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Power Tools : A Pro's Look

Old 03-31-2009, 07:17 AM
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Default Power Tools : A Pro's Look

There have been quite a few threads on tools here and as a pro, who has been in the construction business for almost 25 years, I have found that there is no substitute for quality. I have listed my Top 17 brands of power tools and I thought it would be interesting to hear from others. Keep in mind, these tools are required to perform everyday:
  1. Cordless Drills/Drivers: Panasonic (hands down) I've had one of the 15v for 15 years and the only thing it ever needed was a new set of batteries last year. The 18v is simply bulletproof!
  2. Circular Saws: Makita all the way, although I do have 2 Bosch and like them. The Makita Magnesium line is in a class all it's own.
  3. Portable Compressor: Makita MAC5200. LOVE IT!
  4. Nail Guns (air): Senco and Paslode
  5. Drills: Bosch and Porter Cable
  6. Sanders (Belt and Random Orbit): Porter Cable (No one else even comes close)
  7. Grinders: Makita and Bosch (Had a Metabo but was REALLY disappointed when it EXPLODED, in my hands!)
  8. Jig Saw: Bosch (hands down)
  9. Planers (hand power): Bosch
  10. Planer (stand-up): Jet
  11. Band Saw: Jet
  12. Table saw: Jet, although I do have a portable Bosch and a Rigid that I bought several years ago that isn't half bad.
  13. Hammer Drill: Hilti (nothing about Hilti is cheap, but the damn things work better than any other HD on the market)
  14. Drywall Screw Gun: Milwaukee (no other brand comes close)
  15. Detail Sander: FEIN. The name says it all.
  16. Miter Saw: Makita (I have Dewalt and HATE IT! )
  17. Router: Porter Cable
Old 03-31-2009, 09:37 AM
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Over all I really like Porter Cable but there are some others I like as well

1. Sawzall: Porter Cable
2. Circular saw : Porter Cable
3: Framing Nailer: Hitachi with the light green finish (bulletproof)
4: Drywall gun: The old Black & Decker Industrial Line were the best ever but are no longer made. I now use a Dewalt 272
5: Drywall sander: Porter cable
6: High speed polisher: Milwaukee
7: Cordless drill: Dewalt, Panasonic, Millwaukee, pretty much anything that feels solid in an 18V Lithium. Mine are usually destroyed due to being dropped from ladders. I don't know that I've ever had one actually wear out.
8: Orbital sander: Porter Cable
9: Drywall Router: RotoZip or my old school Rockwell.
10: Hammer Drill: Hilti
11: Portable Compresser: My Cambell Hausfeld "extreme contractor" is going on 7 or 8 years with no maintenence and still running perfect.
12: Finish nailer: Porter Cable.
Old 03-31-2009, 09:58 AM
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  1. Cordless Drills/Drivers: Panasonic - it is what the pros reach for
  2. Circular Saws: Bosch or Porter Cable
  3. Worm Saw: Why oh why do people buy these?
  4. Portable Compressor: Makita MAC5200 - No argument here
  5. Nail Guns (air): Paslode for framing, Porter Cable for finish. Air is the only way to go
  6. Drills: Bosch
  7. Sanders: Porter Cable
  8. Grinders: Bosch
  9. Jig Saw: Bosch (Only recently picked up a few and kicked myself for not doing it sooner)
  10. Planers (hand): Bosch
  11. Planer (shop): Delta
  12. Band Saw: Jet
  13. Table saw: Portable - Bosch Shop - Powermatic
  14. Hammer Drill: Hilti - is there anything else?
  15. Drywall Screw Gun: Dewalt
  16. Detail Sander: FEIN
  17. Miter Saw: Makita for finish work, the el cheapo Dewalt for chop cutting
  18. Router: Porter Cable
  19. Jointer: Delta
  20. Lathe: Mini - Jet, Large - Delta
Old 03-31-2009, 10:02 AM
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I would have to say the Bosch Bulldog is a good equal to the Hilti.
I have 1 Hilti and 2 Bosch. The Bosch is cheaper and I have had it just as long (8 years) as the Hilti and not a problem at all.

As far as Battery Drill goes Dont Ever buy a Dewault. Those a the biggest piece of junk on the market.

I personally like the Makita.
Old 03-31-2009, 10:56 AM
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No Fein lovers here?
Old 03-31-2009, 11:01 AM
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1. Panasonic cordless drills - check.....I own two
2. I've got a 8 1/2" Milwaukee right now that I Really like
3. N/A....I rent when I need one
4. Paslode pneumatic framing nailer
5. Porter Cable and several other kick around B&D 3/8" drills
- Makita 1/2" w/ var. sp, reverse and hammer still works like a champ
6. Belt sander is Porter Cable all the way 4x24 Had a Zolt that was the bomb, until someone stole it.
- Orbital sander has to be Porter Cable
- Palm sanders - Proter Cable and Mikita
7. Big ass grinder - Makita and a tank of a B&D
- 5 1/2" - Bosch and a cheap MasterCraft (which is actually surprising me)
- 4 1/2" - Makita, Bosch
8. Jig Saw has to be my Bosch, but my clunker of a brute Craftsman is still hanging in there like a trooper.
9. My 3 1/4" Makita hand planer has paid for itself 100 times over
10. Porter Cable for biscuit joinery
11. 24" shop planner - General....the bomb!
12. Masterall Band Saw.....100% rebuilt and retro fitted with the latest greatest w/ Lesson 2 hp electric motor
- In the process of either buying a Laguna or General 18" band saw
13. Table saw - General 350 .....the bomb!
- Excalibur fence system
- Excalibur full sliding table (excepts a full 4x8' sheet of plywood)
14. Hammer drill - N/A....I rent when I need. Hilti is the only way to go.
15. Drywall Screw Gun - Milwaukee
16. Compound Miter Saws - Elu and Hitachi, I love them both
17. I own 4 Porter Cable routers right up to the 3 1/2 hp....all
18. Progress 108" edge belt sander .....the bomb
19. Delta 8" jointer
20. This isn't a power tool, but it still needs to be included.....Porter Cable dovetail jig
22. This isn't a power tool, but it still needs to be included.....Keg pocket hole jig
23. This isn't a power tool, but it still needs to be included.....10' aluminum metal break
24. Makita 1" wide belt sander
25. I don't know what the brand is, but it sheers metal (electric sissors)
26. two bench grinders
27. electric buffing wheel
28. Radial Arm drill press....Craftsman - the bomb!
29. numerous pneumatic cabinet making nailers and sanders....pretty much all Porter Cable
30. 3 hp Oneida Dust Collection system for the shop

31. To many "CP" pneumatic auto body tools to cover, plus deVilbiss compressor and all the deVilbiss and Binks spray guns plus a HV/ LP spray pot.

* I know I've probably missed a few, but that's a good start.
Old 03-31-2009, 11:02 AM
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It is interesting to note the eastcoast/westcoast choices in tools.

Circular saw-Skillsaw (magnesium worm drive)
SawsAll-Millwaukee
Drills-Dewalt- Makita
roto hammer= Bosch or Hilti
Framing Nailers- seeing allot of those passlode airless, before that, hitachi.

Seeing the panasonic and hitachi cordless tools more and more as well as more "Ridgid" (the pipe threading folks) cordless tools.
Old 03-31-2009, 11:52 AM
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Hey I've got a Millwaukee Sawzall .........another tumbs up tool!
Old 03-31-2009, 11:55 AM
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No lathe Garett?
Old 03-31-2009, 12:01 PM
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When I need a power tool, I go over to my local 'tool library' and check out whatever model of tool they have. I don't get to choose name brand, but it's free!
Old 03-31-2009, 03:55 PM
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Nooooo, no lathe ............I do have sights on making a solid cherry poster bed though, so there is hope!
Old 03-31-2009, 04:11 PM
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I just bought the Makita set , impact and drill , the black and white ones ( lithium ) and they are NICE.
Butch
Old 03-31-2009, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Just1more View Post
There have been quite a few threads on tools here and as a pro, who has been in the construction business for almost 25 years, I have found that there is no substitute for quality. I have listed my Top 17 brands of power tools and I thought it would be interesting to hear from others. Keep in mind, these tools are required to perform everyday:
  1. Cordless Drills/Drivers: Panasonic (hands down) I've had one of the 15v for 15 years and the only thing it ever needed was a new set of batteries last year. The 18v is simply bulletproof!
  2. Circular Saws: Makita all the way, although I do have 2 Bosch and like them. The Makita Magnesium line is in a class all it's own.
  3. Portable Compressor: Makita MAC5200. LOVE IT!
  4. Nail Guns (air): Senco and Paslode
  5. Drills: Bosch and Porter Cable
  6. Sanders (Belt and Random Orbit): Porter Cable (No one else even comes close)
  7. Grinders: Makita and Bosch (Had a Metabo but was REALLY disappointed when it EXPLODED, in my hands!)
  8. Jig Saw: Bosch (hands down)
  9. Planers (hand power): Bosch
  10. Planer (stand-up): Jet
  11. Band Saw: Jet
  12. Table saw: Jet, although I do have a portable Bosch and a Rigid that I bought several years ago that isn't half bad.
  13. Hammer Drill: Hilti (nothing about Hilti is cheap, but the damn things work better than any other HD on the market)
  14. Drywall Screw Gun: Milwaukee (no other brand comes close)
  15. Detail Sander: FEIN. The name says it all.
  16. Miter Saw: Makita (I have Dewalt and HATE IT! )
  17. Router: Porter Cable
great list only changes are
#2 milwaukee
#10 powermatic
#12 powermatic
Old 04-01-2009, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Just1more View Post
There have been quite a few threads on tools here and as a pro, who has been in the construction business for almost 25 years, I have found that there is no substitute for quality. I have listed my Top 17 brands of power tools and I thought it would be interesting to hear from others. Keep in mind, these tools are required to perform everyday:
  1. Cordless Drills/Drivers: Panasonic (hands down) I've had one of the 15v for 15 years and the only thing it ever needed was a new set of batteries last year. The 18v is simply bulletproof! #1 share holder @ 65% is DeWalt , 60M 18V batteries in the market place...enough said
  2. Circular Saws: Makita all the way, although I do have 2 Bosch and like them. The Makita Magnesium line is in a class all it's own. Agree Makita...no way Bosch is #2
  3. Portable Compressor: Makita MAC5200. LOVE IT! No way Rol-Aire #1
  4. Nail Guns (air): Senco and Paslode Hitachi in framing nailers
  5. Drills: Bosch and Porter Cable Milwaukee #1 share holder
  6. Sanders (Belt and Random Orbit): Porter Cable (No one else even comes close) agree
  7. Grinders: Makita and Bosch (Had a Metabo but was REALLY disappointed when it EXPLODED, in my hands!) Very fragment small angle grinders DeWalt share holder, larger angle Bosch, Milwaukee, DeWalt
  8. Jig Saw: Bosch (hands down) Agree
  9. Planers (hand power): Bosch Makita
  10. Planer (stand-up): Jet Opening price point planer...I would say Power matic
  11. Band Saw: Jet??
  12. Table saw: Jet, although I do have a portable Bosch and a Rigid that I bought several years ago that isn't half bad.
  13. Hammer Drill: Hilti (nothing about Hilti is cheap, but the damn things work better than any other HD on the market)
  14. Rotary Hammers Hilti and Bosch
  15. Drywall Screw Gun: Milwaukee (no other brand comes close) Wrong DeWalt has 70% share in drywall screw guns on commercial jobsites!
  16. Detail Sander: FEIN. The name says it all. Agree
  17. Miter Saw: Makita (I have Dewalt and HATE IT! )DeWalt & Makita share leaders...12" DeWalt wins 10"??
  18. Router: Porter Cable Agree
Information is based mostly on PTI data
Old 04-01-2009, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by never2rough View Post
great list only changes are
#2 milwaukee**
#10 powermatic
#12 powermatic

** not a pro, but my Milwaukee circular saw (corded) is one of my all-time favorite tools.

Just bought a Makita 10" compound miter saw based largely on the recommendations posted here (and a great sale price!). Very smooth. All angles appear to be dead-on right out of the box. Had to adjust the laser ever so slightly.
Old 04-01-2009, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bmw332is View Post
Information is based mostly on PTI data
PTI is useless, just like Dewalt.
Old 04-01-2009, 04:28 AM
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Cool thread. In my profession:

Dell laptop
LG cellphone

Old 04-01-2009, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Just1more View Post
PTI is useless, just like Dewalt.
No, your bashing is smelling like old Japanese sushi!!

I think someone has a hidden agenda??
Old 04-01-2009, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Just1more View Post
PTI is useless, just like Dewalt.
I'm a residential drywall contractor and I would bet that 90% of the guys are using Dewalt guns. If Dewalt was so useless, I would think that our hangers would start looking for a different brand. It's been years since I've used a Milwaukee screw gun but the Milwaukee's I've used were very heavy. Not a good thing when installing lids on a large home.

But on the flip side, I do agree that on some items, Dewalt quality has fallen as they've become somewhat of a weekend warrior tool company.
Old 04-01-2009, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bmw332is View Post
No, your bashing is smelling like old Japanese sushi!!

I think someone has a hidden agenda??
Hidden agenda? Not me. I just prefer good quality tools and you will not find quality in any Dewalt product. I agree they do sell a lot of tools but that is mainly because they are cheap in price. Why are they cheap in price? Because they are cheaply designed and constructed.

When I was Superintendent for a nationwide GC several years ago, we had to purchase ALL tools, supplies, self perform material, etc, through our Purchasing Dept.
One day I ordered a Panasonic Drill for a Lightrail job and my purchasing agent told me he could not buy a Panasonic, only Dewalt. I asked him why and he told me "Because the yare the cheapest." I said "Fine!"
On it's 1st day, that piece of crap cordless drill cost the company about $875.00 due to it's failure.
The rep came out and gave me a new one at no charge and told me that it's cheaper for them to make a cheaply made product and replace them, than it is to make a good quality product.
I wasn't taking anymore chances so I bought a Panasonic as well as some other higher tier tools with my own cash and expensed it. Since most of our carpenters worked on other jobs, it didn't take long for word to spread about the better quality tools found on my job as opposed to others. About 2 months later the VP of Operations came out for a visit and he told me that he had been reviewing manhour production rates for the last month and he noticed that our production had increased almost 40% compared to the previous month. I said "Well the men are able to work more because their tools aren't breaking and they're able to get more work done."
He told me to "Keep doing what you're doing!"

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