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Experiences with cordless drills

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john fletcher 121/10/2020 17:25:17
630 forum posts

The Ni-cad batteries in my Bosch 14.1 volt cordless drill are failing fast, should I buy a couple of replacement batteries from our usual site or cut my loses and buy a new drill with say 24 volts with Li-ion. Also are the Ni-cad charges the same as Li-ion charges. Your comments regarding make or special offers and experiences would be most welcome. John

Frances IoM21/10/2020 17:45:52
854 forum posts
26 photos
a NiCd charger will not charge a Li-ion cell - it may indeed badly damage it - you may be able to fit 4 18850 Li cells to give abt 15V but you will need to charge the cells someway
Clive Brown 121/10/2020 17:48:25
536 forum posts
18 photos

I have an 18v. DeWalt LI-ion, a bit pricey but I'm pleased with it. I don't use it a lot so if I were buying again, I think I'd look at the likes of Aldi etc. For DIY, I find a single battery OK. 2 batteries increase the price quite a lot.

Ni-cads supposedly suffer from memory effect, which needs to be kept in mind for charging. Li-ion and ni-cad chargers aren't interchangable AFAIK.

Brian Sweeting21/10/2020 17:49:36
446 forum posts
1 photos

It is possible to open up your battery pack and replace the nicad cells.

Chris Evans 621/10/2020 17:55:15
1779 forum posts

I have given up on cordless drills for the simple reason that I don't use them enough for the battery to be charged/hold charge when needed. I did once buy a 24volt drill but found it a bit big and bulky for DIY use.

Steviegtr21/10/2020 18:09:58
1632 forum posts
196 photos

I recently bought a new battery pack for the Makita drill. 18v. The original are ni cad , the one from fleashop is Ni-Mi

The charger works fine with that. Takes twice as long to charge , but last a lot longer.


old mart21/10/2020 18:10:53
2193 forum posts
164 photos

I have some of the Parkside 20V tools from Lidl, the batteries are cheap and the three drills I have work very well. One is an SDS and will drill concrete up to 10mm, the second is a combi, two speed with torque control and percussion, and the third is a drill/driver, two speed with torque control. I am pleased with all of them, and the batteries are available separately, as are the chargers. I also have a multi tool saw, a jigsaw, a car vacuum, and a larger vacuum cleaner. The batteries are 2 and 4 AH.

Steviegtr21/10/2020 18:17:37
1632 forum posts
196 photos
Posted by old mart on 21/10/2020 18:10:53:

I have some of the Parkside 20V tools from Lidl, the batteries are cheap and the three drills I have work very well. One is an SDS and will drill concrete up to 10mm, the second is a combi, two speed with torque control and percussion, and the third is a drill/driver, two speed with torque control. I am pleased with all of them, and the batteries are available separately, as are the chargers. I also have a multi tool saw, a jigsaw, a car vacuum, and a larger vacuum cleaner. The batteries are 2 and 4 AH.

Am i right in the assumption that all the battery power tools sold at Lidl have the same battery.


old mart21/10/2020 18:30:24
2193 forum posts
164 photos

Lidl did make a huge mistake in bringing out a couple of brushless 20V tools which had a similar battery which was not interchangable with the X20V Team type. Fortunately for most of us, they quickly reverted to the X20V Team type. I use the large vacuum cleaner at the museum to suck up swarf from the mill. The batteries do not last long with the vacuum and that means they get charged regularly and will have a longer life, hopefully.

I think the 20V 4AH batteries cost £25.

Edited By old mart on 21/10/2020 18:32:07

Nigel McBurney 121/10/2020 18:48:57
761 forum posts
3 photos

Bought an 18 volt DE Walt last year with two LIon batteries,I waited until Screwfix had an offer,recencty bought a De Walt 18 volt impact driver ,the smaller one with 1/4 inch hex drive,did not buy batteries as the two already I have are common to both drill and driver,both are very powerful tools,The hammer impact action stops any twisting of your wrist,and it will drive a 4 inch no 10 woodscrew straight into a 4 inch thick bit of timber as a test,plus there are now torqx head wood screws available which drive in so easily without slipping.

Jon Lawes21/10/2020 19:59:21
417 forum posts

I bought my Dewalt LION on a Screwfix offer as well, many years ago, and its been fantastic. Battery drills used to be such a compromise, if you had anything hefty to do you would grab a corded drill. These are really flexible, last ages on a charge and are quite robust. The batteries are now small enough to not be an encumberance too.

When mine oneday goes beyond economical repair I'll probably replace it with the same brand.

Robert Atkinson 221/10/2020 20:50:44
815 forum posts
17 photos

+1 for Dewalt 18V Li-Ion. I have a hammer drill, 1/4" driver, vibrating saw and angle grinder. Battery life is good in use and hardly any loss during storage. There are a couple of things to note. They do DY and professional grades of most tools DIY are a lot cheaper and still pretty good. These tools and batteries are marked 20V in the USA but are identical batteries, 18V is nominal, 20V is end of charge. European advertising laws say you have to show nominal.

I was sort of lucky with the drill and driver they fell off the back of a van - literally - in a service station car park. The were left on the rear step and fell off infrot of my car. Van didn't stop despite light flashing and horn blowing and I didn't get the number. Case hit my car and caused some damage but it was a old banger I was running around in so didn't mind. Police said if anyone reported it lost they would let me know for an insurance claim and probably give them a ticket for unsecure load.

Robert G8RPI.

Clive Foster21/10/2020 21:19:29
2459 forum posts
81 photos

Its arguable that the ordianry home shop / DIY person needs better than inexpensive bottom of the range battery kit as such should be better able to cope with infrequent use. In our hands age out is more likely than wear out.

A better breed of machine should look after its batteries better than a made to a low price device. This was especially so with NiCad batteries. Modern lithium batteries are more tolerant of sitting around but better breed charges do look after the batteries better.

Round about the time Screwfix started selling their own brand Embreur(?) tools a friend of a friend switched to those for onsite building work. He reckoned that good breeds, professional DeWalt, Makita et al weren't value for money as they would get broken or nicked long before batteries or drill wore out. The cheaper ones he treated as throw aways. New ones every few months.

I went Makita NiCad for my home kit, special offer price of course, and never regretted it. A friend who went the lower end route, Screwfix in house or similar, ended up spending more than the difference on batteries which rarely managed a year.

I've done the open the pack up and fit new NiCad cells thing on my old Makita battery packs. Marginally worth it. Once.

I've since gone all Makita 18 volt sharing four batteries between hammer drill, 1/4 hex impact driver, twin battery hedge cutter, twin battery strimmer and 1/2" drive heavy duty impact wrench. 18 months in and "Quality remains long after the price is forgotten" seems to apply. Works for me. The big Makita 1/2 drive impact wrench is a total beast!

Never understood why all the cordless drills have such crappy chucks that self loosen when using hammer action.


fizzy21/10/2020 21:19:39
1737 forum posts
116 photos

I have 2 Worx 20v max drills used every day with 4 x 4ah batteries. They last a very long time between charges - machines are a bit clunky but save lots of time in the workshop. One drills 2.5mm holes, the other taps m3 to secure burners to our boilers.

old mart21/10/2020 21:32:02
2193 forum posts
164 photos

Hammer action in drills is poor compared to SDS, alright for very soft walls. Of course, SDS drills are poor for drilling wood so its horses for courses.

TeVe21/10/2020 21:35:25
18 forum posts
11 photos

Only Makita works for me. Quality, batteries last a long time both for the 18Volts and the 10Volts.

Bosch is today pronounced "shit", which they are, in Norwegian.

HOWARDT21/10/2020 21:45:46
617 forum posts
15 photos

Over the last twenty years or so I have purchased a five different makes of drill in 12 and 18 volt. The makes are Black and Decker, Ryobi, a couple of questionable make from B&Q and Wickes and the main one I use for the last 12 years a professional blue Bosch one. Whilst the cheap ones are fine in wood they take for ever to drill anything tough like brick. I prefer to buy a good tool once if I am going to use it more than the odd time. I bought a cheap SDS Plus to speed up the ripping up of floor tiles knowing I wouldn’t be doing it again, it took me ten minutes to finish the job I spent four hours on the day before I decided to get it. You definitely get what you pay for in both the tool and the battery.

Ady121/10/2020 23:06:59
3939 forum posts
522 photos

I've got various Aldi and Lidl offerings and never been disappointed so far except for the cordless lidl impact guns which have been a bit weedy

I use mine a lot and not had battery issues so far

For general work the impact drill drivers are fine but if you want real grunt then go brushless via 18V plus stuff

I have an Aldi offering which is a wrist breaker, lasts for ages and I use it when drilling steel freehand or reaming out awkward holes with 10mm plus drills

Got to hold it a certain way in case it digs in when doing "reamer" work, if the drillbit stops revolving the drill body takes off


Paul Lousick21/10/2020 23:22:49
1576 forum posts
594 photos

One of my old cordless drills was a Bosch 14.1 volt but now have a Ryobi 18v drill which is much more powerful. Had it for more than 5 years with no problems. Gets used regularly every week. Also a Ryobi hammer drill, both of which have a 13mm chuck and enough torque to drill steel. Having 2 batteries is an advantage with cordless drills, charge one while using the other.

With Ryobi (and some other brands) you can purchase the drill, grinder, blower, etc separately, without a battery for half the price of a complete package and share the batteries that you already have.


mgnbuk22/10/2020 07:49:08
844 forum posts
61 photos

We have been using Hitachi cordless drills at work for several years. Used daily for all types of hole production (HSS drills, hole saws, sheet metal step drills, masonary drills) & as screwdrivers to build packing cases, they last 3-4 years. The current crop using Lithium batteries have very good performance & good battery life between recharges - far better than their NIMH predecessors which were considered good at the time. We no longer have any mains pistol drills at work as the Hitachis are so good.

They are a bit too pricy for me, though, given the infrequent use a cordless drill gets at home. So I currently have an Aldi Lithium battery model that came cased with two batteries & a charger for £50 with their usual 3 year warranty. So far it has done all I have asked of it (it taps M6 into steel no problem) & my only gripe compared to the Hitachis is that the chuck is harder to tighten, in part due to the lack of a "reverse lock" on the spindle. Given my lack of grip due to hand wear & tear I struggle with keyless chucks, but find the Hitachis easier as the spindle locks when the chuck is being tightend so I can use both hands to grip the chuck - with the Aldi drill I have to grip the bottom part of the chuck with one hand to stop it rotating while tightening the top part with the other hand.

Nigel B.

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