Cordless Tool upgrades

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Forum topic by AlanJ44 posted 12-23-2015 08:40 AM 1414 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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254 posts in 1558 days

12-23-2015 08:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: m18 fuel milwaukee cordless ryobi

Thinking about moving to Milwaukee M18 tools from my Ryobi starter tools. I’ve been using Ryobi One Plus for my most used and Harbour Freight for the once in a while.

Life is good in all areas , salary, time, debt and so forth so the budget is more forgiving if I want. This will be a several year project after buying one of the multi tool starter kits. I’ve liked having the same battery for all cordless tools so I”m looking for a unified platform.

So my question my friends, any M18 fans or non-fans please comment and advise. Or is there another brand that will last me to the very end. (I”m 57 in January).

ps, the Milwaukee web site tells that Ryobi is one of their brands? Who would have thought that?

As always, thanks in advance.

-- Alan J. Hoover, AL Keeping in mind I believe college football is only a profit center for the school.... Roll Tide!

27 replies so far

View Slemi's profile


118 posts in 1812 days

#1 posted 12-23-2015 10:58 AM

Makita also has 18V assortment of tools with same battery.

View TinWhiskers's profile


179 posts in 1223 days

#2 posted 12-23-2015 11:26 AM

Had one Ryobi tool, jigsaw. Found it useless. I avoid all Ryobi.

Been happy with Ridgid. Three drills, jigsaw, sawsall. 18V

Might want to look into lifetime warranties for the batteries.

View IHRedRules's profile


116 posts in 1747 days

#3 posted 12-23-2015 12:56 PM

I recently upgraded from the Crapsman C3 set to the Milwaukee M18. I bought the middle of the road drill/impact driver set, it has the brushless technology, but is not the Fuel ones. I also purchased their radio, led work light, and fuel sawzall. While I haven’t had a chance to use any tool for an extended time, initial impressions are exciting. The fuel sawzall does last much longer on a charge than the old Crapsman. When I bought mine, Home Depot had a sale where you got either $100 or $150 towards an accessory depending on which combo you bought. You might want to see if that sale is still good. I originally went, expecting to purchase the M12 set, but I didn’t think they were all that much smaller in size, so I figured that I might as well have the more capable M 18 instead. There is no doubt that Milwaukee’s tools are expensive, but I was looking at it as an investment in quality tools that should provide many years of service.

View klassenl's profile


195 posts in 2930 days

#4 posted 12-23-2015 01:22 PM

I have run the Makita 18v system for the last 3 years+. I just recently purchased a new drill since three years is about the lifespan of a drill that gets used every day on the job.

Wouldn’t you know, within the space of a week all 3 of the batteries that I had for the old kit pooped out. Makita owners know the frustration of your charger flashing red/green for no reason. It was still a good drill and put up with the abuse I threw at it.

Not that many days later I purchased a $89 Bosch drill from Lowes? Why Bosch when I have Makita already? Because before I had Makita I had Bosch and I have 3 18v 3.0ah batteries that have been sitting in my shop for 3 years, unused. I plugged my old Bosch charger in, charged the old batteriesand they work as good as the day I put them there. Yes my big old batteries fit in my brand new little drill. If I have to buy a new drill in the next 2 yrs it will be Bosch.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11245 posts in 3699 days

#5 posted 12-23-2015 01:36 PM

Hey youngster, at 57, you are not going to find a cordless tool to “last you till the end”. That is unless you don’t ever use it.
I have a couple Makita 18V drills, Son has a Milwaukee. His appears stronger, but mine do everything I’ve ever asked of them. I’m 75 Y.O. They might both last me until the end.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Redoak49's profile


3805 posts in 2259 days

#6 posted 12-23-2015 02:00 PM

I am very happy with my Makita 18v and have had it for about 4 years and batteries are still good. I do keep them charged which I hear makes a difference. I have the drill and impact driver and really happy with them.

One difference that I see is the way they fit your hand. Everyone is different and should go and pick up the different brands and make certain they feel good in your hand. As I get older, this makes a huge difference.

I have read that the newer Makita 18v are an improvement.

View ChuckC's profile


843 posts in 3206 days

#7 posted 12-23-2015 02:02 PM

I bought the 18v Milwaukee set (drill and impact) about 5 years ago and they are still going strong. I am very happy with them.

View rwe2156's profile


3280 posts in 1751 days

#8 posted 12-23-2015 02:50 PM

They tell me several of the brand name tools sold in HD are a lower end line than the ones you find in the tool stores. Don’t know if that’s true or not. I know I’ve seen my electrician using different looking Milwaukees than what I see in the store. They buy them at a local tool supplier, not HD or Lowes.

Overall, I think DeWalt, Milwaukee, Ridgid, Makita or Bosch are close in quality. I’ve owned variations of all of them. The biggest piece of junk actually was a Makita right angle drill. I had a couple 12v Ridgid drills never quit but batteries and chargers became obsolete.

I really like the compact Milwaukee impact driver set but ended up with a Bosch because of a sale.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View dhazelton's profile


2832 posts in 2567 days

#9 posted 12-23-2015 02:52 PM

I have the DeWalt 20 volt stuff. Seems HD and Lowes has more DeWalt products on the shelf is really why I went there. Doubt there’s much power difference between 18 and 20 volts, but DeWalt offers batteries in various amp hour ranges all the way up to 5, which is nice.

View AZWoody's profile


1425 posts in 1494 days

#10 posted 12-23-2015 05:01 PM

I used to use Ryobi drills and I liked them a lot. I had the old blue drill, the impact driver and the right angle drill.
They both lasted years and when I felt it was time to upgrade, I looked at all the different reviews, etc.

I chose the Makita 18v Max, I think it was and within a month, the 1/4” chuck on the impact broke and had to be sent in and while that was in the shop, the clutch on the drill went out.

So, I had to go look at the whole thing again and the best reviews were for the Milwaukee Fuel got the most consistent high reviews, but they are at the top of the price range also but I needed something immediately and got them drill/impact combo.
I also got a free sawzall with it so I was happy.

So far, everything works great. Actually, some of the times, it’s too strong for what I need so I ended up getting the 12v set as well for around the house and smaller projects. I still have broken some screw head off with this as well but I am very happy with this setup so far.

View CB_Cohick's profile


487 posts in 1522 days

#11 posted 12-23-2015 05:22 PM

My brother has all the Milwaukee cordless collection and really likes them. I have Ryobi cordless currently. The only problem I have ever had with them is with the batteries. The Ryobi tools have worked well for me, and I have no serious complaints about them. Ryobi gets slammed quite a bit by others, so either those are bandwagon comments or I am unusual in my experience with their tools. If I were to switch formats, I would probably go with either Milwaukee or DeWalt.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3232 days

#12 posted 12-23-2015 05:31 PM

I would look at the reviews on the different outlets for any brand you want to consider. I saw where Bosch at Woodcraft is given some high ratings. I worked for an industrial supply company many years ago. The tool repair manager at the regional warehouse said he couldn’t “endorse” a particular brand but said they rarely saw a Bosch power tool for repair.
I have a Ryobi tool set I got for Christmas several years ago. The five batteries are shot now. I bought a dual power Ryobi grass trimmer with the new Li battery; got a two pack for backup as they can be used with the One+ tools. However, the original battery for the trimmer and one of the other batteries went down the tube. I had to go to Chattanooga for service on the original one. Went to the local HD for the second- they said it was only warranted for 90 days. The owner’s manual said one year for personal use; 90 days for commercial use! The MOD said I seemed to be upset. I was and told her I would never set foot in a HD store and never buy any more Ryobi products. Got the battery repaired at a mower repair shop in a local town. Had to drive 20 miles one way to get it when repaired.
Let us know what you bought and why you made the choice. Might help others in the future.

View builtinbkyn's profile


2805 posts in 1211 days

#13 posted 12-23-2015 05:46 PM

Have two Rayobi products – small trimmer router and buffer/polisher. Both work well. The trimmer is especially nice as it came with a wide base that has two handles like a full sized router. Makes it very stable when edge routing/trimming. The buffer is a buffer and works for what I need it to do. Not sure on the rest of their products and how well they perform.

As for cordless tools, I just picked up a set of small Bosch drills – one with a clutch and the other an impact drill. Needed a set at home as I have all the tools in the shop that isn’t in my home. Those are Porter Cable and have had them for quite a long time – maybe 7 years or so. Built a five story condo project with them and a few houses. They’re still going strong and with the same three batteries. I don’t recall seeing them in stores any longer. I guess if I needed 18v or larger cordless I’d look at Dewalt or Bosch. Though I have a lot of Ridgid products, they are all corded. Have yet to purchase cordless Ridgid products.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View AZWoody's profile


1425 posts in 1494 days

#14 posted 12-23-2015 06:31 PM

My brother has all the Milwaukee cordless collection and really likes them. I have Ryobi cordless currently. The only problem I have ever had with them is with the batteries. The Ryobi tools have worked well for me, and I have no serious complaints about them. Ryobi gets slammed quite a bit by others, so either those are bandwagon comments or I am unusual in my experience with their tools. If I were to switch formats, I would probably go with either Milwaukee or DeWalt.

- CB_Cohick

That was my main problem with the Ryobis also. The batteries just go bad for no reason, and have a very short life.

One thing I liked about the Makita charger is it has a fan that turns on as soon as you place a battery in the charger. After a short time, then the charging starts.
Cooling a battery before charging will help extend the life.

View JAAune's profile


1864 posts in 2587 days

#15 posted 12-24-2015 02:07 AM

Cheaper tools often have crummy chargers which is one culprit for short battery life. Good chargers have temperature sensors and won’t try to charge a hot battery (which makes it even hotter). It’s also important to not let the batteries overheat in use because that will kill them fast too.

-- See my work at and

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