Lithium Power Tools

Discussion in 'Camp Wordforge' started by Ancalagon, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    I've had a Porter Cable basic Ni-Cad set (drill/driver, circular and reciprocating saws and flashlight) as the basis of my power tool library for forever. Some new knockoff batteries I got from China gave it a new lease on life.

    However, I'm thinking I want to go Lithium. And I want to be deliberate b/c I would eventually like to move ALL my power tools to one system (and then another Kobolt for yard tools). I feel like a good section of my limited work bench is currently wasted with four different chargers.

    Anyone made the switch? What do you have and what do you like/dislike?
  2. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    Oh, not sure it matters but I'm thinking about buying an impact wrench as a tester. I don't currently have one and the battery in my little cordless screwdriver is getting to the point where it is increasingly not useful. I figure an impact wrench is small enough and has quick change 1/4" hex so can be both a replacement and new tool.

    For the time being that is my plan. Start with the impact wrench and then just buy around my current tools as the need arises.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  3. ed629

    ed629 Morally Inept Banned

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    I like lithium for several reasons, first they do last longer than the NiCad batteries. The also have power to them, as in they don't seem to get bogged down as the NiCads seem to on tougher work. They also hold a charge longer, as in I can leave a battery sitting around for a lot longer without being charged and still use it. There is one thing that is good and bad though. When the lithium is out juice it just stops, no reserve power to finish that one little bit. The NiCad you could let it sit for a minute then have one little bit more you could use from it. But the lithium also has almost all of its power right up to the end.
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  4. TheBurgerKing

    TheBurgerKing The Monarch of Flavor

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    Whats wrong with just using hand tools?
  5. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    I had to replace my drill last year and the new one came with a Li-Ion battery that lasts and lasts. That matches my experience with the Li-Ion batteries that power my work camera. When new, they last a very long time on a full charge and we typically get at least three years of use out of them before they need to be replaced.

    As ed said, though, when they're drained they just...stop. On my camera, they go from showing a full charge to not working at all in about 2-3 minutes max, which can be problematic for what I do but not so much for using them with a power tool.
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  6. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    I prefer extension cords, but I admit the last cordless screwdriver I had was 20 years ago and ni-cad. It was never charged when I needed it.

    I'm sure lithium powered tools would run circles around it, but isn't the tool being designed for this type of battery also a factor rather than just replacing the batteries? Not sure what we're talking about here.
  7. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    Yes, you'll have to replace the entire tool, not just the battery.

    I currently have a Porter Cable set that is starting to age. Basically this:

    [​IMG]

    I replaced the batteries last summer which has extended their life, but I will eventually have to replace them. When I do I'd like it to be a system that all my other power tools use so I only have one battery system. That system will be Lithium. I'm looking to buy an Impact Wrench so I want it be in the system I will eventually move my entire library to.

    So I'm asking what Lithiums people here have used. I'm thinking of going either high end (Makita, DeWalt, Milwaukee) or high end knock off (HFT Hercules).

    https://toolcraze.net/hercules-20v-cordless-power-tools-harbor-freight-selling-blue-dewalt-tools/
  8. ed629

    ed629 Morally Inept Banned

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    I use both DeWalt and the Ryobi lithium tools. The DeWalt 20v hammer drill has enough torque to break your wrist if you're not careful when it's set to the highest clutch setting. And I found that the lithium Ryobi actually has decent power as well. Also, apparently the 20v DeWalt and Porter Cable use the same battery style. I haven't checked it, but they apparently can be interchanged. Also, DeWalt has an adapter that can let you use the lithium battery with the older NiCad battery tools.
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  9. ed629

    ed629 Morally Inept Banned

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    Oh yeah.. forgot to mention this. I did something pretty much the same a while back to power some cordless tools. It's useful if you need to do something quick and your batteries are dead, or you're doing something high drain.
  10. Spaceturkey

    Spaceturkey precariat

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    Good call,I get a lot of mileage out of my impact driver. DeWalt has a 20v L/I set that goes for about $250 that'll give you both that and a drill along with 2 batteries.
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  11. Spaceturkey

    Spaceturkey precariat

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    We've got a Milwaukee mini sawz-all (20v L/I). I was going through siding, plywood, and a bit of plaster the other day with it.
    Also use the same power supply/brand on a circular saw for ripping plywood... generally requires a battery swap once a day if it's being utilized full time, but that's normal for most of my tools.
  12. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    I'd upgrade to Dewalt or Milwaukee tools. These may be the last ones you buy.
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  13. Elwood

    Elwood I know what I'm about, son.

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    I've never had any problems with Dewalt or Milwaukee. I went with Makita because of my history with them and that they offer Li-Ion Chainsaws, blowers, trimmers, etc. (even a push mower) in addition to your standard fare. I kinda wish I had sprung for the six place charger instead of the four because several of the larger pieces (blower) take two batteries. But, I've had good results and long ago trashed or gave away my older stuff.
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  14. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    Whelp, Black Friday was the decider. I'm a De-Walt Man.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-2-T...on-Cordless-Combo-Kit-with-Soft-Case/50169133

    Didn't wake up early out of principle. Played on the internet until childrens woke up. We all took a shower bath (it's a weekend/holiday treat they love) then grabbed the one that said they wanted to go to Lowes with me. The interwebs said there were 5 left but either they went quick or their inventory system lags b/c I only live 2m away and I got the last one.
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  15. Spaceturkey

    Spaceturkey precariat

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    They've (makita) got about the only decent (corded) worm drive circular saw available. I've dropped those things 12 feet and they still run.

    :techman:
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  16. Mrs. Albert

    Mrs. Albert demented estrogen monster

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    Very happy with my dewalt miter saw.
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  17. Spaceturkey

    Spaceturkey precariat

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    that is the sexiest thing you've ever posted
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  18. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    I'm a Wen man. When I need portable power.

    Table saw: Dewalt
    Chop saw: Delta
    Circular: Skilsaw
    JigSaw: Black and Decker
    Oscillating saw: Rockwell
    Fine trim: Dremel

    AirPower: Porter Cable pancake compressor (ok this is kinda cheap but it's been going strong 15 years)
    Brad nailer: Porter Cable (will need replacing soon)
    Finishing Nailer (I forget, something something from Harbour Freight)
    Frame Nailer: Wen (might finish the current project)

    And they're all compatible/interchangeable with the portable power supply.

    Current project: Marietta Mid-Century Modern slave-quarters
    basement 2.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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  19. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    In for a penny...

    https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DCS387B-20-volt-Compact-Reciprocating/dp/B00ODN0S70

    Was checking out Amazon's Cyber Monday deals and saw this guy. I had no idea they made a stubby sawsall. Will totally fit in my 'upstairs' little tool bag that I got with my kit Friday. I also sprang for some dewalt blades and drill bits* that were on sale and since I spent over $100 on DeWalt they gave me an addition $25 off and free overnight. Woot-woot!

    *I got a Bosch set of quick change drill bits on Prime Day but they don't have a case. Annoying. I'll take those downstairs to my garage** where I have drawers to lay them out in. I only want stuff in cases in my upstairs box.

    **I can't access my garage from inside my part of the house (rent out the downstairs)*** so when I talk about keeping tools upstairs v having to go down to the garage that's why. Also with only 1100sf and 4 people in our part don't have tons of space. Striking the balance between having right tools available v junking up living area is a challenge.

    ***It's down the list but eventually want to cut a door to the garage from our part. There is just enough room I think at the landing to the downstairs apartment.
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  20. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Slave quarters done. Tenants moving in. Cats like it too.
    catacombs.jpg
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