I'm looking to get some powertools, preferably, drills. Definitely hammerdrill and corded. But, there's a few to choose from. I'm always looking at Milwuakee, but there's some comparable other choices, like DeWalt, which is about $100 less. I use Bosch a lot, but it's provided by my EC. A bit pricey for my taste.
I wanted to see what you guys choose for powertools, especially in the drills department.
And...in this corner...the "Great MisFit" speaks! :-)
I have found a hammer-drill is only practical for holes 1/4" or smaller in size- just right for screw anchors and tap-cons. A hammer-drill does drill better if you push harder on it. My DeWalt 14.4 cordless works just fine- but try making larger holes, and you'll wear it out in a year. Trust me on this!
A Roto-hammer is another animal entirely. How well it drills has nothing to do with how hard you push. Ultimately, you will probably end up owning a two of these, plus their "big brother," the demmolition hammer.
My small roto-hammer is an SDS drive Chinese special. It has a roto-hammer function, as well as chisel/hammer without spinning. It is an absolute dream. I can drill up to 1" (best to go in multiple steps) using masonry bits, or to 2 1/2" using core drill bits. It does feel a little silly, though, putting a $130 drill bit in a $75 tool!
My Hitachi SDS Max roto-hammer recently bit the dust, and will have to be replaced. It was useful for larger holes, and could make a good start on driving ground rods.
The "Big Daddy" of the set is my Makita Demolition hammer. Looking like a small jackhammer, it makes short work of breaking up concrete lamp bases and rocky earth. It uses 1 1/8 hex shank bits. If the Hitachi isn't enough, the Makita will usually finish driving the ground rod.
You may notice a lack of "big name" tools on my list. I simply don't use them enough to warrant my spending the big $$$ for the fancy ones. Lets see.....$75 for Harbor Freight, vs. $450 for Bosch (much more for Hilti) ....what would you choose?
My "rule of thumb," by the way is: If I wear out the cheap one, then I get the fancy one. Until then, the cheapie on the truck beats the heck out of the expensive one on the store shelf! And- nobody steals Harbor Freight!
#58277 - 11/04/0508:47 PMRe: Powertool/drills brand of choice?
For a hammer drill you stuck for corded? I tapcon all day with my DeWalt 18v XRP no problem. For rotary I use the DeWalt naturally. As far as demo go I use an old but rebuilt Milwaukee, looks like something the terminater would carry, really heavy, very big, but damn can it drive some ground rods in the toughest of hardend clay. For an auger drill I use a Milwaukee auger drill that was (No lying, will take picture if need be) purchased new in 1982, now 23 years of un-interupted service is pretty damn good, and it has been used ever since date of purchase.
#58278 - 11/04/0511:10 PMRe: Powertool/drills brand of choice?
I keep telling people on this and other forums. If you ever get the chance to try out a Kango demo hammer you will want one for yourself. Mine is kinda old but still chugs along just fine. I don't even really know where they are made, I think it is British. Anyway it is sweet.
#58279 - 11/05/0512:00 AMRe: Powertool/drills brand of choice?
I have a group of DeWalt 24-volt tools; a hammer-drill, reciprocating saw, and circular saw. The batteries can be replaced with a plug-in battery eliminator for those times you have power available.
We have a total of six 24-volt batteries, two chargers, and two battery eliminators; no waiting. I have developed the habit of immediate recharging, and putting the dead battery back in the tool otherwise.
I also have a Bosch rotary hammer, an SDS-Max, that I have rod drivers for. It will sink a 1/2" rod in about 15 seconds in most soil, and has never taken over a minute, no matter how firm the terra firma.
I also have a Milwaukee D-handle drill with the removable 90-deg. head, and just bought the 30" extension with the 33-deg. angle head. I can't wait for our next rough-in. Good-bye ladder drilling!
Plus, a B&D 2-speed 6-volt rechargeable screwdriver, a T-handle 18-volt drill, a Skil worm-drive circular saw, a RotoZip, a portable shop-vac, a 5.5Kw generator, an air compressor, and framing-, trim-, and palm-nailers.
Almost forgot: I also have a 2500-watt (cont.) power inverter in case we have plenty of 12-volt power and no 120-volt. It'll drain a vehicle battery rather quickly if you don't run the engine.
[This message has been edited by Larry Fine (edited 11-05-2005).]