My fifteen year old Panasonic drill/driver has just died so I am in the
market for a replacement. A seperate impact driver would be useful so I
am looking at one of the combo packs.
What would anyone recommend? I don't want to spend silly money since it
is just for DIY use but we have a large project coming up and I would
rather have something worthwhile rather than just cheap.
Are the packs from the likes of Screwfix standard items or specially
engineered for the retailer down to a price point?
Buy into something that has a nice stable range of batteries that will
be supported for a good few years and work in a good range of tools. I
replaced my again Makita 18V NiMh combi drill and ID recently as I
decided it was time to make the move to 18V LiIon...
I quite like the new Mak chargers since they have active temperature
sensing and cooling. So you can stick a hot pack straight on the charger
and it will blow forced air through the pack to cool it and manage the
charging at the same time.
They sometimes seem to have distinct model numbers to avoid having to
honour price match promises - but generally for the branded tools they
are the full spec.
This is why I am soliciting opinions on what people here consider to be
a decent tool. I would really rather not spend nearly £500 for something
if I do not have to. Or is that what you are suggesting that I should
get? Just because it is the most expensive that I can find.
Something like a mid range Makita set would usually be a much better
(3x3Ah batts are probably more useful that 2x5Ah in that you can work
continuously if needs be)
+1. Unless you are a really heavy user, remember that the high capacity
batteries have the downside of greater weight as well as price. I have
an old pair of Maks that are NiCad. I've replaced the batteries with
cheap clones a couple of times. But I have never flattened a good one in
the time it takes the spare to recharge, only ones that are near to
their end of life. (If you are working away from mains the argument for
"small" batteries is slightly reduced).
I would have thought that 3ah batteries are fine for DIY work,
particularly with brushless tools which are more efficient (I am told!).
I was intrigued to find that my new drill is barely more powerful than
the old NiCd one it's replacing.
It's a decision only you can make. Is a cordless drill from Lidl at £40
going to be good enough for most DIY - given it has a 3 year warranty? Or
is it better to pay 3 times that for a top brand?
Or would three cordless Lidl drills for the same money actually be more
useful? For those repetitive tasks where you're continually changing bits?
*Born free...Taxed to death.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
Indeed I realise that, however my link was to something that was "high
end" enough to satisfy most users - but dropped some of the pricey add
ons that might be of more interest to contractors looking to reduce the
number of times some scrote pinches the tools out of the van!
My logic is that if you are buying a decent enough tool, then it will
last a decade or more. So in reality you are buying into a battery
system - since they will not last as long as the tools and probably get
replaced several times in the life of the tool. Going for a reasonably
well known manufacturer also adds the option to expand the tools you
have with relatively inexpensive "body only" tools added at a later stage.
I bought a top end Makita 18V combi in about 2003, with 3 x 2.8 Ah
batts, then added a body only impact driver a bit later. Both are still
going strong. I had replaced the batts once already, and they needed
replacing again - so I had to think about whether it was time to move to
the Li-ion, or splash out another £150 to £200 on batteries for those.
There were other things to mix into the decision for me: I had a couple
of 14.4V dewalt tools (small circular saw, and angle drill), which also
needed new batteries, and I was never totally satisfied with the
performance of those - especially in the saw.
Lastly there were some tools that I would like to have the option of
adding, but the choice of new tools for the old Mak battery system (that
they used for decades) was diminishing.
So it made sense for me to flog the DeWalt kit (and the new owner bought
some "compatible" batts for it), and invest in a new twin pack of drill
and ID. Then add a saw and angle drill. All in all it cost more than
twice what it would have cost to just replace the batts, but I gained
much more flexibility and a significant improvement in performance from
the saw and angle drill. Everything now plays with the same batteries
which makes life much easier.
But you don't know that the OP's major project involves doing that
and it doesn't make a lot of sense to have just a cordless drill and
no mains drill even if it does. Makes more sense to have a cheap
cordless drill from Lidl etc just for that.
Not unless you are totally lacking in imagination and resourcefulness.
1. Make a temporary connection after the meter to a temporary 13A socket
2. Use a generator
3. Use the 2kW inverter in the van
4. Use power from another supply.
I wouldn't want to be doing that job with no mains available anyway. I
like a good floodlight when I'm mucking about with wires.
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