Cordless tools are rapidly overtaking their corded cousins in the construction trades, as well as for the average homeowner and do-it-yourselfer. The convenience of cordless tools more than makes up for their increased price in many people's eyes, helping them to justify the expense. When you have to do a quick project, cordless tools make it much easier to accomplish.
These cordless combo tool kits combine several tools from the same manufacturer, all of which operate off the same power system. Typically, the kits come with two batteries and a charger, making it possible to work more or less continually, depending upon the recharge speed of the batteries. Since these tools all use Lithium-Ion batteries, it’s possible to pull a partially recharged battery from the charger and use it without any risk of damage.
There are a couple of advantages of buying these types of kits rather than buying individual tools. First of all, the kits provide several tools for a lower price than if you were to buy them individually which ultimately saves you money. A second savings comes from the fact you’re buying all of your tools for the same battery system. That reduces cost on batteries and chargers, especially when you start comparing it to having a mishmash of tools from different manufacturers.
All of the kits have at least one drill and at least two saws. The saws are circular and reciprocating. While that doesn't give you the capability of cutting curves like you can with a scroll saw, it will handle most construction related tasks. Some of the larger kits add a scroll saw, as well as other tools.
It's real easy to get carried away when you start looking at kits like this and decide you need everything. But before buying, take the time to think about the projects you do and the types of tools needed for them. On the flip side, some of the additions to the kit may be what you end up using the most. Many cordless tool manufacturers are now building smaller sized impact drivers, which are great for driving screws into a deck or other tasks where a normal drill/driver doesn't have enough torque. You'll also find work lights in these kits which there are never enough of in anyone's tool kit.
Another thing to consider when choosing a kit is any cordless tools you currently own. If you already have some tools from a manufacturer, the addition of more from the same manufacturer could put you in a position of having more chargers and batteries available for your tool collection. Unless there’s a real reason to buy another brand, it’s worth purchasing consistently.
All of the kits come with soft-sided cases for storing and carrying your tools. This is convenient if you’re limited in workshop space, or just for carrying the tools to the area where you are working on the project. These heavy-duty canvas cases are rugged and can handle the weight of multiple tools, without tearing.
Finally, some of the manufacturers offer more than one combo kit. In those cases, I've listed their best combo kit but you might want to check their websites to see if they have any smaller kits available.
Makita wins hands down with the largest cordless tool kit around. This impressive kit comes with 15 separate tools, as well as two chargers and four batteries. Read Full Review
This kit from Makita is the biggest combination kit I've seen. It has 15 different tools in it and while a few are things like lamps and a radio, it has enough solid tools in it for just about any project you can think of. It even includes a leaf blower which is great for cleaning the sawdust out of your workshop too.
The Makita set comes with three different saws, three drills and three impact drivers of different sizes. There’s a right-angle drill, a hammer drill, as well as a screw gun, specifically designed for sinking drywall screws to the right depth.
One really great thing about Makita's cordless tools is that they have the fastest recharge time of anyone. If you're in a rush, you can get your batteries back into the tool in as little as 15 which is about half the time of anyone else. The set comes with two chargers and four 3.0 Ah batteries; high capacity units what some manufacturers call "fat packs.
If you want power, go for Milwaukee as they always seem to get a little more power out of their tools than anyone else. This 9 tool combo kit is no exception. Read Full Review
Milwaukee's kit isn't quite as big as the Makita one is, but it has less frills. They've only put one work light in it (rather than two), and there's no job site radio taking up space. The kit still has three saws, two impact drivers and two drills, one of which is a right-angle drill. The kit only comes with two batteries and one charger, but they’re the 3.0Ah fat pack batteries, or as Milwaukee calls them, "extended capacity batteries".
Milwaukee Tools has two things going for them in any competition. Number one is that their tools are extraordinarily rugged and no matter what, you can count on these tools to last. The other is these tools always have more torque than the competition. It doesn't matter if you're looking at a drill, a driver or a saw; you'll get more power out of a Milwaukee tool than you will anyone else.
DeWalt's nine piece kit comes in at a much lower price than Milwaukee's saving you money. It might be a bit more diverse as well, providing you with the tools you need for a wider variety of jobs. Read Full Review
DeWalt has a nine piece kit as well, making it technically the same size as the Milwaukee kit. But, this one is considerably less expensive. They've also taken a slightly different approach to putting their kit together, perhaps providing a little more flexibility. First of all, the drill is a hammer drill, so you get both functions out of one tool. They solve the need for a driver by providing both a hex female drive impact for use with standard bits and a 3/8" drive impact driver.
The same three saws are included in this kit that we found in the Makita and Milwaukee kits. But there are also two high-speed rotary cutters for cutting metals. One is a right-angle grinder/cutter like on the other kits, but the other is a more compact vertical cutting tool which could be used in a number of ways, from a small router to a trimmer; I like that extra flexibility. Like most kits, DeWalt’s DCK955X comes with one charger and two batteries which are 2.0Ah charge.
Bosch's kit is much smaller, but still provides you with the main cordless tools you need. The drill is a hammer drill, which is nice as it gives you more flexibility than a drill/driver would. Read Full Review
With this kit from Bosch, we're stepping down to a much smaller combo kit but it's considerably cheaper as well. Nevertheless, Bosch has worked to make it very versatile. The kit consists of a hammer drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw, and also comes with a portable work light. It's nice that they included a hammer drill in the kit, as that gives more flexibility than just a regular drill/driver would. The kit comes with two fat pack batteries and a charger, to keep you working nonstop.
If you're looking for a deal, take a look at this kit from Black & Decker. I actually have the drill in this kit, so I can vouch for it. This kit is great value for the price. Read Full Review
Black & Decker has upped their standard battery voltage on their Li-Ion batteries to 20 volts, rather than the 18 volts everyone else uses. That gives their tools a little more power to work with as well as easier to get more torque out of them. This kit consists of a drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw and flashlight. It also comes with a charger and two of their 20 volt MAX batteries. I actually have the drill that's in this kit, which I bought because I wanted an inexpensive cordless drill. It’s worked out great for me, hasn’t caused any problems, and provides plenty of power for my needs.