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Old 08-08-2010, 01:52 PM   #1
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Need advice on cordless drill brand with a battery life of over 5 years??


I remember when the cordless drills first came out. Back then I believe Makita was the brand for professional. However, Makita was very expensive and I went with Skil, which also had a professional 12 volt line called Top Gun.

This Top Gun drill was made very well and the original battery lasted between 5 to 7 years. After that drill died, I purchased another Skil, and then Black & Decker, and both of those batteries lasted between 5 to 7 years.

About 4 years ago, I needed another new drill. So I purchased an 18 volt Skil. The battery died in less then one year. Over the last 4 years, these Skil batteries needed replacement every 6 to 12 months. Luckily, most were replaced under warranty, however it still frustrating.

Now I'm looking for a totally new cordless drill. I've done some research and it appears that a lot of these companies have some serious battery problems....including Skil, Hitachi, Dewalt, Porter Cable, and Rigid. The batteries these days DO NOT last at least 5 years. Rigid even offered lifetime free battery replacement, but the comments from consumers was their batteries only lasted a few months.

Does any company still make batteries that last at least 5 years? It seems like I might need to go back to corded drills. I heard Makita is still good, but still very expensive. I was thinking about Hitachi, since they are Japanese made also. Any suggestions???

Last edited by stanlam; 08-08-2010 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
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Need advice on cordless drill brand with a battery life of over 5 years??


If I had to buy new I would probably go with Hilti, but they are very expensove. Second I would choose Makita, they have been doing very well and their prices are about midstream. Dewalt is around the same as are all the other major players. I personally use Dewalt right now and I'm pretty happy. Anything cheaper is most likely not as good of quality and I wouldn't expect the batteries to last that long. You can't go and get the Hole Depot $130 drill package and expect it to last. BTW, you shouldn't buy any power tool from Home Depot since just about all of them are lower quality models.

For you I would say Makita, the batteries are great, altho I don't know if you'll get 5 years out of them, that depends on how YOU use them.

It's like wanting a car that will go to 200,000 miles- it's possible, but no one is going to guarantee it.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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Need advice on cordless drill brand with a battery life of over 5 years??


Look to Hitachti, as they produce most of the batteries (or at least used to) for the competitors.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:28 PM   #4
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Need advice on cordless drill brand with a battery life of over 5 years??


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Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
Look to Hitachti, as they produce most of the batteries (or at least used to) for the competitors.
Do you know if Hitachi made the batteries for Makita?
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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Need advice on cordless drill brand with a battery life of over 5 years??


I'd like to see some attribution for the claim that Hitachi makes most of the competitor's batteries.

That said, any of the modern lithium tools should last pretty well barring defects and misuse. I have Makita because I wanted the brushless Impact Driver (BTD144). It's the only 18V cordless tool I have. Heck, my only other cordless is 10.8V Bosch screwdriver (THE most used tool in the house, bar none).

Depending on what you will use the drill for, I'd look long and hard to make sure a cordless drill is actually best for what you want to do. If you do more screwdriving/fastening, an impact driver may be a better option. Do you need hammering or not?

For the work I do, an impact driver was a better choice than a regular cordless drill, since 1/4" hex bits are so common now. For masonry, I'll have an SDS drill to do that.

Also, maybe consider if some combination of other tools would work best for you. For me a cordless impact, a corded 1/2" drill (hi-torque), a small cordless screwdriver, and an SDS drill give me a LOT of capability without always having to switch bits or compromise performance.



As far as battery life goes, Hitachi has the longest warranty (10yr), followed by Milwaukee (5yr). Most of the rest are 3yrs.

If you make it a habit of changing batteries before they die, you will get a LOT more life from them. Lithium batteries are NOT like the older ones. They work better when not fully cycled. If you change a battery regularly, they will last almost forever. Don't let them fully drain. These are NOT the Ni-Cads of yesterday!
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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Need advice on cordless drill brand with a battery life of over 5 years??


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanlam View Post
Do you know if Hitachi made the batteries for Makita?
No, it seems at some point, Makita was buying their batteries from Sony.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hohn View Post
I'd like to see some attribution for the claim that Hitachi makes most of the competitor's batteries.
I don't know what made me think of Hitachti when I really meant to type Panasonic. This is older info, but right near the top, it will list Panasonic & Sanyo as the major cell manu's. The only reason I even remember any of this is because, as a teen, many years ago , I raced RC cars, and all that was availale was Pana' or Sanyo C-cells.

http://www.angelfire.com/electronic/hayles/charge1.html
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:09 PM   #7
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Need advice on cordless drill brand with a battery life of over 5 years??


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I'd like to see some at
As far as battery life goes, Hitachi has the longest warranty (10yr), followed by Milwaukee (5yr). Most of the rest are 3yrs.
The warranty for the Hitachi tool is 10 years. The warranty on the battery is only 2 years.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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Need advice on cordless drill brand with a battery life of over 5 years??


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Lithium batteries are NOT like the older ones. They work better when not fully cycled. If you change a battery regularly, they will last almost forever. Don't let them fully drain. These are NOT the Ni-Cads of yesterday!

Thanks for everybody's advice. I think with the recommendation of Lithium Ion, I will just buy this Hitachi for $89.00 including shipping and no tax. It comes with a drill, flashlight, charger, and 2 batteries. The batteries are only 1.5 amps. Most of the reviews on this is positive, although some people stated they received a bad battery. This one is a refurbished, so it only comes with a one year warranty on battery and drill. I'm not really worried about the drill breaking, I'm worried about the battery dying.

http://www.reconditionedsales.com/Hi...9___i1285.aspx

Last edited by stanlam; 08-09-2010 at 02:51 PM.
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