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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    Currently have basic Makita drill, circular saw but looking to increase my stock for myself and the boys to use as and when required.

    Normally I use subbies so they supply there own kit but would like to increase my assets for tax purposes

    What are people recommending these days in terms of best value? Makita still good? Bosch? Milwaukee seem to be on offer all the time?

    Currently after a mitre saw, laser level and another drill ideally cordless SDS

    Suggestions please
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2020
    Always buy yellow tools except for percussion hammers the go cheap online
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2020
    One usually buys tools because they are needed for use not for tax purposes but if you want to do both you cannot beat Festool tools they are the best and most expensive. They have 3 year warranty and are made in Germany, except battery for my cordless was made in Poland.
    I recently got a Festool mitre saw kit with stand and work support system and is the most accurate piece of kit ever bought. If you can afford it they are the best.
    I have a Bosch SDS 230v and it is very good, again mine made in Germany.
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2020 edited
    The original Festo company also make some very nice robots e.g. https://www.festo.com/group/en/cms/10238.htm but I believe is now a separate company although under the same ownership.

    Personally, I've had pretty good luck with tools from Aldi and Lidl, but then I don't use them every day. :bigsmile:
    So we have Dewalt and Festool so far with a bit of Bosch thrown in...
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2020
    Aldi and bucket shops got a mention too
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2020
    Personally I wouldn't touch Bosch with a bargepole. Got bitten by the terms of their garden tools warranty.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeOct 2nd 2020 edited
    Very happy with my Makita tools, which I've used quite a bit: two combi drills (weedy one and beefy one), SDS drill, circular saw, multitool, jigsaw, impact driver (and lawn mower).

    Some people moan about Makita batteries not lasting but mine have done well, touch C24: 3 Ah bought in 2014 and 2 x 4 Ah from 2015. I always take them completely off the tools when not in use (e.g., overnight) and cycle them regularly - that is, use one till it goes flat then go to the next in numeric sequence and charge the flat one promptly.

    From my experience just with strimmers I'd put Ryobi well ahead of Bosch. Also have a Ryobi mains drill which works well but I haven't used it a lot.

    I've had some luck with Lidl mains belt sanders. I did burn one out but they're DIY devices and I used it for most of a day sanding lots of boards so I didn't hold that against it and got another one when they were next in. Much better than the one I got from B&Q which died within minutes of starting, the first time it went over a knot. They did at least give a refund with no quibbles at all. I've also got a Lidl router (because it's low enough power to run off my little generator or my sine-wave inverter from the van 12V) but have only tried it briefly so all I can say is that it seems to work.

    Only power tool I think I'll need later that I don't have is a track saw which is likely also a handy thing for people doing renovation work. Peter Millard rates the Lidl, Aldi and Screwfix or Toolstation (forget which) ones reasonably well. [Update: see the video referenced below for a more accurate and detailed representation of his views, particularly wrt Aldi which he's less impressed by]

    Next after a drill and circular saw would be a multitool, I'd think, particular for somebody doing lots of odd jobs. You never *really* need it and don't tend to use it for long but it does make some otherwise awkward jobs a lot easier.
    I always buy cheap power units, usually own-brands (circ saw, recip saw, drill/driver, jigsaw, multitool) and then get expensive branded blades and bits to fit into them.

    +1 for the multi tool, I use it all the time for plunge cuts, hardly ever use chisels now.
    Really happy with the Makita tools, and even if you destroy them, they pretty much repair them for free.
    • CommentAuthorjfb
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2020
    Hey Pilgrim,

    when you say they pretty much repair them for free what do you mean exactly?
    I have a makita chop saw (4 year old) that has suddenly stopped working - seems to be electric getting to where it is needed and switch seems ok (?) but it sure needs mending.
    Next question, where are you finding the cheapest and best value for tools?
    A bit late to the party recommending tools - but a few years back I invested in a battery drill and an impact screwdriver as a package in a suitcase with an inner fold down flap containing a couple of boxes in which can fit an assortment of drills, screwdriver bits, screws etc. and the case is sufficiently robust to withstand employees. The make happens to be Dewalt and I have been very please with the package so far. Almost irrelevant to the make is the value of having the drill and screwdriver plus bits and pieces in one grab and go case.

    Another happy purchase (again a few years back) was an inverter welder with auto darkening mask to replace my failed transformer type welder. I should have got the inverter welder years ago !!

    I would be lost without either of the above.
    • CommentAuthorCranbrook
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2020
    I'm a Bosch user myself due to the fact that my mother was working for them at the time I was starting out (do got big discounts), but if I had to buy from scratch again, I'd be going with Milwaukee due to their vast range of 18v tools. If I had unlimited funds however, it would be Hilti
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2020
    See if you have a yellow tool , tool centre within reasonable distance, then just keep using them. My local chap buys huge quantities and breaks it all down, so you can buy naked tools ,batteries ,chargers ,accessorries as needed. Worked out really well for me , always has what you need but without needing to buy stuff you don’t. Last purchase 3 x 5ah batteries , fits all my tools. The dealer is just as important as the brand. ( this chap lends you a tool if yours is in need of repair, though i’ve yet to need to )
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2020
    Posted By: Ed Daviestrack saw

    What is a track saw? Is it American for a plunge saw? I've never found the need for one myself. Nowadays even things like the Parkside I have has dust extraction ports and I've never found the guards to be a bother. Between that and a Metabo mitre saw plus a handsaw or three, I've always been able to do whatever I've needed to.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2020
    A track saw is a circular saw which runs on a track to keep it in a straight line. Just following a line or using any suitable straightedge clamped to the workpiece is OK for building-level precision but I, for one, never get an edge I'd be happy with for finish-type work.

    Peter Millard's done a few videos about them. Here's the first one which which caught my eye looking in my feed reader:

    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2020
    The sawblade sharpness, geometry, teeth number, and quality, plus the saw power, are what produces the fine clean finish not necessarily the guide system. Taking everything into account I've found the best method of sawing large sheet material is to use a straight edge, not just any straight edge, e.g. lump of wood, but something like this,- it has so many other handy uses too e.g. tiling layout; invaluable IMO.


    Just accurately measure the saw body/blade offset, ( you only need to do this once), and they you're away, with non of the faff with an expensive dedicated saw guide/runner system that only has one use.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2020
    Posted By: owlman: “The sawblade sharpness, geometry, teeth number, and quality, plus the saw power, are what produces the fine clean finish not necessarily the guide system.”

    Indeed. Also cutting slowly helps a lot.

    I've used an aluminium bar (from my scaffold tower) as a guide in the past which often works OK but it's very easy for the saw to drift away from the bar a bit as you move round the sheet and are pressing from different directions, particularly for uneven material like OSB. A few mm isn't fatal on outside edges like these [¹] but would look terrible for indoor work.

    But, yes, a track system which worked well with a standard circular saw would be nice.

    [¹] https://edavies.me.uk/2018/07/west-gable/
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2020 edited
    Although I have a workshop with a table saw working alone inevitably has its handling difficulties. I've just bought a couple of these metal trestles. My old trestles were showing signs of wear.


    These together with a couple of lengths of straight 4x2 regularised timber and a 25mm sheet of lightweight ply I make a huge nice flat workbench to do all the sort of cutting I described above. On occasion I also put in an extra centre support trestle and climb onto the bench to get right above the work, and depth set the saw but a good saw and blade are the most important.

    P.S. Your home looks to be coming along nicely.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2020
    I've been using Dewaldt for many years without problems.
    • CommentAuthormarktime
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2020
    Had to replace my cordless in a hurry and bought an IKEA FIXA for €39. Amazing quality, challenge anyone to hold the chuck on drill setting. Would recommend without hesitation to DIY enthusiasts like OP. :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2020
    No complaints at all with any of my Bosch cordless gear, though be aware that it comes in two varieties; green for householder and blue for trade level abuse
    May as well ask in here, what drill bits are you all using?

    Cheap generic ones or branded and best place to pick up bits in bulk?
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2020
    Irwin bits are v good I have some masonry ones that drill through timber and into masonry. Hilti very good for concrete some will go through rebar. Avoid cheap ones false economy.
    Joist finders and pipe finders

    Bosch GMS120 any good?
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