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Old 07-11-2011, 06:24 AM   #15
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1973 23' Safari
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
If I were to buy an expensive cordless drill, I would want to know that I can still get batteries for it.
yeah, that is one of my concerns, actually. I have a "costco special" drill, myself, and there isn't anything wrong with it. The batteries, otoh...
Can't complain; it cost 40 bucks, and I've gotten quite a few years out of it.

Dewalt seems to be aware of this issue. they say that their batteries will fit in anything since 1996. Not so sure about the others.
Then again, it is possible to have the batteries re-built. There are a couple of places online that you can send your old batteries, and they'll dismantle them and replace the innards for you. Don't know if they can do the same w/ the new lithium ion batteries; the nicads are just a bunch of c-cells with the contacts bridged together.

another question: do you use the impact driver to drill out rivets? or just stick w/ the standard drill for that?

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:38 AM   #16
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I've been using the Makita lithium professionally for 4 years and one of the best tools I've ever owned. Get the heavy duty model (blue and black vs white and black) if you can find the combo kit under $270. Just had a sale here for that price. You wont regret buying a great tool.

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:54 AM   #17
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I've used a variety of cordless drills and impact drivers over the years, and when it was time to buy again, I looked at reviews in Fine Homebuilding, from guys who use them professionally all the time ... as a result, I bought a set of Panasonics - came with drill, impact driver, flashlight and three batteries (and a charger of course) in a compact kit box that keeps everything together. VERY happy with the result. The impact driver will drive many dozens of four inch lag screws into hardwood on one charge (and does a terrific job of powering the Airstream's stabilizer jacks!), and the drill / power screwdriver never seems to run down. High quality clutch on the drill / driver. Flashlight is powerful and occasionally very handy. One neat feature: a small LED lamp built into each battery pack that when turned on, shines light exactly on the point of work. DeWalt now appears to have something similar, but it comes on when you pull the trigger - not so handy in the dark when you're trying to get on a nut or drill at a precise location. My set is 14.4 volt or thereabouts. Very lightweight and handy tools that seem quite rugged. One guy on the Fine Homebuilding blog complained about durability - he dropped his off of a roof and it broke.

Rently used a friend's big new DeWalt 18 volt drill / hammer drill. Very rugged looking and seemed very powerful - handy if you need to drill masonry / concrete, etc. Very heavy, however. You probalby won't wear it out - but it might wear you out.

At the end of the day, may depend upon what you're doing. If you're just building a deck or two or reconditioning an Airstream, any of the name brands with >12volt batteries will probably do the job for you and will last a long time. All of them have expensive to replace batteries. Bigger and heavier units will do more heavy duty work, but weigh more and are more tiring to use. Decide first what is the main mission of these tools and buy accordingly.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:05 AM   #18
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I bought a Skil 14.4 v at the big blue box store a couple of years ago to work on a ramp and battery life and power were terrible. I see all these pros on HGTV etc with their cordless units and figure they must have the most expensive ones available because if i have something around that hose that needs to be drilled, Im sticking with my reliable Black and Decker corded. Plug it in, and let er rip. Of course it could just be that Im too frugal to spend the big bucks on a unit that would have the power and battery life to rival my corded drill
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:06 AM   #19
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I have used DeWalts for years and they are solid. I have 4 drills and a bunch of their other cordless (and corded) tools and like them all. For a given tool you may find other brands that the pros prefer; for example lots of folks love the Makita impact drivers. But overall DeWalt would be a good choice, IMHO.

LiIon batteries are smaller and lighter for a given capacity.

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Old 07-11-2011, 08:29 AM   #20
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DeWalts' got my vote, never let me down screw guns, saws,die grinders, sawsalls etc. corded or cordless.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:47 AM   #21
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I've had a lot of different cordless drills over the years and I think I have a handle on it. I once read that there are only about 3 manufacturers of the motors for cordless drills. One is just ok, the other two are very very good. So it's not the motors. The key is the batteries. I remember the Milwaukee batteries were way over priced compared to equivalent batteries for Dewalt and Makita. The short of it is, I found I should research the replacement costs of batteries along with drill features.

I've also been reading up on NiCad batteries and how to "Shock" them to breakup dendrite crystals which form in the batteries and kill performance. By shocking the NiCad you can bring them back to "near new" performance, and you can shock them over and over, giving them a lifespan approaching 20 years. My current drills of choice include a Makita and a Panasonic. Both are really fine tools in their own way.

"Shock" here:

So Long!
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:50 AM   #22
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I have a Bosch 24 volt with lithium batts, powerful runs for ever, would'nt trade it for any other.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:55 AM   #23
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For those of us with good cordless tools and that get frustrated when the tool is still functioning but replacement batteries are not available I have a solution for at least some of us. We visit a friend in Aiken, SC and while there I've found a store called BATTERIES PLUS. I watched the guy there re-build a battery pack for a customer. It wasn't cheap but replacement batteries are not cheap either. So, if you have a battery pack that is out of production AND can find a Batteries Plus store there is hope.
Roger in NJ

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Old 07-11-2011, 09:41 AM   #24
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Have been using 12V Lithium Dewalt that I purchased a few months ago. Huge improvement over old 12V NiCad Dewalt which still works. Love that the Lithium holds charge when not in use much better than NiCad, Lighter weight, fast charge time, and does all I need it to do
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:54 AM   #25
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I bought the DeWalt kit about 9 or 10 years ago. The drill/driver, circular saw, and recip saw all use the same batteries, which I can still get for over a hundred bucks each. They all still work, even here in the tropics where the salt is killer on anything electric. I have also owned a fair number of Makita, Ryobi, Sears, Bosch, and Milwaukee tools. I have moved away from Black and Decker and Skil somewhat. But I am hard on tools.

And thinking about what I will do when these last two batteries die....I think I will go with corded tools from now on. I've spent enough on batteries and chargers to have bought a Honda generator. The cost of a good quality 50 ft. extension cord is a one time expense. Corded drills are cheap. And you can basically buy all the muscle you want without having to buy, store, carry around, charge, and eventually dispose of lithium batteries. I've never had to wait even a second for a corded tool to charge. An extension cord is useful for other 18 volt, two pound, firehazard full of lithium....not so much.
The batteries are a big, expensive hassle for the convenience of not having to deal with a power cord.

When was the last time you needed to drill a hole more than 50 ft. from an electric outlet, anyway?

At home I am moving to pneumatic tools where I can, but that's impractical for me on the road.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:58 AM   #26
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I have been using the Craftsman 19.2 drill/driver and other tools for over 10 years. I use it constantly with the Airstream for the stabilizers and the Hensley weight distribution bars. I also use the florescent work light for after dark set up and the hand held compressor for topping off the tires.

Therese tools have worked great, the batteries are relatively inexpensive, and are readily available nationwide.

As a side note, I also have the Craftsman 19.2 volt electric chain saw. This is great for light duty chain saw duty.

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Old 07-11-2011, 10:20 AM   #27
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We have the Milwaukee V18 drill/driver combo - very powerful (happy running hole saws through steel, big augers through multiple 2x6s) and works for a long time - 15 minute charge time as well. Only disadvantage is weight - webspinner finds it a bit heavy, and occasionally I'd like a smaller drill (particularly in the Tin Pickle's closets). Needless to say, it handles stabilizer duty w/o any problems.

For confined inside the trailer use, I'm considering a corded close quarters drill; these allow one to get a lot closer to the work w/o the bulk of the battery pack.

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Old 07-11-2011, 11:13 AM   #28
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Over the years, I have used the Dewalt, Milwaukee and Makita. Currently own a Festool CCD12. the Festool has been the best of the bunch by far. It is, however, a little spendy. Second choice is the Makita.

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