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Old 03-18-2009, 01:39 PM   #1
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Most versatile drill/system for typical DIYer


Guys, my old B&D FireStorm 14.4 has been giving me fits lately with some projects that I've started working on around the house. Fortunately, I'm taking that as a sign that it's time for a new drill/driver. With all of the new products out there, what's the most versatile setup if I was going to purchase just a drill now and possibly an Impact driver later if I end up needing it?

I'll mostly be doing typical DIY type stuff, so we're talking mostly screws with occasional drilling.

I'm trying to get something decent this time around, so was looking at the Makita and Ridgid 18v and the Makita, Milwaukee, and Bosch 10.8 lines. I wasn't sure if I'd be ok with a compact tool as my only driver for now, or if one of the 18v are more suitable.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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If you are going to ever be drilling any large holes like with a hole saw, you should use a 14.4 volt or higher. If you are doing just some light drilling with short screws, you should be fine with a 10.8/12 volt compact drill.

All the major brands make good tools. I suggest you go to your local tool store and see which one is comfortable to you. I have also heard that cold weather really drains the battery in some lithium ion batteries, so this is something you might need to consider. After you have a couple options in mind, read some reviews on that tool online, and see if that tool suffers from any problems.

Happy Shopping
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:34 AM   #3
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If you are going to ever be drilling any large holes like with a hole saw, you should use a 14.4 volt or higher. If you are doing just some light drilling with short screws, you should be fine with a 10.8/12 volt compact drill...................Happy Shopping
I agree 100%, also good advice in Quiqlag's 2nd paragraph.

Tiger, if you have access to a corded drill for heavy duty drilling I suggest one of the subcompact drill/drivers. They have a surprising amount of power, but for your use, make sure it has the 3/8" Chuck rather than the 1/4" hex chuck. A hex chuck needs special drill bits with a special shank similar to these:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=1800

Here is great review from the feb 2009 JLC (Journal of Light Construction)
http://www.jlconline.com/cgi-bin/jlc...f2eb5de536&p=1

for tools with the 3/8" chuck the Ridgid comes out as 1st choice
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Last edited by PaliBob; 03-19-2009 at 10:09 AM. Reason: punct
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:40 AM   #4
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I am not certain, but I think you can get the Ridgid compact drill and impact driver as a set for $129 right now at HD.

When comparing the tools in the chart; 10.8 volt and 12 volt systems are the same. Original marketing was 10.8 volts (3 x 3.6 volt lithium batteries), but to make the tools seem more powerful, some marketing wizzard started calling them 12 volts (3 x 4.0 volt lithium batteries). In reality the batteries are the same; 3.6 volts is the nominal (average) voltage of the battery during use, while 4.0 volts is the maximum voltage of the same battery right off charge.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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...When comparing the tools in the chart; 10.8 volt and 12 volt systems are the same.....
When they first came out I bought the Bosch 10.8 volt PS20-2 Driver. Now the same tool (& same battery) is sold as the 12V PS20-2A
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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I am not certain, but I think you can get the Ridgid compact drill and impact driver as a set for $129 right now at HD..........................
If you can find that deal, grab it now. That's a real deal. Once you use an impact driver, you never want to go back.


One omission on the JLC Tool test was the new Makita 10.8 Drill/Driver DF330DW with a 3/8"chuck. The reviewer did not include the new Makita because it was not yet available when he started the review process (it takes months, note the pic of the reviewer Dave Northup in Alaska using the hex chuck Makita)

The DF330DW is available at for $145 @ http://www.toolbarn.com/product/makita/DF330DW/
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Last edited by PaliBob; 03-19-2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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Ridgid tools carry a lifetime warranty including batteries......
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:19 PM   #8
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Ridgid tools carry a lifetime warranty including batteries......
So do craftsman and I would never touch either one. Warranty big deal. I have not time to return the tools every job which is what you would be doing if you buy crap. My neighbor finally borrowed some tools from me to strip the painting on his house. He was using a Craftsman belt sander. After burning up four of them, he quit.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:37 PM   #9
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So do craftsman and I would never touch either one. Warranty big deal. I have not time to return the tools every job which is what you would be doing if you buy crap.......
That's harsh! I don't have any problem with Rigid or Craftsman. I even have a Ryobi tool (a detail sander). I also have a fair amount of tools from Festool. By equating some brands as cheap crap some good working good value tools will be overlooked.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:00 PM   #10
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I bought a Ridgid 18 volt NiCad set (hammer drill, sawz all, circ. saw) probably 6 years ago and have had no problem at all. I've bought a regular 18 volt drill, a 12 volt Lith-ion compact, several corded tools, and nail guns since (all Ridgid) also and not had to return or have any service work done on anything. No battery issues yet either. Can't speak for craftsman, I've got some of their wrenches which are fine. No power tools. I also have Dewalt, Porter Cable, Senco, Paslode, Hitachi, and other brands so I'm an equal opportunity tool buyer. Any of the brands the OP mentioned would be better than the B&D Firestorm he's been using.....
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:57 PM   #11
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owned 1 ridgid drill.. Will never own another... I now have a Makita....better drill than ridgid
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:03 PM   #12
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I bought a Ridgid 18 volt NiCad set (hammer drill, sawz all, circ. saw)
Santa- are you reading?
BJ, that's the set I have my eyes on now. So why are they NEVER on sale?
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:16 PM   #13
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I bought the set I've got ONLINE for $399.00 when Dewalt was like $699.00. (Like I said,5 or 6 years ago.) You can buy the NiCad at at an even better deal now, just got to watch for the deals in the store....it's the LithIon I'm looking for at a deal now, myself. I've got no complaints with Ridgid.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:26 PM   #14
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That's harsh! I don't have any problem with Rigid or Craftsman. I even have a Ryobi tool (a detail sander). I also have a fair amount of tools from Festool. By equating some brands as cheap crap some good working good value tools will be overlooked.
compare your Festool tool to your Ridgid or Ryobi and think about this again. Any of these tools are fine unless you actually work them 10 hours a day every day.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:27 PM   #15
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Santa- are you reading?
BJ, that's the set I have my eyes on now. So why are they NEVER on sale?
I bought this set last year for an emergency job. Still in the case. If any one is close to CT, you can have it. Never used it but that one time....
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