My oldest stepdaughter is out in the world, and wants a drill for
Christmas. She's pretty handy with tools, but she isn't gentle on them.
She's also about 100 pound sopping wet, so getting a huge 18V drill ain't
gonna hack it. She will use it only intermittently, so NiCd batteries that
have memory issues is probably not a good idea. A battery/smart-charger
set up where you can leave a battery plugged in for months without damage
would be great. A few years ago, Li Ion drills all seemed to be powered &
priced for pros.
So, I'm looking for something rugged, reliable, and powerful within the
constraints of not being too heavy. All my drills are old NiCd jobs, and I
have no idea who's making good stuff these days, or what the technology
All suggestions welcome.
Like Iggy said , the DeWalt is a good choice , they're light and powerful
. If you can find the 12V model with two batteries and a charger , grab it !
Their chargers are pretty good , I've never cooked a battery and I used the
12V ones for years - just be sure to drain the battery *completely* before
you put it on charge . My current unit is the 18V , but only because it was
on sale at Lowes for $119.95 - normal price is 189 bucks .
On Sat, 26 Nov 2011 11:39:38 -0600, Ignoramus27358
Last January, after receiving a De Walt 1/2 cordless for Christmas
from SWMBO, I inherited the hammer drill version from Junior's FiL
because the hand grip was too large for his liking and the fact that
his batteries were getting a little iffy, this on condition that he
could borrow it back along with my new one come time to tap the sugar
bush. He will be very happy to hear that I found new batteries for
$119.00 each or two for $99.00 the other evening.
You should be aware that it does take a fair size hand to hold one of
If you are starting her from scratch, the DeWalt 12V/20V Max Li-Ion
system looks to be the best bet for the future - Or the old 18V with
the Nano Li-Ion batteries. Rugged and reliable, Check.
NiCd batteries aren't all that bad, you just have to make sure she
knows about the self-discharge and memory issues so she isn't caught
with dead batteries in a crisis. I'd switch to the 18V Nano
batteries, but they haven't seemed to get into wide circulation - and
they still have the "Two for $99" on the XRP's.
You never want to buy Toy tools, because you ask them to do real work
and they Fail. And that discourages her from doing the work and fall
back on calling for help - that's not good.
Within reason, don't worry about the weight of the tool - 100 pounds
or not, she isn't made of spun glass. Real Tools need a little heft
to work and not break from their own torque.
--<< Bruce >>--
<(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
These little Bosch drivers fit the bill.
They are very light and pack quite a punch. You'd have to check their
website to see about the charger, but just about every late model
cordless driver I've seen has a smart charger.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
I asked a friend of mine who is a contractor why he has Ridgid. He said it
was because of the lifetime guarantee. He said he doesn't send it in, but
just takes it back to HD, and they swap it out.
A consideration. Plus, I love the little light on their drill.
HD is no longer honoring the Ridgid lifeteime guarantee. You have to
send the entire tool (battery, charger, tool) to a service center for
'evaluation', at which point Ridgid will tell you the tool has reached
it's life limit and will not be repaired. DAMHIKT.
For intermittent use battery tools are kind of expensive. Need
maintenance even if you aren't using them...
Unless she has to have battery power I would get her a corded Dewalt
3/8 inch VSR (~$50) and a nice 50 ft 14 gauge extension cord. I good
heavy extension cord is infinitely useful and the drill will have zero
maintenance issues. My Dewalt DW106 is ~10 years old and gets
intermittent hard use. Never had any issues with it and plenty of
power. Only thing that might give your daughter some grief is/are the
keyless chucks. I still have a really strong grip in my hands but can't
keep say a 3/8 inch bit from slipping in the keyless chuck while
drilling hard in metal. Other than mine has the keyless chuck, this
is it (no longer available?):
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Yep, Yep! If she is getting by without a drill now, then this
combination ought to be plenty adequate. One of those $5-10 sets of
screw bits and a sets of small drill bits would be nice accessories!
Now's the time in instill the idea of buying quality tools not cheap
junk. I've got two Milwaukee cordless drills. A big M18 Cordless and
an small M12 Cordless screwdriver. They are without a doubt the best
cordless drills I have ever used.
If I was in the market for a smaller cordless drill I would go out and
get one of these without a second thought.
And here, I believe is the core of the discussion.
If I was to want to introduce someone to fishing, I would take them fishing,
and provide them with a quality rod and reel. Nothing turns off a newbie
like hassling with gear.
It is the same with tools. Your tool (or rod and reel) screw up, and you're
done until you can get it fixed or get another one. And in the meantime, a
lot of time goes out the window.
I was a steel erection contractor for nine years. I would never spend what
they want for Hilti stuff, but there were lots of good intermediate tools,
Milwaukee included, that are very reliable. I had one of their sawzalls and
rotohammer drills. Not a day of problems from either. You can skimp on
tools, and yes, there are people who are going to use them so infrequently
that some things make no difference at all. But a cordless drill is one of
the things that's used the most, so I'd spend a few extra bucks and get a
good one, instead of doing it a month or two down the line when the cheapie
takes a dump and becomes a fishing weight.
I wasn't even considering going cheap on this. I was figuring DeWalt,
Milwaukee, Bosch or Makita. It sounds like the Bosch Li Ion 12V would be
a good starting point. She quite unlikely to ever do any heavy
construction where tons of capacity are needed.
I thought about a corded drill, but she's the sort who would knock over
countless objects towing an extension cord around. Alternatively, she
would use the extension cord elsewhere & not have it available when she
needs the drill. She really bright & creative, but a bit impetuous &
macrochaotic at this stage in her life.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I'll wait a few days to see
where the dust settles.
As I said in my previous post, I have one and love it. Li-Ion is the way to
go, also. NiCd and NiMH batteries self-discharge fast enough that an
intermittent user may never have a fully charged battery. It's hard on
batteries to constantly charge them, too (most chargers don't). Li-Ion has a
very low self-discharge so the tool will be ready to use when she is.
Thanks to everyone for their input on this. I checked pricing and Lowe's
sale on the Bosch PS31-2A was they best I could do. I went there, and
figured they'd have them out on display, but I couldn't find them.
Without the exact model number (my mistake in not bringing it), neither
could the guys working there. They decided they were sold out.
When I got home, I checked on-line, and the system said they had four in
stock. Grrr! Fortunately, I had to run another errand in that neck of
the wods later in the week. I ordered it on-line for store pickup, and
they had it waiting for me.
My daughter was thrilled when she opened it up on Christmas, espcially
with how comfortable it was to wave around. The light weight & smallish
grip are perfect for her. I'm sure she will get many years of good use
out of it.
You went with the Bosch PS31-2A; excellent choice! I have that model and I
predict your daughter will absolutely *love* it. I use it right along side my
slightly older Bosch 366-18 1/2-inch 18V model (which I also love) and it keeps
right up with the bigger model in terms of usability and battery life, and with
little discernible difference in strength for most typical operations.
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
Glad that she is happy with it.
FWIW -- *after* this discussion, I happened to be going to Home Depot
for another reason, and saw a sale on a new Ridged rechargeable drill
only -- not the switchable head tool which I mentioned before. It was
something like $159.00 (on sale) with two Li-Ion batteries which are
covered by a lifetime warranty.
I got it, since it had the torque limit clutch for screw driving
which the other did not. I was amazed at the torque it could produce.
(It comes with a clamp-on secondary handle to control the torque.) It
has aside from the variable speed trigger, there is also a switchable
gear (planetary gears) for lower speed and higher torque, or for higher
speed (1500 RPM at the top end). 1/2" chuck capacity -- a nice locking
Forward/Reverse switch is behind the trigger, and has a center
position which locks the trigger in the off state.
It also has a light at the bottom of the handle/battery
compartment with a secondary grip switch or turned on by the trigger.
And -- each battery pack has a "fuel gauge" to tell you the
state of charge (in steps of 25%), so you can tell whether y ou need to
charge it before putting it into the drill.
The model (for others, since you have already purchased your
gift) is the "fuego" R86008. (There is another model number which
includes the full kit which I got -- but the box is now gone. :-) Be
sure to save the box until you have cut out the barcode label which has
to be shipped in with the warranty registration. (Oh yes, there is a
zipper bag in Ridgid colors -- black and orange -- which holds it all,
with a net pouch in the lid for the manuals (individual manuals for
charger, drill, and battery packs.)
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