|Review by pendledad||posted 10-08-2012 03:24 PM||5077 views||0 times favorited||13 comments|
I was at HD comparing the 18/20V monster DeWalt and Rigid cordless drills and impact drivers. I was looking for an all around good drill/driver kit that I can use in the shop but also around the house for odds and ends. I don’t have any serious construction projects in the foreseeable future, so I didn’t need the 20V power house stuff that can drive 500 3” deck screws into treated lumber. One thing I really liked was the size/weight of the 12V lines. I compared the Milwaukee, Makita, Rigid, and DeWalt at the store and they all pretty much felt the same in my hand. I read the review on the 12V drills and the DeWalt was noted as the best newcomer with the greatest speed among the competitors.
I almost purchased the 18V Rigid kit, which was $179. The 12V DeWalt was $199. I put the kit down when the associate said … “why pay more for less power?”. He didn’t understand that I wanted something smaller so I can drill and carefully assemble my smaller woodworking projects. I took a chance on the 12V DeWalt kit and I’m glad I did.
I just built 4 radiator covers using nothing but pocket screws. I drilled at least ~40 holes in each radiator cover. The same battery also drove ALL BUT 3 screws. ~157 screws drilled and driven with the same battery using the Kreg jig. I was amazed at how well the little drill bored the holes (I think 3/8”). It has great torque and speed for drilling. And then I effortlessly switched to the driving mode to send the screws home with a lower torque setting. Extremely impressed with the battery life and power of that little drill. The Kreg jig was amazing too, I think the vacuum attachment helped with battery life because it sucked away all the dust without clogging up the holes.
For fun, I tested the impact driver on drilling a few holes and driving some screws. The power that thing kicks out is scary. When the impact mode kicks on, it gets loud (expected), but the tool is wickedly efficient. I didn’t like how I can’t control the torque setting on the impact driver because it would easily send a screw straight through your work if you don’t stop in time. I don’t plan on using this for things other than utilitarian use (building workbenchs, jigs, decks, etc..). I am fully confident that I could tackle large projects with these tools. Granted the batteries will run out faster than the bigger guys, and they don’t produce quite as much torque. However, the light weight design make them amazing for shop tools, and the power will be there when you need to drive that occasional lag bolt into a fence post.
I’m glad I went with the 12V. The battery on the drill/driver lasted plenty long enough for a large project (~4 radiator covers). If you’re contemplating the 12V vs 18V lines here was my decision process which you may find useful:
1.) Project Size: Assemble small furniture, drill a couple mortises, drive 50 screws, small construction projects like benches or picnic tables (few lag bolts) ... think about the 12V kit. If you’re building a big shed or deck, driving through concrete, boring 4” holes for dryer vents … think about 18V or 20V.
2.) Size/Weight: Drilling lots of holes and driving lots of screws means picking up and putting down the drill a lot. I found my hand and arm didn’t fatigue at all during my drilling and driving. I could wield the drill at any angle without my hand straining to hold the drill. If your work requires tight spaces and lots of movement with the drill, think about the smaller 12V. If you are driving straight into something and have lots of room, get the 18V with the massive handle attachment.
3.) Power: If you need to drill 200 holes, I bet you can do it with both the 12V and 18V kits. However, the 12V kits will take longer. We’re not talking about 2 hours versus 2 minutes. We’re probably talking 10 minutes versus 5. If you are in a massive assembly mode and time is money, get the more powerful drill and it will take you less time. If you’re a hobbyist and don’t care about the speed difference, think about the 12V.
4.) Battery: The 12V batteries charge in just about an hour. So if you ever ran out, you can pop a fresh one in while it recharges and you won’t have any issues. The 12V line is 1.3-1.5maH which will definitely run out long before the 3.0mAh 18 volters during identical tasks … but with a quick charge time and extra battery I doubt it will ever cause problems. Bigger battery life also means bigger (heavier) batteries. I personally didn’t care about running out and popping a charged battery in. Two batteries will probably last longer than the time I get in the shop before the kids need me.
5.) Tools: There are more 18V tools than 12V tools. If you are looking to expand and possibly get circular saws and sawsalls and all that stuff … you’ll probably want 18-20V kits. I can’t see ever using a 12V saw anyways … I’d just go corded for these types of options.
Hope this helps.