Best cordless drill?

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At the risk of starting a flame-war, anybody have suggestions for the best of the current cordless drills? I have a bunch of Dewalt cordless tools (tried to stay with one brand for battery compatibility, but they're old enough that I'm willing to consider switching) and a couple of Makitas. I've been generally happy with both, but I've been looking at Porter-Cable as well--ratings for the P-C drills are pretty poor on Amazon. I've also noticed that neither Lowes nor home Depot seem to sell much P-C anymore--not sure why, or even whether I think it's a bad thing. I've never been impressed with Milwaukee cordless tools.
I used to try to buy American, but nothing seems to be made here anymore, and in the last couple of years I've bought a few Hitachi and Bosch tools, which have all been excellent, but none of those are cordless...
I want something fairly lightweight for general purpose drilling and screwdriving. It'll be used in a shop, so battery life isn't terribly important, and 3/8" capacity is enough. I don't need a hammer drill. I do want a good clutch and keyless chuck, and a tool that feels right--not sure if that comes mostly from balance or materials or what.
I won't say price isn't an object, but I buy tools for the long-haul, so it's pretty far down on the list of considerations.
Thanks, Heath
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I'm not the professional that others on here are. But I use a cordless drill fairly frquently. I have a Craftsman, as a gift. I actually don't mind it. It's worked pretty well.
I research tools a lot and from everything I've read, there are two that you should consider:
Milwaukee 18 volt Lok-Tor 0622-24 Panasonic 15.6 volt EY6432
This link, will give you some more info: http://www.consumersearch.com/www/house_and_home/cordless-drill-reviews /
These two, get very good reviews. I hope no one flames you! I rely on places like this, to get good tool advice...not get flamed!
Hope that info helps.
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I like this combo with the 2.6 Ah NiMH battery packs.
http://www.coastaltool.com/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/a/makita/6932fdwde.htm?L+coastest+wpfm7692fffc4bfc+1114611030
I use the impact driver on monthly projects and several of the other guys want one soon after they try it.
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Seems like the talk of the town is Panasonic these days. I've been looking at them myself.
jim

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Bought the panasonic great drill, tight keyless chuck- batteries that last a long time. very light too.
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That's what I'm hearing too...there's a super-high-end tool shop down the street from me that sells several brands of cordless drill/drivers, and the word from them was that you couldn't touch Panasonic these days for quality.
I can't say I agree or disagree 'cause I don't own one myself, but that's an opinion from someone I trust.
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On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 21:47:01 GMT, "Jim Bailey"

metabo is the king. it also has cool features like impulse drive and a one handed chuck.
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Well... shame you don't like Milwaukee. They have been getting high ratings in the reviews lately. They basicially have the highest torque for the volt size across the catagories. They also have a great chuck. Plus, I think the new ones also have a reverasable battery so it can get into some tight spots easier.
I'd say Milwaukee, Festool or DeWalt. Festool has some cool switchable chucks for offset and right angle, very cool stuff.
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Have to agree. I've an older 12 volt Milwaukee cordless. I had the batteries rebuilt about a year ago, but aside from that it's always worked great.
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They also just released the first lithium ion batteries for cordless tools (that I know of).
ken
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Ken Yee wrote:

Actually, Dremel has that honor--the latest revision of their cordless has lithium-ion and it's been out for at least a year.

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I'm in the same boat. My 14.4 Milwaukee is 4+ years old, still going strong, but the charges don't seem to last as long anymore. But the service it has given me makes think I would go to them again. BUT! Since I bought it, there have been some strides made by other manufacturers. The big buzz is all about Panasonic these days...however, Milwaukee just raised the stakes with their VERY expensive 28 volt system. Expensive like Festool. I own some Festool gear, but I don't think they're likely to be the best across the board. Their big router has no equal, IMHO, neither does their Rotex sander, but that kind of money for a drill? I own a lot of Milwaukee gear... you can't go wrong with them. (The Milwaukee's 5616 router is the sweetest small router on the planet, IMHO.) IF.. and I repeat IF I am going to drop the big bucks, I'll probably go with something I know.
Cordless drill...mmmmm I will likely swallow deeply and do the 28 volt thing. Unless I get to play with the Panasonic and makes up my mind for me. There is also a good chance that I am missing some stuff from other brands, so we'll see.
Good cordless stuff is expensive...that much I know.
r
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On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 18:31:54 -0400, the inscrutable Robatoy

After playing with 12-18v Bosch Impactors at the tool fest last Saturday, I'd opt for a Bosch 14.4 volter. If you see the Big Blue Truck Tour in your area, go down there. They had $30-50 the sale prices if you bought that day. The one I looked at was $160 after the discounts. Bosch makes damned nice stuff (at about half the price of Panasonic.)
My lone question is: How good are their batteries?
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I have had mixed experiences with Bosch products over the years. Most positive. That Panasonic is awful pricey. ( Maybe trying to get back some of that 400 million racing budget for that Toyota Formula 1 car?)

That's the rub. In many cases, by the time one needs to replace the batteries, the models have evolved into different voltages and sizes. Then what do you do? Buy new batteries and hope the drill itself will keep running? Cuz if it dies, you're out the money for the batteries.
Makes you wonder if that's the tool-people playing computer-people's games, eh? Planned- and progressive obsolescence.
I'm going to take my time on this one.
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Robatoy wrote:

I have a Panasonic which I dearly love. I sent the batteries to http://www.primecell.com/ for rebuilding. Half the price of new batteries and they work great. When these crap out, I will do it again.     drillingly yours,     jo4hn
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It seems to me that you could buy any of the main brands and be perfectly happy. They all are making good products, good battery life, good customer service. My support of this claim is that every brand is covered somewhere in here as being quality, and we all seem to be rather serious about our tool purchases.
I would suggest a simple method. Put on your favorite shirt, take SWMBO with you to the store, and ask her which one matches your eye color and shirt the best.
Hope that helps
Andrew
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Tattooed and Dusty wrote:

once...". If I need something a half dozen times a year, I'll buy Harbor Fright for $8.99. If I need something a half dozen times an hour, I'll find the best in my price range and go there. I also have several shirts.     mahalo,         jo4hn
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Jo4hn, I don't disagree with this philosophy, sometimes though I start to question the endless obsessing over what brand is the best. I have a Bosch, before that I had a Dewalt, and a Black and Decker. They all worked fine, yes even the black and decker. I love my drill, would buy it again in a second, but I think that anyone spending a couple hundred dollars on a cordless would say the same thing. I guess to me it sometimes seems like we spend more time deciding which tool might be the best, than finding out for ourselves making things. I fall victim to this mentality as well, don't get me wrong. I have been thinking and debating what type of shoulder plane to purchase for a month or more.
Does that make any sense?
Andrew
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Then tell her that since she's got such good taste, she should also pay for it.
Hell, it's worth a try isn't it?
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You have drilled this into me. I get the drill. What are you? A drill sergeant? STOP me!!
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