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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My cheap B&D Firestorm cordless drill/driver just died.

I need a reasonably priced, reasonably decent replacement for general home use. I don't do anything "major" so don't need anything top of the line or heavy duty.

The guy at Lowe's recommended the Hitachi brand and suggested 12v is barely squeaking by. He said he would prefer 14.4v or 18v if I really wanted to cover my bases.

Please tell me your experience with Hitachi or with any other comparably priced alternative. Share your thoughts on volt power and size (3/8 vs 1/2).

Is it worth the extra money to step up to DeWalt? I had really hoped to stay under $100 but could go as high as $200 if I really get more value/longevity/power out of the unit.
 

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I would go with the porter cable set they have at lowes. The one here had the drill and the circular saw for under a hundred bucks. And they are a great tool. And bigger is always better.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
 

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Dewalt is a good drill. Millwaukee is a better choice IMO. Mine is over 20yrs old and I have never had a problem. A freind of mine said if 12volts won't do the job, plug it in. 12v is plenty of power in will drive hundreds of fasteners per charge.
 

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VolGrad,

I like my Bosch power tools, have a 3/8 drill, 1/4 impact driver, and a 1/2 impact driver, all cordless. Tried DeWalt, not much better than B&D IMO, and the 1/2 impact driver could not get the lug nuts out of my wheels. My Bosch takes them out like nothing. Milwaukee gets great reviews but the price kept me away from them. Hitachi is supposed to be good too but I don't have any experience with them nor I know of anyone who owns them

For a cordless drill get a 3/8 18V with variable speed. If you're planning to ever do some deck work you will need a 1/2, but for general use 3/8 is more than enough. Instead of recommending a brand, I will do the opposite: Stay away from Craftsman power tools, they are garbage. Anything else will be fine.
 

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My father and I are big DeWalt fans for cordless tools.

A couple of things to note. 3/8" vs. 1/2" just comes down to what you will be using it for. 3/8" is fine for smaller screws, holes, etc. The 18V gives great power and lasts longer but the downside is that they are heavier. Battery choice is also another option. There are NiCad, NiMH and Lion battery options out on the market now. The lion batteries are much lighter, charge faster and last longer in my experience. They are also more expensive. Make sure you get one with variable speed. They probably all have this feature now but just make sure. I know the old ones didn't always have that and it was a PIA.

I have a 12 year old dewalt 3/8" 12v nicad that still works great although I need to get a new battery for it. My dad has about 4 of the 18v drills and some of them have the lion batteries. They work great too.
 

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18 v Dewalt and be done wit it! You can use mine if you need to!

My set came with the drill, a charger and two batteries. Always have one charged and I never have an issue where I need the drill and the battery is dead.
 

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Well.....Im gonna go the other way, since you say you dont do anything major, and its just for light home use....I say go to Harbor Freight!

Take the money you save and buy Ammo!!
 

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Sorry telememo, gotta disagree with you on this one. My wife got me a Sears Craftsman 19 volt 1/2" drive 2 speed drill and a 3/8 angle drill plus 2 batts and charger for rigging yachts 5 years ago. I wore out the drill but it took over 3 years of heavy daily use to do it. The angle drill which is damn handy is still going strong. She got the set on sale for around a hundred bucks. Check to see if you have a Sears refurbishing store anywhere close by. I bought my replacement drill (same one I had with upgraded chuck) from them and it came with a nice flashlight and a 3 year no questions asked replacement guarantee for $80 out the door. My drill is actually stronger than a Snap-on equivalent costing 4 times as much. For the price, its tough to beat, literally.
 

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DeWalt & Milwaukee for professional heavy/daily use. Porter-Cable and/or Bosch for precision quality work. Craftsman and Black & Decker are overpriced, and their power tool lines (including their "Professional Series") have been of low quality for for over ten years now. Makita & Ryobi may be fair for medium duty work, I haven't owned/used those.

For battery drills, anything below 14 volt would be for minimum duty and short run time. 14 to 18 volt, good for medium duty. 18 volt and up for heavy duty, and longest run time. Weight is proportionate to power, so keep in mind, running a big beast drill will wear you out faster than a lighter drill. It all depends on your needs.

Best setup: DeWalt or Milwaukee 1/2" chuck, variable speed, hi-low gearbox, 120 volt corded hammer-drill. That will handle anything heavy duty! Pair that with a good medium duty (14+ volt) variable speed battery drill kit. That will give you the general use & portability for most projects.

Drills & bits: that's another chapter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finally bought something yesterday. I ended up with the Hitachi 18v 1/2" with Lion batts for $169.99 plus tax. It came with 2 batts and a flashlight thing in a HUGE hard case. The case is larger than necessary ... I mean huge ... but the drill and batts are light weight and see to be well made.

I had it narrowed down to this one of the DeWalt. The comparable DeWalt was over $50 more and the sales guy said he really didn't think it was that much better so I went with this one. We'll see how it holds up over time.

I used it yesterday afternoon and it felt pretty good.

Thanks all for your input.
 

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Sorry telememo, gotta disagree with you on this one. My wife got me a Sears Craftsman 19 volt 1/2" drive 2 speed drill and a 3/8 angle drill plus 2 batts and charger for rigging yachts 5 years ago. I wore out the drill but it took over 3 years of heavy daily use to do it. The angle drill which is damn handy is still going strong. She got the set on sale for around a hundred bucks. Check to see if you have a Sears refurbishing store anywhere close by. I bought my replacement drill (same one I had with upgraded chuck) from them and it came with a nice flashlight and a 3 year no questions asked replacement guarantee for $80 out the door. My drill is actually stronger than a Snap-on equivalent costing 4 times as much. For the price, its tough to beat, literally.
DWinter

Glad it worked out for you, but I went through 3 18V drills in 12 months, all with burned motors. Used for odd jobs around the house only. The second also had a dying battery after 3 months. Also tried the Craftsman cordless 1/2 impact wrench rated at over 300ft/lbs but could not get the lugnuts out of my car (torqued at 90 ft/lbs with a torque wrench) and I returned it. Dewalt and Bosch took the bolts out no problem. Just speaking from personal experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That reminds me ... the Hitachi had a 10 year warranty on the unit (not batts) and the DeWalt was only 3 IIRC. That helped make my decision.
Warranties are good to shop for. Here's a little follow-up on my purchase from last year. I used the drill exactly once. I lent it to a co-worker for a few days when she moved into her new place and she claims she never even opened the box. She ended up not needing it. I went to use the drill the ohter day and it was a no-go. I figured both batts had just drained. I plugged the first batt on the charger and I got no charging light. I plugged the second batt in and the charging light came on. I let it sit overnight but it still has no juice. Neither the drill or the light will work with either batter. I have no idea if the equipment is faulty, if the batts are faulty, or if the charger is faulty. It's a real mystery. All have been stored in the hard case in the closet of my garage. It is climate controlled (no extreme temps & it's dry).

I called the customer service line and was told, "no problem." The down side is I have to either ship it all back to them or drop it off as the closest service center to me is actually their main one. It's an hour away in Norcross. I "might" be able to get by there at some point in the next couple of months to get it looked at but has to be within normal business hours so would require me taking off work. Sucks.

At least they are going to cover it. She said they would either repair or replace it, no problem. It wouldn't have mattered too much since the SN shows the date of mfg is within the warranty BUT I did have the receipt in the hard box with the drill. I will make sure I always do that for purchases like this in the future.

The moral of the story is this product didn't work out too well for me but at least it's covered by warranty. I might should have spent the extra dough on the DeWalt after all.

Also, another lesson learned .... don't lend out power tools. The last drill mysteriously stopped working after lending it to a friend. Same with this one.
 

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The moral of this story is you should have listened to me and bought the Dewalt. I listen to you all the time. See what happens when you don't listen to me!
 
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