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Old 16-10-2010, 16:28   #31
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G'Day all,

I reckon that there is a place for both types on a long-term live aboard cruising boat... one that is seldom plugged in to shore power. And I'm glad to hear that the Li-ion jobs are so much better for self-discharge, 'cause that issue has caused the use of harsh language on Insatiable a few times! I would also vote for high quality cordless stuff, backed up by el-cheapo mains powered things. Works for me.

As to inverters: We've had the same antique (1987 model) Heart modified sine wave on board both Insatiables. Still going strong (touch wood). It's only rated at 600 watts, but seems to be able to run everything that I have, except for the heat-gun on high temps (the one I have pulses the heater to reduce temps, and the inverter will accept this intermittent 1200 watt loading). The only problem I've had using the modified sine wave is that older variable speed things which use SCR speed controllers won't run at low speeds. This old inverter has a very low idle current, and we leave it on 24/7... I hope that it lasts another 20 years! We have run a lot of generations of computers off of it and have not had any identifiable problems from the wave form.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Sunday Creek, Hinchinbrook channel, Qld, Oz
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Old 16-10-2010, 17:54   #32
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Brian, something to consider is that while the 18V lithium-battery tools are very powerful, that battery is damned expensive and probabaly has a life of 4 years, whether it is used or not. Then it will be another $100? for the new battery. If you have multiple tools that can share the same battery, that may ease the pain--unless you need to use the tools without constant battery swapping.

I say 4 years because under the best of circumstances, with the most expensive technology, that's all you'll get from cell phone and computer lithium batteries, and even there it is typically 500 charge cycles or two years before the battery is down to less than half power. By four years, the batteries often simply fail spontaneously and go from "100%" to dead at the turn of your head.

By all means, go for it, they're nice. Just expect expensive battery replacements. And the consumer tool business has a long history of making battery replacements expensive and hard to find, changing their types every few years.
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Old 16-10-2010, 19:48   #33
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For me, it depends on the intended use. Occasional use or low duty cycle and I'll generally choose cordless (drill, dremel, saw). Tools that require more power for better operation or will be used for long periods are AC powered (sander, polisher, sawzall).

In a lot of situations, the corded tools can be physically smaller than an equivalent battery powered device.
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Old 16-10-2010, 21:22   #34
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Not the generator...

I mostly use a generator and corded tools.

However my two Ryobi 4V electric screwdrivers are indispensable. Cheapish, but I just wish they'd put a better switch in them...

I seem to be using them every few minutes.
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Old 17-10-2010, 02:36   #35
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I got a bunch of 30 - 40 year old power tools from my dad that probably work just as well as the day they were bought. Just don't make them like they used to!!!

But I also have a bunch of the Dewalt 18v cordless tools that are light, more powerful, and just generally work better than the 30 year old stuff. And I don't think I've used the ones my dad left me since I've had them. There are Lithium batteries for sale that fit in my tools, but I haven't bought any yet due to already having 4 nicads that came with some of the tools or a set.

The circular saw is no where near as powerful as a corded one, and I still use a corded saw for larger jobs. But I'm not sure how often you'll need one of those on your boat.

I have the 4 1/2 inch 18 v angle grinder (called a cut off tool). It's a little slower (only a little) and the battery doesn't last long (no big surprise there). But if you were concerned about cutting away rigging on a lost mast, you might want to give it a look.

And the drill is a fair amount more powerful than any corded drill I can remember using. Of course, in the last 10 years any corded drill I've used was a cheapy (or 30 years old).

The 1/4 impact is a thing of brilliance. And I've never seen one made with a cord. But, I don't think it's ever touched my boat, and I'm not sure if I'd ever want it to.

But now I walk into the hardware store, and I see all the Dewalt tools, each with a battery included (and included in the price). And I see the Porter Cable tool, each being sold as a bare tool, batteries come separate (and they have lithium ion), it makes my question if maybe I oughta have bought those instead.
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Old 23-10-2010, 01:46   #36
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Shop Vac?

The one tool that I can think of that's going to be hard to run from batteries is the wet/dry vacuum cleaner.

Mine's a cheapie from my local mega hardware store. Runs well but it's right on the limit of what my 1.6kw generator can handle, despite the 1100W marked on the cartonm. Certainly got lots of power.

It's really nice if there's a fair bit of mess to suck the lot right up.

A small rechargeable would work, but the ones I looked at but didn't try looked to have a very small capacity, and the 12v barrel one I did try sucked at sucking.

A small drill press could maybe run from a big inverter.

I did consider getting a small generator and a big inverter but by the time I factored in a decent battery charger it was the more expensive option.

I should imaging that carrying a few kilos of batteries home to charge every day would get old real quick, specially if they got a bit damp on the dinghy ride...
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Old 23-10-2010, 03:16   #37
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Question Perhaps a slight side track but

I am an everyday cordless dewalt man and as I have the drill and batteries I was considering the 4.5 inch angle grinder on board for a variety of uses including rigging failure, anybody use this option?
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Old 23-10-2010, 05:53   #38
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Quote:
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I am an everyday cordless dewalt man and as I have the drill and batteries I was considering the 4.5 inch angle grinder on board for a variety of uses including rigging failure, anybody use this option?
Certainly it's a good option for cutting rigging in repair circumstances, but has drawbacks of questionable reliability under the circumstance of a failure in storm conditions with water coming over the pitching decks.

If you want to be prepared for that, you'd be much better off investing in a self-contained hydraulic wire rope cutter such as those used by linemen. Not cheap, but you will be able to count on it to get the job done quickly and reliably. (Do NOT go for the gas-cartridge types -- more expensive and not as reliable as a hand-pump.) Also, rule out Felco -- they are too hard to use unless you have the strength of an Olympic weight lifter, not usable on a pitching deck either (you need two hands and steady footing to use them).
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