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Hurriken 11-07-2009 12:46 PM

Drill: What type to buy?
I have a cordless B&D drill that I use for small projects and as a screw driver. I also have an old no name cord drill that has been handed down over and over and has pretty much lived its life. It is a cheap drill and the chuck is missing. I would like something more versatile and I was hoping to spend about $50 (pipe dream) but I don't think that is reasonable thinking.

I'm a homeowner not a construction worker. I don't foresee myself building a room addition but I do a lot of projects. At this point I am set on buying a corded drill because I can get more power for the buck and won't have to replace worn batteries later. What should I look for in a drill and what would you recommend?

Bob Mariani 11-08-2009 03:41 AM

a drill that is small but uses a 1/2" chuck and also can be used as a hammer drill will offer the most versatile use.

Hurriken 11-08-2009 04:21 PM

Does a hammer drill use the same bits a regular drill uses? How can I measure the chuck, for example on my old drill, to see what that was? (It turns out it's a Craftsman by the way). Also, what speed is best? I can buy a single speed H-drill for $60 but I thought most drills were variable speed these days.

And...sorry for all the questions...are Milwaukee, DeWalt, and Bosch the best quality brands?

Bob Mariani 11-08-2009 05:51 PM

These are good brands. The drill chuck size will be stated on the drill. Variable speeds allow you to use the correct speed for different tasks. Hammer drilling is for masonry work or tile and uses the same chuck but the bits are different.

NailedIt 11-08-2009 07:13 PM

You won't get a brand new DeWalt, etc... in the $50 price range. Well, to qualify that, I mean a cordless drill. Skil, B&D, Ryobi, etc... have 14.4 volt NiCd cordless models in 1/2 keyless chuck configuration in that range. Cordless is handy, but if I only had that much cash to spend I'd probably get a pro brand corded drill.

Hammer drills are more expensive than regular drills, but they are necessary to effectively drill into concrete or masonry.

You can get a pro-level Porter Cable NiCd 18v combo kit, which includes a 6-1/2 circ. saw, a reciprocating saw, a flashlight, a 1/2" all-metal keyless chuck drill, 2 batteries, charger, a bag, a blade for each saw and a philips/flat bit... all for $129.00 at Lowe's. The NiCd is the older technology, but the tools are high quality.

Hurriken 11-08-2009 07:53 PM

I'm perfectly happy with a corded drill. I have my B&D cordless to use as a "screw driver". At this point I don't really see myself drilling into concrete and masonry but you know what they say, "famous last words". My real frustration is not having enough power to do what I want. I was thinking a corded drill would solve that issue. I saw Milwaukee refurbished hammer drills on Amazon for ~$100.00. I may go with something like that. While I was hoping to spend only $50.00, I'd rather spend more than buy something cheap that won't last.

NailedIt 11-08-2009 08:05 PM

I hear you on all points. BTW, I buy something from Amazon nearly every month, in the last 30 days: Baby crib $30 less than Wal-mart, electric chainsaw $40 less than Lowes, photoelectric smoke alarm $20 less, on and on... all with free shipping to my home within 5 days. I haven't had to return anything since first buying a set of wall lifting jacks from them 8-9 years ago.

The P-C tools I mentioned I actually own. The drill alone costs $100, so there is big value in the combo. The power of corded drills depends on the amps and gearing. Milwaukee makes some of the best electric power tools available, specifically their drills and reciprocating saws are top notch.

superdeez 11-08-2009 08:43 PM

Being a former contractor turned hardware store employee/small time handyman, I thought it would be worth dropping my .02 in..

Honestly, for a homeowner who uses a tool infrequently or not for heavy stuff it really doesn't matter what brand you buy. Older Creftsman power tools can still be a pretty neat trick compared with the crap you see coming out of China these days. Now, I'm going to guess with that drill you've got now, you're not staring at a piece of 3/8" or 1/2" threaded rod coming out of the motor housing, so if the chuck key is the only thing missing, take it down to the local hardware store, find the key that fits the chuck, buy it for $2-5, then slap it on the cord with friction tape. I'm going to guess it's probably variable speed with a reverse (as these's VSR drills out there older than me), or even if not, it should work fine for most jobs. And again too, if the drill has a reverse, if you can find a keyless chuck that threads onto your shaft, you could just swap the chuck on that old drill and not have to worry about a key.

Then too, if you use your battery drill for a screw gun, you probably use the clutch alot, right? Corded drill won't have that. Then too, a corded drill won't have the brake on the motor that most battery drills have these days, and it goes a lot faster, so you'll have less control. So unless you want to strip/break/bury a lot of screws, the drill won't really help too much as a driver.

If you're bound and determined to buy a new drill, you really could just go cheap as long as you don't care what colour the thing is or whose name is on the side. My battery drill is still a good one, but living on my truck right are two drills with cords, one is a cheap chineese hammerdrill, and the other is an old 1/4" Black&Decker. Oh, these's a little Ryobi I picked up in one of the hock shops a while ago that's got a cord and also a chuck like a battery drill, but that's usually buried in a corner somewhere because it's heavy and it's really a better screw gun than drill. If I were on the 18th floor of a building, drilling every day I'd probably wind up throwing them over the side; but for what I do, and as often as I go out and do it anymore, those two homeowner specials do just fine.

And if you do want a "professional" brand drill, probably the best place to find one for what you want to spend is the local pawn shop. Sure the drill/saw/whatever might be old and dirty, but the price is usually right and it'll get the job done. But remember that a brand is just a brand and it doesn't matter what colour the thing is or whose name is on it, you're not necessarily getting "professional" quality. Milwaukee is owned by the Chineese now, and all their new stuff I've seen just rubs me the wrong way. DeWalt and PC are both owned by Black&Decker, and both brands really seem to be getting more and more homeowner grade by the day (depending on the tool). Most any of the "good" companies little 3/8" drills are crap anyway.

But really, if you want a drill that will be the most versitale tool, get a hammerdrill. Most of them have 1/2" chucks, they do take the same bits as a regular drill (you're unlikely to need an SDS hammer drill) and they all have a switch to turn the hammer on and off. If you need a drill to use as a screwdriver, Ryobi makes one with a clutch. The max speed it will go is like 1000 but it's geared down pretty well (good amount of torque) and it has a chuck like a drill so if you don't mind taking a minute or two per hole it will drill too. Or if you just want to use the corded drill to drill the holes and the battery hammer to drive the screws (as I usually do on residential or on my side jobs because there's not two plugs per floor and guys aren't pulling other peoples' cords and fighting over them) just get a key for that old Craftsman as long as it fits all the bit sizes you need it to. If you get a new one, the best route would probably be a cheap hammerdrill for versatility..just make sure it has a belt clip and a lock-on button...they really do come in handy. Even if you do get a new one, don't throw the old drill out...those little drills are pretty small and light and fit inside cabinets and things really well.

But ultimately the tool you buy will be influenced by what you do most.

NailedIt 11-08-2009 10:28 PM

Each their own... but as a heavy duty tool consumer (rough framing contractor, remodeler, etc...) I don't believe it matters what country the owner of a company sits in, it's more about where and who does the engineering, the materials used, and the quality control process.

I too have purchased many a tool from a pawn shop. Most pawn shops will try to sell their tools for the same or MORE than you can buy them new elsewhere. You can haggle with them, but you never get a warranty, plus you don't get that new car smell... Well, part of the joy of owning a quality tool is being the one to break it in. I've broken something made by (nearly) every brand name tool out there, Makita, Porter Cable, Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, etc.. They're none indestructable.

matthewb 11-08-2009 10:51 PM

For what it's worth, I just picked up one of these on sale (they go on sale often) and have been very happy with it:

Mr Chips 09-02-2010 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by FLORIDADIYDAD (Post 494963)
I checked and found these guys have a very nice Dewalt for under $70. Don't flinch at the fact it is reconditioned. Most of the time people run into HD and buy one of these in a hurry. use it for the one-time job at home and return it. Essentially it's still new but laws state it is not "used". These are sent back to the factory where they go back through all the QC checks that the new ones do.

What are the odds, the guys you linked to are also in Florida.....I bet you had no idea.....small world

Tizzer 09-07-2010 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by Mr Chips (Post 495009)
What are the odds, the guys you linked to are also in Florida.....I bet you had no idea.....small world

I was just about ready to post a reply and yet again, this is an old thread and FloridaDad's post seems to be missing.
Why & who keeps dredging up these old topics?:mad:

DangerMouse 09-07-2010 03:56 PM

I'd just look on Craigslist!

Brand New Black and Decker Drill - $15
Date: 2010-09-06, 9:42PM EDT

Brand New in the box. $34.99 new, will let go for $15.

See? Tons of good tools there. Po)


DangerMouse 09-07-2010 04:00 PM

The SPAM is missing, yes, but this is still a good thread to dredge up once in a while. Po)
Always good to save a few $$$!


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