Episode-1830- Power Tools for the Homestead — 35 Comments

    • Does anyone have any comments on the Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ stuff? I have a ~5 year old first generation Lithium Ion Bosch driver that is fantastic, but has absolutely no other tools that use the battery. I also have all the Ryobi 40V Lithium Ion outside tools, such as the big string trimmer, pole saw, and blower. Those are fantastic too, and have a ton of power, but the batteries are very heavy, and there aren’t all the hand tools available.

      One of my coworkers swears by the Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ stuff because there are SO many different tools that all share the same batteries. I just don’t know how the reliability is. So if anyone else has them I would love to hear what people have to say.

      • I recently picked up a Drill and Impact Driver kit as an open box deal at Home Depot for $89 ( I have used each tool several times and I like them far better than the Craftsman 18.2 volt kit I picked up off Craigslist several years ago. More power, lighter, and better ergonomics for me. I’ll probably continue to expand the Ryobi collection as the need/opportunity arises.

        They are certianly not commercial quality but for my uses, once or twice a week, I was very impressed.

        • Awesome deal and the kind of thing I was talking about in the end. If you don’t need it yet, wait and look around, deals show up. Of course now you are going to be hard pressed to get anything except Ryobi for other needs, manufactures know what they are doing with entry priced kits.

        • Great, thanks for the info! I do not have an impact driver, but definitely want one. I also could always use a second cordless drill so I can have a drill bit in one and the driver bit in the other. So I’ll keep my eyes open for an open box special.

          I do definitely like all the different items you can get for the Ryobi ONE+ stuff. I’d love to have a cordless vibrating cutting tool, or a cordless reciprocating saw now that I have LOTS of areas that are many hundreds of feet from power.

      • My dad’s always used Ryobi and it’s fine. He’s a contractor but in a line of work that doesn’t require things like drills and drivers every day. They’re just as reliable as anything else I’ve seen.

      • One reason to look at the Ryobi 18Volt One+ line of cordless tools, is they have a In-Vehicle Dual chemistry charger. It has a 12V cigarette lighter plug on it.

        So for those listeners that have a Steven Harris battery bank system can easily charge their tool batteries in many different ways.

    • My son has smaller version of those, both he and his dad use Ryobi. We borrow his finish nailer often, especially for putting trim on walls, bookcases, etc. Not something we must keep on hand at all times but very useful for certain projects.

      When he built a large shop building in his yard he got larger nail gun with the co cartridges. I am not sure why he didn’t buy the larger ryobi. I do know when a friend of ours needed help putting better roof on his trailer, it worked great, saved much time until his cartridge ran out.

  1. I find I use the angle grinder more than any other tool I use. We have 3 or 4 different brands at work. Milwaukee, Dewalt, Ryobi. They all work ok, but with the hours I put into one I went out and bought a German Metabo angle grinder. The first 8 hour shift I had to use one I went home and bought another one for the house.

    I use the wire wheel and cup to remove rust on everything before I restore. Flap discs for something a little harsher. I got a cheep lawn mower last year that ran fine but was rusted and nasty all over. Week of cleaning up and can of spray paint, I’ve been using it since.

      • Festool is very expensive but their tools are very well designed, are very reliable, have the best dust collection, and the best accuracy. You have to buy into the system (MFT table, track saw, dust collector) but once you do, you will start to see the benefits. They have the best sanders, saws, and routers.

        I have been a Dewalt customer for decades and have most of their 18v cordless products and their miter saw. The 18v index driver is one of my go-to tools but I have found the Festool drill with installers kit to be better (longer battery life and greater precision control). So is the Dewalt 18v reciprocal saw and the 18v hammer drill. The Dewalt miter saw is also excellent and better than Festool for framing; I will eventually get the Festool one as it is better for trim and finish work. The Festool track and jig saws and routers are much better than the Dewalt equivalents.

        The paslode framing nail gun is also one of my favorites — it has largely replaced my old air powered framing nail gun. The Dewalt 18v nail guns are also excellent for finish work.

        For chain saws, I only buy Stihl and am very happy with the 3 Stihl chainsaws I own. The Stihl electric tools (chain saw, pole saw, blower, cutoff saw) are very good.

  2. I wanted to add a product that goes with chop saws and the circular saws and that is Diablo saw blades. They’re top notch blades. I work for a building materials supplier and I would say that 90% of our contractors use Diablo blades in anything with a circle blade. My point is if all the professionals are using different brands and types of saws but the same saw blade that will tell you something, and yes I have used them. They are fantastic.

    • I’m not a pro by any means, but I will definitely say that I have burned through about five cheapo blades, usually one after each big project. But then I finally bought one Diablo blade, and it has been going for years of intermittent use and is still going strong.

      One huge tip that has helped me a lot with using a circular saw is to use your speed square as a guide for the circular saw. This is probably the most elementary circular saw tip, but before I would do my best to just free-hand into a cut, and I would often stall before getting through even a 2×4. Now I put my speed square down with the lip hanging off the edge closest to me, pinch it with my left hand, and use that as a straight guide for my saw to enter the cut. I think this makes the cut much more straight, and prevents friction on the blade because the kerf is clearing a perfectly straight path for the blade; whereas before I think I would get a lot of drag, causing dulling of the blade and stalling of the saw.

    • And most of the contractors who do not use Diablo use Festool (which are better than Diablo but only work with the Festool saws)…

      I use the Diablo blades in my table saw but use Festool for my TS-75 saw.

  3. Jack would you consider a “tips and tricks” follow up show with some suggestions from the audience?

    Thanks for another great show.

  4. I was hoping a welder would make the list. Plenty of homestead jobs need welding. Soon I need to make a Chicken Tractor on Steroids of Geoff Lawton. Right now I’m having some welding done on my dump trailer. Need fencing, etc.

  5. A year or so ago I finally bought a DeWalt plug in Circular saw. Mentioned to my brother in law, that I finally retired the 50 year old metal frame 7 inch circular and bought a DeWalt and he said I should have gotten a Ridgid. Home Depot has a lifetime warranty on them! Supposedly! Also, don’t discount used stuff. For $200 I bought a massive ridgid table saw with heavy cast iron table and room to build a router table insert that new costs about $600. I would have spent $140 for the cheapest new skill table saw a available

    • Dewalt’s quality has been declining and most of the Black and Decker products are Chinese made-junk. Ridgid has some quality tools – I have their table saw and 12″ planer. Their full size table saw is essentially the old Sears craftsman design that Ridgid bought when Sears stopped selling American made table saws and sold the design to Ridgid.

      However, since I got the Festool TS-75 along with several of the guide rails (including the long one that can rip a full 8′ length of a sheet of plywood), and the MFT table, I am finding that I’m using the table saw less and less.

  6. A pruning blade on a battery powered reciprocating saw is a very handy tool around the house and on work days at the deer lease

  7. I just purchased my third chainsaw. All are stihls and there is absolutely no reason I would ever buy anything else. (I am actually inside taking a break now from chainsawing down a bunch of trees for expanding the nursery).

    I just bought this:

    I already have quite the love affair with this saw. Seems to be the perfect balance of power and weight. (Very light). They made some recent improvements to all of the ports to be able to be opened without the tool. (Thank goodness). Also the bolts that hold the blade on, are now attached to the face plate so they won’t drop out onto the ground. (Happens all the time on the big saws).

    Others I have:
    A monster – (not recommended for anyone)

    Smaller One –
    This saw is an absolute must for limbing and taking down brush. Exceptionally light, and I have run this thing through the dirt and still works like a complete champ. The easy start, is exceptionally easy and starts every time.

  8. My husband recently bought himself a cordless DeWalt impact Driver. It is amazing. You don’t have to worry about having the right pressure on a screw when trying to loosen it, you don’t have to worry about stripping screws out.

    I’m rather unskilled at using a drill (simple skill I know), but this impact driver made me feel like a pro. Plus my dad is a very pragmatic tool buyer. He thought this sort of thing was hokey. After all he already had a drill. Welp, after he tried my husband’s, he bought one for himself.

    Great show. I learned a lot.

  9. Jack mentioned my recommendation during the show of a chop saw – I made that call a few years ago. I’d ammend that just a bit – now I’d say that should be a sliding miter saw. When looking at a slider, there are good and not so good units. One thing to look at in a slider is the orientation of the sliding rails – you want one with the two rails side by side and not stacked vertically. The reason for this is because at some point, the mechanism will loosen up and have some slop in it. You would rather have that loose movement to be in the vertical plane rather than horizontally.

    I’m going to be moving soon and have sold almost the entire workshop – we’re heading to apartment life for the short term but the tools I’m keeping are the drill/impact driver combo, the battery operated circular track saw, handplanes, and chisels. The other things I’m holding on to are the sharpening equipment such as the buffer/grinder, water stones, diamond stones, and ceramics.

    Once we get to a larger homestead property – I’ll be retooling using a very similar list to what Jack has put together here. Great topic and very well put together.

  10. Great show, thanks Jack!

    I thought I would share a few tips that I’ve figured out over the past few months:

    * I used the exact Porter-Cable air compressor + Freeman nail gun combo kit to frame up my basement over the past few months. Overall I was happy with the tools, and they got the job done. The framing nailer ships with a little black hard plastic cover over business end of the tool. If you pop that plastic piece off, you will uncover metal teeth that do a good job of grabbing the wood.

    * My only complaint with the framing nailer – often when toenailing, the nails would not drive completely into the wood (the last 1/4″ to 1/8″ would stick out). Maybe bringing the pressure up a little past the recommended range would have solved the problem, but it wasn’t really a big deal. This only happened when toenailing, not during straight shots. For the price, I still think it’s a great deal.

    * I’ve spent a lot of time at Home Depot over the past few months. I recently learned that Home Depot’s mobile app is pretty useful. If you search for a product, the app can tell you exactly which aisle & section the product is located.

    * Having a angle grinder is very handy, I use it it for metal cutoffs all the time. I have also used masonry wheels to cut concrete pavers….until I found something better for stone work. I bought a Makita general purpose diamond tipped blade for use with my circular saw, and have used it to cut poured concrete, brick, pavers, mortar, etc.

  11. I’d like to add that both Home Depot and Lowe’s offer 10% discounts to veterans. Even if you aren’t retired, as I’m not.

    However, when I lived in Camden County, NJ I went to the clerk’s office, submitted my DD214 and got a credit card type card that says I was honorably discharged and that my DD214 is on file there with a picture of me too.

    I think cost like $15. But I’ve saved hundreds upon hundreds of dollars at HD and Lowes since.
    Only one time did anyone look at my card funny. But he was actually a veteran himself and I told him what I did and he was quite cool with it.

    Just something to think about.

  12. “However, when I lived in Camden County, NJ I went to the clerk’s office, submitted my DD214 and got a credit card type card that says I was honorably discharged and that my DD214 is on file there with a picture of me too.”

    As vets we need something like this. One doesn’t carry their DD214 in their pocket unless one is stupid. Speaking of stupid a clerk at Lowes told me they only wanted an ID card because anyone can get a DD214 by just going to a recruiters office.

    Some of these ID-10-Ts do not comprehend that unless you retire, are active duty or active reserve that you do not have an ID card. When I was discharged they took my card, punched holes in it and tossed it in a can to be shredded.

    The only way many of us have to get “card” is to go to VA and register and many do not want to do that. Funny though the dolts at Lowes will accept that card even though anyone employed by VA in anyway can get one!

    There was some chatter about a National Vet ID Card recently. While I don’t like national identification there are a lot of times a Vet needs simple proof they were a vet, such a card for that purpose is fine. Not to mention if you are a vet any info on that card and tons more they already have.

  13. Regarding reciprocating saws, while I don’t have first-hand experience (yet), I can tell you guys that my husband wouldn’t trade his DualSaw for anything with just one blade. I’ve watched him do things with that saw that you’d never be able to do with a regular reciprocating saw. It’s not just marketing. The second blade means that you have so much more control over the cut; there’s no kick. Yeah, we had to drag out our generator when we used it on a building that didn’t have electricity, but I’m certain it saved my husband all sorts of pain later (since he was using a saw that didn’t kick in all kinds of strange orientations to make the cuts that needed made.)

  14. This is quite the list of tools…

    It looks like I have my work cut out for me if I want to build up to a collection like this. Thank you for sharing recommendations–speaking from experience, it’s hard to select just one good tool, let alone a storage building full of them.

  15. You can’t go wrong with a Husqvarna chainsaw, this summer I’ve had great success with both one of their chainsaws and hedge trimmers. They come at a premium compared to some, but I think it’s worth it for the comfortable experience and easy starting.