Buying Guide for Power Tool Combo Kits
Before we read the guide on these combination power tool kits, it is worthwhile having a quick look at what a combo kit actually is. The different manufacturers provide different options for their combinations so it is good to understand what is on offer. The brands who offer these are:
- PORTER CABLE
- Black & Decker
Why Buy a Power Combo Kit?
The reason is pretty simple in that you can buy a combination of power tools which then share the same battery. As you are buying them together they do come slightly cheaper than if you bought them as stand alone products.
The other clear cost saving is that you can just use one battery (though we recommend always having a spare one) and that means you are not paying out for different batteries for different products.
The brands and manufacturers like to sell you these combos as it means you are basically committing your full purchases to their brand.
Different Types of Combo Power Tools
These come in 2-piece, 3-piece, 4-piece, 5-piece, 6-piece and 7 or more pieces. So you can see that there is certainly lots of variety when it comes to picking the right one for your own needs. Below we will look at which are the most common.
It is important to understand that different manufacturers and brands will put slightly different bundles of power tools together. The one common item is though a drill/driver.
These are typically a cordless drill and an impact driver and when combined these can take care of many jobs for you. This 2-piece combo kit is by far the most popular buy for many users.
They are also the cheapest ones to buy simply because they have 2 products. The most common combo is a drill/driver and an impact driver. The second most popular is a drill/driver and a saw of some kind. (Usually a circular saw)
Typically these will include a drill, a jigsaw and a sander and are aimed at the wood working market mainly. You can get different formats of these which combine other types of power tools, but the combination that I have described is certainly the most typical.
They are also usually slightly cheaper as they are combining lower priced tools in the package.
These will usually include a drill/driver, a couple of saws such as a Recap and a circular saw, and something like a flashlight. Please note that the saw type may vary depending on who the manufacturer is.
I have noticed that with most of this style the fourth product is typically a flash light or some type of torch. Personally I don’t think that adds tremendous vale to the bundle but is handy enough to have.
With these you will normally get a drill, an impact driver, a reciprocating saw, a circular saw and some form of flashlight. Essentially what the manufacturers appear to be doing here, is adding in an extra saw to the circular one.
This is the one that I own myself, and I just think it offers the very best value for money. In this combo kit you get 20 Volt products and that means power.
The products are a 3-speed drill with full metal transmission, a 1/4″ Impact driver, a 6.5″ carbide circular saw, and all purpose saw and a great light with 110 lumens of lighting power.
Most of these are high quality and has just about anything you will ever need in a kit. If you are someone who does a lot of projects or even a professional these types of bundles can be very good value. There is of course the initial outlay but you can quickly get your money back on this type of investment.
7+ Combo Kits
There are not a lot of these around but there are a few mainly from DEWALT. In this type of combination you do get a lot of tools. One example is the DEWALT DCK955X which contains 9 tools.
These tools are: A hammer drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, jig saw, impact driver, cut-off tool, impact wrench, cut-out tool, and a floodlight. This comes with a couple of contractor bags to hold everything.
These are great value for money if you can afford the initial outlay which will be around $800
Hopefully this has helped you understand what is available and as you can see there is certainly plenty of variety.
My Buying Guide for Power Combo Kits
The best thing that you can do is to first work out what you need. It really does depend what jobs you want to take on and complete. If you are in the construction industry and many of the trade industries, then you already know the benefits of using and owning power tools.
For those who want to do home projects then having power tools, and good quality ones, just make all of those bigger tasks a great deal easier. Now clearly if money wasn’t an object you would just buy a high quality brand like DEWALT, and then buy this bigger combination of their tools.
For most though, we will all have a limited budget to work with. So the way I decide on a combination kit is to decide which tools I really need, and then try to find those within a certain budget.
The only one thing I would recommend is to avoid buying really cheap tools of any kind as it is like throwing your money down a drain.
Always buy the best that you can afford even if that means waiting a little longer and saving up the money.
Be Careful With The Battery Type
These days you should be looking to get Lithium-Ion batteries (Li-on) as these are now the most popular and certainly a great deal better than the standard NiCad option.
They last longer in terms of charge and they don’t suffer from memory loss. To be honest unless your combo kit comes with a Li-Ion battery I just would not make the purchase.
Avoid Over Buying
It is really easy to buy more than you need. I don’t know about you but I do have a real problem when it comes to buying accessories. I love variety in my tools and that usually means I end up buying kits a lot. In almost every case, I buy some tools and accessories that to be honest I will never use.
With accessory kits that is probably ok, but these power tool combinations are expensive, and you can end up spending a lot more than you really need to.
You can also end up with getting what I call a few silly power tools that will never be used. One of the kits that I was looking at had a flashlight and a spirit level built into one tool. Now let’s face it a light may be useful, but when are you ever going to use it as a spirit level.