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Old 12-18-2011, 09:46 AM
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**What brands of power/pneumatic/cordless tools do you prefer?

Back in '87 when I was 19, I got a part time job at a now defunct Hardware chain called US general Hardware, and they had a store at our large, local shopping mall. This job supplemented my other part time job at a gas station.

Anyway, I had already worked as a machinist for 2.5 years, and had taken metal shop in school, but I wasn't experienced in carpentry or wood working(aside from building a few forts as kids), so although I knew which brands of hand tools were good, I didn't really know which brands of power tools were best.

So, the manager gave me a course on power tools. At that time('87), the homeowner grade tool brands were: Black & Decker, Skil, Craftsman. The Professional grade tool brands were: Milwaukee, Porter Cable and Makita. At that point in time, there was no such thing as Ridgid or Dewalt(Or at least they were not to be found anywhere in this region)

Of all the pro grade power tools, Milwaukee had the best reputation, and by far the best warranty. We were told that if a customer came in to return a tool made by Makita, Porter Cable, etc., we had to tell them to return it to the manufacturer, and even then, they only had a relatively short warranty.

However, we were told that if a customer returned a Milwaukee tool, we were not to ask any questions, even if it was 50 years old, or if it was brand new and didnt appear to be broken. We were told simply to take the returned tool, and swap it with a brand new tool of the same type with no questions asked! That was Milwaukee's warranty...... Replace regardless of reason with no questions....

Unfortunately, too many dishonest people abused this warranty, and returned tools simply because they wanted the newer model, even though nothing was wrong with their current tool. So Milwaukee eventually had to end this open-end warranty, or go out of business. But I realized that they must be making some darn good tools to be that confident with their warranty for so long.

I learned long ago, that even if you dont use your tools on a daily basis, it's best to spend the extra money and buy pro stuff if you can. It will last much longer, and you WILL get your money's worth in the long or short run. Although, some of the older homeowner grade power tools were pretty darn good!

So, when I was shopping for new rechargeable power tools in the last 10 years or so, I noticed when comparing the battery life, and power/torque of each tool, that Milwaukee was always at the top of the list.

Then Ridgid became the primary pro tools sold by Home Depot, and I believe that the Ridgid company might even be owned by Home Depot. So, I started comparing Ridgid to the rest, and noticed that Ridgid was right up there with Milwaukee. Plus, since Home Depot owns Ridgid, they can charge less for Ridgid tools, because they are skipping the middle man when selling them. They also gave me a lifetime warranty on MOST of the Ridgid tools I bought, including replacement batteries!

Then there's Dewalt. They came out and became popular in the mid 90's. I know lots of people who use them, and they say they are good. The reason I dont care for them is two-fold: 1. They are made by Black & Decker, who has made some of the crappiest tools in existence. 2. Dewalt tools immediately became a fad, even before they had developed a reputation, good or bad, simply because they were new, bright yellow, and cool looking, and I dont follow fads. But, like I said, I know people who swear by them, so........

But, when it comes to power/pneumatic/cordless tools, I've bought mostly Ridgid, then Milwaukee, lastly Porter Cable. I also own Ingersoll Rand stuff. I have not needed to return or replace any pro grade tool made by these companies so far(knock on wood!)

What about you?

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Old 12-18-2011, 11:48 PM
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Chicago Pneumatic (CP) for anything air powered, still the best.
“She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.”

— Han Solo
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:48 AM
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Last cordless drills I bought were Porter Cable, don't know what I would buy today; then they were tops or close to it.

The Ingersoll Rand #231 and the Chicago Pneumatic #731-2 (in the MAC cover) are the same tool.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:36 AM
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now that i no longer mech for a living (read dont see a tool truck once a week)
I am starting to buy more craftsman stuff

I had a problem with my 19.2v batt charger last week
I put a batt in it (a little roughly I will admit, its probably my fault ) there was a big spark inside, and then it just quit working

so I to it back to sears (with no receipt) I told them I bought it just about 14 mo. ago (1 yr warranty)
they couldnt find a record of me buying it, so they called a manager up front and asked him what to do
he didnt even flinch, just said give him a new one, take care of it!

so the young man went to get me a new one off the shelf, and I asked if I could apply that amount of money (what the replacement cost)
toward a kit with a charger and 2 more extra batts.
he said, "you bet, whatever you want"
then I asked if I could use my $10 coupon on tools, toward the difference in price
he said "you bet whatever you want"

I walked out of there with a new charger and 2 new extra batts. for about $30

that really impressed me, and will have me coming back to sears for more craftsman
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:23 PM
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I like the better professional tools, but it seems like the rechargeable stuff doesn't last forever anyway. I've been through like four Craftsman rechargeable drills, when they upgrade the technology the old stuff becomes obsolete so when you need a new battery you are better off just buying whole new tool. When it came time time again I bought a Hitachi, didn't know anything about them but I was impressed that you can use the new or old batteries in old or new tools. side note: The new ion batteries are far superior than the NIcd batteries. I got a good price on factory refurbished drill, with light, two batteries, and charger. So far I am really happy with it. I think I'll buy the little circular saw to go with. And you can buy the tools seperately without having to buy another battery and charger.
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:36 PM
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snap on or bluepoint pnumatic tools are the best, I get them cheap at pawn shop gotta keep checking. Craftsman stuff is good sockets wrenches etc...I only use rigid cordless (send it in for free lifetime repair or replce except batterys and chargers) The big electric snap on cordless impact kicks *** worth every penny 550 ft lbs torque! the bluepoint 8 inch bondo buster and line file are indestructable and worth every penny also. I learned thid after buying dozens of cheapies...more than enough to have bought the good stuff first!
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:19 PM
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"adapting down"

Hello sir! I enjoyed your ? because it gives me a chance to share some of my stored experience.. Blue Point is expensive but when it comes to air tools the comfort and performance is worth every penny.. IR makes a pretty decent tool.
the thing I want to stress to you is that your tools will only work as well as you maintain them.. make a water removing filter using the thread on this website and oil sparingly at the beginning and end of each extended use... Too much oil or air pressure will blow the seals on any gun.. not enough and well you might as well slumming at garage sales

Ryobi 18v cordless tools have set a good record in my book.. when I was home on Vacation a few years back I went to Home Depot and bought the whole line of All in One battery power tools.. a couple of years later they came out with the Lithium Ion batteries that fit the same tools and with a small orgasm I promptly replaced as many of my Nicd batteries as I could afford at the time

gear Wrenches should also be top quality ... slim and comfortable.. remember that fine tooth gear wrenches can withstand less torque but offer more precise turning for those tight places..get a set of stubbies..

AIR WILL TAKE MORE ABUSE SO WHEN IT COMES TO ELECTRIC lastly adapt down using larger tools to do smaller jobs when it comes to electric .. this will save you from ovrheating (put the stress on the sockets).. the trick is to use good quality impact sockets etc. recently I took a 1/4" chrome swivel and put it on my 1/2" drive battery impact to rebuild battery boxes and it removed 13mm bolts with no problem UNTIL JOE SNUFFY CAME ALONG AND PUT MY HANDY ADAPTER ON AN AIR GUN @&%$$
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