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Old 05-16-2010, 11:44 PM   #1
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New Power Tool Time

So, do you judge a guy by the tools he has?

Here's my situation...

I really like cordless power tools that allows me to use one battery for several different tools. My first such tool was a hammer drill -- that I still use and like a lot -- from Sears (Craftsman brand, C3 line). When I use another power tool from the same line (such as a jigsaw, circular trim saw, tire inflator -- I have all three), I just pop up the battery and put that in the other tool. Piece of cake.

Now comes the dilmemma. I'm thinking about getting a cordless weed trimmer. Sears doesn't have one out yet -- perhaps sometime this year. I saw a cordless weed trimmer in Home Depot (Ryobi brand) with nice reviews. The catch is if I get that, that uses a different line of batteries (Ryobi tools only).

I'm debating in my own mind which way to go. Pluses and minuses to each. If I stick to Craftsman, I use only one battery line which makes it simpler. But that tool isn't out yet. If I go with another battery line, a plus it that opens up alterative tools to choose from, but another battery line to own.

So, what do others in my same boat do for your cordless power tools? Do you own tools from different brands or just stick to one battery line?
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:00 AM   #2
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I had a Ryobi cordless trimmer.....the battery lasted just over one growing season, then would no longer take or hold a charge. So I found and purchased a new battery for it.....which lasted just over one growing season. The cost of the replacement battery was about $45.....Trimmer was about $100.

I solved the problem! I tossed the thing in the dumpster and bought a Stihl 2-cycle trimmer! This is the 5th growing season, and it starts and runs just as fine as the day I bought it! Cost of the Stihl was about $170.

Cordless electric hand tools...Yes! I love 'em!!! Cordless electric lawn/garden equipment...Never again! (The Ryobi wasn't my first experience with cordless electric lawn/garden tool, as we'd had a few before that.) Besides, the Stilh has a heck of a lot more ooomph than the Ryobi ever hoped to have...it never bogs down in tall grass or weeds!
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:36 AM   #3
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So, what do others in my same boat do for your cordless power tools? Do you own tools from different brands or just stick to one battery line?
Like you, I've gone with the Craftsman 19.2V C3 line of tools. They may not be Bosch-level tools, but they offer very good value (especially when bought as sets). I really like the convenience of having just a single battery type. I also bought a Li-ion battery for this tool line. I've seen other tools in other tool lines that were appealing, but sticking with the C3 line has a lot of advantages (batteries don't last forever, and they are pricey when bought as replacements. Every time I buy a new C3 tool with a battery I can use this new, fresh battery in all my tools).
In the case of the C3 line, Sears has been very good about continuing to support them and not leaving me with a set of orphan tools. So, I don't stray much.

If Sears made a C3 string trimmer, I might give it a try. For now I'm happy with my small 4-cycle Ryobi trimmer with the click-link detachable options. Someday I might buy other stuff that can use the same motor.

PS--If you get the Li-Ion battery, don't keep it fully charged. The battery will last many years longer if kept at 1/2 charge. If you've got a big job coming up, pop it into the charger to top it off, but don't keep it at the fully charged state as a normal practice.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:04 AM   #4
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I have the Craftsman 19.2v C3 line also. The vacuum cleaners do not work very well - they cant suck up anything bigger than dust. So I am wary about battery powered trimmers having enough oomph to go through thick grass. I have a 2 cycle Stihl with string and brush blade attachments
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:00 AM   #5
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I bought a small set of Ryobi cordless tools years ago when they came out with their original line - they were for use at the ranch (where there is no electricity) during hunting season. Super handy and few limitations (circular saw is a little small). In fact, I like them so much that even around the house I tend to reach for one of them for most jobs. Somebody got me the chain saw for a gift, and I was surprised to find that it will cut through wood - eventually.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:20 AM   #6
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I had a Ryobi cordless trimmer.....the battery lasted just over one growing season, then would no longer take or hold a charge. So I found and purchased a new battery for it.....which lasted just over one growing season. The cost of the replacement battery was about $45.....Trimmer was about $100.
Wow, one year huh, I thought they would have lasted longer. I've accumulated about 15 Dewalt 18 V XRP batteries and use them on a regular basis and I replaced my first one after around 15 years.

Ok, back to the original topic, I know of several people that bought the cordless lawn tools and most all told me the battery just didn't hold a long enough charge. I know that doesn't answer your question but if you want all the equipment to use one battery then you'll have to wait and maybe pay the additional price. My next weed trimmer will be a stihl gas powered, I find them a bit loud but have power to spare.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:27 AM   #7
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Cordless electric hand tools...Yes! I love 'em!!! Cordless electric lawn/garden equipment...Never again!
What Goonie said. Underpowered, not cost-effective over the long run and not worth the convenience factor - at least not to me.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:26 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the great feedback. The area I'd be using the cordless trimmer on is rather small (only about fifty by three feet). Here's a youtube video of the future C3 trimmer and a link to the Ryobi model. I've heard Sears should have the trimmer maybe by memorial day -- but we'll see.




Ryobi 18 Volt Lithium String Trimmer - P2002 at The Home Depot
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:31 AM   #9
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Unless your weeds are more than 50 feet away, I'd suggest an electric trimmer with a long cord.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:34 AM   #10
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Wow, one year huh, I thought they would have lasted longer. I've accumulated about 15 Dewalt 18 V XRP batteries and use them on a regular basis and I replaced my first one after around 15 years.

You must not use yours a lot... I inherited mine from my BIL... he used his a lot... he had about 5 batteries (both XRP and regular)... all 5 died about the same time... All are about 5 or so years old...

From what I read.. they are supposed to either get 500 or 1,000 charges... according to which one you have...

I do like the Dewalt...
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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Wow, one year huh, I thought they would have lasted longer. I've accumulated about 15 Dewalt 18 V XRP batteries and use them on a regular basis and I replaced my first one after around 15 years.........
I've got Sears/Craftsman tools that I use all the time, and I'm still using the original batteries....I've had them for about 6 or 7 years. They still take, and hold a good charge. So I was quite surprised that the Ryobi battery lasted for such a short period of time.....about the same as the batteries in the set of B&D yard hand tools that I bought my Mom a few years ago.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:05 PM   #12
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You must not use yours a lot....
If I didn't use it alot I wouldn't have about 15 batteries. I guess when you think about it I don't use all 15 at once. What I find helps is to have the batteries go completely dead before recharging and use the tune up button on the charger every once in a while. I found that gave more life out of the battery.

Ok, let's do the math, even though math isn't my stong point. If I were to charge one battery once per day each battery would be used 24.3 times per year. Multiply that by 15 years each battery gets charged 365 times. Did I do the math right? Now let me ask, how many people drain a Dewalt 18 volt XRP batttery every single day. At one point I would drain about 2 or three batteries per day but not on the weekends. Therefore 15 years sounds about right.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:21 PM   #13
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Unless your weeds are more than 50 feet away, I'd suggest an electric trimmer with a long cord.
In this situation, a long cord really isn't convenient. Weeds are spread apart and objects (such as a car, tables) would get in the way of a cord.

I'm spoiled with using cordless that I pretty don't want to pick up any corded tool to use unless I really have to.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:25 PM   #14
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I've got Sears/Craftsman tools that I use all the time, and I'm still using the original batteries....I've had them for about 6 or 7 years. They still take, and hold a good charge. So I was quite surprised that the Ryobi battery lasted for such a short period of time.....about the same as the batteries in the set of B&D yard hand tools that I bought my Mom a few years ago.
The two nicad Diehard batteries that came with my C3 hammer drill are about 5 years old and still going strong. They keep a charge really well. Plus I got a newer lithium ion battery/charger too.

Funny, as I've read (don't know if true) that the same company manufactures oth Ryobi and Craftsman tools.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:49 PM   #15
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If I didn't use it alot I wouldn't have about 15 batteries. I guess when you think about it I don't use all 15 at once. What I find helps is to have the batteries go completely dead before recharging and use the tune up button on the charger every once in a while. I found that gave more life out of the battery.

Ok, let's do the math, even though math isn't my stong point. If I were to charge one battery once per day each battery would be used 24.3 times per year. Multiply that by 15 years each battery gets charged 365 times. Did I do the math right? Now let me ask, how many people drain a Dewalt 18 volt XRP batttery every single day. At one point I would drain about 2 or three batteries per day but not on the weekends. Therefore 15 years sounds about right.
Sorry... but you never know... you might have just bought a lot of single tools with 2 batteries each... my BIL bought the big set in a hard case... and I can not figure out how to get them all back in...

There is a tune up button I have not seen that anywhere... I will have to look... maybe all they needed was a tune up...
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:53 PM   #16
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Some of my NiCd C3 batteries have died this year, but I've had them for well over 10 years and haven't taken good care of them (e.g. I left them discharged for long periods, which normally leads to reverse charging of some of the cells, which is not good). My newer ones are doing fine.
I'd be very happy to get the full number of advertised cycles out of any rechargeable, but in the real world I think other factors normally conspire to kill these batteries long before they attain the advertised number of cycles.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:28 PM   #17
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Unless your weeds are more than 50 feet away, I'd suggest an electric trimmer with a long cord.
I suggest a Landscaper.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:48 PM   #18
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......Funny, as I've read (don't know if true) that the same company manufactures both Ryobi and Craftsman tools.
Could very well be true of some of the tools. Several years ago I was shopping for a chipper/shredder, and two of the models that I looked at were identical except for the 'brand' stickers......Craftsman and TroyBilt. All the same specs, same engines, same color, same everything.....'cept the name and the price! The TroyBilt was about $100 more!

Needless to say the Craftsman is in my shed. And I used that $100, that I saved on the chipper, to buy a small chainsaw at the same time.
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:30 PM   #19
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my BIL bought the big set in a hard case... and I can not figure out how to get them all back in...

There is a tune up button I have not seen that anywhere... I will have to look... maybe all they needed was a tune up...
Depending on which kit you got there should be a molded black diagram that shows how they all go back together again.
The tune up charger will have a yellow button along the front and it will come with instructions on how to use it.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:31 PM   #20
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Unless your weeds are more than 50 feet away, I'd suggest an electric trimmer with a long cord.
Ditto- but buy a Stihl; you can't beat the quality, IMO. Dealing with the cord is easier than dealing with anemic, underpowered batteries that give up the ghost when you are at the maximum possible distance from the house.
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