Do you use 12v cordless tools?

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by Bruxist, Nov 8, 2019 at 10:46 AM.

  1. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

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    This is just because I am curious. I don't use my tools for my livelihood or anything and I have no strong opinions on it.

    I remember buying a 9.6v drill at a discount when the 12vs came out 20+ years ago. Didn't seem like the lower voltage tools stuck around much after that, as far as I remember.

    Now it seems most manufacturers still offer 12v and 18v tools simultaneously.

    Seems like more people go for the bigger ones -- I guess most people think it is better to have the power and not need it. Or maybe it is just the "more is better" idea as people do with cameras and megapixels, etc.

    I was thinking of getting a second set of drill/drivers for workshop use only and getting 12v this go around since I don't usually need the 20v hammer drill for worksop projects. And it is always there in the truck if I need it.

    Anyways, if you have cordless tools, do you use 12v tools, either in combination with 18v or not?
     
  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I did some cordless tools back in the '90s. Always hated them because the batteries would constantly go out and the charge wouldn't last long. I'm almost positive that they're a lot better now, but all my tools obtained since are corded.
     
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  3. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

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    I have switched all to 20v
    12v sucked when I had them so I'm not going back:p
     
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  4. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I use a variety of indoor and outdoor Ryobi 18V tools. They share batteries and chargers so there are always a few fully charged batteries on hand. I’m not a professional. I use the tools around the house and yard. There are more powerful tool using higher voltage batteries but I don’t need more power and don’t want the added weight. All 12V tools I once owned are gone now. Some of them were close to useless.
     
  5. Novatuc

    Novatuc Tele-Meister

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    I have a cordless drill but that's about it. Although I find cordless tools handy they are also heavy and sometimes not balanced well. Also with battery technology changing so fast today's must have tool is tomorrows why did I buy that.
     
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  6. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    I invested in the 18v Makita platform a few years ago and it was money well spent. Once you invest in the batteries, there are so many useful tools that can be purchased as bare tool only. The batteries last a long time.

    I use the impact driver, hammer drill, vacuum for the house, angle grinder, leaf blower (uses 2 18v batteries). They are all super handy. Other tools on my list are the circular saw, jigsaw, router. Even though I have these tools in corded versions, there is nothing like just grabbing the tool, popping in the battery and being ready to go.

    12v has the advantage of smaller form factor. I do have a 12v cordless ratchet because an 18v is not available.

    The Milwaulkee and Dewalt platforms are also great. You can't go wrong. I'd go with the larger battery platform, personally, just for having more options, like leaf blowers, etc.
     
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  7. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Used a Bosch 12v drill and impact driver set just about every day for 3 years and they're still going strong.
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've used cordless drills for almost 20 years, and generally replace the whole tool when the batteries go bad.
    But for about five years I've been just buying new batteries because since the brushless motors they don't get much better in real useful terms. My BL Makita 18v drill will twist out of my grip with a good size bit, and holds a charge for a very long time.
    If I was using a 4" holesaw I might still go with corded, but it will do that too.

    I also keep a 12v Milwaukee I think it's the "fuel" line which is a compact drill with smaller batteries.
    Great for more delicate work like on guitars where I don't want a huge tool in hand or on the workbench.

    I see pro's using the dual battery cordless chopsaw and am impressed, but there's still corded tools and cors virtually anywhere I'm working, so I see no point in going cordless for chopsaws, table saws, sawzalls, compressors etc.
    Cordless nailguns are pretty good too, way better now than the old gas & electric paslode of the 20th C.
    But I wouldn't choose cordless nailguns for production work, mostly because they are less nimble due to carrying a power source and engine, when air powered put the engine on the ground.
     
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  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yeah I use a 56v lawn mower and wouldn't even go with a dual 20v battery system for that.
    Basically one use uses up the entire charge.
    But for drills I see no need for more than 18v at this point.
    I've been tempted by some of those cordless tools you have and may get a skilsaw one day, but if I'm cutting all day I'm happy to set up a cord rather than keep charging batteries.
    I'm tempted by the Milwaukee 12v ratchet for sure.
     
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  10. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Harry Homeowner here has done a LOT of home remodeling--framing, laying floors, molding, drywall etc, and a fair amount of part of guitar building, and built a couple catapults for a neighborhood punkin chunkin contest, and a bunch of other stuff, with Ryobi 18 volt tools. They aren't the best, but they have more than delivered on the price to value ratio. I've had the same green Ryobi 18v drill for at least 12 years, going strong. I just bought and used a Ryobi battery powered finish nailer and it worked great

    18 volt was the point for me where the tools became really viable for what I needed them to do
     
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  11. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have a couple of Dewalt 20V MAX tools... I think they are actually 18V and the 20V is some kind of branding thing?

    In any case I have experience with some older 12V and 18V Ryobi & Makita stuff and I would say the Dewalt 20V stuff is a good bit better, and I don't have any contractor-grade Dewalt stuff with the Brushless motors, mine are the lower end ones with Brushed motors, for my use I don't need the extra durability.

    These tools are pretty much unbelievable now.. I have a driver/drill and an impact wrench. I'd like to get one of the reciprocal saws as well that use the same battery. That would be super handy for cleanup in my yard without having to go get a full size chainsaw. From experience they are good enough for downed limbs and stuff.. the biggest stuff I could continue to chop with a hatchet or cut with a bow saw.

    I have an AC powered Dewalt Drill that is about 15-16 years old... the new 20V cordless one is MUCH better than the old corded one. More torque, more control, more everything, even the chuck is better which is kind of surprising.

    I would say I can't believe I waited so long... for some projects these save unbelievable amounts of time. If you have to disassemble screwed together fencing or something having a cordless impact wrench is flat out amazing... old screws buried into the wood and jammed up come right out. A few years ago on a volunteer project I worked re-fencing a horse corral, it made me a true believer in the impact wrench. (I have 100+ yards of high maintenance fence myself too unfortunately.)

    At one point I had put in some 3" lag screws by hand and then came back and did some more with the 20V driver... unbelievable. These new drivers have enough power to drive a 1/4" x 3" long lag bolt through pressure treated wood without a pilot hole in some cases.. stuff that will wreck you if you have to do it by hand.

    I have 2 of the smallest size 20V dewalt batteries.. they make larger/higher mAh batteries but I see no need for them. The small batteries seem fine for almost any use for homeowner.. I've never worn a battery out in a day. We are talking hundreds of screws/bolts/holes to kill the battery. For a professional who literally uses them all day sure I can see the bigger batteries paying off. But they increase the tool weight too.

    I bought an Orbital sander this year.. elected to go with corded they're because cordless was about 3X the price and a lot of the reviews said sanders are really tough on batteries. The cord is kind of annoying but it worked out very well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019 at 11:32 AM
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  12. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been completely satisfied with the current ryobi 18v tools, including for relatively demanding applications like a hammer drill and full sized circular saw. The prices are very reasonable and the selection is kind of insane, these days ryobi seems to make an 18v cordless version of every tool you could possibly want (and several that I can't imagine anyone wanting...).

    The only place I've had one fail to be powerful enough was the 18v leaf blower. Fortunately (for me) I didn't buy one of those, it was just one I borrowed from my father in law and after using it I decided it would be worth spending the extra money on the 40v version when I was time to buy one for myself. I've now a growing collection of the ryobi 40v yard tools and so far I'm very happy with those too.
     
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  13. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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    18v here. I have corded tools too... but, I really really really am thankful for the 18v stuff... I even have an 18v light... I see a day when I'll get rid of my corded stuff.
     
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  14. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    I bought a Ryobi 3/8 VSR drill for $30 about 20 years ago. I got it smoking a few times trying to use my dull drill bits to put mounting holes in a 14ga amp chassis amoung other things.

    The Corded Ryobi is still going strong! I think its the best tool investment I have ever made.

    Meanwhile, it seems that cordless tool's batteries stop charging and holding a charge every few years and the manufacturers have changed the batteries on you leaving all of your current cordless tools worthless. You have to be a complete new set.

    My wife got me a Cordless Dremel for a gift and the battery on it didn't charge after a little over a year.

    Cordless tools make sense if you have no power onsite or if you don't mind buying a new set every year.

    I ended up building a power supply for the "Cordless" Dremel and I have known friends that have coverted their some of their old dead "Cordless" Batteries to Power Supply so they can still use the tools they bought.
     
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  15. Titch

    Titch TDPRI Member

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    When I was working and using power tools on a daily basis the 12v. cordless drills just didn't cut it, run time on the batteries was short and they quickly ran out of steam when drilling into concrete.
    Upgraded to 18v.Makita's which proved to be far better.
     
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  16. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've got one of the high end dremels and it's for a different use case for sure... it is a toy compared most of the stuff being talked about in this thread so I wouldn't judge real power tools by the dremel.

    The materials and such on my dremel are just pretty junky compared to most of this stuff. It's still a fantastic tool for what it is designed for. Great for cutting screws/bolts and stuff like that when something is jammed/seized, etc..
     
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  17. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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    the ryobi tools from 20 years ago use their new batteries.
     
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  18. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    No wonder I'm the only guy in the neighborhood with wrist and elbow problems.

    I frequently visit several luthier's and comment that they are "cheating" when they pull out a battery screwdriver. I mean really folks it's only 11 screws for a Strat pickguard.

    Better question would be - who has run off a neck screw head using an 18v drill with a Phillips bit? It only took twice for me stop doing that.
     
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  19. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I don't like battery operated tools. I suppose they are ok for some people but if you don't use it regularly the batteries all go bad. If it sits for 4 to 6 months between uses it's dead when I need it and the batteries all seem to cost as much or almost as a new tool. Anything rechargeable does not last if it is not cycled regularly. I have corded tools that belonged to my dad and stuff I bought decades ago and they still work great. I can use corded tool for hours and they never go dead before I am finished with what I'm doing. For mechanic work I like air tools too. Extension cords and air hoses don't bother me. I get that the portability can be nice if you are on a job site with no electricity but in my garage I have electricity.
     
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  20. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    12 or 18v is totally overkill for working on a guitar. I use a 3.6v Panasonic cordless screwdriver for that, works great once you learn how to use the clutch.

    I did snap off a couple of bolts using the impact wrench on my car when I first got it, underestimating it's power. I should have been using a torque wrench, anyways. Now I know the 18v impact will torque things to about 100 ft lbs, which is way too much for smaller fasteners.
     
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