Screw This Thread (Cordless Drills)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AllanN, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    I recently moved out and decided that it was time to purchase a component rack instead of just having my gear stacked on boxes. Putting the backboard on the back of my new rack requires me drive in over 30 small wood screws. I figure this would be a excellent job for a new cordless power drill amongst other future projects. Im looking to spend around $50-70 $130-150. Anyone out there have any suggestions on what to look for?
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I just bought a Ryobi to replace my old Craftsman, and I like it a lot. (The old drill is probably still good, as are the batteries, but the charger broke. Since it is an old design and Craftsman now uses different batteries, I could not get it repaired or replaced - at least not for more than a new drill would cost me. [​IMG])
    I think I paid about $35 for it. It is a 9 volt, and I bought that model because (a) it was cheap, and (b) the battery design was similar enough to my old drill's that I thought I might be able to use the charger and/or spare batteries that I already had. I was wrong. [​IMG] Otherwise I would have spent a little more and bought at least a 14.4V model. I've worked on projects with friends in the past, and really noticed the difference in power at times. Do yourself a favor and buy something a little more powerful than what you think you need. Also check the prices of spare/replacement batteries. If your drill doesn't come with at least two, you'll want an extra, and a "bargain" drill plus a spare could end up costing you more than a better model that either includes a spare or takes cheaper batteries.
    I'd also look for one that takes a fairly "standard" battery type - preferrably a design used on more than one brand of drill. That might help you avoid my problem with the Craftman - somebody changes the design and you can no longer get spare parts.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  3. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I agree, I got a 7.2v drill, and it is not enough power at all. One non-obvious downside of too little power is also how long the batteries last. When I was building my flexy, I was drilling 1" holes through 3 or 4 3/4" boards at once. Because my drill lacked the power to really get through, by the time I got one hole drilled all the way through, the batery was dead.
     
  4. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    AllanN, unless you ABSOLUTELY need a cordless drill, buy a corded one instead, especially if you only use it occasionally. Batteries tend to run out just those few times you need it, and they're not as powerful as corded ones. You'll be amazed how many outlets there are in- and outside a house, and a $5 extension cord takes care of those places where there isn't one close enough. [​IMG]
    Any $50 corded drill will do any regular household job just fine, look at the various features on them (some have a hammering function, some have a level and so on) and get the one you like the best.
    As for screwing, get a $20 cordless electric screwdriver instead of a drill. Much easier to use, and they don't require as much power as a drill, so a cordless works fine. They're also charged whenever they're not in use, so they'll have power whenever you need it.
    Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  5. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    If you must get cordless, avoid anything with NiCd batteries. Go with NiMH or Lithium(Ion) batteries.

    If you're driving screws, not drilling holes, then consider getting something with an adjustable clutch.

    But if you're going to drive these 30 screws and never again use the drill, then you should just get the cheapest thing you can find.
     
  6. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    A cordless screwdriver is a great tool! Drills are really nice for making holes and stuff, but they tend to be too fast and uncontrollable for screws. You have to be very careful not to strip the screw or drive it into an angle. A cordless screwdriver turns much more slowly than a drill, but is still fast enough to drive in a screw at a reasonable speed without having the thing fly completely out of your control.

    I have both a corded drill and a cordless screwdriver, and they're both just as essential even if they're used only once in a blue moon.
     
  7. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Get a _small_ cordless drill (Makita, Dewalt, PC, Panasonic, etc.). I use my small cordless much more often than my larger drills. The smaller drill is easier to fit into tight spots, it's lighter, & still has plenty of power to drive screws. If you need more power get a drill with a cord.
     
  8. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought a new Black and Decker 18v at WalMart for about $69.00, including a bit and screw set. It replaced my last cordless drill that literally fell apart in my hands last week. It was a "no brand name" unit I picked up while shopping at Aldi's. It was actually a nice unit for the year and a half I had it, specially for only $29.00. Lowe's has a special on a 14v drill package with an extra battery for about $65.
     
  9. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  10. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I have a DeWalt 9.6V that has served me well. I bought it around Thanksgiving '96. It came with two batteries (NiCd) that still work well to this day.
    This thing is well built, and I have done all sorts of things with it-
    1. Installed two trailer hitches onto a car (this took both batteries)
    2. Installing innumerable concrete anchors.
    3. Driving 4" screws into 2x6 wall studs (did that two weeks ago at a friend's)
    3. Putting together everything I've purchased in the last six years that had screws.[​IMG]
    I'm ready to "graduate" to the 18V heavy duty model for some REAL torque (although this one does put out almost 20 ft. lbs), but the damn thing will not break. Oh, did I mention it's hit the concrete from 8 ft+ at least six times?
    I find my cordless to be much more useful than the corded for just about everything, and the trigger is MUCH easier to control for driving. So, I'd recommend the cordless first, then a corded later, when you actually need to drill lots of things.
    Todd
     
  11. Armando Zamora

    Armando Zamora Second Unit

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    I side with Todd's camp. I have a Dewalt 14.4v cordless and a corded drill. The cordless gets more use. I only use the corded drill to supplement the cordless. The portability of the cordless is priceless. For example, I replaced and repaired some of my downspouts this past summer. Lugging my corded drill up and down a 24' ladder with the cord acting as a potential tripping hazard was a safety concern. No such worry with the cordless.
     
  12. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    I have a ryobi 14.4v cordless that I bought right after buying my house, it has been great and has done everything that I wanted so far including driving 2 1/2 inch 5/16ths lag bolts into the studs in my garage for shelves, I have gotten so lazy that I grab it instead of a regular screwdriver [​IMG]
     
  13. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    I've got a 14.4v Craftsman that came with two battery packs and a 15-minute quick charger. I'm never without a fully charged charged battery. I just always remember to grab the fresh battery from the charger and replace it with the one from the drill each time I use it. That way, you're never without a fully charged battery.

    I think I paid about $80.00 for it at Sears, so it's a little above your budget.
     
  14. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    I got a 9.6V Ryobi at Home Depot recently for $30 I think. I think they were (and maybe still are) on sale. It has the adjustable torque clutch for screwdriving and it also works well as a drill. It has a built in level and a chuck that can be tightened by hand (no key needed). It's a nice drill.

    If you're using NiCd batteries, it's better to run them down before charging them then to keep them on the charger all the time. Unless your charger is smart enough to shut off when the battery is charged (based on voltage, not on a dumb timer), it can cause a "memory" effect or overcharge the battery which shortens its life.

    KJP
     
  15. DwightK

    DwightK Second Unit

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    I would suggest shopping for a cordless the smart way. Go look in pawn shops. Seriously. I found a commercial grade Porter Cable 14.4V with case, 2 batteries, and charger for 40 bucks. Too bad for the construction dude that needed the beer money.

    I would only ever buy the commercial grade versions of Porter Cable, Old Milwaukee, Makita, Dewalt, etc. Their so much better but more expensive thus pawn shops.
     
  16. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  17. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all your input and suggestions. I ended up borrowing a Porter Cable 14.4 volt drill for my component rack. I think im going to try and expand my budget a bit so I can get something with more build quality. Like the Porter Cable I used. Happy drilling everyone. [​IMG]
     
  18. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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  19. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Here is a unit that costs less that $60 and should work well for around the house fastening jobs...
     
  20. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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