HF battery drills

I'm going to be needing a battery drill for a small handyman business I'm starting , and right now I can't afford the one I really want . Anybody
using one of the HF offerings ? They're a lot cheaper , but as we all know , cheaper tools often end up costing more in the long run - whether from dying in the middle of a job , or from screwin' up whatever you're working on . Same goes for their pin/finish nailers ... anyone have one ?
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Snag
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Do not let not being able to afford a Milwaukee stop you from getting your job done. If all you can afford is an HF get it, and get the profits in from the job. Then take them and write them off as tool replacement costs for a Milwaukee or Makita.
I had a long informative reply, but my fat fingers and this computer ate it.
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I had very poor results with a cheap battery drill that was similar to the HF one. It had a very bad charger and in general was no good. I have a Dewalt now and it never failed me. The charging system does a great job at charging and not overcharging batteries.
i
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Yes, but the important point is that you do NOT have the money you spent on the cheapo. If you take that off the purchase price of a good one, it would have probably made such a deal that you would have bought the good one. Now all you have is an expensive fishing weight.
That's the problem with buying some of the cheaper items. You spend money, then end up spending more to get a good one, and you have a nearly worthless paperweight.
MHO
Steve
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This is basically true, and in addition, you have to subtract the time wasted because the tool was out of operation (something you mentioned in the previous post). Some cheap things work out OK, though.
i
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And check out pawn shops and craigslist. I use www.Searchtempest.com as you can search a defined number of miles from your zip code on CL.
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. Some cheap things work out OK, though.

I bought an electric string trimmer at a yard sale for $2. It worked for about 15 minutes then went up in smoke. I bought another at a thrift store for $4, and it is still chugging along. Still a lot cheaper than the $50 or $60 they want for a new one. I've tossed stuff before that I got really cheap, and figured I got more than my money's worth on it. But for reliable stuff that can make me money or shut me down, I prefer to buy good tools.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

Which is why I asked , if a few had good luck with those , I'd buy one . Looks like I'm going to bite the bullet on the drill . Fleabay has the (model 972 , I think) one I like for around a hundred . If the guy buys that Camaro axle today , I can afford a decent nailer too .
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Snag wrote:

I've had good luck out of several HF models. I got about four years use before the batteries were useless. I currently have two of this model, and three spare batteries: <http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber440>
It is a 19.2 volt version of my first HF drill that was identical except it used a 9.6 volt battery pack. That drill still holds a little charge, and is about eight years old.
I started buying two identical drills so I can switch jobs without changing a bit every time. Like a drill bit on one and a screwdriver of socket driver in the other.
These are $29.99 and spare batteries are Item 92603 @$16.99 each. I bought three spare batteries on sale recently, for $10.99 each. I use them for work around the house, like building cabinets & shelving, and to work on computers.
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On Tue, 23 Feb 2010 20:15:19 -0500, "Michael A. Terrell"

Note the moral: If you have to buy cheapies, buy two. Then if one dies you can still finish the job, and if there's a terminal failure you use one as a parts burner for the other.
Harbor Freight builds "Okay" tools, as long as your use doesn't involve beating on them with a rock they'll last for a while. But their repair parts system is hit-and-miss at best, and parts for older things, fuhgeddaboudit.
I have a few 18V DeWalt drills, and they DO get beaten on daily (swinging 1" Ship Augurs and 1-1/2" Selfeed bits when roughing in) and have had very good luck. Melted one motor's brush-holders off the molded glass-filled motor end bell, and now I know better and let it cool off between too-big holes.
DeWalt has the new Nano stuff coming out that's Li-Ion instead of Ni-Cad. If you can get a deal, go for it - but I haven't seen any good deals on consumables for the Nano stuff yet, notably the two-pack deal on replacement batteries they run a few times a year.
The Nano packs are MOSTLY backwards compatible, which is a bonus. There are only a few old things that can't run the new packs, they need to come out with a new Radio/Charger for one.
--<< Bruce >>--
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I would like to respectfully disagree. Some of their tools are perfectly good and usable, like, say, hammers, some vises, lights, etc. Some are, to the contrary, useless junk, such as those drills with bad chargers that damage batteries.
i
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wrote:

What he said.
Steve
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On Thu, 25 Feb 2010 00:29:14 -0600, the infamous Ignoramus26960

Hey, if you guys can't figure out how to RTFM, as short as they are, and spot the large "DO NOT OVERCHARGE BATTERIES" warning enclosed (in at least one place, if not two) you're on your own. ;)
Hammers, sledges in particular, are dangerous items from HF now that they're attempting to glue the heads on instead of properly shaping the handle and wedging the heads on. When you're really swinging a 5 lb sledge and the head comes flying off, it's gonna -cost- somebody something. I'm terrified of that new ploy.
-- "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." -- Ernest Benn
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Actually, I agree with you. I recalled that I bought a peen hammer recently and its glued head is already acting suspiciously.
i
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Ignoramus26960 wrote:

Getting five years service out of the batteries is better than I got with some name brand cordless drills.
Buy whatever you want and do whatever the hell you please, with it.
I buy a lot of tools two or more at a time now that I'm disabled. By doing so, I don't have to go looking for tools. I can leave them where ever I'm working around the house and still have tools in both shops. I already spend too much time limping around to do whatever task is at hand. Extra tools allow me to get more done. I still have and use tools I bought while I was in junior high school, in the mid '60s. I have two table saws, two radial ar saws, a couple compound miter saws, a couple drill presses, about 15 corded & cordless drills. I probably have over 120 screwdrivers, not counting the 1/4" hex drive bits. I have at least five sets of socket drivers, and three sets of automotive tools so that I can carry one in my truck, keep one in the garage and another in my metalworking shop. tools are meant to be used, and do wear out. No matter what you buy.
I buy drill bits and other small items in bulk, because they wear out. I used to buy 1/8" drill bits by the pound because I wore out so many while drilling out rivets in some equipment. They weren't cheap imports, they were US made industrial grade. They are cheaper in bulk, and you don't have a job come to a screeching halt for a few cents worth of tooling.
Just like when I was in business, I bought things by the bag, box bundle or crate. I did most jobs in one trip from stock in the truck and made more money that the ID10Ts that bought a single outlet box or stick of conduit at a time. They spent more time at the wholesalers picking up supplies for one job than they did working. I generally went once a week or every other week to restock my truck & shop. I was in and out in under 15 minutes, usually on a Saturday morning when most of my customers weren't open for business.
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Yesterday, I saw a really clean, gently used DeWalt 14.4 with two batteries and a charger at a pawn shop for $70. They probably would have taken less.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

There are a couple of pawn shops that have been good to me . Somewhere in this thread someone said they never found a good deal in a pawn shop . Follows is a list of stuff that I CURRENTLY own that came from a pawn shop : lathe (Logan) drill press (chinese , cheap) sawzall(Milwaukee) chainsaw (Poulan) 'lectric drill (DeWalt) miter saw (Delta , low end)
Most of this stuff I paid less than a third of new cost . All items do what they were made to do ...
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Snag
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We do good at pawn shops because we know what we am looking at, and know the price it should be. Some people can't do that.
Steve
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Ignoramus21067 wrote:

The DeWalt 12V 2-speed is my favorite drill , used 'em for years at more than one shop . Light and plenty powerful enough to drive a 3" screw full-depth in hardwood .
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Snag
My only working drill
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Let me put it to you this way: If you get out on a job, and your drill doesn't work, do you? There are MANY things that you can cut corners on, and cheap items are as good as expensive ones, but I don't consider a good battery drill to be in that category. Look at pawn shops. I have seen some killer deals there, and haggle with the guy from the moment you go in, offering him a lowball price. Walk around. Chances are, by the time you leave, they will want you to part with some of your money. If not, go to the next pawn shop. Check your local Craigslist. A friend of mine got a Porter Cable pancake compressor and three nail guns of various sizes, all never used for $125. Plus a good shock of hose, and thousands of nails.
You don't want your drill to take the rest of the day off when you are not finished. Look for one with an extra battery. Very important. I like my DeWalt 18v.
Steve
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