Are Milwaukee tools no good any more? - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    no question lithium batteries are better and lithium usually holds 200% to 400% more charge and lasts longer per charge. and doesnt leak charge or go dead when out of the charger. some NiCAD and NiMH will loose most of charge in less than 24 hours out of the charger
    .
    only problem i ever heard is some lithium batteries failed cause fuse inside blew which is better than starting a battery fire which can be very bad. literally a unattended battery charger starting of fire is bad. like a new show showing a $.10 part on coffee maker failing and starting a melting plastic fire and they show on new report the hugh fire after only 20 minutes that typically could do $10,000 to over $100,000 in house damage fairly quickly.
    .
    just saying might want to think about where battery chargers are and not leave unattended or nobody nearby.

  2. #42
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    That is holding together with just super-glue?

  3. #43
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    i am not sure how battery store opens up battery packs and replaces the individual battery cells. they might use a electric hot wire to slice plastic open and some way to heat seal the battery packs closed again. i was told its roughly 1/2 the price to replace the battery cells compared to buying a new battery pack. if lithium battery pack had even one bad cell and it blew the fuse then replacing the bad cell or single battery and replacing fuse then the battery pack works again.
    ....i am not sure how they test it. they might just change all the cells in a battery pack to be on the safe side.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattiJ View Post
    Contrary to common beliefs totally discharging nicad and especially nimh before charging them is bad for them. Weakest cell discharges to zero volts and after that reverses polarity and it kills especially nimh cell in question pretty fast. And there you have your "bad cell". Causes sort of internal shorts to grow and the batteries self-discharge lot faster than normally (days or hours instead of weeks)
    Ni-chemistry would have been lot more succesfull if manufacturers would have included sophisticated charge/discharge/balance electronics like Li-ion batteries use.
    I don't run mine down all the way. If I have a battery that is partly discharged and I'm going to need it fully charged I put them in my cordless vacuum and let it run until the speed slows down significantly. Let it cool down and charge it. Not nearly as good as the LiIon batteries but better than dragging a cord around.

  5. #45
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    I think Milwaukee is still one of the best for battery powered tools. I've but a lot of use on mine.
    Did have one battery quit 9-10 years ago, the local repair place were retards with horrible service, and the battery quit again not long after so it went in the trash but the other 3 are still going strong. Tens out thousands of screws, thousands of holes, some hammering in concrete, dropped 20' feet off scaffolding and still worked, etc.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    i am not sure how battery store opens up battery packs and replaces the individual battery cells. they might use a electric hot wire to slice plastic open and some way to heat seal the battery packs closed again. i was told its roughly 1/2 the price to replace the battery cells compared to buying a new battery pack. if lithium battery pack had even one bad cell and it blew the fuse then replacing the bad cell or single battery and replacing fuse then the battery pack works again.
    ....i am not sure how they test it. they might just change all the cells in a battery pack to be on the safe side.
    Cordless tool batteries are usually easy to open up unlike laptop batteries. For example Makita opens up with torx screwdriver.
    Internals are usually lot more complicated than fuse, usually sort of microprosessor that keeps on track charge level, temperature and anything abnormal in the battery history.
    Pretty often you need way to reset the internal ”computer” if it has decided that battery is not good anymore so just replacing the bad cells doesn’t necessarily work.

  7. #47
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    With Makita 18V LiOn The battery talks to the charger AND the tool (last few years, those with the star symbol on both) . Once it detects a abnormal cell and the charger tries 3 times to recover, it will write a block into the local processor and that's it... no more charging, rebuilding etc. And there is no "reset". Toss it. On the other hand, they are built really well and last years even with hard use.

  8. #48
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    The comment on Milwaukee drills twisting your arm off is almost correct, I used an m18 fuel drill/driver for taking toolblocks and jaws out of the lathe and kept it on the slip torque so I could just run the bolts down tight and then hand tighten to finish.Had the a-hole Foreman grabbed the drill one day off my bench and put it on the solid drill setting and put it right back without me knowing he even had it. First bolt I drove in ended up twisting my wrist about 3/4 around, tearing ligaments and basically ensuring a bad wrist for the rest of my life.

    My m12 drill, drivers,impacts,sawzall,have all been flawless since the first kit bought back in'08. Had 3 batteries go bad in around 11months but the rest have been working for years.I do really hate the new 1/2inch m12 drill though, it has a completely worthless torque limiter system, it can only be used in solid drill mode or hammer drill mode but has great torque then for only 12v.

  9. #49
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    In my shop that foreman would be fired....

  10. #50
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    I have a few old Milwaukee tools left, my 1/2" holeshooter was stolen. That drill, the "Wristbreaker" as I liked to call it, was probably 20 years old and still ran like new. And it would actually shatter your wrist if you tried to use it one handed and didn't know when to let go. Mine had the nice twistlock replacable cord because they know that it's going to get stuck and you're going to let go. I've been holding off on replacing it because the newer ones I've looked at just have not been up to the same quality. The tools are definitely less well built, everything is just a bit lighter and more plasticy. My old Portaband was literally built from salvaged parts from like 4 broken ones (and one new drive wheel and handle) because the shop guys literally threw them off machines and vehicles, and when they got too beat up they would come back to the electrical department to get rebuilt. The new ones I've looked at are mostly plastic and just don't feel as strong. It's the same with all the tools I've used. I did buy a cordless drill set, because it seemed to be the best I could find for the price. I love the drill, the chuck is pure garbage. And the impact screw gun lasted less than one battery before the circlip holding the chuck sleeve randomly went flying and launched the entire sleeve mechanism across the shop. I have not yet remembered to call about getting it fixed, but it's less than 6 months old and has about half an hour use on it and it's broken. I assume the circlip was damaged upon installation and just let go, I never did find it.

    All that said, my 20+ year old 4" angle grinder is still a beast and runs like a champ, the 1/2" drill was a monster until it was stolen last year, and the portaband works like new even though it's literally piecemeal. I would consider them the top tools in the "but how much does it cost" category, right around the non-Chinese made Bosch and Porter Cable products (if you can still find any, my Porter Cable router is a monster and I swear it's trying to kill me). Anything better and you're not going to be looking at price tags. Metabo and Fein would be my next step up, then aircraft quality air tools. Although my ugly green Hitachi corded 3/8 reversable drill is still very nice to use after 20 years, but I keep it in it's case at all times.

  11. #51
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    I've got a couple of corded Milwaukee tools: an American-made cold saw, and a Chinese-made Porta-Band saw. The cold saw had a broken casting when it was delivered to me and Milwaukee was kind enough to ship me a replacement part quickly. It works well. The Porta-Band said "American Engineered, Chinese Manufactured" on the box. It was terrible until I replaced the blade with a non-Milwaukee blade. Works pretty good, now. I really haven't used either of these tools a lot.

    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Panasonic cordless tools. They make some good stuff, made in Japan. I've still got my first 12 volt Panasonic drill from about 1986, I just keep feeding it batteries. I've got mostly 15.6 volt stuff now, 4 drills, 2 impacts, 2 wood saws, 2 metal saws, and 5 chargers. When everyone else was racing to introduce 18 volt tools, I asked my dealer when Panasonic would introduce one. He said that they were too powerful and people were breaking their wrists with them, so it was several years before they finally did. Many of their higher voltage tools have auxiliary handles.

    While most of my tools suffer from the same battery life problems others have, (just received 2 batteries in the mail yesterday), I have actually run one hard enough for the gearbox to fail.

    For corded tools, I like Metabo and Ridgid the best. I have a Bosch right angle drill that has a power switch that is miserable to use. I also have an assortment of Harbor Freight angle grinders that have taken a fair amount of abuse without complaint. Got a HF Sawzall that seems to shed parts every time I turn it on.

    NO Makitas here. No DeWalt, either. Got a Ryobi that I won, I actually used it today. Very poor keyless chuck design, you have to use two hands to tighten the chuck because there is no brake on the shaft.

  12. #52
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    Milwaukee was one of the first makers to have Chinese clones of their corded tools. What was a sort of annoyance at that time turned into a company that just gave up as a US maker. A shame - they were once an innovator (e.g. the vibration-reducing counterbalance system in the Super Sawzall). However, the current Taiwanese owners seem to be doing an OK job.

    The old corded tools were robust enough that most of mine (several drills, saw, die grinder, angle grinder, right angle, massive 3/4" chuck on one, etc.) are still running. As others have noted, today's market seems to prefer a tool that's half price, to one that lasts 3x as long.

    I gave up on Milwaukee cordless tools, with all the V18 series battery failures and the replacements costs. This was also, if memory serves, around the change of ownership. Shame, since the tools themselves were well built. I'll shortly be trying one of the M18 to V18 battery adapters to see if they can be resurrected - the regular and hatchet Sawzalls and the metal-cutting circular saw could still be useful.

    Switched to Makita, primarily due to the notion (by some at that time) they had better battery technology. So far, so good, with a very wide range of 18v Makita tools - even things like their cordless chainsaw (light enough to use up in a tree). Probably have near 20 tools and the only one that sucks (somewhat ironically) is the blower.

    Agree with the previous post that Panasonic made the best combination of light weight and power for their time; but that was maybe 20 years ago. The tradeoff was the brushes wore out and weren't a readily replaceable item.

    Heck, even 9v and 12v Makita tools are still usable and replacement batteries affordable. Have kept the 12v. tiny circular saw for drywall and tile, the close quarters right angle drill, self-feeding drywall screwdriver, etc. for occasional use.

    What would be useful -- anyone have a like to a definitive review of which maker has the best (e.g. longest lasting with reasonable power density) battery technology?? My take is Makita is still the leader in Li ion battery tech, but I could well be wrong.

  13. #53
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    Ah the ‘holeshooter’.
    The one injury I got in construction was with that drill- it would turn you arm off if it caught you off guard.
    I still have the drill from late eighties .

    Currently have the m18 drivers and drills in shops- years of service and no problems with batteries or drills.
    Home Depot will offer the driver, drill, charger and two batteries at $200 if you bide your time- well worth it.
    I bought that kit for the house at $150- that was cheap for what you get.

    China- yeah, I went to the trouble to find a NIB Milwaukee nibbler made in USA when I needed one as the import version was reported to be a piece of shit.

    My dad had a stack of portable power tools he had had for decades- old B&D gear in heavy metal cases.
    I have a few I bought in the late eighties still going strong.
    I have seen a few old carpenters with the same - tools like this used to be rebuilt and kept going.

    So yes- I buy and get good service from the new cordless Milwaukee gear I buy.
    I have the full kit in all the older heavy portable power so don’t need new.
    If I did I would shop the German gear prob and not buy the big box imports.


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