Combi drill - again

On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:15:13 +0000, PeterC wrote:

Temptation gone! It's no longer shown - that was quick.
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Peter.
2x4 - thick plank; 4x4 - two of 'em.
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On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:15:13 +0000, PeterC wrote:

Went to SF today. Had a look at a Makita 18V that was out on display and liked it. Went to the counter and asked to look at the Site 18V (it is 13mm chuck and does have 3 batteries - didn't look at the 14.4V model). It seemed a bit 'cheap' cf. the Makita: the switches were smaller and not so well formed (not good for my fingers to operate) so, as it's me barfday on Monday (I have one a year), I treated myself to the Makita.
Thanks for all the guidance. Now I must find some holes that need making. :-)
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Peter.
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PeterC wrote:

Ref the thread about a B&Q Warehouse going trade only, asking to look at things in SF just isn't playing the game :-) Would Argos do that? Still, I'm glad you did because I plumped for the Makita too, based on the likelihood that the build would be better.
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On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 17:53:05 +0000, stuart noble wrote:

Might not be 'playing the game' but would you buy something where the details conflicted with themselves, without ascertaining the truth? I SF wants just to sell items, it should give sufficent, correct information for that to be done.
In addition, the claim that Site is the same just isn't true and I wanted to check the claim - glad that I did.
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PeterC wrote:

Its fair enough to ask to see - especially if the description in ambiguous. IME the SF staff will usually offer to go get something and have a look if you have a question about something.

I think the claim was the site was *similar* to the previous model Makita in most cases. So I would not expect it to necessarily be that similar to the current one.
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On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 21:45:54 +0000, John Rumm wrote:

Yes, but the differences felt almost like a cheap copy rather than being cosmetically different to give a clear identity. I also wondered if Site is a 'sink' for the components that don't quite make the grade, especially batteries (bit like RAM).
The Makita 18V battery is about 43% heavier than the 14.4V Powercraft one (it was so noticeable that I weighed them - OK, I'll get out more). Allowing for the extra 3 cells (25%), this gives more than a third extra. There might be some extra circuitry in the Makita battery but not that much, surely. Might be like PC PSUs, where weight can be an initial guide to quality. My brother has an 'ancient' Makita with 1.3Ah NiCd and it still performs well.
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PeterC wrote:

I can't comment directly on the drills since I have only handled the Makita versions, although it is worth noting that the difference between the current models and the previous ones are more than just cosmetic - and that's when comparing equal products in the range[1].
So I would not be surprised if they felt somewhat different anyway - especially as I expect the top end Site is probably based on a low/mid range Mak model - there would be no point in selling a cheaper version of their best tools via SF if all its going to do is cannibalise their own sales.
[1] e.g. My 8443D:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php?title=Image:CombiDrillLength.jpg
cf the current version 8444:
http://www.screwfix.com/prods/77600/Power-Tools/Cordless-Drills/Makita-8444DWFE-18V-Cordless-Combi-Drill #
Different body, gearbox, chuck, torque limiter etc.

Possibly... at least they seem to have shied away from cheap plastic gearboxes - but short of dissecting one of each its hard to make comparisons!

Weight of cells is often a good indication of capacity - and better capacity are also usually higher quality in other respects. The harder one to call is the good quality low capacity pack. I had very good service out of my first three packs (2.6Ah NiMh) - one of which has now turned up its toes, but then again TMH got good life out of his original set of 1.3Ah ones - so mak obviously can do some decent quality low capacity ones.

I have some DeWalt 14.4V tools, with one 1.3Ah pack and some 2.2Ah ones. In that case the 1.3Ah packs are rubbish in comparison to the higher cap ones (offering significantly less that half the life between charges, and less peak current delivery) - so a decent brand on the outside of the pack is not a guarantee of quality alas.
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On Mon, 29 Mar 2010 03:00:37 +0100, John Rumm wrote:

That's quite long. The Powercraft is about 28cm and the new Mak. about 26cm.

http://www.screwfix.com/prods/77600/Power-Tools/Cordless-Drills/Makita-8444DWFE-18V-Cordless-Combi-Drill #
That has mixed reviews!

<snip>
After looking at some DeWalt on SF and reading the reviews, I decided that they were overpriced and probably no better than mid-range. It's a pity about the 4-function DW seemingly not being good, as that sort of tool could be useful for light use where recharging batteries doesn't matter too much.
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Peter.
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PeterC wrote:

While certainly "nice enough", I think I prefer mine... I find things like the small gab between chuck and nose actually makes it easier to grip than the seamless streamlined affair they went for on the new ones.
The mate who bought the 14.4V also had a problem with his first three batts only lasting about a year before failing to hold a decent charge. Makita replaced all three FOC though, and they have been fine since.

They do seem to have more variation in the quality of their kit. I would not be surprised if sometimes the better B&D models get "promoted" on occasion! Having said that, some of their kit is first rate as well, so choose carefully...

Which model did you have in mind?
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On Mon, 29 Mar 2010 13:08:23 +0100, John Rumm wrote:

Yes, grip is important - I have some trouble on small/smooth items due to the size of my hands (this doesn't apply to wimmin).

Well, the real test of a good company is how it handles problems, so that't encouraging.
<snip>

I really don't like B&D - never yet seen a battery with the nominal capacity on it, which is a bad sign.

Can't remember - oh, yes, the one on SF's part-exchange. If it'd been a Mak. I might have been tempted.
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Peter.
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