Presently have an Hitachi cordless 14.4v. impact driver. Use it for driving
screws into wood. Very pleased with it so far. But this is my first ever
impact driver, so I don't really know whether I should be impressed with
Hitachi or the fact that I'm now using an impact driver for screws rather
(ostensibly a better match) than my (corded) drill driver. That said, I am
in the market to buy a cordless drill driver (since I discovered my impact
driver is not quite as handy as a dedicated drill for when used for
drilling). But I'm kind of torn between my long time admiration of Bosch
tools and my current infatuation with Hitachi (or, at least, their cordless
drivers). And since I'm not independently wealthy, I can't afford to just
by one of each (although that would certainly make for a more fun
afternoon). Therefore I'm seeking opinions/feedback/advice/experiences
related to cordless drill drivers by Bosch and/or Hitachi (and/or any other
decent quality brand worth mentioning). Thanks in advance.
PS: Bosch and Hitachi both make a 1/2 in. drive 18v. drill driver that puts
out up to 550 in.lb. of torque, even though the Hitachi one uses a 3.0
Amp/hour battery whereas the Bosch uses an only 2.4 Amp/hour battery.
Just checked out the Panasonic web site. First thing that struck me were
the prices! $510 for the top cordless drill model (15.6V Multi Drill &
Driver with 1/2" Keyless Chuck). As you say, all nice and compact. But the
high price made me think that Panasonic tools must be an elite brand. Then
checked out prices for these very same Panasonic models at several online
retail tool vendor sites, where I found the prices to be much more in line
with the competition. For example only $299 (virtually half the price) for
the above model at Tool Authority
(http://www.toolauthority.com/manufacturers.php?MID !). One observation
though, in general the Panasonic cordless driver lineup seems to offer
somewhat less torque than competition such as Hitachi or Bosch drivers, even
in models where the voltages are the same. But I guess the extra compact
design of the Panasonic drivers I guess could very well account for this.
BTW, another question I have just came to mind: what is the
significance of "Ah" (e.g. 2.0 Ah, 2.5 Ah, 3.0 Ah, 3.5 Ah, and so on)
rating of a cordless tool's battery-capacity? Up til now I had just assumed
this referred to amperage-per-hour output (which, like the amperage rating
of a corded tool, if multiplied by the voltage [e.g 12. for 12v. cordless
models, between 110 and 120 for all corded models] yields maximum energy
output [or consumption, respectively] per hour). But I'd like to somehow
find out for certain from someone if I am on the right track in this or
not... Because if this is true how can the most powerful cordless tool
possibly keep pace with an average corded one which has far higher, both,
amp and voltage numbers? Thanks.
The AH rating is how much power is available. Some tools use that power
more efficiently than others.
None can truly keep up with a corded tool long term. They may have equal
power for a short time, but there are compromises to get decent run time
from the batteries.
Hadn't seen the helipcopter commercial before. Thanks for the link. :-)
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
You are right that amp-hours is a measure of battery capacity. But
it's amps X hours instead of amps per hour. So, a 2 amp-hour battery
will deliver 2 amps for 1 hour or 1 amp for 2 hours (at its rated
voltage). Amp-hours gives you a measure of run-time, but I think it's
irrelevant to most of us. That's because, unless your drill is in
continuous use at high load, your second battery will charge long
before your first runs down. I guess if you have to climb down off a
ladder every time you need to change batteries, more amp-hours would
get to be more important.
I'm on my 5th cordless drill and currently own three that work. Of all
my tools, I consider a cordless drill to be the most indispensable. I
use one for almost every single project around the house or in the
However . . .before you drop three hundred bucks on a cordless drill,
consider this: Batteries have a maximum life of about 5-7 years or so,
even with light use. Unless you are using the thing every day, your
batteries will die long before you wear out the tool. The price of two
replacement batteries is usually about 2/3 the price of the whole kit
with drill, batteries and charger. So, a cordless drill is a somewhat
disposable item, unlike its corded cousin.
For $120 or so, you can buy a top quality 12 volt drill from your
favorite manufacturer. Forget the specs, buy the one that feels best
in your hand. Then spend another $100 or so for a good corded drill
for those very rare occasions when your cordless just isn't up to the
task. You'll pass the corded drill down to your grandchildren, and you
have less than half the money tied up in disposables.
Some people just like to have the "best" of whatever they own. I'm one
of those too. But I've come to the conclusion that chasing the "best"
in cordless is just too expensive.
Your mileage may vary
"Give a hungry man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish
. . . and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day."
Listen to DonkeyHody, best advice here.
I did what he talks about only I'll go one better, buy a top quality corded
drill at a used tool store, I got a Milwaukee 1/2" corded hole shooter for
60 bucks at a used tool store and I found a Dewalt 3/8" 14.4 volt cordelss
at the local home center one day for 100 bucks with two batteries/charger.
Total investment 160 bucks,
A used Milwaukee (corded) drill is a good investment, these things are like
tanks, they'll outlive our kids kids.
My two cents,
Wow... agree with everyone here. I have spent $$$ on different
cordless drills, and they are something I use every day.
Years ago, I bought a 14V Ryobi for $99, as I could not justify buying
the 18V DeWalt I really wanted for $329. I bought the DeWalt when
there was a sale on them for $299 or something like that. Along the
way, I got a great deal on a 14V Sears Professional 14V and bought a
Hitachi 12V for some reason or another.
All but the Sears Professional (the newest) are dead now. The
batteries/drills lasted about 3-4 years a piece, with the last year or
so of each needing the second battery to be on the ready at any time.
Oddly, the one that was used the hardest was the Ryobi, and it still
works for my roofing guys to use to drive about 25 1/2" screws before
dying. Perfect for them, as it is covered with tar and scuffed beyond
recognition. That drill has paid for itself about 100 times over.
The DeWalt 18V was the one I used the most, and you will come to
appreciate the amp hour rating when you are hanging and finishing
doors. Drilling out a door lockset, the the deadbolt, the peephole,
the extra security devices, attaching the closer and then fitting the
hinges is not for a weenie drill. The DeWalt worked great, and it last
about 3 years with me using it just like a corded drill. But when the
batteries died to about 20 minutes of use and I was contemplating a new
battery, the transmission gears gave up, so now I am using the Sears.
The Sears has the same amount of torque and it is a smaller drill. It
seems to have about the same battery life, and it was on sale for $99
in the display/scratch/dent basket when I bought it. It seems to be a
pretty good drill.
So I agree with all here. Find a drill that feels good in your hand,
and seems to have some balance. If you are using it for home projects
and need it to drive 40-50 screws and drill a few holes every once in a
while, almost anything you buy will be fine. One of my subs even buys
those $19 POS drills at Harbor Freight and loves them since they are so
cheap. He has to charge them for six hours or something along those
lines, but they seem pretty tough.
I forgot about Rigid. As long as their lifetime warranty applies to
batteries, they get my vote on cordless, assuming you like the tool at
"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom
that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down
on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid
again---and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold
one anymore." - Mark Twain
But what isn't made in China these days? For example, Hitachi is a well
known Japanese manufacturer whose respectable-quality products we naturally
expect, logically enough, to be made in Japan. But not so with my new
Hitachi (model WH 14DMR) impact driver. At the bottom of the specs label
situated on the housing it reads (in finer print than everything above it),
"Made in China".
I have got a couple of drills, both Ni-cad and I intend to rebuild the
battery pack. Easily done, just buy the rightnumber of batteries and
wire them in series in teh pack. I presume you can do the same with
the lithium batteries etc.
There are a bunch more odd sizes used for rechargeables. Places like
www.digikey.com and www.mouser.com sell replacement batteries in these
sizes and will even spot weld them to the correct config you give them so
you don't have to try soldering them (bad).
Lithium Ion batteries are still hard to find though.
I priced out what it would cost to rebuild my 8 year old 9.6v makita packs
when they started getting to where they wouldn't hold a charge for very
long a couple years ago (bought the drill in 95). A new battery cost $29
then and to buy the cells it would cost me $24 per pack plus shipping to
get them to me. I just bought a couple new battery packs and bought the
angle drill kit which gave me another charger and battery so I now have
three batteries and a couple chargers plus the various drills and saws I've
picked up over the last 10 years which all share the same pack type. I put
the old batteries away so when i do need to rebuild the new ones, I'll just
rebuild all 5 at once as the cost of a new pack has gone up to $39.
Most battery packs take what's called a "sub-C" cell. These are
standard sizes, just not what you're used to from the bunny.
BTW, I bought a Porter-Cable 14.4V driver to supliment my 12V
Makita (batteries going) a couple of years ago. The PC driver is
quite nice, as are the other PC tools I've bought.
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