Choosing a power tool brand (bare tools/battery)

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  • Choosing a power tool brand (bare tools/battery)
  • Premier Icon spooky_b329

    I’ve got a random assortment of mains power tools and the odd battery powered tool, all the battery tools are worn out, so looking to buy new kit.

    The only tool I want to buy right now is a decent impact wrench (variable torque, 1/2″, at least 600nm) that will cope with my 3.5t van, working with axle stands and ramps, the clearance is often too restrictive to use a big breaker bar. But in future I’m likely to want to replace my mains tools as they die, and I seem to spend more time coaxing my petrol mower to run that I do cutting grass so it would be good if they have a battery mower in the range too.

    I’m struggling to even choose the impact wrench as there are so many choices without even looking at the rest of the tool range, if anyone has any recommendations that would be great 🙂 I do all my own servicing so would lean towards quality over price, within reason. Variable battery sizes of the same voltage would be great so I can use them interchangeably but have a lighter option for stuff like a drill driver.

    Premier Icon duncancallum

    I’ve always rated ryobi but I’m not sure on their big impacts.

    Milwaukee gets it every time in the trade.

    Premier Icon gooner69

    Makita LXT, absolutely brilliant kit.

    I`ve seen scaffolders work with the impact wrenches, doing thousands of bolts a day and 5amp batteries last two days plus, all the other tools in range are top drawer.

    Premier Icon nuke

    Another Makita LXT fan here….started with drill that came with battery & charger then just been buying up the body-only tools as and when needed. Makita do a big range…even got my eye on a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner that takes the 18v lxt battery

    Premier Icon slackalice

    To be honest, any of the main/big brands will be absolutely spot on for you, just don’t go for the ‘specials’ often paraded on the Screwfix and home diy stores posters, those tools are cheap because they are built to a price, plastic gearboxes, sub par chucks, triggers etc.

    So as above, LXT from Makita, DeWalt, Milwaukee, yadda yadda, they’re all much of a muchness. What will possibly be more important for you will be how they feel and balance in your hand and for that find yourself a good local tool supplier or a mate in a trade.

    Personally, it depends upon the tool as to which brand I go for, which is a bit of a pain as far as batteries and chargers go but that’s my circus! 😉


    Pro tradesman here and another +1 for makita.

    All the main players dewalt , bosch et all are decent and comparable at a price point but makita has a massive  product range and a really good battery / charger platform for the cordless tools.


    I’m in the process of upgrading my power tools and I’m very impressed with the new Dewalt XR 18/54 volt range. FFX Tools has had some smashing deals recently, so worth a look.

    Premier Icon kayak23

    I’m a big Makita fan. Invested big after I took redundancy and am not disappointed. They do everything. Loads of different sized batteries of same voltage.

    Pretty sure they make a mower.

    I’m currently trying to achieve this picture 😂

    Makita LXT here as well. Started off with just the drill a few years ago for home DIY stuff then added more when I retrained as a heating engineer/plumber. I think I’m only a jigsaw and an impact wrench away from being able to do any conceivable job now. Their stuff is nice and light and compact, and there are often some crazy deals on Amazon/eBay.

    Premier Icon db

    Bosch pro for me, got a little Mikita 10v driver as well which is nice but I used to get a discount on the Bosch stuff and it seem to last and take abuse well so built up a collection.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I went Makita 18v And Their Knockoff Friends, basically because I got a killer deal on a drill, charger and battery, and simultaneously found a “compatible with makita” grinder and battery for peanuts on aliexpress. Added some other stuff- a fan, portable light, cordless vacuum. (oh my god, the cordless vacuum- I’ve had rechargable dustbusters and they’re crap tbh, this thing is a weapon, I love it)

    Still haven’t got the impact wrench that I was really looking for, because I have a cheap silverline impact that actually does the job pretty well. I’ll upgrade when it dies. But I added another cheap “compatible with” ie knockoff brushless impact, which doesn’t have half the power it should but is still pretty convenient to have as it’s small and light.

    And I’ll add a strimmer or brushcutter next spring I think for stealthier trail clearance- got a 2 stroke one just now but it’s a bit <obvious>

    Only downer I’ve found really is that they don’t do a power ratchet, those are really useful. Ryobi and Milwaukee both do. I think if it wasn’t for those good deals I’d have gone Ryobi tbh but I’m still pretty happy.

    (I discounted bosch, I know the blue stuff is a different quality level but every green bosch tool I had let me down- failed batteries, failed chargers- and they made every warranty claim a pain)


    Another Makita LXT fan. The range is huge and bare units are quite well priced.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329

    Thanks guys, good to know that its unanimous vote towards the main brands rather than the smaller ranged less well known models. Probably leaning towards Makita as I use their stuff at work.


    Probably leaning towards Makita as I use their stuff at work.

    Always handy to be able to borrow batteries 😉😃

    Makita have a good range of mowers too.

    Bosch have their own factory clearance deals, either returns sold as new or refurbs with a 1 year warranty. Good for picking up bare bones bits.

    Not invested in a system yet but looking to make a move at some point soon.

    Premier Icon mattbee

    All our work tools are either Makita or Hilti. Love the Hilti stuff but not the prices.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329

    Unfortunately my work stuff is 14.4v!

    Premier Icon kayak23

    cordless vacuum. (oh my god, the cordless vacuum- I’ve had rechargable dustbusters and they’re crap tbh, this thing is a weapon, I love it)

    Interesting. My Makita cordless vacuum is gathering dust. No not like that. I don’t use it as I reckon it’s carp.

    Premier Icon sparksmcguff

    No not like that. I don’t use it as I reckon it’s carp.

    There’s your problem right there. Everyone knows a carp is no good for cleaning. You want one of those sucker fish.

    Premier Icon sparksmcguff

    Anyway, to answer the ops question. Makita are decent and even the 6Ah batteries are well priced. My first Makita drill has finally broken after 7 years use – lots of use, commercial maintenance type environment. All batteries still in use and working. Everything from 1.5 to 6Ah and a full range of tools.

    Bosch for me too but if I were working with other carpenters/trades then Makita sees to be the flavor over here.
    Either way, brushless is the most important performance factor as opposed to which big brand


    I like DeWalt and another vote for FFX


    There was a good deal at Screwfix for a Milwaukee set yesterday, 750 I think, not sure if it will be on today but it was for the decent Fuel range. Personally either Makita or Milwaukee seem to be best.

    Makita LXT fanboi here too – two drill drivers (one blue, one white), angle drill, multi-tool, blower, strimmer, hedge trimmer, router. No impact though…

    There are some decent tests on youtube you can watch – see the Oz Tool Talk guys, and the obligatory yanks


    Makita lxt here, its great – I have quite a few of their tools and used a lot for the house renovation.

    Only problems I’ve had – impact driver got a bit stuck in the chuck, ended up taking it apart to see if I could release it (its really well made inside). couldn’t release, in desperation smacked the chuck and bit really had with a hammer and it finally released (I was prepared to buy replacement)

    Oh and that vac, can’t cope with brick dust, mine packed up after about 3 days of clearing up after chasing. Possibly I was asking too much of it. The only Makita tool to have died on me. I now have a henry (well, a james actually)

    Only thing the LXT range doesn’t seem to have is a mini-circular saw for small trim work – or my googlefu is poor. I’ve seen one on the smaller CXT range, but don’t really want to have to buy new batteries and chargers just for that.

    Another thing, whilst the 5a batteries are great they are heavy, though not by much more than the 3s. For most drill/driver/jigsaw jobs I have a small 1.5a which makes them much easier to use on the wrist


    10.8V in my case, drill/driver & impact, DIY use, done “a lot” of jobs. Obviously my idea of a lot differs from a pro.

    Build quality excellent.


    Interesting thread this

    We are using makita 18v lxt stuff at work, it’s a filthy wet trade in all weathers and it is holding up well. Basically using combi drills and blowers. Battery life and recharge times are superb. We do a lot of wet mixing with a giant whisk and combi drill, heavy work with viscous liquids but no bother at all.

    On a busy site all the joiners are using Dewalt kit, in fact it seems to be exclusively dewalt this year. Can’t remember anyone else with makita or owt else for yonks. The other day a lad set up a dewalt cross cut, ran off two 18v batteries. Was impressed.

    We have a couple of massive dewalt hammer drills, big beasts for gunning of render. 110v. But man what a pain setting up transformers and reels.

    I’ve got dewalt for impact and combi+ multi tool, really good kit. I’m just a diy’er though and I do find for a lot of things I don’t need to spend dewalt money for stuff I’m not using regularly. I find einhell stuff is a good compromise between cost and performance for things I’m not using that often. You can use their batteries in all their tools including lawnmowers too.

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