Cordless drills-good, bad, and ugly?

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TonyL

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Dec 10, 2017
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UK
When I was carrying out modifications to our fifth wheel I went and purchased a corded drill, big mistake. Every time you need to make a hole , either I need to run the generator or get out an extension cord.
In the UK, I have battery drills and driver by DeWalt. They served me admirably when I was working and even now, I leave the batteries fully charged before we travel to the US and they are still fully charged when we return home. I just wish I'd bought or took one with me instead of the corded drill.
 

phil-t

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Jul 10, 2017
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Ogdensburg, NY
Milwaukee M18 has been great for me and Dewalt 20V is very good as well. I;ve had and have others that are OK. Brushless is a big factor. The battery operated tools have come a long ways in 10 years.
 

Old_Crow

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I replaced a 28 year old Makita 9v drill with an M18 Milwaukee setup about a year ago. I'm really liking the Milwaukee since it's a 1/2" chuck instead of the 3/8" chuck I had on the Makita. It's also a bit more compact. The set I bought came with a 1/4" impact that takes hex bits. I've got hex to square drive adaptors so I can use all my automotive sockets with it. Milwaukee has just about everything in the way of power tools in the M-18 lineup. My charger also charges the M-12 batteries and I'm looking at a 3/8" ratchet in the M-12 line. For my 1/2" impact, I bought a Harbor Freight 20v Earthquake unit. I don't use the 1/2" enough to justify buying the Milwaukee in this case. If I was using it daily, the story would change.
 

Matt_C

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SE - Mich
I have had and used 6 different cordless drills. The good one are really expensive, but if you plan to use it for jacks and awnings, it will be worth it. I have never trusted Hazard Fright for good tools, but just about everything is made in China these days, so it is a real carp shoot. I do like my current Milwaukee M18 Brushless. But it still has batteries. My long time favorite cordless has a crank and it has never failed to work when I needed it. I know it is out of production.
Matt
 

JJSON775

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Sep 27, 2022
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Texas
I have a hard time seeing how a power drill is a necessary purchase for traveling. Even at home I use my push drill more often than my electric drill. Just an opinion. I do carry a toolbox in the RV with pliers, screwdrivers, crescent and Allen wrenches, hacksaw blade, file, wire and duct tape, etc., no power tools.
 
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Rene T

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Farmington NH
I have a hard time seeing how a power drill is a necessary purchase for traveling. Even at home I use my push drill more often than my electric drill. Just an opinion. I do carry a toolbox in the RV with pliers, screwdrivers, crescent and Allen wrenches, hacksaw blade, file, wire and duct tape, etc., no power tools.
What is a push drill?
 

Urban Hermit

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Nov 21, 2022
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Pensacola, FL
Concur with the Ryobi. Would like to hear about experiences with lighter straight-line electric screwdrivers. Most of my tinkering in the Cayman is removing/reinstalling long #6 and #8 self-tappers, often in places where the pistol-grip Ryobi is awkward.

Eat well and prosper, y'all.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Albuquerque, NM
For the RV I have a small ryobi 2 speed cordless screwdriver, a few hex phillips and slotted bits, and a set of hex-shanked drill bits. I have yet to encounter an RV situation where this wasn't enough to get me through. Bits included I don't think it broke $50. The problem I have with any "good" cordless tools these days is keeping them in batteries, and that's where the cost comes in. For something I might use a few times a year I don't need "contractor" grade, but also know cheep chinese harbor freight grade won't last either. So the solution that worked for me is name brand and light duty. The grip converts from straight to pistol and I get a season of use from a single charge.

https://www.amazon.com/Ryobi-Lithium-Electric-Screwdriver-PLV01KMX

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
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Urban Hermit

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What is a push drill?
The one I know about is the forerunner of a power drill. I have my father's (DOB 1899). It has an enclosed barrel out of which is a shaft with right-hand and left-hand riflings. When the handle is pushed the shaft spirals back into the barrel, clockwise or counterclockwise according to the position of a slide switch on the barrel. Much easier to use with Phillips than slot screws.
 

Kirk

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Full-time , Escapee
I probably should have said that the corded drill is kept for those times when I need a drill immediately as a backup. I use the cordless more often but on the road there were times that my cordless would sit for so long that it was discharged and our RV has no convenient place to keep a spare battery plugged in.
 

Old_Crow

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I have had and used 6 different cordless drills. The good one are really expensive, but if you plan to use it for jacks and awnings, it will be worth it. I have never trusted Hazard Fright for good tools, but just about everything is made in China these days, so it is a real carp shoot. I do like my current Milwaukee M18 Brushless. But it still has batteries. My long time favorite cordless has a crank and it has never failed to work when I needed it. I know it is out of production.
Matt
Not out of production, but surely made in China:


unless you're talking about this, and it's probably made in China as well:

 

Frizlefrak

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El Paso, Texas
I bought a 20V DeWalt. Absolutely love it. Batteries charge fast and have long life, tons of power, 100% trouble free.
 

Old_Crow

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I have a hard time seeing how a power drill is a necessary purchase for traveling. Even at home I use my push drill more often than my electric drill. Just an opinion. I do carry a toolbox in the RV with pliers, screwdrivers, crescent and Allen wrenches, hacksaw blade, file, wire and duct tape, etc., no power tools.
Ah, not a full timer then. I use either the drill or the impact on at least a weekly basis. I have a rule about tools. If I don't use it in a year, it gets pitched. I've been carrying a cordless drill since day one as a full timer and it's never come close to a year without being used. I also carry the same other tools as you and a complete 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" socket set as well. Oh, and a sawzall, and a pressure washer, and a leaf blower, and a shop vac, and...

I admit it, I was an auto repair tech in another life and I'm a tool junkie.
 

JJSON775

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Texas
Ah, not a full timer then. I use either the drill or the impact on at least a weekly basis. I have a rule about tools. If I don't use it in a year, it gets pitched. I've been carrying a cordless drill since day one as a full timer and it's never come close to a year without being used. I also carry the same other tools as you and a complete 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" socket set as well. Oh, and a sawzall, and a pressure washer, and a leaf blower, and a shop vac, and...

I admit it, I was an auto repair tech in another life and I'm a tool junkie.
Yes, not a full timer, just travel up to 2 months. I‘ll confess to being somewhat of a tool junkie myself but space is limited in our RV.
 

Old_Crow

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Yes, not a full timer, just travel up to 2 months. I‘ll confess to being somewhat of a tool junkie myself but space is limited in our RV.
My wife used to keep me in check with regard to the tools in the RV, but since she passed, I have no one to control me. I don't think I've replaced the total weight of her clothes and belongings with tools yet, but it's getting close. :whistle:
 

CharlesinGA

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Oct 6, 2017
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50 miles south of Atlanta, GA
I have a hard time seeing how a power drill is a necessary purchase for traveling. Even at home I use my push drill more often than my electric drill. Just an opinion. I do carry a toolbox in the RV with pliers, screwdrivers, crescent and Allen wrenches, hacksaw blade, file, wire and duct tape, etc., no power tools.
You have a motor home, and thus a less immediate use for a drill. Many of the respondents are trailer owners or former trailer owners, and with a trailer, you have stabilizers you have to put down and take up every time you arrive/depart camp. Yes, you get a hand crank to run them, but for an old guy to squat down and crank, crank, crank, at all four corners is a pain, plus, I have been places where the rear of the trailer was on the very edge of a drop off and I really needed to operate the stabilizers one handed.......... thus the drill and and socket.

814T+gAiCuL._AC_SL1500_.jpg


The one I know about is the forerunner of a power drill. I have my father's (DOB 1899). It has an enclosed barrel out of which is a shaft with right-hand and left-hand riflings. When the handle is pushed the shaft spirals back into the barrel, clockwise or counterclockwise according to the position of a slide switch on the barrel. Much easier to use with Phillips than slot screws.
What you are describing is what I have always called a "yankee screwdriver" yet they are apparently somewhat different from a "yankee drill". Pic shows drill on the left, screwdriver on the right. I worked with basic hand tools for many years, as the airline didn't allow cordless power tools till the last few years I was there. Before that it was by hand or air tools. My hands are becoming stiff and while I do a lot of work yet, power tools make it easier. That being said, I still encourage people to use a hand screwdriver or nut driver to run most screws in to avoid stripping the holes, as many people don't have the feel for the tool. This is true of almost everything I do in the RV. There is a time and place for everything.

08C0330-YankeePushDrill_Screwdriver__75492.1618867456.jpg


Charles
 

Domo

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Nov 8, 2018
Posts
668
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Makita - 2005 to present. Impact driver, hammer drill, circular saw, sawzall, multitool. Only had to buy three new batteries. Ran a remodeling business for seven years with no issues and for the past ten years have rebuilt kitchens at home and with others plus daily tasks.

I've dropped them, pushed them to stall and they just keep working - no loose jaws/chucks, no bad trigger power switches, no complaints.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
I've had excellent results with both Ryobi and Porter Cable power tools and had one each in my workshop, but my go-to cordless drill/driver is my Milwaukee M12 3/8". It's small & light but still powerful and comes in a convenient size soft-case with a place for bits, charger & spare battery. A convenient size for carrying in an RV for occasional use or around the house.
 

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