Hand drill suggestions?

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

pshrynk

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
415
Location
Lake City, Minnesota
My ancient Black and Decker battery hand drill dies this weekend. At the worst possible time, I might add... It was at least 10 years old and quite possible 15. It had a stand charger and no removable battery. Nice little tool for the things I do at the lathe. Anyways, since I have a good reason to spend a bit of cash, what are your suggestions for a lathe-side drill that isn't going to overpower the situation?
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

eharri446

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
801
Location
Marietta, GA
I have a lot of Ryobi products for the 18+ batteries. There drills are reasonably priced and they have some that are compact.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,919
Location
NJ, USA.
My ancient Black and Decker battery hand drill dies this weekend. At the worst possible time, I might add... It was at least 10 years old and quite possible 15. It had a stand charger and no removable battery. Nice little tool for the things I do at the lathe. Anyways, since I have a good reason to spend a bit of cash, what are your suggestions for a lathe-side drill that isn't going to overpower the situation?
If you want the best then check out Festool line. Pricey but great. If you want cheap then check out the Dewalt line. We used them in the construction industry all the time. With all the sales going on now you can get nice sets of tools. Check Home Depot and Lowes for sales.
 

monophoto

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
1,502
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
A few suggestions - first, at this point in the evolution of technology, if you are buying a new rechargeable tool, it makes sense to go with lithium batteries.

Second, think about what other tools you might want to have in the future, and whether you can build the desired selection within the offerings of one brand. For years, I have had a B&D string trimmer. This past spring, Wife decided she needed a reciprocating saw for pruning the jungle around our house, and it's really convenient to have both tools use interchangeable batteries that I can charge at one charging station in the garage.

Third, like Elwin, I have had a number of Riyobi tools over the years - they aren't the best out there, but they are good, reasonably priced, and the line is designed around the concept of interchangeable batteries that all use the same charging station. And a subtle point - older Riyobi NiCad batteries and tools are fully interchangeable with newer Riyobi Li batteries and tools. The only constraint is that Li batteries can only be charged using the Riyobi Li charger, but the Li charger can also charge the older NiCads. Last year, I bought a couple of replacement NiCad batteries for my old Riyobi NiCad drill. Unfortunately, a few months later, the drill died. I bought a new Riyobi Li drill with two batteries and a charger, which can take either the new Li batteries or one of the replacement NiCad batteries.
 

FGarbrecht

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
290
Location
NY
I have the Ryobi 18V drill, hammer drill, pin nailer, sander, and something else I'm forgetting right now. I had accumulated a number of battery operated tools using different charging stations and wanted to consolidate to a single charging system for not a lot of money. I know Ryobi takes a knock for quality but all my tools work pretty well and have been reliable so far. As a part-time woodworker they seem to do the job just fine although they probably would not stand up to professional use for very long (at least that's what I've heard). I have a couple of spare batteries with one always charging so I've always got power, and there are 3rd party cheap batteries available that are about half the cost (with more mAh) that Ryobi charges.
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,004
Location
Tunica, MS,
I agree with the replies above.

For most people who do not use their tools as their primary source of income, a notch or two down from the top of the line and a notch or two above the bottom - will give you Porter Cable and Ryobi and another or two brands.

At this point, it would probably serve you well to look at a "system" or specific brand of tools. I have 14 Ryobi tools, (5) 4AmpH lithium batteries, one 5ampH battery and two 2amphour batteries. When I need another tool, I don't need to buy the batteries, just the tool. I have four of the batteries 2 - 2amp and 2 - 4amp batteries that I have had since 2011 and they still go and go and go.

I used to look towards the top of the line and bought in that direction years ago, but have learned since semi-retirement that I don't need industrial strength tools and I can get accuracy/precision and long term durability in mid level tools now a day. Ridgid by HD are also in the mid range category.

Another thing to look for: Brushless. More and more are moving to Brushless which gives more power and longer battery use. It is not much but it is noticeable.

Study up, look at the tools you need now and the tools you might need in a year ro two or more. It sure is nice to be able to use the same battery across a whole line of products, and when you have 3 or 4 of the same brand batteries, it sure beats taking a bucket of extension cords to a work area.

My surprises with the Ryobi line have been the 18V 12 inch brushless chain saw, Excellent for yard tree branch trimming. The Ryobi 3/8 in crown stapler for upholstery, - saved me hours of frustration; 18V, 16 gauge finish nailer, 18 gauge crown stapler these two guns are EXCELLENT for home shop use;

As to drill, both brushless and brush type are available, with the brushless being more expensive but comes with a 4 Ah battery instead of a 2 Ah. I have a brushless Impact Driver and it is my MOST used tool with the drill being the second most used. These two travel with me when I go visit family here there and yonder, along with the 18V jig saw and 18V brushless circular saw.
 

DrD

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
478
Location
Columbus, Mississippi
In my estimation, for a small, handy, yet powerful drill, you cannot beat the Festool CSX with Li batteries. Yeap, it is spendy, but worth every penny; 30 day no questions asked return, 3 year warrantee. My Festool tools outperform any other brand in my shop - Bosch included. With the Centrotec chucks - which are standard on Festool drills & drivers - there is no measurable runout. I have, over the past few years, replaced most all of my shop tools with Festool.
 

Curly

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
3,582
Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
My 39 year old Milwaukee corded drill works every time I need it. In the shop I don't see a need for battery powered stuff. I bought a Ryobi corded drill/driver 3 years ago for $70Can ($50US) from the Borg (the Milwaukee was still in the storage container) and have drilled hundreds of holes plus driven thousands of screws with it. For a cheap tool it doesn't owe me anything. It is the equivalent of one of their battery tools.
 

Charlie_W

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
5,362
Location
Sterling, VA USA
My go to is Makita. My oldest cordless Makita 9.6v was bought in 1988...over 30 years and still going. Only needed a new switch years ago. I have 5 cordless Makita drills now as well as one corded 1/2” hammer/drill......and other Makita cordless and corded tools.
As a cabinetmaker, kitchen and bath installer and all around handyman, I was using these all day, every day....back in the day. These tools do stand up to plenty of use.
While I do have one 18v cordless Makita, the old 9.6v drills will twist off a drywall screw so you don’t necessarily need the higher voltage drills.
The best advice is to get a drill that is comfortable in your hand and the controls are easy to operate.
 

frank123

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
594
Location
Colorado
FWIW, the latest Harbor Freight top of the line stuff is actually good equipment at better than average prices. Battery cost is also a factor for replacement batteries.

You can find reviews on YouTube and maybe some comparisons as well.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,919
Location
NJ, USA.
My go to is Makita. My oldest cordless Makita 9.6v was bought in 1988...over 30 years and still going. Only needed a new switch years ago. I have 5 cordless Makita drills now as well as one corded 1/2” hammer/drill......and other Makita cordless and corded tools.
As a cabinetmaker, kitchen and bath installer and all around handyman, I was using these all day, every day....back in the day. These tools do stand up to plenty of use.
While I do have one 18v cordless Makita, the old 9.6v drills will twist off a drywall screw so you don’t necessarily need the higher voltage drills.
The best advice is to get a drill that is comfortable in your hand and the controls are easy to operate.
Charlie those 9.6v Makitas are the only battery operated drills I own and have about 6 or 7 of them scattered all over. The problem is the batteries are all going bad. I grew up with them on the job sites and stuck with them. I love that drill. I have the other tools also to go with them. In fact that batter saw of theirs that fits that battery is my work horse. I have 2 of those saws. They break down all my lumber to sizes I need to work with.
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,004
Location
Tunica, MS,
Charlie those 9.6v Makitas are the only battery operated drills I own and have about 6 or 7 of them scattered all over. The problem is the batteries are all going bad. I grew up with them on the job sites and stuck with them. I love that drill. I have the other tools also to go with them. In fact that batter saw of theirs that fits that battery is my work horse. I have 2 of those saws. They break down all my lumber to sizes I need to work with.
I had two of them and loved using them in the late 80's also. But as John said, those batteries went bad - rather quick for me - every 2 to 4 years. I was where they were plentiful - in Japan, but still a little pricey. I really went cordless when Lithiums came out and I haven't regretted and haven't looked back. As to the saw, I had one of those also; forgot all about it until John mentioned it. I left them in Japan with a friend.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,919
Location
NJ, USA.
My brother is a garage sale guru and does the rounds every weekend so I have him on the watch for the drills and batteries. He picked up 2 drills with 2 batteries each for $5 each in the case, a few weeks ago. So I will be adding a couple more to my collection when I catch up with him this weekend.
 

Charlie_W

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
5,362
Location
Sterling, VA USA
Charlie those 9.6v Makitas are the only battery operated drills I own and have about 6 or 7 of them scattered all over. The problem is the batteries are all going bad. I grew up with them on the job sites and stuck with them. I love that drill. I have the other tools also to go with them. In fact that batter saw of theirs that fits that battery is my work horse. I have 2 of those saws. They break down all my lumber to sizes I need to work with.
Yup, those older nicad batteries did have a life span as did all Tool batteries from that era. The lithium batteries are definitely an improvement.
I have one of the 9.6 circular saws...3 3/8” blade...cut many a receptacle box cutout in cabinet backs. Also have an old 9.6 recip saw...also good for light weight work.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
290
Location
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Makita,

Have a number of the Brushless LXT (that's the 18 volt system tools). Drill is great! It's as powerful as a corded drill! A bit more compact and lighter which is always an advantage. They have over 200 different tools that fit this one battery. Not that we'd ever need them, but they're available should the need arise. Check out their website.
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,004
Location
Tunica, MS,
Makita,
Have a number of the Brushless LXT (that's the 18 volt system tools). Drill is great! It's as powerful as a corded drill! A bit more compact and lighter which is always an advantage. They have over 200 different tools that fit this one battery. Not that we'd ever need them, but they're available should the need arise. Check out their website.
I have several Makita corded tools and they are tough, powerful and well made tools: 12" compound dual sliding miter saw, 2 corded drills, belt sander, 1/4 inch router, palm sander. I lived in Japan (mostly) from 1986 through 2010 and visited tool town and tool stores often. I was and still am proud of my Makita tools. I was surprised once when a Japanese man asked me why I liked Makita so much. In the discussion, I learned that Japanese themselves consider their Hitachi line somewhat superior to Makitas, but Makitas were a tough tool. I have two Hitachi tools and they don't seem superior to Makita to me; equal but not superior. I have a Hitachi right angle 12v impact driver (now discontinued) I have had that for 11 years. (paid the equivalent of $300+ for it over there) The battery works as good and as long today as it did new and that little impact driver gets into spaces than little else can, and I use it as a drill also with hexed shaft drill bits.

Ryobi, which is what I mostly use, is a notch down but they still are tough tools and priced more affordable for the home workshop and budget minded. If I were using the cordless tools as a profession, I would move into Makita/Bosch/Milwaukee/Dewalt, (and stay within one brand) but if working in million dollar home projects, I would go the Festool and similar route.
 
Last edited:

JimC

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
13
Location
Greensboro, NC
I have a Milwaukee cordless, brushless, 18 volt that has worked well for me. It has all the power I have ever needed. I also have a Ryobi corded drill that has lasted many years without a problem. I think any of the brand names should work fine.
 

pshrynk

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
415
Location
Lake City, Minnesota
I remember many many years ago seeing a review in a woodworking magazine that said Makita tools were the best available at the time. I believe this was before any other Japanese branded tools came on the market. I have a corded Makita that's 25 years old that keeps going. Just don't need any more cords dragging around at the workbench.
 

howsitwork

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
250
Location
Thirsk
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. and make sure it’s COMFORTABLE. The best drill in the world that’s uncomfortable to use is the worst buy no matter the price. I’ve got Makita , Bosch , Fein and Metabo and the Makita gets the most use as it’s so well balanced and comfortable to use.
Brushless for preference and with a spare battery and fast charger but fast is need time to savour that coffee!😉
 

eharri446

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
801
Location
Marietta, GA
I keep an eye out at my local Home Depot in the area where they have the clearance items for tools. I also have many of the Ryobi tools that take the 18 volt batteries. The one that I love the most is their 18 volt 7 1/4 inch miter saw. With a good 60 tooth Freud saw blade I can cut pen wooden pen blanks that you would swear that the ends have been sanded. Had to upgrade my batteries for that tool to the 6 amp hour. They hold a charge and can go on forever. I took one with the saw to work on a kitchen floor replacement to Charlotte NC in March and used it and have brought it back and I am still using the same battery that I took with me. Also that saw only ways 15 pounds with the battery and once it is dialed in for cutting square it is a pleasure to use.
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
279
In my opinion, choose tools with the following characteristics:

* Lithium batteries, not NiMH or NiCd.
* A set of tools that take the same batteries. Unfortunately each company has its own battery form factor to lock you into their brand.
* At least two batteries. If you buy only two batteries, then consider getting one thin/light battery and one heavy/powerful battery.
* The sense that you will be able to buy reasonably priced NEW replacement batteries and additional tools in the future.

Additional Experiences to Share:

Batteries age on the shelf. A "new" battery that sits on the shelf is no good after a few years, even though it is still "unused."

-> Once a company stops making fresh batteries in a given form factor, the associated tools are doomed. Keep that in mind.

I would not recommend Craftsman today, but I have been using the same set of Craftsman tools for well over 20 years. I was ready to scrap the Craftsman NiCd tools and replace them with new Lithium tools when Craftsman came out with lithium batteries that worked in the old tools like mine. I bought new lithium batteries and a new charger, and still use the old tools. Thank you to Craftsman for that. They didn't have to do it.

We also keep a small "Lifetime Warranty" Hitachi drill driver in the house. The drill driver may have lifetime warranty, but it is the charger that fails. Replacement chargers are hard to find, and they come close to the cost of a new tool. We like that small drill driver, so we bought a used impact driver on eBay just to get a replacement charger.

-> I am not pleased with how Hitachi defines "lifetime warranty."
 
Top Bottom