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Cordless Drill / Impact Driver: Makita or Panasonic?

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Forum topic by MackTheSaw posted 07-26-2008 02:15 AM 5901 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MackTheSaw

38 posts in 2336 days


07-26-2008 02:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tool advice impact driver cordless drill makita panasonic

I’m in the market for a new cordless drill because my old Panasonics are dead. Six or seven years of hard work has earned them a place out in the pasture. They served me well. I have two, and I like to use one for drilling and one for screwing, so I don’t have to change bits all the time. This means that, now that impact drivers have gotten so good at driving screws, it really makes sense for me to get a combo pack with a drill and an impact driver. Li-Ion technology is important to me for the power/weight ratio.

I’ve narrowed it down to two choices, both Li-Ion models:
Panasonic EYC142B
Makita LCT200W

The Makita gets great reviews online, and it seems to beat all the other brands in most of the comparison tests. But the Panasonic is rarely included. I’m not sure why—maybe it’s too new? While the Makita scores well, I know three people who have them and complain that they don’t last; the batteries seem to fail after 6 months or so, which wouldn’t show up in one of those tests for a review.

I trust Panasonic because of my good experience with my old drills, and the specs of this combo set look quite good. It has 3 Ah batteries, compared to the Makita’s 1.5 Ah batteries. But it’s about $100 more, and I don’t know anyone who has one, and I can’t find even one review on the web.

Can anyone offer a comparison? Any good or bad experiences with either of these? Please don’t confuse me with suggestions of other brands, unless you feel very strongly that I’ll make a bad decision otherwise.

Thanks very much in advance!
MackTheSaw

-- http://www.mccollister.com/todd


13 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2393 days


#1 posted 07-26-2008 02:48 AM

Panasonic has always been good tools products, but the Makita didn’t come short either. I really like the Li-Ion Makita tools, they feel really nice in your hand, and are light, and efficient.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View lew's profile

lew

10152 posts in 2500 days


#2 posted 07-26-2008 02:50 AM

Can’t speak for the new Makitas but I have been abusing one of the earlier models for about ten years. I thought it finally bit the dust last month when the charger failed. Not being one to spend to quickly (read: CHEAP) I tore the charger apart. Turns out to be a bad solder joint. Soldered it and it’s as good as almost new.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 2518 days


#3 posted 07-26-2008 03:40 AM

I bought the Makita combo and think they are great. Plenty of power and batteries hold their charge. Very pleased with them so far. I would recommend this combo set.

God Bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View motthunter's profile

motthunter

2141 posts in 2543 days


#4 posted 07-27-2008 12:20 AM

I prefer Makita to Panasonic. I think that the next generation Milwaukee and Dewalt will be the ones to buy though

-- making sawdust....

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

728 posts in 2577 days


#5 posted 07-27-2008 05:44 AM

Ditto on the Makita, got the set at the orange box and they are light, work hard and charge fast. I’m very pleased.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View jeanmarc's profile

jeanmarc

1888 posts in 2461 days


#6 posted 07-27-2008 07:19 AM

I prefer Makita .I do not know to Panasonic.

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View MackTheSaw's profile

MackTheSaw

38 posts in 2336 days


#7 posted 07-27-2008 06:41 PM

Thank you all for your comments so far. Seems like a lot of people like the Makita. Not too many have used the Panasonic much though, right? Does anyone have experience with the Panasonic Li-Ion stuff? Know anyone who has them?

Does anyone have any negative experience with either of these tools?

Jarrod, thanks for the note about Panasonic winning the comparison at Fine Homebuilding. I saw that they had done a test, but I’m not a subscriber, so I couldn’t see the details. Would you or anyone else mind summarizing their comments?

-- http://www.mccollister.com/todd

View Narayan's profile

Narayan

8 posts in 2468 days


#8 posted 07-28-2008 05:33 PM

I’ve been using Panasonic drills for a little under 8 years. I have 3—2 drills and an impact driver. I got one drill free through a rebate Panasonic had, and all the batteries are of course interchangeable.

They’re great. The brush on the first one just gave out a few months ago; haven’t yet gotten it fixed. And the batteries are now nearing the end of their lifespan. I see no need to get anything else next time around. They’ve been extremely dependable and a pleasure to use. I think only 2-3 times in all that time have I had to break out a corded drill (Milwaukee). And recently I’ve been using a Bosch i-Driver for assembly, but only because I’ve had occasions where an articulating head was very helpful.

If I had to do it all over again, I’d absolutely pick the Panasonics, but I’d give the new Bosch 12Vs a good look. But buy a brand that will be around for a while; having multiple batteries which can switch between units is extremely useful.

View MackTheSaw's profile

MackTheSaw

38 posts in 2336 days


#9 posted 07-30-2008 04:24 AM

Thanks very much Skeez and Narayan. I think I’m pretty close to a decision, and I think it will probably be the Panasonics.

-- http://www.mccollister.com/todd

View conbillb's profile

conbillb

39 posts in 2332 days


#10 posted 07-30-2008 06:52 AM

Hi. Saw your post and just wanted to tell you I just bought an Hitachi refurbished combo set from the Hitachi web site on the used(refurbished) tools site. The DV-DL 18v (2) 3.0 lithium bat. charger, reciprocating saw, bag and manual for about 1/3 of the retail price. It came down to the Makita drill and this drill. I really like it! It looked like new as far as I could tell and it works great! Powerful and perfectly balanced for me. Batteries interchange for future tools too! Sturdy belt clip with a built in light that is very cool and handy when needed. Has 4 power settings and a Jacobs chuck which is what really sold me. Good luck with whatever you get.

-- Bill, S.E. Iowa

View MackTheSaw's profile

MackTheSaw

38 posts in 2336 days


#11 posted 07-31-2008 03:02 AM

I ordered the Panasonic set today, folks. Thanks everyone for your input. I’ll let you know what I think of them in a few weeks.

Best,
Todd

-- http://www.mccollister.com/todd

View Ryan Shervill's profile

Ryan Shervill

278 posts in 2557 days


#12 posted 07-31-2008 03:19 AM

You did well. Sorry I didn’t see this question earlier, but here’s my .02 anyway.
I was part of an impact driver comparison article for Canadian Home Workshop magazine. Myself, along with Steve Maxwell and Gary Walchuck put most of the major brands through thier paces in a true head to head shootout. Everybody scored differently, but the pick for top tool was unanimous: The Panasonic.

Enjoy!

Ryan

-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here: http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/showthread.php?41055

View MackTheSaw's profile

MackTheSaw

38 posts in 2336 days


#13 posted 07-31-2008 05:31 AM

Good. Thanks for your .02, Ryan. I’ll put it in my pocket and save it for a rainy day.

Todd

-- http://www.mccollister.com/todd

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