Cordless Drill Battery vs. H.F. Brands

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vacationing in Socal area - going back to central oregon. He brought with him 2 packs- 1 milwaukee and a dewalt xrp 18v pack. The dewalt showed a bunch of bad cells- dunno what happened to it- the charger may have mischarged the pack and the millwaukee had several bad cells- since I had purchased several of the harbor tools packs (1.7 amp/hr cells) I made up the 2 batts in the lower (than the 2.6 cells in both packs). When he got back from vacation , he told me that both batts worked and charged as normal packs . That worked out to 10 (US ) dollars a rebuild. The upside is that I got enough cells to make up a new (2.6 amp/hr) pack(stick pack) for the 9.6 makita drill that refuses to die.
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Manster wrote:

Surprisingly the one drill (ITEM 44849-1VGA) on the page that you referenced is actually a pretty decent drill for home use. The chuck works well and the battery holds a good charge. The weak point is the bushings/bearings in the main drive. They will eventually wear out if used a lot, but again they are great for home use. I have three (yes, three) of this exact model that I use regularly for everything from hanging pictures to building 800+ feet of fence. Although I have wore out a drill or two, the batteries have always remained good and thus make great extras.
Don
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I wouldn't expect a cordless drill to last longer than 10 years. A Harbor Freight brand, maybe a couple years if that. Costwise, you can't beat a corded drill--the cheapest brand will outlast any cordless.
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-- the cheapest (corded) brand will outlast any cordless.
That's because you waste so much time getting out the extension cord, unrolling it, walking to the outlet, plugging it in, walking to work site, walking back, unplugging it, rolling it back up, storing it etc. etc. that you only get 1/4 of the work done. Any corded drill will last 4 times as long by default. ;-)
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Manster wrote:

You can easily get the batteries rebuilt.
"Batteries Plus" is a nationwide chain that handles walk-in trade. There are undoubtedly others.
They wanted $18 to replace the batteries in my dust-buster. I bought a Dirt Devil at Walmart for $16.00. Sometimes it's not a bargain.
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A couple years ago, I bought a two Drill Master 12 volt drills. Figured with 12 volts, if the batteries went dead, I could run them off a 12 volt auto lighter socket, or battery jumper pack. And for $15 per drill and $10 for battery pack, it wasn't a lot of money. Mine are still going, enough to be useful. I used one of them yesterday, with a screw driver tip. Installing some locks for a customer.
For occasional use, they are very well suited. Drill Master has several shapes of battery pack, some don't fit each other. Good idea to get a couple extra battery packs at the same time.
--

Christopher A. Young
.
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Manster wrote:

Thanks to everyone who responded here. I'll post back w/ the outcome. Because the drill is still in excellent condition w/ no chuck problems; I'm leaning towards the rebuilt batteries, as mine can be rebuilt for about $35.
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Manster wrote:

I've decided to do just that and will be sending the batteries to hartsbatteries.com for rebuild.
Thanks again for all of the great advice.
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Manster wrote:

Consumer Reports tested a Harbor Freight cordless drill several years ago, and it ranked at or near the bottom and was much weaker than many drills that operated at lower voltages. The fastest and most powerful drills came from manufacturers favored by contractors, including Porter Cable, DeWalt, Bosch, and Hitachi, and their 14.4V and even some of their 12.0V drills outperformed other brands of 18V drills.
1-2 months ago, Home Depot was closing out some Ryobis and was selling 18V models (both the P211 and the inferior P811) for $50 with 1-2 battery packs.
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