I'm in the market for a cordless drill and wonder what others
like/dislike. I'm thinking 18V and preferably LI-ion batteries.
I was all set to buy the Makita BDF452HW based on some comments posted
a couple months back, but I'm seeing reviews pointing out problems
with the batteries and/or charger, and with an off-center chuck. Both
problems seem to be hit-or-miss, where most units are good but some
are not. So I might still go with that one, gambling that I'll
probably get one without either of the problems. But I'm wondering
what else anybody likes.
Reply-to address is real
In fact, over a year ago, I posted a message about my 14.4v making a
I'm still using it!
I have a bunch of DeWalt 12, 14.4, and 18 volt cordless tools, and have
been happy with all of them.
I also have a Dewalt 18v drill that I am pleased with. But no Li-Ion
batteries. I am not convinced that the advantages of Li-Ion make up for the
big cost increment.
If you might ever want other cordless tools, think about families of tools
from the same maker with interchangeable batteries. That is one of the
reasons that I choose Dewalt. Check out the other tools in the same product
line up. Differences there may be enough to tip you decision one way or the
Excellent point! I have a DeWalt circle saw and mini-shop-vac that run on
those four 18v batteries. The circle saw gets rare use, but handy when you
But the shop-vac is particularly handy as it goes up into any attic without
cords, perfect for sucking out AC drains/pans, for sucking insulation out of
windows after that crew gets finished, for cleaning up after minor a
plumbing/electrical/drywall fixes, and can also be run with a cord.
One of my most traveled tools, it is almost always in my truck ... and one
of those tools whose whereabouts is somehow always in my subconscious, it's
I keep mine at the lumber rack, with a Matsushita carbide blade and zero
clearance foot installed. I love that saw!
All of my 18v DeWalt tools were picked up as part of a refurbished 6
tool kit for $300. My plan was to sell the 4 1/2" angle grinder, impact
driver, and recip saw on eBay, and keep the circular saw, hammer drill,
chargers and batteries. Nothing made it to eBay
The angle grinder has turned out to be super handy for cutting bolts and
threaded rod, shovel and mower sharpening, and even some power rasping.
Bolts and rod that took multiple fiberglass discs with the Dremel are
child's play for the grinder.
The recip saw has proven to be a fantastic pickup, as all of my recip
saw use is usually short work, like removing a door jamb, pruning trees,
cutting a single hole... Only during an extended pruning session did I
need to swap a battery.
I do my own vehicle maintenance at home. The impact driver has gotten a
bunch of use during tire rotations and the inevitable Wrangler repairs.
It doesn't have to re-torque them. I do that with a torque wrench, by
hand, as I have aluminum wheels on all my cars.
No problem getting them loose, if they were properly installed. If the
nuts were put on in typical shadetree mechanic style, you'd need to
break them loose before jacking the car.
What gave me the idea to use it on the car was the number of them I see
in the pits @ Lime Rock Park.
A typical half-inch 18v cordless impact wrench gives about the same
torque as an "average" half inch drive pneumatic. That's enough for
most use on cars.
Since nobody said it, do _not_ use an impact wrench to _tighten_ lug
nuts (or any other fastener) unless it's a tool that is designed for
the purpose and has the necessary torque control or unless you are
using a purpose-made torque limiter with it. You can get a set of
torque-limiting extensions from Harbor Fright for about 60 bucks--how
accurate they are I have no idea--personally I use a torque wrench
unless I'm on the road fixing a flat.
On Sun, 28 Dec 2008 13:38:36 -0500, J. Clarke cast forth these pearls of
More like a typical 18v cordless impact will deliver somewhere around 1/2
the torque of a typical 1/2 drive pnuematic. Most 1/2" pnuematics will
deliver around 600 ft/lbs of torque - thereabouts. Fairly typical of 18v
cordless is in the 300 ft/lbs range.
I bought a DC500 cordless vac too. It was my subsequent purchase after
buying the DeWalt DC6PAKRA six pack tool kit. And, although I haven't used
the vacuum extensively, the times I've used it have always been somewhat
unique such as my recent clean up job of a litre of applesauce spreading out
on the kitchen floor. It had a little trouble with the thickness of the
sauce, but did get through the job eventually. Followed it up by vacuuming
some water to clean out the hose. Handy little tool when you need it.
That's what I wonder about. Which maker has the best complement of cordless
tools. I guess I'm the Bohemian of the group. I haven't done construction
for a living for several years but the 14.4v Ryobi I got around 8 years or
so ago is still doing everything I need. I did use it when I was working
and it always did fine. Sometimes I need to grab the 2nd battery but
between the 2 (orig. ones that came with the kit), I always seem to make it
through the day. The batteries never did power the little circular saw good
enough for much of anything. When I go to replace it, that is the one thing
I'd be looking for. An accompanying saw (and maybe some other tools) that
would make it through a few cuts without killing the battery.
Just a comment for those who aren't aware of it--old 18v deWalts work
fine on the new 18v lithium batteries. So far I haven't felt the need
either--by the time enough of my existing batteries have died the
death to make getting new ones worthwhile I hope the lithium ions will
have come down in price. OTOH, their new charger will handle lithium
ion, NiMH, and NiCd, so I can rebuild the dead packs with NiMh.
Haven't gotten the new charger yet though.
I set out to buy an 18V too, but found that the 15.6V Panasonic has plenty
of power, less weight, better feel in my hands. Go to the store and
actually handle a few before you buy. Some are just too big to be practical
for most applications. We also have a 12V at work that is used for many
light jobs and is the drill of choice at times.
No LI-on batteries, but the DeWalt 18v is still the most ubiquitous cordless
drill I see in use on construction sites in this neck of the woods, with
Ridgid actually showing up quite frequently among the South 'O the Border
These guys make a living with their tools, so I've always considered that to
be one of the best endorsements for a tool you can find.
I have a DeWalt, and four batteries ... it replaced a Makita about 10 years
ago, and has been trouble free the entire time, despite numerous unscheduled
flights off 8' ladders.
How well do your batteries hold up? I'm on my second set of batteries in
both my Milwaukee and Porter Cable. The PC is about 10 years old, the
Milwaukee 5. Both sets of batteries are getting weak again. I do try to
cycle them across the chargers every several weeks, but I don't coddle them
by bringing them into the house when the weather gets hot.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
I've two Milwaukee 18V; one probably approaching 10 now, the other
about 3 -- no battery failures, no special treatment--I recharge them
when they go down. Milwaukee did a replacement on the old ones at
some time owing to a possible vent that could get clogged that had
caused some overheating during recharging aiui. I never saw any
problem but took the advantage last year iirc on the older. The newer
weren't subject to the recall.
Only complaint would be they're somewhat big and heavy, so would
recommend to OP to check in person as someone else already suggested.
Suitability would depend mostly on what purpose(s) one is after--I
wanted tough for heavy work; I'd buy something much smaller for
cabinet work, etc., if were doing that to great extent these days.
They get enough use that they get re-built after about three years after
purchase, once that's done with the heftier battery packs, I get much more
life, more power, and a lot more time between charges.
I've got' em on rotation now so that I don't need to re-build but one every
two years. Part of maintenance costs, but not a big part to make a
difference for the convenience.
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