? asked in Home & GardenDo It Yourself (DIY) · 9 years ago

Do all cordless drills have crap batteries?

I don't have an expensive, nice drill, i will admit. But every one i have ever owned , the batteries are always dead, they take forever to charge (by the time your drill is ready, it's a day later and your project is on hold). And the batteries die for good after only a couple years.

Should i just stick with corded drills, or are the expensive industrial strength cordless drills worth the investment?

14 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Milwaukee and Hilti lithium ion batteries. i work with a milwaukee everyday and the batteries last about 2-3 years. (thats a bunch of use) li-ion batteries charge in about 45 minutes.

  • Casey
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    It kind of depends on what you're doing with the drill and how often you use it. If you're a homeowner/do it yourself type, then it may not make sense to buy a new 18 volt lithium ion professional grade tool. But if you stick with cheaper models or worse, off brands, then you're probably going to continue to have the same problem with the batteries. By the way, as of a couple of years ago, there were only three companies making batteries for all the power tool manufacturers. Panasonic was the supplier for Makita and DeWalt/Black & Decker among others. There are also three main types of rechargeable batteries: the oldest is Nickel Cadmium which holds the least amount of charge but is cheapest, could develop memory (only drain to a certain point), and contains the heavy metal Cadmium, which must be disposed of properly. Next is Nickel Metal Hydride, which is what cell phone batteries used to be made of. It was an improvement over older technology as they held a longer charge but fewer of them. Now there's Lithium Ion which has no memory, is much lighter, more expensive, holds a bigger charge, and will supposedly last much longer than the other two, though they haven't been in use nearly as long. An 18 volt LIon drill usually weighs about the same as a 12v NiCad. Most come with a 15 to 60 minute charger. These are just points for comparison off the top of my head, so do more research to verify.

    No matter how much you pay or how much you use them, no cordless tool will last forever because of battery failure. I imagine that the amount of research that is going into finding the next generation of battery technology is significant because the possible rewards are immense. But you almost always get what you pay for and if you stick with name brands you'll be a lot better off. You should also consider a reconditioned professional quality tool. I've bought them for years for myself and the manufacturing facilities I've run and had excellent results. You can usually get a good quality tool for the same or less than you'd pay for a new Black & Decker or Ryobi at cpotools.com and reconditionedsales.com. Find one that has a maintenance charger that will keep the battery full without wearing it out. Also, heat and cold are the enemies of rechargeables so store them somewhere they aren't exposed to extreme temperatures.

    Source(s): Cabinetmaker and carpenter for over 20 years. Former Black & Decker Service Center tool repairman and have managed several woodworking shops. I've used tools made by most manufacturers and believe you get what you pay for in almost all cases. Many tool comparisons are available in Fine Woodworking and Consumer Reports magazines, too.
  • M M T
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Not all of them do but the cheaper ones are more prone to the problems you are experiencing. And if you don't use the drill on a regular basis, they will go dead just sitting. I have a cheaper drill that I use occasionally for work and I'd bet if I went out to use it right now, the battery is dead. It's been over a month since I've used it.

    Best thing to do is to plug in the charger and the battery the night before you're going to be doing a project. That way you will be all juiced up and ready to go.

    My husband had a Black & Decker Firestorm set that he used and used hard for about 7 years before the batteries started not holding a charge well. I priced them several places, online too. The cheapest place I got them was our local building supply store; they had to order them and it took a week but they were considerably cheaper and they are the exact same battery. I got 2 batteries for less than $70. and no shipping.

    We paid the cost for the two new batteries because of all the tools he has that uses the same batteries. He's got a reciprocating saw, a mini-circular saw, a sander and the drill.

    And wouldn't you know it, three weeks after I bought the batteries, the drill took a dive and got broken. But I was able to find one the same design and that used the same batteries. So now he's got 4 batteries and I told him I don't want to hear about the batteries being dead! LOL

    Tools are one of the things that if you buy cheap, you get cheap. Watch sales, especially around the holidays. And you can have the batteries rebuilt, I know some people who are happy with them but I got the batteries cheaper than having them rebuilt.

  • HOOK
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Anne E, said it, Dewalt is a favorite, 18V ) however I purchased a Lowly ha ha, Craftsman over 15 years ago with 2 batteries, and not untile this year did one of those batteries die, the other is still going strong and recharges in 2hrs, so it's a crap shoot at best, there is nothing like a corded drill but then again a cordless is go anywhere when you need it and a cord gets in the way or no outlets are available,

    In conclusion i'd say Get both... and go for the top end, don't skimp and be sorry later.always have more than one battery,

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    1

  • 9 years ago

    Batteries are better now than they used to be. I've had a B&D Firestorm cordless for many years, used it at work, it's been fine. Not pro level and wouldn't do if I was a carpenter, but fine. The more expensive the drill, usually, the better the battery, and a higher voltage really makes a difference in what you can do. But none of them last forever no matter what you do. That's why I bought an extra battery for mine. I've found cheap batteries on ebay.

  • 9 years ago

    Cordless drills are crappy, hands down. I recommend buying a battery that's ionic to go with your drill, they last 3 times longer but it is expensive. Corded drills used with extension cords are great, depending on your need to be "cordless". My boyfriend has 3 batteries with his cordless, and he's a handyman. One is always charging while he uses another. So yes, it's like a phone. No cordless battery lasts long enough for us consumers! They do die quickly so it depends on your needs. If you are within reach of a plug, go with the plug! But professionals use cordless all the time because they are out in the field and don't have access to electrical plugs. But the plugs will provide the best strength and no dead batteries!

  • Dan H
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Cordless batteries lose their charge if left long enough without any use. It sounds like you do not use your cordless everyday. For those of us who do, the charge stays nicely day to day, but not after a long period sitting on the workbench.

    The new Lithium Ion batteries don't seem to lose their charge that fast and some can be charged in 15 minutes.

    You either need to use your cordless more, buy a type whose charger can maintain the charge on the battery, buy a unit that has a lithium ion battery or plan ahead a pop the battery on the charger an hour before you plan to use it.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    1 quick tip,

    NEVER charge your drill battery untill it is full discharged. This is the No 1 reason for battery failure.

    Makita lithium ion batteries are the best I have come across and I use 3 of them everyday without any battery power failure.

    Even if you have to hold the drill chuck and turn it on to discharge the battery fully that is what I do.

  • 9 years ago

    We just purchased a corded drill after many years of frustration with our cordless. It never had the power we needed and it drove us crazy if he needed to use it and the batteries weren't charged.

  • Joan H
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Most of them that my husband has had, do not last long. And to buy the new battery pack is more costly than what he paid for the drill and the pack. I had the same problem with a cordless sweeper. Handy, but not practical.

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