cordless drills, power difference between cheap and half decent?

Page 1 of 2  

I have a Skil 12 V cordless drill purchased for about $50 (US) a few years ago. I guess it doesn't even have a part number, it just says Variable Speed 12 Volts. It has seven torque settings plus the drill setting. Besides foreword, stop, and reverse, there are no other functions.
I'm wondering how much more powerful is a Makita 14.4 volt 6337DWDE MFORCE driver?
http://www.makita.com/menu.php?pg=product_det&tagc37DWDE
Is the Makita 14.4 volt 6935FDWDE cordless impact driver more or less powerful than that when not using the hammer function?
http://www.makita.com/menu.php?pg=product_det&tagi35FDWDE
When they rate hammer tools, I think they include the instantaneous torque with every pulse, but I'm interested in the persistent twisting force.
Thank you for any answers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How much more powerful would be hard to say. Typically however better quality tools perform better than cheaper tools of equal voltage. I Own the 12 volt version of the Makita you are looking at and am pleased with it.

I also have the 12 volt version of this impact driver. You do not have the option of not using this tool in a non impact setting. That said however it spins freely when there is no load. However once a load is encountered the hammering action immediately begins. IMHO this tool DOES NOT replace a clutched drill driver. It is much easier to break a screw if you are not careful with the trigger and do not stop driving then the screw stops going in.

That may be a tough force to measure. If you hold a bit with your fingers and pull the trigger the driver immediately goes into hammer action to over come your slight grip. This tool works like the typical air impact wrench. It spins freely and quickly until any slight amount of resistance is met.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Oh, okay. Is that how most/all work?
Thanks for the warning.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's how my Bosch impact driver works. Don't use cheap screws.
This tool makes driving construction screws 3" long do-able. Well spent money. But Leon is right. The drill drivers are still used all of the time for everything else. I use DeWalt, if that means anything.
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@usenetlove.invalid says...

No, they're not all like that. Builder who worked for me last year has a Metabo which was normally not an impact driver, but he could throw a little switch on it and it would start hammering to improve the momentum once it couldn't get a screw past a certain point.
He was very pleased with that machine. So's a friend of mine who is also a builder and owns a Metabo.
However, another guy (plumber) who worked for my BIL had bad bad luck with his Metabo batteries dying very quickly.
-P.
--
=========================================
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Most of my experience is with the Makita 14.4. I have had one of the older ones for probably 10 years (it was purchased during a Builder's Square going out of business sale). Everything except the batteries did well until a year or two ago when batteries started failing (not bad, actually). By that time the drill itself looked like an old, beat-up stock-car - pretty well used. Not wanting to invest heavily in a motor that might die I bought one aftermarket battery. My wife got me a new 14.4 set with drill motor and impact screwdriver for Christmas last year. The batteries are interchangeable but the old charger has a problem with new batteries.
BTW - The impact driver is great. We built about 225 feet of fence and arbor this summer and the driver has driven more than 3,000 screws in a fairly short period.
On the other hand, my brother-in-law keeps a couple of the 18v Skil's on the farm and they, too look like stock cars but work fine. They feel pretty much like my Makita but the motor/gear noise is a little different. Not bad, just different.
RonB

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just a new battery can make a lot of difference. There has been a lot of forward progress in the arena of cordless tools over the last few years. I think I would shop for 18 or 19 volt unless you have some great deal set up.
Steve
--
www.sellcom.com for firewood splitters, ergonomic chairs,
office phone systems, "non-mov" surge protection, Exabyte,
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can't speak to the comparative powers, other than recommending you look at Amazon or try to download the product manuals. IMO, what you're really getting when you upgrade from Skil to Makita (or any of the other "real" brands - Dewalt, Bosch, Porter Cable, etc...) is more metal parts instead of plastic, better quality batteries (that should last longer per charge and longer lifetime), better service, better chance of getting replacement parts in 10 years, better durability, better tolerances (less wiggling/slipping), etc. Of course there are always exceptions and you'll always find someone who has had bad experiences with any given brand, but overall, the "real" tools should last longer and work better than their "homeowner-grade" counterparts. Again, these are my opinions and experiences; take them for what they're worth. Good luck, Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Doe wrote:

I have that Makita & I like it. Previous drill was a Skil "Top Gun" 12 volt model, about 10 years old, which served me well until the battery crapped out. I rebuilt the pack with much better cells & bought a $40 "high tech" charger for it. Then the damned charger crapped out after about 6 months & only a few uses & the a-hole I bought it from (http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp , avoid like the plague) refused to replace it or assist me in any way. Simply said "You buy new one". His exact words. I'd say the Makita is more powerful, but not massively. Besides torque though you also have charge life, how long the tool will run on a given charge. They test this in the mags by driving deck screws until the battery gives up, then compare how many were driven. I'd say the Makita wins this against my old Skil, original battery or the rebuild. Problem with these drills (once you get above the obvious junk) seems more the batteries than the drill itself. Seems a shame to have to toss a perfectly good tool because the battery dies or can't be fed.
Dan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<snip>

So where is the technology in these products? Batteries and chargers, for the most part. And that's where the money is for the business, as well.
Ten years is a _long_ time for a high tech tool. How old is your computer? How much of the 'old one' was really dead when you replaced it last time?
Patriarch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<snip>

So you should think "upgrade path".
That's why I went with 18 V like Steve suggested. I need the power. If necessary, I can save up for an 18 V impact driver.
Thanks to all of the replies.
--
For what it's worth. I bought a drill/driver that uses nickel metal
hydride (NiMH) batteries, partly because they hold more electricity
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Keep in mind that a 12 volt impact driver will beat the pants off of a 24 volt driver/drill when it comes to sinking screws. I finally went to 12 volt 2 years ago after using 9.6 volt since the early 90's. I prefer a drill that can be used all day long and not wear me out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

12V is plenty for what most of us do. I have no use for the 18V and larger. Love my Panasonic 15.6V as it handles better than my old cheap 14.4V. Voltage roughly translates to power, but other factors come in play for a good tool. How smooth it is when you pull the trigger? Is the chuck easy to lock? Does it keep the speed constant? Does it feel good in your hands?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yup, the 18 V MXT is heavy ($206 total from Tools Plus). But my secondary purpose is modular drive for a recreational device and I wanted as much torque as I could afford (hopefully 560 inch pounds is enough). Otherwise I would have grabbed that Makita "buy one get the other free" 14.4 V impact/driver offer (6935FDWDEX, $195 total from Amazon).
I really like all of the features my old Skil doesn't have... gearing, easily replaceable brushes, single sleeve chuck, and a switch to lock out the clutch for drilling. That's a bunch of improvement, also available on other models. All I need is a quick change chuck attachment and arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it will practically work itself.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Just for comparison, the Makita 12 volt Impact driver delivers some where around 1,000 inch pounds of torque.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think that's a minute burst measurement (good for driving screws), not pure rotational torque.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Several months ago I drove several 3/8" x 3" lag screws in to 2x4's with the impact driver and rather quickly. My corded drill did not have the guts.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Funny how they give that figure in inch pounds. Bigger number. Sounds better than 47 (rounded up in true salesman style) foot pounds. Relatively few people know what that means any way, just bigger is better. Reminds me of the Radio Shack twit that told me one phone was better than the other because it had more gigahertz.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah, really it is close to 85 foot pounds which sounds even better to me. As for the phone, we have a 3 phone set that is sold as a 5.8 gigahertz IIRC. 5.8 gigahertz in one direction, that is, 2.8 in the other. Seems kinda silly to make a phone that will transmit or receive farther than it will receive or transmit. ;~) Might as well call it a 2.8 gigahertz phone.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Must be to early, Leon. I can't tell if you're serious or not. Hope not.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.