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Cordless Driver/Drill - Recommendations


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  #1 Leo Hill

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 07:10 PM

Folks - I'm going to tap another knowledge base with this question...

I'm going to 'suggest' a Christmas present to my Mother-in-Law - whom I get along with very well BTW - and I'd like your knowledge and expertise please.

Doing some 'honey-dos' over the weekend, my 12+ year old 9.6V Makita cordless drill/driver pooped out.  I bought new batteries a couple years ago... but still, its git-up-and-go got-up-and-went.

I'm thinking along the lines of a 18V Li-ion drill/driver with a cordless circular saw in the combo.

Over the years I've had very good experience with Makita - but my research also suggests Dewalt, Royobi and Bosch are also tough and reliable brands.

Perhaps you've had good or bad experiences with these or others that you'd care to share.

Thanks for your input.

Leo


  #2 Charlie Jones

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 07:30 PM

I continue to be amazed at it, but last year I bought an 18.2 volt drill driver from Sears- a Craftsman, with an angle drill as part of the package.

I really wasn't expecting all that much but the thing has continued to work very well and I get a LONG usage out of a battery charge. I just boarded up the house- 18 ply panels, using two charges in the drill- 300 screws all told. And unboarded it with one battery charge

I've been unimpressed with Craftsman stuff for quite a few years, but this one surprised me.

  #3 Frank Hagan

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:15 PM

I'm interested in this as well ... I have a 6 year old 9.6v Makita that keeps going, and one of the lower voltages I haven't touched (7v?), but its underpowered so I doubt I'll use it much.  I thought the old 9.6v was a goner, but it was just a connection in the charger that was bad (it could be a 12v, and the other one a 9.6v).

I briefly looked at the choices when I thought I was going to have to replace it ... good lord, there's a ton of them out there now.  And some of them look like the engineers went crazy with "plastic cladding" that make them look like a BMX outfit.  I'm interested in how the DeWalt and others hold up. 

  #4 Charlie Jones

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 05:32 AM

Frank- we have a pair of the 9.6v Makita's. We used them in the woodshop on a daily basis and pounded the living bejeezus out of them for years. The batteries finally gave up again and since new ones cost almost as much as a whole new drill driver combo ( two would have been over 100 bucks) I bought the Craftsman cause I needed one quickly and didn't have time to drive to where I could get anything else- perils of living way away from a big city :D

ANYWAY- the drill part was still in excellent shape and I hated to just junk it. SO I opened it up and soldered a couple wires to the connections down in the handle, put a cigarette lighter plug on the other end and put the thing on the big boat. I stripped the batteries from the handle and just plugged the empty shell back in. It runs on 12 volts just fine and now I have an electric drill driver on board that runs on ships service ;D

And a spare if that one gives up.

  #5 Leo Hill

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 02:44 PM

Here's the straight scoop on Makita - from a guy that actually works for a tool company - in The Netherlands.

http://groups.yahoo....s/message/16673

And pasted here:

RE: JWBuilders Re: Cordless Driver/Drill - Recommendations

Some more info on the Makita machines.

The BDF 451 drill is the latest line, at least over here, of machines. they changed back from the plastic drill chucks to metal ones. Improved cooling for the motor and better access to the brushes. Only remember not to make the mistake of covering the end of the machine with your hand whilst working. The engine draws quite a current and gets quite hot. Blocking the cooling can melt the brush holder of an otherwise fine machine.

The batteries are of the latest type Lithium-ion. You can read the leaflet for the specifications. They are equipped with a chip which records its life, together with the new type of charger they for a strong team. When put in the charger the later makes up a status of the battery and discharges an recharges the pack in optimum condition. Whilst loading the pack is aircooled by the charger.

Further machines using the same battery packs are

circular saw - BSS 610

handgrinder - dia 115 - BGA 452

Recipro saw - BJR 118 Sfe

sadly at moment no jigsaw for the 18V range but there is one in the 14.4V line.

Hope this has helped you out, if not feel free to ask.

Regards

Wilfried Vermeiren

51 11'44.19"N, 4 30'53.66"E

http://users.skynet....elbouw.wilfried

  #6 Frank Hagan

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 08:23 PM


ANYWAY- the drill part was still in excellent shape and I hated to just junk it. SO I opened it up and soldered a couple wires to the connections down in the handle, put a cigarette lighter plug on the other end and put the thing on the big boat. I stripped the batteries from the handle and just plugged the empty shell back in. It runs on 12 volts just fine and now I have an electric drill driver on board that runs on ships service ;D

And a spare if that one gives up.


Wish I had thought of that when one of my drills died ... I ended up finding someone on Craig's List that had a good battery and I gave him the drill.  I couldn't bring myself to toss it when it was in good shape, but the battery pack was more than what I paid for the Makita on sale.  IIRC, that was a Craftsman drill, so I had just about the opposite experience as you.

  #7 Hirilonde

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 06:21 AM

I have had 2 DeWalts over the years, regular and right angle.  The motors themselves have been quite good.  The batteries however are very expensive and don't seem to last.

I like everything Bosch I have ever owned.  The cordless line however is very expensive.

I bought a Ryobi multi-tool package over 5 years ago.  I paid the same for 5 tools (drill motor, circular saw, sawsall, dust vac and flashlight), 2 batteries and charger as most major brand drill motor only kits (drill motor, 2 batteries and charger).  I figured it was junk, but the other tools that I might use on rare occasion would be convenient.  My drill motor and original 2 batteries are still going strong after daily use in a professional setting.  I had planned to upgrade to a Bosch or such when it died, but it just won't.  Replacement batteries cost about 1/3 of DeWalt.  If mine ever die I think I will buy a replacement or 2.

  #8 Frank Hagan

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 09:31 AM

Replacement battery cost is a concern.  There's a chain of battery replacement stores called "Batteries, Etc." and often they can offer reconditioned battery packs (new cells in refurbished plastic casings).  Some of the stores replace the cells in your own plastic casing.

It seems to me we had a member that was refurbishing batteries in hand held power tools ... but now I can't find any posts from him in the Classifieds forum.

I know what you mean about tools you buy, thinking they will die soon.  I bought a cheap 4" grinder from Harbor Freight Tools, thinking it would fail during the project, but the thing keeps going.  I can't buy a "good one" until this one fails!

  #9 Tom Lathrop

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 06:04 AM

My battery drills are a third hand much of the time in assembly work.  The first one was the dinky little Skil of 30 years ago that was just a bit faster than driving a screw by hand.  I've gone through the Skil, AEG, Ryobi, Dewalt, Bosch and Makita.  I returned the early Dewalt model because it was just too cumbersome.  I hear the newer ones are better.  Bought "new" 12V batteries for the Bosch that turned out to be new-old-stock and learned that lesson.  A battery that has been sitting on the shelf for many years is not a "new" battery. The 14.4V Makita set of drill and impact driver is the latest.  The drill is decent but the little driver is the work horse when big screws need to put in or taken out.  It's several times more powerful than any of the drills and much smaller to get into tight places.

My favorite is the Bosch for size, power and handyness. (is that a word?)

There are plusses and minuses to higher voltage batteries.  Higher voltage means lower current, lower internal resistance losses, smaller wire and a lighter weight tool IF the manufacturer takes proper advantage.  Biggest advantage is that higher power is also possible when these factors are properly balanced in design of the tool.  Down side is cost and the fact that all of these battery tools use cells with the same voltage output on each cell.  (Different type cells have slightly different voltage)  With more cells comes a greater risk of failure since failure of any one cell will cause the whole pack to fail.

I do plan to get a set of rebuilt batteries with new cells for the Bosch.  I have one 12V battery left and it is on its last legs.  They are priced at $33 each.

  #10 Remod

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 04:36 PM

  I have almost all the 18V tools in the Ryobi ONE PLUS line, and I love them! The company I work for provides DeWalt 18V cordless tools, and let me tell ya, The Ryobi drill/driver/hammer drill far outperforms the DeWalt. It is 3 speed Variable Speed, vs 2 speed va sp, bores holes in brick, block and concrete much faster, and costs $129.00 vs $269.00. The DeWalt batteries typically last 1 to 1 1/2 years, whereas I have a few Ryobi batteries about 5 years old still taking a charge. (By the way, I've taken my Ryobi drill to work with me for three years now,as well as the sawzall, because I like it that much more!)
  The line of tools is really extensive, encompassing just about everything you might want in your shop,,,saw, sawzall, jigsaw, router, planer, sanders, angle grinder, impact wrench, even a bench fan and radio!
  An added plus is Ryobi's new Lithium Ion Batteries, which cost $10 less than DeWalt's regular 18 volt battery.


  #11 Greg Luckett

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:47 PM

I too bought that Ryobi kit about 3 years ago and have since added 4 batteries, a dual charger, and a right angle drill motor.  This is the 18V system, the batteries last a long time, and only cost about $40 for two of them.  The circ saw died on me last month but it has really been used a lot and I plan to replace it.  I rarely get my Porter Cable circ saw out anymore...to bulky...too much power....darn cord always in the way. :)

  #12 Leo Hill

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:25 PM

OK - I've got to ask - this one? http://www.amazon.co...23338629&sr=8-1

Or one like this?  http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem - Recognizing that this particular one is used.

Apparently also here: http://www.homedepot...T-_-100596698_1

Thanks for your input.

Leo

  #13 Greg Luckett

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 06:16 PM

Leo,
The one I have is similar to the first link, but more pieces.  It came with: Circ Saw, Drill motor, recipricating saw, saber saw, 2 batteries, 1 batt charger, flashlight, blade & tool kit, and chain saw, all for $314 in March 2004.  I added (additional costs) over the next year, a duel battery charger and 4 more batteries and a right angle drill motor w/battery.  All 18v.  I wore out the circ saw, but it built two boats, refurbished two more, 200 ft wooden fence, and the boat shed.  Oh, and only the Lord knows how many other odds and ends projects.  I will replace it as soon as I get the chance. :)

  #14 Leo Hill

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 06:22 PM

I went to visit grand babies and son & DiL in Sacramento over Thanksgiving.  The local paper had a HD ad for this: http://www.homedepot...=10000003 90401 .

The kids bought Grandpa this for a combined birthday/Christmas gift.  Nice.  Thanks.  It cost me another $20 to buy a duffle bag of sufficient size to tote the thing home.  Nice thought though.

So the driver/drill problem is solved.  Got the circular saw and the jig saw too.

Leo

  #15 PAR

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 07:50 PM

A cordless drill is a nice addition to a shop, but they have limitations. If you have a bunch of holes to drill, particularly if they are fairly deep, large diameter and/or in a tough wood, you might as well dig out the corded drill and forget about the cordless. There's not much worse then not having enough "nuts" to spin a 3/4" bit, 4" deep into white oak, especially if you have 6 holes to do.

My main objection is the weight issue. I have an older 12 VDC Skil that I've used for thousands of screws and pilot holes. I love the thing, because it's small enough to fit into tight places. The 18 VDC unit I bought, thinking I wanted more nuts, is a lot bigger, heavier and more cumbersome to use. Okay it has many more clutch settings and a bunch more torque, but so what, if you arm gets tied using it or it doesn't fit into the locker you're trying to screw a battery switch into. The 12 volt drives screws and runs smaller bits fine, doesn't wear me out if I'm working over head and fits into smaller places.

I see no need for other cordless tools, except one of those miniature band saw cutoff tools. I haven't got one yet, but I can see it's usefulness.

Hitachi has a new ion battery drill that is lighter and smaller then most. I might consider one of these when old faithful craps the bed.

  #16 Greg Luckett

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 08:19 PM

When we built the boat shed we used the Ryobi 18V drill motor to drill through 4x4 and 6x6 floor joist and post to install the bolts.  It worked really well.  The wood was wet pressure treated lumber and if you recall the pictures we were in freezing rain and sleet during a lot of the construction.  I own a big 1/2 Sears drill motor, and several other heavy duty 120VAC motors.  That 18V Ryobi did the job without any problems.  I also cut all the lumber and panels with the 18V Ryobi circular saw.  Oh, we also did the several hundred feet of wood fencing and bulkheads with the Ryobi tools.  Drilling was never a problem for that Ryobi drill motor.




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