I bought an 18v Erbauer drill from Screwfix about 15 months ago.
It has been a superb tool. I've used it almost every weekend for
the past 15 months.
It's recently developed significant play, not in the chuck, but
in the motor-case mounting. I can't see anything broken, looks
like it has just worn loose.
When I bought it I paid ~£160, and it's now available for £140.
Other than this play, the drill still performs perfectly. I
don't think I've abused the drill, and I don't think it's been
dropped hard. It has had a lot of heavy use.
My dilemma is this - given that I've had lots of use from it,
can I reasonably expect it to be repaired/replaced under the two
I'm not asking whether they would - there's only one way of
finding that out. I'm asking if I would be reasonable to ask,
it's kind of an ethical thing. I don't believe in taking the
piss with my suppliers.
So, what do you think? How long should a £150+ cordless drill
last with heavy use?
So, definitely not heavy Trade use, though it's pretty much a premium
price item (150 quid, right)? And it's not been kicked about, carried
in the bottom of overladen cloth toolbags, or the like.
I think for an Erbauer at that price it's reasonable to ask (but
would be unreasonable to raise an enormous fuss if they turn you
down). For a Ferm it'd be taking the Michael; for a Makita, Atlas
Copco, or similar with the "less than a couple of days a week"
usage and kind treatment it'd definitely be a premature failure.
HTH, YMMV, OITMMBCTTA, etc - Stefek
As IME the battery will probably be the weakest part, if anything
else breaks before the first battery is knackered it doesn't seem
unreasonable to me to expect a warrenty repair (you are still on your
Presumably this is Screwfix 71776?
On the web site, and the catalogue, they use the description "high
performing". I think that that would be good enough for me to
invoke the warranty. If this were a <£50 job, maybe not, but at £140
I would expect more.
I don't know if you have the latest Axminster catalogue, but they have
included a page (pp1.02) of classification ratings. For some time
they've put classifications on their power tools and machinery of
hobby, light trade, trade and industrial.
The definitions are helpful in knowing what to expect and in a subtle
way they are informing their customers, which I think is a good thing
to do. It's a guideline, but I think a reasonable one.
I'll paraphrase the definitions:
Lower power, light build, one person for light and occasional heavy
work. Looked after, not continuous use, not income generation, up to
100 hrs/year. e.g. Perform brand.
Higher power, heavier build, used by 2-3 people in small company or
keen hobbyist. Occasional site use or kitchen fixing. SOme rough
handling but usually well looked after. Occasional heavy work. Used
for income generation, use up to 300 hrs/yr.
Continuously rated, high power and heavy duty. Expected use by 6+
people in medium sized businesses, workshops or small production
facilities, site use. Some rough handling during site use. Used to
the tool's limit with heavy work periods. Essential for income
generation. Up to 1000 hrs/yr.
Continuously rated, high power and heavy duty. Expected use by
people in large sized businesses, workshops or large production
facilities, site use. Rough handling during site use and not well
looked after, but maintained in workshop use. Used to the tool's
limit with heavy work periods. Essential for income generation. Up
to 1500+ hrs/yr.
In the context of these I think I'd pitch the Erbauer drill in the
light trade category. You've used it every weekend but not every day.
Therefore again, I think it's reasonable that it should have lasted
For example, Axminster do an 18v cordless combi drill in their "White"
brand rated for light trade at £90 inc.
The trade rated ones are all branded and are £250+
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Another direction you could consider if you don't specifically need
the hammer action is the Makita 6228DWE. I had one of these with
three batteries as a deal from Axminster. Frankly, it is OK with two
during almost all jobs, swapping battery packs with the 1hr charger.
It has a very good speed and torque control which does a good job with
slow driving of screws at high torque.
I've used mine solidly for (I guess) two years and it remains very
solid as a trade rated tool.
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Hmm..While I don't use hammer on the cordless that much, there
have been several occasions where not having hammer would've
been very inconvenient - necessitating making up 100m+ extension
I suppose one possibility is that if Screwfix won't
replace/repair, I keep the Erbauer and use it only when I need
cordless hammer, and get myself a non-hammer Mak.
And further strengthening GrVIPunff's case ;-), I note that the front cover
of the current (vol. 71) Screwfix cat has a flash reading: "CHECK OUT -
LOWEST PRICES - for - PROFESSIONAL POWER TOOLS" followed by 4 logos:
Bosch, Erbauer, DeWalt, Makita. Which shows their own advertising places
the Erbauer in the same sort of bracket as those other brands - so a
polite invocation of the 2-year guarantee seems justified.
(As an aside - me, I prefer a lighter less-to-go-wrong non-hammer cordless
(or two ;-), leaving heavier duties to corded drills. I've accumulated both
a "normal" B&D which hangs by the bench, close to the vice, and spends much
time drilling through metal at lowish speeds, and a fair bit of time in
one of those vertical stands (yeah, I've not yet succumbed to a dedicated
pillar drill ;-) and sees very little of its hammer action since the
arrival of the 'cuts through concrete and masonry like a normal twist drill
through softwood' SDS. Sure, if you're only going to get one drill, a
cordless combi is probably the nicest thing all round; and if your
property has whole wings/floors where the 'lectric has yet to reach the
attractions of cordless increase. But for my situation at least, separation
of duties allows each tool to be bought to be closer to "just right" for
a narrower range of tasks, rather than just "usable" across a broad range.)
I tend to use my DeWalt SDS for almost all wall drilling, my
Bosch mains for most metals/other general, and my Erbauer
cordless when I need to be cordless. The last few weeks I've
been completing my shed project, which has involved a fair bit
of cordless hammering, all be it into soft Thermalites.
I bought a £50 Clarke pillar drill many years ago, and would
highly recommend it. Despite the appalling lack of precision, I
still find it a lot better than a drill in a stand.
> Sure, if you're only going to get one drill, a
Or stables/pump house/shed/etc. The cordless is pretty
indispensable for me.
I took the Erbauer apart tonight, and what's happened is that
the motor-gearbox mount, which is a very poorly designed plastic
bayonet fitting, has developed a lot of play. I suspect that
this is largely due to hammer action. Since I can't think of a
fix, I will be contacting Screwfix tomorrow.
I've got one stage worse - the B&Q 39 quid jobby. Several years old now. I
did take it apart and have the 'keyway' properly machined which allowed
the slop adjustment to be set to something approaching reasonable. I also
changed the rear pillar for a slightly longer one to allow taller objects
to fit in the vice.
What makes it head an shoulders above an electric drill in a stand is the
slow speed and much lower noise being an induction motor. Excellent value.
*Confession is good for the soul, but bad for your career.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW 12
That is why it is always best to get a power tool with a decent guarantee.
PP Pro from B&Q and Ferm from Screwfix are 3 years. Ferm are low rent
models but that guarantee means you don't get ripped off.
I see Argos have a two levels of quality on their Challenge range, like B&Q
with PP and PP Pro. Do the Excel versions (I think it is that) have longer
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The other problem with this philosophy apart from the poorer quality
during use is the time wasted in returning them and having the
argument with the retailer. That is very expensive.
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