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Old 01-03-2015, 09:22 PM   #1
BMWRich OP
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Cordless Drill/Drivers...New vs: Old

My 20 year old in pretty good shape 12v DeWalt drill/driver is in need of a new "chuck" and possibly could use a new battery,even tho she still charges and works fine.
Thing is,am I making a mistake investing in this old technology or best to spend the money on the newer higher voltage,smaller,light weight etc. models?
Either way almost the same amount of $ is to be spent.
I know at times "newer is better" but these newer models that are lighter and smaller.....will they still put out the power/torque as its bigger brother?
Hmmmmm?
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BMWRich screwed with this post 01-03-2015 at 09:32 PM
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:38 PM   #2
wadenelson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWRich View Post
these newer models that are lighter and smaller.....will they still put out the power/torque as its bigger brother?
My 14.4V DeWalt XRP will easily outtorque ANY of the 18 or 20V "minimodels" available today.

The 18 volt DeWalts with the big batteries suck if they're NOT the XRP units....not just the XRP batteries on the el-cheapo 18v bodies they sold in combo kits.

That said, I use a tiny 14 V Bosch Lithium Ion cordless drill with QuickChange chuck/bits to do 90% of the drilling and screwing I do. Light, compact, has LED to illuminate work piece, LiION batteries are fantasic, last 3x as long on a charge (minimum).

Brushless technology is the way to go. Theoretically should almost never wear out, not till the main bearings go.

The QuickChange bits make you at least 2X more productive than having to chuck and unchuck #2 Phillips, drill bits, etc.

But for grunt torque...no, NOTHING beats the old BIG DeWalts except a 110V corded drill.

I personally have NOT changed to impact drivers vs. drills. If I was installing decks or drywall for a living I might, but I spend as much time replacing faceplates on electrical
outlets as I do putting 2" deck screws into whatever, and the variable torque feature on drills is something I need.

If I was buying TODAY I'd get a 20V DeWalt LiION mini-unit, and a big old 110V unit for holes bigger than 1/2" and other "grunt" situations.

Tip: The 14.4 and 18V NON-XRP battery packs are rebuildable, they contain C-size NiCad batteries. XRP's go bad you have to throw 'em away.

Cheapest, most powerful solution: Find a 14.4 or 18V DeWalt XRP drill (body only) in a PAwn shop for $40 or less and order 2 NEW batteries + charger on Ebay for $70.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:48 PM   #3
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I had watched some Milwaukee videos promoting their new "18 v Fuel " line of cordless tools .

The circle saw vid was the one that sold me - man in the video made 232 cuts thru a 2x6 before his battery died !

New 4 amp hr lithium batteries and a brushless motor , make a incredible workhorse .

Buddy of mine is a carpenter -he said he put in those big gold torx screws , all day, on one battery .

I now own the "Fuel " 1/2 drill and sawzall .

Was a wee bit bummed about the made in China thing - shame on you Milwaukee .

These tools are nothing like you may have owned in the past !

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Old 01-04-2015, 12:06 AM   #4
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This summer I finally replaced a Bosch 18V Brute Tough drill that lasted about 8 years. Same issues as the OP- batteries wouldn't hold a charge, chuck was going out. Bought a Makita 18V brushless drill/driver combo. Those things are beasts! I can't compare to other brands, but they beat the Bosch they replaced hands down. Lighter, more power, batteries last many times longer, just great tools. It was a toss up between DeWalt, Makita and Milwaukee. I talked to a couple of contractor friends and they all recommended Makita. I know everyone has their brand loyalty, but I'm happy with my purchase.

G
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:08 AM   #5
FixerDave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenbob View Post
... Buddy of mine is a carpenter -he said he put in those big gold torx screws , all day, on one battery . ...
I never understood the logic of sticking a big battery on a cordless tool. The batteries are replaceable... why not put a little battery on the tool and a spare in the toolbox, or toolbelt for that matter. It takes seconds to change. Why make the tool heavier so that it lasts longer on a single battery. For me, the whole point of being cordless is making it easier to handle.

I run a Milwaukee M12 system, 6 different tools at this point, and never felt any were in any way underpowered. With 3 batteries and a charger, I can run a driver continuously... forever. No limits, never run out of juice, at least nothing a 2-second swap doesn't fix... batteries recharge in under 30min. Seriously, I could drive screws until my body was a total wreck... I am totally confident the drill could out-perform me.

The only place I can see a big battery is maybe something seriously power-hungry like one of those circular saws, but I don't have one of those... yet.

But, to answer the OP... depending on what you do, the new batteries can offer some serious improvements. If you are a contractor running a tool all day, swapping in batteries as you go, you may actually get longer life (before the cells wear out) with old-school NiCad. With those batteries, if you treat them right, they last. But, the new lithium batteries can (in fact, prefer) to be recharged early rather than running them all the way down, and they don't drain while sitting on the shelf in 3 weeks like NiCads do. Thus, they are WAY better for intermittent use that is typical of a home workshop. I mean, every time I picked up a NiCad drill, the battery was dead from sitting too long. Lithium... my M12s are the go-to tools, and I rarely (almost never) bother with corded even though I'm working at a bench with outlets all over the place.

People say that lithium batteries generally die after 2 years, no matter if you use them or not, but I bought into the M12 system when it first came out, years ago, and have not noticed any degradation of any of my batteries. They all still work great.

Oh, and built-in LED worklights are surprisingly useful, the new motors are unbelievably powerful for their size, and the keyless chucks actually work. I'd never go back,

David...

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Old 01-04-2015, 05:35 AM   #6
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I more or less got to that spot last year, and bought the 20v Dewalt brushless drill and impact driver. The drill has much more torque than the 18v Bosch it replaced. One nice thing about them is that you can get three different sizes of batteries, so you can go for small and light or bigger, heavier and more capacity. I have two of the mid-size batteries, which have been fine running the drivers, a circular saw and a little vacuum. They charge in an hour, I initially expected to buy at least one high capacity battery, but haven't needed to. A typical project may have me switching between the saw and drill, and I've had plenty of power while the second battery is charging. If the one in use happens to get low, it's a good time to call Break! anyway. Most of the time, however, if I start with both batteries charged, I can work as long as I want before one gives up.

I'm just a weekend warrior with this stuff, but I'm not necessarily gentle with it either, they've worked out very well. The smaller batteries allowed me to keep the weight down to make it easier for the wife to use occasionally.

Dewalt, Milwaukee and Bosch are all making tools with these brushless motors now. The motors are supposed to give better battery life and more torque which has certainly been my experience. I chose the Dewalt because the handles fit my hands better, and the drill seemed better balanced than the others. YMMV of course.

That said, in general, I like the Bosch stuff a lot, and their stuff has and does perform well for me in both AC and battery tools.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:55 AM   #7
jar944
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Milwaukee.

I picked the m18 1/4 hex driver up recently (on sale) to replace my sears 19v that needed new batteries. Its great, so much so that I bought the 3/8 driver a few days later.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:43 AM   #8
tvpierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWRich View Post
My 20 year old in pretty good shape 12v DeWalt drill/driver is in need of a new "chuck" and possibly could use a new battery,even tho she still charges and works fine.
Thing is,am I making a mistake investing in this old technology or best to spend the money on the newer higher voltage,smaller,light weight etc. models?
Either way almost the same amount of $ is to be spent.
I know at times "newer is better" but these newer models that are lighter and smaller.....will they still put out the power/torque as its bigger brother?
Hmmmmm?
Slightly off topic... but related: if you drive screws frequently with your drill, test drive an impact driver at one of the stores. The decision will be made for you.

You'll never use a drill to drive a screw again!
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:35 AM   #9
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My dad died about 6 years ago. We neglected to start "processing" his belongings, and did not look forward to dismantling and parting out his workshop, a three bay shop separate from the house.

Several years after he had passed, I was in his shop and looking at his collection of cordless drills- Craftsman's, Ryobi, Makita, I think a Milwaukee as well.

Oh, and then there was this blue colored label-free Harbor Freight model.

I picked up each one, and for the sake of an informal study, I pulled the trigger on each. No response from the first three or four "name brand" drills. The chucks would not purr or rotate. Nothing had power anymore.

Except the Harbor Freight. It actually drilled 4 holes and drove 4 rather long drywall screws yet as an experiment, after sitting a couple years.

None had been on chargers-- and the one's that were "name brand"---- none of them would even take a charge anymore, batteries all toast. Yet well still use the $18 dollar Harbor Freight drill, charges, runs, no problem.

I am a Makita guy myself, I just thought this was odd.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:43 AM   #10
oldmanb777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvpierce View Post
Slightly off topic... but related: if you drive screws frequently with your drill, test drive an impact driver at one of the stores. The decision will be made for you.

You'll never use a drill to drive a screw again!
Save your wrists! I rebuilt a deck on one of our places a couple months ago. Did the wrist/carpel tunnel/tendon damage from torqueing the screws.
That was October. I'm still trying to heal from it. Should have just gotten an impact driver. But never realized how much damage I was doing to my wrists. Hope I can ride by spring! At this rate of healing, I'm not sure.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:59 AM   #11
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I have a dozen cordless drills and impact drivers. The new stuff is vastly superior to the old and this is from a guy who cherishes and restores antique machinery. I have 3-4 old 18v dewalt XRP drills and they can't hold a candle to my makita stuff, not even close. I keep them around because I have the full XRP set and use the sawzal and cordless circular saw every once in awhile.

The new batteries charge fast than I can run down a fresh one vs taking an hour to charge.
They are much much lighter
Way more compact and ergonomic

You want to be careful about running the batteries completely flat, not good for them.

As mentioned the impact drivers are the right tool for driving fasteners. In my younger days I worked at a yacht builder and was a grunt building a mold for a 40' jet boat. I had my original dewalt 18v drill and wrecked it and my wrist driving 3" drywall screws. That's when I bought my first impact drive and I use it way more than a drill.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:59 AM   #12
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I bought a Milwaukee M18 Fuel (brushless) kit with the 1/4 inch hex impact and 1/2 inch hammer drill for a single job where the impact was nice to have. (See this thread.) I have never looked back.

I use the impact three to four times as often as the drill, mostly for wrenching. With the 1/4 inch hex to 3/8 and 1/2 inch square adapters I use it instead of my air impact wrench. This impact will easily remove the lug bolts from my 1/2 ton Chevy truck.

As an aside, the M18 hammer drill with the 4 amp-hr battery weighs less than my old Milwaukee 14.4 V NiCad hammer drill with a 2.4 amp-hr battery, has almost twice the torque, and the batteries last much, much longer. I've never needed to swap batteries in the middle of a job.

Anyone want a deal on a 14.4 V NiCad Milwaukee hammer drill with two good batteries? I never use it any more.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:00 AM   #13
wadenelson
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Circular Saw Failure...

FWIW, I tried both the 14.4 V and then the 18V DeWalt Circular saws.

VERY disappointed. I'd get a dozen two-by boards cut, and it would be all over.

Not only that, but the 18 Volters plus battery was nearly as big and heavy as a corded saw.

Great for a single cut up in the attic where you don't want to drag a cord, remodel work.

What I have and really, REALLY like is a 110V, 5 1/4" circular saw. Very lightweight, easy to hold over my head when cutting out an old window for replacement. Cuts all day long, obviously.

SMALLER than an 18V cordless!

I save the big WORM drive for ripping big sheets of OSB.

I've had several guys TELL me they had 18V and 20V circular saws that cut the mustard, but I gave up on 'em. I'll try again in 5 years.

And FWIW, got a neighbor bought the Harbor Freight Sawzall and Cordless drill, was out volunteering putting a playground together, and HIS batteries outlasted
everyone with the "Yellow" and "Red" brands. lololololol.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:09 AM   #14
BMWRich OP
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Thanks All for your comments and suggestions. All good and informative.
I'm more of a "wrench an socket" kinda guy but do occasionally need the cordless drill/driver. AAAND.....I'm a "Tool Junkie".....! Yes....I need help.....

I guess my decision will be to buy (invest in) into the "Brushless and LiION" family of tools. Now that I'm recently retired,you can group me with the "Weekend Warrior's",but one who enjoys and respects (also loves) good tools.
I do like the compactness of today's Tools,and a "light" who would've thought?!!
Another big selling point for me is,the interchangeability of the battery with so many other great tools. WOW,I'm like a "Kid in a Candy Store"....!
What a great way for me to part with my X-mas money!
Thanks again.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:16 AM   #15
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20 years ago (almost) I got a nice 14.4 1/2" Milwaukee cordless. Replaced my old smoked 3/8" B&D corded. This was the first good cordless drill I ever had. I used it for everything. Batteries were worthless. NiCad sucked when I had RC cars and they sucked in the drills as well. When both batteries died I gave up.

Got a $20 Ryobi combo kit that also had a flashlight. POS but it did come in handy for light stuff around the house. I also got a nice corded 1/2" Milwaukee drill. That was for the real work.

When the Ryobi died completely I picked up one of the Lithium Milwaukee 3/8" cordless drills. Smaller, lighter, with a light as well. It has some good power, more than some of the 1/2" drills I have used. The stable power output all the way up to the computer shuts you down. Forget the cordless fade.

I have been very happy stepping up into a modern Lithium powered drill. Feel it has been a good upgrade.
The half in corded drill still comes out for big jobs. I just drilled 360 holes in 1/8" steel. Corded was the right choice.

Now for the impact drivers. I have this awesome little 1/4" impact wrench. Got it for nuts and bolts but recently started using it with some screws. That thing rocks. This one is air but I can see how cordless would be a good choice. Forget about the Phillips head screws with it, but the Torx are a dream. I may have to step into a cordless version before the next big project.
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