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Old 08-03-2008, 04:11 PM   #1
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Good all-purpose 1/2" corded drill?


Hi;
My old 3/8" Craftsman drill is about to give it's last twist, and I'm looking to get a new corded drill.
I think I want/need the 1/2" chuck because some of the wood boring / auger bits have shanks larger than 3/8", and I think I will get more power from a 1/2" than 3/8".

I am looking in the range of $100-$150, and prefer a corded model because I need it to drill through double wall headers, and also, corded drills are cheaper, and I won't have to worry about a battery replacement in a few years.

I am thinking DeWalt or maybe Milwaukee. I just bought a DeWalt reciprocating saw, and am very pleased with the tool's construction and overall quality.

I am not a pro, so this tool will not see every-day or even every week use. I just want something that will get the job done without sweating it.

Thanks

FW

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Old 08-03-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
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Good all-purpose 1/2" corded drill?


I regret now that I did not buy a 1/2" hammer drill, when I made this drill upgrade choice.

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Old 08-03-2008, 06:58 PM   #3
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Good all-purpose 1/2" corded drill?


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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
I regret now that I did not buy a 1/2" hammer drill, when I made this drill upgrade choice.
What exactly is a hammer drill?

FW
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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Good all-purpose 1/2" corded drill?


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Originally Posted by fw2007 View Post
What exactly is a hammer drill?
I typed

define: "hammer drill"

into the Google search box, and got this:

-a drilling tool that, when placed in the drill stem just above a roller cone bit, delivers high-frequency percussion blows to the rotating bit. ...
-a Hammer drill, also known as a "rotary hammer" or "roto-hammer", (see also rotary hammer drill) is a rotary drill with a hammering action. ...

When used with masonry drill bits that can withstand this treatment, these drills can put holes in masonry with a lot less fuss and bother than regular rotary drills.
You can switch off the hammer action when not needed and I don't think they cost much more than non-hammer tools.

Otherwise you can spend 15 minutes trying to put a single hole in concrete.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-03-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:06 PM   #5
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Good all-purpose 1/2" corded drill?


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Originally Posted by fw2007 View Post
What exactly is a hammer drill?
The simple answer to that is a drill that in addition to spinning, adds a hammering action. It is very useful for drilling into concrete. Its sort of a cross between a drill and a small jackhammer. If you think you'll need to drill into concrete anytime soon, by all means consider a hammer drill. Most hammer drills have a setting that changes between rotation only (for wood and metal, etc) and rotation with hammer. (for concrete)

If you don't need anything like that, I would recommend a 1/2 Milwaukee Magnum drill. Or a Dewalt 1/2" pistol grip drill.

Good quality and should last a long time.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:30 AM   #6
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Good all-purpose 1/2" corded drill?


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Originally Posted by junkcollector View Post
The simple answer to that is a drill that in addition to spinning, adds a hammering action. It is very useful for drilling into concrete. Its sort of a cross between a drill and a small jackhammer. If you think you'll need to drill into concrete anytime soon, by all means consider a hammer drill. Most hammer drills have a setting that changes between rotation only (for wood and metal, etc) and rotation with hammer. (for concrete)

If you don't need anything like that, I would recommend a 1/2 Milwaukee Magnum drill. Or a Dewalt 1/2" pistol grip drill.

Good quality and should last a long time.
The Milwaukee you linked to has a 5.5Amp motor, while the DeWalt has a 7.8Amp motor.
Is more better in this case? I know that manufacturers like to tout the amps as a feature.
Both drills are the same price on Amazon.
I also looked up the Milwaukee on Grainger, and they want nearly twice the price!!
I have dealt with Grainger before, and realize they're a ripoff, but twice the cost??

FW
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:58 AM   #7
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Good all-purpose 1/2" corded drill?


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Originally Posted by fw2007 View Post
The Milwaukee you linked to has a 5.5Amp motor, while the DeWalt has a 7.8Amp motor.
Is more better in this case? I know that manufacturers like to tout the amps as a feature.
Assuming a motor power factor of 0.9, the 5.5A gives you 0.8 hp, the 7.8A gives you 1.1 hp.
Using the hp figures, and once you know the max speed for each drill you can compute the torque [from formulas on the Internet] in inch-pounds or foot-pounds.

The only unknown left is reliability.
It's a stretch, but by using good search strategies you might be able to infer a relative Mean Time Between Failures for these drills from Google. For sure, Milwaukee and Dewalt internal company memos show the MTBF number.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:35 AM   #8
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Good all-purpose 1/2" corded drill?


My .02. Buy either 1/2" drill and a decent 3/8" drill. 1/2" drills are larger, weigh more and will tire you out quicker.
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:47 PM   #9
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Good all-purpose 1/2" corded drill?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fw2007 View Post
The Milwaukee you linked to has a 5.5Amp motor, while the DeWalt has a 7.8Amp motor.
Is more better in this case? I know that manufacturers like to tout the amps as a feature.
The dewalt has more power. Higher the amps, the more power the drill has, generally. Another thing is gear reduction. The slower drills usually have triple reduction, and have enough torque to break a wrist. A slower running drill (ex, 600 RPM) with say a 5 amp motor will probably have more torque than say one that runs 1200 RPM, and pulls 7 amps. I've noticed that alot of hammer drills that have a drill only feature and also have a 1/2 chuck really don't have nuts when it comes to drilling large holes in steel or wood. The reason that I recommended the Milwaukee is that I have that particular drill, and it seems to be pretty heavy duty, while I still think it is small and light enough for smaller jobs. (If it is going to be your only drill)
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:00 PM   #10
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My .02. Buy either 1/2" drill and a decent 3/8" drill. 1/2" drills are larger, weigh more and will tire you out quicker.
I took a look at the DeWalt DW235G at HD today, and found it to be smaller and I believe lighter than my old Craftsman 3/8".

While buying both 3/8 and 1/2 sounds like a sound idea, especially if you're doing a lot of really light-duty work like picture hanging and curtain rods, ect, my budget will not allow me to buy both right now.

I have a small cordless that needs a new set of batteries (internal, not the plug-in ones you're all familiar with) that is perfect for really light jobs. I'm going to try to get the batteries and replace them myself.

For the time, my needs are for a lot of drilling in wood. I cannot see any need for drilling in concrete, so I don't think I will consider a hammer drill.
I can buy the DeWalt DW235G at HD for $99, same as if I buy it at Amazon. Tax or shipping, I think I would just pick it up locally.

I didn't get to check out the Milwaukee, but I would like to.

For the immediate future though, I seem to have found a way to squeeze a little more life out of the Craftsman.
I'm not sure, but I think that turning each brush 180 in it's socket helped. That said, I think there is a problem with the switch. I don't really want to spend $$ on fixing this drill, even though a new switch may only cost me about $20. It's more than 30 years old!
If it were a Milwaukee, I would probably fix it.

FW

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