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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m new here, please be gentle with me. :smile:

I have a 500W corded impact drill for a long time. I use it for pretty much everything from drilling concrete to metal to wood.

Lately I have acquired a bunch of power tools since I got a tad more serious on woodworking . A router, jigsaw and a finishing sander, all corded. I figured, I don’t plan on using those stuffs too often, corded means I don’t have to worry about battery becoming unusable after extended storage. I guess I am a tad old fashioned and I like things to last forever.

But I wondered if I made the wrong choice there.

Not too long ago I bought a Black & Decker 12V drill that is on sale, since the NiMH stuffs are going out of style. I didn’t need another drill but thought I could use a powered screw driver.

Lately the said impact drill needs a trigger switch replacement that I can’t find. So I started looking for a replacement. I was mainly looking at rotary hammers, both corded or cordless, since they would drill pretty much everything. The impact drill I have been using struggles at reinforced concrete like ceiling and pillars.

I also started using the 12V as a drill, I have to say I am pleasantly surprised, I would say it works for 95% of my need, and I do like the freedom it afforded. That other 5% would be drilling concrete and driving large hole saw. Rare occasion, but they do happen.

This leaves me a conundrum. I am about to buy the most expensive tool for that 5% of my drilling need. I also can’t say I use a drill every month. Most of the time only when I have a project going on. So that 5% is the rare of the rare occasion.

The model that I am most interested in is an 18V Bosch rotary hammer. The tool and battery cost themselves are within budget. I looked at what other Bosch 18V tools I can potentially purchase in the future, those however are rather pricey. But at the same time I also wished I hadn’t bought all those corded tools so I can justify the cordless system cost.

But when I look at the 12V system, the prices seems more reasonable, but it offers little more than I already have and that 5% would remain unfulfilled.

Since l am already quite invested in corded tool, should I get another corded rotary hammer and use the 12V drill for most other stuffs? But if I were to go cordless, I guess I gotta start somewhere?
 

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I have an impact and drill that came as a kit. It offered a free circ saw with the kit or I wouldn’t have it. I recommend having at least a 1 cordless drill. It will go places that a corded is a pain to use like up on a roof and doesn’t have a cord in the way for bench work. I don’t contract out anymore so I don’t really need the rest to be cordless. If you do need those tools to earn a living that’s different. They’ll pay for themselves. Eventually the batteries will become an issue. Battery powered usually means less power and maybe a duty cycle limitation.
I have a fairly cheap hammer drill/drill (it’s switchable) but as a drill it is too fast and low torque.
 
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I have a Dewalt 20v impact driver and drill set that came with 3 batteries as a promo when Lowes opened a store in my area a number of years ago. I also have a Dewalt 12v impact driver and drill that only cost me the price of a battery (my friend was throwing them out because he has a number of drills and didn't want to spend money on another battery). I also have a few cheaper cordless drills. All of these units are used regularly because of the convenience. Then I have a Ridgid corded drill that I use for pocket screws. But, in addition, I have a Dewalt corded hammer drill that I use when I need to drill concrete etc.

OK, I have a lot of drills - I may not have answered any of your questions, and it really depends on which way you want to go, but, I like the convenience of cordless power tools and the benefit of corded when I need them.
 

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Hey NB or N/A, whichever you prefer (as opposed to a name we can call you by); welcome! :)
The cordless technology is as bad as computer technology in that it obsoletes itself on a very short time line. The corded stuff, by comparison, is timeless.
They'll have to drag my extension cords from my rigor mortised hands. No bias here...
 

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Theo
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The cordless technology is as bad as computer technology in that it obsoletes itself on a very short time line. The corded stuff, by comparison, is timeless.
They'll have to drag my extension cords from my rigor mortised hands. No bias here...
As Chuck said: If you do need those tools to earn a living that’s different.

I work in my shop, so electricity is available. Don't need no batteries needing charging just when I need them. Or becoming obsolete, and have to spend $ to replace all.

You want cordless. Here you go.
 

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I was a corded drill bigot, having had a powerful Metabo impact drill for forty-odd years. The early battery drills were handy, but lacked grunt and rpm. Then I bought a DeWalt 18V nicad drill, and used it for 99% of my needs (has a 3 speed gearbox and the highest rpm - better for drilling small holes faster in concrete). But the Nicad batteries lasted the promised 300 cycles, no more, and were expensive to replace. Also the replacements (both new originals and re-packed) somehow seemed to last less long than the first set that came with the drill.
So I hardly ever need the Metabo now, but have become a DeWalt bigot (drills only) and bought a brushless 18V lithium ion XRP model three years ago (don’t know about the USA, but the same drill costs almost three times now than what I paid for it - essentially unaffordable), and plan to keep using it until I can’t hold a drill anymore. I even got somebody to bring me out the tower adapter from the USA to use the Li-ion batteries in my old De Walt. I must say, though, that Metabo has brought out some really beefy Li-ion drills, comparable in every way to the DeWalt, and better priced.
But a real surprise for me has been the usefulness and durability of a really cheap but powerful (1000 Watt) corded Chinese-made hammer drill that I bought in Cyprus 10 years ago. It has more than enough torque to spin a 4” carbide-tipped holesaw through a masonry wall, drives an sds 3/4” bit through concrete like it was wood, and takes sds chisels and gouges for masonry and concrete. Cheap and nasty sds chuck , but has paid for itself several times over. A useful cordless sds chuck hammer drill is very expensive around here.
My guess is that you would find a good 20V cordless quite comparable to your 500W corded drill -if that was sufficient for all your needs, you will be fine. If at times you needed more grunt than the 500W, you may want to stay corded - May be cheaper than cordless. If you want to drill concrete, go sds chuck, whether corded or cordless. There is an adapter for holesaws and the like.
 

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I was just thinking along these lines today. I have had a 1/2" cordless drill forever, and I have a smaller 3/8" drill and impact driver set that I use for 99% of everything. I was able to get another pair of bare tools for cheap, (I hate changing bits when working on a project).

I was looking on the wall where to store these, and I decided to let the 1/2" cordless drill go. I don't use it hardly at all, and it would mean getting rid of a charger and 2 batteries.

I have a big 1/2" corded drill for the big jobs anyway, and a 3/8" corded drill which is dedicated to drilling pocket holes because it does a far better job than a cordless drill does, and it doesn't weigh as much as a cordless. I like the smaller lightweight tools, which is why I love air drills at work. All that power, and it doesn't weigh a thing.

I never really got "cordless fever", I work with guys bragging on their 18v, 24v, etc drills that weigh twice as much as a corded version, yet they never use them more than 12 feet from an outlet... If I was on a job without power I could see it, but at home I can't.
 

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I'm building my collection using Milwaukee 18v. Got the impact driver and drill on sale with 3 batteries and a charger. Added the hedge trimmer, shop radio, and multi tool .... so far. Lots of power and the batteries last a lot longer than before.
 
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I was just thinking along these lines today. I have had a 1/2" cordless drill forever, and I have a smaller 3/8" drill and impact driver set that I use for 99% of everything. I was able to get another pair of bare tools for cheap, (I hate changing bits when working on a project).

I was looking on the wall where to store these, and I decided to let the 1/2" cordless drill go. I don't use it hardly at all, and it would mean getting rid of a charger and 2 batteries.

I have a big 1/2" corded drill for the big jobs anyway, and a 3/8" corded drill which is dedicated to drilling pocket holes because it does a far better job than a cordless drill does, and it doesn't weigh as much as a cordless. I like the smaller lightweight tools, which is why I love air drills at work. All that power, and it doesn't weigh a thing.

I never really got "cordless fever", I work with guys bragging on their 18v, 24v, etc drills that weigh twice as much as a corded version, yet they never use them more than 12 feet from an outlet... If I was on a job without power I could see it, but at home I can't.
You remind me of myself. I was doing a project in my gym and had 2 Dewalt drills and 2 Dewalt impacts all going at the same time, as I hate changing bits. I still had to change bits,as I needed a 5th drill lol .


I had Makita 14V nicad cordless drills and hated them . Gave them all away at one point .
Went all Dewalt 20V , the newest pair is brushless . I love these drills !
 

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I never asked what they use at home, but both my sons use cordless tools of various types, on their jobs. A huge percentage of their job sites have no power available, so for them it is a necessity.
 
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You can get around the need for extra drills by using quick change chucks and bits. The impacts are already quick change and you can get quick change chucks to put in a drill Chuck. I have one set of metric quick change bits to 6.5mm and a set of imperial to 1/4 inch in quick change so one drill sand one impact are usually good enough.
 

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2 18v DeWalt drills, with one 20v adapter. One 18v DeWalt impact drill. Other 18v toools include DeWalt jig saw and DeWalt riciprocating (saws all type), and a 6.5 inch circ saw. I love using those tools and not having to juggle cords. But if I have to work on concrete, give me a corded tool instead.

Much of woodworking is done in a shop, which centers on the table saw, drill press and for most of us, a router (freehand and table), where cords don't matter much. Sanders, flat or random orbit are easy to use with cords, and you can drape the cord on an overhead hook to keep them out of the way, then you also have the hose for dust collection to fuss with.

The last issue is the lifespan of batteries. A cordless tool has to really deliver to be worth having to replace them when the batteries die and require replacement. That's one thing I do like about the DeWalt system, they have the 20v adapter. But the lock to the tool is very stiff and clearly you need to buy an adapter for every tool. That's much better than complete oblescence when your batteries die. I just found 18v large XRP batteries for $105 a pair, far less than the $150 at HD. The battery lifetime issue is a deal breaker when it comes to many brands. If the manufacturer won't give you an upgrade battery plan, then screw them, stay away, let their brands die on the shelves.

I'd love to have a cordless nailer, but only if I used it constantly (never going to happen). Got to get your money's worth on high priced cordless tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks guys for your responses and personal stories, I really appreciate them. :smile:

I am merely using the drill for stuffs around the home, not professionally.

This is the model I am looking at. Also note that rotary hammer is a tad different from the similarly named hammer drill. This is a more specialised tool for concrete, but for me it is also interesting that it can be used as a powered chisel. This has an SDS+ chuck.



Not to long ago I had a home renovation, I tried using my 500W hammer drill to install some lights. I managed to install two and ate through a bunch of drill bits. My drill does regular concrete fine, but reinforced concrete like ceiling is a whole different animal altogether.

I ended up calling a handyman to install the rest of the lights. He came in with a rotary hammer. He drilled the each hole in seconds, one handed. :grin:

So at that time I thought to myself I want one of those for my next drill. This is before I bought my puny 12V NiMH Black & Decker that proved worthy for most other stuffs.

I also can see how cordless can be useful in this situation. I don't have to worry if I flip the right switch on the circuit breaker. Not to mention the LED light on the drill would be really handy where there is no light.

But the problem is of course this is not an everyday scenario. By the time I need to install another ceiling light, at least the battery would be long dead. :grin:

I think for some tools, cordless is a bigger deal than others. Say for a router or a sander, they create some much fine dust that it would be impossible to use them in a living room. But for a drill, or may be a jigsaw, clean up is not so hard with a vacuum cleaner on hard flooring. You guys are right to note that, when confined to a bench, all that cordless freedom is mostly nullified.

I think you guys cleared my head a little. I agree that having at least 2 drills is useful. I'll at least keep my current 12V as a screw driver like I originally planned to.
 

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I have an ancient Craftsman corded drill. Haven't used it in years. Ryobi 18V +1 had taken over. The Ryobi has tons of torque for driving screws. Corded drill is useless for that. Negative- spent lots on new batteries as the original batteries died. Found some blems at $99 for four batteries.
 

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When I installed car stereos for a living in the 80s and 90s, 12 and 14 volt Makita cordless drills were essential. Expensive, but also powerful, with a lot of "feel" so you didn't strip the customer's expensive dashboard etc. they were $300 or more each back then, made in Japan.

When the 14V finally died about 10 yrs ago, I made do without anything cordless, but one B+D hammer drill with a half inch metal chuck for years....and hated using it........but...no dough, kid, etc.

About 5 yrs ago, I bought a used set of Porter Cable cordless 12V and 18V drills, impact drivers, multiple batteries and chargers from a car club member (a contractor) for $200.

12V: 2 chargers, 4 batteries, 2 drills and 2 impact drivers
18V: 2 chargers, 4 batteries, 2 drills and 2 impact drivers

Have since added a recipro saw, 1/2" hammer drill and 1/2" reg drill, 7-14" circular saw and a flashlight along with 6 more batteries. Everything when it was on sale / clearance.
The 18V batteries were at Lowe's for $10/pr instead of $100. I bought both sets they had.

I really like having small versatile cordless tools, they are invaluable for working on cars, especially interiors. I also have about 30 air tools and a whole bunch of corded sanders, routers, saws etc. It is a luxury to have them all, but every job calls for the right tool.

I know a couple of friends who swear by the DeWalt 20V impact guns - one charge allows you to change 4 wheels at the race track twice, and it is half the weight of my $400 air impact gun. But it also cost $450 and doesn't have the power when things get real tight.

All of this is designed to give you some food for thought, perhaps a used decent set of cordless will get you into that game, worst case is having to buy some batteries. I know I despise lugging cords and heavy tools around.....almost as much as having to deal with ****ty old batteries that don't hold a charge long or cycle out early lol.
I dumped 3 batteries this week, so I'm down to 11 now; but I also like having dedicated tools loaded with the proper ends - one impact with a counter sink, one with a 1/4" drive socket, one drill preloaded with a commonly used drill bit. I do the same with my dozen air tools when I'm fabricating metal - so nice to have 4 die grinders all loaded ready to go. At $10 or $15 each at HF, it is not a luxury, but rather a solution to a problem most people don't realize they have lol.

Once you commit to a cordless system it makes more sense. I would never do without small and large cordless tools tho. The 12V drills and impact drivers are so tiny and useful......and way easier to handle, especially overhead or in tight ugly places. With cobalt drill bits, they perform way beyond expectations.

Good luck with your search and purchases.
 

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mountaineering rock drill... eh...
ummmmmmmmm...
Dan.....
you ain't young anymore....
 
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I have acquired a bunch of power tools since I got a tad more serious on woodworking
hold the phone...
I forgot to welcome ya...
welcome to the forums Tim....
and..
I hope you wander over to this link...
 
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