OT - Cordless Drill

My cordless drill gave up the ghost and I am surprised how much I miss it. I have corded drills, but I really miss the cordless.

The battery long ago stopped holding a charge beyond day use, and then the charger light wouldn’t even go on, which I think means the charger is dead. It might be slightly cheaper, or not, to replace the battery and charger, but the base of the drill was split and half missing from falling off a ladder or some such calamity. I started to “just buy it” the last time I was in Lowes, but which one?

So, I put the question to p-net’s extensive population of D-I-Y-ers, what cordless drill have you had good results from, and features should I look for?


Dewalt 14V …NM

Agree with Tommy.

Bought mine about 6 months ago; pleased with its performance.


Add one more fer de DeWalt 14.4 volt
Good drill.


Two Schools of Thought
You can buy two Ryobi’s for the price of one Dewalt - We use both and not much difference in ability and we use them all day everyday and they are mistreated. We use the 18v

Mine is a Makita 14.4
Love it. Dewalt and Hitachi very good also.

Here’s a test: Grip the drill’s chuck in your hand as tightly as you can, try not to let it slip. Then, slooowwwllllyyyy squeeze on the trigger. You want to be able to break your ability to hold the chuck in an EXTREMELY slow and controlled way. You want to be able to turn that chuck against your ability to stop it in the slowest possible manner. Any quick spins or touchy triggers, put it down and forget it.

Drills that can do that aren’t the cheapest, but I won’t own anything else.

Hitachi 1830HL 18V.
Runs long deck screws in well, even in sodden treated wood. Rated high in CU. Good price through amazon.com (although amazon drives me crazy with their account passwords and their follow-up spam). Can’t comment on long term battery life (Ni-MH) but features are very well thought out. First keyless chuck I have dealt with, and that’s certainly an improvement.

Panasonic 18V
i’m an alpine ski coach and use drills in brutally cold weather to set race courses into ice. i’ve used dewalt also, but the Panasonic is the best in terms of holding a charge in cold conditions. when i was using my last dewalt, i’d need to switch batteries halfway through a practice. with the panasonic i can go through a whole week of practice without running it dry. it ain’t cheap though.

Prefer brand name but . . .
I went in another direction. I have used many of the popular power tools already suggested. I’ve had them fail on me too. Many were covered under warranty, but who wants to wait for them to be fixed. My current tools of choice are Craftsman 19.2 volt series of cordless tools. The extended protection plan is incredibly inexpensive. The tools have plenty of value for their price and with the protection plan, if anything goes wrong, you can get it replaced right away from any Sears store. That is the primary reason why I chose them. There are Sears all over the place so no need to halt a project. Although I haven’t had to use that convenience yet.

I have a favorite creek I like to paddle and I’ve used the cordless reciprocating saw to clear a small path through several of the downed trees. The 19.2v battery really helps. Unless weight of the drill is an issue, I would recommend the power of this over the 14.4v.


I’ve had good service from this one. You can register it on-line for the pro-vantage 3 year warranty. I had to have the charger replaced, though. It seems that you shouldn’t leave it plugged in when not charging or leave the battery stored in it long term with power on. My bad. Why leave that kind of phantom load on and sucking watts?

Dewalt/Makita/Milwaukee/Hitachi/Fein/Metabo, etc., they’re all fine. I’ve used 14.4v and 18v Dewalts for years, they work. Used Makitas from 9-18v, they’re nice too. Now I use an 18v Fein which has been nice, but I am lusting after a light Li-Ion.

If I was in the market for a new drill/driver right now I would definately be going Li-Ion. More and more on the market, with the Makitas, Milwaukees, and Hitachis being the most frequently encountered. All trusted brands in drill/drivers. For lighter use a “white” Li-Ion Makita may just be perfect.

I’m in the market too…
The only decision I’ve made is 18 volts.


Panasonic EY6432
15.6V 3.5Ah Ni-MH Best conventional chuck going, holds charge longer than any of the comparables, plenty of torque. 18V version is too heavy for me, when I need extra torque (rarely), it’s back to my corded Milwaukee.


– Last Updated: Jan-28-08 2:28 PM EST –

Do you plan on drilling a lot of 1/2" holes through railroad ties? Or do you like getting the most exercise you can when you work?

As part of a kit, I'd go 18 or 24 volts. But, when I replace my 14.4 drill, it will be with another one. And, I don't just do small stuff either.

If I'm drilling RR ties or mixing plaster, I go to my corded Makita. Short of that kind of work, you can't stop the lighter 14.4.

Black & Decker
I know they’re supposed to be the cheap brand but mine has worked great. Less than $30 for a 24v cordless drill, I figured how can I go wrong.

Didn’t know they made drills, but …
In this review, Panasonic was the Editor’s Choice:


It is surprising to see the variation in results across one class of tool. I suppose there is variation in price, too.


B&D 18v is what I am replacing
I was happy with the B&D. But I must have a high threshold for poor performance. For about the last year the battery would loose its charge overnight. And it did smash apart after being dropped, perhaps because it was heavy. Now that I am thinking about it, shouldn’t a tool be able to stand being dropped? It wasn’t that old, but I don’t remember the age. Might have to look that up. How long have 18v been around?

It was a gift from one of my family and I never realized it only cost $30. When charged, it had impressive power.


B & D - Me Too
Cheap is good. I bought a B & D 18v, 2 lithium batteries for $39 around Christmas (plus light and stud finder incl). Unless you’re in the construction business and are driving screws all day long, the drill is the one tool you can really get away cheap. This thing is as powerful as can be and won’t slow down on any screws.

3/8 chuck. 1/2 chuck was $20 more.

Maybe I’m just a B&D driller
I just saw some prices for the Panasonic and suddenly realized I’m just a Black & Decker guy. I covet nice tools as much as the next fella, but can’t justify several hundred dollars for a drill. It might not be B&D, but I’d like to think I can get something for under $100. Maybe I’ll have to buy another one in a few years, and if I do, I will feel better about it knowing I can still afford to buy a few more for the price I would have paid for the Panasonic.


Dewalt 18 Volt 3 Speed hammer drill…good for anything and everything.