Best cordless drill/driver set?

sethramesh(z7 GA)May 5, 2007

I am looking for buying a Cordless drill/driver Which is the best option?

Option 1: Panasonic 14.4V Li-ION Drill/Driver Combo

Option II Â Makita 18V Li Ion Impact driver/ hammer drill Combo

Option: III Â Dewalt ?

My requirement: I am planning to finish my basement and also planning to put a new deck. I have concrete basement. so will do some concrete drilling. Cost is not an issue; Just want to buy the best one. I donÂt find many reviews on Panasonic, but read some good reviews on Makita at Amazon.

Since I will not be buying another drill/driver combo for at least for next 5 years or so, I want to be sure I buy the best one. So what are your suggestions? Does 18 Volt better than 14.4 volt?

Thank you all for your help


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Panasonic will outperform all other brands hands down. Makita is decent but the Panasonic tools are clearly in a class of their own, their impact driver is a superb tool and is ideal for driving Tapcon fasteners. Stay with the 14.4 volt units, they;re lighter and more pleasent to work with.

Do not rely on cordless power alone for your masonry drilling needs. Buy yourself a good Bosch hammer drill, theyre about $110-$130 and save your battery power for other tasks, it will drill through masonary faster than anything cordless.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 11:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
castoff(Z5 Ontario)

I haven't had the opportunity to use any Panasonic cordless tools, so I can't comment on what blacknumber has reported. Given the three choices you presented, DeWalt would be third on my list. Without question, Panasonic has a reputation for making fine products. I have quite a few Makita tools, both corded and cordless. I really like my Makita stuff and it would be hard to sway me away from them but I would certainly consider checking out the Panasonic products.

I totally agree with blacknumber on the masonry drilling issue. If you have a lot of holes to drill, then go corded and Bosch is a very good choice.

As for voltage, blacknumber also makes a valid point. The best balance between battery longevity between charges and fatigue from constant use, normally makes the 14.4 volt products the better choice than the bulkier and heavier 18 volt models. However, those new Makita L/ion units might sway you their way.

IMO, this is not something that we can tell you to any great certainty because which tool feels best in your hands is more of a personal choice than anything else. If you anticipate this driver being in your hand almost non-stop for hours on end, then the weight and balance of it become very important. More so, than if you are just picking it up, driving a few screws and putting it back down again.

Batteries for these tools are specific to the manufacturer and the tool series so remember that you have to live with your initial choice down the road. Makita has a huge choice of cordless tools. If you intend to buy other cordless products, then look at what Panasonic has to offer compared to Makita because batteries and chargers don't come cheap. Having one brand of tools that use one type of battery makes life simpler and saves you money.

Secondly, batteries (regardless of manufacturer) all have a lifespan. Don't expect to be using the same batteries five years down the road. I have owned Milwaukee, DeWalt and Makita. None of their batteries have lasted that long, regardless of voltage.

Blacknumber and I disagree when it comes to Ryobi. I won't suggest for a second that Ryobi is in the same league as the other brands mentioned here. However, Ryobi is my current tool of choice, primarily due to the whole battery issue. Makita, DeWalt and Milwaukee routinely improve their product line to compete with each other. Batteries for their tools are horrendously expensive and they become obsoleted far too fast.

I have several tools around that are perfectly good but the cost of the replacement batteries make me cringe. Ryobi has approached the whole issue differently. They make only 18 volt products and use one battery for all of them. Batteries are inexpensive and many of the tools can be bought individually instead of as a kit with charger and batteries.

As someone who is quite familiar with Makita, DeWalt and Milwaukee tools, I can honestly say that for the money, the Ryobi stuff is very good. Do their drills have as much torque? Nope. But I don't care. Rarely will the drill not do the job as well as the other brands will. And if the drill fails on me, I will toss it out and buy a new one with no regrets because the price allows me to do so.

If I was still in business and making my living from my tools, then I would have no issues about spending the big bucks for the top brands. Even though I am retired, I still use my tools alot and found the Ryobi tools more than adequate for my needs. Something for you to think about.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 9:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's a "no brainer". Go with Panasonic!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 11:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Absolutely go with Panasonic. Hands down winner. the torque is amazing!


    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I disagree with Castoff and his Ryobi batteries. I could take a crap on a peice of aluminul foil, put two wires in it and get more power than one of those POS Ryobi batteries.

Yes, go with the Panasonic.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
castoff(Z5 Ontario)

I really can't comment on the ability of blacknumber's excrement to produce electricity but if he says it works, then I have to go along with it. Perhaps, he should be making batteries with it.

As for me, all I can do is report on my own first-hand experience with the Ryobi tools I am now using in comparison to all the DeWalt, Milwaukee and Makita products I have owned over the past thirty years.

But since this is about your needs and not anyone else's, you should take your time to assess your overall needs for various cordless tools to use in your projects. There is more to cordless than just the variable speed reversible drill.

While I agree that Panasonic makes excellent products, the current line is very limited in comparison to Makita, DeWalt or Ryobi. First-hand trials will also tell you a lot about each brand but those trials must consist of putting the tool to actual use. Go and try them all and then make up your own mind.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 9:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
montesa_vr(Minnesota) just did a comparison test of 18V cordless hammer drills. One of their tests was seeing how many 2 and 9/16" holes the tools could drill in solid walnut before the batteries failed. The Ryobi couldn't complete a single hole, the Bosch died before two, the Hitachi couldn't quite do four, the Panasonic did four, the Ridgid did five, Milwaukee 6.5, the Makita 8, and the DeWalt did ten! Quite a difference. The DeWalt was also the top performer in concrete.

However, I went into a store and picked up a couple of these tools and I couldn't imagine using one of them for any length of time. They are enormous, heavy, and awkward! And they cost $300.

I like what blacknumber1 says, get a 14v cordless and a corded hammer drill for the concrete. The hammer drill will probably last the rest of your life.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 10:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
castoff(Z5 Ontario)

OK, let's put this into perspective.

I read the test carefully and found it to be a well-written article for the most part. What was missing is this. They did not disclose the MSRP of each of the tools tested.

A two-pack of Ryobi 18 volt batteries can be had for $39.97 at Home Depot in the US. Try and buy ONE battery for any of the other tools for that money.

A Ryobi 18 volt (CTH 1802K) has a four out of five star rating at epinions based on 25 reports.

The 18 volt DeWalt sells for $209.00 at HD
The Ridgid is $189.00, the Bosch is $259.00, the Makita is $199.00 but the Ryobi can be had for less than half the price of any of those drills.

The test of drilling such large diameter holes in hardwood certainly taxed all the drills to the max but in the real world, how many people ask a cordless drill to perform such a task? Without even reading the owners manuals of each of the drills tested, I can pretty much guarantee that not one manufacturer rates their drills to bore holes that large in softwood, let alone hardwood.

As I said in my initial post, there is a huge difference between selecting a cordless drill for occasional household usage and selecting one that you make your living with. For heavy duty tasks such as the test put to these drills, I have a Milwaukee corded right-angle drill and a Hole-Hog drill. I don't expect my Ryobi to have the same torque as a product costing two to three times as much. Only an inexperienced tool buyer would think that way.

For driving screws and drilling holes less than a half inch, I use the Ryobi cordless drill or the impact driver. If I have to change batteries a little more often than I would if I used a Makita Lith/Ion, so what? I am prepared to accept that minor inconvenience in exchange for the ability to buy low-cost battery packs and low cost cordless tools. Rarely do I use my Ryobi right-angle drill but it has already proved its value several times. The same can be said of the chainsaw and the recipro saw. And if they puke, I will take them back to HD and complain.

Most likely, they will give me a new tool to replace the non-working one because Ryobi is exclusively theirs.

It's all about selecting tools that will meet the needs of the job at hand because replacement parts for even the most expensive products will be hard to come by six years down the road.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 10:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you're doing a lot of drilling and driving why not use a drill with a cord. I think these battery tools are getting out of hand. I have a dewalt 12v drill.The batteries now don't hold a very good charge and when I need it the batteries are dead. Yes a cordless comes in handy here and there but I'm going to get a drill with a cord. Plug it in and get consistent immediate power.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 12:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sethramesh(z7 GA)

Never thought about using a corderd drill! It could be cost effective as well as power always. Great suggestion.
So i will buy a cordless drill and Corded impact/or hammer drill

So, What is the good corded drill I can buy? Bosch ?

Thanks everone for your help

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
DrynDusty(z8 AZ)

Whatever corded drill you get, make sure the variable speed trigger will start the drill fairly slowly. I have an old Makita that starts pretty fast, even though it's variable speed. Not convenient for putting in lots of screws. I used either of my corded drills for building my deck.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 3:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you only need a hammer drill for your basement project, consider renting one for a day. Spend the money on a good cordless which can be used for quite a variety of tasks.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aesanders(8b Alachua, FL)

As far as good corded drill, I would highly recommend Bosch and Milwaukee. Both are excellent. I really like the 14 vol size cordless tools. Keeps the weight down. I have a Bosch cordless that is very nice and light wieght. I had a Dewalt 18v that was more powerful, but wieghed a ton. I much prefer the lighter Bosch.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I do carpentry work for a living and have used them all.

Do yourself a favor and get the Makita Li Ion impact driver/hammer drill set. That impact driver is simply the best of the breed and the hammer drill will suit all of your smaller hole (up to 1/2") needs in concrete. Just get your hands on them all and you won't buy anything but the Makita. I have used my set for about 6 months now and love it.

Panasonics have a lot of problems,the DeWalts are outdated dinosaurs,and none are on par with the Makita Li Ion stuff.

You asked about which one being the "Best",right?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 8:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
masiman(z7 VA)

What problems do the Panasonics have?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 9:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

... and I'm going to suggest the Dewalt 18v XRP range. I have used makita and had both replaced twice under warranty for failed mechanical components, bearings and gears, pretty good batt life though. Equally, I have used (and still have but never use it) a Bosch PSR 14 volt drill/driver, another POS. Electrically, it has a crap variable speed and crap batt life. Ryobi batt drills are not good either in my experience but their range of corded drills are good. If I am doing a lot of hammer action drilling, I pull out the corded tools to save my batts, I have a ryobi hammeraction corded drill. If I'm doing lighter duty infrequent work, i go for the cordless just from a convenience point of view. I recently bought an 18V Dewalt 5 piece kit, I picked up in HomeDepot for 500 bucks and the drill and impact screw driver from the kit are really holding up well, I have them about 8 months now and have not had one problem. My only complaint about the dewalt is the crap yellow colour plastic. It gets grubby and engrained with dirt pretty quick (not bad for being my only complaint though). I have heard of people having problems with poorly balanced chucks on the devalt drills but I have not come across this problem, and I have 2 of them.

I use these tools 10 hrs a day, 5.5 days a week. The little 18v circular saw that was in the dewalt kit is OK too but only for pretty light stuff.

I have a large bucket at home that has a lot of makita, ryobi, bosch, black n decker cordless drills in it. They are in retirement at the moment, my wife uses the bosch from time to time...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 9:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't comment on the Panasonic, but I own an 18xrp DeWalt 3 speed drill and I have nothing bad to say about it. Weight seems right on, and it has plenty of torque--enough to twist a #2 phillips bit in two, more than once. I've used Ryobi, and since you say price is not a consideration, then don't consider Ryobi. They're not even close to DeWalt.

One I would like to try but have no justification for is the new 36 volt DeWalts. They claim to have the same power as corded tools, but weigh no more than 18 volt models since they use the newer lithiom ion technology. They are pricey though.

As far as the advice to use corded to save your batteries--this isn't true. Nicd batteries benefit from being used completely and regularly.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 5:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The best cordless drill I've bought is a $35 18volt one at Walmart. I've had it 4 years and use it at least once a week. I've used it to build a garage, a couple of decks etc. Still works like a charm. The battery is incredible.

I agree with a comment above on renting a quality hammer drill for a day or two instead of buying one unless you have future projects in mind.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 12:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you are limiting your choices to the three you mentioned then I would go with the Panasonic. However, the experience that I have had with my Rigid drill is wonderful. I have the 14.4V and it works great. In addition, the batteries charge quickly and easily. Don't overlook Rigid. Also, HD stands behind their product and if they break they can take care of it. Also, I think their new line has a lifetime service agreement on it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 12:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love my Makita 6916D hammer drill. 2300 RPM & 3000 BPM. We built a barn with it 2 years ago & it's still going strong. It would sink 6 1/2" lag screws thru 2X6's into creosoted bridge timbers & ya had ta watch or you'd snap the heads off when they hit bottom.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 10:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have used Panasonics at home and work for many years and been very happy with them, unitl recently.

The last two I have gotten, a 15.6 with Nicads, and a 15.6 with Lithium Ion, both have had the batteries quit holding charge after a relatively short time. My old 12 volt units did considerably better, although they did not have as much power.

It also appears that they changed also some things in the construction of the units, particularly in the output and chuck area. If the new units see any amount of sideload, the nose gets very hot, perhaps a bushing instead of a ball or roller bearing. The chuck quality also seems to have been diminished.

I have been following this thread hoping to find something better to replace the Panasonics.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 9:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
masiman(z7 VA)

Thanks for the info booster/bootster. I assume you are one and the same :).

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 11:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not the same person, just similar tag.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I used the same Bosch corded hammer drill at work for 17 years, I build filing systems, 2/3rds of that time was with a 1/2 inch drill bit and the other 1/3 was with a 3/16 inch bit. When it burned up I went out and bought a Matabo, now I average about 300 to 600 holes per job, I burn the Matabo up in about 8 months. Went back to HD and bought another Bosch, about 3 years ago and like the bunny its still going strong. As far as cordless I'm on my 2nd Panasonic 15.6 in 9 years. The first job I used it on I drove approx 8.7k tech screws and after that it lasted a little over 5 years. Hope this helps. Travis

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 12:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do not buy Dewalt!!

I bought a complete set of 18V drill, saw etc. Don't use it much, both battery burnt, one even smoked. I bought a 12 volt right angle drill, one year later, the battery burnt also. The battery and charger were sooooo expensive. For the same amount of money buying the batteries, I bought the complete set of Ryobi everything, 18V including sawsaw!! I have using them for earthquake retrofit on two houses and it survived, drop from 8 ft to cement, survived. Still working!!! A little less torque than Dewalt but much much cheaper and last longer. I treat them as disposable tool and they refuse to die!!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Why would you even use a cordless drill when doing a basement, you have outlets available, yes? Then nothing beats a corded drill. Especially with a deck, would not even consider using a cordless.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my opinion, the whole cordless drill thing is out of hand and a big ploy to get you into the cycle of replacing batteries every 2 to 4 years.

You will think twice about cordless products when you have to replace 2 batteries that sets you back over $100. I have found myself using more corded tools recently. Especially for tools you hardly use such as a sawzalls or circular saws, get corded tools so they last forever. They are superior, plus you can pass then down to your grandchildren. Batteries go bad whether they are used or not. My personal opinion, get a light weight cheapie cordless drill for small jobs like installing blinds, installing door knobs etc. For things you have to screw that require torque, pull out the corded drill. I have been there done that for many years doing sheetrock and decks and the like. Need the speed and power of the cord. I would rather use my generator with a cord drill then a cordless drill.

Being a builder, I agree with the Ryobi argument. The Ryobi gets 99% of your household jobs done just fine. Get over the need for the 18V $300 Dewalt, the economics just do not make sense. Invest in a corded 1/2" drill, which will be very inexpensive for a good one.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sear 4 ro 5 tools in a set off ebay, dirt cheap, don't have to get a bank loan to buy a battery. Besides, for home use buying contractor grade is a waste of money. you can even find the comb/pack on sale for about the price of one top of the brand drill.

I had the dewalt combo. Yea, it's a great drill and saw, but it's heavy and the battery loom around 100 bucks and they don't last no longer, especially if you don't use them everyday.

I got couple of 19.2V drills off ebay for little money and they drive screws just like the 300 dollar dewalt.

I will tell you you buy the expenive ones and you will regret it when the batteries go in about 18 months. But, if you don't mind spending 200 bucks every 24 months on batteries then get the contractor's elite tools.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 11:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love my Ryobi 18V. Can't beat $49 for two batteries!!! Work good.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 3:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

blacknumber1, Your post should be deleted. No need for your garbage here.
pete_p_ny , I agree that corded tools make more sense. I find myself getting increasingly frustrated with dead or weak cordless tools. I have them but when the work gets serious I generally look for the corded tool.
As for cordless drills...when I need a cordless I use the older Porter Cable products but my batteries are going south so I will need a newer cordless soon. Can't live with 'em...can't live without 'em.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 12:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cordless drills certainly can't deliver the power that a 20 amp outlet can. If you need that sort of power you'll have to stay attached to the wall. But the point of a cordless drill is not being attached to the wall.

I realize that this thread started a couple of years ago, but battery technology is rapidly changing. Many people think they've learned certain 'truths' about batteries (memory, wearing out, temperature range, etc.), that actually only apply to certain types of battery designs.

Batteries could last forever. We don't have any that do yet, but the newer lithium-ion batteries last significantly longer than the batteries of just a few years ago. The new Makita LXT 18v batteries will go through 2.5 times more cycles than a Ni-Cad batteries.

In another 5 years it's hard to tell what we'll see. But there are some reviews of what's currently out there at the site in the link.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 10:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think blacknumber1 got it right.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 9:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sethramesh(z7 GA)

Thanks everyone. I started this thread more than 2 years ago, and still there are replies!

I ended up buying a Panasonic cordless and Bosch corded. I am very happy with both

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 11:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello Sethramesh,
read this post and looked for a couple of reviews on cordless drill on the web myself. Found some good advice,
but I would like to know which Panasonic model you ended up buying and which of the two ( the Bosch or the Panasonic) you would favor after those months of usage?
Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 3:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I realize this is an old link... However, you will be best served checking out a few reviews on the subject. Having been the owner of a Ryobi (which was a decent product) I researched two competing products. This review suggested that the Milwaukee was a better product, and it was $60.00 cheaper as well.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 6:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't do as much building and things as I used to, so a cordless tool sits on the shelf. Lack of use kills a battery quickly. Got really tired of getting a drill for a project and the battery was not only dead but wouldn't take a charge.

Couple years back, got rid of all the cordless and went with corded. No cost and life duration issues anymore. Already had a couple 100 foot extension cords. If worst comes to worst, have a generator that I can put in a trailer and take wherever I'm working.

To put in perspective, buy an inexpensive Black and Decker drill, toss it on the shelf, 5 years later, plug it in and you're working.

I admit a preference to Makita, no real reason, other than I bought a miter saw about 15 years ago, liked it, and continued to buy Makita when I needed power tools.

Good Luck,


    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Visit this site:, if you are looking for the best cordless drill/driver seat. I have recently purchased a Bosch drill from this site and that too at best price.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 5:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Giving the gift of a battery-powered tool kit��"one that can handle all of a household's hole-drilling, screw-driving, and wood-cutting needs��"is a great way to start

    Bookmark   September 5, 2013 at 5:39AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What locked my Neighbor’s 6.5 Briggs Quantum Edge Engine?
I wanted to see what locked my Neighbor’s 6.5 Briggs...
Backpack Leaf Blowers
I have been looking around at backpack leaf blowers,...
Temperature alarm app for Android?
I am wondering if anyone knows of an Android app that...
Woodzig electric pruner
I have a Woodzig electric pruner and use it often....
Garage Door Opener Repair tips PT1 long
Hi all, it seems to me that in general GDO posters...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™