Drill and Driver Decision....

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Forum topic by BrandonR posted 04-12-2013 12:44 AM 2808 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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64 posts in 3344 days

04-12-2013 12:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drill driver dewalt makita

With summer fast approaching, picnic table season for me, I figured I need to get another drill… Right now I have a Dewalt 18v cordless… I like it a lot, but am feeling limited with one drill with consistently changing from pre drill, counter sinking, to bit…

I am a hobbyist like most of us, but in summer build probably 15-20 picnic tables for extra money. Which involves boring holes for carriage bolts and screwing in lots of screws! Im sure I will get a lot of loyalist on brands but basically want to know thoughts…. Also is it a good investment to get a driver, I have never used one…. I do not do any mechanics, does it have a lot of woodworking use?

Here are my two options….

1) Home Depot right now has a sale on three different brands drill and driver combo sets. 2 tools, 2 batteries, one charger…. They are all $199 and all 18 volt Lithium Ion. They have Ridgid, Milwauke, and Makita. I am leaning towards Makita if I go this route….

2) Home Depot also has a Dewalt Drill and Driver set, but 20 volt for $229.

Is it worth 30 more dollars to get the 20 volt dewalt set? Would you rather have the 20 volt Dewalt or the 18 volt makita. I don’t know much about tool specs etc…. Or how much 18v vs. 20v. matters, but i know most you do!

Advice would be appreciated.

Thanks as always!

34 replies so far

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3845 days

#1 posted 04-12-2013 01:12 AM

If you are boring a lot of holes this is good. Never had a battery die.

I have a Milwaukee impact driver and it’s awesome.

A few holes and I use my Ridgid drill driver. A lot of holes I prefer a corded tool.
Any of the ones you are looking at will serve you well.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View Loren's profile


11141 posts in 4699 days

#2 posted 04-12-2013 01:17 AM

Bosch 12v. The mini drill/drivers are quite powerful and you’ll
love having a lightweight drill. The batteries are also a lot
less money to replace and because they are lower voltage,
they don’t build up as much heat in the battery pack so
the 12v format batteries should last longer. When a power
drill lithium battery starts to get cooked from overheating,
the circuitry shuts it down so it won’t work anymore.

Always let lithium batteries cool off before putting them on
the charger. This is the best way to avoid cooking

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8503 posts in 3250 days

#3 posted 04-12-2013 01:22 AM

I would try to get a couple more 18v Dewalts.. you are happy with the drill and already have the charger so why mix and match? Scour craigslist.. they pop up all the time really cheap. I just did a quick scan in my area and a bunch popped up – one was $35 for the Drill, battery and hard case (no charger). Another was $50 for the hammer drill and battery (no charger). Found another for $55 which includes the drill, battery and flashlight (no charger). $40 if you just want the drill and battery. Another for $50 includes the drill, battery, charger and case and is ‘like new’.. You get the idea ;)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View NiteWalker's profile


2742 posts in 3628 days

#4 posted 04-12-2013 01:32 AM

First, there’s no 20 volt tools. They’re all 18 volts, but at peak charge will read as 20 volts, hence the 20 volt “max” moniker.

Now out of those sets, I’d probably go for the dewalt.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3615 days

#5 posted 04-12-2013 02:54 AM

I’d tend to want to stay with the same brand as something I already have. Maybe thats because I have the 12v bosch which is amazing. Really gotta add the impacter to my set.

For your purposes I might prefer the 18v.

Not sure if you have one of these sets but it will go a long way for you…or anyone else on here for that matter.

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

View nwbusa's profile


1023 posts in 3337 days

#6 posted 04-12-2013 05:09 AM

I strongly recommend an impact driver. It’s night and day from using a drill to drive fasteners.

I think any of the top tier brands with Li-Ion batteries will serve you well. I use the Dewalt 20V Max stuff and have no complaints. I’d probably be just as happy with Makita or Bosch.

-- John, BC, Canada

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4022 days

#7 posted 04-12-2013 05:20 AM

I have Milwaukee 18volt, so I would lean very much in the direction of more of the same so I can swap batteries. I would think if I already had Dewalt that’s the way I’d go.
From a spec point of view I’d stay with the same voltage within a brand.

If you can get a kit with a 1/4” impact driver in combo with a drill you will be amazed how you ever got along without the driver. They’re great.

For carraige bolt instals you will probably need some deep well impact sockets and and hex to square adapters to mate them to your driver. And get good ones because those drivers will twist cheap bits right into.

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 3428 days

#8 posted 04-12-2013 05:57 AM

I’d save some money and build off the drill you already have from Craigslist or something similar unless your drill is so old you’d want to replace it anyway. They are almost giving away the older stuff. If you are going to replace anyway i would go with Milwaukee or Rigid. They have the better warranties. Also i have been unhappy with the chucks on the makitas. For some reason they seem to open up and drop bits and don’t hold them as tight as the others.
I currently use the Milwaukee 18v Li sets on the job (replaced the makitas i was using). Had to have the charger replaced (luckily in warranty) and dead battery and now have a dead charger and 5 dead batteries. At $100 a battery i decided to try another set. I bought a drill set and a impact driver set separately a few years ago so i got 4 batteries (compact meaning less run time) and 2 chargers spending $300. I whole heartedly suggest getting an impact driver. The batteries will last 3 times longer driving screws than in a drill and you will reduce chewing up the screw heads with the bit astronomically. I have not used the Bosch drills and drivers so i cant compare them but i have been very happy with every other Bosch tool i’ve purchased.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 4219 days

#9 posted 04-12-2013 08:22 AM

Brad, Makita is my vote.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View Picklehead's profile


1055 posts in 2981 days

#10 posted 04-12-2013 12:12 PM

+1 for the Bosch 12 volt stuff. I have the ps31 drill/driver and the older ps20 driver. Both very nice. I also have a corded Bosch 100vsr 3/8 inch drill, good for pocket holes or anything that doesn’t require a cordless drill. (I just recently purchased the corded drill, and had forgotten how nice it is just to pick up a drill and have it crank out some power and rpms!). If you’re patient and observant, you can get some great deals on stuff. Check out Toolguyd and Toolmonger, among other tool rating sites. They will frequently point out some deal that’s going on at Amazon or you local big box. I got the ps20 at HD for $59 a few months ago (included 2 12volt lithium batteries and a charger), then I found the ps31 on Ebay for $70 (which included 2 12volt lithium batteries, but no charger, which I didn’t care about since I already had it. Nobody else bid on that tool, I suppose because it didn’t have a charger). So, for $130 I was able to build myself a 2 tool, 4 battery package. Another place to look is Amazon warehouse deals. They sell stuff that people have returned, frequently brand new, without the original box. That’s where I got my Bosch cordless drill (for $44, free shipping). I only buy stuff there that lists the condition as “used, like new”. Every tool I have gotten from them listed like that had never been used!

You’re doing the right thing thinking about it and getting advice from plenty of people who have bought plenty of tools. Like many things, you’ll know when it feels right.

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 3419 days

#11 posted 04-12-2013 12:24 PM

I have the porter cable drill an the impact driver..also use my corded bosch if i do alot of hole hogging..


View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3902 days

#12 posted 04-12-2013 01:42 PM

Two good possibilities emerge here: First, to stay within your established family of cordless tools. One charger here, one there….need a battery, grab one. Great convenience.

Second, if you find a killer deal, buy a new batch. Sell the old 18. I think the convenience of one battery fits all is a joyful convenience when you’re doing production work or, really, any work requiring multiple bit setups.

I’m a recent convert to the Impact Camp (sounds like I should be putting on sweats and working on pushups). An amazing addition.

My 12v DeWalts have been adequate to the tasks they’ve faced in the shop. Higher voltages seem better suited to the framing/construction realm.

Loren, as always, speaks great wisdom. It’s something I notice every time I agree with him. : )



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View shipwright's profile


8703 posts in 3849 days

#13 posted 04-12-2013 01:58 PM

I know how some of you love to hate Harbor Freight, but you won’t believe what a nice, powerful drill this is. The fit and finish are much better than older HF drills, the power is great and you can buy three of them for $100 when they come up on sale (frequently) or with a coupon. I’ve had great life out of my other two HF drills and while I haven’t had this one long, it looks better yet.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View JayT's profile


6419 posts in 3262 days

#14 posted 04-12-2013 02:07 PM

First, I wouldn’t be without an impact driver, there hasn’t been a screwdriver bit in my drill since getting one. I use the Milwuakee M12 for most cordless needs and have never been lacking for power.

In your situation, I’d look at a few things before making a decision.

How are your DeWalt 18volt batteries holding up? If they are in good shape, you could just buy a bare DC825B impact driver and be ready to go.

If you want to buy into a different system, then you have the choice of 12 or 18volt. I have to agree with Lee on this, any of the major brand 12volt systems (Bosch, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Hitachi) are more than capable of handling the tasks you describe, without the extra weight and bulk of the 18volt lines. For the first generation 12 volt systems, performance is very similar, the differences are how the tool feels—the DeWalt and Hitachi have slimmer handles due to the battery configuration, while the Bosch & Milwaukee handles are a bit larger. The overall tool sizes are very similar.

If starting fresh on a system today, I would look at the Milwaukee M12 Fuel brushless tools. The M12 Fuel impact has nearly as much power as the 18volt tools from just a few years ago, but it also has a two speed selector which allows more control on delicate tasks. The first generation tools from all the manufacturers are single variable speed controlled by the trigger. The biggest game changer to me is the new 2.0 & 4.0ah batteries Milwaukee just introduced—they greatly increase the run time and available power. These batteries come standard with the M12 Fuel tools. The other advantage is that Milwaukee has the most 12volt tools available of any manufacturer, so there are more options if you decide to expand within the same battery platform.

If you do decide to go with a new 18/20 volt, any of the four you describe are good choices and will be similar in quality and performance. (NiteWalker has you covered on that, DeWalt’s 20V Max is a marketing ploy, they run at 18volts) It would just come down to your preference of color and feel.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View TorxNut's profile


58 posts in 2948 days

#15 posted 04-12-2013 02:32 PM

If you’ve never used an impact driver before, get one. You’ll be amazed at the driving power those things have. I have a compact 12/10.8V Hitachi that I use all the time. It drives 3” screws without breathing hard. I also have an 18V Ryobi that I got recently and have used for automotive work.

If you are driving lots of screws for picnic tables and such, the impact driver is a must-have. Make sure you get ‘impact ready’ bits. These things will snap off regular bits.


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