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Old 02-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #1
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Best Cordless Drill For Electrician


I am currently about to start working for an electrician and HVAC contractor so I can learn the trade. I already have done some of this work before, and have primarily used only milwaukee tools.

I purchased about 5 years ago a 4 piece kit from milwaukee which had recip saw, impact gun, hammer drill, and light. It was an 18v li-ion V series. The kit has done its job.

All tools work like the day I got them, and have taken a lot of abuse. My issue is the batteries are not what they used to be, and although they stay charged for a decent amount of time it is time to upgrade.

Now I understand corded drills and other tools are the best thing for roughing in houses, which I have these tools as well but I want to know everyone's general recommendation for a cordless kit that would be good for electrical and HVAC work.

I bought the same kit from Milwaukee tonight, but it is the newer "M" series and it seems to have some great improvements. I have read a lot of reviews tonight about companies such as Makita, Dewalt, Ridgid, etc. I want quality. This kit needs to hold up to some abuse and be with me for awhile.

Aesthetics and weight of the tools does not matter to me much since I can adapt easily. Basically, I am just wanting to make sure there isnt something out there better than what I bought, because if there is I just might have to return it. Thanks for any responses.


Last edited by oh'mike; 02-20-2012 at 06:40 AM. Reason: Added spaces for easier reading
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:16 PM   #2
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The only things i would buy right now are the Milwaukee M series, or Makita. My Milwaukee V series batteries are about to give up the ghost as well..

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:29 PM   #3
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That is pretty much exactly how I feel, too. I like makita as well and would most likely be my second choice.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:47 AM   #4
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I've had Dewalt 18V XRP tools for about 10 years now. Just got a second hammerdrill to eventually replace my first because it is starting to feel loose in the gearbox. But it has drilled many holes in concrete, stone, and metal over the years. I've been perfectly happy with the whole set. However, I think Milwaukee and Makita have outpaced Dewalt in battery technology. I'd recommend the NiMH Dewalt tools only if the newer lithium-batteried competition is WAY more expensive.

Note: Don't get non-XRP Dewalt tools for heavy use. They are good consumer grade tools, but only the XRP series is designed for serious work. There is a huge difference in internal quality. I've had both.

Last edited by mpoulton; 02-20-2012 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:54 AM   #5
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I use a Dewalt, but always keep a corded for stuff that I do not need the battery packs running out during the middle of doing something. Plus corded always trumps battery, for torque.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:50 AM   #6
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I carry 3 drills:

Bosch 18 volt - light weight for most work

Dewalt 18V XRP hammer drill - heavy duty & masonry drilling

Dewalt 1/2" corded drill - for extended drilling & battery back up
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:21 AM   #7
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When working for a contractor, they should supply the power tools. Not you.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #8
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The contractor is family in my situation and I am learning the business so I can take it over one day. Here in the south most every contractor is a firm believer in supplying your main hand tools and cordless stuff. Larger tools and specialty tools are supplied by contractors but even if everything was supplied I would want my own lot of tools because nobody is gonna treat tools with care as much as your own self. Just my opinion of course though.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:47 AM   #9
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Any time I'm thinking of buying a new tool I go on Amazon.com and look them up. At the bottom of the ad it will have comments from people that have bought the tool.

I make a note of the price and f I can get free shipping then I check on CPO tools web site. They have some great prices. They also offer factory rebuilt tool at huge discounts.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:45 PM   #10
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you guys seriously have to buy this struff? I'm used to only having to provide basic hand tools. We don't even provide our own ratchet or sockets.

I've heard of people having to provide drills, hole saws, drill bits, saws, blades, harness. Seems like it wouldn't even be worth working for theses companies when they only pay you $20/hour or less
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:41 PM   #11
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Well it really has a lot to do with your location and job position. I am training to be that guy who does it all, the price alone for my tools that I get to use and call my own does not even compare to the knowledge I will learn. Education doesn't have a price and when you are in my position of being able to transition to owner of the business it is a great investment for me. I buy all my hand tools and I just personally like to have my own power tools. We have power tools galore over at the shop that I am allowed to use, I just choose to have my own. I can see where you are coming from though, all I have ever been really asked to buy was hand tools though. I cannot really speak for other contractors of different trades around here, but from what I see it is pretty much the same way.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZBat910 View Post
wanting to make sure there isnt something out there better than what I bought, because if there is I just might have to return it.
So you are a maximizer. That's trouble.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:13 PM   #13
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Interesting article. However, I am completely pleased with my purchase and it was no contest as to what I bought when I walked in the store. I have had the same set but it was the V series for 5 years and that is what I based my decision on. I actually was browsing online for right angle drills and spade handle drills when I stumbled upon some comparison videos of Makita, Dewalt, Milwaukee etc. I figured I would post to see what the general outlook is on the cordless options currently available in the market. I work at Lowe's Home Improvement currently and do not like the brands we sell, Dewalt would be the best choice in my opinion from what we have. I did not do extensive research when buying the Milwaukee set, I just picked it up and walked out the door with it. Don't really want to get off topic on the thread, I just want to know what others think about other brands and their disadvantages and advantages. If something was out on the market I could just not live without and was at a great price, then I may consider changing.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:34 PM   #14
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I have a Milwaukee 18v m series. I've had it 3 years and have had to send it in for month+ long maintenance sessions twice already. I complained directly to Milwaukee Canada and they just gave me the runaround. When this drill dies out of warranty, I will replace it with another brand.

I'm a commercial electrician in Canada, all non-union companies in BC make you buy your own cordless.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:26 PM   #15
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I use a Makita 3 speed cordless, & I love it.
The batteries last a decent amount of time, and recharge quickly.
I have this one....
http://www.makita.com/en-us/Modules/...ls.aspx?ID=892

BUT...if you already have Milwaukee, (long considered one of the best); why not just purchase new batteries for it?

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