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Old 02-14-2013, 07:58 AM   #1
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NEWBIE looking for a cordless drill


I'm not much of a handyman, but am trying to do DIY projects because I feel it is a very important skill to have.

I am looking for a nice cordless drill, but am unsure what I need. What are the advantages and disadvantages of 3/8" chuck vs 1/2" chuck? Do I need 12v vs 14.4 or 18v? What are the best buys? I was originally looking to spend around $65...can a nice drill be had for such a price?

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Old 02-14-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
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NEWBIE looking for a cordless drill


Your going to get a whole lot of differant thoughts on this one.
As humans we tend to work in our comfort zone, so if you happen to have bought one brand of tool, we think that ones the best.
One free way to do some reseach that I've used is to go on Amazon.com look up the the tool then go to the bottom of the listing and look at the reviews from people that own or have bought the tool.
A few tips:
It's almost always cheaper per tool to buy the set of tools not just one tool.
When you buy the set it should come with a charger and 2, batterys.
General rule of thumb:
A 3/8 drill will spin faster then a 1/2 drill.
A 1/2 drill will have more torqe so they can have more power to drill bigger holes.
I would not go with less then 18 volts. What good is a drill that does not have the power to do the work.
Any of the major brands, Milwaulke, Porta Cable, Ridgid ECT. all make fine tools.
Black and Decker and Skill make more of a home owner light duty tool.
Pick one brand and stick with it so all your tools will run off of one battery style.
Ridgid offers a life time warrenty, even on the battery, which can be a huge savings over the life of the tool since some of the batterys are so expencive.
I own several differant brands of drills and range from a 3/8 Milwaulke to a 1/2" Hole Hawg. My go to tool 90 % of the time is my impact driver, not a drill. I can drill, remove screws, install and remove nuts and bolts, install sheetrock all with one snap on attachment.
May want to check out CPO Tools. They have a lot of factory reconditioned tools at a big discount.

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Old 02-14-2013, 08:32 AM   #3
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NEWBIE looking for a cordless drill


I would list some of your projects to get a better idea.

18volt drill combos seem to handle the majority of the work, if i had to have just one with me i would like it to have a 1/2" chuck and a hammer setting. If you do plan to buy into the cheaper brands , know the return policy from manufacturer and store should you have a problem. Everyone has a preference and for various reasons, you may also want to see if you can build your system as you take on different projects.
I like my milwaukee M12 system for light home use projects, and use the M18 drill daily at work.
Makita has a nice combo with drill and hammer drill in 18volt that some techs like.
Dewalt is also very popular.
Bosch has some nice set ups as well.
Do not overlook Sears.
Good luck in the hunt, visit the different manufacture sites as they sometimes have deals where they throw in an extra battery or tool with the purchase.
Best time i see the deals is fathers day time frame, and when new models come out. They clearance the older models. Lowes is always doing this and ask about the Home depot competitive discount , they may take another 10% off.
Good luck, joe
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
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NEWBIE looking for a cordless drill


I also would recommend an 18v lithium-ion impact driver. It is a great all around tool that can be used for driving screws / nuts / lag bolts etc. and light duty drilling. The 1/4" quick change chuck makes it easy to change bits. A nice feature if you can find it are batteries with a built in charge indicator. The new brushless models are more expensive but are said to have more power and longer run times. I think all of the major manufactures make good cordless tools, again like said before, pick a line that you like and try to stick with it (don't do like me and end up with 6 different models that need 6 different types of batteries and 6 different chargers).
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jmiza View Post
I was originally looking to spend around $65...can a nice drill be had for such a price?
I'd look at the Black & Decker BDCDMT120 which is $59 at Home Depot. It looks suspiciously like the Dewalt DCD780 and might be the same drill with a different body. Either way, it fits your budget, and as much as people like to bash Black & Decker, you're not spending enough money to get a really good tool.

Keep in mind that for $99 you can get a Dewalt or Makita 18V. You really can't go wrong with these.

My Dewalt 18V (bigger model than the $99 one) is 13 years old and is still going strong. I just replace the battery every few years. I am finally going to retire it and get a DCD980 when my last 18V battery wears out but the thing just keeps on going!
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:17 AM   #6
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NEWBIE looking for a cordless drill


Usually the big box stores have sales this time of year and you can score a Makita 18V, DeWalt 18V, or a Bosch 18V for $99. For $65, you could get a decent drill but the batteries won't last very long and you will be wishing you had spent the extra $$$ to get quality with longer lasting batteries.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:29 AM   #7
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I concur with the above. I've got the Ryobi 18v setup....just about all of them. What I like about the Ryobi drill is that it has a 1/2 chuck....but as Joe explained, it will turn slower....they solve the problem by having a 2-speed switch.

I also have 4 batteries and 2 chargers. I would be hard pressed to use up the battery power faster than it can be charged.

The key is to stick with a brand/voltage...that way your batteries work in all the tools.

BTW....Your going to want a Sawzall as well.....you don't know you need it...but you will....use it one time and you will understand......

While your at it.....keep an eye out for a good shop vac.....2 1/2" hose....

You can can thank us later for helping you spend your money.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:59 AM   #8
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I like 18v, just cause it'll have the power to work all saturday for me and drive larger decking screws. But if you don't need the power you can save some weight and size with a smaller voltage. I agree with a couple other comments in that I use my impact driver more than the drill/driver. Sure, this'll double your initial investment, but the impact really impresses me with it's ability to drive and remove screws without stripping out the heads. I've even used it for some light duty automotive repair work.

And spend the extra for Li-on package/batteries. Ni-cad is going away. You might find them on clearance, but I'd stay away from them personally.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
I concur with the above. I've got the Ryobi 18v setup....just about all of them. What I like about the Ryobi drill is that it has a 1/2 chuck....but as Joe explained, it will turn slower....they solve the problem by having a 2-speed switch.

I also have 4 batteries and 2 chargers. I would be hard pressed to use up the battery power faster than it can be charged.

The key is to stick with a brand/voltage...that way your batteries work in all the tools.

BTW....Your going to want a Sawzall as well.....you don't know you need it...but you will....use it one time and you will understand......

While your at it.....keep an eye out for a good shop vac.....2 1/2" hose....

You can can thank us later for helping you spend your money.

^ x2 on everything above from Ryobi to Shopvac...
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:28 PM   #10
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NEWBIE looking for a cordless drill


Thanks to everyone for the responses! I do already have a nice shop-vac, which I am currently using extensively for a current project.

Looks like I will be buying into a system soon!
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jmiza View Post
Looks like I will be buying into a system soon!
If you mean a cordless tool system/series, keep in mind the advice of posters about common batteries. Makita, Dewalt, and Milwaukee cordless tools are more expensive than something like Black & Decker or Ryobi, but they have a good selection of products and stay with the same batteries for a very long time.

I could still buy new batteries for my 13-year-old 18V drill if I wanted to. That is probably not going to be true of cheaper brands.

What you really don't want is 5 different types of batteries and chargers. You will be replacing them all the time due to wear and age, and that will end up costing more than just owning one series of tool that all uses the same kind of battery.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:56 AM   #12
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NEWBIE looking for a cordless drill


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Originally Posted by jmiza View Post
I'm not much of a handyman, but am trying to do DIY projects because I feel it is a very important skill to have.

I am looking for a nice cordless drill, but am unsure what I need. What are the advantages and disadvantages of 3/8" chuck vs 1/2" chuck? Do I need 12v vs 14.4 or 18v? What are the best buys? I was originally looking to spend around $65...can a nice drill be had for such a price?
Ya know I am kinda new to this home improvement type stuff and I got the new Craftsman Bolt-On tool for christmas and its really nice... its light has a 20v battery its easy to use, seems durable and has all the attachments you might need... its about 80 $ and the attachments are between 25-35... hope this helps

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