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Mike (Forum Supporter)
Mike (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/5/21 10:46 p.m.

I had a bunch of 12v Bosch, but when i broke the impact a few years ago, we decided to go DeWalt 20v. I now have an impact and a circular saw from DeWalt.

I'm seriously interested in a heated jacket this winter. I've been eyeing the Bosch 12v jacket for a while, but DeWalt has a ton of different options, including a heated hoodie. Milwaukee sells a lighter socket cable for their jacket, but I'm not getting into another ecosystem. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/5/21 11:12 p.m.

My 18v dewalt drill worked great for about 18 years. 20v brushless drill, driver and impact now. Very happy. 

My 80v kobalt line trimmer with various attachments is a beast. 

captainawesome HalfDork
1/6/21 7:57 a.m.

My Dewalt 18v batteries finally got to a point they wouldn't hold a charge long enough for real world use. I sold the whole set of tools, and that helped pay for my Ryobi 1/2" drill and impact. The only thing that has me wanting the old Dewalt back, is the drill doesn't like to hold bits when a little "pressure" is applied during the drilling process. I can get over that, just a little annoying. Still have a 1/4" Dewalt impact in 20v, and while I would have liked to keep it all in the family the cost is just more than I could justify when Ryobi is usually half the price with 7/8 of the ability.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
1/6/21 8:46 a.m.

I jumped into the DeWalt ecosystem last year when I went with a 40v trimmer. Followed that up with a screwgun/impact combo on sale to start digging in more, so I now have 2 20v batteries and one 40v monster. I built half of my deck with the 40v battery on the screw gun and didn't have to recharge it and was still showing 1 bar when done. Quite impressed. 

I just got an adapter to use these batteries with my old Craftsman 19.2v tools so I can limp along for a bit as I buy new tools and retire those.

D2W Dork
1/6/21 9:16 a.m.

I have always been a big fan of the Ryobi. Lots of choices, easy access, my batteries fit everything from drill driver, to 1/2" impact, to sawzall, to leaf blower and weed eater. They are not the most powerful, or most durable, but for the money they can't be beat for home use. At work we use Dewalt. Still more reasonable than Milwaukee, and just as durable. We have had really good luck with them. And the drill driver has a 1/2" chuck which opens up all kinds of options for hand drilling big hole.


I'll start by saying all these tools have been used professionally. We are hard on them. Regularly running #14 x4" screws into wood and #14 drill and taps into steel, 3" hole saws and 5 days a week. This is also over the last 20 years.

I started with DeWalt. They were great for about 6 months. I fought them for another 6 months, stripped a gear box and pitched the drill off the top of a 12' ladder. This was on a job in South Georgia in the middle of nowhere installing 11 door packages. I finished that job with a corded drill and wasn't very happy about it. That was the end of DeWalt for me. At the time I was working for another company and that was what they bought. They were a continuing problem for as long as I worked there. Granted this was probably close to 20 years ago. I'm sure they have improved.

Next up was Bosch. Great drill. Except their trigger only lasted about a year. Then all you had was high speed. Moving on. 

Hitachi. I got almost 2 years out of their drill and impact. Great batteries, impacts are perfect, the drill clutch sucks and won't hold a setting. These still exist in my home shop. They are going on 15 years old. The batteries still work. The drill still sucks. I don't mind fighting it at home, but they are useless on the job.

Makita was next. Great drill and impact. Probably some of the best in the business. Unfortunately, their batteries are crap unless you treat them like glass and they are stupid expensive. The tools will draw the batteries down far enough the charger won't charge them. After killing 3 batteries over a year, I gave them to my business partner and he uses them in the warehouse. They will last forever in that environment.  

Ridgid was next. Outstanding stuff. Lifetime battery warranties, and tools that take a serious beating. These are what we use on the service and install trucks. I think we are up to 5 drills, 5 impacts, 2 rotary hammer drills, 2 circular saws, 2 demo saws and  2 grinders along with 15 or so batteries across 3 trucks. The drills last about 2 years before we destroy them but they are cheap enough to replace we just buy new ones when they die. The rest of the tools just keep working. In the last 8-9 years we haven't had one battery failure though a couple of the originals are getting a little tired. A bullet proof system. We will be sticking with them for the foreseeable future.

The last set I bought for me was the Milwaukee 12v drill and impact. I had tried Ridgid's 12v setup and they are very light duty. The Milwaukee tools are much better built and the drill has a 1/2" chuck. I've been very happy with them as well. I don't use the tools as hard as the other guys do. 

The Hitachi set at home is ready for the bin. They will probably get replaced with a Milwaukee 18v set sometime soon. 

Edit: There was at least one Ryobi drill in there somewhere several years ago. It was decent but not near durable enough for what we do with them. The gear box got so noisy we couldn't use it in the hospitals so I gave it to one of the guys. 


bobzilla MegaDork
1/6/21 9:28 a.m.

I've really only got the Dewalt 20V impact and a black and decker drill.  Both are 3-4 years old and on the original battery. Both get used a lot. Don't know if they're the "wrong" ones, but they worked for me. 

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/6/21 11:31 a.m.

Been happy with the Kobalt 24v impact, drill and saw all k got 3 years ago. The impact started to act up recently, was exchanged at Lowe's with no hassle.

93gsxturbo SuperDork
1/6/21 1:02 p.m.

Ill recommend Milwaukee M12 and M18 to anyone.  They are truly the best by a wide margin.  

engiekev HalfDork
1/6/21 1:12 p.m.
flatlander937 said:



I'm a big fan of the Milwaukee M12 line, and of course the M18 as well. My absolute favorite tool has to be the M12 stubby 3/8 impact. The thing is so small and can go anywhere and has tons of power. I have the M18 1/2in mid torque which covers up to 550 ft lb install/650 ft lb removal which is about all I'll regularly need. 

The M12 hammer drill and 1/4 hex impact are great as well. The small impact almost exclusively gets used with a 1/4 square bit with a 10mm magnetic socket for 95% of the small interior stuff I need to do. The drill is small but will twist your arm off.

Eventually I will probably get a 1/4 ratchet and the high torque 1/2-in drive impact just because I already have the batteries for both and they might come in handy.

I will actually probably pick up an M12 1/2-in drive stubby just for track use because it's so darn convenient and lightweight.

As a homeowner, I primarily bought in because they have tons of useful stuff for around the house as well which will come eventually as well.

Get the 3/8" brushed milwaukee ratchet, can be had for $80, easily turns into your most used tool. You'll never use the air ratchets again.

ebelements Reader
1/6/21 2:59 p.m.

I stayed away from cordless as long as I could, thinking they just didn't have the power or longevity for the way I worked. That was, until I watched a buddy fly through some automotive disassembly using a dewalt impact set up with a 3/8 adapter. Around that time I got into watching AvE on YouTube and based on his teardowns I went with Makita 18v—seemed like the right blend of robustness and value for a home-gamer like myself. 

Pretty happy with the decision, and I now have a small and large impact, drill, recip saw, and a 12v Makita portable inflator. Pretty much just the tools I get frustrated running an extension cord for. I also own a couple Makita "inspired" tools from eBay that use the Makita batteries and work just about as well, an angle grinder and impact driver with a 3/8s head. Those are car-duty only and get beat mercilessly. I could care less if I murder them, after all, it's hard to care as they each cost at or under a case of cheap beer(shipped!).

Knowing what I know now I might have gone with the yellow tools, as everyone else I know uses those. Something to be said for battery compatibility when working on projects with others.

350z247 New Reader
1/6/21 4:09 p.m.

I absolutely love my Ryobi tools, and they have a ton of different tools for home, yard, and garage jobs. Between myself and my dad, we've bought 30 or 40 different tools from them over the last 10 years, and the only one to give out was a $50 leaf blower. The batteries have been the same base connection style the entire time we've been using them, and they're usually on sale several times a year for ridiculously cheap. Milwaukee is the best in my eyes, but I just can't justify paying twice as much for a tool that is only slightly nicer.

californiamilleghia SuperDork
1/6/21 5:52 p.m.

what the best cheapest 1/2 inch impact wrench , 

with a battery and charger ?

for the 3/8 ratchet the good cheap  one seems to be the AC Delco one for $70 

02Pilot UltraDork
1/6/21 6:32 p.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

It's hard to beat the HF EarthquakeXT unit for $~250. It's dealt with everything I've thrown at it so far.

OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/6/21 6:52 p.m.
Boost_Crazy said:

I love the Milwaukee M18 and M12 tools. I’ve found the M12 tools more useful more of the time. Compact and lightweight, plenty for most jobs. I break out the M18 tools for bigger jobs. One of my favorite tools is their Hackzall...

I didn’t get what the big deal was with the funny looking Sawzall, until I used - perfectly balanced for one handed use. I use this for all kinds of stuff, and it’s my favorite tool for pruning. 


Just ordered a Red Hackzall based on this post. Thanks!

I've been an M12 Milwaukee believer since the first time I was handed an M12 drill\driver. The light weight to power ratio is so good. Wife got me a 1/2" M12 Fuel stubby impact driver last Christmas and I also picked up a 6.0 battery for additional Ugga Duggas.

...you can do a lot worse.




Cactus HalfDork
1/6/21 10:36 p.m.

I'm happy with bosch 18v stuff. Battery grinder and sawzall get a lot of use. Some days more than the impacts.

tester (Forum Supporter)
tester (Forum Supporter) Reader
1/6/21 11:10 p.m.

I had a corded Ryobi about 15 years ago that didn't survive more than a few months into home ownership.  The chuck and the gear set gave up. I guess they have improved based on comments here.  A Black and Decker cordless died within months of the Ryobi.  I was doing a lot of stuff around the house, hanging blinds, replacing fence pickets, deck repair. Being held up by 2 consumer grade drills in a row was enough for me.  That is when I ponied up for  a Dewault drill-driver combo.  I still have 18V Lithium batteries that are at least 10 years old. The original NiCAds that came with the drill are long dead, but the tools and the Lithium batteries keep on trucking through regular weekend warrior stuff. I keep expecting them to simply stop taking a charge or be dead every time I walk out to the garage.  I used the drill last weekend to repair a by fold door. Worked like a champ. The wait continues. 

These days, I would probably go for Milwaukee for the ratchets and small impacts. They are pretty sweet. I may jump into the M12 line up later this year. 

engiekev HalfDork
1/7/21 6:37 a.m.
OHSCrifle said:
Boost_Crazy said:

I love the Milwaukee M18 and M12 tools. I’ve found the M12 tools more useful more of the time. Compact and lightweight, plenty for most jobs. I break out the M18 tools for bigger jobs. One of my favorite tools is their Hackzall...


I didn’t get what the big deal was with the funny looking Sawzall, until I used - perfectly balanced for one handed use. I use this for all kinds of stuff, and it’s my favorite tool for pruning. 


Just ordered a Red Hackzall based on this post. Thanks!

I've been an M12 Milwaukee believer since the first time I was handed an M12 drill\driver. The light weight to power ratio is so good. Wife got me a 1/2" M12 Fuel stubby impact driver last Christmas and I also picked up a 6.0 battery for additional Ugga Duggas.

...you can do a lot worse.




We have the m12 hackzall, and with the higher capacity batteries it powers through almost as well as a corded unit with way better ergonomics!

kb58 SuperDork
1/7/21 7:23 a.m.

Dewalt 20V brushless drill for the garage (and a screw driver that uses the same battery). They're awesome, and the batteries last a really long time.

For outdoor stuff, went with Ryobi 40V for the chainsaw, weed whacker, and hedge trimmer. They work great, but lately have been disappointed with the big ($100)  battery that no longer holds much of a charge, even though the charger says that it's fully charged. It's about 3 yrs old so pretty sure there's no warranty.

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/7/21 9:25 a.m.

Considering the volume of work I do I own a shockingly small amount of cordless stuff (pretty much just 1/4 impact, 1/2 impact, regular/hammer drill, and right angle drill, some multiples within there, also a circular saw and leaf blower) but being a mechanic I've tried a bunch of other stuff and have some school-owned stuff at work and while I think Milwaukee is overall tops in that game, i still use Ryobi. I've been using Ryobi since I was using my dad's stuff as a kid and in that entire time practically the only thing that has broken were the old nicd batteries.  The only tool i can say ive been disappointed in was the original brushed 1/2" impact. I had to repair it multiple times because the motor was not held tightly enough into the case and would vibrate its soldered leads off the motor. I reattached them a couple of times before i got tired of it and just cut it up to use the battery socket to adapt my daughter's little 12v ride-on toy car to use 18v Ryobi batteries. cheeky

Being that that was the only thing i really had issues with but ALSO my second most-needed tool, i looked around thinking 'surely Ryobi must have a brushless version of this tool by now' and sure enough they did, BUT it was not on sale in the US even though it had been out in other markets for like a year. I ended up buying it off Amazon UK and just paying $4 for currency conversion and $20 to ship it across the ocean and so far i like that one too. Ryobi's 1/2 impacts are definitely on the weak, weak side of 1/2 cordless stuff, but one interesting anecdote i've noticed is that they're still stronger than using my IR Titanium impacts on the end of a 50' air hose! Hmm!

350z247 New Reader
1/7/21 10:19 a.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

I just got the Ryobi 1/2 impact for $100 with a charger, large battery, and carry bag. It's rated to 300ft-lbs. So far, I love it.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/7/21 5:41 p.m.

I used a Craftsman 12v set for years and had no problems with it. In the end, the batteries just wore out.  I'm only to casual user, though I did put them through a lot of home-improvement projects. 

I wanted good selection at decent prices and went with Makita. The honest reason is that at the time I was getting a lot of Home Depot gift cards from work and they didn't carry Dewalt. I have the standard drill driver and impact driver, along with a saws all, compressor and impact gun. I have been very happy with them so far and haven't found any issues with battery life. 

Makita don't make no three 8 inch compact socket wrench, so I went with the Milwaukee. I really like the small size and small battery and may pick up a few more things in this line as well. 

Boost_Crazy HalfDork
1/7/21 10:11 p.m.

Home Depot had a killer deal on an M18 1/2” impact- M12 3/8” rachet combo. I saw  it in the store on Tues. night, but couldn’t find it online, except on this site that says the deal expired- may be worth a look in your local store...



I’ve never seen a kit geared toward automotive, or with a mix of M18/M12 before. 

flatlander937 HalfDork
1/7/21 10:24 p.m.

In reply to Boost_Crazy :

Those are the non-Fuel models. Basically not really worth it. There is a huge difference in the power of the regular brushed stuff and the Fuel impacts. We had the compact 3/8 non-Fuel impacts at work and they're basically worthless. Won't take off many cars lug nuts, bulky, etc. We finally got the M18 mid torque gen2 to replace them. Massive difference.


I have heard the Fuel vs non-Fuel ratchets is a preference thing though... The brushed ratchets are physically smaller in diameter apparently. Haven't used either yet. I honestly don't use air ratchets that much, when I do it's a 1/4in. I could probably count on one hand the times I use a 3/8 air ratchet yearly.

procainestart Dork
1/7/21 10:35 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:
ProDarwin said:

I have Dewalt 18v tools.  I'm at a weird point where 2 of the 4 batteries I have finally died.  Replacing the batteries costs almost as much as upgrading to 20v.  I am not a fan of throwing out tools & chargers that otherwise work fine though.  I've looked into to off-brand battery packs and they have reviews that are absolute garabge :(



On my old 18V impact and right-angle drills, this adapter drains the battery if I leave it on the tool, so I have to pull the battery off after every use. On the impact, with the adapter, it'll kinda stand up when I set the tool down; it won't stand up on the drill. Not a huge deal, but kind of annoying. I also find the release buttons to be pretty hard to use. I was sufficiently disappointed with the battery drain issue and how hard it is to remove the adapter that I switched to Ridgid when I needed another tool.

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