Would love some input on buying a new driver plz>>>>>>>

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Forum topic by oopsboardstretchrplz posted 05-24-2011 10:24 PM 2101 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 3637 days

05-24-2011 10:24 PM

I to am in the market for a new drill…

What I have now:
1) 3/8” corded B&D (don’t even know how I acquired this drill but can’t bring myself to get rid of it)
2) 3/8” corded Makita (I like this drill quite a bit but, it does have a cord attached to it)
3) 18V cordless Ryobi (part of a set bought @ HD. This drill has served me well for about 5 years now and been used ALOT more than the Makita primarily b/c it’s cordless. Downside is that the batteries were left in the charger to long & I think the heat generated from doing so has really taken its toll on the battery life.

What I’m thinking & what it will be used for:
1) I’ve recently gotten into woodworking and have grown weary of 20 min batt life in my ryobi. I consider myself a beginner woodworker w/ big ambitions.
2) I’m 100% I want to go cordless.
3) I’m planning on adding a drill press to my garage shop as soon as $ allows.
4) This drill will be primarily for driving screws.
5) Comfort & weight are BIG things to consider for me (~ 10 yrs ago, I shattered one of my wrists & have lost about 50% of the strength in that wrist).
6) One other thing I should consider is that I own a brick house & there have been a half dozen or so times in the last year or so that I think an impact would have come in handy for boring into the brick for whatever reason I need too.

Of course, $ is a factor.
I recently looked (Lowes) @ the Hitachi 18V Li ion drill/impact driver combo for $269. This is definately more than I want to spend but, I could prob be talked into it.
I REALLY liked the way these two drivers felt in my hand. Total weight and balance was spot on for me.

What do you all think…should I just get a ryobi impact driver from HD ($119 for 18V cordless impact)? Going this way will allow me to use the new batt’s in the already owned ryobi set of tools. Out of the ryobi set the only other tool used much at all is the small trim saw. The batteries are not 100% shot, they still have a lil life left. Should I just suck it up and spend the $ for the Hitachi set?

I’m also curious how you tool experts feel about buying used drivers (from CL, etc.) as well as buying refurbished drivers (from

Edited to note that I just saw that HD has a makita drill/impact 18V Li ion set w/ 2 batt’s for $214.


TYVM in advance for any input!!!

-- When there's frost on the pumpkin... it's time for chubby dunkin'!

20 replies so far

View Earlextech's profile


1163 posts in 3768 days

#1 posted 05-24-2011 11:03 PM

I like my blue Makita driver.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4745 days

#2 posted 05-25-2011 01:17 AM

I have an 18v dewalt and one of the small lith-ion bosch’s. For construction projects I grab the dewalt for woodworking I grab the bosch.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3676 days

#3 posted 05-25-2011 02:28 AM

I have the white makitas in 18 and 10.8v lithium. I love them and would highly reccomend them. They are light powerful and well balanced. I like to use the 10.8 set when possible, which is 90% of the time. However the 18 v can charge in 15 minutes.

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4655 days

#4 posted 05-25-2011 02:35 AM

I have tons of Dewalt 18volt stuff

but if I were going to replace mine

I think the newer makitas lithiums

are priced right and seem to hold

there charge a long time and charge very quickly.


View Loren's profile


11190 posts in 4726 days

#5 posted 05-25-2011 02:42 AM

Stay below 14 volt for a shop driver. 14 and 18 volt drills are
more suited to construction sites. Weight is the real issue though,
and some of the newer drill systems have lighter and heavier
18 volt batteries you can switch out, like Milwaukee.

Weight is a big factor. As is balance. Some of the newer drills
have shorter lengths that may make them easier to handle
for close quarter drilling and light work. In cabinetmaking and
installations I prefer to have a right-angle drill/driver on hand.

View Dabilene's profile


23 posts in 3769 days

#6 posted 05-25-2011 03:55 AM

I have the little Bosch 12volt 1/4 inch driver, and I love it. Enough power to drive 3 to 4 inch deck screws and nimble enough for putting kids toys together. I use it almost everyday for something. Can’t remember how I got along without it. I think it was $99.

View Gary's profile


9419 posts in 4511 days

#7 posted 05-25-2011 04:30 AM

In my mind, it’s all a matter of what you will be using it for. In my shop, the driver isn’t used all that much. I have one 18v for heavy stuff around the farm. In the shop, I went with what felt best in my hand. It was a light weight Bosch. Of course, if you really drive a lot of screws, you may need something a little bigger

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Bertha's profile


13615 posts in 3771 days

#8 posted 05-25-2011 04:48 AM

My vote’s for the 18V white Makita impact driver. I haven’t picked up another driver since I bought the set (and I own a Hilti!) By far the best driver I’ve ever owned.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3642 days

#9 posted 05-25-2011 04:50 AM

I use the 3/8” 12v Bosch all day every day. It is great for almost everything I need to do. Once in awhile I have to snag one of my coworkers 18v Panasonic drills (amazing battery life on these btw) to go into something heavier. Those drills aren’t bad, but are so heavy compared to my Bosch. I do cabinet work so the tiny Bosch is able to go into some of my narrower cabinets. A big reason I bought this drill (to replace my 18v Dewalt) is that the batteries are so much cheaper than the 18v. I just bought some new ones and they are about half the price of the Dewalts.

Just my two cents.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View verdesardog's profile


171 posts in 3689 days

#10 posted 05-25-2011 05:29 AM

I have two 1/2” makita’s for sale $50.00 for both including 2 14.4v 2.6Ahr Nimh batteries and a charger. Both drills work well. The batteries hold a charge and drive the drills fine, but not as good as when new.

I recently got the blue makita 18v li-ion hammer drill/ impact driver for more industrial jobs.

-- .. heyoka ..

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 4184 days

#11 posted 05-25-2011 06:56 AM

MAKITA, 18v Lith-ion, The only way to go.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2080 posts in 3717 days

#12 posted 05-25-2011 07:37 AM

Alright, start throwing rocks at me…

For the money (low) and quality (better than average), go with the Craftsman C3 19.2 volt.

Go with lithium ion when you get ready with the same tools. I have nearly every C3 tool they make except the wet/dry vac and the painter. The drill drivers and the hammer drill are great. They are.

Hell, the weedeater (line trimmer) and the hedge trimmer made me get rid of three gas powered tools. I’ve made a believer out of two guys that had Dewalt 18v and Porter Cable 18 volt.

The right angle drill and the driver (with the Lithium Ion batteries) are lighter than 12 volt Dewalt driver.

Even the little job site radio sounds better than the Dewalt boom box.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View oopsboardstretchrplz's profile


10 posts in 3637 days

#13 posted 05-25-2011 09:54 AM

Thanks for all the great input everyone. Much appreciated!

One thing I am still curious about is how you all feel about buying refurbished tools online.
I just saw the Hitachi 18V Li ion drill/impact/light set w/ 2 batteries for just $135. Now this certainly seems like a deal to me… as long as the batteries and the drivers are in good working order

So, what is the difference b/t new off the shelf tools and refurbished? (I could care less if there is a scratch on anything) I also would assume that the warranty and service are BIG factors when buying refurbished.
What are some of the more popular websites w/ woodworkers for refurbished tools?

-- When there's frost on the pumpkin... it's time for chubby dunkin'!

View BobG's profile


172 posts in 4039 days

#14 posted 05-25-2011 02:00 PM

I buy a lot of Craftsman refurbished from their outlet stores. You can get the same deals on line through sears also. In 30 years of buying that way I have never gotten a lemon! The reason is probably that in repair them they are fully inspected. Used to be better deals than they give now but they are still good!

By the way the Hitachi drill driver is good, One thing you need to be aware of is the LI-Ion batteries don’t act like the older style. When they get close to being discharged they slow down some and then just quit! Just like some guys I used to work with.

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

View Pick's profile


30 posts in 4110 days

#15 posted 05-25-2011 02:53 PM

I have been very very pleased with my DeWalt 12V Li-ion drill. I got the one with the 3/8” drill chuck, not a driver. It only weighs 3.2 lbs so there is less fatique in your arms from holding some 18V monster. It also has a really small profile, so it fits in small spaces nicely. I was just installing some drawer slides in a small cabinet, and it was very convenient.

I bought mine during the Rockler trade-in event, so i got it for 109.99 instead of 159.99. Awesome deal.

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