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Power Tools
Quick Summary
There will obviously be many power tools in my workshop. Most of which I will actually be making myself - like the lathe and mill, or will be tweaking myself - like the tablesaw/router table/jigsaw inserts in my workbench. But when I say "power tools" I'm typically referring to cordless power tools.Right no,w I have a Milwaukee drill (technically a hammerdrill, but I've honestly never even used it on the "hammerdrill" setting) and impact that I started with plus a Milwaukee Sawzall and 4.5-5" Angle Grinder. My hammerdrill and impact came with two 5.0 AH batteries. I've since added another pair of 6.0 "Heavy Duty" batteries. These new batteries boasted claims that they were compatible with the entire M18 line of tools and they boost the power of any tool by 50%. Those were some outlandish claims, but if true, a couple batteries could upgrade an entire tool collection of an unlimited number of tools to be like all new upgraded tools without having to buy a single new tool. I didn't think it was possible for a new battery to improve the tool performance so drastically. But it did... at least as far as I can tell. I'm going to try to setup some tests with my oscilloscope to see specifically what the difference is
Milwaukee M18 FUEL ONE-KEY Hammerdrill/Driver & 1/4" Impact
They came in a kit, and were far from cheap. Since I do have plenty of friends that use these kinds of tools on a daily basis to make a living, I got their advice in terms of brand, motor (voltage, brushed or brushless, any special line, etc.), and so on and so forth. I ended up deciding that Milwaukee was the brand I was going to get, and that 18v brushless was the motor type. From here I started looking around and taking in as much info as I could. After deciding that I was going to get the FUEL line, I found 2 kits that looked the same but weren't. Come to find one was called ONE-KEY. It was a brand new line that had Bluetooth connectivity. It had GPS location and the ability to be locked out, which I LOVED. I used to manage a couple pawn shops years ago, and often had people bring in power tools. So out of concern that my drill/impact could be stolen, I was very attracted by these capabilities and ended up buying this kit that was the hammerdrill, impact, charger, and two 5AH batteries. I installed the ONE-KEY app and set it all up. It tracks service dates and professional resources like that, but I didn't really care about that. I did discover that I could create multiple profiles that I tinkered with a bit. The drill can be set as low as 127RPM max, with variable trigger all the way up to that. It's been AMAZING for detailing my car, light sanding applications, etc. With a 127RPM top speed, I don't need to worry so much about a twitch giving a jolt of 2K+ RPM and wrecking a finish (I have zero talent at that). I've had incredible results from this drill. I use it WAY more than I ever would have imagined. And with the right bit sets, the impact is incredibly useful as well. The only issue I've had was the LED going out on the impact after being used not even 10 hours. It wasn't much of an inconvenience before, but now I find myself in many situations that I would love to have that little light. So now I'm going to start looking into how hard it is to replace. Other than that one issue, these tools have saved me DAYS worth of time already. And although it's a bitter pill to swallow at such a high price, I don't have a moment's regret over the purchase. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I've actually talked to my friend that's in the home remodeling business about trading tools for a week. He's a big Makita user, but I think these unique features just might make a convert out of him. The problem at the moment is that my kit is too small. He's got like a 5-tool set with saws and whatnot that I don't have. Yet at least. But he can't very well trade and do without those tools, and I can't do without a charger, which he would need to keep his in order to charge his other tools on top of mine for the drill and impact. So this idea has been put on the back burner. But if anybody reading this is in the market, I can't recommend the ONEKEY tools highly enough.
Milwaukee M18 FUEL 4.5-5" Angle Grinder
What can I say - an angle grinder is one of the most versatile tools that you can own. It's not as precise as a rotary tool (Dremel), but it's also much more powerful. If I had to choose only one powertool, it would be tough to choose between my hammerdrill or angle grinder. And then having the ability to be cordless... plus the new Heavy Duty batteries make it even more powerful. Though I do need to say the safety switch is quite annoying. I wish it was the model with the trigger rather than the paddle/ But beggars can't be choosers and that's the only one in stock at the local "big box". Annoying paddle switch aside, it's a fantastic tool. Especially with the better batteries. I got a 5" disc sander adapter that's been super handy. Unsurprisingly, I've found 5" discs to get better performance than 4" or 4.5" discs. And I picked up a pack of 0.040" thick cutting discs that I've fallen in love with