Cordless Drill: Dual Speed range?

Hi-
I am looking at a cordless Firestorm Drill - either the 12 or 14.4 V models. (Yes, I'm aware of concerns about B&D reliability, but this will be for light household project use (eg putting together a sandbox)- probably once or twice/month - and the B&D factory store is very convenient for me, whereas taking any other brand in for repair would be very inconvenient). Also replacement batteries for B&D models seem much more reasonable than other brands.
The 12 V model is lighter and is being offered in a great deal with a laser level, but does not have the dual speed/torque range offered on the 14.4 V model or the quick change chuck. I figure I can get a quick change system to make up for the chuck, but obviously not the speed range. I would appreciate comments on whether the low speed range is worth the extra money for this kind of use. If I go for the 12 V model, will I regret not having the 0-400 rpm range for driving screws?
Thanks for your help.
Michael Jasper michael snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com
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On 22 Jul 2003 08:26:17 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mpi.com (MIchael Jasper) wrote:

In my opinion the low speed is a must for driving screws. It's hard to keep the bit from jumping out of the slot/socket at high speed. I could make do with the slower drilling if it only had low speed, but not the other way round. Just my opinion.
jim ___ Have a home upkeep question? Try my help page. It's sort of an alt.home.repair FAQ. http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair
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If you only own one cordless drill/driver you would certainly lose out by buying a single speed model made by ANYBODY. The low range is absolutely necessary for many screwing tasks and convenient for all. Availability of local repair service is generally not an issue with reasonably well maintained modern electric power tools. Absent deliberate abuse, these tools' useful life will probably long outlast the majority of their owners' use for them.
For what it's worth, I own the following electric power tools (as many as I can remember sitting here at the computer):
7 1/4" Ryobi circular saw (Industrial rated framer's saw from 1984) 8" Makita portable contractor's table saw Makita reciprocating saw Makita 3 hp 1/2" router DeWalt 5" 18v trim saw Craftsman 10" radial arm saw Craftsman 1 1/2hp 1/4" router 14 gallon ShopVac Bosch jig saw Delta Rockwell 10" bandsaw mfg. in 1938. Like new on custom legset. Makita 9.6v 3/8" VSR driver/drill Makita 7.2v 3/8" drill Ryobi 3x24 belt sander Rigid 12" thickness planer Ryobi detail biscuit jointer Bosch reciprocating trim saw WorkForce 7" sliding table wet saw DeWalt 1/2" 18v VSR drill DeWalt 3/8" corded VSR drill Ryobi 10" benchtop drill press Millers Falls 1/2" industrial hex-shafted hammer drill (a monster) DeWalt 5" heavy duty angle grinder Craftsman 3hp 4 gallon compressor (to drive framing, trim, brad and staple guns)
I'm sure there are a few others...I guess what my point is, is that if you have an interest in fixing things yourself, buy what you need when you need it and you'll always have it. I'm 50 years old and some of these tools I've owned many, many years.
BTW, laser levels or any other on-tool "alignment guides" are generally worthless. Wear good eye protection (hearing protection too) and physically observe directly where your cutting tool is working and you'll be much more accurate. Trust me on this.
"jim evans" wrote:

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I agree with Tim. Don't buy a piece of junk. Why settle for anything less than variable speed, not just two speed? You can drive a screw at high speed if you are careful, but variable speed makes for fewer slips. If you're just making sandboxes maybe it doesn't matter.
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quoting:

http://www.toolup.com/productinfo.asp?ID=DW926K-2&Man walt
Dewalt is serviced by D&B, btw.

http://www.toolup.com/productinfo.asp?ID=DW926K-2&Man walt
Dewalt 9.6v is somewhat more powerful than firestorm 12v.
Firestorm 18v = Dewalt 12v
Firestorm = more weight
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MIchael Jasper wrote:

drilling into metal i need the speed and have to use the one with a cord.. i use the cordless when drilling into wood(as it does get up to speed like the one with a cord) and for screwdriving... hope this helps.
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I'd get the Dewalt 9.6v over either of the two drills you mentioned.
--Neil
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I'd get the Dewalt 9.6v over either of the two drills you mentioned.

Thanks Neil (and others). Would you get the 9.6 DeWalt over say a 14.4 Ryobi? I just spoke to the guy at local Home Depot, who said he wouldn't recommend any 9.6volt, even for household use. (Of course, he doesn't carry the 9.6 Dewalt, which could have something to do with it).
How are the Ryobi models?
Thanks, Michael
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(MIchael Jasper) writes:

I have a Ryobi (12V), a DeWalt (18V) and a Bosch (18V). And I've had others in the past.
The Ryobis are pretty decent "mid-grade" drivers. They don't have the serious industrial-grade construction of the Dewalt or Bosch, but they are several good steps above the homeowners Black and Decker crap.
I use the Ryobi for smaller work, where control and precision is more important than raw power. Like putting doors on cabinets, 2" screws, things like that. The only thing I don't like about it is the chuck. It never seems to tighten down enough for drill bits to stay in place. Balancing it out is a clutch that works flawlessly over a wide range.
The Dewalt or Bosch will outpower the Ryobi hands down (like driving lag screws into 6x6 pressure treated posts). Of course, 18V is better than 12. But still, the feel of them is much heavier duty.
--

Andrew L. Duane (JOT-7) snipped-for-privacy@zk3.dec.com
HP/Compaq Corporation snipped-for-privacy@compaq.com
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Agree with this. You can go bigger, heavier, more powerful, but it is not needed by most homeowners and DIY guys. If I was punching holes in 2 x 4's all day, you can bet that I'd have an 18v or 24v Bosch, PC or Milwaukee. Most times I'm drilling a half dozen holes or driving a dozen screws and don't touch the tool for a few days. I'm very happy with the 14.4 Ryobi. Good power to weight ratio. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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mike , you were sold on firestorm B&D so I did not want to bother you, about better products, there are different battery cells associated with drills and other products, sub C are in firestorm ,, C in most else. SubC have nearly same voltage but less amp and quick dropoff, whereas someone stated 9.6 can = 12 its true, top manufacturers dont bs on ratings but some smaller ones do by using sub C cells. You dont know till you do a side by side test... I have a old and new 9.6 makita,,, and they work like most 12v stuff.... point is ,,, the sum of ones parts are more important, Horse Power or Volts dont equate to torque , or longlife , quality gearing and mnfg does, you would be suprised how many drills have plastic gears, and how few have metal,,, talk about reliability, its a whole new game,,,basicly ,,, to make it simple for you, you get what you pay for
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This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --------------070406050009080405050907 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

poster grab a 14 v Ryobi for household use... I own a couple of Milwaukee Cordless drills that I swear by...and a Dewalt that is just fine...BUT these are stored in my wood shop...

my no means a robust tool..but for occasional use it is a heck of a buy... The repair issue is NOT important...."cheap" firestorm (and Ryobi) tools are disposable.... when you pay a few hundred dollars for a drill then you may think about the repair issue...otherwise it is faster,cheaper, and much easier just to do a 2 handed set shot from 3 point range into the trash can...then hop in the car and buy a new drill
Bob Griffiths
--------------070406050009080405050907 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1"> <title></title> </head> <body text="#000000" bgcolor="#ffffff"> <br> <blockquote type="cite" cite="midlaGTa.12037$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr10.news.prodigy.com"> <pre wrap=""><!----> Agree with this. You can go bigger, heavier, more powerful, but it is not needed by most homeowners and DIY guys. If I was punching holes in 2 x 4's all day, you can bet that I'd have an 18v or 24v Bosch, PC or Milwaukee. Most times I'm drilling a half dozen holes or driving a dozen screws and don't touch the tool for a few days. I'm very happy with the 14.4 Ryobi. Good power to weight ratio. Ed
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://pages.cthome.net/edhome ">http://pages.cthome.net/edhome </a>
=====================================================================I HATE (not really) Ryobi tools...BUT I would recommend that the original poster grab a 14 v Ryobi for household use... I own a couple of Milwaukee Cordless drills that I swear by...and a Dewalt that is just fine...BUT these are stored in my wood shop...</pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap="">The drill I keep in the kitchen for quick fixes is in fact a 14 v Ryobi &nbsp;it is my no means a robust tool..but for occasional use it is a heck of a buy... The repair issue is NOT important...."cheap" firestorm (and Ryobi) tools are disposable.... when you pay a few hundred dollars for a drill then you may think about the repair issue...otherwise it is faster,cheaper, and much easier just to do a 2 handed set shot from 3 point range into the trash can...then hop in the car and buy a new drill
Bob Griffiths
</pre> </body> </html>
--------------070406050009080405050907--
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Okay - I am convinced to abandon Firestorm. Makita local availability is not so great, and I need something ASAP. So -
I can get a Dewalt 9.6 V for $110 or a Dewalt 12 V for $130. I definitely will not go higher than that.
GIven that the price is pretty close - it comes down to lower weight or more power. 9.6v - 200 in-lb torque, 12 v - 300 in-lb.
Again - for general household use, 1 or 2x /month - what will I not be able to do if I stick with the lighter 9.6 V?
THanks again for all your advice!
Michael
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On 25 Jul 2003 09:40:27 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mpi.com (MIchael Jasper) wrote:

Last time I was in Sears they had the DeWalt 9v for $99. If you're a Craftsman tool club member (it's free) you can get it for $90.
DeWalt used to have two 12v models. The more expensive was a LOT heavier and more expensive than the 9v.
You can research them here: http://www.dewalt.com/us/products/tool_detail_listing.asp?categoryID50
For weekender puttering I'd get the 9v, but the grrrr. . . . guys here seem to almost always argue for more power. If you power and can handle the weight the Ryobi 18v has ranks with the most powerful cordlesses. Last I checked it was $100 and they have it on sale now and again for $80.
jim ___ Have a home upkeep question? Try my help page. It's sort of an alt.home.repair FAQ. http://www.factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair
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In alt.home.repair

My sears appliance parts outlet had a ton of refurbed cordless drills on sale 50% off this week. I got a limited edition Craftsman 18 volt with hard case, fast charger, 2 batteries and a flashlight for $45. There were lots of 14.4 and 16 volt models in the same price range. It works like a champ.
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On 25 Jul 2003 09:40:27 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mpi.com (MIchael Jasper) wrote:

Get the $15 9.6v from Harbor Freight. If 6 of them go bad in a year...very unlikely...you'll still be $5 ahead!
One or twice a month doesn't require a $110 investment.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
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On 22 Jul 2003 08:26:17 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mpi.com (MIchael Jasper) wrote:

I've had good luck with Black & Decker stuff...and I've been really pleased with their repair center. Many times, you can just walk out with a replacement item.

I think if you investigate, Mike, you'll see that its the low range that you DO get...and its the high speed range that will be missing. And, yes...you WILL miss the high speed.
I have a Ryobi 9.6v. that I bought over 4 years ago...and use it moderately. Very nice drill. The only thing I miss is the high speed. So I have another cordless...PC 14.4 with dual gearcase...that I use for all my drilling.
Harbor Freight has some 14.4 drills for under $15. You might want to look into them. Also, B&D often has some reconditioned stuff for a cheap price.
Good luck.
Have a nice week...
Trent
Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
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Before I spent money on a Firestorm, I'd buy a 12 or 14 V Craftsman which has 2 speeds. The quality of them will not be any worse than Firestorm which is about the bottom of the barrel in my opinion, no offense to those who have them, and they are single speed I believe. $9 gets you 2 years no questions asked replacement if it fails for any reason. 12 V - $59.95, 14 V $69.95.
(danged Chinese junk)
Walt Conner
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