Best compact drill driver...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Jeff Scott, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    ...for occasional use? I am thinking Milwaukee, but there are always trade-offs with these things. I am not doing contractor work, just stuff around the house. I have a Dewalt DW235G which is great, but I want something smaller and lighter for general use.

  2. Both Milwaukee and Rigid tools are of contractor quality and will last you a lifetime. They are a bit pricey but I have two Milwaukee tools (a hammer drill and a Sawzall) that are over fifteen years old , get worked really hard , and are still going strong. I also have a couple of Maketa drills , both over fifteen years old that still work well. I work construction so these things have to hold up to daily hard use and they have all done that. DeWalt has upped their quality in recent years so you might want to look for something by them that's a little smaller than what you have. You will save some money by doing that and they should hold up well for home use. Ryobi makes tolerable stuff for home use and their warranty is pretty good if anything goes wrong with them. Most stuff on the market today will do O.K. for home use. Just stay away from bargain basement stuff. If you want the Rolls Royce of tools , go with Hilti . Just make sure to bring your bank book.
    edit. changed to Hilti. What was I thinking?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Yeah, I am finding that they can get kind of pricy. I did briefly check out a Ridgid and Dewalt. Makita is a bit higher price-wise but I am considering them, too. I am not a contractor but I have worked alongside the guys who were doing all the various gut renovation on our house. I am the designer of the craftsman details for the house and some of the work called for me to make some last minute decisions while we were planning and installing the 5' tall wainscot in the dining room phase of the project. I've been directly involved with the crew, things like installing the heavy duty pocket door frames and building a couple of walls out, along with lots of other things during the time we've been doing these renovations.

    I have a project coming up pretty soon where I need to drive in over 200 screws for some 3'x5' acrylic sheets over windows to weatherproofing them. The Dewalt I currently have is way too heavy and somewhat out of balance, ergonomics-wise for such a job. That is one of the things I am hoping for, a driver with much better ergonomics.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  4. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderators Local A440 Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    CPO outlet dot com has great deals often on recon tools. My Bosch stuff has been just fine.
  5. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive

    Apr 23, 2014
    Hilti gets my vote — Home - Hilti Australia — hard to do better. Not that I have a problem with any of the others mentioned :)
  6. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I went through this exact dilemma 3 or 4 years ago...was certain that the consensus would be a DeWalt or a Makita or a Milwaukee. But based on recommendations from both polling of several random internet forums and talking to employees at local hardware, houseware, & contractor's equipment stores, the consensus turned out to be Rigid. Got one and have been very happy with it since.

    btw, everyone who uses power drills owes it to themselves to invest in some Bad Dog drill bits.

    Also, remember:

    geeza and Jeff Scott like this.
  7. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    I've had a Ryobi "ONE+" for several years now, it's been good. Much better than the old Bosch, but the old Bosch was NiCad and the Ryobi is my first Lithium, which is where most of the difference lives, at least so far as the drill still working well after several years, rather than needing a constant stream of expensive replacement batteries to keep working. When I want heavy duty, I pull out a (hammer) drill with a cord-and-plug, which happens to be a Milwaukee. No magical quality there - that one has needed a replacement power switch, but at least it was available.

    With "for occasional use" and lithium, remember that "half-charged" is the sweet spot for stored lithium batteries, not full or empty. Certainly the Ryobi charger I have will top them up quick if you have a big job, and in most cases is fast enough that you can pull one out of the charger and keep going while only having the two batteries it came with, unless it's very hot or very cold which makes the charger wait until the battery is safe to charge. And it's rather nice that they have opted to stick with that one battery interface for lots of tools over quite a few years, rather than the endless mish-mosh of incompatible batteries that seems to be typical. I have grown up enough that I don't actually have any of those other tools, rather than feeling a need to add a bunch of tools I'd rarely or never use to my kit just becasue they would fit - I got the basic "drill, two normal batteries and a charger with a bag" which goes for $100 or so.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
    danesdad likes this.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    I came across this review of the contenders:

    Best 12V Cordless Drill Roundup | Pro Tool Reviews

    I have not spent much time at the stores to handle these drills (at least the ones available in-store), so the section on ergonomics was interesting to me. I have a tendency to, perhaps, over-research stuff like this as I don't want to buy and return, or, not be able to return and have to buy again, to find one that works for me.

    Luckily I don't drink and drill :D so I shouldn't have much of a problem with too many holes in the wall, maybe just my hand if/when the bit slips off the screw! :roflmao:

    More trips to the big blue, and orange, boxes may be required.
    Tom Bomb likes this.
  9. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    SW VT
    Every one of those (12 or 18) looks "chunky and clunky" to me, from the perspective of owning this:
    Which happens to be 18V, but not a clunker. Try one.
  10. tubedude


    Jan 19, 2015
    After using Ryobi, Milwaukee, Black n Decker, and others over the last 40 years, I got a set of Rigids. Lithium drill/driver and hammer drill with 2 batteries and 2 chargers. Had them for a year and love them. Good power and ergonomics, and the best part, after mailing in the receipt, A LIFETIME WARRANTY! On the drills, batteries and chargers! Best $ I've spent on a non-music related purchase ever.
    Jeff Scott likes this.
  11. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    I may just have to. I was hoping to keep it fairly small, without the bigger size clip-on/slide-in battery, although that does allow for a more ergonomic handle.:thumbsup:
  12. cmcbass

    cmcbass Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2018
    I'm a big fan of Makita. I've never used Milwaukee for extended periods of time, but I use a Makita drill and impact driver every day at work. The newer brushless makitas are compact and light weight. Good on the wrists if you have wrist pain like I do.

    View attachment 3113630
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  13. cmcbass

    cmcbass Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2018
    I bought one of these as a present for my dad's birthday last year. Great for around the house, and very affordable.
  14. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013

    Probably all of the bigger brands have upped their game recently, and brushless and lithium ion are game changers, but I can say DeWalt's customer service have treated my family and I well over the last few years of us being unreasonably abusive to their products.
    MJ5150 likes this.
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Ultimately, I'd like to find a corded model but with the size and form factor of these compact cordless ones, something like a Milwaukee M12 that plugs into the AC outlet. I get why all the power tools have been going cordless, but I am not on a job site where there may be no AC available. :D Most of the time anyway. Outside of that DW235G that I got last year, primarily to use with a wire wheel to take the paint of a large slab of bluestone,I have not bought a new (or used) drill since the early 1980s.

    I think I may hit BIG ORANGE later this evening, again.
  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Long ago I standardized all my power tools on DeWalt. I don't even shop other brands.
    The reasons for that decision are the great quality, the great customer service as @MattZilla mentioned, and I like the consistency of the same brand/logo/colors in my tool collection (that may be some borderline OCD behavior on my part).
    I know many guys who are loyal to Makita. Milwaukee too.

  17. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
  18. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    I've got a lot of Milwaukee M12 Fuel and M18 Fuel stuff. It's awesome.

    What are sinking the screws into?
    An impact driver would usually be the best tool for most jobs that involve lots of screws.

    The M12 drill/driver kit is a good value. The M18 Surge is a great driver that's quieter than most. I believe Rigid also make a hydraulic driver that is excellent.
  19. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    I got a Black and Decker drill for Christmas about 7 years ago. It uses a 20 volt lithium ion battery. Comes with only one battery and takes about 8 hours to charge, but what a charge it is. I have done projects with it and the battery lasts longer than you will. Charge it at night and it's ready to go the next day. The really nice thing about it is the battery holds a charge for over a year. It's very light as well.
    lowplaces likes this.
  20. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    Couldn't post earlier because I was at home but this is what I have on my bench.

    Black & Decker Pivot Driver

    This model I have is about 10 years old or older and holds a charge just fine and works like it did the day I took it out of the box. Three positions, comes with a charger.

    0813180252.jpg 0813180252a.jpg 0813180253.jpg

    It's about 9 inches long without the bit.

    The new version has a light on it.
    4V MAX* Cordless Screwdriver & Flashlight - BDCSFL20C | BLACK+DECKER
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