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Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

Posted by jally (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 26, 11 at 22:54

I'm a female mid-aged arthritic newb seeking buying advice re: tools for basic projects out of necessity, not hobby.

Right now, there appear to be very limited sales at Lowe's such as Task Force 38-piece ratcheting set for $5 (i never owned a ratcheting screwdriver - is it worth getting?

Also a Dewalt 75-pc drilling screwdriver set for $20.
It was given a bad review, so i'm vaccillating, since Dewalt is a good name.

Does the latter come with a reliably magnetized bit holder for use in drill chuck?
Is it worth getting?

btw, my bit holder is poorly magnetized junk from a cheap screwdriver set.
and of my drill bits, the 1st (skinniest) bit broke after drilling into a metal rod, as well as the 5th & 6th bits (out of a 13-bit set).
Is there any recommended titanium set to get as replacement, preferably including more of the skinnier bit sizes, since they seem more breakable?

Also at Lowe's are Kobalt Locking Pliers set & Groove joint pliers, $10 each set. Would those be considered necessary for basics?

Also can you recommend a good saw that's not so huge as my 28" long old-fashioned hand saw? A shrimp like myself can use a much smaller, sturdy saw.

Finally, is there any affordable, reliable wire cutters to cut wire hangers (without becoming dull quickly), and which also can cut fairly thick branches? That would be very handy for me. (I don't own a scissor sharpener)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

Do not buy multiple sets of anything except drill bits. And, buying cheap tools just means you have to buy them more often. Buy good pliers and wire cutters

Buy a hand held screwdriver with 6 different bits---or six different screwdrivers. 3 Phillips and 3 flat tip sizes. If you get the smaller bits, you can replace them singly if necessary.

Ratcheting screwdrivers will not help much with the arthritis. You will be better off getting a large handled model screwdriver(easier to grip).

If you get a screwdriver with six 1" long bits, those will also fit in a holder that chucks in a drill---like one made by Bosch(ttp://www.lowes.com/SearchCatalogDisplay?Ntt=magnetic+bit+holdersholders&storeId=10151&N=0&langId=-1&catalogId=10051&rpp=48)

Channel Lock pliers/wire cutters are among the best. You should be able to find a set with pliers, and a cutter.

You do not want to cut branches with a metal cutter. Buy a set of pruning shears for that.

Stanley Sharp Tooth hand saws are my favorite for small saws.

And drill bits. Titanium bits will break as easily as regular ones. Just buy replacement bits as you break them. Small bits are very easily broken ---I usually buy a couple of each small size to keep on hand.


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

Jally, you might want to look at the Dremel tools. I have a standard Dremel tool that I use for all sorts of things, including cutting wire. And a Dremel Multi-Max that I use mostly for sanding. You might like the new tool they have out, the Saw-Max. The Dremel customer support people are very nice and very patient.

Dremel Saw Max

For cutting branches, get a bypass lopper
Fiskars Bypass Lopper

Of course, if you buy the Saw-Max and a long extension cord, you might be able to use that on the tree limbs. For a while I used an old jig saw on my tree limbs.


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

Thank you very much! And for the info re: drill bits etc.

btw, I found in the basement something which looks like a groove joint pliers, with rubberized handles. The pliers part shifts from narrow toward wider & wider.


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

For hand tools for someone with difficulty gripping, hunt down a local SnapOn dealer. Yes, they are hard to find. Yes, they are expensive. But SnapOn's hand tools are the easiest to grip and stay in your hand of any of the gazillions of brands I've tried. My "go to" on screwdrivers is a 40 year old phillips head set that was handed down to me from my dad. I add in other hand tools as I can afford them.

What kind of saw will work best for you as a general purpose saw will depend on what you're trying to cut. Sheet goods and general lumber will need an electric hand saw. My Porter Cable has been in service for 25 years with no issues at all. A Milwaukee Sawzall reciprocating saw will actually cut small tree branches, or through a car body depending on which blade you have in it. My Bosch sliding compound miter saw can serve as a chop saw, or it can do the complex angles required for installing molding. If you are handling a lot of longer goods, you will need sawhorses and/or a work table to set up your good on to be cut.

For someone with arthritis issues, I hate to say it, but you need some family member or friend involved with your projects. You are probably as able as you are ever going to be right at this moment, and you need a backup plan for when a flareup comes, or just plain degeneration happens. Do you have neices or nephews or neighbor kids that you can pay a couple of bucks for them to help you with projects so they too can become familiar with tools and learn about them together? It always amazes me that no one thinks that kids need to learn about how to do anything with their hands anymore! Everyone needs to know a bit of something and to own a bit of tools. It bestows a type of independence that really mentally liberating when you don't have to always wait on a tradesman to do a job.


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

"Dewalt is a good name."

Dewalt is what Black & decker switched to after wrecking their own name with VERY cheap tools.


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

B&D also acquired Porter Cable. B&D are still producing cheap B&D tools, have cheapened PC, but so far have tried to upgrade DeWalt. That is the consensus of many woodworkers who have experience with all three brands.

Time will tell.


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

I consider Dewalt to be a middle of the road tool,(I have many Dewalts), down from the days when they were top o' the line especially their bullet proof radial arm cut off saws that many framer/carpenters/builders pulled behind their trucks to the site. No one uses those anymore!


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

"down from the days when they were top o' the line especially their bullet proof radial arm cut off saws "

That was their only real product, and B&D killed it off as son as they purchased Dewalt.

The development of the chop saw pretty much appears to have killed the radial arms off.
The ability to rip with a radial arm never worked well, so they do not have much over a chop saw.

Sears production of low quality radial arms saws probably helped drive more nails in the coffin.

I remember a buddy complaining about the cuts on hos brand new Craftsman radial arm saw with digital readouts.
He asked me to look it over and see if I could figure out the problem.
You could push the arm sideways with one finger enough to see movement while the display never changed (and was displaying tenths of a degree 'resolution').
The unit had no bearings on the saw carriage, just metal rubbing on metal.
Tighten it enough to eliminate the visible play and the carriage could not move easily enough to be useful.

But us was cheap.


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

My understanding is that B&D acquired the DeWalt name in the late 80's from a [nearly] defunct company that was best known for radial arm saws. Product quality quibbles aside, it was marketing genius for a company whose industrial line of tools was languishing on the shelves because their maker was best known for toaster ovens. B&D repackaged their "industrial" tools in spiffy black and yellow and sold them as DeWalt, being very careful to keep the DeWalt name well away from B&D. B&D also owned Elu, a tool brand best known in Europe. Early DeWalt tools were either repackaged B&D Industrial or Elu tools.

I had an great 12v DeWalt drill that was repackaged B&D and an B&D Industrial router that was identical, except in color, to the very well respected DeWalt 625. Frankly, it's the best router I've ever used.

The marketing folks at B&D hit a home run with DeWalt.


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

From the Wiki:

The original company was started in 1936 by Raymond E. DeWalt, the inventor of the radial arm saw. The company grew quickly and was reorganized in 1947, manufacturing radial arm saws and other stationary woodworking machines.

After buying the company in 1949, American Machine & Foundry Co., Inc. sold it to Black & Decker in 1960.

Black & Decker divested itself of the radial arm saw manufacturing branch in 1989, selling it to two executives. Radial arm saws that use the original DeWalt design can still be obtained from the Original Saw Co.

In 1992, Black & Decker started a major effort to rebrand its professional quality and high-end power tools to DeWalt. Currently, DeWalt manufactures and sells more than 200 different power hand-tools and 800 accessories.

In 1994, DeWalt took over the German wood working power tool producer ELU. DeWalt increased their line of tools using ELU's technology. DeWalt is now a popular brand of tools for commercial contractors.

In 2004, Black and Decker bought rival power tool manufacturer Porter-Cable and combined it with DeWalt in Jackson, Tennessee.[1]

DeWalt now produces a full line of compact, XRP, and lithium ion cordless drills. The same battery used for the drill can also run one of the 40 other tools DeWalt produces, such as impact wrenches and circular saws.


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RE: Which tools - Lowes Task force? other?

Seems B&D is somewhat of a tool monopoly?

Curious how everyone stores their stuff when they don't have all the latest cutting edge tool-storage setups.

Just today, I used one of my faithful Fixwell knives to carve out the below pictured saw-blade keeper from styrofoam. I also cut the foam so it fits snugly inside a plastic umbrella case.

I also use Fixwell knives as a primitive hand saw for wood & weak plastic too, that's until I get a conventional hand saw. What I can really use is a scissor sharpener which can also sharpen curvy blades (of loppers), but not sure which type is good quality, nor where to find same.

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