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MatrixClaw 06-12-2013 04:23 PM

Buying A New Drill...
Hi guys,

Father's day is coming up and my dad finally dropped a hint on what he'd like the other day while I was helping with some general DIY stuff around his house. He mentioned that his home drills had all crapped out. Needless to say, we had to use screw drivers for everything, since I didn't bring any of my own tools, which took forever, especially when we were screwing heavy things into the ceiling...

I've been doing a lot of research and I want to get him some new tools. He is a general contractor and knows his way around tools, but I'd imagine the drill will be used mostly for DIY stuff around the house, as he has crews that do all his work for him at jobs now. He's more of a manager now than anything, as he's getting older and can't really handle the stress his body gets put under in the field. Every once and a while he'll do small jobs, when it doesn't make sense to send a crew out to do it, but nothing that'd I'd imagine requires heavy work.

That being said, I want to buy him something that's going to last. I believe the problem with his old units are actually just the batteries, but the cost to replace said batteries and chargers would be more than just buying a new drill in most cases. Really, I'm looking for something that has a long battery life, is reliable and has a good warranty if something goes wrong.

I'm sure none of these are really heavy duty, but I'm just looking to see what kind of opinions there are of them. He's never owned an Impact Driver and I think it might be something he'd actually use quite a bit if he had one, which is why I'm looking at combos:

Ridgid 18v X4 Drill/Impact Driver/Radio combo (alternatively, there's this one on eBay without the radio for cheaper, I assume I can still claim the warranty on it...? Only problem with that is I doubt it'll be here by Sunday...)

Milwaukee M18 Drill/Impact Driver combo, hoping I can get the 3rd battery in store still (cheaper on eBay, too, but no 3rd battery)

Bosch 18v Drill/Impact Driver combo

DeWalt 20v MAX Drill/Impact Driver combo

There's also the cheaper DeWalt 18v Drill/Impact Driver kit for $169

I'd like to go for something even heavier duty, but I really don't think he needs super fancy tools at this point, not to mention he'll probably feel bad when he goes into a store and sees the price of these ones as it is, so I've set a max budget of $200 (before tax) :laughing:

Thanks guys!

joecaption 06-12-2013 04:49 PM

Personly I'd want a gift certificate so I could buy the brand and tool I wanted not one someone else pick out that they though I needed.
I see your all over the place on brands and types of tool so that tells me that you have not done enough research on what brand he likes and would use.
I know if someone gave me a Dewault tool I ask them if they still had the recept and take it back.
I had nothing but trouble with brushes and switchs with there tools. One brand new hammer drill I bought would not work out of the box, I took it back got another one and it burned up the same day.
Took that one back and bought a Bosch and still have it 5 years later and it still works fine.

Gymschu 06-12-2013 04:54 PM

I like Joe's idea of the gift certificate. Since your dad is a GC, he's gonna want something rugged like a Makita or Milwaukee.

I, too, have had trouble with DeWalt, although many on here love DeWalt. My older DeWalt tools are holding up nicely, but, the drill I bought a year ago already has a broken switch. On the other hand, I like my Porter Cable drill combo but most on here DO NOT like PC.

MatrixClaw 06-12-2013 06:18 PM

Unfortunately, a gift card really isn't an option. I'd rather give him something with a receipt and have him return it for something else than give him money in a card. That to me says "Surprise! I couldn't think of anything good to get you, so I just got you a gift card so you can do all the work yourself" (no offense).

Honestly, I don't think he will care either way what I get him, as long as it works. I don't see him being hard on these tools at all, I don't even really see him bringing them onto a job site. I just want something that feels like it's a quality piece and isn't going to fall apart, or has batteries that will die in a half hour. I'm sure he would be happy with a $100 Ryobi set, as long as he didn't have to use a screwdriver anymore, I just feel the need to buy him the best I can get at a reasonable price. He's not really the one to go out and research, he hasn't been doing heavy work in 20+ years, as he was a project manager and superintendent before now. Most of his jobs are pretty simple remodels, the most he personally does is basic framing, sometimes some roofing, otherwise he'll give the job to one of his crews.

woodworkbykirk 06-12-2013 06:43 PM

makita, milwaukee and bosch are the top three companies when it comes to cordless gear.. dewalt claims to be but their usually teh last to the dance everytime when the newest generation of tech is out..

the brushless drills are lighter and longer lasting than the normal lith ion drills. if he does light framing look to getting him an impact driver. .their much better at driving screws as they generate much more torque than a conventional drill driver

retfr8flyr 06-12-2013 11:41 PM

I have had great service from my Milwaukee M-18 tools. The batteries last forever under heavy use and hold their charge very well when not in use. I would highly recommend the M-18.

joecaption 06-12-2013 11:48 PM

If he does not own or has never used an impact driver that's the tool to buy!!!
I use mine to drill, install screws, remove and install nuts far more then any drill.

ToolSeeker 06-13-2013 07:37 AM

Just my $.02 I have had good luck with my Ridgid tools. I also like the Bosch and Makita. I really like my older DeWalt and Porter Cable their new stuff not so much. I also agree get the drill impact driver combo. And yes even the wrong tool is more personal than gift card.

ddawg16 06-13-2013 09:19 AM

I've been very happy with the Ryobi....the drills have two speeds besides the variable speed...the slow speed is really good and putting in long screws or bolts. The 18v model has a 1/2" chuck...I've chucked up a 1/4" extension into it and used it to tighten bolts and nuts.

MatrixClaw 06-13-2013 09:51 AM

Thanks for all the help guys!

I decided to go with the Millwaukee M18 drill & impact driver set at Home Depot. Went last night to check them all out and feel them all in my hands, and while I think I liked the grip of the Ridgid the best, the Milwaukee wasn't far behind and felt a little more sturdy. Plus, their promotion they're running right now where you get a 3rd battery with the set free was hard to pass up. I also liked the positioning of the LED light better... which I'm sure will be a very welcome feature to my dad when he doesn't have a second set of hands around. Milwaukee claims a charge time that's half of Ridgid, and for my dad, I'm sure that'll be a pretty big deal, as a lot of the time when he needs to use the tools around the house, he didn't think to charge them the night before. From what I've read, their batteries seem to be the most reliable and long lasting. Ridgid obviously has the best warranty, which is the main reason I was leaning towards them, but several people I talked to online (and in person) reported poor battery life and reliability. As much as I'd like to have that lifetime warranty, I think I'd rather give him something that's just going to be more reliable in the long run... Sure, he can always get them replaced if they die, but he'll also have to wait several weeks for replacements, plus if he ever needs more, the Milwaukee batteries seem to be a good bit cheaper than any of the other brands I've looked at :thumbsup:

retfr8flyr 06-13-2013 11:27 AM

I think you made a good choice, he should be very happy with the M-18 battery system. I am constantly amazed at how well the battery holds a charge when not in use. I can pick up my impact tool, after not using it for weeks and it has the same charge level it did when I last used it.

woodworkbykirk 06-13-2013 04:46 PM

the milwaukee line is a much better choice.. the rigid batteries are really hit or miss.. they have a long history of puting out problematic battereis that dont live up to the extpected time frame for the service life of lithium ion should be.. not to mention their newer impact driver is in a bit of a redesign for the motor. theyve had quite a few of them sent back from the motor getting too hot and burning out

Windows on Wash 06-13-2013 06:04 PM

Another vote for Makita here.

MTN REMODEL LLC 06-13-2013 07:30 PM

Matrix.... Give your Dad a copy of this thread.... he'll like it better than the fine drill ya got him.

c-low 06-13-2013 08:53 PM

M18 drills are solid and the other great selling point is they're easy to get additional batteries as HD blew out the section for Milwaukee. I'm sure he'll be more than happy w/the M18.

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