How much cordless drill do you need for drywall?

Issue 1
Harbor Freighr had a number of cordless drills that were inexpensive, but I noticed many had no amp rating listed on the box. Even though they were 18 and 19 v, the drill bodies seemed small, which I assume in indicative of a small, low powered motor and the fact that the amps aren't listed anywhere on the drill or the owners manual probably isn't an accident.
Since I was in a hurry I picked up a corded 4.2 amp Chicago electric drywall screwdriver - I'm guessing a Harbor Freight store brand? - by its shape it loos to have a reduction gear assembly for increasing torque.
Out of curiosity, how much cordless drill do you feel is enough to do drywall? Not going to be doing it daily/commercially, at the moment have a couple of walls that need drywalling. I built a sound booth out of 2x4's, drywall and R-13 insulation using a B&D 4.5 amp 1350 RPM corded drill I got at a pawn shop and got a drywall attachment from Home Depot. Seemed to have more than enough power. I've never owned a cordless so I don't know how the specs translate compared to a corded drill.
Issue 2
The reason I went on a quest for another drill is that the aforementioned B&D 4.5 Amp drill has gotten to where it only wanta to run when the drill is held at a certain rotation, typically with the handle parallel to the floor. I took it apart to see if there was anything obvious broken or out of place, I pulled the center armature section apart from the rest of it. What I noticed were sections where the armature has what look like wear marks.
Any theories on why the drill is behaving this way and what bearing the worn spots might have? I assume this isn't a drill that's worth sinking a lot of time into to fix.
Thanks for all info.
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Doc wrote:

(snip)
If you need to do one small job, and it's cheaper to buy a Harbor Freight tool than rent one for the day, and you have a high tolerance for pain, and you're feeling lucky, then you might make out OK.

(snip)
It doesn't take much torque to drive drywall screws. I use a 12V DeWalt and prefer it to the 14.4 or 18V.

(snip)
My first guess would be the cord, second would be brushes.
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On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 18:53:06 -0500, Mike Paulsen wrote:

My experience with HF brand is that the battery dies quickly. My son's would not even finish one room of changing out outlets before the battery died. From what I see you can either buy a good brand (NOT B&D or Skil) or you can buy a HF brand and buy lots of extra batteries and chargers to keep going. Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita, Hilti, Hatachi, etc., from a pawn shop will cost as much as a new HF with enough batteries to get the job done with no downtime. I would strongly recommend a minimum of a 12v system.

My guess is it is a B&D. The ones I had needed a rebuild every month or so. The repair shop knew me by name. I don't know why my dad stuck with that stupid drill. Circular saws similar experience. My Skil built an entire house and then some and is still going strong, though after 18 years of heavy use (for a home owner) the bearing is getting noisy.
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Harbor Freight usually has less expensive and lower quality tools. They may be fine for some uses, I buy them on occasion, but keep that in mind.
It is difficult to compare drills based on specs. Find someone who has one and ask them. It appears you do a lot of work, I would look for quality, not price. If it is something you are going to use a lot, it generally pays to buy the best quality tools.
--
Joseph Meehan

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An 18V cordless drill is probably overkill for installing drywall, but it would certainly work. Several years ago, I remodeled three rooms in my house and used a 9.6V Makita drill (6095D) to install the drywall. I don't know what the current rating is for the motor as it's not listed on the drill or in the manual. Anyway, it did just fine driving 1-1/4" screws, but I do admit that I own and used two batteries for it. Each battery lasted longer than the 1 hour recharge time, so there was no waiting for fresh battery.
I didn't even bother with a drywall clutch attachment. I started out trying to use the 5-position clutch on the drill, but each stud or ceiling joist seemed to have different densities, so that didn't work very well. I ended up setting the Phillips bit almost all the way into the Jacobs keyless chuck and set the clutch to the drill position. This resulted in the screws going just far enough into the drywall to be 'below' the surface without breaking the paper.
Generally, B&D tools tend to be 'handy homeowner' disposables. That's not necessarily a bad thing because they are relatively inexpensive. I would just pitch it and buy another brand new one for $30 or so if I wanted a corded drill.
Regarding Harbor Freight electric tools, I also consider them to be disposables. I bought a Chicago Electric reciprocating saw from them for $20 so I would have one that I could beat to death and not worry about punishing my nicer one.
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On Wed, 19 Mar 2008 19:06:42 -0700 (PDT), RosemontCrest

You get a drywall cup bit. It has the phillips in a cup so it bottoms on the drywall when the screw is set and spins free.
BTW I have 2 of those 9v Makitas and I have built all sorts of stuff with them, shooting 3" scews and more. The biggest difference between these and the bigger ones is how long you can work without swapping batteries.
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On Mar 19, 10:00pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Why bother when my solution worked flawlessly and produced the same result? ;-) All kidding aside, thanks for the suggestion.
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wrote:

Why bother when my solution worked flawlessly and produced the same result? ;-) All kidding aside, thanks for the suggestion.
Because it gives you an excuse to visit the tool aisle .............
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I never have needed an excuse to visit my local toy store, but I don't buy the latest wiz-bang toys for which I have no need. ;-)
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wrote:

I never have needed an excuse to visit my local toy store, but I don't buy the latest wiz-bang toys for which I have no need. ;-)
I like to stick with stuff that works, too, even when people "tell me what I need and what I should have." Even if it's the old Joe McGee ShadeTree Fixit Shop variety. But I do have a collection of things that I "THOUGHT I needed or were "GOOD" ideas." I'll usually wait around for a while for other people to test it and tell me if it's any good. TV is a hoot for stuff you never knew you needed.
Steve
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It largely depends on how much you will use a tool in the future. I bought a HF hammer drill that went thru a 6 inch slab and works fine, may need it every few years.........
now no good if i had a big project going. but for a occasional hole its cheaper and more convenient than renting one
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On Mar 20, 2:00am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I really like my little Makita when Im doing a lot of work overhead. Its light and usually by the time the batteries wear down Im worn down too.
Wife bought me a Dewalt last Christmas and I like it but it would kill me using it to put up drywall overhead.
Jimmie
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If the armature has wear marks, I'll guess that the bearings for the shaft are worn and allowed the armature to wobble into the coils. B&D is probably no longer worth repairing, unless you like to do that sort of thing, which I do. The bearings are likely available on-line.
According to folks I talk to, tools that are still good are Milwaukee, Makita, and Porter-Cable.
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For years till it got stolen all I needed was my 9.6v Makita, you want a low gear for screws and Harbor F probably has plastic gears as Ryoby amd B&D . HDs brand Ridgid has a lifetime warranty when you register it, even the battery.
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the larger question is how old and hard are the studs your putting the screws in? our home was built in 1950 and its a bear driving screws in them, its easier to pre drill a hole then install screw
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I still have two of them, although a friend gave me a 18v. DeWalt last Christmas. The DeWalt is good, but lots of times for the light stuff, it's overkill. I still mostly use the Makitas.
I keep my drills in low speed except to drill wood. Definitely use low speed for screws, and those bits that have the serrated edges, if you can ever find any. If you do find some, buy a lot. They're good. Robertson head screws work good, too.
Steve
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