Looking for a good cordless drill charger with drill


My 12yr old (or older...I don't remember) Ryobi 9.6 has finally died. So now I'm looking for another cordless drill. From what I'm seeing, most of the drills are comparable. The real difference(s) seem to be in the charger. Multi-hour chargers, one-hr chargers, 20-min chargers, etc. Unfortunately, most marketing doesn't seem to focus on the charger capabilities. So my ideal battery charger would be like:
1) quick--1 hour or so 2) Will automatically switch to trickle-charge when the battery is charged so I don't have to worry about leaving the battery in the charger overnight 3) Has an option to "re-condition" the battery before charging.
I'm looking for charger/drill mostly for weekend warrior around the house, i.e., I'm not trying to make a living with my tools. Looks like 18v is now the "standard" but I've been perfectly happy with my 9.6 all these years.
Any suggestions, comments, URLs, etc. welcomed.
Bill W
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Panasonic.
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Well it is really the batteries that seem to be getting the attention these days. Panasonic is going to be probably the best in general folowed by DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee and not in that particular order.

IIRC the brands that I listed above will do that.

IMHO 18 volt is not the standard. You see a lot of them but I would be willing to wager that those buying 18 volt models and use them daily will go lower voltage on the next ones. Unless you cannot recharge during the day or do not have power available the big volt drills are Heavy. I use my drill professionally and have had 4 9.6 volt models since the late 80's and recently went to the 12 volt version. I miss the light weight of the 9.6.
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I like the weight of the 9.6 as well and will definitely prefer that over the 18v. It just seems that all of the local big-box stores have 18v spares and anything less will require mail-order and/or ebay....
Bill W
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By the time the 18 volt models need spare parts there will only be available the parts for the 24 volt models. ;~) NONE of my drills have broken, 6 of them since the 80's. Get a good quality brand and it is likely that all will go bad over time is the batteries. Oddly the price of a new drill, charger and 2 batteries typically is just fractionally more than the cost of buying 2 batteries separately. Unfortunately, cordless drills are marketed to be throw aways.
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I currently have a 16.8V craftsman, which has been OK, but not great. If I were looking again, I would look for a nicer 12v or possibly 14.4v that would be a little lighter and easier to maneuver. I've seen a few comparisons/reviews in magazines - Wood magazine Feb/Mar 05 recommended the Dewalt 14.4 (followed by the Panasonic 15.6, IIRC). Popular Woodworking Feb 03 recommended the 12v Panasonic with NiMH batts, followed by the Porter Cable 12v, or the Craftsman 12v as a bargain option. (This PopWood article is available to download at http://www.popularwoodworking.com/features/tooltest.asp See the recent thread on "NiCad Battery Memory?" and related links for some discussion on battery types, chargers, etc. Good luck, Andy
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<snip>

My use could be described as 'heavy duty homeowner/light shop user'. I bought DeWalt 12v heavy duty, as the transition was being made to 18v. It's a heavy sucker, 1/2" capacity. Last year I bought a 3/8" lighter duty version, to supplement the 'big' one. DeWalts work fine. I imagine the others do, too, but that's outside my experience.
Smart chargers help a lot. If I remember to bring along a charger, I've never been without battery. The recharge cycle is quicker than I can discharge one and not wear ME out.
Cheap tools aren't worth the money, if a job needs to be done more than a couple of times. And if it needs to be done only once, then a hand tool makes sense, in all likelihood.
Patriarch
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Most will today.

Most will today

I've not seen th at, but it may exist.

I thought the 14.4 was more of a standard b ut the stores are pushing 18V because people will thing bigger is better and it becomes a must have status symbol. Ranks right up with alligators on shirts. . The bigger heavier drills are just too much for most of us.

Love my Panasonic 15.6 V. Nice feel, good balance. light for the power. I too started out to buy an 18V but they are too big for my light duty needs. Had I not bought the Panasonic, I'd have stayed with 14.4
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wildbill wrote:

Just got the 14.4 DeWalt at the local Lowe's or Home Depot (can't tell them apart now) and maybe 18v looks standard because Lowe's and Home Depot are geared to construction instead of woodworking? The 18v just felt as if it would be too heavy to lug around, even in my small shop, and now that I have it home, the 14.4v may be too heavy, too. Up to now I have used 12v.
The directions seem to be saying this unadjustable re-charger fits all the requirements you listed. It recharges in an hour, you might want to re-condition the battery by leaving it plugged in for 8 hours after 10 re-charges, and it is a good idea to leave it plugged in with the red light (finished re-charging) on all the time. Cost was $170.
I liked the variable spped switch and the single sleeve keyless chuck.
Josie
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Thanks to all for the feedback. Decisions, decisions.....I think it was easier deciding to get married than it is deciding on which drill/voltage <grin>
Bill W
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On 12 Jul 2005 06:11:20 -0700, the opaque "wildbill"

Hey, the Ryobi impactor type is only $70 + batts and charger. Impactor style is DEFINITELY my next buy for a drill motor.
I drove a 3" deck screw into a 4x4 using two fingers and nearly no downpressure to keep the bit in the philips head screw. Try that with a run-of-the-mill drill driver.
--------------------------------------------------- I drive way too fast to worry about my cholesterol. --------------------------------------------------- http://www.diversify.com Refreshing Graphic Design
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Impact drivers are absolutely here to stay and I wonder how I got around with out one. However if you are thinking of buying one as a replacement of a drill/driver think again. You are still going to want a regular drill/driver. Impacts, even with variable speed don't have the finesse to drive every length and kind of screw. IMHO impacts are good for HD driving and removing stubborn screws. The impact driver is a great addition to your existing assortment of drills.
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I "bit the bullet", "pulled the trigger" (or whatever your favorite expression may be) and went with the Ridgid 12v system. Smart-charger, 2 batteries, enough torque to cause wrist injuries, and it was just barely heavier than my old 9.6v. Plus, it has been out for a few years so I figured they must have worked the kinks out by now. Oh...and the charger supports 12, 14.4, and 18V battery packs.
Now whether it lasts > 10yrs or so like my old Ryobi (which had Panasonic sub-C cells in the packs, btw) remains to be seen.
Thanks again for all the feedback
Bill W
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