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Forum topic by Peter Oxley posted 12-14-2007 10:11 PM 2167 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3898 days

12-14-2007 10:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tool purchase surprise recommendation mistake

There is a thread going about the worst tool you’ve ever bought, and another thread about the best/most useful tool in your shop. How about big surprises? Maybe you picked something up on a whim, and when you got into the shop you found you had a real treasure – maybe not your favorite tool, but well worth the price. Or maybe you bought something that you knew would be great, only to discover it wasn’t.

I’ll start with a good surprise and a bad surprise …
I picked up a Black & Decker Quantum Pro 18V cordless drill. My understanding is Quantum Pro is only sold at Wal-Mart. Okay, B&D, Wal-Mart … we’re not talking about a high-end purchase! But it was on sale, and my wife was looking at fabric or something … This drill has a metal chuck and a metal gear box. It has lots of torque and the batteries hold up pretty well. Sure, the thing is heavy as a brick (a large brick), the batteries can be hard to remove, and I like my Ridgid cordless drill better, but the B&D makes a great back-up drill. (Side note: Ridgid is not a Home Depot store brand like many think. Most Ridgid tools are not even available at HD)

I’ve had a DeWalt 14V cordless drill for ages. It works great, and the batteries are still taking a charge despite hard use, complete drains, and winters in the old unheated shop. The moment 18V equipment became almost affordable, I ponied up the cash for an 18V DeWalt cordless drill. Also heavy as a large brick, it had no more torque than the 14V and the batteries did less work on a charge than the 14V. Also, if you weren’t very careful when switching from high range to low range the gear box wouldn’t fully engage and when you pulled the trigger you would get the awful sound of ripping gears (which I suspect are plastic based on the sound). Oh, one other thing – the 18V is the hammer drill model – it occasionally decided to hammer when it is not set to hammer. The 18V quickly became the backup drill for the 14V, but after about a year and a half the batteries refused to take a charge anymore. Now it resides in the brick drawer.

Okay, who’s next?

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8 replies so far

View DeputyDawg's profile


196 posts in 3989 days

#1 posted 12-15-2007 03:55 AM

I finally bit the bullet and ordered a Flip Drill. It’s 18V and like the above comment heavy as a brick. Mayby not that heavy of a brick but heavy. But it is the most useful cordless drill I have ever bought. It is a time saver by being able to start a pilot hole and flip the head and screw in a screw and get on with the project instead of trying to hold the screw without cutting your fingers while waiting for the screw to finally start doing it’s job. Not only that but by drilling the pilot hole you can put that screw in at any angle you want. The flip drill when I bought it was a little expensive but I think it was worth my investment.

-- DeputyDawg

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4424 days

#2 posted 12-15-2007 05:20 AM

I’ve got a couple of the flip drill sets from different Manufacturer.

I own a screw drill, countersink inone and after using it I found out tht it dut a 7/17” hole and there were no plug cutters to be found for that size.

I did some searching and came upon Montana Brand tools and they have a set of plug cutters that can be used in an hand drill (It works), But better in a drill press. A fantastic set of tools. I bought the big sky drill and drive almost one of everything. here is their web site

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4117 days

#3 posted 12-15-2007 07:52 PM

My 18v Milwaukee cordless circular saw. This thing is stout yet doesn’t weigh a ton.

I lucked upon one of those kits with the drill, work light, circular saw, sawzall, charger, and two batteries on ebay. I watched it and the price was staying low. I ended up winning the kit. I was a little skeptical about the saw and figured I would resell it on ebay but was I ever pleasantly surprised.

I cut through a 10” wide 8/4 (which is at the max depth range of the saw) piece of oak and it never blinked. I use it more than my chop saw to cut long boards down. With a good blade (upgrade under 10$), it cuts plywood and particle board great. It has an added advantage of stopping the instant you take your finger off the trigger.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4092 days

#4 posted 12-16-2007 04:17 AM

My wife took a tip from my brother-in-law two years ago and bought me a Fein 14V Drill. The retail was $220 at the time, but had it on sale for $99 as a holiday “teaser”. A couple months after I got it, it was rated second among 14V cordless drills by FineWoodworking. I’ve had a few bulkier 18V drills and have now realized that I have no need for a drill that big. I can work overhead with the Fein without my arms getting tired too quickly. It’s got the juice to drive some bulky lag bolts into most stock. That is probably the toughest application that it reguarly sees. I’ve used it to drill cast iron and a few random metals, but that’s not the norm. If it died today, I’d be looking for it again.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3898 days

#5 posted 12-18-2007 06:38 AM

Another one I was just reminded of – I was promised amazing results from a Tenryu blade so I ponied up the outrageous amount of money … I used it for about two hours, but the cut quality was poorer than my combo blades – in fact, the cut quality was more like the cheap blades I use for cutting reclaimed lumber that might contain undesirable objects. The store that recommended it and sold it to me would not take it back because it was used, so it hung on my wall for a month or two until I threw it away.

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View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3917 days

#6 posted 12-18-2007 08:18 AM

I use to shop at Wal Mart

recent studies show that if a big box stores specialize in “no-name” brands from off shore

you save at least 10% and their profits go up 100%

and then the tellers instruct you how to use the “self check out” so that they can eliminate “their own jobs ” and you dont even get the savings from it.

whats next?

Merry Christmas!!

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3917 days

#7 posted 12-18-2007 08:31 AM

best tool I ever bought… Altendorf

the worst tool….................I have long since discarded

best tool I ever got as a gift….....?.......I thank God for it.


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 3912 days

#8 posted 12-18-2007 01:21 PM

I had a low end Craftsman circular saw, which my wife had when we got married. It wasn’t long before I decided to get a saw I could use. I checked with a friend and he recommended the PC Sawboss (6” blade). The blade is on the left side of the motor, it is well build, has plenty of power for what I have needed the cut and handles well. I have had that saw for nearly 20 years now. Not only was I not disappointed, it is one of my favorite tools.


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