cordless drills - Panasonic or Makita NIMH

Time to retire the Dewalt 12V. I had the battery packs rebuilt by Primecell. They hold a charge now, but have come apart in use more times than I can count. They are both laying on the counter right now with the cases separated. The drill still works, but I never liked it that much anyway. After reading a number of reviews, the Panasonic 15.6 V has great reviews in general, but several reported that the motor smoked and died. With a year waranty, this doesn't seem to be too much risk, but I'd like to hear from others. The Makita 14.4 V NIMH MForce looks good and Makita has a good rep for most things. It doesn't have alot of track record yet that I can find. Any comments? I don't want or need an 18V drill. And yes, I have a corded drill.
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Ross
www.myoldtools.com
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I have the panasonic, I love it but have not had it that long or used it that much. Never seen the makita.
For work I use a Rigid because its cheaper so if it gets trashed or lost/stolen on a job I could live with it.
Now I would like to get one of those new high torque impact drivers, I've used them and seem to work very well.
Rich

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I'd probably go for the Panasonic. I have held off replacing my Ryobi cordless drill. If Panasonic put two bubble levels and bit storage on the drill, I'd buy it. Makita, Panasonic, Porter Cable, and Milwaukee cordless drills are all high quality. It is amazing how quickly cordless drills have changed, compared to other tools.
On Sun, 1 Aug 2004 16:25:05 -0500, "My Old Tools"

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Phisherman wrote:

I just bought a Milwaukee 18V hammer drill to replace my Dewalt 14V drill/driver. Both of the batteries started getting weak on the Dewalt and I initially looked at replacing them... until I priced new ones. Then I thought this would be the perfect time and excuse to upgrade.
The 18V Milwaukee isn't that much heavier than the 14V Dewalt, but I think it'd snap my wrist before it ran out of torque. This should be worth considering...
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN

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<snip>

Last week, I spent an hour and $100 at the chiropractor getting my shoulder and back readjusted, after using my DeWalt 12 volt 1/2" drill driver to drive 100+ pocket screws in a day. I decided I probably didn't need 300+ ft/lbs of torque trying to realign my spine, every time I wanted to drive a screw. I bought a lighter weight, lower torque DeWalt model, which can use the same charger as my first one.
The right tool for the right job is a simple concept, but I guess I'm not as smart as I ought to be, some times. (And sometimes, that tool is a brad/finish nailer...)
I feel a whole lot better this week.
Patriarch
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patriarch wrote:

????? If it takes 300+ ft/lbs of torque to drive the screw then that's what you're going to get in reaction. If you don't want to apply that much torque then adjust the brake. You don't get 300+ ft/lbs of torque applied to your body unless there's that much resistance from the screw.

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--John
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I have an older Panasonic...got it in 1994. I have a Makita, and 2 DeWalts, all 9.6 volt.
I wish they were all Panasonics. IMHO the Mercedes of the bunch. Their batteries are very high quality.
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Hello there,
I have two of the new Makita NiMH 12v Evolution cordless drill/drivers. I considered Metabo or Fein but neither have a right angle drill. I bought the Makita 12v's because Makita has a 12v right angle NiMH drill as well. The way I bought them was I ended up with two chargers, 5 batteries and three cordless drills, just what I wanted.
Makita has a switch to change from drill to drive, disengages the clutch without have to spin the nose all the way from the current torque setting to drill. It also has a racheting chuck that I have never had slip.
I must say that the RA drill has been totally indispensable in building my parents kitchen. The Makita 12v has more torque than a DW 18v. I wanted the lighter weight, and again, the RA drill to have the same batteries and charger as my main cordless drills. If it drives a #10 screw clean through a 2x4, how much more torque do you really need?
I am very happy with my Makita's.
David.
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While I have a Makita M-Force, I have heard great things about the Panasonics. Hilti makes really nice ones too, and they've even started carrying them at my local BORG

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I'm surprised that Bosch was not mentioned as a replacement to the Dewalt.
Daniel
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Bosch drills tend to not be favored over many other brands. I have had bad luck with Bosch drills in the last 18 years.

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Milwaukee. They are the best. IMHO Dave

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metabo makes killer drills too. my 12v has more torque then dewalt 18v.
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Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
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On Sun, 1 Aug 2004 16:25:05 -0500, "My Old Tools"

I know you said you don't want an 18V drill, but noone else has responded regarding their personal experience with a Makita MForce, so here goes nothing!
I bought a Makita MForce 18V drill about 9 months ago, and couldn't be happier. When I bought the drill, I knew that I was going to have to drill several holes in a concrete floor to install 3/8" redheads (building a wall in my three-car garage) and wasn't sure how well a non-impact drill would work. As it turns out, the Makita drilled those holes effortlessly ( eight of them if I remember correctly) and had plenty of charge left over. I'm sure their 14V drill would perform accordingly (might require a full battery's charge).
I also believe that the state of cordless drill technology (at least the non-impact driver types) has reached the point where user features outweigh battery considerations when choosing a new drill. For my purposes, I chose the Makita over the other guys for two primary reasons:
1) The Makita fit my hands better than any other brand. I have medium-size hands, and my drill-fondling trips to Lowes (and others) led me to feel that the Makita fit me better than the others.
2) I already owned a 9V Makita drill with the stick-type battery, and the charger that comes with the MForce drills will handle that battery as well as the battery for the MForce drill. So, I now have two decent cordless drills.
I too, thought that I didn't want an 18V drill, but after handling both the 14V and the 18V MForce drills, I realized that the small weight difference (5.3 lbs vs. 4.6 lbs) probably wouldn't matter for my usage. To date I have not regretted choosing the 18V model over the 14V model.
Still, I think the most important factor is "How does it feel in your hands"? After all, that's where the drill will be doing its work!
Rob
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Cast my vote for Makita. I have never used the Panasonic, though. I have the 18V M-Force, and I will probably add a 12 or 14.4V to go with it at some point. The metal half inch ratcheting chuck on the Makita is great. The thing is really built like a tank. You will be satisfied with the Makita.
Charlie
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I believe the Panasonic drills are currently the drills on the market with the shortest distance between the tip of the chuck to the back; this will allow you to get into smaller places than with other, longer drills.
The Makita is shorter than most, and I am happy with my 14.4v MForce. I especially like the shift-lock switch.
- Daniel
My Old Tools wrote:

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Daniel wrote:

On the other hand if getting into tight places is a real issue you should be looking at a right-angle drill.

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--John
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Don't think you can go wrong with either. I read someplace (believe half of what you read....) that Panasonic makes almost all the motors and batteries for drills to begin with. And as you can see from their tools, they keep the newest and best batteries for themselves.
I'm a long standing Makita fan and have used their tools for years w/o any complaints/problems. I don't own any Panasonic but would be happy to try next time I kill one of my Dewalts!
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