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Customer Discussions > Home Improvement forum

What is the best rechargeable drill ??

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Showing 1-25 of 353 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 31, 2008 1:01:54 PM PST
#1CubsFan says:
I am looking for a rechargeable drill for my husband. We have owned 2 craftsman 19.2(until the batteries die). I really don't want to spend a lot if the batteries are just going to die. So what do you all own and what is worth the money? Please help and thanks in advance.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2008 10:38:18 PM PST
C. Wolff says:
I personally like the Makita LXT Lithium Ion 18 Volt the best. Expensive compared to the Sears one but well worth the added expense. Lots of other tools to choose from that use the same battery. Will last a long time, good warranty and support, overall great company.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2008 11:13:08 PM PST
JD says:
I would go with the Milwaukee 0824-24 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Hammer Drill. I bought the combo, with a sawzall, saw, two batteries and a charger. But you could get the drill, charger, and 2 batteries for $140 on amazon. Its on sale now too!! Lithium batteries last twice as long an generate full power until they are discharged. The battery doesn't start to bog down as it gets to the end of its cycle. To add to that I have dropped my drill off a 3 story roof onto pavement and it still works perfectly, minus scratches, and a broken philips bit. Your husband would be sooooo happy with that drill. Go here to find it: Milwaukee 0824-24 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Hammer Drill Kit

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2009 10:41:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 1, 2009 10:42:59 AM PST
#1CubsFan says:
I don't think $140 is that bad considering we have paid $99 on sale twice for the craftsman.Thanks so much!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2009 2:40:09 PM PST
dewalt dewalt dewalt with an XRP battery. they charge quickly and i and my father have had ours for years without ever replacing a battery. another option though is to take his batteries to battery plus and they will recondition them for about half the price of a new battery. i wish i could have talked him out of craftsman in the first place!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2009 4:18:19 PM PST
JD says:
A Dewalt drill will not survive even a short fall. Im sorry pal but I used to use dewalt because the batteries are interchangeable with so many different tools. I am a general contractor, and rely heavily on the performance of my tools. Dewalt products break to easily, and the batteries are way to expensive $80+. My dewalt drill was the older, nicad battery generation granted, but it fell of an 8 foot ladder and the chuck was bent. (Read above) Milwaukee makes some of the toughest most powerful tools I have ever used. Besides they became famous for making the magnum drill, and the sawzall so I think they have the Drill market cornered.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2009 7:05:27 PM PST
Milwaukee - I have one that's about 10 years old and the batteries are just starting to go bad. New batteries are still available, though, not like a lot of companies.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2009 5:14:12 AM PST
OldAmazonian says:
I like my Panasonic 12-volt drill, but the 15.6-volt one seems to be the most popular.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2009 12:17:03 PM PST
Timothy Mott says:
I completely agree with Jesse's comments on Dewalt. My experience has been that the batteries last a year or two and then they are expensive to replace. Parts failures are much higher than Milwaukee or Bosch. I LOVE my Milwaukee tools, nothing like them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2009 2:52:15 PM PST
Reppen says:
It depends on what he needs. If he's not going to be drilling holes in concrete, a hammer drill is more money than you need to spend. I highly recommend Lithium Ion battery drills as they don't lose capacity over time like the older Ni-Cads.

Milwaukee, Makita, and Panasonic drills seem to be the most well-liked by sources that strike me as knowledgeable. I think Bosch probably makes a great drill too but they're just not as big in the US as the others so it's hard enough opinions on them to get a general feel. I don't know if Panasonic has a Lithium Ion drill yet but I know that their NiMH battery drills have been long-standing favorites with serious tool nerds.

My general impression of Dewalt is that they're above average across the board but rarely compete in any class of tool with the brands I mentioned earlier. I get the impression that it's mostly contractors of the "would never buy anything other than a Ford or a Chevy" variety that prefer Dewalt out of pure blind brand loyalty. It may have once been one of the premier brands but it's since been bought by Black & Decker and I see a lot of claims that their stuff is now highly overrated and overpriced for what you could get from the stronger brands.

I tend to look at Milwaukee stuff first, myself, so I'll tell you what I like from their stuff. If your husband is an occasional DIYer, I'd recommend their m12 subcompact drill/driver. It's excellent for home owners but also liked by pros who like having a light drill with some power to it that they can use in confined quarters and carry around in their pockets all day. If you're not actually building houses or doing lots of repetitive work with hardwoods and metal, this is a fantastic drill and what I use most of the time. It's not very fast but it does have a lot of torque and covers more bases than the average home owner would need. The m12's biggest competitor is a similar Bosch drill liked by woodworkers, who tend to go with Bosch because they make a mean jigsaw and router. For tougher jobs I keep a corded Milwaukee on hand. If you want to cover a wider variety of bases, the m18 compact drill/driver (looks the same as the hammer but much cheaper) might be your safest bet. If he's actually going to do some occasional work in concrete, the m18 hammer drill will allow him that option but I suspect the older V28 may be a little bit more powerful even though the two appear to have similar torque ratings.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2009 9:49:05 PM PST
BinC says:
Hello, I have owned many of the drill discussed here. Craftsman is good for 2 years. Dewalt is excellent about 5 years. Batteries are expensive. Every drill I drop from 30 feet breaks. This year I purchased the Rigid cordless set. The lifetime warrantee is the main reason. Warrantee covers batteries too. Home Depot carries the brand. In 5 years they wont fix it so you will get a new one. Happy day! Drill price $200+ change. Entire combo set $450. Rob

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2009 11:00:53 PM PST
I have owned several Dewalt drills and 2 of the multi-sets. I can say for the abuse that they have been through that Dewalt makes a quality drills. However the batteries, like all the other brands will eventually wear out. Currently I use the XRP batteries and have been pleased with there performance. Dewalt has created a stronger and longer lasting battery called a lithium Ion. I currently will have no experience with them but I will in about 3 years when my batteries drasticly loose performance. They have made the new type batteries compatible with old style drills, so I do not have to buy a new drill to utilize this new battery technology. I have owned Dewalt cordless and plug in tools for over twelve years and have been completely satisfied with their performance. I would recomend buying an 18 volt Dewalt drill with 3 speeds. The 18 volt Dewalt line is diverse in that there are many tools that utilize the same power system and allows one the ability to perform many tasks while cordless. I am sure that your husband will be pleased with a new Dewalt 18 volt drill and even happier with a combination tool set.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2009 6:21:43 AM PST
M says:
Well, it's seems there are a lot of different opinions out there on the best drill. Naturally the batteries are going to die over time, but some batteries are better than others. Makita Milwaukee dewalt are very good drills, and I personally am sold on Bosch, because they are tougher than any of the others, but if he's not going to drop it off the roof or rewire or plumb the house with it and just needs it for occasional use, then these are pretty expensive tools.
Take a look at what Hitachi has to offer because they are hands down the most reasonable priced tools in any category for the quality you get. I have owned and abused and worn out many professional quality tools in the last several years, but my Hitachi tools are all going strong despite heavy abuse, and being so inexpensive.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2009 12:02:18 PM PST
The Milwaukee 0824-24 kit on deep discount sale right now is a killer deal. An excellent heavy duty 18 volt li-ion drill at a great price. I have one, and the only downside is that it is a big heavy drill. Milwaukee appears to be changing from the "V18" generation of products to a new "M18". Consequently, the V18 stuff is available at killer prices right now ... and they are a proven tool.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 4:10:16 AM PST
Bass Cadet says:
I have ~15 year old Dewalt 9.6V that is my favorite. It's been dropped, kicked, and abused and still works well. I did have to buy new NiMH batteries for it a few years ago. The newer ones have a plastic chuck and aren't as well made, so I would avoid them now.

I also have a Craftsman 14.4V drill and circular saw set. It's definitely not as well made but does have a little more torque. The higher voltage means a bigger battery and more weight. One of the batteries did die, so I opened it and was able to fix it--found the shorted cell and zapped it with high current. It's still working although I use the Dewalt 95% of the time.

Does he need a rechargeable drill? Would a corded drill and power screwdriver work?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 8:41:28 AM PST
JagGuy1960 says:
Let me give you a suggestion that I know serious DIY'ers and contractors will laugh at, and they will laugh hard and think "he doesn't know what he's talking about", or even use some 4 letter words. Here goes: I would get nothing other than the basic 18 volt Ryobi drill from Home Depot. The basic drill has two speeds, a 23 position clutch, forward/reverse of course, non-key chuck, and the basic non-lithium battery works well in a drill, but the lithium are much better. There's also a bulls-eye level on the end so you can drill a hole at a 90 degree angle to the surface. I thought this was gimmicky, but it really works.

Now for the real world, people will laugh at the suggestion of anything Ryobi. Well, I've had the same drill for 4 years or so. I've built most of a house with it, a pole barn last year, and various projects on a weekly basis. It hasn't been dropped from 30', but several times from 8' with no problem. I've used it on 8" timber lock bolt screws and my hand twists before the drill will quit. I really don't know what else someone could want from a drill. They also have a hammer drill that I have no experience with, but my son got one for Christmas and he says it appears every bit as good a the regular drill except it weighs significantly more and seems much more heavy duty.

At various times I have got the drill as part of a kit on sale, so I have 3 of them. Two are brand new and never used because the first one just won't quit. If you can still find the basic blue 18 volt drill, it is sometimes bundled together with a saw, flashlight or something else and available for $99 including a non-lithium battery and charger. The new drill is green because it is built for the lithium batteries (which are interchangeable), but I think in essence it's the same drill slightly changed in shape and given a different color. You can get the lithium ones in a kit with a charger and 2 batteries for $159 or so. Make sure you get the 18 volt drill, because there are 12 volt versions that look very similar.

That's my 2 cents. I've had Dewalt too, they are good but expensive and no better ultimately than the Ryobi. One time in the 80's I had a cordless Black and Decker drill of all things that lasted for simple screwing, for years. I would never recommend Black and Decker, but it goes to show you that you never know.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 9:21:52 AM PST
#1CubsFan says:
You all have very good ideas and I thank all of you for your help! My husband got his contractors license in the fall. He does everything around our house including taking down a wall and remodeling our kitchen, installing new cabinets, laying brazillian cherry floors, and building a pantry closet. We have always kinda skimped on his tools. I would like to get him a drill that is worth the money and that will last. Is the Rigid from Home Depot a good one that they would just keep fixing and replacing?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 12:46:13 PM PST
Theo Phann says:
Here's another thought: if you have a minute, find the article in the July 2008 Fine Homebuilding where cordless impact drill/drivers are reviewed. Six were examined, ranging in price from $150 to $300, along with the pros and cons of each. I settled on the Panasonic and absolutely love it - in spite of the slightly higher price.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 2:52:56 PM PST
Reppen says:
If he's a contractor, get him an 18-volt or higher drill from somebody with a good rep for durability. I've never worked with these guys before but the kinds of stuff they talk about wanting their tools to put up with suggests a whole lot of clumsy oafitude at the job-site being pretty typical.

Also, since he's likely to want other rechargeable tools for the job you may want to consider what other tools are available that take that battery type. Bosch loses here, because they don't tend to diversify their cordless lines very much. Milwaukee and Makita tend to have very diverse line-ups on the higher end and Dewalt and Hitachi tend to round out their battery lines on the more average end. I don't know much about Ridgid, but like Milwaukee they've traditionally been targeted at pros and they must be doing something right if they can offer a life-time guarantee. They must offer great service and/or great quality tools. Any combination should work for a pro as long as the tool isn't breaking every other week.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 9:41:38 PM PST
JD says:
You still haven't bought him the drill? I agree with the majority of these people that you should get an 18 volt drill. I was the first to respond a week or so ago. I am a finish carpenter, and even though I dont usually need the most durable or strong tools for my work, i still buy the best so I dont regret it later. If he has his license and is going to be tackling some heavy duty projects go with the most durable drill on the market, the milwaukee 18 volt hammer drill. You can still find it for $150 with 2 batteries and a lithium charger. Most all those drills mentioned are in the same price range. You guys have already learned your lesson with so so tools. This way you wont have to buy new batteries or another drill for years. The batteries come with a 2 year waranty, if they start to bog down milwaukee will swap em for new ones. All the other drills fall into the "tied somewhere in the middle" where milwaukee is way ahead of the pack. Also consider the milwaukee 18 volt impact driver. Remember once you have batteries from one brand, it becomes convenient to continue to buy other tools by that same brand to be able to interchange the batteries and use the same charger. I wouldn't buy anything else.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2009 10:39:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 5, 2009 10:49:04 PM PST
Reppen says:
Missed the post about the at-home work. If I were doing the kind of work he does, I'd want the V28 hammer drill. It can handle a very wide variety of jobs (although perhaps a bit overpowered for lighter stuff) but more importantly, if he gets the batteries, he gets access to some very nice tools for cheap. The sawzall and circular saw from that line are both 90 bucks or less on Amazon without the batteries. The circ saw in particular, is very well-reviewed across the board for being close enough to corded power that you'll only ever need a corded saw for particularly tough jobs. Unfortunately, the drill kit will run you 350 (batteries and charger alone are worth ~230). Yeah. Ouchie. The circ saw kit is usually the best deal on Amazon when you price everything out but the drill comes close. The sawzall kit is the worst deal (sawzalls are a popular impulse buy and gift, I suspect)

If he just wants a noncrappy drill, the V18 suggested earlier is a great idea. It's getting phased out so there won't be new tools added to the line but it's still a lithium ion Milwaukee drill and Milwaukee is good about continuing to provide batteries for older tools. The new 18-volt line (m18) is still very new and a bit pricey compared to what you can get in the older V18 and the older but more powerful V28 line.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2009 8:15:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2009 8:19:44 AM PST
Lenny says:
The Ryobi 18V is a damn good drill, I know contractors that use it daily and its just as good as Dewalt. I tried both and liked the ryobi better(honestly they are both excellent). Built an entire basement with it, and believe me I didn't treat it well. Used it to drill hundreds of 1/2" holes for wires and the studs were toed with screws. It hit concrete many times when it slipped from my ladder.

Has a 2yr warranty, 3 if you buy with a good CC like AMEX. What theses suckers cost, you can buy two and still be ahead of a dewalt.

I use my ryobi now as a impact gun when I work on my car, great for R/R low-med torque fasteners. Anything stubborn gets a breaker bar and then the Ryboi takes over. The clutch works amazing for this purpose, after 6 years if the tool should fail I would go to HD and gladly buy another.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2009 8:59:36 PM PST
B. Wolfe says:
Personally I like my 19.2v 2.4ah Porter Cable Drill, I have 2 of them, only problem is Ive bought 3 chargers over the past few years. I recently switched to a 18v Li-Ion Hitachi Impact Driver and have never looked back, I use it for everything, including drilling large hole with step bits. I leave my Porter Cables in the job box. I have to say Milwaukee tools are very high on my "quality list"; but a buddy at work bought the new 18v compact Li-Ion drill and it died in about 3 months: charger, drill, and both batteries are worthless... Sadly even the name brands are being made in China now... But nothing beats Milwaukee's corded line of tools. I cant say much for DeWalt tools, our company buys them and we go through them like bottled water, grinders and sawzalls are very cheaply made, and with the experience Ive had, the only good cordless DeWalt drill Ive found is the old 9.6v version. Another buddy at work bought a Bosch 18v 2.4sh drill from a local supplier, and paid a very high price, but the drill is a workhorse.

Basically what Ive found; unless you get a good deal on a drill, youll get what you pay for, a $100 drill will last a year if your lucky, a $200+ will last 2-3 years, Corded will usually last 5years-lifetime.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2009 9:31:02 PM PST
Oliver says:
Rigid makes the best cordless drill drivers and they actually cover their batteries in their warranty. I used to buy craftsman drills but they no longer sell a warranty that covers the batteries. Trust me...your husband will LOVE a rigid drill. He might even sleep with it under his pillow....LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2009 8:07:42 AM PST
OldAmazonian says:
"I have to say Milwaukee tools are very high on my "quality list"; but a buddy at work bought the new 18v compact Li-Ion drill and it died in about 3 months: charger, drill, and both batteries are worthless... Sadly even the name brands are being made in China now... But nothing beats Milwaukee's corded line of tools." ---
so says B. Wolf

How many are still unaware that Milwaukee Electric Tool was bought by a Hong Kong-based investment group in 2005? The old Holeshooters and Sawzalls may look the same, but are the gears still chromoly steel?
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Initial post:  Dec 31, 2008
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