It sounds like you are leaving your battery in the charger for too long. They tend to die quick if you are always leaving them in the charger all day or all night. Always pull them out after an hour's charging and they should do fine. Repeat leaving them in for several hours at a time, and they stop holding a charge in a week. Batteries almost always last for two years if they are treated strictly according to instructions. It depends on what you are after. Mastercraft and Sear's Craftsman are middle quality brands that can do anything an equivalent drill from Dewalt can do, but I wouldn't take them out of a shop into a construction site. They break too easy. Then there is capability. If you want something that can drive bolts and larger screws then you should look at a drill with a 1/2 chuck, at least 18 volt, and 400 or more torque. Craftsman and Mastercraft sell this for a hundred, Dewalt 200 dollars. But they are big, heavy, and clumsy tools. If you are just doing drilling, smaller projects, crafts, etc then a 12 volt cordless with around 200 pounds torque is smaller, lighter, and easier to handle. Look at Craftsman nexttel or some of the smaller Bosch or Dewalt drills. Don't ever buy a cordless 20 dollar drill.