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Consumer Reports Cordless Drills report.

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  • Consumer Reports Cordless Drills report.

    As usual, there report is a mix of good and bad.

    Some of the good.

    They expose the problems, hype and other interesting tidbits.

    Examples....

    Hitachi DS18DMR sold at "hardware store" came with 3AmpHr battery. The one sold at Lowes, for $25 less only had a 2AmpHr battery. I've heard about these kind of things going on with the likes of Lowes, Walmart and other big chains for quite some time and it would be nice if more people knew about them. The big chain stores push the companies to offer a product cheaper to them so they pull a feature or build with lower quality parts to meet the demand. The average Joe would have no idea they were getting a lesser product.

    Milwaukee 28V overheated and damaged motor when driving lag screws. This happened with last years and this years samples...which doesn't bode well for expecting a fix for this problem.

    Mansfield "Dual-drill" sold on infomercials was a pretty poor drill.

    $40-$60 dollar drills did not fair well on power or runtime.

    Some lower voltage drills outperformed higher voltage models. For example the Ridgid 14.4V R83015 outperformed the 18V R84001.

    The bad.

    They mention Ridgid R851150 for consideration when shopping for "mega-volt" drills...but it isn't shown on the ratings page...in fact, none of the plus 20V drills are shown on the ratings page though they obviously tested them. How do they stack up to each other???

    They group NiMh and LiIon together as the "high-efficiency batteries." NiMh are much closer to NiCd's than LiIon. NiMh may have a 5% advantage in weight where LiIon has a 50% advantage.

    The curious and surprising.

    Curious about the 14.4V Ridgid outperforming the 18V. I have the 18V R841150 that comes with the combo set and it weighs about 7.5lbs...and that is with the 1.9AmpHr battery...not the new 2.5AmpHr one. The one they tested, the R84001, weighed 6.6lbs according to them. Based on Ridgid's website, it looks to have a considerably smaller battery.
    http://www.ridgid.com/MenuDriver.asp...s-12-Drill-Kit
    The 14.4V has the 2.5AmpHr battery according to the Ridgid website.
    http://www.ridgid.com/MenuDriver.asp...dless-12-Drill
    The previous 18V Ridgid tested (R84015) considerably outperformed the previous 14.4V (R83001.)

    The Ryobi P811 dropped to 28th place compared to the Ryobi P801...and lost it's "Quick Pick" status. It is hard to compare their ratings since they don't give an exact number in the Dec. 05 piece but it looks to be about 1/3rd of the way into the "Very Good" rating then and in the high end of the "Good" rating now. Question whether it got worse or the rest of the pack got better...raising the bar...so to speak.

    A Craftsman (19.2V 11541) actually made it into 15th place...above all the Ridgids and a couple DeWalts, a Hitachi and a Milwaukee.

  • #2
    Wow, isn't that something about the V28... I remember that back on the MET Tool Talk board and it was said that they had fixed that overheating problem, but maybe it's not necessarily fixed afterall.

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    • #3
      So what did they choose as the best overall?

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      • #4
        The same drills were at the top of the list that were there last year.

        Only this year some of them got moved to the "Li-Ion and MiMh Cell category."

        The top finishers were.

        1. 18V Hitachi DS18DMR
        2. 18V Makita LXT BDF451 (new this year)
        3. 15.6V Panasonic EY6432GQKW
        4. 18V Panasonic EY6450GQKW
        5. 18V Milwaukee 6347DWDE (new this year)

        I'm not sure what to think of the Hitachi. I've handled them and thought they were good feeling, well performing drills...great values. They have HUGE 3AmpHr batteries. However, found many reports of them splitting in half...one report of this happening when an operator dropped the drill only 4 feet. That is way too fragile for a tool.

        Haven't handled the Makita or Milwaukee.

        The 15.6V and 12V Panasonics are, IMHO, the ultimate workhorse cordless drills. They were the first to bring, power (constant torque through the battery life), reliability and portability to the cordless drill field. No one has ever packed so much power in such a compact package. I know people who've had theirs for years....used daily...and not ever heard of anyone having a problem with one. Bosch followed with a couple lightweight models but they don't quite match the Panasonics in performance.
        Last edited by Disaster; 11-08-2006, 07:22 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sceeter W Wheels View Post
          Wow, isn't that something about the V28... I remember that back on the MET Tool Talk board and it was said that they had fixed that overheating problem, but maybe it's not necessarily fixed afterall.
          Sceeter - it said "samples" - I'm pretty sure they fixed the problem. They said on the MET tool board that they had issues with them because there was the wrong part in them. When they removed it and put the right part in the problem was fixed. This was in the initial small batch of very early drills.

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          • #6
            Cool, I've never tried the Hitachi or Panasonic but seem to always see good reviews of them. I have the new Makita and absolutely love it. Great weight feel and power. My only complain is that they made is so overergonomic (if thats even a word) the handle actually doesn't feel all that comfortable, too much rubber, curves and texturing.

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            • #7
              V

              If you mean the side handle, you might try getting one for an older similar Makita drill. As long as the threads match it should work for you. You might check other brands too.

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              • #8
                Sorry I meant the grip, not the handle. Its really a very minor complaint but I really wish they had used a clean smooth and straighter design like the dewalt.
                Last edited by Velosapien; 11-08-2006, 12:42 PM.

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                • #9
                  Hitachi drills durability concerns

                  Here are an example of three reports about Hitachi drills on Amazon that make me nervous.

                  1 Star:
                  "as a carpenter I need a good reliable cordless to use day in day out, after 18 months I can report that this drill isn't up to the task, I'm sorry but it's just not. Great power...... really good power, but the fact is for the first 12 months I owned it it spent 25% of it time back at the shop, items including new gear box, selector, switch (twice) and battery. I went out and bought a little 12V maktec cordless to use while it was in the shop and use this now more than the Hitachi. the low gear has gone on it once again and the Batterys are on the way out ...... I can't justify spending more money on it, (throwing good after bad). Great power, just bad build quality and service back up"

                  3 stars:
                  "I got this drill in the 4-piece set, it works pretty good. Batteries don't hold up as well as DeWalt, when they start going, they're just dead. I dropped my drill about 4 feet and it broke in 2 pieces, drill still works great, but has no handle. I had to use a panduit strap to hold it together. I've talked to the good people at Lowe's about getting it repaired under warranty, because this is obviously a defect and it was only a month old, but they suggested I just buy a new one because Hitachi will refuse the repair, and to "be careful and not drop it"."

                  4 stars:
                  "My main concern about these Hitachi drills is the strength of the drill's plastic casing. I've watched two of these drills fall off of roofs...the first one fell about 15 feet, and landed on a plywood floor...it broke where the handle meets the rest of the drill, and is now quite unusable. The other fell about 12 feet onto the ground, and cracked in the same place. It survived, but I don't expect it to last much longer before the crack gets bigger, and the handle breaks off."

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                  • #10
                    I drilled about 2 dozen 5/8 3-5" lag screws last weekend with no problems whatsoever. The V28 drill never seems to amaze me, it was easy as pie.

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                    • #11
                      Hitachi Durability Concerns

                      Keep in mind that the reviews you are mentioning were on their mid-range product. Hitachi also makes a pro line of cordless drills, the prices take quite a jump so if all is well in the world so would the specs and quality.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dsydorko View Post
                        Keep in mind that the reviews you are mentioning were on their mid-range product. Hitachi also makes a pro line of cordless drills, the prices take quite a jump so if all is well in the world so would the specs and quality.
                        I found reports of breaking when dropped of the exact same model Consumers Reports tested. This is Hitachis highest end model drill.

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                        • #13
                          A couple possibilities here.

                          Originally posted by Scott K View Post
                          Sceeter - it said "samples" - I'm pretty sure they fixed the problem. They said on the MET tool board that they had issues with them because there was the wrong part in them. When they removed it and put the right part in the problem was fixed. This was in the initial small batch of very early drills.
                          1. Consumer Reports doesn't get products from manufacturers because they don't want to get "ringers." They buy them in stores like you and me. Perhaps they got unlucky and got two from the same bad batch. Still bothers me because it means bad product is still out there on store shelves.

                          2. Consumers Reports may be pushing the tools harder than the average consumer would. For example they may be running in lag bolt after lag bolt with only pauses to switch to the new bolt. Most people would go slower than that...driving only a few at a time...then setting up for more.

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                          • #14
                            Might be the Consumer Report test method.

                            Originally posted by CheekyMonkeyWrench View Post
                            I drilled about 2 dozen 5/8 3-5" lag screws last weekend with no problems whatsoever. The V28 drill never seems to amaze me, it was easy as pie.
                            Perhaps they are running in lag bolt after lag bolt in their tests...not giving the drill time to cool. In real situations, you would probably pause between bolts...or at least every few bolts to set up.

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                            • #15
                              Ok

                              Originally posted by Disaster View Post
                              I found reports of breaking when dropped of the exact same model Consumers Reports tested. This is Hitachis highest end model drill.
                              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.

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