Need a new cordless drill...recommendations?
Quote:Several years ago, when I thought the Panasonic was surely due to die, I purchased a Festool C12, which is 10.8v in Australia and Europe, but in the USA they call it 12v. This is a great little drill, light and with excellent accessories (angle and corner chucks, etc). 

I have Festool tools that are over 20 years old. I like tools that have longevity, and are reliable. May cost a little more in the short term, but they cost less over time.

cept..........................Festool drills always fall short in runtime, power, bit compatibility , availability as well as cost when compared to competitors.  When you compare their 12v drill, it's a turkey in most areas: tech, features, power, runtime and most importantly battery compatibility.  The battery will fit exactly ZERO other tools of theirs.     

Panasonic used to be the hands down leader in battery drills - last century.  Festool's first offerings were solid and equal to Pany's until the landscape shifted to 18v and LiIon batteries.   Panasonic was slow to shift gears and Festool was absent for many years - especially in regards to LiIon.  Their 12v / sub compact lineup is practically non existent.

Other makes have high quality and longevity too these days.  I have a Gen1 Bosch 10.8 drill that was one of the first of the production line circa 05'.  That drill was used daily for 5-6 years then went to the shop where it's still used frequently.  The orig. battery finally died last year.  At the time my main drills were Festool t12's with NiMh batteries.  Those bosch units had LiIon batteries, were half the size/weight and cost 1/4 the price.  And the batteries fit LED work lites, impact drivers and a few other things.  I sold all the festool drills and never looked back.  The T12's replaced the panasonics when I adopted Festo's system for install tools, but both were eclipsed.

Currently I still see no compelling reason to chose any Festool drill over one from the Big Boys except if I'm looking to make a statement.
I had a Makita which I liked but then sold before a move.  When I moved back, I went all in on Ridgid for the warranty and good reviews.  I haven't used my drill as much as the impact driver.  The driver is getting a workout on a shed build and has already survived several 8'+ drops from the ladder onto the floor.

The drill and driver are both brushless but they are still heavy.  Built to last, I guess?  When I bought the kit, I didn't even think that I would need the hammer drill function, but I've used that a few times already to drill 1/2" holes to epoxy rebar into as well as for tapcons.  I was thoroughly impressed.

The only knock I'll give on all the Ridgid cordless stuff are the weak/poorly placed lights.  The Makita, nearly 15 years older than the Ridgid, had a better placed light that was bright and illuminated right where I was working.  It also had a delay off so I could just tap the trigger (but not advance the drill) and temporarily light up what I was trying to drill.
I have a bunch of Ridgid tools, and their battery replacement is easy long as you register the tool and battery.  Their newer brushless subcompact drills are significantly smaller than their brushed drills, both are still available for sale.

their tools have never left me wanting, and in 10+ years of owning Ridgid tools I've only had one battery go bad, and they replaced it no questions asked, didn't even have to send them the old battery.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. - Philip K. Dick


I used to have a mix of Dewalt, Ridgid, and Craftsman battery tools, with a sprinkling of Makita in the mix. Drills from all four. I switched to Milwaukee about a decade back, and liked it enough to actively replace everything else in an effort to standardize and not have a half dozen chargers plugged in. I have been happy with that choice. Original M12 drill and driver still running great, though their original batteries have shuffled off this mortal coil.
Math is tough. Let's go shopping!
You're going to get lots of opinions here. Everyone has a favorite color. Mine happens to be Dewalt yellow. I bought my first cordless drill back in 1995. In those days they were powered by an 18 volt, Nicad battery. That thing lasted 20 years. So when the Nicad started losing its ability to recharge, I went with the new Dewalt 20 volt lithium ion and have been just as happy. Actually more so, since the lithium ion batteries are lighter and seem to have even more power and last longer than the Nicads.

Now I've converted almost all my corded power tools to Dewalt 20 volt.

We build houses and can be rough on tools. The Dewalt cordless tools seem to take all of the abuse very well.

Are there other brands? Yes. Are they as good as Dewalt? Probably. Go to Lowes and try out the Dewalts, Kobalts, Milwalkees, Craftsmans, etc. Now is a great time to buy because of the Black Friday sales. Have fun looking around.
I think most folks pick a brand and then end up somewhat locked in to that brand due to the batteries. I went with DeWalt. I have:

2 drill/drivers
1 impact driver
1 impact wrench
1 lawn edge trimmer
1 chain saw
1 pole trimeer
1 vacuum
1 compressor/inflator

I am locked in to DeWalt at this point. I could have gone with Milwaukee: I think they make all the same stuff. Message: just consider what you might be needing down the road, and plan accordingly.
(11-09-2022, 04:00 PM)Dumb_Polack Wrote: The old Panasonic one is dying, so I need a new one.  (I had a Bosch before this one (maybe 25 yrs ago that I liked).

My needs:

Long battery life
I don't need an impact driver (although do they make one the can be turned into an impact driver with a switch on the machine??  That would be interesting to research)

I've seen the video from Project Farm on drill drivers but I'll take any recommendations you've got.  Thanks!

for some context, I'm not a contractor, just a hobbyist WWer, but I don't mind paying for quality.....not Festool prices, but something a little more reasonable.

I read every post, I have 9,12 and 18 volt Dewalt a 19 volt Craftsman  a 15 volt Panosonic and bought  12 volt Warrior from Harbor Freight last week. All the Dewalt drills need batteries. Haven't used the 9 and 12 volts for years. Panosonic the biggest disappointment . Lousy chuck and batteries did not last very long. The Craftsman is terrific. Needed a second battery as it came with only one. Bought the second battery which was twice the size and lasts a lot longer.  I put the 18 volt Dewalt drill away with the other drills. Battery costs are excessive for what i need.
I only bought the Warrior because of the price, did not expect much for $19.98. This is 12 volts and has all the features of Dewalts plus a small LED light that comes on for working in a dark corner. The battery is lithium, one battery and charger come with the drill. No case. 
The charger does not stop charging when the battery is fully charged. Instructions say to only charge up to 5 hours. Usually takes 3 hours to fully charge. I added a timer to the receptacle, so it shuts off after 5 hours.
I only work in my shop now and do not need contractor grade drills. I figured for under $20.00 I'd give it a try. Used the drill for one week and probably 1/2 hour total each day. So far I am very satisfied. For around the home and shop this fits the bill.
"All the Dewalt drills need batteries. Haven't used the 9 and 12 volts for years."

Yeah, all of the old NiCad batteries don't have the lifespan of today's batteries. My old Dewalt 12v batteries went downhill after about 6 years. The 20v batteries are lasting much longer. That will probably be true of any of the lithium batteries today.
Project Website  Adding new stuff all of the time.
6 years? Wtf?
Never got half that from mine...

BUT, I did ask more from them than they were probably designed for......the tools never failed me.

(11-25-2022, 10:14 PM)EdL Wrote: 6 years? Wtf?
Never got half that from mine...

you know the old saying......YMMV.   

If you abuse your tools, they won't last as long those that are looked after. Another thing to keep in mind - is you're really buying the battery and its technology more than the tool. If i bought a better platform than you did, you lost before the race even started regardless of use habits.

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