Help choosing between these cordless power drills and why for a 1st timer?


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Old 09-17-11, 01:25 PM
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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.

Thank you.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 01:35 PM
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A 3/8" corded drill would be my choice. I do not recommend a cordless drill if it is to be your only drill because the batteries may go dead before you finish and just not enough power for some jobs. I would not use power tools for things like assembling Ikea. Bits coming loose is usually operator error.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 02:09 PM
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All (both) of my cordless drills have been Black & Decker. Neither ever had a bit "fly" out of the chuck. I DID ruin the first one by using it to tap 1/4-20 threads into a steel panel but considering it was a really small tool that was not surprising.

I agree with Ray (and the pros will tell you the same) that a battery-driven drill is NOT for the casual user because the battery WILL run down and deteriorate even when not in use. With your budget you can get a vary good variable speed corded tool that will last you for decades. I still consider my Milwaukee 3/8 corded to be my best drill and I bought it some 35 (or more) years ago.

As for assembling knocked-down furniture from Ikea, Dania and the like or yard furniture and play structures you REALLY need the control that only hand tools will give you. Get some quality screwdrivers of the appropriate sizes and shapes as you need them and the same with box, open-end and socket wrenches. Sears (Craftsman) has good wrenches but I dislike their screwdrivers and prefer Klein, Stanley or Channellock for those.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 02:35 PM
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I agree with Furd's comment regarding "flying bits". I have done a boatload of drilling with cordless drills and I have never, ever had a bit fly out of the chuck. However, I have had a chuck loosen occasionally. It's no big deal the bit starts to wobble and you just tighten the chuck. However, I disagree 100% with Furd and Ray regarding cordless drills for DIYers.

I have owned cordless drills for at least 15 years. I have never had a battery issue. Most come with two batteries so one is always charged. It takes 5 seconds to swap batteries. I have never had a battery "go dead" from lack of use. Mine may go months in the charger without being discharged.

As a homeowner/DIYer I can say I am totally pleased with the 2 DeWalt cordless drills that I have owned. I had a 12v drill for several years but it gave up the ghost after the 3rd time I dropped it from my roof. I currently have a 14.4v and I'm very happy with it.

I don't think you can go wrong with any of the major brand names but if you go cordless don't buy "homeowner" quality. You will not be happy with it. Buy a professional drill/driver and it will last you for years.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 03:42 PM
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Corded vs. Cordless

A corded drill is best for drilling holes. However, a corded drill does not have a clutch. This can be a problem when driving screws.

A cordless drill will have an adjustable clutch, which can be important in certain situations when driving screws.

A cordless impact driver works well when driving long screws.

I use all three types. I am finding that I use the impact drill the most.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 04:00 PM
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I hate to pick and choose among friends, but here goes my take. Cordless is fine if you use them. I have an 18 volt Ridgid and 18 volt Ryobi in my shop that seldom see use. Should give them away because the batteries aren't up to the job I want to do when I need them. They aren't dead, just comatose.
The drills/drivers on the truck stay hot all the time because they are used every day, all day.
If you are willing to pay $160 for a puny 12v unit, step up to the big boy desk and get an 18v Makita drill/driver combo, two batteries and conditioning charger for $220. My DeWalts are gone, the Ridgid and Ryobi are in the shop, and I use these Makitas almost exclusively.
Also, in addition to a clutch as mentioned by Ken, a cordless drill will stop instantly, whereas a corded drill spools down, which is also bad on screws.
 
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Old 09-17-11, 04:34 PM
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my 2 cents

While cordless tools are great - you need to use them often enough to keep the battery charged. They can go dead just from non use. If you only expect to use the drill a few times a year - get a corded one!

If you go with cordless, spend time thinking about what other cordless tools you might buy in the future. It's handy [economical too] to have all your cordless tools use the same battery.

I've also never had a bit fly out of the chuck although I used to remove the door hinges prior to spraying them on new work and several times when replacing the hinges, I'd 'loose' the bit..... it was always stuck to the last screw I put in
 
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Old 09-17-11, 05:36 PM
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Thanks for the replies - I do appreciate this.

What "corded" compact drills are there? I went to the store and found most to be pretty "long" and it would have been nice for something in the compact size of those cordless models I had mentioned.

Regarding these lithium batteries.... I called a few of the companies and they said that these shouldn't be charged 24/7 @365 days... seems these newer cordless lithium ion batteries charge up ~30mins-1hour.

That said, you all have much more experience than I do in this... were there any cordless drills that have more "universal" lithium ion batteries? Some of the ones I had seen by each manufacturer turns out to be almost 50% the price of the drill itself.

I didn't realize that the corded drills have no "adjustable" clutch - which I am not sure for a novice / weekend hobbyist would make a difference...
 
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Old 09-17-11, 07:18 PM
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The Makita batteries charge in 15 minutes. We keep 3 in rotation all day long (two in tools and one in a charger) and never lose driving time. You are correct, they should not be charged continuously. You have already "handled" the cordless ones, so it's time for another road trip to "handle" the corded ones. It is obvious you don't need something as powerful as a hole hawg, and 3/8" may do. If you can wait 15 minute for a charge, the better cordless ones you mentioned as well a some others are just fine for the job.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 07:48 AM
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Unless you have some specific reason for going cordless, I think the first drill you buy should have a cord.

I have an 18 volt DeWalt but still drag out the corded drill on occasion.
 
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Old 09-19-11, 12:54 PM
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What "corded" compact drills are there? I went to the store and found most to be pretty "long" and it would have been nice for something in the compact size of those cordless models I had mentioned.
This one is designed for working in tight spaces:

Milwaukee Tool | Power Drills | Close Quarter Drills-Corded
 
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Old 09-22-11, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Wirepuller38 View Post
This one is designed for working in tight spaces:

Milwaukee Tool | Power Drills | Close Quarter Drills-Corded
Thank you -

what are the disadvantages of using this solely in an apartment owner's setting?
 
 

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