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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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First Name: Mo
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Default new tool buying nightmare

Hi all, I'm here in Canada from the UK, been in the construction industry for over 40 years and had to leave all my power tools behind, even my hand tools were best left behind. Now I have that nightmare but exciting job of buying new tools from scratch.
Hand tools are not going to be a problem as I can see quality from rubbish a mile off,
But Power tools? hmmmm, I think we all agree that not one company makes the best of everything, but wouldn't it be great to have all your tools the same.
I've no experience with Milwaukee tools, I had a bad time with Dewalt when they first landed in the UK, the Mitre Saw trigger broke within 2 years of use,[not heavy use] a cordless drill became loose and rattled like it was going to self destruct! A Makita Mitre saw I had for many years, never let me down and worked perfectly after years of use, I had a reciprocating saw that was pretty good, [black and decker] I always thought it wouldn't last but it did!, I'm drawn to Makita, I'd like all my power tools to be from the same people, [or is that too much to ask?] don't know anything about other makes, I tended to stay with what I knew, but the fact remains, buying new power tools is not easy and after all my years of using/hiring tools, I'm no expert, I love the look of Milwaukee tools, maybe its the red!! but for safety's sake I'm leaning towards Makita, hope I don't get let down.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 03:58 PM
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Mo; welcome!
The premise of buying all the same brand sounds good in theory, but in practice, not so much.
My preference has changed over the years...used to be Porter Cable but now I like Bosch. I had a lot of problems with Makita years ago and walked away from them.
I've heard grievances about Ryobi, but the two tools I have of theirs have been trouble free.
Best advice? Keep an open mind, and get your hands on competing tools before deciding.
Lots of great recommendations from the members here; there's so many that you get a real 'tool review' instead of one that's been bought and paid for.

Oh! And Welcome to Canada!!!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
Mo; welcome!
The premise of buying all the same brand sounds good in theory, but in practice, not so much.
I agree. I don't think there is one manufacture that makes the best tool in every category. I like certain manufactures for the different tools I choose to use.

Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-20-2013, 05:17 PM
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Many tools are not made by the manufacturer whose name is on the tool. I went looking for some replacement blades for a Makita 1900B 3 1/8" power planer on ebay only to find out that Hitachi also has a 1900B which is identical except green. One seller posted pictures of all the brands these blades would fit and at least 4 were identical in all respects except color. Some of the others may have been the same but with slightly different cases. They were all made in Taiwan.

Your best bet may be to do a net search for reviews on any brand you are thinking about. is a good place to look and they include reviews.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 06:12 AM
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Tools are like cars. One person will get one that will give good service. Another person will get one that is junk. I have a B&D cordless screwdriver that I have had for years- goes against the idea of B&D not being good. I have a Ryobi set of drill/light/sander/circular saw that has given me good service. The only thing is I have five batteries and three of them won't charge up.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 07:04 AM
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I don't have much experience with Makita (one sander from a garage sale) but have noticed that they sell them at all the lower priced stores. That would leave me to believe that they are not serious tools but made mostly for the home owner.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 07:55 AM
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I have had a Makita portable planer and a router for ten-plus years. The only negative is that the models from those years were behind the curve in terms of settings and adjustments - particularly the planer. But very rugged and plenty of power - they have a reputation for durability around here. The later models of both machines have improved enormously. The planer now has a decent click-detent adjuster, and the router (heavy duty model) has one of the finest plunge mechanisms around, thanks to a linear bearing on one shaft. The cordless tools are also better made than most of the competition (see the cordless circular saw), but I have no experience of the batteries. Parenthetically, have had a Hitachi router for 20 years - also very rugged, but primitive in adjustment features. I think the Japanese companies took a little longer to catch on. Have to second the comment made above - look at the provenance of the tool, in fine print below the brand name - does not make for comfort.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 08:52 AM
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I have the cordless Milwaukee 3/8" drill/driver, impact driver, multi-tool and rotary tool (Dremel compatible). They all use the M12 Lithium Ion batteries. I love the torque the drill driver has. I get great battery life from the standard battery but I get excellent life from the extended charge battery I purchased for the drill driver. I never even use my corded Makita drill anymore.

Basically, a tool is an object that enables you take advantage of the laws of physics and mechanics in such a way that you can seriously injure yourself - Dave Barry
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 10:24 AM
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Hi Mocas - welcome to the Great White North. My best advice is to find the shop in your area that sells to the pros and talk to them. They typically have multiple brands and price ranges and give excellent advice and will back up their products.
Not sure where you're located but here in Niagara I visit Arts Tools in St Catharines and Tegs Tools in Hamilton...Bonne chance...
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 10:25 AM
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For cordless tools, I've settled on DeWalt. Same 18v batteries fit all and the circular saw, in particular, is a little brute. But all my other power tools are "pick of the litter" after reading every review I could find on each tool I bought. Have a Makita Planer that is terrific and an old Makita 14.5v drill that just keeps going after 9 years--found a battery store that replaced the Makita battery cells, but it is about the same to buy new. The drill clutch burned out (drilling concrete for anchor screws) and they repaired it free. Bosch 10 inch compound sliding miter is the best, most accurate and pleasant to use saw I've owned and was perfect out of the box. PC biscuit joiner because it also cuts faceframe size biscuits and its rugged as heck. So I vote for picking and choosing, unless you can afford to pop for Festool gear for hand tools. Table saw is the big thing, but that depends entirely on planned usage. Have fun setting up your shop. I enjoy the research part too.
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