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Consumer Reports Cordless Drills report.

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  • #16
    I just checked the online test results (as i have a subscription) and they failed to test any Li drill/drivers. Is the test you're referencing in the latest newstand copy?

    Hitachi has revamped their line since the test I looked at, as they have Li drills, etc. at the top end of their line.

    This is the same independent consumer advocate that claims Behr paint is the best on the market, even though it has the viscosity of beer.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by dsydorko View Post
      okay I see one on that model mentioning 12 - 15ft drops, one on a plywood floor one from a roof I think, but the model that was getting comments about breaking on a 4 foot drop was the lower end consumer grade model. 12 - 15 foot drops are really putting the casing to the extreme test, though, even if it isn't onto concrete. I'm not defending Hitachi, I don't own one, love my ridgid impact driver, just thought I had seen the same reviews you alluded to in previous post and they were on a different model than the one tested/rated by consumer reports.
      Good point...hopefully the "professional" models would handle a 4 foot drop. Having said that, surviving a 15 or 20 foot drop is especially encouraging...especially for a fumble-fingers like myself. If you check the Panasonic reviews they are chuck full of accounts like that. That is why I refer to them as "workhorses." Also, the Hitachi drill with all the clutch and switch failures was also the higher end model.

      A Panasonic excerpt.

      "I am a remodeling contractor and beat the hell out of this thing. It's dropped from ladders plenty of times onto asphalt, concrete, dirt, etc...."

      Similarly..and I'm too lazy to dig it up now, I found reports of people dropping Ridgids off rooftops...picking them up...and going right back to work.

      For me, the question isn't WILL I drop it...but WHEN will I drop it...and will it survive the fall.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by CheekyMonkeyWrench View Post
        I just checked the online test results (as i have a subscription) and they failed to test any Li drill/drivers. Is the test you're referencing in the latest newstand copy?

        Hitachi has revamped their line since the test I looked at, as they have Li drills, etc. at the top end of their line.
        The drill/driver review is in the December 2006 newstand/subscription copy. The previous test was in the December 2005 copy. As I mentioned, there are only sidebars about testing the "high-voltage" drills. They don't include them in the drill ratings section.

        Some excerpts...

        "...these drills are very pricey and weigh roughly 7 pounds. Performance of some drills in our tests was a letdown...."

        "DeWalts 36-Volt...run.s 50% longer than our average 18-volt...."

        "Ridgid's 24-volt....gives up some run time to DeWalt (36volt) yet it belts out as much torque as some impact drivers....."

        "B&D Firestorm...clutch was damaged during our maximum-torque test....NiCd battery...delivered less than 1/3rd of DeWalt and Ridgid run time."

        "An earlier versiion of Milwaukee's....28v...suffered overheating and motor damage last year.....We retested it after the company made design changes. Result: This year's sample also overheated in the same test."

        "Consider the DeWalt or Ridgid...."

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        • #19
          I can relate

          Originally posted by Disaster View Post
          For me, the question isn't WILL I drop it...but WHEN will I drop it...and will it survive the fall.

          I'm with you there, brother!
          I'm the clumsiest guy I know. I have this 8 year old Ryobi 12V that i dropped off a 6 ft ladder onto my concrete basement floor and it was no worse for wear- I have to say that impressed me. Since I traded in my 12V Ridgid drill for a 14.4V impact driver, I've had the itch to buy another drill... and although it would make more sense to buy a Ridgid 14.4V for the batteries (since the cheap buggers from Ridgid had the nerve to include only one battery with the impact driver), after reading about the consumer reports here in the forum I am awful tempted to jump all over the panasonic 15.6V... I looked on ebay and it drives me nuts when all these sellers break up the kits and sell everything piece meal...by the time you pay shipping on 5 items it's no cheaper than picking one up at a store- no waiting, no potential for shipping problems, can always return it if you get a lemon or aren't happy with it. Some guy on ebay was selling a like new panny 15.6 complete kit for $189 buy it now and it didn't look new factory fresh to me. Looked like a return or a demo or something. Then I saw that you can buy them brand new any day of the week from the Tool Barn for the same darn price. A bit of a rant I know, but still related to the consumer reports thing...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by dsydorko View Post
            ..........selling a like new panny 15.6 complete kit for $189 buy it now and it didn't look new factory fresh to me. Looked like a return or a demo or something. Then I saw that you can buy them brand new any day of the week from the Tool Barn for the same darn price..........
            I think $10 more for the 3.5AmpHr battery kit is an even better deal.

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            • #21
              better deal

              Originally posted by Disaster View Post
              I think $10 more for the 3.5AmpHr battery kit is an even better deal.
              Yeah, I thought about that too, but the 3 Ah model was nearly 1/2 lb lighter, same torque, and looks like it had a few extra features. Or maybe the two models are identical other than the battery. I'm far from being a professional user so I thought the lighter model would be good enough for a tinkerer like me. Honestly I'd buy another Ridgid, but I like a smaller lighter drill that's easier to handle. I was really liking the price and feel of the Makita 6280 14.4V but a bit concerned about the power and battery life (177 ft lbs and 1.3Ah). The X2 Ridgids are heavy. And the Canadian Home Depots don't seem to carry the regular R83001 14.4V at all (so I can have an extra battery to share with the impact gun). I see that Cummins has factory reconditioned 12V (R82001) for $59. It's really tempting for me to get a buddy in the US to buy one for me and send it over here. Won't help the Impact battery situation but at least I can use the same charger for both. Sure like to have that Panasonic though, I've never owned the best before but lately I've been developing a better understanding of that old saying- I'm not so rich that I can afford to buy cheap stuff. Let's just say the story involves a $30 18V el cheapo drill and a bit of embarassment/tool envy at a crating job a while back

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              • #22
                Weight vs. power.

                Originally posted by dsydorko View Post
                Yeah, I thought about that too, but the 3 Ah model was nearly 1/2 lb lighter, same torque, and looks like it had a few extra features. Or maybe the two models are identical other than the battery. I'm far from being a professional user so I thought the lighter model would be good enough for a tinkerer like me. Honestly I'd buy another Ridgid, but I like a smaller lighter drill that's easier to handle. I was really liking the price and feel of the Makita 6280 14.4V but a bit concerned about the power and battery life (177 ft lbs and 1.3Ah). The X2 Ridgids are heavy. And the Canadian Home Depots don't seem to carry the regular R83001 14.4V at all (so I can have an extra battery to share with the impact gun). I see that Cummins has factory reconditioned 12V (R82001) for $59. It's really tempting for me to get a buddy in the US to buy one for me and send it over here. Won't help the Impact battery situation but at least I can use the same charger for both. Sure like to have that Panasonic though, I've never owned the best before but lately I've been developing a better understanding of that old saying- I'm not so rich that I can afford to buy cheap stuff. Let's just say the story involves a $30 18V el cheapo drill and a bit of embarassment/tool envy at a crating job a while back
                Maybe I'm getting sucked into the "bigger is better" philosophy...which is how I ended up with the 7 and 1/2 pound, 18V Ridgid in the first place.. 3AmpHr is still over 30% better than my current 18V Ridgid which has a 1.9AmpHr battery. Just missed picking up a 2.5AmpHr battery for the 18V on Ebay. A guy was selling three of them for $25 a piece but I was too slow and he sold out. The next best price was over $50.

                I stumbled onto someone selling the R83001 (14.4V 5lb Ridgid) for $35 dollars. I was thinking of grabbing it as a lighter drill to use in my kit. However, it isn't that light. In fact, in several reviews they commented that it was heavy for a 14.4V drill. Still, it is 2 and 1/2 pounds lighter than the 18V model.

                I guess there are two reasons I'm looking at the Panasonics. 1. For the lighter weight. 2. For the better batteries with less chance of memory effects.

                After doing some research I decided to keep my NiCds in the refrigerator. This considerably lowers the self-discharge rate and is supposed to reduce the memory effect (which is caused by crystal formation in the cells.)

                By the way, thanks for the "Tool Barn" reference. I had forgot about that store.
                Last edited by Disaster; 11-10-2006, 10:48 AM.

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                • #23
                  That's what she said! hehe

                  Originally posted by Disaster View Post
                  I was thinking of grabbing it as a lighter drill to use in my kit. However, it isn't that light. In fact, in several reviews they commented that it was heavy for a 14.4V drill.
                  I guess there are two reasons I'm looking at the Panasonics. 1. For the lighter weight. 2. For the better batteries with less chance of memory effects.
                  pardon the feeble attempt at humor, subject line is a kick at the "bigger is better" comment. For my level of use I'm leaning toward the little Makita- it's a bit of a whimp but under 4 lbs and I do have the impact driver when i need more punch- it can nearly do anything the drill/driver can (albeit noisier). The 14.4V NiCd 3/8" Makita kit is CA$128 and by the time I get that awesome Panasonic shipped up here it would be around double that in Canuck bucks.
                  And as for the backup battery for the impact gun I can't find any Ridgid batteries at all at any of the HDs up here- not sure whats up with that...I missed some on ebay too. I'm thinking I'll buy the max battery as the backup for the impact driver even though it doesn't fit in the case. I've been keeping a bit kit where the spare battery goes anyway. I'm still so burned by the one battery thing... the Dewalt would have been cheaper in the long run $50 more but 2 batteries. When the regular (non max) 12 & 14.4 volt ridgid batteries have been known to drain rather quickly one battery just isn't enough, even WITH a 20 min charger.
                  Last edited by dsydorko; 11-10-2006, 12:20 PM.

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                  • #24
                    That little 3.5lb Makita is sweet....the 1.5AmpHr battery is really wimpy though

                    That little 3.5lb 18V Makita is sweet....the 1.5AmpHr battery is really wimpy though. I'm leaning toward one of the 15.6V panasonics, even the 3.5AmpHr one is only 4.8lbs....which is about 3 pounds lighter than the Ridgid. The 3.0AmpHr drops the weight to 4.4lbs....not sure another .4lbs is going to make too much of a difference after saving 3. Wish Panasonic would come out with a Lithium Ion model.
                    Last edited by Disaster; 11-13-2006, 12:07 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Makita compact drills

                      The one i was considering was the model 6280 14.4V with only 1.3Ah batteries and 177 in/lbs of torque...even wimpier than the one you're talking about, but I read some bad reviews about the chuck grip and battery life and after looking at specs and trying a display model at the local hardware store I'm put off that one for now. It has the 2 sleeve chuck and when the drill stops with an empty chuck the front sleeve kept spinning. The store clerk said that's cuz its empty but after reading the reviews I have to wonder if it does have grip problems. I prefer a single sleeve ratcheting style. The 18V version of that drill here in Canada is getting pricey enough that you may as well go with a higher end model or brand. The local hardware store just put out a flyer advertising the new 14.4V Makita Lithiums- they have a 1/2" drill and impact driver kit with a light and bag thrown in for CA$399 (about US$350). I'm really tempted to return the Ridgid 14.4V impact and get this kit- these are 3 Ah batteries and have the Makita lithiums have had mostly great reviews. The drill has replaceable motor brushes, LED light, and its- get this- 7-3/8" long and 3.5 lbs. The impact driver is only 3.1 lbs!!! Just hard to justify the cost when once i finish developing my basement and fixing my deck i'll probably pull out either one of the tools once every 6 months or so....hehe. For you maybe those Panasonics are the way to go. I like the solid feel of the Ridgids but I see them as competing head on with Dewalt and its all okay if you're in construction or some other pro user, but they are heavy- the specs say even the 14.4V X2 is like 6.9 lbs. unless you have/want forearms like popeye, and with all the lithiums and other powerful yet light and compact models like the ones from Panasonic or maybe even Hitachi, one has to wonder if they are losing much by going lightweight.
                      Last edited by dsydorko; 11-13-2006, 03:36 PM.

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                      • #26
                        More cordliss drill and impact driver reviews

                        For those of you who haven't seen this already:
                        http://www.consumersearch.com/www/ho...fullstory.html
                        Some interesting info, insights and assessments for free there- no membership or subscription required.

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                        • #27
                          Don't get confused

                          Don't get confused and think this site is part of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. They are not related in any way that I can see.

                          Originally posted by dsydorko View Post
                          For those of you who haven't seen this already:
                          http://www.consumersearch.com/www/ho...fullstory.html
                          Some interesting info, insights and assessments for free there- no membership or subscription required.
                          "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                          John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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                          • #28
                            Interesting....

                            Originally posted by dsydorko View Post
                            For those of you who haven't seen this already:
                            http://www.consumersearch.com/www/ho...fullstory.html
                            Some interesting info, insights and assessments for free there- no membership or subscription required.
                            Interesting...a review website that doesn't actually review anything...just researches reviews. I find it curiously lacking in breadth of research (many brands missing) and suspiciously recommending brands based on limited reviews or information (like the Panasonic dual impact driver/drill.)

                            An interesting site to visit and gather information...but not the best for recommending a choice.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Swung by Sears and checked out the 19.2V tools....

                              Swung by Sears and checked out the 19.2V tools that contain the drill that reviewed better than the Ridgid...in fact was a best buy.

                              I also have the Ryobi OnePlus 18V set and this set is very similar...but with some improvements.

                              I had a hard time finding the battery size...in Amp Hours in any literature. Did stumble onto this review that claims it to be 1.3AmpHrs....20% less than OnePlus and 30% less than Ridgid MaxHC.

                              http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...seBVCookie=Yes

                              Overall, found a lot of poor reviews on runtime, but then the Craftsman drill beat the Ryobi 18V and the Ridgid 18V in runtime in Consumer Reports tests. I'm curious if the standalone Ridgid drill, that they bought, has a lower sized battery. It doesn't say MaxHC on the Ridgid website.

                              Other than that, here are some of the other differences vs. OnePlus.

                              1. While the saw with the kits uses a 5.25" blade...like Ryobi, they sell a full 7.25" version alone.

                              2. Trimmer router came with nicer base and hand grip.

                              3. Spiral saw, likewise came with nice handle attachment...similar to a Rotozip.

                              4. Drill had neat little LED light to light up worksite. Not real bright...but better than nothing. Reciprocating saw had similar light.

                              5. Fluorescent light was only $15 bucks. I want one!

                              5. 19.2V impact was curiously rated lower in torque then Ryobi's 18V.....900 in.lb vs. 1,200 in.lb if I recall.

                              6. You could actually dissassemble the vacuum to clean it. Doesn't look like stuff will get trapped in it like it does in the Ryobi.

                              7. Lasertrac light on Jigsaw.

                              8. Cordless nailer...but no stapler. Where Ryobi got rid of the combo stapler/nailer for just a stapler. Nailer felt heavier than older Ryobi combo. Salesman told me it didn't work very well....had to have full battery and hold very tight to work surface...sounds just like Ryobi.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Consumer reviews

                                Originally posted by Disaster View Post
                                Interesting...a review website that doesn't actually review anything...just researches reviews. I find it curiously lacking in breadth of research (many brands missing) and suspiciously recommending brands based on limited reviews or information (like the Panasonic dual impact driver/drill.)

                                An interesting site to visit and gather information...but not the best for recommending a choice.
                                I wasn't thinking this was affiliated with consumer reports. I was merely offering the link as a resource that sure the heck beats Amazon.com as a way of researching some of the cordless drills and drivers out there. I bought a Consumers Reports magazine once a year or two ago. It was actually like a shrunken down magazine- more like a booklet. Not sure who published it but it did say Consumer Reports. It was the biggest waste of $24 I've ever encountered. It was mainly geared towards automobiles but advertised other categories such as appliances and electronics. The automobile categories were ok- with those 5 circles representing certain categories that are filled in differently or left empty to represent the ranking. But for the other product categories this book was worthless- they just gave a description of some of the general features and then ranked the five highest rated brands and thats about it.
                                If a website gathered organized and analyzed a large number of the various pro or semi-pro reviews and tests, along with a lot of useful information, and without charging you anything, how can that be bad? This link I provided was informative for me, because every brand of drill or driver I considered buying, i would google and just come up with the typical amazon reviews and epinions etc. These reviews, unless in large numbers, are not really reliable. Often biased or even misguided opinions- can be just rants of someone who got a lemon, or someone who just spent their money and wants to tell the world how much they love their new purchase. I'm real reluctant to pay a subscription fee for the consumer reports site since I really don't know how much I'll get out of it over time. I have not found anything else like this online for free, even the toolbarn blog is at least as useful as amazon.com or consumer reports reviews that we can't see unless we pay to become a member.
                                Jeez, tough crowd.
                                Last edited by dsydorko; 11-14-2006, 04:12 PM.

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