In search of the ideal drill (for me)

A few months ago, my Makita Cordless Drill started to die. The NiCad batteries were basically at the end of their useful life. This drill has served me well over the course of the last decade (yes, the batteries have continued to work for over 10 years). I started looking at replacing the batteries and the cost was about $35-$40 a piece which almost didn’t make sense to just replace the batteries when I could get a brand new drill with 2 batteries for a similar cost or I could upgrade my drill.

I started looking at new drills and asked my dad for some advice. He recommended one with a Lithium Ion battery, 18V (or higher) and one that could use the battery in different tools. That all made sense, but when I looked at cost, it made me sit back and do nothing as combo kits (drill, saw, etc.) were about $300. We were in Home Depot on New Year’s Day and I saw the Ryobi 12V Lithium Ion drill for about $80 and it looked compact and seemed liked it was all I needed. My Makita was only 9.6V, so this should have had more power. I looked across the aisle and saw the combo kit with circular saw, hybrid saw, and worklight for $119. I knew the limitations on 12V for a saw, but decided to give it a try. I’ve had the kit for about a week now and like all the components. The saws work for me needs and the drill seemed to work well. If I had bought the kit a day before, I would have gotten a $20 rebate. Oh well.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I figured out what was wrong with the kit. The drill didn’t have a clutch to change the torque. While this sounds like something I really didn’t need, I’ve used the clutch setting on my Makita lots of times. So I pondered what to do and decided to get the Factory Reconditioned Ryobi 18V combo kit. The cost is about $200 with no sales tax putting it about $70 more than what I already had (I have a few more weeks to return the kit to Home Depot). While this kit isn’t the newest (it doesn’t have the auto-shift drill), the Ryobi 18V setup works with over 35 of Ryobi’s tools. I’m sure that this kit will be more than adequate for my simple needs.

I’m looking forward to receiving this (I’m actually bidding on it on eBay to save a few more bucks, but if I don’t get the auction, I can still get it for $200).

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