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motomoron
motomoron SuperDork
11/29/15 10:10 p.m.

I have 3 Dewalt 18v drills; Early XRP driver/drill, like 2002-ish, an XRP hammer/drill from a little later and a newer compact driver/drill. The 2 old ones are beat. The brushed motors are down on power, the clutches are worm and they've just been used hard for over 10 years. I rebuilt the hammer drill years ago after it had a long, hard fall. So I'm in the market for a new one. My first impression is to go w/ the the newest 20v Li-Ion Dewalt and get the set w/ 2ea, 5 amp/hr batteries, the top model hammer/drill and the 1/4" driver. There's an adapter so I could use the new batteries w/ my old 18v 1/2" impact at the track. But I'm open to suggestions. I have a Makita corded SDS rotary hammer that's great and a number or Porter-Cable corded tools like a 1/4 sheet sander, router and biscuit joiner. I bought Bosch for an oscillating multi-tool and planer - so I'm not especially brand-loyal but for my Dewalt drills being solid for over a decade of hard use.

If I go w/ the yellow tools, I'll probably get a bare portable band saw and maybe a recip saw. I've got huge vertical and horizontal band saws in the machine shop, but have encountered times when it'd be nice not to hike from the work to the machine.

What sez y'all?

Mike
Mike GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/29/15 10:35 p.m.

I just bought into the Bosch 12v Li-Ion system, and I love it. I have the drill that's one step down from the hammer drill, and I have the impact driver. I also have the matching incandescent flashlight. All of it outperforms the roughly ten year old stuff I had with ginormous 14.4v NiCads. You can get larger batteries, but I just have the little compact packs (shown below) that make the tools look like corded tools without the wires.

Anyhow, I'm over the moon with it. If you're a professional, it's probably not enough battery life, but these tools do everything I ask. The photos make it look like a toy, but it's every bit as solid as the larger tools, just scaled down.

novaderrik
novaderrik UltimaDork
11/30/15 1:24 a.m.

I love my Dewalt 20 volt drill.. it's the best one they make with the good batteries.. some day I hope to have the 1/4" impact driver and 1/2" impact wrench.. some day.. those things ain't cheap..

You say you can get adapters to use the new batteries in the old tools? Never seen that before...

NOHOME
NOHOME UberDork
11/30/15 6:04 a.m.

I seem to be gravitating all of my power tools over to Bosh. So far they are the only ones that have not let me down in an unexpected way. I had to retire my bosh angle grinder after 17 years of hard use, and it was interesting that the new one cost less than the old one.

Wxdude10
Wxdude10 Reader
11/30/15 6:07 a.m.
novaderrik wrote: I love my Dewalt 20 volt drill.. it's the best one they make with the good batteries.. some day I hope to have the 1/4" impact driver and 1/2" impact wrench.. some day.. those things ain't cheap.. You say you can get adapters to use the new batteries in the old tools? Never seen that before...

Yeah. Dewalt announced it back in September.

http://toolguyd.com/dewalt-20v-max-18v-battery-adapter/

foxtrapper
foxtrapper UltimaDork
11/30/15 6:11 a.m.

Home depot generally has a display where you can compare several of the brands you mentioned. I can tell you that I've found the DeWalt 20v drill to be vastly superior to the competition in those test.

I do have a dewalt 20v hammerdrill myself, and am very pleased with it.

nepa03focus
nepa03focus HalfDork
11/30/15 6:42 a.m.

http://m.homedepot.com/SpecialBuy/SpecialBuyOfTheDay

spitfirebill
spitfirebill PowerDork
11/30/15 6:45 a.m.

I went through this a few months ago. I bought an on-line special Rigid set that allowed me to get a lifetime warranty on the batteries. They made it almost impossible to jump through all the hoops to get it though. I just couldn't pony up the money for the Dewalt XRPs that I wanted.

bentwrench
bentwrench HalfDork
11/30/15 6:55 a.m.

I have been very happy with my Sears C-3 stuff

ultraclyde
ultraclyde GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/30/15 7:52 a.m.

I bought a Skil 12v Lithium drill for cheap about 5 years ago when my old 18v DeWalt blew up. I was using it on the job at the time repairing outdoor advertising LED signs, so it went through a LOT of high speed screwdriver operation but not a ton of high torque. When I left that job it got moved to household repair and general shop use, so a wide variety of stuff. It's lightweight, lasts forever on a charge, and has done 99% of what I've asked of it. It's not happy with drilling steel, and I probably wouldn't run deck screws all day with it, but for everything else it's been awesome. TBH, I expected it to be a throwaway item at only $60, but I'd buy another today with no qualms if it dies.

Sounds like you're looking for a bigger hammer than that, though. The sign guys I worked with all swore by the Hitachi Li Ion stuff as the best bang for your buck, but that was about 3 years ago. Most of them stopped buying DeWalt and switched to Hitachi because the reliability and the price was better.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UberDork
11/30/15 8:02 a.m.

Love my porter cable 18v. Was notiimpressed with my dewalt or Hitachi stuff, but it was 10 year old tech.

nepa03focus
nepa03focus HalfDork
11/30/15 9:10 a.m.

I have heard for years that dewalt, bosch, Hitachi ..... make cheaper , not as well made versions of their tools for home depot and lowes. Does anyone know that if this is true? I use ryobi and it works fine for how much I use it, but I know your looking for better quality.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
11/30/15 10:09 a.m.

I am a pretty active home remodeler and car repair guy, and I have been using basic B&D tools forever. They have never let me down, and the batteries even power a trimmer and blower in the shed. They didn't advertise and impact driver in their set, but I found one online and I love it.

That said, my drill/driver finally crapped out after 10 too many falls off the ladder, and when it came time to replace it I made the switch to a Makita Lion. This was after much research and testing. It is actually a drill, driver AND impact.

I like the boost in power and performance, but I am not convinced that a B&D Lion would not be every bit as good for the home user. I still use my B&D a lot because I like the snap-in bits a lot better. If it ever craps out, I will probably get a Makita impact gun to have more new batteries, but for the average Joe, I still recommend starting with a set from good old B&D.

PHeller
PHeller PowerDork
11/30/15 10:40 a.m.

I've been using Craftsman C-3 with smaller li-ion batteries for a few years now and I continually have the same problem. The batteries just quit. Usually in colder weather. They don't get weaker or lose charger faster, they go from working perfectly one day to not taking a charge the next. Very frustrating because as I understand it, it's not the battery thats the problem, is the control board that fries as random.

motomoron
motomoron SuperDork
11/30/15 10:48 a.m.

Thanks, all. I ended up getting information from a friend who both works in the power tool industry and does about the same scope of renovation/construction and garage stuff as me, and knows what other tools I have. I'm assuming my 2 old XRPs to be used up and the compact drill, 1/2" impact and best 3 batteries to be entering permanent race trailer tool status.

On this basis I ordered a Milwaukee M18 Fuel 1/2" hammer/drill / 1/4" driver / 2 batts+charger set from Toolup on sale w/ a black friday get 2 additional batteries free. Since I had a surplus in the PayPal balance I got a bare tool Fuel angle grinder as well. I have excellent corded recip saw, rotary hammer drill and angle grinders (plural). But I can see where a cordless 4-1/2" angle grinder would be really useful.

Furious_E
Furious_E Reader
11/30/15 11:14 a.m.

Shortly after starting my current job a couple years back we had an issue with a new product we had just launched that was the result of chrome buildup and weld distortion causing one part to not fit into a bushing on another mating part. The quick and dirty solution at the time was to ream said bushings out to a larger ID with a hand drill on every one of the parts we currently had in process, which in many cases involved hogging out a LOT more material than what a reamer is intended to remove. One of the QC guys and I were the lucky ones to draw the short straw for implementing our "solution" on something like 300 parts (x2 bushings each) that were sitting at the chrome plater.

We set out with 2 Dewalt cordless drills, 2 chargers, six batteries which were fully charged the night before, and a corded drill as backup just in case. Within 45 minutes and less than 20 parts, we burned through every one of the Dewalt batteries. Every one. And the corded drill was proving to be a real hazard, as it would try to break your wrist if you got even a fraction of a degree off alignment with the hole and dug the flutes of the reamer in (this was an issue on the Dewalt as well, although much less so due to the much smaller torque output.)

So we were pretty much SOL until the plater gave us a Milwaukee to borrow. It took us TWO batteries to do the remainder of the ~300 parts, not to mention it was significantly more powerful, and, best of all, had some sort of torque sensing/limiting anti-wrist-breaking feature.

I know who's getting my money the next time I go drill shopping.

novaderrik
novaderrik UltimaDork
11/30/15 1:01 p.m.
pinchvalve wrote: I am a pretty active home remodeler and car repair guy, and I have been using basic B&D tools forever. They have never let me down, and the batteries even power a trimmer and blower in the shed. They didn't advertise and impact driver in their set, but I found one online and I love it. That said, my drill/driver finally crapped out after 10 too many falls off the ladder, and when it came time to replace it I made the switch to a Makita Lion. This was after much research and testing. It is actually a drill, driver AND impact. I like the boost in power and performance, but I am not convinced that a B&D Lion would not be every bit as good for the home user. I still use my B&D a lot because I like the snap-in bits a lot better. If it ever craps out, I will probably get a Makita impact gun to have more new batteries, but for the average Joe, I still recommend starting with a set from good old B&D.

if you like Black and Decker, then you should love Dewalt, since they are the same company... the Dewalts are the more high end models, and you can even charge your old Black and Decker batteries in the Dewalt charger. my neighbor has a Black and Decker 20 volt cordless weed whip that he got for Xmas last year, and my 20 volt Dewalt battery almost slides right into it. his battery fits in my charger, so i could probably get my battery into his tool (giggity) with a little trimming of a tab..

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
11/30/15 1:23 p.m.

This thread here contained so much good insight from Curtis that I bookmarked the tread.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper UltimaDork
11/30/15 3:32 p.m.

I worked at the B&D factory where the B&D and DeWalt drills were made. I was also a test lab engineer there in the power tools and accessories lab. We did not make special low quality tools for Walmart and such.

There were, and are, lower grade tools, marketed as such. Those red/orange B&D tools for example. Which are popular at Walmart. The $30 plastic B&D drill is NOT nearly as good as the $300 metal commercial B&D drill.

As for the Sears C3 tools, I was a fan of them for years, and have quite a few. Quality has dropped terribly, and their performance has been well eclipsed. I've gone through about ten batteries, three chargers, two drills and a saw in the past 2-3 years. I'm done.


Edit to add the word not. The cheapie B&D tools are NOT nearly as good as the expensive commercial B&D tools.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/15 3:53 p.m.
foxtrapper wrote: Home depot generally has a display where you can compare several of the brands you mentioned. I can tell you that I've found the DeWalt 20v drill to be vastly superior to the competition in those test. I do have a dewalt 20v hammerdrill myself, and am very pleased with it.

I have quite a few of the 20v DeWalts.. next one I am getting is the impact gun

WOW Really Paul?
WOW Really Paul? MegaDork
11/30/15 5:26 p.m.

If you have a bunch of the 18v xrp batteries, just buy the newest versions of those dewalt tools. When one of ours throws up the ghost, we replace it with the same. Screw everything else.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
11/30/15 5:37 p.m.

Wifey bought me a DeWalt 20-volt Li-ion drill with charger and two batteries. Comes in a neat zip-top fabric case. It's a nice drill.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/15 5:43 p.m.

Over the summer SWMBO went tool shopping for her work (Science/Horticulture teacher at an alternative high school) and decided that the DeWalt 20V Maxx Li-Ion was the best drill. It has survived an entire semester with her students building a green house, so I decided that was the drill for me. I went in over the weekend and bought this combo kit for $149.

I already built a 48x24x72 shelf with them, and they are awesome.

nepa03focus
nepa03focus HalfDork
11/30/15 5:46 p.m.
foxtrapper wrote: I worked at the B&D factory where the B&D and DeWalt drills were made. I was also a test lab engineer there in the power tools and accessories lab. We did not make special low quality tools for Walmart and such. There were, and are, lower grade tools, marketed as such. Those red/orange B&D tools for example. Which are popular at Walmart. The $30 plastic B&D drill is nearly as good as the $300 metal commercial B&D drill. As for the Sears C3 tools, I was a fan of them for years, and have quite a few. Quality has dropped terribly, and their performance has been well eclipsed. I've gone through about ten batteries, three chargers, two drills and a saw in the past 2-3 years. I'm done.

Thank you for the first hand experience. I appreciate it.

patgizz
patgizz PowerDork
11/30/15 7:30 p.m.

dewalt has failed me as of late. i bought 2 double packs of the xrp batteries and all were dead within 18 months, the older ones lasted 6-7 years. my drills were dropping like flies too, and it costs almost as much to get one repaired as it does to buy new. my old recip saw died after 8 years, the new one died in one. i gave up and went cheaper porter cable from lowes, then upgraded to the lithium batteries when they were on clearance at tractor supply. the impacts are just as powerful as the yellow ones, the recip and circular saws not quite as good but they still work, the drills are pretty darn substantial. i only broke one because i dedicated it to mixing drywall compound, and it still lasted a year. i use my tools professionally, and i used to be a dewalt fanboy, but i've soured on them and almost all my stuff is broken.

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