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Toblerone

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I am looking to slowly start investing in some quality power tools and wondering which tools I should start with? Keen to hear which brand/model is deemed superior to others and why, although i'm sure there will be a range of opinions on this topic. I assume sticking with one brand makes sense due to interchangeability of batteries and for now I'm thinking of going with Milwaukee, but any advice greatly appreciated. Budget is less of a concern as I would prefer to invest in something that will last, as I will add tools as a gain experience and when finances allow.
 
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Strima

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I use Dewalt, mainly because my last employer forgot to ask for some of them back when we parted ways... Their Flexivolt kit is getting very good reviews.

I also have Milwaukee combi and impact driver but I'm not fully impressed with them, I find the batteries awkward to swap and the torque clutch on the combi makes me think I've got a flat battery. Also tightening the chuck can be tedious and it's too easy to knock it into the hammer setting.
 

BruvDunk

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Have always been Dewalt myself...18V
XRP drill, impact and off course a Multi-tool are all dead handy....

But as you say, everyone will have different opinions..
 

Toblerone

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Appreciate the responses - have always heard good things about DeWalt. Do many people here use Hilti? I know it costs a bomb but curious to know if the quality matches the price.
 

Baddegg

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I use dewalt purely for cost to quality, ie if you drop ya dewalt drill from a height it’s not gonna break the bank replacing it.....I have mates that use hilti and the stuff is pricey but indestructible...I’m considering the hilti lease plan in the new year as you can claim the lot back every year 😁
 
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SparkyChick

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If you've not got anything, then a good Combi drill and an SDS drill is a good place to start. A multitool can be a bonus too :)

My personal choice was Bosch, I've got no complaints so far. Have two combis, SDS, multitool, circular saw (all 18V) and a larger SDS, a big drill for coring that looks like it would throw you around like a rag doll and a grinder (all 110v).

One of the combis, the SDS and the multitool were part of a 3 piece kit. 3 batteries, 2 chargers, bag and a selection of accessories for around £370 back in 2016. The only problem I have with them is the combi chuck is getting difficult to open and tighten due to the internal locking bits not always engaging. But to be fair, it's been out in all weathers, it's been dropped and has been absolutely caned in the time I've had it. It's been replaced by a much newer model with more metal on it that included 2 x 5ah batteries and a fast charger.
 

Toblerone

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  • #7
My personal choice was Bosch, I've got no complaints so far. Have two combis, SDS, multitool, circular saw (all 18V) and a larger SDS, a big drill for coring that looks like it would throw you around like a rag doll and a grinder (all 110v).
I know a guy that has every piece of Bosch gear going and seems to love it so it's a brand i'm also considering.

Apart from the obvious increase in power are there particular advantages to 18v vs say 12v or whatever the common variants are? Don't mind lugging heavy gear around if it's gonna get the job done.
 

SparkyChick

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Apart from the obvious increase in power are there particular advantages to 18v vs say 12v or whatever the common variants are? Don't mind lugging heavy gear around if it's gonna get the job done.
Can't comment on that as all my gear is 18v. Take a look at some of Thomas Nagy's videos on YouTube. He's switched from Milwaukee to Bosch and he uses a mix of 18v and 12v.
 

Andy78

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I use Milwaukee myself but if I hadn't chosen that brand I would also look at Bosch and Makita.
I find the tools well built and reliable and the batteries are still going after years of daily use. I have mostly 18V tools but have a 12V combi and sds for the daily tools to save weight for small jobs.
 

JK-Electrical

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You really can't go wrong with Makita, DeWalt, Milwaukee and Bosch power tools as they're all top quality products. I used Bosch and Milwaukee in the past before converting to the Makita LXT 18 volt range. I also own a DeWalt DCH323T2 54 volt cordless SDS+ which is the dog's dangly bits and is far superior to any other SDS+ drill that I've owned.
 
I've had DeWalt and Milwaukee 18V. Not used the Flexivolt stuff. Definitely prefer the Milwaukee stuff overall - very robust and very powerful. The Chuck on my Milwaukee Combi used to occasionally be a pain to get open, but putting in a bit of oil regularly has pretty much solved that. I do a lot of rewires and use the hammer function on the sds a lot. The DeWalt was ok but only lasted a year and a half before it's first repair, it then lasted another 6 months before giving up completely. The Milwaukee (M18 CPHX) is a beast and lasted 3 and a half years before first repair (annoyingly just out of warranty).
 

mattg4321

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Local CEF is doing THIS Dewalt XRP top of the range combi drill for £99.99 +vat inc 1x 4ah battery, charger, case and bit set.

Absolute bargain, not sure if all branches have them or if they could get it sent from another branch that is doing the deal to your local branch.
 
Appreciate the responses - have always heard good things about DeWalt. Do many people here use Hilti? I know it costs a bomb but curious to know if the quality matches the price.
I’m hilti every time mate, can’t beat it. Never been let down by any of my gear, it’s pricey but worth it
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I’m hilti every time mate, can’t beat it. Never been let down by any of my gear, it’s pricey but worth it
In fact don’t know how often people go through a cordless drill?, considering I use it every day, a lot, must have bought it 7 years ago and it’s still as good as it ever was
 
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Toblerone

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  • #14
After further research I’m now considering Bosch. I’m a big fan of their L-Boxx stacking system and they make some quality gear.

There seems to be so many options for each tool, but it’s hard to tell the difference! Looking at their 18V SDS as my first purchase, can anyone recommend a model?
 

Toblerone

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I use Bosch gear. I've got the GBH18V-EC SDS drill. Compact and lightweight, will drill 20mm holes, but best piloted first.
Have just seen it’s on sale on Amazon now for £170 including the L-Boxx, seems like a bargain.

Can’t see any advantages of the bigger non-compact models really? Or what the differences even are? Bosch website is useless for comparing various tools.
 
The bigger tools have higher impact force, probably have stronger internals. For most jobs it's fine, bigger drills can be a pain when using one handed up a ladder
 

davesparks

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After further research I’m now considering Bosch. I’m a big fan of their L-Boxx stacking system and they make some quality gear.
L-boxx isn't a bosch product, they're a seperate company and bosch just use the boxes so you can add more boxes etc without buying from bosch.

The same goes for the boxes makita seem to use these days, they are systainers made by Tanos.
 
Have used de walt makita and milwaukee.
All are good and reliable.
The milwaukee seems a bit more tough but not massively.
Always used hilti when doing big deep holes in re-enforced concrete.
I have just bought my first own cordless combi drill (always had company gear before) and found a good starter kit at screwfix.
It's a de walt 778 with two 4Ah batteries.
Plan to add an sds and a grinder next
 
They like to entice you in with deals on the drills so once you have the batteries and charger you tend to stick with that brand. Weigh up the costs of all potential tools you may buy, drills, drivers, multi tool, grinder, circ saw. I personally use the dewalt xr range and have not been let down so far. The hilti stuff is bullet proof but for me the cost outweighs the benefits.
 

GBDamo

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Appreciate the responses - have always heard good things about DeWalt. Do many people here use Hilti? I know it costs a bomb but curious to know if the quality matches the price.
Milwaukee, Bosch, DeWalt, Makita and some others are pretty much the same, pick your favourite colour.

Hilti are a cut above but not sure its worth the difference in money unless you are going to be doing a lot of the same thing.

You will need.

A good battery SDS, something with enough clout but light enough to use one handed. No point having a 5Kg 56v monster for the occasional big hole then struggling with the vast majority of the holes you'll drill.

An impact driver is a must, don't go daft with power you're not taking wheel nuts off a bus.

A multi purpose drill for spade bits, step drills and hole cutters.

A multi tool, mine is 240 and I'm looking to get a battery one as there are many times i want to use it but can't be bothered with extensions.

A 4" grinder, I use mine a lot, mostly for trunking but will chop anything if it stays still long enough.

A lamp that fits your tool batteries, something hand held for inspection and lighting your work area, dont try to light the whole site.

As you progress...

An angle drill for joists makes running cables properly a joy rather than a chore.

A jigsaw.

A circular saw.

These are handy to have but i dont use them anywhere near as much as the first list.
 

Toblerone

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #22
Milwaukee, Bosch, DeWalt, Makita and some others are pretty much the same, pick your favourite colour.

Hilti are a cut above but not sure its worth the difference in money unless you are going to be doing a lot of the same thing.

You will need.

A good battery SDS, something with enough clout but light enough to use one handed. No point having a 5Kg 56v monster for the occasional big hole then struggling with the vast majority of the holes you'll drill.

An impact driver is a must, don't go daft with power you're not taking wheel nuts off a bus.

A multi purpose drill for spade bits, step drills and hole cutters.

A multi tool, mine is 240 and I'm looking to get a battery one as there are many times i want to use it but can't be bothered with extensions.

A 4" grinder, I use mine a lot, mostly for trunking but will chop anything if it stays still long enough.

A lamp that fits your tool batteries, something hand held for inspection and lighting your work area, dont try to light the whole site.

As you progress...

An angle drill for joists makes running cables properly a joy rather than a chore.

A jigsaw.

A circular saw.

These are handy to have but i dont use them anywhere near as much as the first list.
This is what I was hoping for - thanks very much for the advice. I'm gonna be acquiring this stuff slowly as it costs a small fortune.

I'm gonna go for Bosch and the GBH 18 V-EC, seems the best combination of size and power. I've seen some second hand Hilti gear on eBay, mainly 230v stuff, which i'm considering for the when you need an extra punch.
 

BLBelfast

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What is the big use for multi tools. Been suggested as essential a couple of times here. I bought one and have used it to cut old laminate floorboards up when working on the house and nothing else.. interested to see what obvious uses I'm missing
 

Andy78

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What is the big use for multi tools. Been suggested as essential a couple of times here. I bought one and have used it to cut old laminate floorboards up when working on the house and nothing else.. interested to see what obvious uses I'm missing
It's one of those tools that you can't really see lots of uses for until you start having one around with a decent selection of blades. Then you'll wonder why you didn't have one sooner.

I'm on a domestic rewire this week and so far mine has been used for cutting through plaster to brick depth to keep the edges neat, cutting exposed floorboards with minimal damage, cutting through old metal conduits to make space under floors, cutting wooden braces for floor supports, and cutting neat holes for trunking access.

Plenty other uses too on different jobs.
 

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