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Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

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  • Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

    Gentlemen: I know there is no pat or single answer here, but I do not have the experience with all of these tools to sort out the factors that should separate them for my diverse homeowner needs. For lack of a better term I tend to try to place them in 'real' tool class or 'toy' class. That is obviously extreme and general, but I can learn from your experience and thoughts.

    My current choices are: Ridgid 24v L-I Hammer Drill & 14.4v NiCad Impact Driver (~$250. but includes MaxSelect Recip Saw), Milwaukee V18 (L-I) Hammer Drill & Impact Driver Kit ($~260.), Makita 18v L-I Compact Drill/Driver & Impact Driver (~$250.), Bosch Litheon Pocket Driver and Impactor (~$250.). These are my available local prices with minor HD local discounts (~10%) applied. I had to equalize the Bosch pair by pricing the Drill/Driver as 'tool only' so it was comparable with only 2 batts & charger.

    For me, the Ridgid & Milwaukee are clearly 'real' tools, the Makita pair are sort of in-between and I can't sort out how they will do in the long haul, and the Bosch pair look very attractive but seem pricey given their size and weight.

    How would you users with experience rate these choices? Also, try to stand in my shoes ..... early retirement age, healthy & active, can handle the heavier tools of my normal usage periods, but definitely recognize their weight and its effects. I enjoy the 'pro' feel of the 'pro' tools, but do not 'require' it in many (most) of my homeowner tasks. I obviously do not want 'cheap' tools or there are many other possible choices.

    If you would eliminate some of these choices, based on your experience, I can benefit from knowing which ones and why. It's Sunday, but I hope some help is out there. I have followed and absorbed the recent Threads re. Ridgid support and have factored it into my decision to keep the Ridgid Kit on my short list.

    Best regards,
    Tom B
    Last edited by doubtingtom; 10-14-2007, 12:28 PM. Reason: correction & addition

  • #2
    Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

    I just tried to post an answer but it didn't go through, so here goes again. I am a retired homeowner and have used many corded and cordless tools both around the house and when I worked as a Telephone lineman. If you were going to be installing small hardware and things like blinds and shades, then I'd opt for a light compact drill but for your needs the 24 volt Ridgid set is great. I have the 18 volt nicad set and it's been great, the tools are strong and sturdy. The impact driver is a blast to use and it's a time saver for jobs around the house and even on the car. You have to get the knack of all that power so you don't snap the heads off of screws and drivers. The heavy duty drill will probably last you a lifetime and it's always good to have more power when you need it. My only complaint is that Ridgid did not offer a higher amp hour 18 volt lithium, but with the 24 volt set you don't have that problem. I've stirred many 5 gallon buckets of paint and driveway sealer with my drill and it just keeps going. I'm sure there are pros here who have had problems with all their tools Ridgid included, but consider the long hours of use and harsh conditions. My tools get cleaned and put on a shelf when I'm finished with them. For the price and max select options, I think you would be very happy with the Ridgid 24 volt lithium set. Good luck.

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    • #3
      Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

      I suggest the ridgid 18v tool group with the 18V 2.5Amp batteries
      The Ridgid 1/2" hammer/drill will accommodate almost anything a semi-retired homeowner will do. Then the 18v impact driver will take care of fastening tasks with minimal stress on the operator.

      The reciprocating saw, 6" circular saw, planer, and jig saw round out a complete set of tools.

      Use the dual charger with the cooling fan for best charging results. You should plan to have maybe 6 or 8 batteries. Then you'll never run out of power.

      I honestly can't remember when I used my corded Dewalt drill or corded Porter Cable 1/2" hammer drill. I have used the Ridgid 18v tools and find them excellent!

      Now if you are a pro and use the tools heavily eight hours a day, then perhaps the ridgid 18v tools may not last. As a weekend warrior I'm certain I'll get many years of reliable service from them.

      Cactus Man

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      • #4
        Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

        I suggest a 14.4V cordless drill/driver and maybe a 14.4V impact driver. All other tools should have a tail on them.
        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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        • #5
          Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

          I appreciate the timely responses and have incorporated them in my decision. I have survived the initial 'setback' from the Ridigid support Threads and feel that their Lifetime Service more than compensates. The key is for me to set my expectations accordingly and purchase the proper tools and quantities to cover most problem scenarios.

          Many thanks,

          Tom B

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          • #6
            Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

            I think the makita kit is the best for your needs. They look a little weedy but they are in every way as good as the ridgid or milwaukee. If weight is a factor, this is your best option IMO.

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            • #7
              Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

              Another vote for a compact set.

              Cordless tools are all about convenience and comfort. You can quickly grab a tool and drill a hole without needing to find an extension cord. The convenience factor is greatly diminished when the tool weighs 7 pounds.

              Having said that, if you see some big jobs ahead in your future...like building a deck putting in subflooring, you might find the lightweight drill's lower power and capacity a bigger hindrance than the weight of the full sized drill. In that case I'd recommend a quality full sized drill (the Ridgid 24 volt set is competent) and a lightweight "easy-duty" drill to go with it.

              Black and Decker is coming out with a new set of VPX tools that will have interchangeable lithium batteries. There will be a bunch of lightweight tools that work off these common batteries. This might be a good choice as a lightweight backup drill.

              http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-V...161189-6419312



              P.S. In the typical cordless toolset, that includes the basics of a drill, impact driver, circular saw and reciprocating saw, the drill and driver are the two tools that really benefit from the lighter weight in most situations. The circular saw and reciprocating saw really benefit from the higher power of the bigger 18, 24, 28...even 36 volt tools.

              P.S.S. Love the 24 volt MaxSelect Reciprocating saw. I've chewed through some huge outside tree cleanup jobs with it. Run right out and get yourself a Skil Ugly blade, and take care of some of the fall pruning and I suspect you will be too. A word of warning. There is one design issue with the Ridgid saw. The blade stop clamp can vibrate loose. It this happens the pin can fall out and it isn't so easy to find in a pile of leaves below a tree. I was lucky and found the part and now keep a velcro strap around it.
              Last edited by Disaster; 10-14-2007, 09:50 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

                The Makita tools are by far the best of those you listed in my opinion. The Makita Li-Ion has been out for a while now and is tested to work. Yes the Compact tools have a 1.5 Ah battery but it is clearly labeled on the battery which is more than I can say for some other tools I have looked at. The quality of the Makita tools are rugged to say the least. I could easily say that my Makita Compact are "Pro" grade.

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                • #9
                  Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

                  Tom,
                  Most of the work I do takes place in my garage shop, with odd tasks around the house/deck/etc. With that level of usage in mind, I recently completed my "dream combo". A Makita compact Li drill, a Bosch PS20 driver, and a Bosch PS40 Impactor. I have various other Ryobi cordless "gadgets", but all of my other serious tools are corded.

                  I truly appreciate the lightweight Makita after drilling dozens of pocket holes or shelf pin holes. Before the Makita I used a corded Ridgid, or an older Ryobi hammer drill. They both weigh around 6.5 lbs. which got to be a chore after extended use.

                  Since getting the Makita, and Bosch lightweights, my policy has been "As small and light a tool as will get the job done". Next on my list is the Makita compact impact driver to replace the Ryobi impact.

                  Also, do not forget to consider the new Milwaukee 12v lithium driver. It looks real nice and just became available from Amazon. Sorry, didn't mean to make your decision harder.

                  Ern
                  Last edited by erngum; 10-14-2007, 11:10 PM. Reason: Spell check

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                  • #10
                    Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

                    Well, things just got worse (in one respect) this afternoon, and my options got easier (in another respect). I am very tempted to add this to one of the 'beat up HD or Ridgid' Threads, but will likely just let it go. Perhaps Josh will catch this post and work from his end to cause some long term correction at HD or Ridgid.

                    I had returned my 24v 3pc Ridgid Kit on Oct 10, due to the very negative posts re Ridgid support. I continued to monitor those posts and think through how I might deal with the issues raised. I became comfortable enough to make a larger commitment to Ridgid and contacted HD by telephone. I spoke with the on-duty store manager and explained the return on 10/10/07. I related the Forum impact on my decision but asked his help in allowing me to come back the the store and 'repurchase' the 24v Ridgid Kit .... actually the exact same one I had returned since it had a notable inventory tag on the box and was easy to identify. He said he would allow it and I drove to the store to make the 'repurchase'. When I brought the kit to the cashier and asked her to call him, per his instructions, he came out and noted that the Kit price had been increased back to its original value (+$110.) and that the best he could do was offer a 10% discount on the higher price. I declined, showed him my receipt for the purchase earlier in October, the refund receipt, and said I did not see why the latest price increase had any bearing on the specific 'repurchase'. He offered a typical 'Corporate Policy' excuse and apologized for my 10 mile drive out to the store. I reminded him that I had made the higher price issue clear when I called him earlier. He apologized again but said it was not possible to do what he had offered on the telephone.

                    I make this lengthy narrative because this type of decision making seems to be more and more common with local managers, who really manage very little. They 'parrot' store or Company policy to customers and do little else. This particular store also brags consistently about their unique implementation of the ESP program , which is totally at odds with his stated inability to manipulate Corporate policy related to my unique 'repurchase' scenario.

                    Unless something dramatic happens in the next day or so, instead of me essentially locking myself into complete commitment to Ridgid cordless power tools, I will end up going in a totally different direction with Makita or possibly Milwaukee. This is not by free choice, but because of absurd and significant price fluctuations at HD for these Ridgid 24v kits. $379. to $269. and back to $379. I watch their store inventory and they were moving quite slowly at $269. They are gathering dust at $379.!

                    I remain open to revisiting this situation for a couple days, but after that I will make the alternative product choice and that will block my Ridgid additions for many years to come. I had planned on adding the MaxSelect Impact Driver, Jigsaw, possibly the 9.6v Screwdriver, and the corded Worm-drive Circular Saw. Instead, this business will likely go over to Lowes as soon as their imminent Christmas inventory arrival.

                    What a sad shame and testimony to pathetic policy and absence of management judgement! Good luck selling that kit at $379. when Milwaukee just shipped in their V18 Hammer Drill and bonus Impact Driver 2 L-I batts and charger, nice red case for $299. and a 10% discount is there for the asking.

                    Guys, I'm not mad, I'm disgusted !! Your replies to my post have been quite helpful and I am now 'unwinding' all the decision making process that led me back to Ridgid and reevaluating the alternatives you offered.

                    Tom B

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                    • #11
                      Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

                      I use several drills during the day.I use my makita lxt 3.0 ahr set (drill impact sawzall and circ saw) during my big jobs framing roughing out plumbing electrical.But I have the ps20 and a 12volt for light work working on fixtures electrical boxes and so on. I think you always need 2 drills now a days cause you dont wonna use you 18v drill on electrical boxes or putting up simple shelfes for your home all just prefrence i guess

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                      • #12
                        Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

                        Originally posted by Kevin4317 View Post
                        I use several drills during the day.I use my makita lxt 3.0 ahr set (drill impact sawzall and circ saw) during my big jobs framing roughing out plumbing electrical.But I have the ps20 and a 12volt for light work working on fixtures electrical boxes and so on. I think you always need 2 drills now a days cause you dont wonna use you 18v drill on electrical boxes or putting up simple shelfes for your home all just prefrence i guess
                        The trend to lighter tools is really clear and that brings a lot of focus on the Makita 18v L-I and Bosch 10.8v Litheon offerings. Since my 3 new composite raised decks are now in ... just trim to do ... my major need to drive large numbers of deck screws is past. I did most of it with a corded DeWalt and it worked pretty well. I agree with the 2+ drill scenario and am thinking that I may do better with 2 drill drivers (1 heavy duty, 1 light) than to 'force' the Impact Driver purchase for very low volume work. I spent some time with the Ridgid 1/2 inch 24v Drill/Driver and got really comfortable with setting the clutch to drive composite deck screws.
                        Of course, heavy drills always work well when working DOWN !!

                        Thanks,

                        Tom B

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                        • #13
                          Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

                          After receiving a free 9.6v screwdriver with a finish nailer combo last year, I no longer use my drill/drivers as drivers. Between a screwdriver and an impact driver (currently a Bosch PS20 and PS40), all of my driving needs are met. I will eventually compliment my Makita drill with the impact driver. The Makita compact combo for $269 is very tempting, and it would give me a second drill.

                          Ern

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                          • #14
                            Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

                            After much waiting as the place I ordered it from was out of stock.Friday the Makita 14 volt nimh drill driver light combo arrived.I'm not feeling well and haven't used it yet but looked it over pretty well.They look very well made a comfortable grip..a bit heavy I thought with the battery pack but still seem to "feel right".Iv'e had my old 9.6 makita dril a very long time and it amazingly still functions just fine but is close to needing yet another set of batteries.I like that its nimh I'm about as far from a tree hugger as you can get but I like that nimh isnt some toxic waste thing.I converted a couple years ago to nimh for all my battery needs for flashlights cameras etc and really like the batteries.
                            Look around ,the Makita set I got can be bought for 219$ at several places.Admittedly for some tools I'm a Makita fan.The only Makita tool that has failed me is a drywall driver and that only after uncounted boxes of drywall screws and a few pt deck projects which really taxed its power.I really use tools hard and don't baby them..they survive or don't
                            Sam

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                            • #15
                              Re: Heavy Duty vs Compact Drills & Drivers __Really struggling

                              Originally posted by doubtingtom View Post
                              He offered a typical 'Corporate Policy' excuse and apologized for my 10 mile drive out to the store. I reminded him that I had made the higher price issue clear when I called him earlier. He apologized again but said it was not possible to do what he had offered on the telephone.
                              Sorry to hear that. I'm not surprised. I've seen way too much arbitrary decision making liike this from store managers to be surprised.

                              Reading your other posts, I'd lean toward the Makita set. I'd do a little more online and store investigation to see if there have been an inordinate amount of battery failures. Barring that, I'd go Makita. My 14.4 volt Panasonic gets used 10 times for every one time I reach for the 24 volt Ridgid.

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