If you could only buy 2 power tools for a fresh van conversion, what would they be?

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GotSmart

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The right cordless makes a corded drill almost worthless. I have an antique 1/2 inch corded I use for running wire, (Many holes in a series) but the cordless with good batteries is one of the most essential tools I use.
 

VanLifeCrisis

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i went with drill and jig. when making my fold away bed i had a tough time doing straight cuts with jigsaw, so i bought a tool from kreg that took care of that (for board cuts, not ripping ply).
Here it is on amazon
 

Almost There

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DazarGaidin said:
i went with drill and jig.  when making my fold away bed i had a tough time doing straight cuts with jigsaw, so i bought a tool from krieg that took care of that (for board cuts, not ripping ply).

Link please...I'm going to be using a jigsaw that I already own. I figure 90% of my cutting will be either paneling/1/4 ply and small stuff like 1x3.

Power tools are expensive here and I don't have access to either a table saw or a circular. Besides, neither of them and I are particularly friendly with each other...sigh!
 

akrvbob

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If you buy a Ryobi 18 volt kit for $99 at Home Depot you get the cordless drill and circular saw.  The cordless jig saw is another $50. So for $150 you are set, the three essential tools for converting a van.  That's less than a Dewalt drill by itself. 


Is the Dewalt better? MUCH BETTER!!! Is the Ryobi plenty good enough for a vandwellers infrequent use? 100% YES!!!! I've used the same set of Ryobi cordelss tools to build a cabin, two decks on my moms house, and build and re-build multiple times my box van, F150 camper and   6x10 cargo trailer. I've replaced the batteries three times, but the tools works just as well today as the day I bought it.

Highly Recommended--by far the best bang for your buck!!

I took this picture in 2010 when I built my cargo trailer conversion. You can see I marked the batteries when I bought them in 2007. I replaced them in 2011 and I'm still using them but they are about shot and I will replace them this year with Lithiums. When Ryobi upgraded to Lithium, they made them backwards compatible so I can use new Lithiums in my old drill-saw.

That charger is 12 vot and friend gave me an extra charger that will do both the old batteries and the new Lithiums , it's also 12 volt.
Bob

a-cargo-18volt-use1.jpg
 

GoldCityGuy

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I built mine with a drop saw, a skilsaw and a power drill. Plywood cuts where a bit off but just used the straight side facing out then covering the rough side with trim.
 

Almost There

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akrvbob said:
If you buy a Ryobi 18 volt kit for $99 at Home Depot you get the cordless drill and circular saw.  The cordless jig saw is another $50. So for $150 you are set, the three essential tools for converting a van.  That's less than a Dewalt drill by itself. 


That's nice for all of you who are stateside... :)

Remember to take any of the US tool prices and just about double them when you're talking to us Canucks.

The closest kit I could find at Home Depot Canada is $199.00 plus 13% sales tax. It had the drill, the circular saw and also had a reciprocating saw which I don't need.

I have no decks or cabins in my future that I know of so what I'll be using what I have on hand and getting any large major cuts of the flooring plywood done at the store for me. They charge a $1.00 a cut and you wait forever and ever for someone to come do it but hey, better than trying to do it myself.
 

TucsonAZ

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I have been thinking about this a bit since I last posted, provided I had a table for a jig saw so that I could use it like a hybrid scroll/table saw I would choose a jig saw and a drill. I have owned Dewalt, Makita, and now Milwaukee and hands down I would choose Milwaukee.
 

ccbreder

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I had a light battery jig saw and had some trouble cutting some stuff. I bought a heavy duty corded jig saw and find it satisfactory for most things. I grab it before the circular saw for most uses. I have a few clamps, metal straight edge, and a modified framing square. I can follow a pencil line, but often use the saw along a clamped edge. The real trick is to use a new, sharp blade suited to what you are cutting. Size and weight along with tooth count. I change blades during the job depending on straight cuts, curved cuts, and type of material being cut. I agree that a circular saw is the best electric hand tool for cutting long straight cuts, but my jig saw does an acceptable job with a little care on my part. For the cost conscious, Ryobi rules.
 

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