Looking for a lightweight but reasonably powerful drill

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Forum topic by Posty posted 02-03-2014 12:42 AM 1322 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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67 posts in 1154 days

02-03-2014 12:42 AM

Ok so I have had many drills and drivers, and most recently I bought a milwaukee combo kit for my job which Iove. Plenty powerful but also a bit heavy and large. I’m looking for. Compact and lightweight combo kit for woodworking. I live the festool drills but just too expensive. Have been looking at the dewalt 20v brushless set and seems light and powerful but there are no real reviews on them. I’m so wondering g I’d the 12v combo kits would be worth looking at? Any ideas or comments welcome.

26 replies so far

View MalcolmLaurel's profile


269 posts in 1047 days

#1 posted 02-03-2014 12:55 AM

I just bought a new 18V Ridgid “Fuego” drill/driver to replace my old 14.4V (also a Ridgid; i liked that one so I stuck with the same brand). So far, I’ve been quite pleased with it. It’s quite light; I looked at heavier duty ones but I figure I can use the corded drill if I need more power.

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View Dlow's profile


70 posts in 2112 days

#2 posted 02-03-2014 01:47 AM

I bought the Dewalt 12v drill and driver combo 2 years ago to have a compact set for use at work. I wasn’t expecting too much from them being only 12v, but I have been pleasantly surprised and they are my daily users. All the guys I work with that use 18v tools are also surprised at how powerful they are for the size. They have their limits but I rarely have an issue with them performing the tasks I require. I paid $150 for the drill, impact driver, 3 batteries and charger and another $50 for the LED flashlight, another invaluable tool as it’s the brightest/strongest flashlight I own. I regularly use them for cabinet installs, hanging drywall, framing etc. well worth the money!

View Loren's profile


8178 posts in 3072 days

#3 posted 02-03-2014 01:49 AM

I have the Bosch 12v and it’s an excellent product. Battery
replacement costs aren’t too high and the drill has enough
torque for shop work. If you are building decks you want

View gfadvm's profile (online now)


14933 posts in 2114 days

#4 posted 02-03-2014 01:52 AM

My daughter gave me that little Makita Li-Ion set and I am constantly amazed at what they can do!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View CharlesA's profile


2985 posts in 1222 days

#5 posted 02-03-2014 01:56 AM

+1 on the bosch 12v. Light, small, and powerful enough for 90% of what I need—dewalt corded for the 10%.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View JayT's profile


4688 posts in 1635 days

#6 posted 02-03-2014 02:03 AM

I have the Milwaukee M12 line—drill, impact driver, screwdriver and hackzall. They do anything I ask of them and the size is great.

If I was just starting into the 12 volt line today, I’d be getting the M12 Fuel. 1/2in chuck, brushless motor and as much power as 18 volt tools from just a few years ago.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2100 days

#7 posted 02-03-2014 02:24 AM

I have a Rigid 18V that is 5 or 6 years old. I have had great service out of it and it isn’t too heavy for me. IT might be heavy for you. That can be a personal thing. I went on a building trip with some guys and used their Bosch (12V??) and was impressed with the power it had. I find a few places I can’t get my Rigid into and the Bosch would probably go into most of those. Check the Bosch out and see what you think. I think you will be impressed with the power it produces.

View April Wilkerson's profile

April Wilkerson

117 posts in 1002 days

#8 posted 02-03-2014 03:17 AM

I have the Makita Lithium-Ion combo and I love them. The drill is only 3.3 lbs but is still an 18v. The drill can do everything I need it to but there have been a few jobs where I go and snag my husband more powerful Makita LXT just to make it easier on myself.

The only small compliant I have is that the batteries only seem to last about an hour of continuous use before they die. It isn’t a big deal to me because the kit comes with two batteries so I just throw one on and take one off. Plus, they charge in less than 15 mins….however, I could see this being a problem out on a work site if a charging station isn’t set up.

-- Wilkerson

View Posty's profile


67 posts in 1154 days

#9 posted 02-03-2014 04:13 AM

Thanks guys. I actually just saw the festool csx and really like it. Not too expensive. Also saw a c12 on ebay for $200. Thinking about these two. I have the makita 12v combo kit. It’s ok but I always need a chuck for drill bits.

View retfr8flyr's profile


327 posts in 1093 days

#10 posted 02-03-2014 04:22 AM

Get the new Milwaukee M12 Fuel version. It’s amazing how much lighter and more powerful it is over the old version. I upgraded my M18 to the new Fuel version and it is almost as light as the older M12. I liked it so much I upgraded my M12 drill to the new Fuel version and couldn’t be happier. The new M12 Fuel has enough power for about 90% of my needs and I hardly get the M18 out now. Next is to upgrade my M18 1/2 inch impact to the new Fuel version but that will have to wait a while.

-- Earl

View waho6o9's profile


7125 posts in 2001 days

#11 posted 02-03-2014 04:28 AM

Dewalt’s 20v combo set is a great value.

View BentheViking's profile


1763 posts in 1988 days

#12 posted 02-03-2014 04:59 AM

I have the aforementioned bosch 12v which has been awesome for me for almost 5 years.

I also have a 12v matkia drill and impact driver set. I like the impacter, but prefer the bosch over the makita drill

If you really need power and don’t need to drill holes but just drive screws and lags I’d highly recommend looking at an impact driver

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View bbc557ci's profile


589 posts in 1498 days

#13 posted 02-03-2014 05:47 AM

I have a full set of DW 18v and a full set of the PC 18v. Drill to the PC seems quite a bit lighter than the DW drill, and does not bog down.

-- Bill, central where near the "big apple"

View dawsonbob's profile


1846 posts in 1180 days

#14 posted 02-03-2014 05:53 AM

I have an 18v Bosch┬ácompact drill and impact driver combo that has been just super. Lots of torque, speed and good battery life without much weight. Best I’ve ever owned (or used, for that matter). Bought them reconditioned at CPO outlet.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View jmartel's profile


6477 posts in 1574 days

#15 posted 02-03-2014 06:00 AM

Honestly, if you want lightweight and powerful drill, I would get a corded drill. I have a corded Dewalt that I got for $50 or so, and it’s great. No charging batteries.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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