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  • Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

    Let me preface my request by saying that I've seached the forums and scanned the boards and I've found the information here quite helpful.

    Here's my situation: I'm a homeowner with scant knowledge about power tools. I attempt about one or two small projects a year with, of course, light occasional work around the house. That said, I'm stepping it up in the next couple of years. I'm building a children's backyard playset this summer and have a garden shed/summer house planned for next year. Recently, I went to the garage to check on all the tools needed for my upcoming work and, lo and behold, the B&D drill my father bought me ten years ago as a Christmas present was dead.

    I need a new drill. I need a cordless one because of the distance from any outlets during future projects. I'm seriously considering the Hitachi 18v LiIon drill/driver, the Milwaukee 18v LiIon, and, I guess, the Ridgid of the same variety. There are strikes against all three: Hitachi's aesthetics (or lack thereof), but more importantly, the reports of weak exteriors; the rumor that Milwaukee will discontinue 18v tools; and my general igorance of Rigid tools (I've done very little research on them).

    Any recommendations would be great, even beyond the brands that I've posted. I don't have a large expendable income, so price is a consideration. Also, I don't even know if I need the 18v over the 14v varieties to drill through 6x6's and drive lag and carriage bolts.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  • #2
    Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

    Originally posted by Mississippi Mud View Post
    Let me preface my request by saying that I've seached the forums and scanned the boards and I've found the information here quite helpful.

    Here's my situation: I'm a homeowner with scant knowledge about power tools. I attempt about one or two small projects a year with, of course, light occasional work around the house. That said, I'm stepping it up in the next couple of years. I'm building a children's backyard playset this summer and have a garden shed/summer house planned for next year. Recently, I went to the garage to check on all the tools needed for my upcoming work and, lo and behold, the B&D drill my father bought me ten years ago as a Christmas present was dead.

    I need a new drill. I need a cordless one because of the distance from any outlets during future projects. I'm seriously considering the Hitachi 18v LiIon drill/driver, the Milwaukee 18v LiIon, and, I guess, the Ridgid of the same variety. There are strikes against all three: Hitachi's aesthetics (or lack thereof), but more importantly, the reports of weak exteriors; the rumor that Milwaukee will discontinue 18v tools; and my general igorance of Rigid tools (I've done very little research on them).

    Any recommendations would be great, even beyond the brands that I've posted. I don't have a large expendable income, so price is a consideration. Also, I don't even know if I need the 18v over the 14v varieties to drill through 6x6's and drive lag and carriage bolts.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    You might want to consider a Ryobi drill/driver. They are inexpensive and if you won't use them professionally, they should hold up fine. The NiCad version is nice and cheap, and additional batteries are only $20. The disadvantage is that the batteries take longer to charge than the professionally oriented brands, so if you are drilling non-stop you can discharge it faster than you can charge it. For the use you are describing though, it sounds like you would be safe if you have a couple of spare batteries.

    If you want Lithium I am not sure Ryobi is the way to go, because the Ryobi batteries are going to be almost as expensive as the other brands.

    The other thing I like is that Ryobi has a good variety of loose tools that fit the One+ system, so you can get a cordless version of lots of different tools.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

      Originally posted by Mississippi Mud View Post
      I need a new drill. I need a cordless one because of the distance from any outlets during future projects. I'm seriously considering the Hitachi 18v LiIon drill/driver, the Milwaukee 18v LiIon, and, I guess, the Ridgid of the same variety. There are strikes against all three: Hitachi's aesthetics (or lack thereof), but more importantly, the reports of weak exteriors; the rumor that Milwaukee will discontinue 18v tools; and my general igorance of Rigid tools (I've done very little research on them).

      Any recommendations would be great, even beyond the brands that I've posted. I don't have a large expendable income, so price is a consideration. Also, I don't even know if I need the 18v over the 14v varieties to drill through 6x6's and drive lag and carriage bolts.
      The Lithium drill/drivers you mentioned in your post are all good choices. The LSA from Ridgid is a nice advantage but the other manufacturers also have a decent warranties. Ridgid + others market Lithium power to run stronger and longer than Ni-cad. I would recommend the 18V if your driving lags,carriage bolts and drilling 6x6's. Do a search and you should find many posts on Li versus Ni-cad. Review impact drivers in addition to these drill/drivers. The Ryobi products should perform well for your projects if you want to stay within a budget. Keep an eye on specials and let the forum know what you find.
      Last edited by reConx; 06-24-2008, 06:16 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

        I agree as far as most DIYers can twist off another cap while waiting for a battery to charge but I have a personal aversion to Ryobi. If you can afford a name brand kit get it, even if you opt for an older Ni Cad kit instead of the current Li Ion kits. I would look for a kit that has an impact driver and IMO the ridgid 5 piece Ni Cad kits are great value if you can find one (try ebay)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

          Personally I'm sold by Ridgid's LLSA coz it covers the ORIGINAL battery which comes with the drill. I bought a set of 18V NiCd drill/impact combo with 2 battery (special for $179) and, as a home owner for occasional DIY, I am very happy with the purchase.

          Good luck shopping.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

            I would think twice before plunking down extra $$ for Li Ion tools. For most DIY'ers and shop type use NiCad technology will do just fine. Check the difference in prices between the two and if the difference is significant enough go the NiCad route.
            Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

              Mississippi Mud,

              For the projects that you are considering, any of the three manufacturers that you mentioned should serve you well and will help you in the completion of your projects. Each has a decent warranty period and Ridgid the LLSA (Limited Lifetime Service Agreement) which also covers the batteries when they are purchased as part of a combo kit. Battery replacement could be an issue as most warranties cover the tool, but will limit the exposure period on the battery to some extent once you read the available fine print. But, that being said, I have my Ridgid stuff, stuff that I like and feels good to the hand, and stuff that I just couldn't pass on because of price/sale point. Just about any selection that you make is gonna work for you, but be forewarned that you run the risk of turning yourself into a tool junkie as you progress with your projects. Good luck with your selection.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

                Don't pass up a chance to look at Dewalt cordless tools.
                Have used form many years at work (sheetmetal worker) and at home.
                Very tough and very reliable. Dewalt has several add ons that you can buy.
                Home Depot has kits on sale every now and then.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

                  I am a retired homeowner and do it yourselfer. I own both Ridgid 18volt nicad tools and Ryobi lithium drill. My Ridgid tools are excellent and well worth the money, only downside is the obsolete nicad batteries which lose their charge while sitting around not being used and charged, lose power while in use, discharge quickly while being used and can build up a memory. My Ryobi drill while not up to the specs and quality of Ridgid does have the newer lithium battery which is amazing compared to the nicad. Runs full out right up to the last minute when it dies completely, has a built in fuel gauge, will hold a charge quit long when not in use, has no memory problem. I don't know about long term use and if the lithiums will only give me four or so years of use but they are well worth the expense. If i was going to purchase now I would buy the Ridgid 18volt drill, imact driver, circular and reciprocating saws and one or two lithium batteries. You will not be disappointed if you buy good quality and good technology. No need to settle for nicads with lithiums available. Good luck.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

                    Originally posted by Mississippi Mud View Post
                    Let me preface my request by saying that I've seached the forums and scanned the boards and I've found the information here quite helpful.

                    Here's my situation: I'm a homeowner with scant knowledge about power tools. I attempt about one or two small projects a year with, of course, light occasional work around the house. That said, I'm stepping it up in the next couple of years. I'm building a children's backyard playset this summer and have a garden shed/summer house planned for next year. Recently, I went to the garage to check on all the tools needed for my upcoming work and, lo and behold, the B&D drill my father bought me ten years ago as a Christmas present was dead.

                    I need a new drill. I need a cordless one because of the distance from any outlets during future projects. I'm seriously considering the Hitachi 18v LiIon drill/driver, the Milwaukee 18v LiIon, and, I guess, the Ridgid of the same variety. There are strikes against all three: Hitachi's aesthetics (or lack thereof), but more importantly, the reports of weak exteriors; the rumor that Milwaukee will discontinue 18v tools; and my general igorance of Rigid tools (I've done very little research on them).

                    Any recommendations would be great, even beyond the brands that I've posted. I don't have a large expendable income, so price is a consideration. Also, I don't even know if I need the 18v over the 14v varieties to drill through 6x6's and drive lag and carriage bolts.

                    Thanks in advance for any advice.
                    Driving 3/8 to 1/2 in drill bits through nice wet treated 6x6's will challenge a 18 volt drill and I strongly recommend a 18 volt impact tool for the lag bolts. At $100 a pop for 18 volt LI batts the Ridgid with it's LSA looks like a great investment that should deliver top performance for years. We have used a large variety of cordless drills in our business over the years. I believe the Ridgid 18V compact LI drill may be one of the finest I have ever used. It is light and powerfull, has great balance and flawless trigger control. I have been using and abusing mine for almost a year now and it has performed flawlessly. It has been abused in snow, and rain, has had concrete and glue splattered and spilled on it. We rehab old houses and this tool is exposed to choking plaster dust and rotted wood debri that literally pours into the drill vents as we work in these conditions. It has never missed a beat. I highly recommend it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

                      How much money do you want to spend? Give us a budget.

                      Ideally, you need to replace the corded drill first, then go with a battery drill. A impact driver would really bring a smile to your face when you build it also.
                      Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

                        Budget is about $200.

                        If I get an impact driver, what needs would I have in one other than the same brand? Any specs I should know about?

                        Thanks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

                          for an extra 60 bucks home depot is having a sale on a 4 piece 18v milwaukee kit. Flashlight, HAMMER drill/driver, 6 1/2" circular saw, and "Hatchet" Multi Angle reciporicating Saw! It isnt the New lithium stuff but good tools for a great price IMO. You can get Pro Quality tools at a DIY price! I just bought a set for my father for fathers day and he love it!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

                            I'm going to go against the grain here. Why not consider a corded model instead of cordless. Forget batteries dying, replacing if not charged, waiting for them to charge etc. I have corded (numerous) and cordless too. I have a Milwaukee 0244-1 corded model that I end up reaching for more often than a cordless. Why? It has a 1/2 in chuck to handle anything you'll ever want to put in it. 0-600 rpms will drill steel and put in lag screws until your hand gets tired and never skip a beat. Will plunge a 1'' ship auger thru tripled 2x s to run electrical line, etc. etc. etc. This thing is a true workhorse and is often overlooked because of its gear reduction and slower speed. Don't let that fool you. You don't need high rpms to drill most stuff, just pure torque and its got it. Runs about $160 on Amazon.com and will last long enough for you to pass it on to next of kin and they'll pass it on to their heirs. No, I don't work for Milwaukee, and I don't own Milwaukee exclusively, but this drill is awesome. Cheers.
                            Jim Don
                            PS Get yourself a good set of quick change drills and driver bits so you're not constantly changing out what's in the chuck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Cordless drill purchase for DIYer: Recs?

                              Originally posted by Mississippi Mud View Post
                              Budget is about $200.

                              If I get an impact driver, what needs would I have in one other than the same brand? Any specs I should know about?
                              The 18V Ni-cad combo drill+impact kit $179 that Wagon Man recommended seems to fit your budget with change left. Having the same brand means sharing the same charger, battery and I think it comes with a tool bag. Lithium batteries are a future upgrade option. The Ridgid impact works great period + LSA.

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