I've have Dewalt 18 and 12 volt units and am happy with both of them.
I can't imagine needing more power than the 18 volt unit. The other
day I put in a fresh battery and the thing almost sprained my wrist. I
like to buy American products when I can, even if they are made in
This is a systemic problem with all cordless tools. The general idea is
that the batteries go and when that does the user generally tosses the
whole thing and buys another. As a result the manufacturers love selling
them them because they know the end user will be buying another one in a
few years. Sales stay high, the end user gets fleeced in the long run and
life is great depending on your perspective.
I bet the manufacturer would rather see you buy two new batteries for your
drill vs. paying $25-$40 more for a drill case, charger, drill, and two
batteries. If you buy all new, the manufacturer stands the chance of
loosing you to another brand. I have gone from Makita, to Panasonic, to
DeWalt, and back to Makita, because I bought the whole nine yards each time.
Had I only bought two new batteries I would still be with the previous brand
and gotten much less for my money and I strongly suspect the manufacturers
GP would have been higher.
I bought a Panasonic set a couple years ago that came with two
batteries and there was a special mail-in offer for a third battery
free. All three batteries still take a full charge with no problem.
It'll probably be a couple more years before I have to start thinking
about replacing anything, but by then, I figure the battery technology
will be so far ahead that it'll be worth it to just replace the whole
set with something more advanced.
I'd say that's a strong bet- look at all the sets of cordless tools
that come with more tools than batteries. Sure, you can swap them
around- that's the obvious and most sensible thing to do, but when
those wear out, you have to decide between buying a new battery or
two, or tossing 4-5 tools instead of just one.
I have to admit, it works on me- I'd buy a new battery before I'd get
a new tool if the old one still worked, because everything I've got
(cordless-wise, anyhow) is 18v DeWalt. Buying a different brand would
require carrying another charger, and another outlet to plug into.
When you break the cost per battery up amongst several tools, it's
much lower, comparatively.
It also seems to me that the price of the large kits goes up
unproportionally. Typically a Drill kit includes 2 batteries and a charger
and case. The drill, charger, case and batteries can be had for a few
dollars more than just two batteries. When you get the kit with a jigsaw,
circle saw, recip saw, drill, and flash light, the price of the extra tools
seem to steeper. The drill alone may cost $25-$40 extra, the cost of the
extra jig saw, circle saw, recip saw, and flash light seem to cost $75-$100
each extra. I would be willing to bet again that the GP on the large kit is
much higher than the drill kit alone.
That could be the case, but it's still often signifigantly cheaper
than buying each of the tools individually. Usually, I don't go for
the kits, but that's more because they've always got one or two things
I don't want or need in them. If I were replacing everything, they'd
be an attractive option.
I have a Bosch 14.4 that I bought at a tool store here. It's a rental place
that always tells me "throw away the registration card". (you could also
stop in for a beer at this place at around 5:00 or so) After about a 10
months the clutch started slipping, even when put on the drill setting. I
took it in and voila, brand new drill. No paperwork, no hassle. Try doing
that at a Borg store. I like to get stuff from a place that stands behind a
warranty. I've had the replacement now for over 2 years with no problems.
Lots of good advise and recommendations.
I have a Milwaukee 14.4 that I got two years ago. I hung on to my
corded drill with a death grip, but when it finally went to tool
heaven, the Milwaukee was my choice. It came with two battery packs
and had a rebate offer at the time where I could get my choice of
another battery or some other stuff like a pocket knife.
I now have 3 battery packs.
In my case, the smart charger it came with recharges the discharged
battery in one hour completely full. No undercharge, no over charge.
Mine is hobbyist use. Meaning, this drill is going to look new when
those batteries finally give up, as they inevitably will.
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