Cordless drills: Dewalt vs the rest

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  1. #1
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Question Cordless drills: Dewalt vs the rest

    I'm in the market for a new cordless drill and have been heavily researching what drill seems to give the best battery performance.
    My research involves crawling the net over the last four days, reading reviews/comparisons and watching youtube reviews/comparisons.

    The results indicate that Dewalt cordless are the best in class for class comparisons (by a long way in most cases).
    It seems strange that I see more other brands being used by Tradies and I wonder why this is so?

    Thoughts on this folks?

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    Hitachi 18v do it for me. I find dewalt too heavy. Milwalki do the best warranties but you'll save 1/2 price buying it from the States so warranty prob worth chit. Have a look here to wet you're appetite: www.hardwaresales.com I now get all my cordless tools from here delivered in 1 week.

  3. #3
    Cabinetmaker
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    Dewalt still have the B&D stigma attached to them, that said, i have the 18V dewalt cordless 16g c nail gun and its a cracker.

    The rest of my gear is Makita, and thats because i have always used makita, and the 18v LXT range is fantastic. I just got the 18v planer and its awesome. All of the other 8 LXT tools i have are also great, i dont think there is one LXT tool i have that i have been disappointed with. The circular saw gets used as much as the drill & impact driver, the jigsaw has as much power as the corded version i had, and the grinder works flawlessly.

    I have also used Hardware Sales, they are great to deal with

    GP
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    I have also the Hitachi 18v li-ion, battery life is great it comes with 2 anyway, I was considering the Dewalt but couldn't justify its extra cost.

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    I use the Hitachi DS18DBL brushless motor drill - the more efficient motor makes the already good battery last much longer and it has wrist-snapping torque. DS18DBL : Power Tools

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    I like the Festo drills but still have the Makita units so can't justify the upgrade...but Dewalt wouldn't even enter into the scope of my research. Makita, Panasonic, Hitachi and Festo would be as far as I go.
    Joined RF in 2006...Resigned in 2020.

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    I'm very happy with my collection of Metabo li-ion tools.

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    Senior Member TermiMonster's Avatar
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    I use DeWalt, 18V. I changed over from Makita. I am pretty happy with them,got pretty much the full range. Never had a problem.
    TM

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    I do most of the DIY renovations around the house with a Milwaukee M18 9pc kit. Awesome power. Good battery life after 18 months of using it on a weekly basis.

    Most use it got was to build 150 lineal meters of 6ft hardwood fence. All notched cut drilled and battened screwed using the cordless tools. Rotated 3 batteries through 5 skins for 10hr days.

    They can be a little heavier than other brands. But mine have never skipped a beat or broken anything.

    At the end of the day try a few out if you can a grab which ever feels good to you.

  10. #10
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    I have a DeWalt 18V DC720KA and it is fantastic. I also have a Dewalt circular saw and angle grinder. All of the tools are very well made, reliable and durable. The drill has plenty of power and good battery life, although it is a bit heavy.

  11. #11
    Cabinetmaker
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    i so want one of these

    lxjp02z_large.jpg

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Dewalt is an excellent brand in general but their cordless are way too heavy in my opinion.
    I have a Makita impact driver and a drill bought them on special for some commemorative occasion and they are black. Best tool ever.
    I also looked at Milwaukee. Their advantage in my view is that you can get a big battery and a small one and so have a light tool to work on a ceiling and also a longer lasting battery.
    Festo is probably better tool but at that price you buy 2 here or 3 from the US of any other brand
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
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    New 18V XR with a slide 3.0Ah weigh 1.5kg, don't think that's to bad on the weight side, owned Dewalt for years. The only tool that has failed me has been the radio [caught on fire] and was replaced no questions.

  14. #14
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Caught on fire? Whohoo, way to go!

    One question
    If you look at how many people are on each forum, the tools and the decking forum are the most popular.
    Can you see a link there?
    The deck is the excuse to buy tools!
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    1K Club Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    Makita LXT...That is all...

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    For everyones love of their own tools, I think the OP has done the runner. Prob buying some ozito rubbish.....

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    1K Club Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevoh741 View Post
    For everyones love of their own tools, I think the OP has done the runner. Prob buying some ozito rubbish.....
    Nah, he just realized he'd opened a can of worms...

  18. #18
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Ozito are they that bad? I never had anything to do with them.
    Loved GMC though. You buy one go home, shaft is bent, go back, find one that is not bent, use it for a month, go back get a new one, and so on for 2 years.
    Not bad!
    Still have two wippersnipper, one I ripped out the starter, got it replaced and the old left behind.
    The new one lasted a few month but I snapped the shaft in half with a bit of energy at the started. Had no inclination to ask for a new one, bought a Stihl, end of story.

    THe little motors are Ok though. I wonder what I can build with them?
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
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  19. #19
    1K Club Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    You buy one go home, shaft is bent, go back, find one that is not bent, use it for a month, go back get a new one, and so on for 2 years.
    Not bad!
    I know people doing that with big name brands as well...

  20. #20
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    But a good tool wouldn't brake down that often, no way
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
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  21. #21
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevoh741 View Post
    For everyones love of their own tools, I think the OP has done the runner. Prob buying some ozito rubbish.....
    Nah, I'm still here. Looks like everyone has their fav's.

    This seems to be a stand out and probably what I'll get..
    DeWALT DCK290L2 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion 3.0 Ah Hammer Drill & Impact Driver Combo Kit - Combo Kits - Cordless Power Tools - HardwareSales.com



    • Voltage: 20V
    • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
    • Battery Capacity: 3.0Ah
    • Charge Time: 30 Min
    • Max Torque: 490 in-lb
    • Power Output: 500 Watts
    • No Load Speed L: 0-575 RPM
    • No Load Speed M: 0-1350 RPM
    • No Load Speed H: 0-2000 RPM
    • Beats per Minute L: 0-975 BPM
    • Beats per Minute M: 0-22950 BPM
    • Beats per Minute H: 0-34000 BPM
    • Wood Drilling Capacity: 2"
    • Metal Drilling Capacity: 1/2"
    • Concrete Drilling Capacity: 5/8"
    • Chuck Capacity: 1/2"
    • Spindle Lock: Automatic
    • Length: 9.4"
    • Height: 9.8"
    • Weight: 5.3 lbs




    With almost 500 in-lbs of torque, a three-speed transmission, ratcheting chuck and a new level of ergonomics, the new DeWalt DCD985L2 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Premium Hammer Drill kit is a must-have tool. This new five-pound drilling and driving machine can handle just about any fastener, drilling, and hammer drilling application you can think of. With the smart battery technology of the 20V MAX platform and the built-in electronics, you can be assured that your cordless DeWalt tools will last and perform better than the current 18V tools. We suspect that this drill will quickly become the tool of choice for many of the tradesmen and contractors that opt for the new 20V MAX lithium-ion battery platform.

    The upper portion of the DeWalt DCD985L2 20V MAX Lithium-ion Premium Hammer Drill is nearly the same shape and offers the same functionality of the current 18V hammer-drills. Where the changes come into play is really from the trigger down. Electronics are now built into the switches, making the tool smarter by maximizing the life of the tools and batteries and helping to protect them from overheating, overloading and deep discharge during use. The drill kit includes two 3.0Ah battery packs and a heavy-duty plastic carry case. By utilizing the new slide battery packs, The engineers at DeWalt were able to thin down the handle considerably and make the tool more comfortable to hold and control. The DeWalt DCD985L2's all metal three-speed transmission has settings that go from 0-600, 0-1,250, and 0-2,000 RPM, depending on which level you have it set to. The 1/2-inch metal ratcheting chuck comes with carbide inserts that helps to reduce bit slippage during high torque applications and provides long life. The drill features a bright LED work light above the trigger, which provides a 20 second delay for use in dimly lit spaces. The word "Premium" in its name really is just a way to differentiate it from its slightly smaller and more compact brother, the DCD785C2.
    New DeWalt DCD985 next to the 18V Version
    The included 20V MAX lithium-ion quick charger only takes 30 minutes to fully charge a battery pack. It has dual voltage functionality, making it compatible with the 12V MAX lithium-ion batteries as well as the new 20V slide packs. Unlike the 18V top post design , the new 20V MAX batteries are a slide-on sled style, much like their new 12V MAX cordless tools. The 20V MAX designation for these tools is really just to ensure that there was no confusion with their current 18V line which is not going anywhere anytime soon. The DCD985L2 20V MAX Lithium-ion Premium Hammer Drill comes with a three-year limited warranty, one-year free service contract, and 90-day money-back guarantee. The included 3.0Ah lithium-ion battery packs each come with a three-year free service contract.
    Testing and Use

    After spending a little time with the DeWalt DCD985L2 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Premium Hammer Drill, one of the first things that come to mind is versatility. With a feature set that makes it a good workhorse; we never were able to stall it in our drilling challenges. This drill has a high threshold for pain, too. Unlike some of the competition that tends to cut off when the drill overloads, we were not able to get it to this point - and we never smoked a motor. We liked the three-speed transmission and the built-in work light. What makes this LED light even better is that, when you let off the trigger, it stays on for an additional 20 seconds. We compared this drill to other 18V hammer drills on the market and the new 20V MAX drill was among the most compact and lightweight models. The balance in the hand is good and the new grip geometry is noticeably better then DeWalt's 18V models. The ratcheting chuck with the carbide jaws provided amazing grip on round shank bits. The secondary handle worked well and attached in the same familiar way as with all prior DeWalt hammer drills. What makes their secondary handle better than much of the competition is that you can position it anywhere that makes your grip more comfortable. Compare this to some that are locked in at 90 deg increments or less.
    Using the 20V Max Premium Hammer Drill with a large wood bit
    Conclusion

    Dewalt cordless drills have always been good performers and the new DCD985L2 20V MAX Lithium-ion Premium Hammer Drill lived up to our high expectations. What the old 18V models lacked in run time and battery durability, this new model makes up thanks to the 3.0Ah 20V MAX batteries and protective internal circuitry. We just wished that we knew when it was running out of juice. For our Professional rating, we gave this drill a stellar 8/10 because it does a good job at just about every task that we used it for. The fact that it is a hammer drill, and that it has as much power as it does, makes it a great portable tool. For our Value rating, we gave the DCD985L2 a 7/10 since it gives the users all the features that they need and none that they donít. In other words, it is a premium tool that offer professional performance - and all at a price point that keeps it inline with the competition.
    Lifted from here: DeWalt DCD985L2 20V MAX Premium Hammer Drill Review —Professional tool reviews for the average Joe
    Last edited by Uncle Bob; 18th Apr 2012 at 10:46 PM. Reason: added the stolen review :)

  22. #22
    1K Club Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    Looks like a good kit, if you're not locked into a particular brand to start with then you can't really go wrong with any of the major players. Every brand has a dud tool in a batch every now and then...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    Despite being a hitachi user myself, you wont go wrong with that combo Uncle Bob. How good are the prices at Hardwaresales? Since finding them about 2 yrs ago I buy all my tools from there. Always recieved in a week.

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    If you plan on other Dewalt skins, make sure the 20v batteries will suit other tools. One could assume their commitment to go 20v across the range, but you never know. (Maybe it's mentioned in the article - I didn't read it all)

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    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=stevoh741;877803How good are the prices at Hardwaresales? [/QUOTE]

    Mate, they're not good, they're great
    Actually unbeatable so far.

  26. #26
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r3nov8or View Post
    If you plan on other Dewalt skins, make sure the 20v batteries will suit other tools. One could assume their commitment to go 20v across the range, but you never know. (Maybe it's mentioned in the article - I didn't read it all)
    that's the weird thing, in all over countries (here too) they seem to be sold as 18V. Maybe it's just a gimmick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    that's the weird thing, in all over countries (here too) they seem to be sold as 18V. Maybe it's just a gimmick.
    I see the article describes a very different battery design, i.e. "Unlike the 18V top post design , the new 20V MAX batteries are a slide-on sled style". This is certainly more than just a new battery on an old tool.

  28. #28
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    My latest 18V has slide on batteries, one hopes the design stays around for a while.

  29. #29
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Just a quick note to add that I brought the above combo.
    I haven't used it yet, though it will get a good work out with an upcoming garage build.

    I ordered it online from hardwaresales.com on Thursday the 20th of April and low and behold it arrived on Tuesday morning. That delivery time totally blew me away

    One word of advice if ordering from hardwaresales, use the paypal option as the direct Credit Card option is troublesome with Australian users and gives a AVS error (address doesn't match database error).

    Cheers Bob

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    1K Club Member Godzilla73's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity, is the charger 120v or 240v?

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    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    120v. I had to buy a stepdown tranny ($23 on ebay). I've tested it and it seems to work.
    On a side note, Bunnings have this (or similar kit) but with the 1.5Ah batteries for $399. I paid $400 all up with 3Ah batteries and delivery. The same as mine (with 230v) kit on ebay starts around $600.

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    I only ask as a couple of tradie mates are complaining of poor battery life with the new "smart" batteries charging on a step down tranny, and while out on site they charged theirs on my work supplied Oz 240v charger and they lasted about a 3rd longer. They were Dewalt slide on type, they also had the same prob with their Senco Fusion nail guns only lasting 250-300 nails when they state 600+ per charge. These are also US imports, $400 AUD vs $900 here.

    Agree with the frustration of pricing, my work combo (6 tools) was about $1400 from Total Tools with 3x 18v 3ah batteries.

  33. #33
    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Maybe the step down tranny can't supply enough current, though I thought the "smarts" in the charger should allow for a full charge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I have a Makita impact driver and a drill bought them on special for some commemorative occasion and they are black. Best tool ever.
    i second that

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    Maybe it's a frequency issue...? I personally find drills with metal gear boxes get very hot to the touch but they usually are tougher.

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    I'm not exactly ready to purchase anything yet, but a good cordless drill has been on my agenda for a long time now.

    While building a 20metre timber fence last year (all screwed, no nails) I borrowed a mates Snap On 14.4v drill (I thought it was 18v, but just looked up the site and they only list 14.4v?). This thing had some real balls, and the battery lasted forever. A couple of coach bolts into knots in the posts I couldn't budge with my Bosch corded (one of the cheaper ones of course) and this Snap On just lapped it up.
    However, I have nothing to compare it to. Has anyone had any experience with the Snap On? I was dead keen on buying one for myself, but then found they are (or at least were) ~$700, way out of my budget (both because I'm broke, and because I'm only a wannabe handyman, not a tradie).

    I'm just trying to gauge what to expect of Hitachi/DeWalt/Makita in the 18v Li-ion options. They may all vary, but the only decent drill I've had experience with was the Snap On, and I'm curious if its about the standard?
    My only criticism of it was the weight. Got pretty damn heavy after putting in 1000 screws or so.

    It won't get a "lot" of work from me, but at the same time, I really want something that I don't have to worry about it going flat quickly/gutless/poor quality.

    EDIT: How much I'm willing to spend will probably change right up to the point of actually purchasing, but I'm thinking $300 with a spare battery, or $400 in a combo

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    Slow but rough Uncle Bob's Avatar
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    Yeah the Dewalt cordless hammer drill I brought is pretty heavy due to the all steel drive and transmission. I'd say all good quality well made ones will be heavy.

    The good news is, the impact driver is a lot lighter. If you want long battery life, make sure you get the 3Ah Lithium type.

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    I think any tool after 1000 screws will feel heavy unless you are use to it.

    I have no experience with "Snap On" but you have given it a real test.

    Like most of us consider how much use you are likely to give a tool. Batteries do have a finite life and it is often better to replace the tool than the battery. You are likely to get something of good quality in the $300-400 range.

  39. #39
    ajm
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevoh741 View Post
    For everyones love of their own tools, I think the OP has done the runner. Prob buying some ozito rubbish.....
    ease up blokes. i have two ozito cordless drills and have no complaints about either one. first one is a 14volt nicad jobby that has lasted for years with enough power still in it to almost break your thumb if you get a kick back. and the second, much newer one, is the 18v lithium driver. I actually think the nicad one is a better drill, if anyone is interested. i should qualify that i am not a tradesman so can't vouch for commercial use. that said, these two drills get a fair whack around our place doing more than just putting up curtain hooks. my only complaint is that ozito do not make a case for the new drill so it gets kept in its box when i remember to put it away properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajm View Post
    ease up blokes. i have two ozito cordless drills and have no complaints about either one. first one is a 14volt nicad jobby that has lasted for years with enough power still in it to almost break your thumb if you get a kick back. and the second, much newer one, is the 18v lithium driver. I actually think the nicad one is a better drill, if anyone is interested. i should qualify that i am not a tradesman so can't vouch for commercial use. that said, these two drills get a fair whack around our place doing more than just putting up curtain hooks. my only complaint is that ozito do not make a case for the new drill so it gets kept in its box when i remember to put it away properly.
    Dont get me wrong these cheap tools are fine for the occasional DIYer that is just happy for something to stay together but these tools are no good for precision or repetitious work. Also people that don't know any better and haven't used decent tools don't have a comparison base to compare to. I just took an axe to my crappy ozito sds drill as it jambed and wouldn't give my $85 16mm foot long drill bit back. Smashing it to 1000 pieces treated it with the respect it deserved and was the only way to get my bit back

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    sorry to hear about you expensive drill bit. and not wanting to be insulting, but you can't blame the tool when these things happen. for whatever use they are for, you have to take into account the limitations of any tool when working with it. one of the first things my dad taught me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevoh741 View Post
    Dont get me wrong these cheap tools are fine for the occasional DIYer that is just happy for something to stay together but these tools are no good for precision or repetitious work. Also people that don't know any better and haven't used decent tools don't have a comparison base to compare to. I just took an axe to my crappy ozito sds drill as it jambed and wouldn't give my $85 16mm foot long drill bit back. Smashing it to 1000 pieces treated it with the respect it deserved and was the only way to get my bit back
    Hmmm. $85 seems very steep for one SDS bit, of any size. IIRC my set of 5 x 600mm long SDS+ bits (10, 12, 16, 22, 25mm) from Aldi set me back $49. Might have been $69, but still a bargain.

    Given it's 'loose bit' design I also can't imagine any SDS drill holding onto a bit so hard it needed to be destroyed. Maybe not enough grease on the bit/tool before use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by r3nov8or View Post
    Hmmm. $85 seems very steep for one SDS bit, of any size. IIRC my set of 5 x 600mm long SDS+ bits (10, 12, 16, 22, 25mm) from Aldi set me back $49. Might have been $69, but still a bargain.

    Given it's 'loose bit' design I also can't imagine any SDS drill holding onto a bit so hard it needed to be destroyed. Maybe not enough grease on the bit/tool before use?
    Been using sds drills for yrs and no way was it comin out. Tried everything. Smashing the crap ozito was last resort. As far as ur drill set, well from aldi be similar quality to ozito (no offence intended)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajm View Post
    sorry to hear about you expensive drill bit. and not wanting to be insulting, but you can't blame the tool when these things happen. for whatever use they are for, you have to take into account the limitations of any tool when working with it. one of the first things my dad taught me.
    Cheers mate but drilling an 18mm hole ain't really taking the tool to its limitations. You get what u pay for and for me as someone in the trade the cheap tools aren't worth a lick of chit and are a false economy IMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevoh741 View Post
    Been using sds drills for yrs and no way was it comin out. Tried everything. Smashing the crap ozito was last resort. As far as ur drill set, well from aldi be similar quality to ozito (no offence intended)
    None taken at all. Deep masonry drilling is a very rare need of mine so these bits will do me just fine for years to come. I also picked up the smaller boxed set for even less (which I use a lot more), and the Aldi rotary drill itself came with a few bits, 2 blades, a point and a container of grease, so I'm a well decked out handyman in this department. I do buy good brands for tools I use a lot or for tasks where precision is paramount.

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    To me currently there are 2 choices,
    Makita drill and impact driver kit
    and
    DeWalt drill and impact driver kit.

    Total tools is selling Makita for $490 and DeWalt for $590
    Of course if you have more money to spend, then go Festool.

    I bought the Makita set because it is lighter than the DeWalt and mine came with an extra 3rd battery. The litium battery are a joy to use and go for a long time compared with the nicads.

    As for the cheaper ozito, detroit and similar stuff, if one is going to use the tool for a one off job I don't see why not spend $99 in stead of $500 or so. After all you can buy 5 cheap tools for one good tool. Consider if you are really going to burn 5 of them in the next 10 years (at 2 years warranty each) and decide. This is a purely economical decision. After all an Ozito impact driver will perform a very similar job than even a Festool, ...until it carkes it of course.

    Don't get me wrong I am all for the best possible tool all the time, but to me tools are a joy to buy and to have. I am a sort of collector and to me a project is an excuse to buy yet more tools. However I don't think it necessary for others to behave as foolishly as I do in relation to buying tools.
    So yes, buy best tool if that is what you want and you don't regret them languishing in the shed. Otherwise Bosh green or Ozito is the go.
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
    Seneca

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    I grabbed this Makita impact driver and drill with 3.0Ah batteries (plus bonus by redemption) in November. Over Christmas I made a heap of boxing, I was driving hex head screws through 45mm hardwood without pilot holes no problems. I actually had a problem with the screws breaking when I was trying to pull them out. The drill had no problems running a 10mm drill through 5mm steel on the weekend.

    Makita was my choice as I could buy direct from the service agent (has a retail store) and his price was around $500 better than anywhere else I could find.

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    Should have gone to Welcome - HardwareSales.com Here the tools are half the ripoff price we pay here and delivered in a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevoh741 View Post
    Should have gone to Welcome - HardwareSales.com Here the tools are half the ripoff price we pay here and delivered in a week.
    And when something fails?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLWNHR View Post
    And when something fails?
    a. Aussie bought battery tools only come with 1 yr warranty (except milwalki)
    b. I only use Hitachi battery tools and never had one break in under 1yr
    c. If it does break, (unlikely) then I can buy another one and still come in heaper than the Aussie price.

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