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79rex Reader
6/19/20 2:17 p.m.

if milwaukee is high on price (which it is) Ryobi seems to be an excellent second choice.  My dad bought their cordless weedwacker.  It makes easy work of the relatively large yard on one of their heavy duty batteries. 

Honsch New Reader
6/19/20 2:24 p.m.

I upgraded my 18v Bosh NiCad stuff circa 2005 to Mikita brushless about two years ago.

The new stuff is outstanding.  The brushless stuff is smaller, lighter, more powerful, and more energy efficient.

Go brushless, it's worth the expense.

FooBag (Forum Supporter)
FooBag (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/19/20 2:37 p.m.

I want to love the Ryobi set up, especially with all their unique tools (pool vacuum even!) but the weak, brushed 1/2 impact immediately deter me from making the switch.  At only 300 ft/lbs, it's a joke.

old_ HalfDork
6/19/20 2:52 p.m.

I've had Ridgid for years. I bought them specifically for the "lifetime service agreement". I've had several batteries replaced under the agreement. You must register the tools and batteries right after you get them to receive the warranty. Their new compact line seems to be very impressive. Ridgids tool selection is not nearly as impressive as others though. If you just need the basics then it's a good choice. They usually have some pretty good black Friday and father's day deals.


Ryobi is neat just because of the broad selection of tools and inexpensive prices. If you keep an eye out for sales you can get some good deals. They do have the diy/homegamer stigma. It seems like the tools are a little less powerful, little larger, little heavier than the "big boy" tools. If you have a use for all the different gadgets they offer and don't care about the homegamer stigma they are a good choice. 


I'm not sold on the current harbor freight bauer and hercules offerings. They seem to get decent reviews but the two different lines with seemingly very little difference between the two is just weird. As of now none of the tools are brushless. They are really behind the curve compared to other brands. I imagine at least the Hercules line will eventually switch over to brushless but who knows. The prices don't seem all that great compared to name brands that can be had on sale pretty regularly. 




02Pilot UltraDork
6/19/20 3:54 p.m.

There are deals to be had on the Milwaukee stuff - one of those HD package deals was what got me started. The M12 lineup is remarkably handy for all kinds of things; I haven't bitten the bullet on the M18 line as I haven't seen enough different things I'd need to make it worthwhile at a price I can tolerate.

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/19/20 4:53 p.m.

I have a lot of the Dewalt 20v line.  I love those tools.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/19/20 5:05 p.m.

I used to work in warranty repair for tools so I've seen them all.

The big names are all under the same roof.... still unique manufacturing, but all owned by Home Depot.  Ryobi, Ridgid, Dewalt, Homelite gas stuff, Black and Decker, and Porter Cable are all owned by one umbrella under the Home Depot USA brand.

As far as quality, Milwaukee is the bee's knees.  For me, I personally went down the Ridgid rabbit hole.  They are an excellent quality system, and I just can't argue with the lifetime warranty.  I've had tools come in for repair from the mid 2000s, and not only are parts still available, Ridgid doesn't ask questions.  It's free.  If they don't have parts, you get new or reman unit without question.  Last I checked, Milwaukee is 5 years.

One word of advice:  Ridgid does not make it easy to register the warranty, and you MUST register to get the lifetime coverage.  Once you're in the system, you're golden.  A close second (and of similar quality) would be Dewalt.  I have a bunch of Dewalt stuff at the shop and it is taking daily abuse quite well.  All of the Dewalt stuff I have is probably 8 years old and they get abused 7 days a week, 325 days a year.

I used to have a couple Ryobi things in the shop because Ryobi has made it their mission to make every possible tool as a cordless version.  You can get a cordless palm nailer for cripes sake.  I have also broken every single one of them so many times they ended up in the trash.  For serious use, Ryobi is something I would never do.  For a weekend hobbyist, they're great.

Highest quality/5 year warranty: Milwaukee
Great quality/lifetime warranty:  Ridgid
Great quality/5 year warranty:  Dewalt
Poor quality/5 year warranty:  Ryobi

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/19/20 5:09 p.m.

I do get a little jealous when I pick up a buddy's Milwaukee driver.  They're light, quiet, and so powerful.  Whatever they have done with engineering the impact part of the drivers makes driving screws such a joy.  My Ridgid stuff I find to be 90% the quality and oomph, but lifetime warranty.  I  have a drill/driver set from 2005 that refuses to die.  One of the batteries finally gave up and I got a new one under warranty.  I also have a drill/driver from about 2014 that is great.

I ended up buying 4 sets of Ridgid for the theater shop along with the sawzall, circ saw, jobmax, router, the works.  Love it.

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/19/20 5:17 p.m.

I have 1 Milwaukee tool and 2 Dewalt tools. I'm a homeowner. I like the Milwaukee better, but it isn't worth the price for me - the exception would be cutting tools, I'll stick with Milwaukee.


My brother is a tradesman. He uses them every day. He makes fun of my Dewalt stuff and calls it "prosumer" grade. He acknowledges it works just fine though. He is all Milwaukee and Makita, trending hard towards Milwaukee. 


I think for a homeowner, I'd get whatever is on sale near you in Milwaukee/Dewalt/Rigid/Makita/Bauer. If the pocketbook allows, go for Milwaukee.



mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/19/20 5:18 p.m.

Curtis, thanks for the rundown on your experiences. I'll have to consider Rigid in the future, I never had before.

Work with cordless tool for a living ...  #1  Milwaukee Fuel    #2 Rigid

Inside my van is almost all red.

californiamilleghia Dork
6/19/20 5:33 p.m.

thanks Curtis , are all the batteries  the same inside or do they use lower quality cells on the cheaper models ?

and whats the best way to get the longest use out of a new battery ?


RevRico PowerDork
6/19/20 5:48 p.m.

One thing to keep in mind with rigid lifetime warranty, you have to physically take it to a service center them pick it up again. For me, that was 2 hours each way, and part of why I switched to baur at 10 minutes away.

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/19/20 6:11 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Those brands are not owned by Home Depot, some are exclusively sold by Home Depot but not owned by them. TTI owned brands for the most parts are manufactured under the same roof but the engineering and development is all owned independently by the individual brands.

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/19/20 7:44 p.m.

Yep, Ryobi has the same parent corporation as Milwaukee and I hear a lot of good things about them.  Milwaukee/TTI has invested heavily in battery technology and it shows, and I think this filters down to Ryobi too.  I have a bunch of Milwaukee stuff and it's great, but tends to be overengineered and heavy.  and expensive.

My little 1/2" Hilti impact gun is smaller and sleeker than anything Milwaukee and punches way above it's weight.  Hilti's not a name you hear mechanics use often, it's mostly construction tools, but got it as a present (my BIL works there) and I would not trade it for anything else.  Unfortunately it's even more money than a Milwaukee.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/19/20 7:49 p.m.

In reply to jwagner (Forum Supporter) :

Hilti stuff is awesome. It's not cheap, but it's definitely buy it once and buy it for life. The service life is infinite. 

Steve_Jones Reader
6/19/20 8:00 p.m.

No matter what you decide, this place has deals. Sometimes, crazy deals. 


mr2s2000elise SuperDork
7/7/20 5:06 p.m.

Well my Ryobi after 14 years, 12V finally died. I really was limping it last two years. 


Had a $30 gift card. So this cost me $68. Just picked it up





Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/7/20 6:25 p.m.

I work with guys with the Milwaukee fuel series that have had some problems but overall they are a great tool.


I've used Ryobi for a lot of years, most of them including the battery are 10 years old and they get used hard a lot. They are about 95 percent as good as Milwaukee from my experience

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/7/20 6:38 p.m.

I chose Ryobi, FWIW.  Very much enjoying the circular saw.

MrFancypants Reader
7/7/20 6:48 p.m.

I committed to Kobalt. I have their 24v large and small 1/2" impact guns, both are good. I bought a string trimmer and leaf blower for the 24v batteries and the blower is good, but the trimmer has a bizarre, non standard string spool that's awful to use.

Last week I bought an 80v Kobalt push mower and I haven't had it long enough to say anything more than it does what it was advertised to do and cuts grass. It's self propelled so the uneven lot my house is on is much easier to deal with, cuts effortlessly, and makes a lot less noise than a cheap Black and Decker string trimmer.

Patientzero HalfDork
7/7/20 6:53 p.m.

I just found this corporate breakdown of who owns what.


Also found this.  https://toolsinaction.com/who-makes-what-tools/


Stanley Black & Decker


Techtronic Industries (TTI)






Apex Tool Group


Emerson Tools




Click the link to see more.

procainestart Dork
7/7/20 7:23 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

How about 20v dewalt and you can get an adapter on Ebay to use the 20v dewalt battery in the older 18v dewalts , 


In my experience, leaving the adapter and battery on the tool drains the battery. In addition, they designed one adapter to work with a bunch of tools, so the balance is wonky: tools that I used to be able to set down on their battery now just topple over. Not the end of the world, but annoying. Finally, the spring-loaded connectors on the adapter make it hard as hell to remove.

mr2s2000elise SuperDork
7/7/20 8:15 p.m.

In reply to procainestart :

Do you recommend taking the battery out of tool after usage ? 

dxman92 HalfDork
7/7/20 8:33 p.m.

My parents have one of those Kobalt electric mowers and have nothing but good things to say about it.

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