Cordless Tools vs. Other Options

   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #81  
I went to 20V adapters as soon as I could get them. You can get 2 20V lithium batteries and adapters from Amazon for the price of one 20v Dewalt battery. I have adapted all my 18V tools to 20V. I have 2 20V grinders one adapted to a chainsaw bar. It also has a chainsaw disc. I never would have dreamed I would be using cordless impact wrenches, but I have them from 3/8 to 3/4 and love them. all dewalt. they make a big impact with 900 ft lbs of torque. I still have the 1in drive air wrench and the other smaller ones, but most of the time the compressor only is used to blow out air filters and air up tires.
   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #82  
I bought a 20 volt dewalt drill and skill saw and several cheap knock off batteries which work as well as the brand name on Amazon. Once I got used to the 20 volt 5 and 6 amph batteries I was very unsatisfied with my 18 volt nicad sawsall. So I bought this on amazon for less than 20 bucks:

   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #83  
I've been using Makita 18V lithium-battery tools for 10-15 years, and couldn't be more pleased. In the shop, a drill sits with its battery attached for weeks at a time, and it's always ready to use when I grab it. I've never had a battery go flat between uses.

I have four batteries -- two of the old-style 3 amp-hour, and two of the new-style 5 amp-hour. Once charged, they sit on the shelf ready to swap-out on the drill when I deplete its battery, or on another tool.

My wife and I have done four major construction projects (large deck, tractor shed, solar power system, and observatory) using Makita 18V tools, and they performed admirably. The only shortcoming is the circular saw is wimpy. It doesn't "cut it" when I need to saw pressure-treated 2X lumber. OTOH, it did fine cutting Hardieplank siding with a diamond blade.

The new Makita 18V charger seems to be fairly "smart," and I'm comfortable leaving batteries (I have the dual charger) on it for long periods. But I do remove them and store them on the shelf when I notice they're charged.

Bottom line: I've had excellent performance from Makita 18V Li-ion batteries for 10-15 years. Even though all batteries self-discharge over time, mine almost always have plenty of charge when I start a project.

--- Mike
   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #84  
Cordless tools are really expensive compared to corded. In my experience corded have significantly more power as well. A good generator is needed for any diy’er Or professional. My generator has a build in welder and it has enough power to run multiple tools at a work site. I can also use it as backup if the power fails in my home. Efficiency & cost drive my business as well as my personal life. The marketers will do anything to separate us from our currency. 😃
   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #85  
I've had a Ridgid set of cordless tools that have Brushless motors with the Lithium Ion 18v 4.Ah batteries since 2017, they seem to last forever without re-charge. If I were advising anyone on cordless tools, I'd say make sure you get 18/20v (same thing really) LiIon batteries, name brand with brushless motors and you will be happy.
   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #86  
Lithium batteries do seem to run stronger and longer in addition to being lighter in weight than their NiCd or NiMH counterparts. The downside to me is that while in use there seems to be no slow down or tapering off of power when they run out. They transition instantly from good to dead. With the older batteries I knew when charge was getting low.

This is pretty much spot on. When lithium batteries are low on charge they don't slow down, the just stop.

BUT a lot of the newer batteries are starting to have gauges on them letting you know charge level.

For cordless I use Makita, and I've had batteries last over a year and still have plenty of charge in them.

My buddy has Milwaukee, while they have a longer warranty... he's actually had to use his warranty on his stuff quite a bite. My Makita stuff get dropped, used daily, occasionally ran over, and I haven't had a single tool fail yet. So cordless, I stick with Makita.

Funny enough, corded, I go with Milwaukee.
   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #87  
I totally get what you mean, that you don't want to be tied to a certain brand/make. There are some options for adapters;

If you end up getting an adapter or two, make sure as to NOT go with a cheap China knock off. They'll fry either your battery or your tool. Read ALL of the reviews for any that you consider getting.

FYI, I'm a DeWalt and Milwaukee owner.

There are still a few things to consider when shopping for cordless tools;

1. Weight.
This is a big one for me. Around the house, or if I'm doing something overhead, I don't need a heavy tool. So I have some Milwaukee M12 tools. When I'm outdoors away from a power source, I use my DeWalt 20v tools and take as many batteries with me as I think I'll need to get the job done.

The Milwaukee batteries rarely need charging up if they've been sitting for months. But I typically top one or two up when I'm planning on doing some around the house chores.

2. Volatge.
This is the next important thing to consider. The amount of voltage determines how much power your tool is going to have. My Milwaukee M12 impact driver CAN NOT compare to my DeWalt 20v impact driver. The DeWalt just has so much more torque than the Milwaukee.

Having said that, some tools are coming out with what's called "flexvolt". The tools can run off two different voltage batteries. One of note is the DeWalt 20/60 flexvolt. Bigger, heavier, more power and longer run time. They can run larger tools like yard tools (leaf blower, trimmer, edger, lawnmower, as well as table saw, etc....).

3. Amp Hours.
Another useful thing to consider. This will determine how long your tool will run. A 5ah battery will almost last double a 3ah battery. But the weight of the higher amp hours will be considerably greater.

4. Available tools.
This can vary considerably from manufacturers. Go to their website to see everything that they have available for a certain battery type. If they make everything you are looking for, then they're probably the preferred manufacturer. It all depends on what types of tools you're going to need.

For charging my batteries when I'm nowhere near a power source, I typically use a generator and charge as many as I can at once. I'll use all of my battery chargers and run my generator for a couple of hours. I've never tried using a Jackery or similar. A while back, I had read that charging batteries from batteries (ie. a Jackery) you loose a lot of the power. That's why I've always used a generator instead. I have no power out at the cabin, and that's typically where I'm doing lots of work that my cordless tools are needed.

Having said all of that, I do have an adaptor for my DeWalt 20v batteris that can charge up anything from a USB port. It charges my phone and tablet QUICKLY!!! Here's a link if you wanted to check it out;

My next tools are going to be the DeWalt Flexvolt yard tools. I'm getting sick and tired of having to clean the carburetors on my leaf blower and trimmer because all gas stations sell an ethanol blended gasoline that F*cks everything up.

Eventually I can see myself converting to a battery powered lawn mower....but they're still too new. The manufacturers need to work out the kinks with them. I see way too many of them being given away because the batteries have crapped out.
   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #88  
Also, Lithium-Ion batteries do not have as bad a memory phenomenon as Nicads.. So there usable life is usually longer..
   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #89  
I have Makita. They have a flashlight that is so handy, I have 3, one in the garage, tin shed and house.

   / Cordless Tools vs. Other Options #90  
Voltage x Amps = power (Watts) so just voltage is meaningless.
Ability of a battery to deliver high current at a specified voltage is key.
Why cars batteries at only 12 volts can vaporize a wrench across the terminals.

Voltage = marketing and differentiation only in most cases.
Why most tools are on the 18-24 volt range now.
Higher voltage can help in design to lower current draw needed, this helps to make contacts smaller for higher power applications.

i=V/R - so higher the Voltage the less Resistance impacts current flow.
Note how the newer batteries have longer contacts in slots instead of the small bits of metal used in the older NiCad tools. Larger contact area =less resistance.