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A. Spruce
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries
keith3267 wrote:

I did have a Makita, a 12v drill. It had as much power as the 18v Ryobi I bought to replace it when they obsoleted the battery and its battery went south. It wasn't as well balanced as the Ryobi, but none of the tools of its vintage were, the new Makita's are much better. The fact is that the Ryobi is comfortable enough, has enough power and battery life and is just fine with me. I went with Ryobi because of the time, it had a lot of tools that used the same batteries. I believe the One+ system they came up with was the first to do this, all the other brands soon followed with their standardized batteries.

I started out with a Makita 7.2, had that from '87 until '99 when I bought my first 18v DeWalt. The Makita worked just fine, I only used the drill. I had their 3-1/2" saw, but it was worthless for anything but making drywall patches, which is what it was used for exclusively. I knew there were other kits out there with bigger batteries, though I didn't think I needed one, until I used one that a sub had and by end of day I owned one too! Even though I'm retired, I still use it several times a week. Like you, I thought about other brands, but was invested in DeWalt and wasn't going to have different tools/batteries/chargers to contend with.

keith3267 wrote:

Ryobi has now entered the yard and garden with the same philosophy with their 40v line of tools. I have a few of them and they are quite adequate for me, but I'm not a professional landscaper. Echo is starting to copy the Ryobi concept but with 58v tools. I am sure they are better, but I am already invested with the Ryobi system. I have the chainsaw, trimmer/edger and polesaw attachment for the trimmer/edger. Now if they could just make a Mantis type tiller in 40v and maybe a 40v, 54" ZTR riding mower. :)

Until recently, battery technology really wasn't there for cordless yard tools, it is now and getting better all the time. I absolutely, 100% agree with you! I'd love it if Echo (my other favorite ) would come out with attachments. Imagine being able to have a chainsaw, hedger, pole saw all-in-one. I've thought they should do this for the past 20 years. I've never been a fan of the Mantis because it's only suitable for soft soil that doesn't need much for tilling, something I've never had, however, I do see its merits. Echo and Stihl have both done a knock-off, and I could see where it could double as a multitude of yard and garden implements.

I used to know the local DeWalt rep. and participated in several tool development workshops where they'd bring a selection of toys to play with and ask the participants what they thought, additions that were planned, etc. They really liked to complicate simple tools with useless "improvements". I told them on many occasions they needed to come out with a cordless vacuum, it would be a godsend to us in the field and certainly a boon to their bottom line. Well, the request fell on deaf ears, then in just the last few years, AFTER I don't need one anymore, they launch one to the market. :rolleyes:

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries
keith3267 wrote:

Let me add this to my argument that it is the tool and not the battery.

18v 4AH Lithium Ion battery: Ryobi-$100, Makita-$100.

18v 3/8" drill, basic model 2 speed, Roybi-$69, Makita- $169

I rest my case.

Even Makita sells a downgraded homeowner line of tools. The white drills/drivers are not the same grade as the makita-blue tools I have been told they have plastic gears.
Casey

keith3267
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

A. Spruce, have you actually tried a Mantis? I have one and I have hard clay soil. Its limitations are not so much the soil type but the size of the garden. I would not want to till a 1/4 acre with one, but to do a 100 sq ft bed, it beats dragging out the Pony (Troy) or the Horse (also a Troy). I just don't like 2 cycle engines. If it had a 40v or 56v option, it would be perfect.

A. Spruce
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

I have, when Mantis first hit the shelves back in the 80's. I lived in an area of hard pan soil, it worked great in flowerbeds, which is what it was purchased for, but no so much anywhere else. Maybe they've changed the tine design, or given it more horsepower, or it weighs 100 pounds now and can crack hard pan . . . :p:cool:

keith3267
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

The basic model is unchanged, but they do have the basic model with a Honda 4 cycle motor for a little more, and another model with a larger engine and twice as many tines (16" wide) but that one approaches $700. My BIL bought one and I did not like that model. But my little 20 pound unit would cut through the heavy clay soil, but it takes some patience. It works great on a small garden of flower beds, and for cultivating but I still drag out the old Troy Built for the big jobs.

BTW, one use I have for the Ryobi cordless drill is to drill holes in the hard soil for bulbs. I get one of those 2" augers that attaches to a drill and I can do a field of Daffodils in no time. I've actually done this twice over the years, the first time was with the Makita 12v drill before the battery quit taking a charge and there were no replacements.

Mastercarpentry
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

Touching on a subject near and dear to my heart. You don't get what you don't pay for in LiIon batteries. There are dozens of cell manufacturers out there but only a few good ones and those are in Japan and Korea, not China. Since they don't tell you which cells are in the packs you're left with only a brand's reputation to go by, and by reviews of tear-downs of those packs. Older packs- even some long out of production- can be easily rebuilt. There are a few companies specializing in supplying "drop-in" replacements where you open the pack, swap the whole 'guts' with no welding or soldering, glue the pack back together, then go. These are usually mid or low grade cells but at least you're favorite old tool works again.

I too am a fan of the "One battery" concept which was first made popular by DeWalt- Ryobi was about a year behind them inn doing that and since then the concept has become popular. The problem is when your older tool sets get outdated with new battery technology as my 18V DeWalt NiMh tools have. Initially companies offered LiIon only in non-compatible batteries, but again DeWalt led the way in making backwards-compatible packs and everyone quickly followed. Those older tools have now been eclipsed by newer ones which have been designed to take full advantage of the LiIon battery capabilities and the older tool lines are being ended. And now it's possible to have powerful tools which give long run-time so it's not just drills and saws anymore. As it initially was when LiIon hit the market, manufacturers are changing pack styles and voltages to find the optimum so you stand a good chance of finding the tools you bought today obsolete next year- several lines have already been discontinued. If it were me I'd wait another year or two before heavily investing in a particular line for that to settle down onto one battery type which will be supported for a long time to come.

My first cordless was a Black and Decker 3/8 drill with integrated batteries. It came with a wall-wart charger and when new took an hour to get a full charge which gave perhaps a half hour of actual runtime under medium loads. IIRC this was the very early 80's. Had to charge it during lunch to make it to the end of the day then charge it after work for the next day's use. It was the Cat's Meow for hanging metal doors all over a factory or multi-floor building since there was no fighting cords or running miles of them to do the work or discovering that everyone else had already plugged in to the available outlets close-by. The NiCad cells aged quickly though so I upgraded to an early Skil 3/8 drill with removable packs and I've never looked back since then.

My current tool set is the older 18V DeWalt line but they're being phased out. As of today their 20V LiIon line is not as extensive though it will be eventually and that is what I'm going over to when it has enough tools to make the swap worthwhile. They are all good tools, but some other brands have better specific tools but they don't match the DeWalt line as a package deal. Having one battery for all means you'll have plenty of batteries and won't find yourself needing to charge a battery to use one specific tool as you so often do when you've got more than one type of battery in use. In the meantime the interchangeable 18V LiIon packs will keep me going during the interim.

It's a far cry from when I began this career and now you can do many jobs without even needing to plug in anything. And with the spread into yard tools it's even better. The day will come soon when only the heaviest tools will require mains electricity and everything else will run on LiIon batteries. I'm loving it!

Phil

keith3267
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

Mastercarpentry, are you aware that there is an adapter that you can get to use the 20v LiIon batterys with the older 18v tools in the Dewalt line? The contractor that replaced the siding on my house uses them to extend the life of his older tools. He has a lot of money invested in Dewalt cordless tools, but thats where he makes his living.

He really liked by Ryobi cordless miter saw though, Dewalt doesn't have one, but neither does Ryobi anymore. Don't know why the discontinued it.

Edit: Most of the time a battery pack goes bad, it is only the cells on each end that fail. Some of the rebuilt battery packs only replace the end cells and they are good to go again.

A. Spruce
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

This conversation reminds me of something I wish to God that all the manufacturers would do, and that is make a 12v charger so you could charge these darned things in your vehicle. Granted, anything above 12v becomes somewhat of a problem, though I had this idea way back when I had my 9v Makita. At that time I was installing gazebos around spas and hot tubs, and most sites did not have electricity or outlets available. On a few occasions I had to take a long lunch and find a place to plug in my charger for an hour.

With anything over 12v there'd have to be a transformer to up the volts to the tool requirements, but that's not a hard or expensive thing to do. I'm also willing to bet that there are very few professionals out there that wouldn't JUMP at the chance to have a portable charging station like this. The only other option is to carry a small generator with you, which isn't really an option because the only generator worth having is way too large for daily carry/charging tool batteries, and gennies small enough for just such a thing are too small to be of any value for anything else, which ultimately makes them useless to own, not to mention the fact that most generators, save the Honda EU series make "dirty" power, the spikes and drops will kill anything electronic plugged into them, i.e. battery chargers of today.

dj1
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries

From Spruce: " I wish to God that all the manufacturers would do, and that is make a 12v charger so you could charge these darned things in your vehicle."

Way back, when Makita was a new thing, with those long 7.2 V batteries, I was thinking the same thing. It seemed nobody could finish a job on one charge, or even with a spare battery. The long charging time made it worse.

A. Spruce
Re: 18 volt rechargable batteries
dj1 wrote:

Way back, when Makita was a new thing, with those long 7.2 V batteries, I was thinking the same thing. It seemed nobody could finish a job on one charge, or even with a spare battery. The long charging time made it worse.

Yep, that was the bane of my existence in those days, 3 batteries, one drill and I still couldn't install two gazebos without stopping for a charge. Some would say, "just buy more batteries", and while that is one solution, the better solution would be having a way to charge these darned things in your vehicle. Maybe when I buy my Tesla I'll be able to? :p:cool:

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