phased out – you may have gotten a good deal – but that deal might not have come with longevity for battery replacements – other than from aftermarket suppliers.

  18. browndog77 says:

    Kinda surprised that there seems to be little attention paid to one of the most extensive, available & affordable lines out there. The Craftsman 19.2v C3 series is large & still expanding. I currently own (& use often) the 1/2″ drill/driver, the 5 1/2″ circ. saw, the 3/8″ angle drill, the inflator, the blower/vac, the laminate trimmer, the buffer, the caulking gun, the saber saw & two different lights. Some are decidedly do-it-yourselfer quality, but most really do work quite well. I am in the market for their planer, the new one-handed recip saw, & the LED light. I have & use 4 ni-cad batteries & 2 chargers(one in-vehicle), but there are compatible L-ion sets available. I know your article specified the range up to 18v, but this series deserves some recognition.

  19. Shopmonger says:

    To answer that question —simply …yes i look at what else in that line is going to be useful to me. In fact i am going through this right now…… But as for the mot important ….for me now would be a jig saw….but before that i would have to say a recip saw….it is amazing how useful they are……

    ShopMonger

  20. PutnamEco says:

    Re: Julian Tracy Says:
    Driving me nuts the way all the old farts disparage cordless stuff as pretty much useless for real work
    —–
    Much as I love cordless tools, there are time when they just don’t work out well compared to their corded equivalents. Routing, sanding, grinding, mixing, tile cutting, nailing( I’m still waiting for a cordless roofing nailer)framing, where it is very inconvenient to have to keep switching batteries every 15 minutes(or 45 minutes for 36v) in the saw no less the pile of batteries and chargers you have to haul around to keep yourself working, or in the case of nailing, prohibitively expensive and slow.
    There is a time and a place for cordless, but more often than not your better off with a corded tool. They are cheaper in the long run, more powerful, more reliable,and often allow you to work longer and with less interruptions.
    Drives me nuts when some kid has got to use a cordless and ends up slowing down the whole job looking or waiting for a charged battery or taking forever to do something because his battery is cold or doesn’t want to coil up a cord at the end of the day, or worse abusing a cordless tool using it for an application that it is wholly inappropriate.

  21. fred says:

    @PutnamEco

    You hit the nail on the head (well duh – a pneumatic palm nailer beats out one of those Ryobi or Craftsman battery operated nailers) . But just as seriously, if I arrive on a jobsite and see someone with a big selfeed bit chucked in a cordless drill – the lead carpenter or plumber will hear it from me – as it’s just not productive or the right use of tools. That’s a job for a super hole hawg. As you say, it’s the same for mixing mud, routing, planning doors, sanding and lots of other tasks. But as an example of a good application, I think I like our Senco cordless drywall guns – where six or so may be in use at the same time avoiding the spaghetti of extension cords that were the case when we used old Milwaukee screwshooters. Cordless nailers also have their place – and our Paslodes (if you pardon the smell) work well in tight spots like priming out a powder room – where the air hose is a nuisance. BTW I see that Paslode is marketing a stick-on LED light for their guns. Cordless tools might also have the edge when working at elevation – and the guys sure like the cordless reciprocating saws for quick cut-ins in attics and roofs.
    Now for your cordless roofing nailer – we have not tried one of those CO2 rigs with our Hitachi guns (or anything else for that matter) – but can’t imagine they’d work out. Maybe the new Senco can extend the application of their new nitrogen cylinder cordless tool to a roofing nailer – but I bet it’s a challenge. At the other end of the spectrum – I guess that you might call our cut-off machines cordless – except for the pull-rope to start the engine.

  22. ttamnoswad says:

    Battery consistency and future compatibility are most important.

    Dewalt has had the same battery fit for 25 years now? maybe more?

    I need a dewalt cordless planer to round out my system, and I will be all set.

  23. PutnamEco says:

    Re; fred says:
    you might call our cut-off machines cordless – except for the pull-rope to start the engine
    —–
    Have you seen the Hilti DCH 300 ?

  24. Bob says:

    @fred The Senco cordless screwguns? 18v or 14.4v? I’ve stayed away from the 14.4, and haven’t really shopped the 18v. My hilti sf4000a recently met it’s end after 4 years, I’m debating what my next cordless mag-feed will be.

    Also The Makita 18v hammer drill WILL mix mud, even powder compounds, if you absolutely have no other choice… the aroma is lovely and you die a little inside, but you can get the job done. Funny, my mixing drill is a makita too, and it’s about 15 years old.

    The Makita 18v LXT impact driver is a godly little tool. Whoever stole my last one better recognize that fact.

    Finally, I want to know just how many people I have to kill for Makita to make a cordless drywall cutout tool? Their batteries are awesome and their motors are solid, why not make a cutout tool?
    I really like my Li-on Rotozip(Bosch batteries) but I don’t use any other cordless bosch gear.

    Judging by what I just wrote, my next cordless mag-feed screwgun is going to be that BFR750Z in the lower left corner of the picture. Doesn’t that look fierce!!!!

  25. IronHerder says:

    As a disorganized tightwad hobbyist, I went with B&D FireStorm 18V tools when B&D discontinued that line. I now have 7 completely interchangeable batteries (and, yes, they’re NiCd and yes, I will eventually need an after-market supplier–so?). I charge 4 at a time with my 2 (semi-) smart chargers. Not that I could have, but now I don’t need to track down tool-specific batteries (and then charge them before I can start).

    I have a very competent FireStorm drill/driver (2 speed ranges), 2 circular saws (6.5″ and 7.25″, the former with laser! and the latter so that I can use my collection of blades), reciprocating saw, finish nailer, sander, the usual useless vacuum, and 3 flashlights. Still looking to get the jigsaw, radio, impact driver and right-angle drill along with some of B&D’s 18V yard tools. Mind you, I still haven’t sold the duplicate tools that I couldn’t (didn’t) avoid getting when I bought multiple combo sets because “disorganized” trumps “tightwad” every time.

    Before anyone bothers to demonstrate decisively the obvious errors of my ways, remember that I also do things like repair, then use, wooden step ladders (dumb, dumb, dumb), and use a bit and brace to drive the slotted screws that I prefer.

  26. fred says:

    @PutnamEco

    Maybe a Hilti next time – we bought a Partner 750 when one of our Stihl’s disappeared – and the guys say its better – The Stihl was plenty old – and the only complaint was that it vibrated – but cut like the dickens – so time will tell about “better”. When we need anything bigger – I call in a guy who’s got the hydraulic ring saws and the Vermeer machines.

    @Bob

    Our Sencos are the 14.4V variety – only issue with them that I’ve heard is that the strips feed better if you cut them in half. That seems to be true for the Senco we use for decking too.

  27. fred says:

    @Bob

    What I forgot to mention about the Senco’s we have – is that extra batteries are a necessity. Our experience with the Makita LXT tools – is that their 18V LiIon battery is in a whole different class from the 14.4 NiCad’s that the Senco’s use – but hey that’s not surprising since thay are 2 generations in technology apart from each other. Don’t know that I wouldn’t buy Makita BFR750Z’s if we were doing it now – even if they compared equally well – since we have way more LXT batteries. I’d compare them if I could.

  28. Brau says:

    I bought into the Craftsman C3 line: 1/2″ Drill, planer, jigsaw, Air pump, Work light. Have been very pleased with all of them. They’re the first tools I grab around the house. They really come in handy for small jobs, negating a ton of time laying out cables, climbing ladders with cables, people tripping over cables, etc. A jigsaw without a cord is just a plain blessing. Next on my list is a small circ saw for light duty work on exterior window trim. Why Craftsman doesn’t make a C3 cordless random orbit sander befuddles me. I’d buy one yesterday, just to be able to climb up the ladder, sand a couple putty spots, and climb back down.

  29. Brau says:

    If I hadn’t bought into Craftsman (19.3V L. Ion), I would have bought Ryobi, precisely for all the expansion tools that use the same batteries. For me it wasn’t really about the initial price, but more about convenience, availability, warranty (Sears is great) and expandability to cater to future needs.

  30. PutnamEco says:

    Re:fred says:
    Maybe a Hilti next time
    ——–
    The Hilti DCH 300 has a cord, (think about that the next time your in a confined area or down in the ditch). Has a decent option for dust collection as well, probably last at least twice as long as a gas saw.

  31. fred says:

    @PutnamEco

    Thanks – something to think about.

    We have a Bosch 1365 that we bought in early 2008 – gets so little use that it looks new. Maybe we’re not in situations where its as useful – or maybe we suffer from the one-size fits all approach (like using a sledgehammer for all your hammering jobs).

  32. jeff_williams says:

    @PutnamEco & fred
    I used the hilti with the dust collecting vac to cut the floor out of my basement bathroom to move the plumbing. It was so fast and so clean. I forgot to put my toothbrush away and it didn’t even taste like crete dust that night.

  33. Rob says:

    @IronHerder: I sold a B&D Firestorm radio on Ebay a while back. You’ll like it when you get one. Sounds good and cranks loud for a cheapie radio! I just had too many darn radios…

  34. Ron says:

    I bought a Ryobi 18V set in 2004, which included: a drill, flashlight, 5/12 circular saw, reciprocating saw and vacuum. I am still getting good performance out of it. I have only added the radio, and a couple of batteries since then, but I have my eyes on a couple of tools to add. I still use my corded drill for drilling into concrete, but the cordless does everything else. Also need to upgrade to lithium batteries.

  35. Eric R says:

    Dear Makita,

    We all love your tools, thank you…. Could you please find it in your heart to make a LXT cut out tool? 🙂

  36. PutnamEco says:

    Re:
    Eric R Says: Could you please find it in your heart to make a LXT cut out tool?
    —-
    I would rather they made a 36 volt circular and reciprocating saw, along with a higher voltage angle grinder. While we’re dreaming, how about a cordles track saw as well.

  37. K says:

    I’m happy with the Ryobi ONE+ set, especially with the introduction of the longer-running and faster charging li-on batteries (fully backwards compatible with older tools, but not older chargers).

    Among the devices in the ONE+ line, I use the mini-vac and the circular saw the most.

    I’d really like to get the upgraded flashlight (HID), but none of the Home Depot stores near me stock it, and it’s too new to show up cheap on the refurb websites.

  38. PutnamEco says:

    Re: I said
    I’m still waiting for a cordless roofing nailer….
    —-
    Looks like Duofast has stepped up to the plate in honoring my wish
    Via Tool-Rank
    http://www.duofastconstruction.com/products/tools/DFCR175C-cordless-roofing-nailer.htm

  39. Justin says:

    @fred

    Be Careful! There’s now an exception to your otherwise spot-on take re: “giant self-fed bits in a cordless tool”.

    I too was skeptical at first, but I took the plunge on the new Milwaukee M18 2665 7/16-inch HEX High-Torque Impact Wrench (drill). I kid you not, this thing mounts giant 18″ hex-shank ship augers, switchblades, etc., and drives them with power I’ve only seen matched by HYDRAULIC drills! No joke. It’s loud because it uses impacts (it is, after all, a full-on impact wrench outfitted with a quick-change heavy duty drill chuck) but it simply doesn’t stop.

    I’ve drilled giant 2-9/16 holes clean through utility poles and 2-foot wide tree trunks in seconds (not minutes) thanks to 350 FOOT-pounds of torque (yeah, not inch pounds, which would be 4,200 inch-pounds torque).

    Best yet, unlike a super hole hawg, these impact wrenches won’t take your arm off.

    I was so impressed, I went on to additionally buy Milwaukee’s 2662 1/2″ and 2663 3/4″ impact wrenches that use the same body as the 2665. The latter delivers 525 Foot-pounds (6,300 inch-pounds, or about six times the strength of a 1/4″ quick-change DeWalt Impact Driver).

    If you drive lots of Lags, the Ingersoll Rand SK4H13L 1/2-Inch Drive 13-Piece SAE Deep Impact Socket Set is top-quality and avail on Amazon for under $50. When paired with the Milwaukee M18 2662 (friction ring model holds these sockets best), you can drive the biggest lags flush in about 2 seconds. FWIW, Milwaukee’s V28/M28 line seem Inferior to their M18 line when it comes to Impact Wrenches—not sure why.

    The above have been my biggest game changers as of late.

  40. My criteria are threefold: Price, variety of tools, and expected longevity of the product line. When I settled on the Ryobi One+ system, it led in all three categories. (I’m honestly not concerned too much with the durability of the tools themseves — I seldom wear stuff out.)

    But since then, I’ve been less sure of my choice. It took them ages to introduce a 1/2″ impact wrench, which still isn’t available in retail. (I only learned of it thirty seconds ago, while doublechecking some of my gripes for this post.) Likewise, the in-vehicle charger was NiCd-only for years following the introduction of their lithium batteries, an omission that surely hurt lithium’s adoption. And nobody yet makes a car charger that’ll go the other way — using your stock of charged power tool packs to jumpstart an ailing vehicle.

    But what really gets my goat are the flashlights. High-power LEDs have been available for roughly a decade, and they’re still putting incandescent bulbs in flashlights that cost more than $20? Unconscionable! I’ve done a lot of modding in this space, and the difference between what’s offered and what’s possible is literally night and day. And even when they try, they get the basics wrong — the Tek4 LED light is so egregiously misdesigned as to earn a rare spot on my “do not use” list, though I’m helping a friend rebuild one minus the suck.

    Overall, I’d say I’m pretty happy with Ryobi’s One+, though it feels like their efforts are now focused on the lighter 12v and gimmicky Tek4 lines, with the workhorse One+ in danger of becoming a dead-end, if not an outright orphan. I haven’t seen any new tools for the line lately, and they even discontinued their awesome cordless shop vac, leaving DeWalt as the only offering other than useless little dustbuster-style toys.

    Another dead-end line was the surprisingly powerful Black and Decker VPX, based on A123 LiFePO+ batteries. I think B&D dropped it because it was putting their larger, costlier 18v NiCd tools to shame, and the absence of a mini impact driver (similar to Makita’s TD020DSEW) sealed its fate. They also totally missed the main selling point of the A123 batteries, which is that they can be charged to 80% in under 10 minutes! B&D’s weenie little chargers never came close. I still have a pile of these tools and batteries, and am building my own fast-charger to work with the modded flashlights I make.

  41. perry says:

    I’ve had the 18v makita NiMh set (drill,circ,recip,light) along with the 18v 7-1/4″ compound sliding miter saw, and the old 7.2volt laminate trimmer, jigsaw and right angle drill for about 8 years now. the nice part is that they ALL work off of the same charger. I just can’t bring myself to change over to something new until either a battery adapter comes out for my miter saw, or another company makes one. It is my bread and butter moneymaker and I will be said when it finally dies 🙁 some people have pets, I have my old makita tools

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