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Best 120V power tools?

Old 03-03-2012, 07:41 AM
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Default Best 120V power tools?

I am finally getting around to replacing some stuff that was stolen out of my shed last year, and building my collection up for an upcoming major project. Who makes the best 120V power tools? I am looking at a router and table saw, along with a compound miter saw. I had good luck with the Delta miter saw I used to have...not the best quality, but it worked fine. I've read good things about Bosch.
Any recommendations are appreciated...
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:03 AM
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This subject has been beaten to death and you'll get a 100 different answers. You say "upcoming major project", what does that entail?

Other words, if you are doing rough framing for only one project, you can use just about any product. If you are doing fine cabinetry, that a completely different set of standards.

I bought some tools that would be used every day and if they got wet or abused, no big deal. There are other tools that never came out of the box truck, unless the project warranted higher degree of accuracy.

Basically, I had two sets of tools. I have a 10" dual compound Sears miter saw for ($100-150)? and a Sears table saw for about the same money. Both have been through several major house renovations and 10's of minor jobs. When it came to crown molding, I have a 12" dual compound sliding miter saw and it's blade cost $100. Here's a link that may help http://www.consumersearch.com/miter-saws

I've got a Rigid electric threader that's 30 years old and still works fine (BTW, you can buy it with cutters and dies from 1/2'' ti 2" for $400). I've got 30 year old Milwaukee tools (right angle drill, hammer drill, etc) that were top of the line at the time and still work fine.

I prefer high end stuff, but one has to be practical to budget and need.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:09 AM
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37 years using these types of tools and I'm sold on Dewalt..........
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:04 PM
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My dad was a good carpenter...and the only power tools he used was Skil and Craftsman. That was 40 years ago...and both brands are not what they used to be.
Seems like I see lots of Bosch for corded tools and Milwaukee on the battery side on jobsites. I had a DeWalt 14.4V drill, and it did fine for the few years before it got stolen.
The big project I have in mind is an Enviboats build, so there will be a bit of fine joinery involved.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:15 PM
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Bosch 4100 table saw. I have had the 4000 for 11 years and still love it.

Router and almost everything else Festool. OF1400 or OF2200 if you can afford/need that much power. I just got back from vacation and have a brand new 1400 waiting for me when I got home. Can't wait to use it this week. Dust collection is amazing.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:59 PM
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It just amazes me how many people will step up to the plate and say they've had this tool or that tool for 10-15 years and it is the greatest so buy, buy, buy! ..... Quality always changes. And NO ONE BRAND has all the best tools. If you want to buy the best, expect to buy 5 to 10 different brands!

IMO there is only two ways of knowing how good an individual tool is and that is to read the reviews. .....what's consumer report say, what are the owners saying? Or talk with the service centres that are doing the repairs.

I don't know how your insurance works, but mine doesn't allow me to replace a cheap $59 scroll saw with a $500 model nor would it look good for me to ask if I can upgrade everything since things are being replaced on their dime.


Porter Cable routers have remaind being the benchmark to match and beat for more years then I know of.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:21 PM
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Enviboats

I don't know much about boat building other than is time consuming and can be tedious. You'll need a bit of room, depends on the model. Lots and lots of dust, I'd think about a vacuum system.

I have several routers, my good ones are Porter Cable. One of the PC routers is "built into" a stand, very handy. I like Freud bits.

There a couple of cold mold builders on this site and I've watched the process in various stages. The builders I know seem to do a lot of the work "by eye". Boat builders and cabinet builders are completely different in their approach.

Read up on the tools and buy the best you can afford. It's your skills that will matter in the end verses what brand of tools you use.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:21 PM
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Tablesaw-Scmi slider for shop, ancient ryobi bt3100 for jobsite
Routers-Porter cable
sawzall-PC
Worm drive-Ridgid
Right angle drill=Milwaukee
Nail guns-Paslode
Compressors=Emglo, Senco
Chopsaw=Makita
Sanders=Festool, PC random orbit
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:27 PM
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I have the following tools in my shop:
Delta Unisaw and drill press.
Powermatic 8" jointer, 20" planer, and mortiser.
Laguna 18" bandsaw
Grizzly stationary edge sander.
Hitachi sliding miter saw.
Jet dust collector.
Hegner scroll saw
Of the various smaller tools I have an assortment of Bosch, Porter Cable, Dewalt, Milwaukee, Hitachi, Ryobi, Makita, Lamello and others.
Some of these choices were influenced by tool tests in Fine Woodworking and Wood magazine. I generally like all these tools but what would I change if I had to replace any of them? I think the best table saw today is the Sawstop. If I were getting a jointer or planer I would be sure to get one with spirally arranged, individual four sided carbide blades. I think the new Powermatic drill press designed for woodworking is the best now. I would look hard at the Mini Max band saw. It's hard to make generalizations about brands of hand power tools but I'm partial to Bosch of the common brands. To save the best for last: look at Festool for almost everything they make. They are generally the best designed, most innovative tools available but they are expensive. I plan on replacing my miter saw with theirs sometime this year or so (Bosch a close second). I think every woodworker needs to have their rail saw system, I would hate to do without it. It is invaluable to cut up sheet goods and makes a very clean cut. And the dust collection system for it is amazingly effective. If you have any specific questions about any of the tools I have experience with just let me know.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:53 AM
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Lots of good information brought forth.
The current boat is on the market..I'll start the build a year or so after it sells. Unfortunately, I can't put up a carport in the back yard(damn HOA), so I'll try to find a building somewhere that I can use as a shop. I am making a trip to HD and Lowe's today and shop for a router...a table saw is next on my list. A friend has a PC compound miter saw he'll sell to me at a good buddy price, so that's checked off. Since I need to stay within a budget, I'll probably not go high-end on my purchases.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:03 PM
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I tend to buy upper middle line tools--porter cable, dewalt, bosch for portable and delta for stationary tools. In setting up a second, smaller shop at the river house, I've been buying a lot of Hitachi tools after my experience at home with their compound sliding miter and a B600 resaw. The portable Hitachi table saw scares me a little (I have a unisaw at home) but I've purchased a bunch of Hitachi hand tools--both 120v and cordless. bigskytool.com has lots of Hitachi mfg refurbished tools, and the tools I've bought are indistinguishable from new. I won't trade my Dewalt tools, but the hitachi tools are pretty good, and an excellent value for the money.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolakrab View Post
Since I need to stay within a budget, I'll probably not go high-end on my purchases.
So maybe the thread shouldn't be titled "best 120v power tools" and should be titled something like "best value and reasonably serviceable 120v power tools."
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Buoy Scout View Post
So maybe the thread shouldn't be titled "best 120v power tools" and should be titled something like "best value and reasonably serviceable 120v power tools."
OK...
Best for your money. That good enough? BTW, quality doesn't always mean more $$, and as in so many other things, you don't always get a better product if you spend more.
Anyway, thanks for the input.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:23 AM
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I just replaced my newish Bosch slider with a new DeWalt slider. Why? While the Bosch is a GREAT saw, I can't stand material up to cut it..the DeWalt will stand up 6-1/2" trim!
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:39 AM
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Not impressed with the newer power tools from China. Look like they embraced the old Detriot model of building it so it will break and need frequent replacing. Got some drills that are swiss Bosch a few years back that are rugged and seem to be holding up.
Look for some used/not abused older Makita,Milwaukee,PorterCable,DeWalt,Delta,JET. Even old Skil and Craftsman give good service.
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