Best cordless drill for under $100?

My trusty old Makita 6201D 9.6v is finally giving up the ghost, & I'd appreciate any advice for modern replacements for around-the-house type duty (preferably under $100). I'd been looking at the Sears flyers in the papers lately, & with their crazy sales & discounts, I could get one of their 14.4v or 18v Craftsmans for well under $100. Are these models false economy, or could I depend on one to last me as long as my Makita (8+ yrs)?
Thanks, Huntman
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For $129 you can get a Ridgid 12volt with batteries and other wear items replaced FOR THE LIFE OF THE TOOL at Home Depot. They seem very solidly made.
JP
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Jay Pique wrote:

Funny you should mention that one, as I was just reading the thread in here about the (seemingly legit) warranty. Took a visit to their web site, & it DOES look like a pretty good deal. They seem pretty solid, huh?
--
Huntman

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Yeah, they really do. Plus the torque compares favorably with Yellow, Red and Blue - and with replaceable brushes, batteries etc... it really seems like a good deal to me. I'm holding off buying until after Xmas to see if they go on sale (but before 12/31, as the lifetime warranty turns to just 3yrs. starting 1/1/04).
JP
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Consumer Reports did a review back in january where they almost universally agreed that voltage had much more to do with power than (Popular name) brand(s), with brand making a difference given equivalent voltage.
Around the $100 price, the Black & Decker Firestorm 18V and the Skil 18V both ranked well. I'd pay attention battery charging times and if the kit comes with a spare battery.
For example, my Dewalt 18V has a short-life battery, but it comes with a spare and takes only an hour to charge, so it is a good comprimise for the amazing power and reliable clutch.
Basically, I'd recommend going with a "Cheaper" brand in 18V rather than a "Premium" Brand in 9.6V or 12V. The minimum voltage you should go with is 14.4, unless you need something REALLY compact.
Oh, and never buy anything with "Versapack" stamped on it ;)
Jay
to reply replace junk with jay
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Craftsman "Professional" (not the ordinary one) may work and I think it goes on sale from time to time in your price range. My brother has one and he likes it although I found it to be somewhat bulky in size. Most of the big names are quite a bit more than $100 and probably for a reason.

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Get a Hitachi at Lowe's. I saw a 14.4 or an 18 volt under $100 there.

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Huntman wrote:

I love the 12V Makita I bought refurb from HF one year ago. I've been disappointed by too many Craftsman power tools to every make that leap again.
--
************************************
Chris Merrill
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"Huntman" writes:

If you are serious about the $100 limit, you are shall we say, below the minimum quality level.
Probably won't make any difference what you buy.
If you are willing to go beyond the $100 level, take a look at Panasonic and the new Milwaukee stuff.
I have an 18 VDC DeWalt that is almost 6 years old and has served me well.
Have used several batteries, but that is expected.
When the DeWalt dies, I will seriously look at Milwaukee.
Why?
Simple.
Have several other Milwaukee tools that try as I may, I can't kill and trust me they get abused.
HTH
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

of drills is in a few years when the batteries need replaced you can't buy replacements. I stick with the professional models since they are usually supported for many more years. Makita 9.6v's are probabally the low end of the pro models but still work fine for me. You can download parst lists from their web site now and find a dealer who can sell the parts. I've picked up a couple on ebay as of late.
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I have a 7 year old 9.6v Dewalt that hasn't let me down yet. I did get extended life batteries after the first pair died.
I recently read where you could revive your dead batteries by putting them in the freezer for 48 hours, take out, let them get to room temp, and recharge.
I had reservations, I tried it, and it worked. I don't know whether it works on all batteries, but it did on the DeWalt.
Finns
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A recent magazine review rated the Ryobi drill a best buy.

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I picked up Ryobi's 14.4v kit for $99 at the Borg. It contained a plasic blowmold case, drill motor, circular saw w/ carbide-tipped 18T blade, 2 batt packs, and a charger. All have held up well for the past year and a half since I moved up here and started making this house my own. I was using them both daily for several months.
Other than battery life in the circ saw (15ish minutes at best), the set is a real keeper and has given me no troubles. On the low-speed setting, the drill is a torquey li'l sumbitch.
forth from the murky depths:

------------------------------------------------------- "i" before "e", except after "c", what a weird society. ---- http://diversify.com Dynamic Website Applications
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Go to Home Depot and pick up the Ryobi 14.4v drill that comes with the flashlight and 2 batteries plus charger. I think I paid $59 for mine. I have used the heck out of both items, especially the flashlight. The weight is just right, it has a small magnet mounted in the battery cover that will hold extra screws when your working and it has tons of torque. If you are a weekender and not a professional carpenter then this tool will be just what you need and you can spend the other $40 on a clamp.
Huntman wrote:

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I second Mapdude's recommendation. I have the same Ryobi 14.4 V drill (2 of them actually). The first one I bought as part of a combo pack with a 5 1/4" trim saw for $80. The second I picked up the day after thanksgiving in the flashlight combo pack for $27. (I liked the first one and like having two drills so I don't have to keep changing bits during a project) The flashlight combo is currently going for about $80 and the trim saw pack for $90 at my HD. These two packs seem to go on sale somewhat often so you may be able to get them a little cheaper than that. Both packs come with 2 batteries and a 1 hour charger. Replacement batteries cost around $30-40 a piece for most drills I think, so getting 2 batteries with the drill for under $100 seems like a pretty good deal in my opinion. Plus, the Ryobi drill is great for home/hobby use. I don't think of a cordless drill as a "high precision" tool and I don't tax it hard enough for it to wear out in a short period of time. The 14.4 gives plenty of power for everything I've done.
If you are going to use it everday, you might want a professional grade tool, but assuming your a home use guy, I think the Ryobi will serve you well.
Happy drilling, YJJim

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I was on the job one day and forgot my usual Dewalt drill and being in a terrible bind I went to HD and picked up a Ryobi to use for the day rather than driving the 1 1/2 hours back home to get mine. Anyway I keep this thing in the truck now and use it alot. For a $60 tool I gotta say its not bad at all. Is it as good as the Dewalt? Of course not. Its simply not made as well etc etc. However is it worth the money I spent on it? Absolutely.
Jim

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I don't remember exactly what I spent on my DeWalt, but it has lasted for about 8 years now and still running strong. Original batteries too.
This thing has even taken a couple of non-OSHA compliant falls from the top plate (~20FT and the other +40ft). A little scratched up but no worse for the wear.
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Huntman wrote:

& Craftsman share the same manufacturer?
It seems my best bet would be the Ryobi or the Ridgid, though I'm still skeptical about that *Lifetime warranty* from HD. I wonder if they mean the lifetime of the tool, i.e., the lifetime of its manufacturing... In other words, you're sh*t outta luck once they quit making 'em.
--
Huntman

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Oh dear. Don't get me started or Larry'll get his panties in a knot. <g>
JP ****************************** Click here for enlightenment - http://tinyurl.com/ygs2
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Huntman wrote:

Stick with the 9.6, really. Why lug araound one of those big 18v drills. i just ordered (another) Makita 6095DWBE from ToolKing factory rebuilt for %59.95 I also have the DeWalt 9.8 DW926 which is a great little drill but a T handle. Pick it up at Lowes for $89.99
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