18 Volt Cordless Combo Kit Head to Head

18 Volt Cordless Combo Kit Head to Head

For this head to head we here at Tool Box Buzz requested 5-piece cordless tool kits from the top tool manufacturers, for an evaluation of a brand’s ability to deliver a comprehensive, quality kit of five primary tools, with adequate storage, and a price that (hopefully) saves you money. Ultimately, our goal was to help you navigate the manufacturers, tools, batteries, and sticker prices to guide you to the kit that best fits your needs.

As always we are looking at a wide range of features and characteristics to ensure you have the hard data AND the professional opinion of our crew of contractors to guide your purchase. If you’ve started looking into purchasing a “tool kit” versus purchasing multiple tools individually or bare tools to establish yourself into a new cordless platform, you quickly learned that there is a lot more to consider than just the brand and the size of your kit. Don’t fret, our team of professionals provide a thorough review of each platform and weigh in on the kits to name the coveted best in class. But before we get to that let’s consider some key facets you’ll want to look for in a cordless kit.

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How about storage? When it comes to tools, lots of guys will choose one manufacturer over another simply because the tool also comes with a case rather than a bag, or no storage at all. This simple feature, which you often pay for, extends the life of the tool and in general makes the owners life easier. If you are just starting out with a cordless tool collection, storage may be a concern you need to address, since you probably don’t have a ton of tools in your arsenal yet.

Of course, when talking cordless tools, you have to consider batteries. How many? What size? What’s the cost to purchase more? Runtime? Charge time? Battery technology seems to be ever changing right now and can make a big difference in the performance you get, and the price you pay. Thinking long and hard about the platform you’re buying into can really save you from making the wrong choice. Speaking of savings, does a kit really save you a lot of money?

Manufacturers use different SKUs, which stands for Stock Keeping Unit or in laymen’s terms, a distinct/specific item, to build these kits. The saw you get in a kit may not be the exact saw you buy individually, they are different SKUs. And furthermore the price differences may not make the savings worth the sacrifice in quality. These marketing schemes only add to the difficulty of making a truly informed decision. That’s where we here at Tool Box Buzz come in…

 

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This article highlights some great cordless tool kits from the top tool manufacturers for professional contractors or anyone looking to make a worthwhile investment in a cordless tool platform. We selected some complete 5-piece kits, 4-piece kits with an additional add on tools and batteries, and even pieced individual tools together to compile a 5-piece kit.

To review the kits in details click the link(s) below, or you can read on,  manufacturers include:

Unlike our past head to head tool comparisons, this test was more about the complete package, not only was the hard data considered but also the soft aspects of each tool kit. We focus our Head to Head’s on intensive professional scrutiny to help you make the best decision on your next investment.

18 Volt Cordless Combo Kit Video Intro

 

We’ve looked at Circular Saws, Cordless Multi-Tools, and more! With this head to head we’ve taken on a larger investment, an 18-Volt Cordless Combo Kit, consisting of 5 tools; drill, driver, light, recip, and circular saw.

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With single tool comparisons you can focus on apple to apple comparisons, pick apart each tool, and choose a clear winner. With this head to head we looked at eight kits, from seven companies, and 40 tools. Ultimately this head to head had so many variables and varying kits that it became difficult to compare them objectively. But still, we deliver our overall professional opinions fairly and objectively on which kit is the best fit, for you. So sit back, enjoy the reviews, and trust the pros.

To see the results click the link(s) below, or you can read on, categories include:

About the author

Philip Benevides

Phil is a 28-year old Air Force Veteran who decided to transform his passion for construction and home improvement into a career. Inspired by his Grandfather who built his home from the ground up with his bare hands in Portugal, he received his formal training in Carpentry at the North Bennett Street School in Boston, MA. Phil continues to grow his skills as a lead carpenter, managing job sites in and around Boston, and a Captain in the Air National Guard bettering himself as a leader. He loves exploring new building products and construction methods to solve job-site problems and reviewing tools for the pro-contractor and serious DIYer.

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10 Comments

  1. Bryndin

    Sorry but I disagree with the ridgid even with the warranty it’s brutal batteries suck and either are stuck in tool or won’t click in and if you take it back chances are the warranty is life time but they will hold on for ever in getting it fixed and back to you if it breaks just go but something else really.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Bryndin – I’ll have to disagree with your assessment. I use Ridgid cordless tools all the time, and my crew does as well, and they have performed very well. We’ve never had trouble with batteries getting stuck or not clicking into place. If you properly fill out the warranty there really isn’t an issue at all getting them replaced.

      1. Bret T

        I agree, although I own Milwaukee M-12 and M-18 lines, I’ve been purchasing Ridgid tools for my individual crew members who don’t take care of their tools . . . i.e. misplace and or trash them rapidly . . . I clean and where possible service my tools weekly, most of my men do not. That being said, I’ve used and watched Ridgid tools being used and abused. Rigid is a quality product and the value is truly outstanding. Are the Ridgid products as good as the M-12 and M-18 line???? Certainly they are not as extensive, not quite as powerful but they feel solid in ones hands, they do the job asked of them, albeit not quite as powerfully as the M18’s. If the Ridgid line were as extensive as the Milwaukee, if it updated and offered new selections of tools more frequently, there is no way I could justify buying M-18 line because of the $$ premium one has to pay for the Milwaukee line. The truth is, from my experience . . . Rigid, Milwaukee, Dewalt, Makita, and Bosch all offer tools that I could only dream of 20 years ago . . . . heck , , I’m not even sure I could dream of these tools 20 years ago they are all so good. For me, the most important determinant of tool line is “one battery for all tools” and extensive tool line. If I were starting from scratch . . . and I will be doing just that in a few months . . . It would be a very difficult decision on which line to build a foundation on.

        1. Todd Fratzel

          Bret – Couldn’t agree more. Ridgid is a hidden gem in our industry. Not many people realize, but Ridgid is owned by the same parent company that owns Milwaukee (TTI).

  2. Michael Frontera

    Great review guys! I know this was a tremendous amount of work. I am an electrician and have always been a DeWalt guy But Milwaukee as of late has really been killing it. I already have some M12 tools but I just can’t do another battery platform. I have already invested in about 9 or 10 DeWalt 20v max batteries. Thanks Guys!

  3. […] Milwaukee M18 Sawzall. It is replacing the previous model, the 2620, which we covered during the 18 Volt Cordless Combo Kit Head2Head article. The FUEL line and brushless tools in general get plenty of electronic ink around the tool world […]

  4. […] Milwaukee M18 Sawzall. It is replacing the previous model, the 2620, which we covered during the 18 Volt Cordless Combo Kit Head2Head article. The FUEL line and brushless tools in general get plenty of electronic ink around the tool world […]

  5. Aaron

    I’ve used rigid cordless tools for the last 11 years. My first set, including the hammer drill, impact and sawzall worked great and lasted 8 years. Since then I’ve been replacing tools one after another. If I could I would replace them all with the originals. Despite their weight and size they were by far the best I’ve ever owned. The new ones weigh less are more compact and break far too easy. Now I have to decide weather I go with the Milwaukee m18 fuel or the dewalt.

  6. Steve

    Just a comment about battery voltages. ALL the tools have 18-volt batteries. Some claim 20 volt, but that’s misleading. Li-Ion cells are all 3.6 volts. All the tools have 5 cells. 3.6 x 5 = 18 volts. Sure, after a full charge you might be about to read 20 volts with a meter, but that would be the case with any of the manufacturer’s batteries.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      You are correct Steve. Marketing mumbo jumbo!

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