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#13357 09/01/02 09:43 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4
Junior Member
Hi all, I have been an apprentice now for almost a year doing mostly commercial work. I find myself in the market for a new cordless drill. My old Makita 9volt seems to be dying. My company does not supply cordless drills and claims they are not "required" but it is almost impossible to be productive without one and the prospect of borrowing someone else's 10 times a day is unpleasant. I simply cannot afford a Milwaukee, DeWalt, or even another Makita right now or in the foreseeable future.

I am definitely looking in the under $100 price-range for a complete package range (and thats going to break the bank at that). After doing what research I could I am leaning very heavily towards a Ryobi 14.4 which comes with 2 one-hour fast charge batteries and charger for $80 at Home Depot. It says it has a 2-year warranty but I cannot find out if that covers commercial work as opposed to a homeowner DIY-type work. I know the thing will look beat up on the outside within a manner of weeks.

Ryobi's website lists a local service-shop as an authorized warranty center which is also a plus (no sending it through the mail at big $$$ if it does need service).

So I am ready to go buy but would like one last chance to hear any negative or positive opinions on Ryobi or any other comparably priced drills that would be a better investment. The guys I work with ALL own either a DeWalt or Milwaukee and have no opinions on Ryiobi other than that anything less than $150 must be garbage by default. Thanks.

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
"My company does not supply cordless drills and claims they are not "required" "

Find a new job.....that policy is crap.

IMO the best cordless line is Panasonic, but they are not cheap. You will probably find that good and cheap are mutualy exclusive.

good luck

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 42

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
DeWalt makes a 9.6 volt for about $100. I would stay away from the ryobi for heavy commercial use.

I agree with GJ, if your boss doesnt supply a cordless drill, look for another job, if at all possible.

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 42
Sorry you'll have to enter cordless drill in the search window

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4
Junior Member
Well in my area I have been told by many that there is but one or two companies that supply a cordless drill to their employees and that the vast majority do not. I guess it is just the way it is around here. I am thinking of just not using one at all (including borrowing other people's) and see how they like my sudden sharp drop in productivity. Problem with that is it will likely result in a much more substantial loss of income than the cost of a drill when I get a much lower raise.

As for the Harbor-Freight drills, I researched tham and am not interested because:
1) They don't cost much less than a Ryobi
2) They have a 90 day warranty
3) Their instruction manual says you need to recharge the battery for at least 16 hours before EACH use
4) They only come with one battery and if you buy an extra one it costs nearly as much as the package which includes the drill - which also puts it at more cost than the Ryobi by the time you get second battery

I would like to find another company though. As it stands now, I am still a first-year apprentice and tools I have had to buy that I shouldn't have include:
1) Shovel
2) Ridgid Pipe Cutter
3) 3/4", 1", and 2" pipe benders
4) Clamp-type multimeter
5) Electrical tape in various colors, spray paint (to mark ceiling wires) and a ton of little screws and nuts.

And a whole bunch more I am sure that are not jumping into my head right now. Of course the company claims I am not required to buy any of this. Funny thing though is the job simply will never get done without it and they know it and they do not purchase the stuff even with ample notice that we need it. They just get on us to get it done. Exact same scenario as with the drill, I could choose to absolutely not buy another thing and watch as the job never got done and I'd feel it and a whole lot more come raise time. So I play ball because I want to stay in this field.

BTW, everyone I have talked to says this is the best company by far to work for in Northern Colorado. Guess I'm just lucky!

Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
Likes: 1
Hang in there... Get your journeyman's, then masters (or however it works in Colorado) then your contractor's and start your own business, you'll have most of the tools anyway! Keep ALL of your receipts, then once you have your Contractor's license, BILL them for ALL of it, including a handy markup for overhead and profit. If they say no, threaten to lien everything they've got. It may not be legal (?) but heck, I'm in the mood to raise cain anytime I see bullcrap like this.

Have you checked into Black and Decker Firestorms? DeWalt Juniors! I've still got an old Quantum B&D 12V that the bearing is so loose and floppy from driving TEK screws that the tip will move any direction about 1/4"! They may be DIY rated, but it handled several years of abuse, and I still use it around the house!

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
We use all Dewalt cordless tools, mainly because that's what I started with and the batteries interchange between tools so we only need one type of charger.

I also provide all power tools for my workers. I look at it this way. If my guys don't have the right tool, I'm going to pay much more in labor than the tool cost over the long run. I do require that they have their own quality hand tools.

As for the Ryobi, it will probably do the job for a while, but don't expect it to last as long as the Dewalt or perform the same. If I couldn't buy a new dewalt, I would look for a reconditioned model. You may also try ebay, don't tell anyone, but I buy all our power tools there usually saving 25%-50%.

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 324
Chucky, I have tried various drills over the years and found the old Craftsman Professional line to be hands down the most reliable cordless drill. I have gone through several Dewalt drills in the last ten years. IMO they are junk.

The Craftsman drills we use have been in service for over five years and are now out of production. The batteries packs hold a charged for ever. If I had a dollar for every time they have been dropped I could retire. I have bounced them off of ten foot ladders onto concrete floors...still going! I purchase them off of ebay now since they are no longer available and have over a dozen in my inventory.

These drills were built by RYOBI! So pound for pound, I would get the ryobi.

[This message has been edited by arseegee (edited 09-01-2002).]

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 132
2" Pipe bender? if it doesn't fit in your pouch you shouldn't be required to bring it. Of course everyone has certain tools that makes his/her life easier that they would bring to a job but that is ridiculus. It sounds like you have the will to work and shouldn't have a problem finding a better place to go with. If your employer figures you don't need those tools then he has some very generous customers and you are lining his pockets for him. Keep up the good work and find an employer who realizes your potential. You will be happier in the long run.

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