Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New cordless drills

I have long resisted buying into the cordless drill bandwagon, because I was afraid that I would not be using it often enough and that the NiCad battery would go bad on me (memory effect, if I recalled correctly? :-)

A few years ago, while I was in Bagotville Qc (2006-2011), I finally gave in and decided to give it a try.
Since I was sure the battery would eventually die on me, and that would mean a replacement drill instead of a new battery pack for it, I figured I should try a middle of the road model.  Not too expensive and not too cheap.
So in 2008 I bought a house brand name from RONA, a large hardware and construction material place in Quebec (like Home Depot or Lowes).

Model 2001516 made by Global Machinery Company
It is a 14.4 Volt 1.5 Ah NiCad Cordless hammer drill driver 1/2 in. chuck.

Came with a hard plastic case and spare battery. 
It was a good deal at Cdn $99, 7 years ago.
It saw lots of renovations projects... The side handle I long ago broke off.

The two batteries idea seems like a good thing, 
but then you end up not using either, regularly enough... 

Most of the time, the charger was plug in with a battery in it, for long periods. It was also a "speed charger" 1 hour charge from the ''too weak to operate satisfactorily'' the drill. That means rapid rise in heat, hard on batteries. And then you still have that damn memory effect to content with. As if I don't have enough memory problems at my age! :-)

It served me good all these years, and since then, these new fangled cordless 1/4 drive impact driver have taken over and having tried a few different models from my friends, I really like these. Makes driving screws with out stripping their heads sooo much easier... If you have a good fitting driver bits and lots of torque. they don't require too much downward pressure from you, the operator, to stay in contact with the screw head.

Problems is, their are not cheap and most often comes as a pair with a cordless drill/driver, and I only wanted the impact driver...

So I figured I will just wait for my Rona NiCad drill to die...
In the last three years, one battery barely hold its charge and the other last OK.
The speed selector switch is hard to operate and the forward reverse switch is giving me fits ... Caused by the trigger switch not releasing forward all the way, all the time. Time for a replacement, I got well my money worth.

Trigger switch fully released, everything works great

Trigger switch stuck in slightly, both selector switches wont work

I can now buy a replacement pair, but which one?

After trying a few, I decided on a 18-20 V Lithium-Ion battery pack and narrowed it down to four brands, to give me the best bang for my buck
Bosch, a tad pricey but I really like the other Bosch tools I own.
Makita, about the best combination of technology for the bucks.
Dewalt, rugged performer, and what most of my friends used.
Ridgid, because it has a lifetime replacement warranty

Milwaukee was eliminated early in the running because they are way too pricey.

One thing that always annoyed me when using my older cordless drill/driver was that I had to stop and switch the drill bit for a screwdriver bit often to complete a job.
There are two way to solve that dilemma;
1- Get another drill/driver, or
2- Get a flip drive drill bit/screwdriver bit combo attachment

I tried a few flip drivers but was never too impressed with them.

The current flip driver unit that I use.

My son Matthew, gave me a Makita combo set for Christmas,... Yippee, problems solved :-)

Looking forward to give it a spin in the new year on my next projects.

It is a Makita DLX2011SY combo set with a soft sided case
Each tools come with their own battery and there is a multi pack/voltage smart charger with it. Smart, because the battery pack has some built-in intelligence to communicate with the tool or charger to prevent damages dues to heat, cells conditions etc. Being Li-Ion technology and with these smart built in features, I'm confident that it would be my last cordless drill... :-)

The line up. All used 1,5Ah batteries, 
the Rona NiCad 14.4V, the Makita Li-Ion 18V

The 1/4 in Impact driver is Model DTD146
The Impact Drill/driver is Model DHP453
and both battery packs provided are 1.5Ah, but it takes the higher capacity ones, 3Ah, 4Ah, etc. I like these 1.5Ah packs; Small, very compact and make the tools well balanced in your hands.

Talking of which, Makita claim that they are ergonomically designed for a better fit in your hands. I mostly ''always'' equated those statements to means: Pricey, look different, fit my hands poorly, and is painful to use. But it this case, bravo, it does fit my hands perfectly, and all the switch controls are right at my fingers.

I like the fit and balance in my hands.
A lot nicer than old clunky...

So there you have it, another addition to my stable of tools :-)
Now what to do with my small pile of LV gift cards which are accumulating...hummm

Bob, getting antsy to drill and screw something :-)


  1. Figuring out what to do with GC is giving me fits. If you hadn't gotten the Makita, my vote would have been for the Bosch 12v. I think the higher voltage is a waste for the shop.

  2. Your Son did you proud. A lot of guys in my profession, stage carpentry, use that set. (Or it's other Makita brothers). You won't be disappointed.

  3. Strictly for shop use i agree, but i intent to use it a lot on house renovation, contruction etc project, hence why I wanted the extra power without going too heavy.
    That was perhaps by biggest complaint about my older one, it was heavy, and tiring.

    A friend has a 12v Milwaukee impact driver, amazing torque in a small package, but too pricey. As much as i like my Bosch tools, im very happy with my new Makita :-)
    Thanks again Matt
    Bob, proud papa

  4. Hi M Stone
    Great endorsement from you guys, im sure it will serve me well into the future.
    And yes, my sons have learned a thing or two from me :-)

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