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Thread: batteries vs. new drill: Makita?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    batteries vs. new drill: Makita?

    I have been saving my pennies (literally $20 at a pop), and I am now ready to either replace the batteries for my dewalt drill/driver, or get a new drill. I saw the typical retail price of $120 for the new dewalt nicad batteries, and think that a new li-ion drill is in my future. I did a search on this forum and looked at some reviews on amazon.

    Not much recently on this forum as guidance... from 2007 to 2009, there are a lot of posts but the opinions vary across makita, bosh, milwaukee (not made in WI, I learned... gosh), and panasonic. Is this the best we can do? Waffle around when it comes to cordless drill/drivers/hammerdrill? I want clarity! (for example, for a biscuit joiner, get a PC unless you can afford that italian branch the name of which I can't remember just now... of course, I have a dewalt, but it works fine for my limited use... but at last we all know who kicks ass in this category.)

    All kidding aside, I have zeroed in on Makita--$250 to $299 is the non-sale price for the LXPH01 or LXPH05--and I saw all the comments on chuck wobble and battery failures. But Makita stlll seems to be a top-notch tool if I don't get unlucky and get a lemon. Bosh has a great reputation. So does Milw (and I wasn't even aware of Panasonic until my search... ) I also saw comments on Dewalt and Hitachi being a good... but the majority of opinion for top-notch, price is no object, seems to settle on Bosh or Makita.

    all the posts I researched were pretty old... anyone do research lately on this? Fine Woodworking had a review way back in issue 207. Anyone see any head to head tests recently? I probably can't go wrong in any of these directions, but it is a decision that only comes once in a while and I want to give it a chance to be based on something more then color preference (green or red or blue?)

    Help?

  2. I was in the same boat as you I have all the 18 volt DeWalts their battiers just do not last me for some reason...I have had DeWalt for years...But got tired of replacing the batteriess...I went with Rigid with a life time on their batteries...I love the drills so far...

  3. #3
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    Feb 2007
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    I guess it is all in what you need and use the drill for, I don't do very much large drilling any more so I have gone to all 12v drills. The 12v. are small and don't weight a ton which makes them easy to handle for most of the work I use them for. The little 12v. have a lot of torque for there size and have done a very good job on anything I have ask them to do.

    I picked the Milwaukee because they were Red and I really like red.........

    I guess the main reason I got the Milwaukee is the 1/4" chuck on the drive, I just like the way it works one handed. From there I went with them because I then would only have one type of battery to worry about and that has worked out very well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Renton, WA
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    Same situation here; I pulled the trigger last night on the Bosch 18v combo drill w/ 'Impactor' driver.

    My 18v ni-cad dewalt has served me well but it's awfully heavy and I have been bemoaning the lack of an impact driver on remodel projects for too long now.

    $230 for the set on Amazon and eligible for Prime shipping.

  5. #5
    I have the Makita compact 18v Li Ion. I recommend it.

    I also own a Ridgid 12v. I recommend it.

    I have also read most reviews of drills out there, and honestly, I think it's safe to make the decision based on color; everyone loves their dewalts, makitas, hitachis, bosch's, panasonics, ridgids, etc.

    I would definitely invest in an LiIon instead of replacing yr NiCads, though. The LiIon's last a lot longer and are a lot lighter.

    My next drill will likely be a Ridgid 12v or 18v for the reason Bill mentions below.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
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    3,999
    I am now ready to either replace the batteries for my dewalt drill/driver, or get a new drill
    You should be able to change over to Li-Ion batteries by just getting a new charger and new batteries for your DeWalt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Belden, Mississippi
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    2,218
    Same DeWalt issues here. Good drills, but batts are expensive. I replaced with the Makita 18v L-ion LXFD01. Very well pleased with the choice.
    Never had the light on adriver before. Dang! Sure comes in handy.
    Bill
    On the other hand, I still have five fingers.

  8. #8
    I have an older Dewalt 14.4v Have abused this and the batteries have lasted for years.

    In recent times I have purchased a Makita black/white 18V drill/driver, a Makita blue hammer drill, a black/white impact driver, and the Makita circ saw. Obviously I liked them well enough I just kept adding.

    The smaller black and white Makita is still my favorite. Smaller/lighter, and also variable speed (the larger one is three speeds - not the same thing).

    Then the smaller impact driver is my next favorite (havent had it as long)

    I had issues with batteries. Have had....4 or 5 die on me! And at $75 or more each, thats a LOT!! I purchased some new ones, but eventually found a repair/warranty house that took them all and sent them into the factory for replacement. This took almost a year - but at the end of the process they replaced every dead battery. The replacements seem better - so maybe there were some problems for a while. (or maybe they will die next month). Some of these batteries died with VERY little use and were not abused at all.

    For sure I was considering changing to a new brand. Now..... Im am sticking with what I have because of the rather large battery investment. If I were starting from scratch... I dont know... maybe the Bosch series (I am a fan of smaller tools - more ergo and still plenty of power - I dont always want to lug a 5# tool up a ladder and work overhead). I have seen some good feedback on the small Bosch drivers for cabinet and running screws (I reserve the hammer drill for concrete or large drill bits - everything else I reach for the smaller drills)

    So I guess 'it depends' on what you think you will be doing with it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Huber View Post
    I guess it is all in what you need and use the drill for, I don't do very much large drilling any more so I have gone to all 12v drills. The 12v. are small and don't weight a ton which makes them easy to handle for most of the work I use them for. The little 12v. have a lot of torque for there size and have done a very good job on anything I have ask them to do.
    Same with me. I wanted something lighter than the 18V I was using. I went with the DeWalt 12V drill driver combo and have been very satisfied.

    I haven't had problems with my 18V batteries. I've gotten good life out of them.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Just West of The Dalles, Oregon
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    I also own a Ridgid 12v. It's a great driver drill.As powerful as my old 18V and holds a charge longer.
    What I love is the lifetime free battery replacement. Be sure you fill out the paperwork.

  11. #11
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    Have you looked into getting your batteries rebuilt? I think there are several companies that do this. My understanding is that you end up with a better battery for less than new.

    This guy is pretty highly regarded here:
    http://www.mtobattery.com/store/
    Last edited by Larry Browning; 09-20-2012 at 11:54 AM.
    Larry J Browning
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world; Those who understand binary and those who don't.

  12. #12
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    Dec 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Joiner View Post
    I also own a Ridgid 12v. It's a great driver drill.As powerful as my old 18V and holds a charge longer.
    What I love is the lifetime free battery replacement. Be sure you fill out the paperwork.
    I had a horrible experience with trying to get them to honor my "lifetime" free battery replacement. Let's just say Ridgid's definition of lifetime is a bit different than mine. They seem to think a lifetime is less than 5 years.
    Larry J Browning
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world; Those who understand binary and those who don't.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Glenmoore Pa.
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    658
    I'm a contractor and I use my cordless driver/drill every day, all day long.
    Mostly for screwing in cabinets and drywall.
    I've owned them all and nothing beats Milwaukee.
    I just replaced a 9 year old Milwaukee because I wasn't able to find reliable replacement batteries.
    I won't even consider anything else.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Browning View Post
    Have you looked into getting your batteries rebuilt? I think there are several companies that do this. My understanding is that you end up with a better battery for less than new.

    This guy is pretty highly regarded here:
    http://www.mtobattery.com/store/
    Note that the LiIons are not rebuildable.

    I even went to the extreme of taking a couple apart, finding the dead cells, over riding the circuitry, modifying a third party charger.... etc.

    It 'worked'. But really wasnt worth the hassles and no longer had some of the thermal protection circuitry, which no doubt would just mean it burns up quicker (or creates a safety hazard). So I wrote that battery off.....

  15. #15
    I've got the 18 volt makita 18 volt non-compact drill and driver setup. Very impressed. I had been holding out for years with a small dewalt drill, which was OK, but not enough battery.

    I like the driver drill pair because you can drill with one, and drive with the other. No need to switch bits. The driver does a nice job on bigger screws, and the drill has a good clutch, so sometimes you may want to drill with the driver, and drive with the drill.

    In retrospect, I think that compact 18v would have been OK also. I'm glad I got the bigger battery version though. Also, the big batteries let you use the same batterys for different 18 volt tools.

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