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Bauer Model 1791C-B1 20V vs. Rigid Gen X Brushless 18V Model R86009

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Review by Tennessee posted 01-07-2018 08:58 PM 4058 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bauer Model 1791C-B1 20V vs. Rigid Gen X Brushless 18V Model R86009 Bauer Model 1791C-B1 20V vs. Rigid Gen X Brushless 18V Model R86009 No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

My Rigid R82009 drills, (shown in the second picture) which the date code tells me that these were made in the 15th week of 2011, are starting to lose their battery life. I know, I should have registered them, but if I even did, (can’t remember), to find that paperwork to cash in on very expensive batteries would be somewhat of a miracle. Can you find a receipt from six years ago? Well, good for you…I cannot.
In any case, I was tiring a bit of the power of these, and even though they are very nice and light for my older hands, I wanted more power.

Soooo, off to Home Depot I went, where I found the brand new, GenX Brushless technology, a beautiful 18V drill, two batteries, and a charger for $130. That seemed like a lot to me, but my wife, who God Bless her, always encourages me to buy tools since she knows money somehow flows from that shop of mine, said get it, you’ll use it. And I did, and I do.
I’ll rate it below.

Then, a couple weeks later, I get a HF ad in some magazine, mail, email, can’t remember, and it has these Bauer 20V units, which look fairly good. I get a coupon for $59.00. But they come with only one battery. No worries, an extra battery is only $19.95 on the shelf at your local HF.
Can these things possibly be any good? I went to the HF site and looked at the reviews. Save for the one or two hot batteries, or one or two exploding brush areas of the motor, overwhelmingly, the people reviewing these say they are a great drill, and shame on other brands for charging more. Who knows?

So I pop down to my local HF with my $59 coupon, (20% coupons by HF are NOT honored on Bauer), to open up a box and put one in my hand. All I can say is first impression – Wow… Where did this come from, and why am I standing in a HF.. So I did buy one drill set, with charger, case and one battery, and an extra battery, for a total of $78.95. (Harboring the usual hope that this is not another Central Machinery boondoggle…admit it, we all been there!)

So after a month or more on my bench, side by side, which is the better?

I’ll give you my thoughts:

Rigid 86009, 18V, two batteries, charger, case, brushless technology, $130
Pros:
Two batteries right off the bat.
Lifetime warranty, if you register within 90 days.
The light comes on with a little palm switch on the bottom of the handle before the drill starts, for location before things are spinning.
Usual Rigid toughness. (Say what you want, Rigid makes a pretty tough drill)
Belt clip.
Hard rubber grip on keyless chuck, which may be a bonus, or maybe years down the road, a con if the rubber hardens.

Cons:
Charger is BIG
Definite whine in the gearing up front. I mean, first time I pulled the trigger, I thought something was wrong. It runs fine, but to this day, it is a whiner, which to me screams “plastic gears” in the front end.
Only 18V vs. 20V for the Bauer.
Weighs in at 3 lbs. 15 ozs with battery attached. Heavy little bugger. Almost four pounds. Doggone…
Battery does not last as long as the Bauer. Whhhaaatttt???? (True)

Bauer 1791C-B1, 20V, one battery, charger, case, brush technology, $59. Extra battery, $19.95.
Pros:
Second battery was extremely reasonable in price. $19.95 for a 20V, 1/5Ah battery? quite a bargain. Could have had a third and still not paid what I paid for the Rigid.
Seems to have a bit more power than the Rigid.
Very smooth out of the gate, no whine.
It has a more sensitive slow speed. The Rigid you pull back the trigger and it hits a point where the mininum speed starts. With the Bauer, you can get a really slow “set the drill” speed, which is really nice.
Metal grip on the keyless chuck. Bit harder to hold when cold, but you know it will stay the same over the years.
20V vs. 18V for the Rigid.
Charger is smaller, and listed as a Rapid Charger, but takes about 30-40 minutes to charge a battery, same as the Rigid.
Battery life is longer than the Rigid – no doubt about it. May be something to do with the extra 2 volts, but even sitting, it seems to last and last. I’ve charged the Rigid three times in the first month, only one time for the Bauer. Could not believe it.
Lighter than the Rigid. 3 lbs, 3 ozs.

Cons:
Only one battery. Really? Why not just match everyone else and give us two batteries and charge accordingly.
Light come on like the older ones, when the chuck starts turning. So you are backed off, kick it a little to get the light, line things up and go. Not a real problem, but the Rigid light before turning feature is nice.
No lifetime warranty, although they offered me a two year for $14.95. I declined. It came with a 90 day, and these things usually fry within 90 days or they will last for years. So far, mine is a horse.
First few times you use it, you get that famous HF brush smell as the brushes set themselves in. Smell was gone within the first few days.

Overall, side by side, these are amazing pieces of technology. Long running both, tons of torque, keyless chucks, both with variable clutches, belt clips, rechargeable batteries, nice styling and balance.
They both are horses.
So, now that I have had these two bad boys on my bench for about 5-6 weeks, I am wondering why I bought the Rigid for $130, and on the other hand, wonder if the $78 Bauer will still be with me in three-five years. Only time will tell.

I will say if you are pressed for money, and want this technology with long lasting batteries, quick charging, fairly lightweight drill, go for the Bauer. My HF people told me they are flying off the shelf. They had a lot of them, and even though the $59 price is rare, the $64 price is often, and with an extra $19.95 battery that is still about $45 less than the Rigid.

On the other hand, if you are in some kind of production shop, a daily shop where people will use these all day long, I would tend to lean toward the Rigid. Despite the whine in the front end, the lifetime warranty screams buy me, even though you pay up to $50 more up front for the same setup.

Me, being a part-time semi-retired woodworker, who works maybe 4-6 hours a day, 4-5 days a week, this Bauer is looking better and better to me.
I understand the Horror Freight, Harbor Fright mentality. I have been bit myself. But with some of these new brands they are coming out with, (Bauer, Earthquake, Vulcan and others), they seem to be upping their game and these are NOT the usual Central Machinery junk we know so well.

Thanks for reading!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN




View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2634 days



12 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

5006 posts in 2386 days


#1 posted 01-07-2018 09:26 PM

I have had both excellent and terrible electric tools from H-F. Their lowend 5 speed bench top drill press is just plain JUNK! The tiny lathe I bought is a great little machine for the $!

I use H-F belts on my Jet belt sander and they are excellent- easily last as well as the twice the cost name brand ones and sand the same too.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1027 posts in 1660 days


#2 posted 01-08-2018 03:10 AM

When AvE says one of their product is Skookum, you know HF is turning a corner with the quality of their products. HF is a gold mine if you do your research and know what you’re looking at. Great review on the Bauer vs Ridgid. I fear my Craftsman C3 line of tools will give way soon unless Stanley really does change the name around and I stick around; otherwise, I don’t mind looking at HF as a cheaper alternative for replacement.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2634 days


#3 posted 01-08-2018 02:37 PM

Rayne, I wonder about the Craftsman line of tools. Since Sears sold that off to Stanley/Black & Decker, I look at them more now like some of that B&D stuff I see in places like Walmart. And I think Walmart also carries Stanley hand tools which have also gotten much cheaper in quality, so how long before they cheapen up the Craftsman line even more and put it in Walmart and run on the name?

I know my local Ace Hardware carries Craftsman, and is proud of it. But money talks, and after Christmas, my local Walmarts had a LOT of B&D tool sets on clearance when they didn’t sell for the holidays. I think people know quality when they see it, and those orange B&D power tools are not there.

Thanks on complimenting on the review.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8362 posts in 2697 days


#4 posted 01-08-2018 02:56 PM

Thanks for the good review.

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1027 posts in 1660 days


#5 posted 01-08-2018 03:20 PM



Rayne, I wonder about the Craftsman line of tools. Since Sears sold that off to Stanley/Black & Decker, I look at them more now like some of that B&D stuff I see in places like Walmart. And I think Walmart also carries Stanley hand tools which have also gotten much cheaper in quality, so how long before they cheapen up the Craftsman line even more and put it in Walmart and run on the name?

I know my local Ace Hardware carries Craftsman, and is proud of it. But money talks, and after Christmas, my local Walmarts had a LOT of B&D tool sets on clearance when they didn t sell for the holidays. I think people know quality when they see it, and those orange B&D power tools are not there.

Thanks on complimenting on the review.

- Tennessee

It’s all about how Stanley B&D wants to revive the brand. Remember, they also own Lenox, Dewalt, Bostitch, Porter Cable and Mac Tools (among many more), so if they want to make it a great brand, they definitely can.

View MrRon's profile (online now)

MrRon

4991 posts in 3363 days


#6 posted 01-08-2018 06:28 PM

I’m very happy with my 18 Volt XLT Dewalt drill. I have had it for about 8 years and it is a fine drill, never a problem. BUT, tools may be good one year and all of a sudden go south in quality, usually when companies change management, or lines get sold off. Dewalt has (so far) been a quality tool, but I’m not so sure of their present line. I bought a HF 12 Volt drill and it turned out to be junk. I may take a chance and try one of the Bauer drills. Thanks for the review.

View jonah's profile

jonah

1838 posts in 3419 days


#7 posted 01-08-2018 09:57 PM

The HF drill is not 20V, it’s 18V. They do the same thing Dewalt does – rate it by the “maximum” voltage rather than the sustained use voltage. Suffice it to say that every cordless drill on the market is either 10.8V, 18V, or 24V. The 10.8V are sold as “12V”, and brands differ on the 18V tools.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2634 days


#8 posted 01-09-2018 02:00 PM

Ah, jonah, should have caught that.
Ni cells are nominal 1.2 volts, so 10.8V would be 9 cells, 18V would be 15 cells, and 24V would be 20 cells.

20V, you cannot divide 1.2 into that without a fraction, so it cannot be a true 20V.

Got it…
They do that a lot in the motorcycle industry, for instance my Indian 111 Cu. Inch, which should be 1818 CC, (give or take a portion of a CC), is actually I believe a 1811 CC engine, a bit short. They always round up.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2789 posts in 2417 days


#9 posted 01-09-2018 05:29 PM

I went Dewalt because there are so many things that all can take the same 20 volt battery, including a hedge trimmer and a string trimmer! If Harbor Freight just had ONE lithium online line that used the same battery (including their cordless lawn maintenance stuff) then they would merit consideration from me. They have stepped up their game but it’s all over the place with too many quality levels and ‘brand’ names.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2634 days


#10 posted 01-09-2018 09:48 PM

Well, you have to at least give them chops for trying!

The comparisons they are doing in their ads on some of their products, eh, some OK, some not so much. Please, HF, don’t try to compare your 12” miter saw with laser to any other miter saw as a great tool for less money – I own one and it was a full two hour setup before I cut my first true 90’ piece of wood. OK now, but I still don’t trust it for much more than an overgrown chop saw. Segmented turnings? Forget about it…
But you gotta admit, they sell a boatload of them and the 10” units. I give them credit for that.

Other things, like their welding helmets, I own two, and they both work great. Why give someone like Hobart $150 when I can have the same technology for about $40?
And I have lost count of the HF blue clamps I see in YouTube woodworking videos. I own about 50-60 of them myself, both 6” and 12”.

But at least they seem to be developing two levels in their stores, the cheapo Central Machinery line, and all these other higher end lines. Maybe some day, they will tie it all together.

And I used my Bauer and Rigid both today, working in my shop, and still marvel at the quality of that little red drill with two batteries for a bit under $80.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2789 posts in 2417 days


#11 posted 01-09-2018 09:52 PM

Only thing – when I need a new Dewalt battery it is NOT $19.95. So long term cost of ownership is a huge consideration.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2880 posts in 2634 days


#12 posted 01-10-2018 06:40 PM

That was the exact thing that caused me to look into the Bauer. Looked at the price of replacing those little 12V batteries for my little Rigids…Nope, Nada, Not going there…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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