I've got a Milwaukee 12v cordless and it's always performed flawlessly. Had
the 10 year old batteries rebuilt recently, but other than that, I've never
had any problems with it. I've also got a Milwaukee corded hammer drill for
the tough jobs. So far to date, I've not come across any better company for
I've got the 12V Milwaukee and the 18V Makita. I like the Milwaukee's
battery contacts better, the ones in my Makita get mis-aligned every
once in a while and keep the battery from going in, which bends 'em worse,
etc. I haven't used Milwaukee's 18V, but if the 12V is any indication,
I'd say go for the Milwaukee rather than the Makita.
I've got the Milwaukee 1/2" cordless hammer drill and it's quite stout. I
replaced a Dewalt 14.4V drill with this one and so far the only thing I don't
like about it is where I grip the chuck to swap out bits is a little hard on my
hand compared to the Dewalt. The Milwaukee has some neat features, such as the
ability to reverse the battery pack if you're working in a tight spot.
As for power, I believe it'd break my wrist before it bogged down. This thing
is very muscular.
Just a suggestion, but look at the whole system and go with the one that has
all the pieces you think you're going to need. That way they all use the
same battery, which is a far greater convenience than you might think.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Wow - mainly pros for the tools that people have. That is not making my
choice easier. Recently I have seen quite positive statements about
Panasonic. And, the Hitachi looks good on paper.
I had my 12V Skil for 10 years and it was reasonable, except the battery
life was quite poor. I was leaning towards 18V, but perhaps there could be
smaller and lighter 14.4V models that would in practice do all the things
than the 18V models.
First I had only two alternatives, but now there are 8 permutations - or
perhaps even more if the low cost Grizzly is a realistic alternative.
What would you do?
My wife and I are finishing a shell we had built. Doing everything from
electrical, HVAC to cabinets and the deck. When this project started I had
an 18V Ryobi which had served me well for several years prior to this
"little" project. Of all things, the charger for it died. I decided to
replace it with the 18V Milwaukee and I have been very pleased. I compared
the Milwaukee and Bosch tools in two different stores and the chuck on the
Milwaukee in both cases was MUCH smoother than the Bosch. For me, the
Milwaukee just felt better in my hand. YMMV. In the last couple weeks we
built the deck which is cedar - not exactly the hardest of woods. This
drill could easily put the 3 1/2" deck screws clear through the 2x6 floor
boards if I would let it. Another thing I like is the feel of the trigger.
Makes starting screws one-handed in akward positions very easy. A final
thing I liked was that the high speed of the Milwaukee was a little higher
rpm than most other drills in this category. Comes in handy for certain
drilling applications. On the negative side (if you count this as a
negative) it nearly took my wrist off when drilling through some
exceptionally tuff material and catching on a knot. I don't expect to have
to buy another cordless drill for a very long time.
Just my $0.02
I'd go Bosch. Bosch is compact, which helps if you're into casework.
Think about what other cordless tools you'd like, so you can perhaps
stick with one brand/one battery.
If I were doing cabinet installs every day - or even just once or
twice a month - I'd definitely have a full set of heavy duty cordless
tools. It just seems like it would save a lot of time and
frustration, provided you had a couple of extra batteries always
charging in your truck.
Here's the text of a reply I recently posted to another query about
Makita cordless drills:
===========================================I bought a Makita MForce 18V drill about 9 months ago, and couldn't
be happier. When I bought the drill, I knew that I was going to have
to drill several holes in a concrete floor to install 3/8" redheads
(building a wall in my three-car garage) and wasn't sure how well a
non-impact drill would work. As it turns out, the Makita drilled
those holes effortlessly ( eight of them if I remember correctly) and
had plenty of charge left over. I'm sure their 14V drill would
perform accordingly (might require a full battery's charge).
I also believe that the state of cordless drill technology (at least
the non-impact driver types) has reached the point where user features
outweigh battery considerations when choosing a new drill. For my
purposes, I chose the Makita over the other guys for two primary
1) The Makita fit my hands better than any other brand. I have
medium-size hands, and my drill-fondling trips to Lowes (and others)
led me to feel that the Makita fit me better than the others.
2) I already owned a 9V Makita drill with the stick-type battery, and
the charger that comes with the MForce drills will handle that battery
as well as the battery for the MForce drill. So, I now have two
decent cordless drills.
I too, thought that I didn't want an 18V drill, but after handling
both the 14V and the 18V MForce drills, I realized that the small
weight difference (5.3 lbs vs. 4.6 lbs) probably wouldn't matter for
my usage. To date I have not regretted choosing the 18V model over
the 14V model.
Still, I think the most important factor is "How does it feel in your
hands"? After all, that's where the drill will be doing its work!
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