While this is the major issue detracting me from choosing Makita, there is at least one more minor example.
If I’m going to spend my hard-earned money on a power tool, I want to be able to quickly make an educated decision. One thing I find very aggravating with my Milwaukee cordless is the fact that you have to return the battery (V-18) to the charger to reset it’s internal overload protection circuit.
I often find it helps to download the owners manual and review the operating procedures before making a purchasing decision.
As to Makita offering two saws, I believe they are just working off the new old stock while offering their new model for sale also. I checked out the various cordless combo kits that Makita offers that include a circular saw, and the BSS611 is always the bundled model. I tested a ton of tools from different companies, and based on both that and tools of the trade reviews, I chose Makita for everything EXCEPT my circular saw. That’s a very interesting project, creating a Makita battery powered Bosch circ saw as you described. Important to also note the two saws are different in dimensions, (one is smaller), and most importantly one, (the cheaper of the two saws), allows for up to a 50 degree angle of cut compared to just a 45 on the more expensive model.
In reviewing the comparison sheet from Home Depot it seems the less expensive saw is also the more compact one.
The disadvantages are no electric brake, (this is debatable as there is also no sudden kick when stopping the blade in mid-cut ), and decreased stability from having a smaller cut bed traversing the work.
Use the comparison feature at Home Depot’s site to confirm these things for yourself. The BSS610Z might very well be slightly more compact than the BSS611Z, but that’s not something I can determine without both versions in front of me.
With regard to the makita purchase it is probably well worth reading the posts worldwide wide littered all over the internet regarding the battery reliability of the makitas.
Makita has since updated their product page for the BSS610Z to reflect it has a blade brake, but not a lot of distributors’ product pages include mention of this feature.
Just as a test, after reading this, I called Makita’s technical service dept and the rep had no idea of any difference between the two after looking at the spec sheet. Ryobi has announced that they will be bringing a new Airstrike stapler (P360) to their 18V One+ line of cordless power tools.
The stapler comes with (500) 1″ narrow crown staples, a belt clip, and operating manual.
The target MSRP is $139, and units have already started appeared at some Home Depot stores. We tested and liked the Ryobi Airstrike brad nailer so much that we added it to your Ultimate Tool Gift Guide, and are optimistic that the stapler will be just as good. As a side note this is the only Ryobi tool we have in the company so I dont feel we are biased towards the brand. There is a common assumption that the wider crown staples require more air, but they don’t. I also wish they made a 16 gauge brad nailer so I could use it for fiber cement siding and trim repairs. Maybe if enough people buy these two airstrike guns they will see the demand and make another model or two. Over the years we also bought a few bad batteries for out M12 tools – some made in Korea and some made in China. Ryobi’s newest 4Ah 18V Li-ion batteries seem to be okay, except maybe for those affected by a recall earlier in the year.
As stated previously, I don’t know how their batteries have performed in more recent offerings, but previous models have left a bunch to be desired. I used my Ryobi day-in and day-out alongside guys who used DeWalt and Makita systems when I was doing architectural sheet metal installation (mostly metal roofing).
While we were at Home Depot tonight my wife started playing with the demo impact drivers and drills. I think they might be thinking of the old discontinued stapler that could shoot both staples and brads and wasn’t very good either. You might find yourself a used coil roofing nailer (or rent one), if you feel the need for speed when re-roofing your house. By Trade Articles and reviews that are trade-specific or suited particularly for a specific trade. Fasteners Hardware and fasteners, including all types of screws, nails, hinges, springs, and other devices you may find in the hardware aisle of your local retailer or supplier.
Makita just released two new multi-tools, including the new 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Multi-Tool Kit (model LXMT025), and the corded Multi-Tool Kit (model TM3000CX5). The Makita LXMT025 18V LXT Li-ion Cordless Multi-Tool Kit delivers up to 15 minutes of run time with Makita’s fast-charging 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery. The new Makita LXMT025 multi-tool is powered by an 18V LXT Li-ion battery and uses the company’s Rapid Optimum Charger which will charge an 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery in only 30 minutes for more work and less downtime. Makita ships the LXMT025 as a kit and includes two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries and a charger, as well as an assortment of 14 accessories for cutting and sanding. Includes: Tool, 2 x 18V LXT Battery, 30-Minute Rapid Optimum Charger, Plunge Cut Blade, Sanding Pad, 10 pc. Both tools are engineered for a full range of applications including cutting, sanding, scraping, grout removal, and more.
When he's not remodeling part of his house or playing with the latest power tool, Clint enjoys life as a husband, father and avid reader.
The Ridgid Fuego 18V Compact Combo is certainly one of the most compact combos we’ve seen to-date on the market. Compact lithium-ion battery is lightweight and provides fade-free power throughout the charge.
This saw seems like the perfect tool for anyone needing to cut piping or cut out vanity tops to drop in a sink. 180-degree rotating head has unique barrel design to rotate to place beam exactly where needed for optimal lighting. The MSRP for the entire Compact Combo kit is slated to be somewhere around $329 and the estimated ship date for these news tools through Ridgid’s dealer network is March 2009. Makita-built brushless motor technology delivers increased motor efficiency to provide up to 20% longer battery life per charge. The Hitachi WH18DSAL Lithium-Ion Cordless 18-volt Impact driver is the latest in Hitachi’s compact professional series. One handed quick-load bit holder makes bit changes quicker and easier with a simple ejecting bit. This entry was posted in Power & Hand Tools and tagged 18v Impact Drivers, Best 18v Impact Drivers, Impact Drivers on November 20, 2013 by longer.
The upper blade guard as well as the base (shoe) are made with magnesium (Mg), which is both durable and lightweight.
On the same job we were adding in two windows where there was previously one (and that one was installed rather poorly. Ridgid’s 18V Impact Driver has the same excellent Hex Grip as the rest of the tools in the X4 Combo Kit, but the grip trigger causes the twin LED lights to stay on for 10 seconds, letting you use the driver as a sort of flashlight or work light as needed to prep for your fastening.
This tool came to the rescue as we were securing new 2×4 studs within a window frame to block out a pair of new aluminum windows for the aforementioned replacement project.
Later, we took the Ridgid Impact Driver for a spin in a new bathroom remodel we were doing in a 1920’s bungalow home.
The wonderful thing about doing a job like installing a window is that you are constantly alternating between tasks, so using both an impact driver and a hammer drill, like the X4, just made the job easier. The gray rubber overmold is particularly well-placed on this tool, offering a good rear grip for powering through hammer drilling tasks. We continued our window installation by using the Ridgid 18V X4 Hammer Drill to drive 3-inch screws through the window frame into the 2×4 studs of the frame. Another project we sank the X4 Hammer Drill’s teeth into was cutting out holes in sheets of Durock for our bathroom tub faucets. With each tool in the 5-piece X4 kit we enjoyed more and more of Ridgid’s innovations in these particular power tools.
We put this saw to use very quickly, continuing to tear into the old wood of our 1915 home project. We also used the R8641 Reciprocating Saw to tear out a new hole for a toilet we were moving backwards a bit by way of an offset flange.
Overall, this was one of our favorite tools to use and has quickly become a product we reach for over much of the competition. The charger that comes with this kit is the R840093, which charges both Li-ion and NiCd sled-style batteries from Ridgid.
It took looking at both tools’ owners manuals to see that the BSS610Z has a blade brake and the BSS611Z does not. When trying to determine which battery and charger was required, I noticed that Makita also fails to differentiate between the DC18RA and DC18SC chargers. Companies that hinder this process by providing inadequate or confusing information will not see my business. If anything, it looks like a lack of communication between tool experts and marketers, but it’s nevertheless oh so frustrating. Other brands will sometimes do this, of course, but the differences between bundled and add-on versions are usually easier to find. Not a project that I would likely undertake myself, but it seems very doable, granted that one is able to acquire empty battery casings of their own.

I had the exact same questions about the differences between these two saws and you nailed it. If one had an aluminum or steel base plate and the other magnesium, I would be a bit more understanding about the price difference. Every one should know the importance of this if one is even remotely familiar to real world outside corners and the such. Personally, I do prefer brakes, but can see how some might actually prefer saws without this feature. Major design fault and cannot reset the internal chip of the battery even if the offending faulty cell has been replaced.
I then spotted the BSS610Z at around $199 and could not for the life of me figure out the difference other than in AUS the size specs seem to differ slightly. As with their 18V Airstrike brad nailer, the new stapler will feature in-tool air compression to deliver pneumatic-like performance without the need for a noisy compressor or bulky hose. We have been using one of the airstrike brad nailers in our shop for work for a couple of months now and it sees much more use than we initially intended. A comparison is possible, but probably wouldn’t be a very high priority in the near future. Depending on how well the Airstrike does (so far we have heard great things), maybe we will see the technology make its way into Ridgid or Milwaukee cordless lines down the road. They bring with them what I think of as now old technology – smelly gas discharge and more need for maintenance than pneumatics. Maybe the current technology has brought them up to a level that is finally worthy of a semi-contractor grade performance.
Even in the absence of defect, Ryobi batteries have a history of professionally inadequate run times. These guys laughed at my Ryobi impact driver until they saw how well it kept up and heard how little I paid. I rarely had to swap more than twice per day, while they had an almost Globetrotters-style routine for passing batteries back and forth between the roof and ground for charging. She couldn’t seem to get the DeWalt impact driver to take a bit, so I picked it up to show her how.
I highly doubt that a narrow crown stapler would have the necessary holding power for an asphalt shingle.
But the first thing you should do is check your local building codes to see what is acceptable in the way of fasteners.
The variable speed control dial adjust from 6,000 – 20,000 OPM and the motor has a nice soft start feature that, frankly, just makes the tool feel more professional grade.
The company also makes the tool available as a tool-only model, as the LXMT02Z and includes a plunge cut blade and 2 accessory adapters. The LXMT025 and TM3000CX5 are ideal for remodelers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, wood floor installers, and general contractors seeking a best-in-class multi-tool. They re-engineered the body and motor structure to bring the chuck further into the body, reducing tool length.
There are other uses as well and our minds were purring with ideas for this highly-portable reciprocating saw. Slap a Lithium-ion battery onto an LED-based work light and you can probably leave it on all day and night (OK, maybe not, but it lasts a long time).
These five drivers are equipped with durable construction, versatile operation, and stylish design.
The 18V impact drive provides a light weight, compact, and durable solution for a wide range of light-to-medium fastening applications. This compact impact diver features a slid type battery and an ergonomic grip that eliminates traditional post connections. But even though it is a high performance tool, it doesn’t deliver kickback when being used.
Frankly, it was the most fun to use, and it had some excellent features we couldn’t believe Ridgid had worked in.
For one, they are compact and light, but they pack a lot of power and the run-time on these tools was extremely long. The grips are designed so that the primary handle includes little bumps arranged in a hexagonal pattern that give the tool an impressively secure feel. The cast base (identical to the X3 R865 saw as far as we can tell) is also very robust and a far cry above the common stamped steel you find on many competitor’s products.
We ran it up the side of a wood-sided house in order to expand a window frame and it worked like a charm.
The Ridgid R86034 X4 Cordless Impact Driver came in very handy for fastening the window to the frame, and also for adding the necessary supports to the wall.
A threaded brass insert allows you to move the included belt clip to either the left or right side of the tool. We had so much fun with it, we were measuring how far we could get it to throw… 21-inches seemed to be the leading average on our tool. Driving in 3-inch screws through multiple pieces of pressure treated wood (which is simply what we had on-hand, so it was used) presented us with the impression that this impact driver could be stopped by nothing. In our case, we also just wanted more opportunities to use the new tools, so we chucked it up and got to work. In all cases we found the power to be more than adequate and the job was quickly completed, with several people commenting on the excellent size and weight of the Ridgid as well as how quickly it plunged the screws into the wood. When we picked up the R8641 18V X4 Reciprocating Saw, we immediately noticed two very important features: the orbital switch and the adjustable shoe. When originally installed, the centerline for the toilet was a full 15 inches off the rear wall – about 3 inches too far, leaving a huge space behind the tank.
They are there to add another value tool, but really don’t cost anything or have any particular features that are innovative or attention-grabbing.
HOWEVER, seeing as how there is a huge price difference between the two tools – $100 street price vs. I would like to go makita personally because I already have a makita kit with batteries and chargers. I imagine that it’s to cut costs on their end and for buyers since very few users actually need a dual-input universal charger. When doing a repair on a single piece of trim 30 feet up in the air a cordless gun would be priceless. Right now I do have my Ridgid pneumatic brad nailer in storage, and could try to get my hands on a non-pneumatic cordless model for comparison. I would wager that DeWalt’s success with 18v tools could be even more attributed to the performance of their batteries than the tools themselves. Most brands seem to have stopped sourcing cells from the lowest bidders and have integrated a lot of electronics into their tools and battery packs to help prevent damage to the cells.
I will be switching to their Milwaukee line in the future because there are a number of tools there that Ryobi doesn’t offer.
In the real world where the rubber meets the road, they haven’t provided a length of service per charge that equated with anything beyond casual usage. Then when they learned that mine had about 25-40% more power than theirs (depending on the specific models) and could drive massive screws that theirs couldn’t, they shut up. I couldn’t believe that the MUCH more expensive DeWalt still requires two hands (or remarkable dexterity with one) to set a bit. They also make an AirStrike brad Nailer too but they are built just to do either staples or nails they are not interchangeable except for the battery platform. In our pursuit of the best cordless oscillating multi-tools, we actually placed the Makita LXMT025 as one of the top performers. The multi-tool has a 3.2 degree oscillation angle which is fairly standard and should provide for fast sanding and aggressive cutting. We took a close look and handled each tool in the kit to get a feel for what’s going to be coming to market in a couple months.
The device was built well, but really did feel light enough to use with one hand – giving it a more versatile  feel and making it a tool we look forward to putting through its paces. Removable belt hook is designed for either side of tool to keeps impact driver within immediate reach for comfort. The batteries feature built-in charge status indicators that can be activated with the push of a button and they are extremely rugged, including a rubberized base that protects against drops. Mind you, it was cutting through old-world wood that is a lot tougher than most of the stuff we see these days.
In addition a rear-mounted bit-holder means that you don’t have to put out extra money for an accessory that should be standard fare for a tool like this. While this is funny, it also meant that we never encountered a bit that had become seriously jammed into the hex chuck from over-torquing – even after extended periods of use.
With all of the torque being eaten up by the high-speed impact mechanism, we were free to worry about placement and getting everything together quickly. Even the battery eject buttons are well-shielded from damage by rubber flanges that hang over the tops. We actually used a Porsa Drill Diamond Hole Saw Kit we reviewed last year to perfectly cut out the holes and it worked like a charm.
I can tell you with a fair amount of confidence that this is the first 18V cordless reciprocating saw that we’ve seen with an orbital mode. For this we turned to Ridgid’s R8641 Reciprocating Saw and, boy, did that orbit action tear it up. Slapping in a new Bosch Demo blade, we powered through plywood, cement board, mortar, and heaven knows what else, to extend our hole and fit the offset flange securely in place.

The lever-activated adjustable shoe served us well, especially with this last task, as it allowed us to maintain positive contact while limiting the plunge of the blade so as to not chew up the edges of our pipe below. The tools in this kit are just so usable that you’re going to want to pick them up over much of the competition. I tried and I tried, but I could not find any clear difference between the two saws other than the two LED lights that only the BSS610Z model has. A minute of searching suggests that the DC18SC was replaced by the DC18RA, but it would be better if this were confirmed by Makita on their website. The accessories however(worklight, flashlight) will work with both types of batteries as the power needs of these are not as demanding. The difference is the DC18SC is the standard charger and the DC18RA is the rapid charger and charges batteries in about half the time. Sometimes I find myself having to go back and tack on a piece of molding or a kick plate and dragging a compressor into a finished space can be a pain. I also said it would be priceless for it to have a very slim profile tip so it can be used to hang soffit j-channel.
I prefer the build quality and feel of my Ridgid, but the convenience of the Ryobi Airstrike is hard to argue against. I have to agree with Stuart’s previous assessments about the consumer oriented Porter Cable tools vs Ryobi. In fact, many municipalities have banned the use of staples, of any type when it comes to roofing materials, and require the use of round head nails. The LXMT025 has a front-mounted LED to illuminate the work area, and the barrel grip looks nicely-shaped for a comfortable grip. He hopes his efforts at PTR will provide builders and contractors with reliable and engaging tool reviews to help them make better tool purchasing decisions.
The combo includes two compact lithium batteries, and like all Ridgid tools, it remains compatible with all Ridgid 18V slide-mount Ni-cd or Lithium-ion batteries.  These tools also come with the insanely cool Lifetime Service Agreement that guarantees the batteries and tools for life.
If you are looking for a suitable 18V impact drivers for yourself, these five will be good fits. Also, the impact driver’s variable speed trigger assures that there’s a high degree of control over a wide variety of uses. This makes the review difficult because, as you can imagine, it means we’ve got a lot to convey about this kit.
When you grab the tool by the handle, your ring and pinky fingers will automatically activate a small switch on the bottom that fires off the LED light. First, the bevel control has positive clicking locks at 0, 15, 22.5, 30, 45 and 50 degrees. Unless I’m drilling or need the special finesse of a particular clutch setting, I reach for the impact driver. The screws just drove straight into the wood with very little resistance – as smooth an experience as we could hope for. Not only did the Ridgid R86034 keep up with the heavy load of work, it did the entire job on a single charge. The girth of the motor housing of the tool is fairly narrow, but large enough to let you know there’s some torque under the hood (roughly 565 in.
In no time flat, the Ridgid X4 Drill had powered through the four necessary cuts and set us up for a perfect fit.
The way Ridgid does it is by implementing a dial at the top of the tool which can be rotated 180 degrees to either engage or disengage the orbital action. This wood was hard, but the action of the blade tore into it at a much faster clip than we were seeing with a competing saw that didn’t have orbital action.
We also liked the Grip Light which worked in a momentary fashion, to light up the work surface as long as our hands grasped the tool.
First, it utilized an LED light source – almost unheard of, despite our repeated criticisms of standard lamp technology in these kits. The light seems fairly durable and it’s nicely compact, making it easy to tote around or throw into the included tool bag.
Both can go to 50 degrees (slightly more, actually), but there’s a set screw stop on the 610 which is factory adjusted to 45. They have close to 100 tools that run off the li ion 18v batteries, not to mention a lot of the new 36v stuff that doesn’t require different batteries. Try any of the new models in the LXT line and you will be surprised how much smoother they are.
In the shop we use a central air system so no one is ever far from an air hookup at a work table and we have several air powered brad nailers.
Of course, an ounce of common sense indicates that they’re comparing apples to oranges. Admittedly, my last investment in a battery operated tool has been prior to most of the recent developements. If Porter Cable was offering something similar in a similar or slightly higher price range, I would promptly forget about the Ryobi. It’s certainly not a show stopper and it will work very well as a general work light. And we need to be specific and back up our contention that it just may be the cordless tool industry’s best kept secret. Each tool uses its LED light differently, but the R8651 Cordless Circular Saw will activate it in momentary mode, only keeping it lit while your hand grasps the handle (and presumably readies for, and makes, the cut). Even the little things Ridgid does are nice – like the bit holder on the rear of the tool (though we did notice there was no provision for a belt clip). While orbital action will take up more battery juice, it also results in a much quicker cut during demolition.
About the only thing we didn’t like about the Ridgid Work Light was the fit of the battery. Hopefully the last two never come on for you, but with such a wide array of status LEDs, Ridgid really lets you know what’s going on. All you do is back the screw out a bit to go past that if you need to; the bottom plate and angle gauge is identical on both. However all three of us in the shop have been reaching for the battery powered on on a near daily basis. One thing I’ve experienced with Ryobi tools in the past however, is that their batteries left a lot to be desired.
If on the other hand their batteries are now performing up to a decent spec, this might be a consideration for a handyman or any serious DIY’er. In this way, it is a very simply matter to make perfect bevel cuts in wood, even over longer runs. After what we put this saw through, cutting standard pressure-treated 2x4s was almost a joke for the R8651 18V Cordless Circular Saw. The clutch is slightly recessed into the body of the drill, above the trigger, and the mode switch is the kind we have really started to like: a dual-sided 3-way switch that can be easily changed from Drill to Screw to Hammer mode with either gloved or naked hands.
Under the skin, the X4 has a die cast gear box and the 4-pole open-frame motor should hold up for a long time – a factor that seems important given the lifetime service agreement Ridgid is sticking its neck out on. Anyone who has done a significant amount of demo with a reciprocating saw knows the benefits of using an orbital model. This is so much the case that we wonder why it’s Ridgid that has apparently brought so much disruptive innovation to market and not some other company.
It has become the go to tool because there are so many times it is nice not to be tethered to an air hose. This is the easiest bevel adjustment system we’ve ever seen in a cordless circular saw. It beats a top-mounted switch any day in that it’s easy to engage and has very positive locking positions. This means it can harness the power of the Cree LED to immerse an entire room with light, or simply focus a more high-intensity beam on a particular location. Insert a battery and the charging LED blinks green while the battery itself lights up its charge status LED (red) and blinks to let you know where it is in the charging process.
It works best with a fresh battery and it is almost like it needs to warm up a couple of shots into scrap when you first pick it up for the day.
It does this by using a single LED light source, but rotating the cylindrical housing 180 degrees to change the focus mechanism for the light. This is a 30 minute charge, so after the required time was up, the Charging light turned solid green and the tool showed a full 4 bars in red. If only the batteries were re-engineered to not have charge counters and a 3 strikes you’re out recharge of a faulty battery policy built in.
This keeps you from accidentally releasing it during use – which could be dangerous, or at the least, ruin a critical cut. The top-mounted 2-speed switch flips your variable trigger top-speed from 450 to 1600 RPM with a single push. Instead, shout it from the rooftops, run some ads on TV, have your tools pimped out in massive endcaps where users can get their hands on them.
At $499 for a 5-piece kit, these tools are priced 20% lower than the competition and they actually just might outperform while saving you money. Maybe we just got a good one but this strike mechanism seems to perform quite well and we will get another one of the brad nailers and perhaps this stapler when it comes out.

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