When it comes to cordless power tools there’s no shortage of options. Walk into any hardware store, and you’ll quickly be overwhelmed with choices. If you’re wondering what to buy and asking yourself, “should I stick with one brand of power tools?” here are a few things to consider.
Whether you’re looking for a new impact drill, orbit sander, circular saw, or even an electric screwdriver, you should absolutely stick with one brand. It’s a good idea for several reasons.
Stick to one power tool line if you can, and make the switch as early as possible if you’re using them for work. That said, choosing the right brand is also important, and here’s what you need to know.
First, I want to start by saying I won’t recommend any specific tool brand over another today. It’s a holy war and argument that won’t get us anywhere. Everyone has different wants, needs, and preferences. Instead, I’ll explain why it’ll benefit you to choose one and stick with them.
Whether it’s Dewalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, Ryobi, Snap-on, or Makita, it’s cheaper if all your tools come from one specific brand. Not only do most offer combo deals with discounted battery packs, like this crazy Ryobi sale in September, but almost every major brand makes one battery that fits tons of tools. Then, down the line, you can save money by getting a “tool only” and using the battery you already own.
You save money on the tools, and you don’t need to buy extra battery packs or another charger. All of that adds up, especially over time. Instead, get one platform and one multi-battery charger, and you’re all set.
Keep in mind that several brands offer different levels, like Milwaukee’s M12 or M18, which is the voltage of the battery pack. The 12v line is the most affordable option for regular users, while construction workers may jump up to 18v, 28v, or even bigger sizes from another manufacturer.
You’ll want to choose one cordless power tool brand and stick with it, and make sure you choose a battery size that works for you. Then, look out for significant discounts during Black Friday and the holidays.
Perhaps the most important reason to stick to one power tool brand is interoperability. No one wants a drill from one brand, a saw from another, and some random electric screwdriver from Amazon. Each of which has its own battery and a different charger to make a mess of the garage. That sounds awful.
With big-name power tools brands like Ryobi, Dewalt, and others, you’ll be able to buy hundreds of different tools that all use one battery and one charger. The Milwaukee M12 platform has over 100 tools that use the same battery, even if that battery isn’t the same shape from tool to tool.
So when that compact M12 battery on your flashlight dies, you can pull the battery from your impact drill and connect it to the flashlight, and you’re all set. Everything works as one cohesive platform.
Another option is the Ryobi 18V One+ line from Home Depot. Once you buy a Ryobi 18V One+ tool, that same battery and charger can power over 260+ different tools. Ryobi has everything from battery-powered cordless power tools, fans, air compressors, grease guns, shop vacs, nail guns, and more.
For example, I have over a dozen Ryobi tools, four battery packs, and a 3-port charger. I always have one battery on a tool with three fully charged packs ready to go. At any moment, I can switch the battery to any other device I own and keep working. I don’t have to worry about a dead battery, charge times, or wasting space on my workbench.
I’d recommend buying more than one brand only if you use one platform at home and another at work. Or if you have to get something else because your brand doesn’t offer what you need. Sure, there are battery adapters, but your mileage may vary with those.
If you need a few basic tools for small repair jobs around the house, choosing a tool isn’t that big of a deal. Find a good price/performance power drill and get the job done.
That said, it’s still highly recommended to find a quality power tool line, get a combo with a battery and charger, then only buy that brand of tool moving forward. Otherwise, you might be out of luck if you end up needing something else down the line, like a cordless belt sander. In that case, you’ll buy another brand with another battery and charger to worry about.
Or, if you have a specific niche, you can always choose a brand that caters to that market. For example, Milwaukee somewhat focuses on the electrical and automotive market, and if that’s your area of work, you could buy a few tools you’ll use daily. Then, if you need something else later, Milwaukee likely has you covered.
Those who regularly use multiple power tools for work will want to do more research. That’s because some brands don’t have a wide assortment of tools, which could be a problem in the future.
It’s simple. Whether buying your first set of power tools or starting a new job, you’ll save time, money, and space if you buy one brand of cordless power tools or accessories and stick with it.
Considering all the options available these days, find what’s right for you and your budget, and enjoy those tools for years to come.