I'm sitting here pretending to not see the Kawasaki 19.2V cordless
drill set, which is setting atop the treadmill that Mrs. Craig is
pretending to not see. We're good that way about not knowing what we're
getting for Christmas. ;-)
Sam's has these for $39.62, IIRC. Two NiCad batteries and a charger. I
was going to replace my broken "Chicago Electric" 18V from Hobo
Freight, but for the same price, with two batteries, from a name
brand... seems like a no-brainer to me.
Has anyone tried one of these yet?
I bought a cheap Grizzly 18 volt 1/2" drill about 4 years ago. It was
basically just going to serve as a secondary cordless drill so I could
have one chucked with a drill bit and the other with a screwdriver bit.
I always thought of it as pretty much a throw away. The batteries have
now outlasted one DeWalt and one Milwaukee (one after the other). The
variable speed function has crapped out but it still makes a great
How wrong can you go for $40.00? If you only get two years out of it,
it's still a home run. If it breaks, just go buy another.
PS: Costco is selling the same drill for $79.00.
That was my thinking when I bought the HF drill. I got my use out of
it, then something quit. I don't know if it's the battery, the charger,
or the drill. If I'd bought another, I'd have duplicates of whatever
wasn't broken, but I figure this has to be a better deal.
HF has an 18 volt on sale for $15.00 comes with a flash light. The dam flash
light is worth it to me. It costs less than a single battery for my more
expensive unit. I have a HF credit card that gives reward points to buy
there cheap tools so I buy these things with my points, I bought a 2" brad
nailer that I have used for over a year on many projects and it still works
I bought a PC cordless drill several years ago for about $125. After a
years use the battery died so I relaced the battery for $55. A short
time later the charger quit. Cost of a new charger, $45. Afterwords,
I swore never to buy an expensive drill again. I buy the low end
cordless drills from Harbor Freight etc,. and have had pretty good
luck. The weak point on the drills is usually the chuck. Also, some
of the low end drills have only one speed and it's usually high.
When the battery dies, you simply buy a new drill. The cost of the
battery exceeds the cost of a new drill.
For the most part, you learn to deal with the shortcoming because you
know you paid almost nothing for the drill.
I guess that is why there are so many models -- to keep us all happy. I
paid $189 for my Panasonic because I was sick of dealing with the
shortcomings of a cheap drill. You just have to love that one hand chuck.
FWIW, I have a 12V dewalt that I bought 10 years ago, reconditioned.
Still going...barely! Only works in the low gear, second sounds and acts
stripped. The batteries don't last long. But it still has plenty of
torque at that low speed. Have no problems driving 3.5" screws into wood.
That said, I'm keeping an eye out for a replacement. Not high on my
priority list though.
At work we switched from the 14.4 dewalts to panasonic 15.6v. They came
out highest on a consumer reports test. They're actually pretty nice,
good balance, long battery life, NIMH (IIRC) batteries.
Ace Hardware has a 18 volt Makita on sale for $99.99 after rebates. This
drill normally sells for $199.99 most places like Home Depot. Ace has it
The sale price expired on the 12th, but my local ACE said they would still
order it in for the $179.99 price. The rebates are good until the 31st.
I haven't ordered yet because I want to lift one first. Home Depot
locally only carries the 12 and 14.4 Makita even though the web site shows
a store SKU for the 18 volt.
I have been studying the heck out of cordless drills before I bought my next
one. I haven't tried the Kawasaki (in fact I had never heard of it before).
Sam's site doesn't say anything about it, but I found some specs on the
Northern Tool website if it is the same model. Here is a bit of comparison to
some of the better 18 volt cordless drills.
The Kaw has only 300 in-lbs of torque, more in the range of a good 14.4 volt
tool. Dewalt's 18 volt compact model has 400 in-lbs, their top drills (DC987,
DC988, etc) have 500 to 550 in-lbs. The top Hitachi has 450 in-lbs, the less
expensive one has 400 in-lbs.
It has a 1.5 amp-hour battery, pretty low capacity of an 18 volt tool that I
can find specs for. The Grizzly is 1.7 amp-hrs. The cheaper Hitachi's are 2.0
amp-hrs, their best is 3.0 amp-hrs. Dewalt's 18 volt XRP is 2.4 amp-hrs.
So it is more like a 14.4 volt tool in power and capacity. Not that it isn't a
good *buy*, it just isn't what the 19.2 voltage leads you to expect.
By the way, after lots of agonizing and reading I just went with the Dewalt
2-tool combo (drill and reciprocating saw). Both Home Depot and Lowes have all
their tool combos on a 20% off sale. The 2-tool Dewalt combos give you the most
tool for the money, but they are much harder to find than the 4 and 6 tool
combos. Only Lowes carries them around here.
For the best buys in a slightly lower performance, Hitachi has a great combo
with drill, circular saw, recip saw, light and a free, huge drill/bit
assortment for $299 at Lowes (take 20% off that). A lot more than the Kaw, I
know, but it gives you something to compare.
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