It’s that time of year when you can buy a 12V-class cordless power tool combo kit for $99. Bosch, Makita, and Milwaukee offerings are all aggressively priced and “get you in the door” to the respective brands’ compact cordless power tool systems.
If you don’t care about buying into a brand, or buying other 12V-class cordless tools at a later time, all of these choices would serve you well.
To start off, Bosch’s CLPK22-120 is an “oldie but goodie.” Its tools are a bit dated, but reputable and reliable.
You get the PS31 drill, PS41 impact driver, charger, (2) 2.0Ah batteries, and a tool bag. The tools’ specs don’t quite match up to the competition’s, but the ergonomics are nice and the kit comes with 2.0Ah batteries instead of 1.5Ah.
Why Buy This One? Bosch’s smaller 12V Max system does have some tools the other brands’ don’t yet offer. These tools are comfortable, reliable, and compact.
If you’re just looking for a 12V-class drill and impact driver kit, this would be my 3rd choice recommendation.
Makita has two 12V Max CXT cordless drill and impact driver combo kits on sale this year – CT226 which has gone on sale in previous years, and CT232.
Makita’s CT232 combo kit features their updated cordless drill, which we posted about earlier in the year. Not to mince words, but why buy the older kit when the updated kit is the same price? This deal gets you the newer model drill.
This kit gives you the FD09 drill, DT03 impact driver, charger, (2) 1.5Ah batteries, tool bag.
Why Buy This One? Makita’s slide-style battery pack gives the tools a slimmer handle that many (including myself) find more comfortable. If you’re not concerned with the smaller (but growing) selection of Makita’s 12V Max CXT cordless power tools system, this kit offers the best balance of power, size, and value.
If you’re just looking for a 12V-class drill and impact driver kit, this would be my 1st choice recommendation. The battery style allows for slimmer handles and wider bases so you can set it down quickly with less chance of tip-over. The tools are a little less compact that those with stem-style batteries.
Buy Now via Amazon
Buy Now via Acme Tools
Milwaukee’s 2494-22 M12 drill and impact driver combo kit hits the $99 price twice a year, pretty much like clockwork.
Some years there are added bonuses, such as an extra battery, but I believe I’ve only seen that happen in June with Father’s Day deals.
With this kit you get the 2407 drill/driver, 2462 impact driver, charger, (2) 1.5Ah batteries, and tool bag.
Why Buy This One? These tools are compact and competitively-spec’ed, and Milwaukee has the most expansive 12V-class compact cordless power tool lineup.
If you’re just looking for a 12V-class drill and impact driver kit, this would be my 2nd choice recommendation.
If you need a cordless screwdriver instead of a drill/driver, the Bosch CLPK27-120 set might be a better choice. It’s also less expensive, currently priced at $88 at Amazon.
It comes with the PS21 screwdriver, PS41 impact driver, charger, (2) 2.0Ah batteries, and a tool bag.
I would rather get the drill or impact 18 volt BRUSHless Makita or get both at the depot now for $99.99 each and have two chargers and much more power with longer lasting motors
Right, but that’s $200 – double the price. 18V tools are larger and heavier than 12V.
That’s like saying “why get a paring knife when I can get a chef’s knife.”
Tools like these pair well with heavy duty 18V-class tools which can be less than ideal for certain applications or task positions.
It’s good price for the bunch, though forget that gen1 Milwaukee bc their gen2 blows it out the water (not in the same price range though) I would personally not recommend it after using gen1 & 2. but even so I have yet to find anything that can even stutter these newer 12volt drill/drivers (gen2 wilfukcee especially!)
And to play devils advocate, I have the Makita CXT lines because I “don’t want that much power.”
Who wants to do all the small task that pop up around the house with a Dewalt DCD996? And if I am not mistaken no one makes an 18/20V hex driver such as the Makita FD06 (by far the most used tool I own)
If I am drilling out 1000 pilot holes on my Kreg, driving 3 inch screws, or doing demolition with a reciprocating saw, sure, give me a 20V any day of the week.
But more times then not, I am running around the house doing odds jobs that require precision over brute force power.
The prices of the Makita bare tools is also very reasonable.
Actually, Makita does: the subcompact 18V LXT DDF083Z, but it’s NAINA (not available in North America). (And, yes, I’d like one).
There’s also the Bosch 18V Flexi-Click, which I’m pretty sure is a bit larger but also appears to be NAINA.
PS and get two bags.
I’m curious how the new dewalt 12v line that is being exclusively sold at Lowe’s will be discounted for hoilday pricing. That is if it gets discounted. Single tool systems are being sold for $99 while the older 12v line has been discounted to $79 for single tool systems. Also with the form factor would the dewalt be a better buy than the Makita if it was discounted to say $150 for a two tool system? Just speculating of course.
It looks like they’re holding at $99 each.
There’s no pro-grade 12V-class brushless tool kits priced anywhere near that. I plan to discuss the drill and impact driver kit separately since it didn’t seem perfectly placed here. That Xtreme Subcompact combo is currently $149 (DCK221F2).
Makita’s 12V Max brushless tool kits are $149 each, except for a hammer drill priced at $109 at Amazon.
There’s a Dewalt 12V Max brushed motor combo currently at $129, and it’ll likely be $99 again this year. But those tools are a bit too outdated to recommend. Bosch’s combo is somewhat outdated as well, but it has at least been updated with higher capacity batteries.
Dewalt is discontinuing their 12v line. I owned the 12v max and the impact, though very powerful for a 12v (1,400 in lbs) it has a bad chuck wobble
for the people that would buy these kits – I think they would be better severed with one item a 12v 1/2″ Hammer Drill (like the M12 2504 – not sure if the other brands have something similar) – it’s really not speed of drilling and putting in a screw that’s needed for these users but something that’s likely to met anything that they might toss at it.
The Bosch PS130 is a 12v with Hammer function.
But that hammer function really seems like an odd choice to focus on,
having owned and used a few hammer drills, corded and 18v, the only true masonry drilling option is an SDS drill; because hammer drills do so poorly in solid material.
I guess one could use it to put some anchors in mortar or soft brick material.
But, beyond that SDS is on another league and has been such a breeze that I gave my regular older hammer drills away.
I have a corded SDS as well – but I’ve used my M12 to drill a few holes and anchors in brick for outlets because I didn’t want to travel 360 miles with my corded SDS. I used to have a 18v dewalt drill and driver but as the batteries died and I thought about how I use my tools (advanced dyi’er that often travels with my tools) I started with just the M12 1/2″ drill/driver/hammer – and wished I had dumped 18volt tools sooner! The 18volt tool are just more then I need 99% of the time – the compactness and weight savings just works better for my needs – plus I always have a cord optioned tool for that 1% or if I’m drilling 1000 holes I’ll just swap batteries.
Similar thing here … love my 12v Bosch tools … battery life on the tools may be short with active use, but I use these more as precision tools and their lighter weight is easier after injuries …
Break out the 18v for demolition and building.
I did pickup an 18v SDS 🙂
So I don’t have to unroll one or two extension cords or get the generator out.
I’d still go with the Bosch kit #1 it’s aged really well – does what it’s supposed to do. The slide battery just makes the Makita less compact. Milwaukee most powerful and best 12v system and if you’re gonna avoid 18v the way to go. But I just think everyone not pro should have one of these 12v sets and a flash/worklight for the everyday and do all their big project stuff in 18v system. Bosch 12v spotlight is a masterpiece of a tool.
Paul gets it
12v = everyday stuff and precision work
18v/20v = Power
But will counter the point about Makita. It might be less compact, but it is sooooo well balanced.
I think their balance is a reason I appreciate these tools as much as their being cordless.
I’m just waiting for a skil 12v set for $99
Lowe’s has the skil 12V drill/impact kit for $99, I was there earlier. If I recall, it only came with one battery though, which I thought was an interesting choice, and might actually decide me against that kit if it was my only skil 12V set. Nothing worse than having two holes left and no even partially charged battery. Maybe they expect that 50% in 5 minutes or whatever charging thing to alleviate that problem?
I currently own the Skil 12v pwrcore kit. It sucks that it comes with one battery, i don’t understand the marketing on that one. I did go ahead and purchase another battery, it was only $29. The impact has the same nut busting torque as the M12 Fuel. The drill puts out the same torque as the M12, 350 in lbs. Battery charges from zero to 25% in about 5 min…i’m just not sure about reliability because they haven’t been around long. I’m trying to decide between keeping the Skil 12v or go with Porter Cable 20v brushless but the Skil 12v …actually has MORE torque than the 20v
My 13 year old loves projects and I bought him a 12v black and Decker drill when he was 9. But lately he has been stealing my Ryobi 18v impact driver alot.
I’m thinking a 12v starter set might be a good present. I was thinking skil power core, but he does alot of mechanic work so something that offers impact wrench and ratchets might be better. Which kind of points Makita or Milwaukee, I like Bosch but no ratchets.
I’m a leaning Makita now just watching the deals.
Well, you are missing out on one important factor.
What does he like?
Take him to a few of the Borg stores and let him look and feel what he likes but don’t ask it in a way of “what he likes” rather ask him of his opinion of each of the three. Make him think and then counter his reasoning making him think some more.
After all done tell him you appreciate his input and that you need to think about it a bit.
Then drop him the bomb of a Christmas present. Might even want to go as far and get him a nice case for them that matches the brand of tool.
I like my Bosch 12v because it knows what it is (and isn’t) and leaves a clear gap for 18v to exist too. I get it if that doesn’t work for people who just want a single set of tools.
I’m thinking about getting the makita 12v kit. I’m on their 18v system and I want something more compact for detailed work and cabinet hardware installation. I like the idea of going with the subompact tools and staying on one battery system but the price difference is substanial. Too bad none of the kits come with the dual charger.
I do not think it really matters if you go with a different brand when looking at different voltage systems. In other words, there is very little benefit (if any) with choosing Makita for both 18v and 12v (same could be said for Dewalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, etc.).
Milwaukee does have 18V/12V chargers included in all of their 18V kits, so that may be a deciding factor if you are only getting a few tools. Then again, you still need batteries, which are usually cheaper in kits, and kits usually come with a charger, so kind of a wash, other than you only have one charger hanging on the wall. Wish makita did that and put their dual voltage charger in kits more. I also don’t like how Makita’s 18V chargers are not wall mountable but their 12V ones are… what’s up with that?
This is good advice though. If you’re going with 12V, pick a reason other than just smaller drill and brand loyalty to guide your decision on which brand to get. If makita’s 12V ergonomics trump your considerations, then great. If you wish you had a 12V planer for whatever reason, Bosch may serve you better. If you had Milwaukee and love only having one charger on the wall for whatever reason, more power to you. (These are not the only reasons obviously). I don’t think you’ll really notice any inconvenience in potentially having different brands for 18V and 12V, as GML states.
my milwaukee and bosch 1gen 12/10 volt are still going strong with orginal batts, cant go wrong with either brand The milwaukee drill is almost on par with most 18volt drills , the bosch driver I use for electrical, assembly, install, etc.
Just got back from the Depot today (Saturday). For those who want light weight drill drivers, they have SUB-Compact Makita Drill_Driver plus Sub Compact impact driver 18 volt Brushless with 2 batteries and charger and large black bag. For 199.
The weight without batteries is
virtually the same as the 12+volt.
I just hate back to the future with 12 volt. They just don’t have the power when you need it. I remember I was so. happy many many years ago when craftsman. came. out with the 19.2 volt.
A serious question to anyone / everyone. What makes the Bosch 12v system always rate highly? Bosch cordless in general? I’ve never had any but I’m curious. Is it tolerances? Precision? Something else?
The Bosch 12V right angle drill I got for this exact reason, the head on it rotates 180 degrees (with stops), which an initial thought might classify as a gimmick, but it has actually been pretty useful. I use it inline sometimes to decrease the number of extensions or not use an extension on deep holes (and get an LED in there). Even the 45 degree and “upwards” modes have been nice if not strictly necessary in some situations. I think Bosch thought about it, did something about it, and that’s just how it is. They didn’t tack it on and then try to market it like crazy like some companies’ “gimmick” features.
Some other things I like about Bosch 12V, they’ve held up to abuse very well, they just always seem to work and keep going, even when I put them in extreme situations, just go slowly and they’ll get it done. They also I think are keeping their batteries reasonable. Their kits come with 2.0 batteries minimum, even the older ones like the set here. Compare that to Milwaukee, where you have some old kid with 1.5Ah batteries (even newly manufactured kits of those older tools use the 1.5s instead of just saying we’re done with 1.5 everything is 2.0 now). Makita does the same, some kits have 1.5s some have 2.0s. I like that Bosch just has the 2.0s now and has moved on with life. The 3.0 compacts are still expensive enough that I don’t expect them to supplant kit batteries for another couple years, but could you imagine if milwaukee had some M12 tools (or makita the same) that sold with 1.5Ah batteries, some with 2.0, some with 3.0? Ludicrous.
Assuming the Ridgid combo drops to $99 this holiday season, how would you rank it against the Bosch combo for even money?
Ridgid 12V Max is a very limited system. Their cordless power tools tend to be decent, and they often give you greater bang for the buck, but I would buy any of these combo kits ahead of Ridgid’s.