What's the best drill? Cordless? Corded?

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On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 16:04:03 -0500, Bob G.

Yeah, can't get aluminum housings anymore. Not sure I'd want one again.
You know what I mean - important parts like gears and such ought not be plastic. Housings - yes, there's certainly plenty tough plastics for cover duty.
When it's dropped off a roof, all bets are off even it's made of all metal.
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Plastic is probably the best material for the shell. Up to the breaking point, plastic will absorb impacts and return to it's original shape, whereas aluminum or other metals simply dent.
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Dan,

A few years ago, my wife bought me a Craftsman 18V cordless drill and trim saw package. I know Craftsman generally has a bad reputation, but I LOVE this drill. It has more power than any of the five corded drills I owned at the time, so I eventually got rid of all my corded drills.
We built a garage and a house ourselves, and the cordless drill got a huge amount of use. I drug it around in the dirt setting up concrete forms (used 3" deck screws for easy disassembly), installed lots of temporary bracing, installed drywall using screws throughout the garage and house, built decks, and thousands of other tasks over the past few years.
The only problem I had was the keyless chuck started binding up at one point, so I ended up replacing that (fairly easy task). I also had to replace one of the batteries, and eventually the charger died. But, the drill just keeps going and going.
I did buy a Dewalt 246 corded drill to bore all the large 2" holes I needed for our plumbing installation. Had to special order it, as most of the stores only carry the higher speed/lower torque Dewalt models. The 246 is 7.8 amps, variable speed, and a 1/2" keyless chuck. It's fairly compact, but has a huge amount of torque. With a 2" bit you have to brace yourself well or the thing can rip your arm off when it hits a knot! :)
I don't use the Dewalt 246 corded drill much, but when I need a lot of torque it's my choice. The Craftsman cordless gets used almost daily.
Anthony
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One factor not often mentioned is the fact that cordless drill batteries die after a few years, even if not used regularly. If you use your drill daily, you got your money's worth. However if you use it infrequently, like an average homeowner, you don't get a lot of value before you need to replace the batteries. I was in for a shock when I learned that Craftsman cordless drills have very expensive batteries, almost as much as a new drill. I found it annoying to reach for the drill and then find that batteries were low and the job couldn't be done that day. Therefore for my use, corded tools retain value and reliability, but cordless (Craftsman) tools are designed to be thrown away after a few years. Planned obselescence.
Dave

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LOL, those expensive batteries that last only a few years are not in any way an exclusive property of Craftsman drills. They are All like that as far as the battery goes.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving

"Dave" < snipped-for-privacy@newsgroup.shaw.ca> wrote in message
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Dave,

My drill has been used a lot over the last few years, but I suspect it'll be going back to average homeowner use soon.
I originally had two batteries so I could always have one charged up and ready to go, but I found I was draining them faster than I could charge them building our house. So, I bought a third battery.
The new third battery never really held a charge. I should have returned it when I bought it, but I didn't, too many other things to do. Naturally, it was the first battery to die on me.
The original two batteries are about 4-5 years old now, and one is just now starting to lose it's ability to hold a charge. It never achieves full power and dies rather quickly. Time for a replacement.

Yep, I think I paid close to $80 for my last one! I've seen some replacement batteries online for less though, and I'm thinking of giving them a try.

True, but cordless tools provide quicker access, and more flexibility when you have to work a long distance from a power outlet (common around our place).
Anthony
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On Sun, 19 Dec 2004 18:59:21 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband

My nearly 3-y/o batteries for the Ryobi 14.4 kit were dying on me this year so I picked up a cheapie off Ebay. ~$35 delivered. What a difference!
I just now pulled the 6 dead cells out of the two packs and rebuilt one with the good cells. We'll see soon if this will work out, but the initial indication (half an hour on the 2-hr charger) shows them at full strength and torque. An hour's rebuilding time saved me a few bucks and now I don't need to toss perfectly good cells away, so it's less in the recycle or trash bin.
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A corded drill always has more power than a corded drill. New batteries for a corded drill cost about as much as the drill. As a rule (there are usually 20 various drills in my shop) the batteries are not good a little after a year. (except for some strange reason, the 4 Ryobi batteries are 3+years old0
They both have there purposes.

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Did your spell checker defeat your entire comment?
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On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 09:31:00 -0500, "Dan White"

Dan, I've seen a ton of different drills as these are a part of what I sell for a living. The majors all sell very good tools. 14.4V will fill the bill on most any application that you may come across. However, you say that you'll be drilling into concrete ... if this is something that you'll be doing from time to time ... I'd recommend stepping up to 18V. If more regular ... go 18V hammer. If occasional concrete drilling with mostly drilling holes in wood and running screws ... I'd stick with 14.4V. There is no need for the 18V. Quite honestly, I don't see people using the hammers as much as they thought and normally run them in drill or drive mode.Why pay the extra for the hammer mechanism? Most failures of these tools are the gearing, clutch, and switch. Most complaints are the chucks. For my money, I'd go Bosch 14.4V "Compact Tough" .... great package. New design that is extremely tough and you'll love the locking chuck .... no more spinning drills in the chuck on penetration through metal / sheetmaetal. Good gearing and very easily repaired. I've owned most of the majors, and keep two Bosch 14.4's for my workshop. However, mine are the previous design to the "compact tough".
Steve
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There is no such thing as the best drill. I have 4 drills. Each is good for what it is good for. I have a 1/2 drive corded drill hammer. It handles all my larger bit/power needs. I have an older 3/8 drive corded variable speed drill for when I am doing lots of drilling near power. I have a 15.6(?) cordless for when I need to do some serious cordless activities. And I have a 9.6(?) cordless light weight screwdriver for when I don't need a lot of power or drive lots of screws. It's light weight is what I like it for. Oh and I forgot to mention the corded sheet rock screw gun.
I guess the one I use the most is the 15.6 volt. Power enough to handle most every task. Light enough not to require liftiung weights to handle. Will easily drive lots of 3 inch screws.
As far as a decent one that will do everything a corded one will. Sorry, not going to happen. You can get close but only close.
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14.4 Milwaukee 1/2" Milwaukee hammer drill M A G N U M !!!
no need for anything else.
'cept a close quarter drill.
r
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The best drill is the one that suits your needs. Don't get sucked in to the 18 volt set if you don't need it. I had a cabinet shop and we used the Dewalt 12 volt with the XR batteries. We could drive screws all day long. The batteries lasted a long time and more importantly, the drill was not too heavy. WE checked out the 18 volt set and it is very uncomfortable to use for long periods or over your head. If you want to drill steel or concrete you need a bigger drill. Period. I have almost 10 years on the original 5 drills we bought and we love them. They can even drill largish holes in wood. max

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On Sat, 18 Dec 2004 09:31:00 -0500, "Dan White"
snip

It's likely I'm against the grain with this but I'd suggest both. I use the wired drill for things like using a sanding pad. This is when you need the drill to last quite a while without changing or charging batteries. For standard shop use, a wired drill is fine with all the options like reversible and variable speed, and torque adjust, and hand chucking.
The battery is great for portability. Working outside or putting something in the house, walls, etc. Get the same features as the wired. I'd say a normal home use a 14.4 volt is plenty good with at least a dual set of batteries. They'll discharge just sitting there and you don't want to leave a battery in the charger all the time either. An 18 volt is likely a commercial grade. Costs more but has more umph! If you're a weekend handyman, you can get by with the 14 volt. I'm happy with my Delta.
You can usually do everything you need to with the wired drill in the shop and for things the battery drill can't do, you can find an extension cord for the wired drill.
I'd avoid brands Black and Decker, Craftsman, and such. They say the same about Porter Cable tools as IBM, one doesn't get fired buying either. Or so it's said.
Anyway, make sure you select the one(s) that feel good in your hands for heft, sound and smell. You can sense quality. Checkout Milwaukee (sp) too. I've heard good things about their tools.
Enjoy the shopping,
Thunder
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Thanks again for all the great responses. I've taken notes and I'm off to Lowes. I should say that I don't plan on drilling concrete much, but right now I have a store where I need to remove a concrete counter base that is about 30 feet long. I used an old corded drill with masonry bit and was able to drill through the concrete which turns out to be only about 1/2" thick. I'm prolly going to take a sledge hammer to it, but drilling some holes in the base might help separate the base from the floor (all poured terrazzo) more easily. Maybe I'll get something with the hammer feature for "just in case" stuff.
I think if I can drive 3" screws with a 14.4v (without a pilot hole) then that might be the ticket for me. My peeve with my last cordless is that it just didn't have any umph.
dwhite
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The discussion has turned towards value with the introduction of price. A top-quality cordless drill is going to cost about $150. I would venture a guess that a corded drill with comperable torque and chuck quality can be had for close to half that price. But that does not tell the entire story. Take into account the lifetime of that drills and the difference becomes more profound. I top-quality corded drill can last the hobbyist a lifetime. Cordless batteries are going to last 5-10 years at best.
Play with the math as you will but I think the long-term cost of cordless ownership is at least 4 times that of corded models.
Don't get me wrong I own 2 cordless drills... (+ one corded + corded 2 drywall guns if you count that) but they are expensive.
Since even the best cordless will have trouble in some applications, I think that it makes sense to make your second drill be a beefy corded model and not wory about asking a cordless to do things like drive a 1" auger bit through 27 studs for wiring an addition.
Short answer: ultimately, you want both.
Steve

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