Choosing a 12v or 18v lithium cordless tool kit? Brands?
I need help choosing a lithium-ion cordless tool kit for my husband as his birthday present. The main purposes would be for assembling/modifying Ikea furniture, home maintenance, up to building garage shelving and installing a pocket door ... and some woodworking. He does like good tools, and already has a portable table saw, a compound miter-saw, a small lathe, etc. But the cordless tools are in for very different applications, of course.
The key tools he'd like are:
- drill/driver (but not a hammer-drill)
- flexible flashlight (preferably LED)
- right-angle saw
First: 18v vs 12v??
DH's suggested an 18v kit, but I've seen a very positive review of the Milwaukee 12v Li-Ion tools, which have the benefit (to me, 5'3" middle-aged female) of also being lighter and smaller. Of course, this is primarily for DH, so I want to know in what situations would HE likely find the 12v tools underpowered or too small, and would want the 18v ones.
Second: 18v Lithium-ion kits:
I've looked at the 18v Ryobi, Makita, Milwaukee, and DeWalt kits, and I feel like Goldilocks in the house of the three bears, still looking for a set that's "just right", so I want to hear the opinions of folks who know more than I.
Here's what I think I know so far: The Makita tools felt good to my hand, and I like the LED guide lights on the drill, but an impact driver seems useless for a home-owner. Right?. The Milwaukee 18v kit's drill seems a lot heavier than other 18v, and Amazon reported quite a few battery problems. The Ryobi tools are a bit smaller, seem less ergonomic, and have no LED guide lights and a not-very adjustable flashlight -- but are a lot less expensive than other brands. The DeWalt DC6PAKRA seems to have the the best collection of tools, including the really flexible flashlight, but doesn't use Lithium batteries. The DeWalt 18V XRP is lithium, but it's 4x as expensive as the Ryobi, and we'd rather have an angle drill than an Impact driver and Impact wrench.
I'd like to get a great present, but I am out of my depth! So, I'd love any advice! What brand and tools do you most use and like? Are the impact-x tools any use to a non-pro home-owner? And, should I be looking at the 12v kits as well?