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Need advice on what kind of drill/driver to buy

Posted by supermommy (My Page) on
Wed, May 23, 07 at 14:34

I want to get my husband a nice drill/driver for Father's Day but I don't know what kind. He's building our deck and has borrowed my brother's 18V cordless one to do that but we keep having to return it to them and I want him to just have his own GOOD one. I have some questions:

Is it better to just get an electric one vs battery powered? We've got extension cords and outlets galore all over the house (outside too) so it's really not a problem finding a plug. I know he gets tired of waiting for the battery to charge.

If I do get an electric one, what is the equivalent amp to an 18+ volt battery operated one?

Any brands you recommend?

Thanks so much in advance!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need advice on what kind of drill/driver to buy

>>Is it better to just get an electric one vs battery powered? We've got extension cords and outlets galore all over the house (outside too) so it's really not a problem finding a plug. I know he gets tired of waiting for the battery to charge.<<

I prefer battery over corded. What ever you buy, buy 2 batteries, that way one is always charging. If he is using it mostly as a screwdriver, then it needs to be battery operated as the cord just gets in the way and slows you down. Make sure when you get the

>>If I do get an electric one, what is the equivalent amp to an 18+ volt battery operated one?<< I wouldn't get a corded drill unless he is drilling lots of holes and does not need to move around the job site much.

>>Any brands you recommend?<< Just about any of the major brands. Some of them now have exchangeable batteries that swap out with all of their other tools. If you don't want to spend a lot on the drill (18v's are pricey), Ryobi (Home Depots Generic brand) is ok.


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RE: Need advice on what kind of drill/driver to buy

Kitchenshock,,,Home Depot is one of many distributors that are licensed to retail Ryobi products in the USA but RYOBI is not a Home Depot generic brand.

Ryobi is a very old and very well respected world class manufacturer of power tools that was in business long before Home Depot was ever conceived. In fact, for years many of the power tools sold by Sear and Roebuck under the Craftsman name are manufactured under license to Sears & Roebuck by Ryobi.


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RE: Need advice on what kind of drill/driver to buy

Thanks for the facts. I was told by a Home Depot employee (bad source, I know) that Ryobi was their brand. Well he was half right, as HD employees usually are. Actually Home Depot has the exclusive rights in North America to sell Ryobi per the TTI website.

"Ryobi is proud to sell its power tools and outdoor power equipment exclusively at The Home Depot in North America, and through leading reputable retailers globally."

I have some Ryobi ONE+ tools that I have come to like. However, I wouldn't call the Ryobi tools a "high" quality or "professional" grade product but for the weekend handyman, they are usually more then adequate, especially considering the price.


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RE: Need advice on what kind of drill/driver to buy

Actually your TTI site is only partially correct as well.

Home Depot is licensed by Ryobi as the exclusive direct retail distributor of the "Ryobi - home owner grade tools" however what most ppl see at the Home Depot Store is only the tip of the iceburg of Home Depot sales as well.

In the mid 90's Home Depot bought out a company called "Maintenance Warehouse" which offered direct catalog sales of cleaning supplies, maintenance hardware and tools to contractors and industrial, commercial, institutional and multi-family residential maintenance departments.

Once Home Depot aquired Maintenance Warehouse they then renamed it "Home Depot Supply Maintenance Solutions".

Originally Maintenance Warehouse had a policy that if you called an order in before 4pm it would be delivered to your site via UPS on the following business day. Since Home Depot took it over they have expanded that policy as well. If you call an order in before 4pm they can still deliver to your site via UPS on the following day but you must pay the UPS charges. The option is, you can call your order in before 4pm to a central booking 800 number and they will have the order pulled and positioned for pickup at the nearest Home Depot Store the following day with no additional charge for shipping and handling.

The Home Depot Supply catalog is about a 1500 page catalog that is updated monthly and which lists hundreds of items that the average homeowner would never have need of.

In the supply catalog they list dozens of contractor or industrial grade tools that you will never see on display in a store. On top of that, they offer a special 800 number where a contractor can special order tools that are not normally listed in the supply catalog. A few years ago I bought a Ryobi 60lb electric jackhammer that I would put up against an Ingersol Rand in quality and performance.

Now back to the original question, what brand of drill/driver should a homeowner buy?

There really is no specific answer to the question. If the homeowner only uses the drill/driver for the occassional small home project nearly any of the homeowner grade tools would suffice. Typically this would be Craftsman, Black & Decker or the Ryobi's that we find in the home supply stores. Some of the problems that are associated with the less expensive home owner grade are underpowered motors, cheap bearings, flimsy castings or body parts and in the case of cordless tools built in batteries instead of interchangable batteries and slow charging batteries. One of my chief reservations against the Craftsman line is that they tend to use specialized chucks or accessories and they continually re-invent the wheel every year or so, so that you cannot get replacement parts or accessories to match.

If the homeowner is undertaking a remodelling job or is a serious DIY-er they would be much better suited with the contractor grades such as DeWalt, Makita, Porter Cable, Bosch or Rigid. This is especially true of the cordless tools. Some of the distinct advantages of the contractor grade cordless tools is that they generally come with two batteries and a quick charger. If you start the day with a hot battery and put the second one on the charger when you start you will be able to quickly swap batteries and never run out of power. While the 18v is now almost the standard in the construction industry the smaller voltage cordless would do fine for a homeowner. By example, about 6 yrs ago I was hanging commercial sheet metal ducting and relied upon my drill driver to drive about 2000 self drilling sheet metal screws per day. I used a 12v DeWalt day in and day out for about a year on that project without any problems, and that same drill is still working strong today, with the original batteries. I also have three 9.6v Makita drill/drivers that I bought back in the early 90's and they are still going strong.

Although I doubt that the average homeowner would ever reap the full advantages of the high end contractor grade tools, none the less, the distinct advantage of the high end tool is years and years of satisfactory service.

In many cases a corded type drill/driver may be sufficient for the homeowner but I would still recommend the cordless type. Why? Because most people pay little to no attention to the wire size of the extension cords. Nothing will destroy a power tool faster than a long run of undersized cord that forces the motors to run on low voltage. With the cordless tools you know the tool is getting full power, there is no cord to trip over and best of all, there is no electrical shock hazard from cutting a cord or working outdoors on wet ground.

however if the homeowner is also a serious DIY'er in my estimation they would best be served by buying the higher priced contractor grade tool.


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RE: Need advice on what kind of drill/driver to buy

If you want to spend the $$$$, buying a nice Dewalt, Hilti, Milwaukee, or Hitachi would last for years and years.

On a more budget conscious note, Black and Deckers serve most home users well, and for a much lower price. Lowe's actually has a deal this week where you buy their cordless drill "starter kit" and you get a 2nd cordless tool for free. For $49.99 you end up with two decent cordless tools, one heckuva deal. Even though I already had one B & D Drill, I went ahead and bought another under this deal so I could get a hammer drill (normally $69.99) for free.

Here is a link that might be useful: B & D Deal


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RE: Need advice on what kind of drill/driver to buy

Buy the Ryobi. If your husband gets into doing stuff, he will thank you for using the ONE+ system. I bought my kit a year ago, and my neighbors get so jealous when i keep bringing out tool after tool that uses the same battery. and the charger only takes an hour, so as i rebuild my entire deck, i am never without power. when in doubt, my wife just buys me another ryobi tool for occasions.
awesome system.


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