Are Panasonic drills THAT good

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I love my DW 9.6V drill but it barely drives two screws before requiring a charge. Never felt I needed more power so I have no interest in a 18V gun. I have heard lots of good things about Panasonic batteries but what about their drills?
This one is on sale for $95 and free shipping (Amazon.com product link shortened)75094335&sr=1-1
Only slightly more than I would pay for two batteries for my DW. Anyone have one of the Panasonic drills?
One big drawback is according to the description I can't snap my R2 and P1 bits in the side of the drill like I can with my DW...
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RayV wrote:

I can't comment on the Panasonic, but your statement about not needing the power of an 18V drill caught my eye. Have you ever spent any time using one? I felt the same as you till I got one as a gift several years ago. I wouldn't mind having a lightweight drill for certain applications, but I would never give up the power and convenience of the 18V. I can do an awful lot of screwing on one charge now. :-)
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wrote:

No but I have picked one up and don't think I would like it. My DW 9.6 is in my tool bag, or on the bench or hanging from the monster hook (great gadget) on my belt. When the DW was fairly new I could go a long time before charging so I don't think I need an 18V. My tool bag is already too heavy.
Checking a little bit more on drills shows different types of batteries for the same voltage/manufacturer ; NiCad, NiMh, etc. Now what?
http://www.worktools.com/monster_hook.htm
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You might want to consider a 9.6 or 12 volt Impact driver and drill/driver vs. a heavy 18 volt. The 12 volt impact driver will run circles around a 18 volt drill.
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Excellent!
Aamof, yes - I just bought the very one you mentioned. I've had it a month or so now, and I've been extremely pleased. It seems to have just as much power, and probably a longer runtime, than the 16.8V Craftsman it replaced. I like the compact feel and light weight, and I haven't yet had a job for which the Panasonic 12 was underpowered. Highly recommended.

That is the one drawback I found also. I glued a couple of 1/4" dia rare earth magnets to the front of the battery compartment, and that does and OK job of holding a driver bit. My better solution, though, was to get a double-sided bit, with a phillips on one end and a R2 square-drive on the other. Available from Rockler and others, and I think I saw a 3-pack of Dewalt bits like this on Amazon - maybe you can add that to your order. (Amazon.com product link shortened)75101668&sr=8-1 (or search DW2215 if the link doesn't work) Since I use the cordless primarily for driving in the shop, I can usually leave this single bit in and just reverse it as needed. Also, if you're willing to spend a few bucks more, I think McFeeley's might have a little driver-bit clip that you can attach to your drill.
Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions about this drill, Andy (No affiliations with anyone mentioned above...)
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I have a Panasonic 12-volt that I love--a great performer, long battery life, plenty of power. They may be a little smaller than some other 12-volt drills; that isn't a problem for my hand, but if you have very large hands it's something to consider before buying.
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What is it they say about guys with small hands...
Oh yeah, small gloves.
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RayV wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)75094335&sr=1-1
"BATTERYREBUILDERS.COM" on a few occasions and they have been great to deal with. He will rebuild your battery to be better than new .. he used highter capacity cells, and if your charger is capable, he will, as an option, rebuild with nimh batteries.
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Well needless to say, your DeWalt is not at fault, the battery is pooped out. Even Panasonic has that problem. That said, my first 9.6 drill was a Panasonic that I bought in the early 90's. Then batteries go too expensice to replace I bought a DeWalt. It is a good drill but I still believe the Panason was superior. The electronics in the drill itself make my 2 DeWalt's and 3 Makita's look and feel cheap.

(Amazon.com product link shortened)75094335&sr=1-1 Panasonic does have some low end stuff and this drill may be riding in on the coat tails like the Cadillac Cimeron did.

I'd go the better Panasonic.

Once you have used a Panasonic you will probably forget all about that bit holder. BTY my old Panasonic had a bit holder inside the handle. You removed the battery to get to the bit.
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This drill is not a Cimaron. I haven't seen any low end Panasonic.

Same thing on this drill. Stores 2 bits inside the handle. Not very convenient, but there. I once saw a bit holder that strapped on your wrist like a watch, now when I really want one, I can't find it. IIRC, it held 4-6 bits.

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wrote:

OK, this is deninately the low end Panasonic drill. I looked it up.
Panasonic drills are commonly being offered with at least 3.0 Ah Ni-MH batteries and many are being offered with 3.5 Ah. and Li-ion technology. The battery that comes with this particular Panasonic drill is quickly becoming obsolite technoligy as far as power tool are concerned. My 17 year old Panasonic had this battery technology and amp hour rating. The battery technology on this particular drill is 2 gnerations old. The technoliogy that replaced this battery is now being replaced by Li-ion.
This drill has a 2.0 Ah Ni-Cd battery.
It will be a good drill but you can get equal power and longetivity by a modern and cheaper Ryobi.

I just saw the wrist bit holder in the McFeeley's catalog. IIRC it can also be attached around the back end of the drill. http://www.mcfeelys.com/product/FSC-3027/ProHold-Wrist-Band
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Great, Thanks!!
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wrote:

My pleasure.
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Umm... No. At least, certainly not in my experience. My 12V NiCad Panasonic has at LEAST comparable power and greater longevity than my dad's 18V Ryobi. And my brother-in-law's 18V Skil? Not even close. That's not even comparing the chuck, the clutch, or the overall "feel" of the tool - there is definitely a difference between the tools' power. I understand that in theory they all have the same TYPE of batteries, but the technology or the application of the technology is certainly not the same in reality. That doesn't mean that nobody should every buy a Ryobi - if the tool's not going to be put to frequent, hard use, or if the buyer doesn't have a very significant tool budget, inexpensive tools can fill the needs of many (if not most) DIYers. Since my priorities and budget and wife agree that a $95 Panasonic drill is a worthwhile purchase, that's what I got. All that to say, Ryobi might be a viable option, but it's not equivalent to a Panasonic. Andy
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RE: Subject
IMHO, cost, not performance, drives this discussion.
Lew
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Yeah you're right. This DW has 1.3 AH and a 1 hour charge time (Amazon.com product link shortened)_a_smtd/102-3493156-6963350?ie=UTF8&qid75127501&sr=1-1
Compared to the 1.0 AH and 3-6 hour charge time of this B&D (Amazon.com product link shortened)_a_smtd/102-3493156-6963350?ie=UTF8&qid75127501&sr=1-9
Theoretically the batteries should be identical since they are made by the same company and even plug into and drive the other drill. What is really the difference I have no idea. To further confuse the issue Home Depot has an 18V Ryobi drill for $89 Adding a light and a circular saw makes it $99 Makes no sense to me, no way they make and package the saw for $10. Must be expecting to make it up on replacement batteries and blades...
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The DW has two speed ranges, twice the advertised torque, about 1/3 more rated battery capacity, and weighs about a pound more than the B&D.
That pound is probably determined by a sturdier housing and the internal differences (motor, electronics, battery) - which make all the difference between a powerful tool and a not-quite-so-powerful one.
If you're hanging a couple of curtain rods, you may not notice much difference between the $30 drill and the $100 drill. If you have 50 screws to drive into 2x framing, you'll probably notice ;-)
I was given a 2.4v screwdriver some years ago. It was fine for taking the back off a TV, but I certainly couldn't do framing with it...
John
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@swbell.net says...

That I want to see. I had my 9.6 Panasonic for 10 years or so and it's going as well as on day 1 (with repacked batteries). Someone gave me a Ryobi 12V (1/3 of the price of the Panasonic, with a torch extention thrown in and a 2nd battery). By the time I had put some 2" screws into the decking of our house (2 sides verandah, the old nails were coming loose after 60 years or so) the Ryobi's case was warping and the gearbox was starting to miss.
Hammerhand helped put up a steel barn on my place 3 years later, he had the same Ryobi drill. By the time the barn was 3/4 done, the Ryobi had broken a shaft somewhere inside.
Go Ryobi! Not with my money, thanks all the same. :-)
B.t.w. I now have a 12V Panasonic as well. 1 of the NiMH batteries has died so far, and the second one is on its way out, after 5 years or so ... the drill's as good as new. The intelligent express charger that came with it is awesome.
-P.
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Many power tools have marginal chargers that will eventually cause the batteries to lose capacity.
Why does your 15.6v Craftsman say 3-6 hours to charge? Because the charger has no sensing circuitry and just pumps in charge until you remove the battery from the charger - 3 hours if half charged, 6 hours if fully discharged. Not sure how much charge is left? Sears really doesn't care - a new battery pack may be more than the price of the original tool with two battery packs. Did you forget and leave it overnight? Sorry, but the battery got hot and lost some capacity (there are several LONG treatises on proper battery care online, mostly from the manufacturers). Forget and leave it all weekend? The battery got even hotter and lost even more capacity.
Out of 6 battery packs purchased for my drill (over several years) only one (about a year old) still has full capacity when charged. That one has only been charged with a high quality, current limited, voltage regulated charger that won't overcharge the battery, even if left for days. I just drove seventy five 1 5/8" screws into 2x4 framing - although it's slowing down, there's still life in the battery.
This problem should be somewhat reduced in tools with lithium-based batteries - the chargers have to better to prevent the battery from catching fire or exploding (lithium is a VERY active element and must be handled with more care than the other battery chemistries).
Check with the battery rebuilders online - A 12v rebuild is probably around $25 plus shipping - which makes 2 batteries appreciably less than the new tool.
John
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I've had that drill for about two years now and I'm very happy with it. It's light weight, a charge lasts a decent amount of time, the battery charger is quick, and I can't complain about the performance. I would buy it again.
I do think that Amazon's 'list price' is a Crock, I've never seen it for more than $95.
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