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Cordless Drills...


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I got a little beef with cordless drill manufacturers. I own several and find them to be invaluable at home and on the job, as far as versatility, adaptability and ease of use they are top notch. My main problem is dealing with battery replacement, thats why I own several. You can buy a brand new drill, 2 batteries and a charger these days for slightly over the replacement cost of a single battery! Why is that?

I used to own a 9.6v Makita and fried one of the batteries. I was told that a new battery would cost 80 bucks. I gave that drill w/ its one remaining battery and charger to my brother :D . I also own a Craftsman 14.4 v drill, maglight and dustbuster package, 2 bats and a charger, picked the whole works up at Sears for $99 about 4 yrs ago. The batteries are still serviceable but only right after charging, they will drain out overnight. Replacement battery costs $60. A parts rep at Sears told me its better to buy a new drill package. That just doesn't make sense. I wonder how many of these tool kits without batteries are sitting around doing nothing, wasteful. I also have a Black and Decker 12v, (piece of crapola) and my main one, Craftsman 15.6 high torque drill. If the B&D batteries go I won't be sad, their batteries are crap to begin with. :D

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Tell me about it. I got a B&D Firestorm cordless for Xmas a few yrs ago. It's an average drill by the way and would not recommend it to anyone, but it does the job most of the time. Anyway, with only one batt in the case I decided, poor as it was, to get 2nd to at least make it useful. Now comes the a$$ backwards logic on pricing, the kit was $50, the spare/replacement batt was $20. What the :D ??

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It's simple greed. Why would the manufacturer want to sell you a reasonably priced battery when they can get you to buy a whole new kit instead? So they make sure their profits are as high (or higher) for the spare batteries. It does suck though.

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ryanb

I;m with you on that one all the way

Southpa

I use the same drill you gave your brother I love that drill and when I needed a new batt I found a new one on Ebay for 15.00 + shipping. so yes I got over 20.00 in one batt but I like the drill and have used it to build all kinds of stuff from [decks and speaker cabs I love it]

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This is my story:

I decide that cordless drills are useful, so abandon my portercable drill of 30 years service, and get:

-one 14.4V craftsman that I started with...battery died....two years old, so NO REPLACEMENT EXISTED...$100

So...I decided that these drills seem a bit cheap quality, so I'll just buy a cheap one.

-one 14.4V powerfist that has a shattered plastic gearbox...$30

Build part of a shed and it breaks....so off we go to get

-one 15.6V B&D firestorm, used, $30

Go through one years work and the batteries are almost failing (mind you I take good care of the batteries...but when boring through wood with spade bits or drilling metal...they die...very quick), so I'm thinking I need something with more power and I can't find any replacement batteries, so I go and get a new craftsman drill

-one 15.6V craftsman drill that has a much higher torque rating...$70

lasts a long time, but the batteries die, craftsman doesn't stock the replacements (1.5 years), so I get a:

-15.6V Dewalt Drill - $220

Thinking that the dewalt was going to be higher quality, I got this. Turns out that this one had a faulty gearbox, so took it back to the store for a full refund and bought this:

-18V Mastercraft drill, most powerful of the bunch bout $100

Batteries are on the verge of dying..but still isn't dead, no replacements available

Now since this can't handle harder jobs (like drilling two bigger wholes in a sheet of metal), I got the first ever 24V drill I saw...some

-Power XT 24V for $50...still working...but cheap piece of crap...chuck can't hold small bits...at all.

All in all, that's about $380 spent on cordless drills...ALL JUNK. Most of this was bought on my work grant as it is to be spent on tools, and my tech really likes these drills...but trust me they're a waste of time. I can't speak for the good quality dewalt drills, but for all they others, either they were crap, or the batteries didn't last long at all. I only paid $150 for the portercable drill, and it's lasted 30 years of hard work and runs like a dream...full metal (not a piece of plastic in sight), and fully bolted, so you can take it apart and clean/maintain. Buy a corded drill...

Peace

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Sorry to hear of your tales of woe with battery drills. :D

I can only comment on the Dewalts as I've got the 18v hammer/drill which is a part of my 18v 4 piece combo kit that I use everyday and it hasn't skipped a heartbeat. It's got to be one of the most robust drills out there but also the heaviest. So are the batteries.

I'm building houses everyday so it does help if you're constantly working the batteries like I do.

Even with cordless technology, I tend to use an electric drill if I've got a power source handy and

only really use the cordless when I'm in some uncomfortable 'oofus' position or running a couple of drills at the same time.

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Sorry to hear of your tales of woe with battery drills. :D

I can only comment on the Dewalts as I've got the 18v hammer/drill which is a part of my 18v 4 piece combo kit that I use everyday and it hasn't skipped a heartbeat. It's got to be one of the most robust drills out there but also the heaviest. So are the batteries.

I'm building houses everyday so it does help if you're constantly working the batteries like I do.

Even with cordless technology, I tend to use an electric drill if I've got a power source handy and

only really use the cordless when I'm in some uncomfortable 'oofus' position or running a couple of drills at the same time.

I used to use the dewaults every day when i was a cabinet maker. Lasted probably four years, with a full battery lasting 1-2 days (i had two). From memory it was $580 for the drill, and two batteries, 12 years ago...

I would have bought them again, but they are two heavy for what i need now.

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They're still about $700 singularly with the two batteries, and I agree about the weight. But when you've gotta give them a kicking, they've got the guts you're after.

In conjunction with the big bertha of drillsI'd go for in most cases is a 12v impact driver, which no doubt you've used or seen from the days of cabinetry. Very small & lightweight, extremely torquey (more drive power than a 18v) but about the same cost. Heck, you can drive 100 mm long batten screws in kd h/wood

with this sucker.

LINK

cheers,

Stu

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For all day, every day use I wouldn't have anything but Porter Cable or Bosch, and nothing under 18v. The discount store stuff just won't hold up under heavy duty use--and they're not meant to. Those are for small occasional jobs. At home I have a B&D 12v and it's fine for hanging blinds or drilling pickguard holes. On the job I have a 18v Bosch. Some of the shops here have the 24v kits (with saws and stuff).

Still, for heavy jobs the old-fashioned plug-it-in-the-wall is the way to go.

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My Dewalt lasts a couple of hours before the battery goes dead. Then there's a second battery, but that one doesn't hold a charge as long.

I can't get upset, because I found the Dewalt, two batteries and the charger in a box someone had out for the trash full of beat up tools.

Good thing there was a big stainless steel yard-stick going out of the box, to get my attention.

For the longest time I hated them, because in the early 90's I worked in a factory where we had cordless Ryobi drills and they sucked like hell.

But I like this Dewalt a lot. I bet I can get another battery for free if I ask around.

I only wrote this to gloat about my free cordless dewalt. :D

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I'm not buying another drill, for a while yet. :D I admit Craftsman is good. I have the 15.6 cordless which torques at 275 in lbs on the slow setting. I've slammed so many 4" screws into solid wood and its never missed a beat. I'm sure the batteries will lose their ability to hold a charge eventually. A corded drill is good but I basically do all kinds of residential work including roof (screwing down sheet roofs etc.) and work on heritage homes. Houses built in the late 1800's have no outside electrical receptacles :D .

Regarding my 14.4 Craftsman with the bad batteries, I DO remember allowing another guy to use it while doing a drywall job. And I also remember him dropping my drill on the concrete floor numerous times. Each time I gave him sh*t. From now on I'm only bringing one drill to a jobsite and nobody uses it but ME.

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Sears actually makes very little money on those cordless combo kits. That's why the replacement batteries cost so much. They figure that people will purchase a whole bunch of tools at once and then just purchase replacement batteries.

Go down to Harbor Freight or Big Lots and you can buy the same tools without the B&D, DeWalt, Craftsman, or Ryobi names on them for about 1/4 the price and you'll throw them away just as often.

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If you're going to buy Crapsman, Black & Decker or Mastercraft, don't complain about them breaking down or their batteries not lasting. They're consumer grade goods made for occasional use.

My only cordless drill is a Hitachi 12V. I bought it primarily for driving screws into hardwood with my Kreg jig. 12V is plenty for that and keeps the weight down. Three years of regular use and it hasn't missed a beat. That's because it's a commercial grade tool. You get what you pay for.

One other thing, what Harbor Freight and Big Lots sell are definitely not the same tools as the name brands. They may last as long, maybe not, but they cut even more corners than the low end of the Crapsman or Ryobi lines.

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I think I've seen hacks online, where people disassemble cordless drill battery packs. Inside those proprietary battery packs are a number of generic battery cells wired in series. They've liberated the individual cells for other projects.

Has anyone taken apart a cordless drill battery pack? It might be possible to replace the cycled-out cells with new ones picked up off eBay or some online surplus outlet.

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I think I've seen hacks online, where people disassemble cordless drill battery packs. Inside those proprietary battery packs are a number of generic battery cells wired in series. They've liberated the individual cells for other projects.

As far as tinkering with a sealed acid chamber as a battery is, that sounds like some risky business.

I know of a few places that make aftermarket batteries and sell them at 1/3 the retail name brand price.

$250 AUD for a 18v singular oem dewalt replacement battery? not on your life.

I'm tempted to go generic.

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You guys think your batteries are expensive... I have a Snap On 18 volt cordless that i use... of course I can go a week or more on a single charge (and I use it constantly) but with that convience comes a price...

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P6...amp;dir=catalog

And here is the drill... Oh and the price reflects only ONE battery coming with it... If you need two batteries you gotta buy the second one...

http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P6...amp;dir=catalog

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Oh and the secret to Craftsman tools is to pay the extra for the 2 year warranty and when the 2 years is close to coming up (if the tool hasn't broke before then) just take it back in the case and say it won't hold a charge, or it sounds funny, etc.... and they will just give you a new one, or if it's obsolete, they give you a new current one...

It works with my router.... The on/off switch starts giving me a little trouble and I take it back with my warranty papers and they give me a brand one one right off the shelf...

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You guys think your batteries are expensive... I have a Snap On 18 volt cordless that i use

I used to buy quite a few snap-on tools when I worked in automotive.

Great tools, but it always pays to ask the price first before committing to the repayments.

I reckon I could have had myself a GTS monaro sitting in the carport had I been more frugal :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yesterday at work I had to drill out a lock on a file cabinet. Wouldn't you know, both my Bosch 18v batteries were almost dead. Then last night an emergency honey-do came up and I'll be dipped if my B&D 12v wasn't dead too. :D

That's what I get for doing online forum product endorsements. :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

I love my Ryobi 18v ONE+ set. Home Depot of course. I had a complete set with the 18v drill, dustbuster, sander, circular saw 2 batteries, 2 chargers, flashlight etc. I ended up losing the drill on the highway (dumb ass move on my part). So I was cruising craigslist.com and found someone selling an entire kit (used but great condition) for only $150! I bought it and now have like 5 batteries, double tools of everything (except the drill) and am psyched.

The Ryobi 18v drill is variable speed, 2 speed range, adjustable torque, has dual bubble levels as well as a magnetic tray. 99$ for it with the flashlight combo.

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Cordless tools in general seem to have a cost/convenience ratio. The higher the cost the the higher the convience - and vice verse. The only down fall to that thought process is that the more often you charge and discharge the battery the longer it lasts. So pro grade tools used extensively for the purpose they were designed for last more or less as long as home owner models used within thier range of engineering. In the end cordless tools aren't exempt from the old shop axiom; Buy the best you can afford at the time.

As far as the gripe about the batteries costing as much as the tools.... I dunno, it pisses me off too!

Take it easy,

Nate Robinson :D

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