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Old 09-17-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


Hi, I would love to hear your opinions as I have gotten only so much information from reading online visiting the local home depot / lowes stores here in GA. I live in an apartment and would like to start hanging some shelves for my textbooks and electronic/computer equipment. I saw some simple bookcase/shelf designs on another website that require some drilling too. In addition, I wanted to make a few "holes" to pass ethernet cable from one room to the other. I only have 1 floor. I'm not sure on how delicate work like driving ikea furniture screws or using it for light screw driving (as opposed to manual) would be on things.

I am a complete novice, hobbyist and by trade, a medical student.

I am thinking that I can start with a compact, cordless 12V lithium ion 3/8 drill with a budget of less than $160.00 - something that will not only serve some of the above purposes, but perhaps more indoor things in the future (I'm not sure what - but). I don't plan on putting up walls, building decks or a house. Maybe put together a swing set/playground set for my little cousins or a picnic bench...

I went to the stores to get a feel for how it fits for me, but that is far as I got.

I thought I would get some good hands on help from some of the local hardware stores, but that was beyond the case when at least in my situation, the salesreps literally read back to me the same thing I can read on the display card or box and then tell me that I absolutely need an impact driver (okay if I am driving 100s of screws outside, but I am in an apartment) and extra battery too. I'm not sure who they're hiring at these stores nowadays, but that was not my experience at these places in the past, so I hope it was isolated.


Anyways, the brands that I was looking at were. To my knowledge, these are all 3/8" 12V cordless drill/drivers with lithium ion.

Bosch : Amazon.com: Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt Max 3/8-Inch Drill/Driver: Home Improvement

Dewalt : Amazon.com: DEWALT DC742KA Cordless 12-Volt 3/8-Inch Compact Drill/Driver: Home Improvement

Milwaukee : Amazon.com: Milwaukee 2410-22 M12 12-Volt 3/8-Inch Drill/Driver: Home Improvement

Ridgid : (can't find this at amazon, but saw this exclusive at home depot) -
FUEGO 12V Lithium-Ion 2-Speed Drill/Driver with LED Light - RIDGID Professional Tools

I'm not sure if an "all metal chuck or transmission" like in the milwaukee makes a difference... my main concerns are safety (don't want any flying bits) - I read some reviews on amazon that people had the bits come off the chuck -
I want to have as much control as possible I suppose. Meaning, I don't want to run in the event of stripping or breaking a screw or something worse which I haven't imagined.


They all felt great in the hand, and I did like how these fit into possible tight spaces.... Hopefully over time, I will get better through experience, and perhaps go to something else if I ever start a family on my own and plan on doing something else.

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Old 09-17-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


After years of buying only the best I could find in the way of cordless power tools and having been ripped off by Ridgid and their worthless lifetime battery warranty, I'm buying Harbor Freight cordless and frankly, yeah, you give up some of the niceity. But, if it gives you any trouble at all, throw it in the garbage and get a new one. You can buy quite a few HF cordless tools for that $160.00 and always have a new one. I didn't see any on your list I would have and they certainly are not a $160.00 tool. The Dewalt is made by Black & Decker and shares the same J&T motor as the cheapy HF. Milwaukee is made in China and the Bosch is the same as Skil. Chose wisely grasshopper.

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Old 09-18-2011, 07:32 AM   #3
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


Used to be able to work out in the rain all day with a DeWalt. Not any more, get them wet once or twice and the chuck is toast. Freezes up and you end up breaking it trying to get it free.

Do a search on this site, there’s plenty of threads discussing which drill to buy.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:10 AM   #4
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


I would say for compact drivers I would chose either the Milwaukee or Bosch. For no other reason than I have had no trouble with either of those brands. Keep in mind if you decide to buy another 12V tool, it's a real benefit to have the same battery for multiple tools.

Trapper, what is your experience with the Ridgid lifetime battery warranty?

Edit, I should caveat that my Milwaukee and Bosch tools are a few years old and not made in China.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:09 AM   #5
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


Ok, if your just doing small things around the apartment and its only one tool you will need then I would go with the Ridgid not because it’s a better drill then the others and I own a couple of their tools already. To me it’s the life time warranty they give you on parts and batteries. Most of their tools come with a soft case so you can keep what you need all together. The drill also feels nice in my hand and is comfortable to use.

I also have that exact Milwaukee drill, again it is fine for doing things around the house and so far I haven’t had any issues expect trying to counter sink some screws into solid oak. It did not have enough torque to finish the job and I switched to my 18v cordless drill. Now I like this drill it fits the hand nice and is very comfortable to work with it comes in a hard case which I like a lot better than the soft case ridgid has now.

I have a friend of mine who installs industrial garage doors and he uses a 12v cordless Milwaukee impact driver and works that thing hard all day. He says the only problem he has so far is the brushes ware out because of continuous use. Other than that it’s a great tool.

As for the Bosch, well I only have corded tools and I use most of them all day long with no problems. The last time I checked the ones I have were made in Germany which is way better than anything made in china like the Dewalt, Ridgid and Milwaukee.
As for Dewalt, even though I have seen a lot of tools on the job sites and you see Dewalt a lot I’m not a big fan and can’t really comment on their reliability or durability.

Now if you’re going to be putting up a swing set or a picnic bench I would move up to at least a 18v drill and again if you want a cordless drill then I would suggest the ridgid only because of its life time warranty.

Last but not least, it is much better to hand tighten the screws into the ikea furniture depending on what you buy. I have ikea book cases they are particle board and would easily strip if I used a drill, same goes with their kitchen cabinets. I helped a friend assemble them and he went hog wild with the drill which resulted with a lot of problems.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


The worthless Ridgid warranty is like this and yes this is my experience with it. You buy the tool with a lifetime warranty BUT. You must have the original receipt. No problem as I keep good records of all of my tool purchases. Then you have to send in a warranty card. I always do that. Now here's the glitch, they have to send you the LSA which is documentation that you must have to REQUEST warranty. So a battery goes bad. Now you MUST have the LSA and your receipt IF they mailed you the LSA to begin with, to get the authorization to seek warranty. Now you get to find the service center, if there is one in your area, and take them not only the tools, but the charger as well. If any of the tools or charger fails their testing, you are SOL. But if it passes, then the service center requests the parts/battery to be replaced which means another trip to the service center when they get the parts in. For me, that's about 300 miles of driving and at todays cost of driving, it makes more sense to throw their crap in the garbage and buy another brand. It's about the worst warranty I've ever seen from a supposed good, quality company. Why is it like this? From the tool guy at Home Depot where I bought it, they had a lot of issues with bad batteries and HD would just hand the customer a new battery and turn the bad one into Ridgid. Seems Ridgid was having to replace more batteries than they expected and was not up to the bean counters expectations so they made it extremely hard to get warranty service. If you want warranty- they have it, but it's going to cost you. I'd suggest buying anything with no warranty over a Ridgid. At least you won't have expectations stomped on with a lot of BS.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:04 PM   #7
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


I have no complaints about my Makita 18V lithium-ion. Stay away from Dewalt and any of the big box store brand stuff (including Craftsman).
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:40 PM   #8
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperL View Post
The worthless Ridgid warranty is like this and yes this is my experience with it. You buy the tool with a lifetime warranty BUT. You must have the original receipt. No problem as I keep good records of all of my tool purchases. Then you have to send in a warranty card. I always do that. Now here's the glitch, they have to send you the LSA which is documentation that you must have to REQUEST warranty. So a battery goes bad. Now you MUST have the LSA and your receipt IF they mailed you the LSA to begin with, to get the authorization to seek warranty. Now you get to find the service center, if there is one in your area, and take them not only the tools, but the charger as well. If any of the tools or charger fails their testing, you are SOL. But if it passes, then the service center requests the parts/battery to be replaced which means another trip to the service center when they get the parts in. For me, that's about 300 miles of driving and at todays cost of driving, it makes more sense to throw their crap in the garbage and buy another brand. It's about the worst warranty I've ever seen from a supposed good, quality company. Why is it like this? From the tool guy at Home Depot where I bought it, they had a lot of issues with bad batteries and HD would just hand the customer a new battery and turn the bad one into Ridgid. Seems Ridgid was having to replace more batteries than they expected and was not up to the bean counters expectations so they made it extremely hard to get warranty service. If you want warranty- they have it, but it's going to cost you. I'd suggest buying anything with no warranty over a Ridgid. At least you won't have expectations stomped on with a lot of BS.
Iím sorry but I have to differ with your complaint. I to have rigid tools and you have two options on how to register your tools. 1) Is by mailing in a copy of the original receipt with original ups code from the box and warranty card and wait for them to mail you your warranty card. Yes I actually have a plastic card. 2) You can also register on line by giving them the model # and serial # of the products you have purchased. When they have verified your purchase you will receive an email from them with your claim # if anything should happen to your rigid tools being batteries, drills etc. I have owned my rigid tools since they first came out with hard cases and yes had batteries replaced with no issues or problems.
Now when you need to replace or repair your tool just go to the rigid site access your account and all your tools with corresponding claim #ís will be on their site.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:44 PM   #9
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


I recently got the new DeWalt 12 volt lithium-ion tools. I have the the screwdriver, impact and the drill. These are great for lighter duty jobs, I would choose this drill over the older nicad drill you have listed. I like the LED lights on these tools, very bright and handy. The batteries charge quickly and seem to last fairly well. You can get both the drill/impact driver in a combo set for a little more.

You are not going to want to drive 3" screws all day with a 12 volt drill, it will do it but the job is much easier with more powerful 18v tools and the heavier hammer mechanism of the 18v impact drivers makes it easy. These work very well for less demanding jobs and the compact size and weight is a big plus for many jobs in tight spaces.

We have thousands of dollars worth of DeWalt 18v and Milwaukee 18V tools on the job site and use them hard every day building grain handling equipment. We use mostly 3/8" impacts and the DeWalt is preferred because it is physically smaller and fits better into tight areas. The Milwaukee has a larger body and does not fit as well but either brand has good power and seems to last well. We also have several drills, impact drivers and sawzalls in both flavors, seem pretty equal with the milwaukee being slightly heavier and more bulky. The Milwaukee battery packs do have a battery level gauge and that is pretty handy.

If you think you might have larger jobs to do you should consider a Milwaukee 18 volt compact lithium ion combo set. Slightly over your budget but you do get both a drill and driver. This set gives you decent power in a smaller, lighter, cheaper package and I'm fairly certain that you can buy and use the full sized battery for longer run times if you need it at a later time. You can get the drill by itself for less but the set is a better bargain.
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:55 PM   #10
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


Yeah that Milwaukee 18 volt compact lithium ion combo set is a great buy. I was eye balling it for awhile and when I decided to buy it at my local hardware store they were out of stock and I couldnít find them anywhere.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:08 PM   #11
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


The OP lives in an apartment and may get 8hrs. of use out of it building bookshelves. Why buy any drill even close to $160 ?
I would go the Harbor Freight route or a Ryobi NiClad. Catch the Ryobi combo set with 2 batteries & a flashlight, you'll get more use with the flashlight for your investment.
Add in a cheap drill bit set and a magnetic bit holder and you're set.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:19 PM   #12
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


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The OP lives in an apartment and may get 8hrs. of use out of it building bookshelves. Why buy any drill even close to $160 ?
I would go the Harbor Freight route or a Ryobi NiClad. Catch the Ryobi combo set with 2 batteries & a flashlight, you'll get more use with the flashlight for your investment.
Add in a cheap drill bit set and a magnetic bit holder and you're set.
Ya you're right, this reminds me of you brother dropping $250 for a right angle drill to drill a total of 12 holes. But what the hell, if he's got the money, it's good for the economy.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:54 PM   #13
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


Ya you're right, this reminds me of you brother dropping $250 for a right angle drill to drill a total of 12 holes.
.............
I've never bought a right angle drill....
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Old 09-19-2011, 02:48 AM   #14
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


yup, a cheap Ni-Cad setup is the way to go. I liked my cheap Ryobi crap enough to upgrade to Lithium battery packs several years later when I found a refurb paint sprayer with 2 heavy lithium batteries and charger for $100 . I'll personally never go back to NiCad, but I use my cordless tools quite a bit more than the average homeowner. For a Med student looking to put up shelves, you might even find a cheap NiCad kit that comes with a circular saw. My Ryobi drill/saw/light kit date back to when 18volts was something special. They all still work. they all still get used regularly. I got a bunch of rigid stuff for my Dad. It seams to be doing good so far, and the tools are smaller than my old Ryobi stuff. I can't say if its good or bad yet, It is too soon to tell. So far only the light-bulb broke. I'll give them a pass on that.

I've been hearing that craftsman has been stepping up a bit lately too. I wouldn't completely discount them either.

Last edited by forresth; 09-19-2011 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:55 AM   #15
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Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


I use the porter cable 12v drill/impact at work. I love the compact design & quick battery charging, didn't like carrying around my ridgid 18v.

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