Cordless drill - which one to buy??

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I looked in the archives and could not find this topic discussed any later than 2003 so I thought I would see what recommendations people might have now in 2008.
I have a Skil cordless drill. I like the weight and balance of the tool, it does the jobs I want it for, the batteries have lasted for years and years, but I HATE the chuck and it is getting worse by the week.
I am on the hunt for a cordless drill with a user friendly chuck that will actually hold the bits in place, not too heavy, balanced in the hand, two batteries would be good. I'm not going to spend extra $$ for "totally excellent" top of the line - reliable and "very good" will suit me.
I know y'all have opinions on which drill to choose and I look forward to reading your picks and reasoning. And after I find the right tool I will, of course, want to know where to find the best deal, too <G>.
Thanks!
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remuddler wrote:

There are a bazillion reviews in the various magazines. I think Fine Homebuilding may have done one recently. In any case, the black and white Makita drills are nice--light weight, lithium ion battery, and fast recharge. I don't own one, but my father-in-law does.
If you don't need huge torque, the mini 10.8 and 12V lithium-ion ones with the cylindrical battery are starting to get popular. They're light and compact and can easily get into small spaces.
If the feel is okay for you, Ridgid might be nice due to the lifetime service agreement which includes replacing dead batteries. Maybe not quite as ergonomic, but cheaper in the long run.
Chris
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I did a bunch of reading, and then bit the bullet on the Makita BDF452HW. It's a great tool, plain and simple. The balance is perfect, the power is startling, the batteries (it comes with two) just keep going for ages, and the recharge time is about 15 minutes. It's light, well designed, and really useful.
Honestly, one of the nicest tools I own.
Colin
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If the batteries are still good and you like everything else about it, replace the chuck.
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No doubt your Skil has a two-piece chuck.
The best way to avoid slippage IMO is to buy drill bits that have beveled shanks (maybe preferable) or the type with quickchange hex shanks (decent quality, avoid Hitachi).
Look for the term "single sleeve ratcheting chuck". Look for NiMH or lithium-ion batteries. The old NiCad are the weakest, the drill has cheap NiCad if they don't tell you the batteries are NiMH or lithium-ion. Try to find the amp hours specification, it should be at least 2Ah, some Panasonic have 3.5 amp hour batteries, at even 18 V! Lithium-ion batteries are powerful and very light. I think most drills come with two batteries these days. Some Panasonic drills have a possibly useful but peculiar way of starting at about 60 rpm instead of starting slowly like most drills.
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compact and can >easily get into small spaces....If the feel is okay for you, Ridgid might be nice due to the >lifetime service agreement which includes replacing dead batteries. Maybe not

Thanks to all who have added to my knowledge base! I guess the search has just begun.
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*snip*
Stay away from new Skil cordless drills. I picked up one a few years ago and the battery is already shot. Now when I need a drill/driver, I go for a Dewalt corded model. Lots of power and the outlet is usually nearby.
I've been seriously looking at the Makitas as a replacement. I really like the weight balance, and I know they're professional quality. Just waiting for the right time to buy. (I should have jumped when they had that combo pack for $100 off...)
Puckdropper
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To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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Puckdropper <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:
...

You have used a cordless drill and you prefer a corded drill? Wow.
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John Doe wrote:

Eh? I have a 2500rpm HF VSR corded drill for pocket hole drilling and for edge drilling pilot holes - but use a 600rpm HF VSR rechargable for driving screws.
(...and sometimes use a high-speed pneumatic drill for /really/ clean pocket holes.)
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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"Morris Dovey" wrote

of some type? ;)
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Lee Michaels wrote:

/Another/ smartass! This is starting to feel like whack-a-mole! ;-)
Yes, these are all hand-held drills (although the notion of a CNC machine to install glazing and trim does have a certain amount of appeal).
Hmm... Thank you, I think.
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Morris Dovey
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Smartass?? Where??

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Robatoy wrote:

Some 'Bot owners have done that. I bought a full set of collets and chuck the drill in the spindle...
...but edge drilling a 6- or 8-foot long 1x8 board with only 6 inches of Z travel just doesn't work (I can't get the bit over the workpiece). :-(
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Morris Dovey
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Mount it horizontally and drill on the Y axis?
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Robatoy wrote:

Probably easier to live with the hand drills until the workload justifies spending for the hardware kit to provide a 12-inch Z travel.
[ I really am liking the idea of a dedicated glazing machine -- imagining that thing doing the drilling, dispensing a perfect bead of silicone, setting the polycarbonate, fitting the aluminum trim, and driving all the screws -- in three minutes or less. Mmmm... :-) ]
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Corded, as in "no battery needed" Is that a new invention? I bet it takes off and sell millions.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I finally gave away my corded 3/8 Milwaukee--it had been languishing for years. Just plain didn't do anything that the cordless deWalt wouldn't do and the deWalt would do a lot that the Milwaukee wouldn't.
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Not me. My 3/8 Milwaukee is kept and has been used as a backup drill when the cordless needs charging or just bogs down a bit. Of course, that cordless was a 15 year old 12v model and now that I've upgraded to an 18v DeWalt cordless 1/2" drill, I might now find the corded to be not used any more. Doubtful I'll ever give it away though. I'm too much of a packrat.
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snipped-for-privacy@teksavvy.com says...

I have 3/8 cordless dewalt 14.4. I haven't given it much thought since it's given me zero problems. That's what I want in a tool.
S.
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samson wrote:

When my cordless drill needs charging I just swap the battery that's in it for the one that's in the charger.
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