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Old 05-10-2013, 10:04   #16
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Thanks for all the thoughts. I'm sorta thinking
cordless drill/hammer drill/sawzall cordless

+ Generator and lots of cheap other tools.

That way I can run stuff off the generator if I need to or use shore power, but have a couple of battery powered tools for emergencies.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:10   #17
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

We have Ridgid 18V equipment and have had good luck with it. If you register the tools and batteries, the warranty is supposedly great. Even the batteries are covered!
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:25   #18
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

I have used Ryobis like Hopcar for several years. Bought them originally for one small house project because Home Depot had a super sale on a kit with circular saw, sawzall, drill, flashlight, miter saw and hand vac. Now been using them for over 10 years and never had a problem. Even built a 16 X 24 barn with the set. Cutting plywood sheets would go through a battery pretty quickly but I had 3-4 batteries and always two in the chargers so did not have to stop work.

Another good thing with the Ryobis, you can get a charger that plugs into 12V cigarette lighter socket so you don't have to run an inverter or generator to recharge the batteries. The Lithium batteries are much better but expensive at Home Depot and never on sale. You can get them $20 cheaper on eBay and they seem to be the exact same battery you get at the store.

Have seen some that seem to hate the Ryobis but can't see why. Maybe they would not work for a pro that uses them all day every day but for the average boat fixer I think they're great.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:11   #19
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

The batteries in most cheap cordless are NiCad, which don't last very long.
I replaced them with NiMh cells, and used my RC charger to recharge them,
which can recharge them in 20 minutes. When that one died, I just bought some new Ryobi cordless drills, which worked great for a while, those batteries are now essentially dead,
and its back to corded drills for anything significant, which isn't too bad, but on a boat I'd want to stick with 12v.

I've been wanting to try using an external 12v Super Capacitor pack to power them. It can be recharged in seconds, not heavy to carry around like a normal 12v battery.
Ok, so this pack would cost $xxx new retail.. but it should last forever.
Here is a pack for $200 being sold as a starter battery on ebay:

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Old 05-10-2013, 11:36   #20
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

I always carry at least a corded drill as well as cordless stuff. I wouldnt make a decision to buy cordless based on using them at sea... my experience is they dont last that long and by the time you go to sea they might not still be good. They dont seem to like sitting unused for a long time either. Still...some great cordless out there. While working on the boat they are handy, but the pits if they run dead right in the middle of doing something. You really need both.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:26   #21
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

I work in an electrically "dry" yard. I fire up my Honda 2000 at the base of the ladder and run 15 amps to the boat itself. I charge my batteries (which I tend to leave aboard) and use AC power tools as needed. I do this with a bike and a trailer. It's not hard, and I use about two litres of gas per winter. To buy 300 feet of 12 gauge would cost about as much as the Honda did, and it's an amazing thing to have. I use it on both boats and during power outages (like after a summertime storm) to keep my fridge and chest freezer going.

Your mileage may vary, but I find DC tools either too weak for purpose, or too lacking in endurance for what I tend to be doing aboard.
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Old 05-10-2013, 13:49   #22
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
Hello all,

I have an engineless (+outboard) Pearson Triton. Currently all power is supplied by a 100w solar panel and 2 AGM batteries.

This winter the boat is out of the water. The yard apparently shuts electricity off from Thanksgiving through March. I'm hoping to get a good bit of work done on rebuilding the interior in the meantime.

I'm trying to figure out if I should invest in a battery powered tool set, or use a generator and corded tools. With the battery tools I'd be able to use them at sea without any problem. Some tools, particularly a sawzall and a drill, would be really helpful in an emergency.

I've also pondered buying a small generator for use charging the batteries when there is no sun. If I had the generator anyway, I could run regular corded tools.

I'm not sure, but it seems like corded tools with the generator are way more dangerous than battery tools if one of them went overboard?

Corded tools: stupid cheap, relatively. I might end up buying harbor freight junk just because any tool is probably going to have a limited life span on a small boat anyway.

Any thoughts?
It might not fit your usage, but I found a corded or cordless 'system' that has a base drive unit with a variety of tool attachments (drill, impact, small circular saw, sawzall, jigsaw, router, etc.,).
It's the "Black & Decker Matrix" tool system.
I wrote a thread on it here on CF at Modular tool advice requested, B&D Matrix line , as it pertains to my particular planned usage.

It comes in a corded, and two different voltage cordless (12&20V) base drive unit flavors, to which you can add a variety of toolheads. With a spare battery or two the cordless would probably run a good while.
The advantage is that the individual tool units will work with any of the base units.
So in your app, you could have both a cord and a cordless base unit, and use the same tool units for either depending on the power you have onsite.
A lot of flexibility in this tool 'system'.


The toolheads aren't all that large, so it's not like carrying around a whole shop full of standard sized tools with you (EG: a circular saw, full-sized router, etc.) back and forth from boat to home.
Most boat jobs will allow for a small form tool to handle them, not much need for contractor sized equipment, except something like a bottom job or whatever.

The corded base unit is fairly cheap, the cordless ones a bit more, then you have to get the toolhead units (the base units come with a standard drill head/tool).
Once you get the base, you can add the extra toolheads as desired.

The price to get started is reasonable enough IMO, although having a full set of toolheads might ultimately get pricey (the toolheads run about $30-40 each, the corded base IIRC $40, the 20V cordless base $70, fancy carry box or bag $40-50).

Here is the link for the whole Black & Decker Matrix tool system: Black & Decker Power Tools

The 20V base drill: Black & Decker Tools | MATRIX 20V MAX* Lithium Drill/Driver BDCDMT120

And a few of the many toolheads:

Black & Decker Tools | MATRIX Trim Saw Attachment BDCMTTS

Black & Decker Tools | MATRIX Router Attachment BDCMTR


I'm just starting out with mine, and plan to add toolheads as needed.
I know Walmart carries them around here, probably Sears, KMart, and the big DIY places like Lowes and Home Depot, etc., or whatever your regional stores are.
Check it out, look over the store display units, you might like it.

Winter conditions aren't really much of a problem around here, so it's a little different usage pattern for me.
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Old 05-10-2013, 15:35   #23
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I work in an electrically "dry" yard. I fire up my Honda 2000 at the base of the ladder and run 15 amps to the boat itself. I charge my batteries (which I tend to leave aboard) and use AC power tools as needed. I do this with a bike and a trailer. It's not hard, and I use about two litres of gas per winter. To buy 300 feet of 12 gauge would cost about as much as the Honda did, and it's an amazing thing to have. I use it on both boats and during power outages (like after a summertime storm) to keep my fridge and chest freezer going.

Your mileage may vary, but I find DC tools either too weak for purpose, or too lacking in endurance for what I tend to be doing aboard.
although not cheap, this is a great idea. Alot of uses for the Honda even when you're out of the yard. Even a little 1000 honda will probably do the job right?
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Old 05-10-2013, 15:59   #24
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

I did 99% of the total rebuild and repower of Boracay mostly on a mooring using a "2000" watt generator and corded tools though, as the major part of my rebuild is finished, I'm now slowly going over to cordless tools. The only cordless tool I used was a Ryobi screwdriver (Fantastic device) of which, due to my doubts, I now have two.

However there are some tools that may not work well as cordless. These would include a drill press (small ones are cheap and are the best way to drill holes), a 1/2" hand drill (Now on my third), a wet/dry vacuum cleaner (working inside a boat creates a stunning amount of dust), planner (Now on my third), belt sander (I mostly use mine to sharpen drill bits - don't try this at home) and an angle grinder with cut off blade (not certified for some cordless ones) and flapper disks.

I don't know if it is my imagination but cheap corded power tools seem to have come a long way in the last few years.

Taking an overview if you're going to be working for short amounts of time cordless could be fine but if you're going to be putting in long stints (and boat rebuilds take a lot of manpower) then a generator and mostly corded may suit.

Do keep in mind that a single flat battery can stop an entire day's work and that boat work is weather dependent so that not being able to complete a job in a timely fashion could put you weeks behind schedule.
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Old 06-10-2013, 14:47   #25
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

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although not cheap, this is a great idea. Alot of uses for the Honda even when you're out of the yard. Even a little 1000 honda will probably do the job right?
If you are just using tools, sure, except that it won't likely handle a 10 inch circular saw. I've tripped even the EU2000i with that. But with the 2000, you can charge the batteries (well, if you have a ten-amp charger) and still run a light and, say, a drill. I just find it more flexible a solution for me. I chain the Honda to the cradle frame in case someone gets a funny idea, although if you're strong enough to run faster than me carrying a genset, you can keep it.

But the 1000 is fine for either a maintainence charge over the winter, or running lights and Dremels aboard. Not a heater...you'd need the 2000 for that.

If you get the Honda 2000 plus a second 2000 "companion" version, you can sync them up to give you 30 amps, good enough to run a light-duty welder. Or run a substantial charger.
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:16   #26
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
. . .trying to figure out if I should invest in a battery powered tool set, or use a generator and corded tools. With the battery tools I'd be able to use them at sea without any problem. . . I've also pondered buying a small generator for use charging the batteries when there is no sun. If I had the generator anyway, I could run regular corded tools. . . Corded tools: stupid cheap, relatively. I might end up buying harbor freight junk just because any tool is probably going to have a limited life span on a small boat anyway.

Any thoughts?
I have a cheap AC tool kit and can't recommend it. The sander doesn't hold paper worth a darn, The drill gets too hot to hold, and the saw bed isn't accurate. Used my friend's Rigid DC set this weekend and it was sweeeeet. His kit came with two batteries. That's my next purchase.
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Old 07-10-2013, 01:50   #27
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

many generators have enough spikes in their output to fry many power tools after a few hours of consistent work (i have the dewalt grinder and and craftman sander to prove it).

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Old 07-10-2013, 01:54   #28
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

For refit work I can't imagine not having both. But then I can't imagine shutting off electricity either. Soooo....
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:23   #29
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

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many generators have enough spikes in their output to fry many power tools after a few hours of consistent work (i have the dewalt grinder and and craftman sander to prove it).

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It's important to make a distinction in the output. Search the terms "modified sine wave" and "pure sine wave" outputs. What works with one (like an electric kettle) may not work well with something with a motor.
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Old 11-07-2014, 20:16   #30
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

I answered my own question. I ended up buying ryobi tools and they have mostly been great, especially considering the price. The circular saw I've found very handy (as long as you use it with the bigger lithium battery).

Anyway, they make a 12v cigarette lighter charger for the 18v tools. Seems to work really well. I haven't used it much but have been testing it a bit. Have a nice inverter too but would like to use that minimally if possible.


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