What type of cordless tools do I use?

I am often asked what brand of cordless tools I recommend. I am not a contractor or professional construction person, but I am constantly doing both small and large DIY projects. I have also used my cordless tools to install storm shutters and build various hurricane preparation projects.

That said, I made a video this morning to give you a look at what I own. I settled on Black+Decker tools quite a long time ago, after a very very good experience with one of their early lead battery powered lawnmowers. It lasted about 20 years and it still ran when I switched to lithium battery tools.

I get a negative reaction sometimes when I tell people about my Black+Decker tools, but in my experience, I have never – that’s right, never – had one of their tools fail on me. Black+Decker sells parts to fix worn-out components. That what I did with the lawn mower when the wheels literally were worn away.

I will make the following observations about why some people push the more expensive brands, such as Ryobi, RIDGID, Milwaukee, Makita, DeWalt, and Bosch ( note – I have nothing bad to say about these brands):

  • People with tools get invested in a particular brand mainly because the manufactures make proprietary batteries. That means that a Black+Decker battery won’t fit a Ryobi tool, and a Milwaukee battery won’t fit a Makita tool. So once you start down a particular brand, the battery issue can lock you in. I think I have 10 interchangeable Black+Decker 20 volt lithium batteries, and 3 or 4 chargers. The extra batteries allow me to work on big projects without worrying about running out of power.
  • I think if you were a professional carpenter or contractor, cutting and drilling all day, every day, then some industrial-level brand like Bosch might be a wise investment, if they last longer. However, all the other brands are way more expensive than Black+Decker.
  • I think the main reason that Black+Decker gets dumped on is that the big box stores all try to up-sell you on more expensive brands. I am not sure if half of the sales people have ever used a cordless drill to install shutters, but they all want to maximize the store’s profits.

Whatever you decide to buy, make sure it has the following characteristics:

  • Removable, rechargeable battery. Do not get a drill with a built-in, non-removable battery or you will run dry and not be able to swap
  • The higher the battery voltage the better – hopefully at least 20 volt lithium

Price difference

I know from experience that Black+Decker prices are usually significantly lower. You might get lucky and find a good special on one of the other brands. You will need to do a lot of comparison shopping – read all the questions and answers on Amazon, as well as the reviews too.

Below is a quick comparison I just made using my Amazon affiliate system These are all 4 tool packages, almost all the same. The prices run from about $129 on the low end to over $400 on high end.

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