Cordless Drill suggestion for grandfather

My grandpa does recreational woodworking, and he recently built a nice tack chest for me. So in return, I intend to buy him a better cordless drill. (He's using a piece-o-junk discount store cordless after his previous two cordlesses kicked the bucket). My budget is about $150.
My questions: - Should I get him a hammer drill? I know he won't touch masonry, but I know he cuts oak with a 1.5" forstner bit, and according to him it's a physical workout. Would the hammer handle and extra torque help him?
- I want one that's simple to use but built solidly. If you have any recommendations, say a particular Makita, DeWalt, Milwaulkee, etc, I'd like to hear it.
Thanks,
Dave
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Dave, I just bought a 12V Panasonic (EY6405FQKW) that I'm extremely happy with. It's fairly small and lightweight, but it definitely has the guts for any woodworking I've thrown at it so far. That's replacing a 3-yr old Craftsman 16.8V, and my qualitative, subjective feelings so far are that it's just as powerful as the Craftsman (even when it was new), yet it weighs much less and is easier to maneuver. It's definitely more powerful and nicer than my BIL's 18V Skil cheapo. The runtime probably isn't as long as the nicer 18V drills, but for woodworking in a shop where the charger is always handy, that shouldn't be a problem, and the charger advertises 45min (possibly less IME). The one-handed (single-sleeve) chuck is an improvement also. I'm very impressed. I got it from Amazon for $90, but I think the price just went up to $100. I'd recommend it very highly. If you want to spend a little more, Panasonic has some models with 15.6V, and some with NiMH batteries in both voltages. According to my shopping around and informal research, this $100 Panasonic is about as nice as they get until you jump to the $200 Li-Ion models (i.e. Makita). Good luck, Andy (No affiliations with any of the above)
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The three brands you have listed are all pretty good, IMO. I'd go with an 18v if he plans on using that big of a forstner bit in oak with it. Other good brands are Panasonic and Bosch. Does he know you plan on getting him a new drill? I know that some woodworkers are somewhat particular about their tools. (heh!)
JP
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Panasonic 15.6 has a very nice weight to power ratio
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
> My grandpa does recreational woodworking, and he recently built a nice > tack chest for me. So in return, I intend to buy him a better > cordless drill. (He's using a piece-o-junk discount store cordless > after his previous two cordlesses kicked the bucket). My budget is > about $150. > > My questions: > - Should I get him a hammer drill? I know he won't touch masonry, but > I know he cuts oak with a 1.5" forstner bit, and according to him it's > a physical workout. Would the hammer handle and extra torque help > him?
I beat the crap out of an 18VDC DeWalt for over 8 years before it was stolen. It didn't owe me anything.
The 18VDC unit exceeds your $150 budget, perhaps you might want to look at the 14VDC unit.
As far as trying to use a 1.5" forstner bit in a hand held drill, I wouldn't recommend it. It is a safety issue.
Lew
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I have had, a Panasonic, 2 DeWalts, and 2 Makita's. I would buy any of them again but would prefer the Panasonic. Typically, anything you get over 12 volt starts to become a bit heavy and cumbersome unless you go with the more expensive and lighter weight Lithium Ion battery models. Expect to pay a lot more for those models. The first Panasonic had much more refined attributes than any drill that I have used. Do not buy a hammer drill for wood working. If he uses Forstner bits often, consider a bench top drill press. Something else to consider would be an Impact Driver. These have tremendous torque and typically the 12 volt models will out perform any voltage Drill Driver and they are relative small. Great for driving screws and small lag bolts. A few have a clutch setting to help prevent over driving the screw.
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That answers my only remaining question. While I realize they aren't truly useful as hammer drills, I thought maybe the handle and construction would make it better for some conventional drilling.
Thanks. Now that I think about it, he's probably done all the Forstner stuff with his drill press, although he said the press wasn't very deep and limited its usefulness.

I know that up until now he's been using cordless drills, but not any kind of driver. The goal is the replace the elcheapo drill he's using now (bought at the local discount store when his two previous ones died in the same week).
Thanks for the help everyone.
Dave
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Best deal I have had was a reconditioned Hitatchi 18V on Amazon, It came with a fast charger, 2 batteries and a flashlight in a case for 100. Ive had it for a year and it is comparable in all ways to the Dewalt that I have.
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Sorry for the second response. Here is the link to the reconditioned Hitachi 18V Driver deal:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)71910407/ref=sr_1_2/102-4439187-1815338?ie=UTF8&s=hi
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snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote: : Sorry for the second response. Here is the link to the reconditioned : Hitachi 18V Driver deal:
: (Amazon.com product link shortened)71910407/ref=sr_1_2/102-4439187-1815338?ie=UTF8&s=hi
Amazon has the same kit new for the same price:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)71948828/ref$ -- Andy Barss
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