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So I’m pretty new to woodworking and don’t have a huge budget. I have a drill but it’s a pretty cheap one and I don’t have an impact driver. What should I get? Preferably brushless, as I have used brushless drills before and much prefer them to brushed, but budget may not allow. I’m not as concerned with battery compatibility, as most of my other tools are corded anyway.
 

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Do you have a project in mind that you need a better drill for? Does it need to be new? I'm a fan of used tools personally. Mainly because Im just learning. Also I'm able to get far higher quality tools used than my budget would allow new.
 

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Did you check prices of impact drivers before posting this? The most expensive 1/2"cordless impact driver at Lowes, a Bosch, is only $159.99. There are several priced below this that are also good drivers. Dewalt $149.99.


Amazon is even cheaper.


George
 

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Just a word about battery size. I got a Dewalt 12v set several years ago and have found them to be a good convenient light weight size. Both the drill and impact driver have always done what I needed them to do and I don't see the need for anything larger. However, I am a hobby woodworker/homeowner. I do not use these tools consistently all day long.
 

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Just a word about battery size. I got a Dewalt 12v set several years ago and have found them to be a good convenient light weight size. Both the drill and impact driver have always done what I needed them to do and I don't see the need for anything larger. However, I am a hobby woodworker/homeowner. I do not use these tools consistently all day long.

I agree with you on using the lighter weight tools. I have the Craftsman NexTec 12 volt and use it almost exclusively. I seldom take out the 20 volt.


George
 

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I'm curious why the need for impact for woodworking? I've always considered impact more for mechanic type work, where working with bolts is more commonplace. Wouldn't impact serve only to strip the soft metal heads of wood screws?

I don't use a lot of screws in my projects, and get by fantastically with my Dewalt 20v non-impact cordless when I do, though getting into cramped areas sometimes requires me to use an awl or gimlet.
 

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An impact driver is just a convenient driver to have around the house for various projects. Upon thinking about it, I probably have never used it on a strictly woodworking project. Defining woodworking as building furniture/cabinet type of work.



George
 

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So I’m pretty new to woodworking and don’t have a huge budget. I have a drill but it’s a pretty cheap one and I don’t have an impact driver. What should I get? Preferably brushless, as I have used brushless drills before and much prefer them to brushed, but budget may not allow. I’m not as concerned with battery compatibility, as most of my other tools are corded anyway.
I'd recommend making this initial decision with future purchases in mind. I think you should find a manufacturer's line of cordless products that you like and then stick with that brand for all future purchases. Keep in mind that probably the biggest portion of the cost of these cordless tools are in the batteries. Once you pick a line of tools and purchase a few good batteries to support that line, you will find that purchasing additional tools (without batteries) are pretty cheap.

I started out purchasing a small Ryobi one+ 18v combo kit over 10 years ago and have stuck with Ryobi since then. Over the years I've picked up 6 very nice batteries along with a few 40v batteries for my lawn tools. Those now power over two dozen Ryobi tools that I own. My two favorite batteries are the 18v 6Ah high capacity batteries that I picked up a few years ago. Those things last forever and bring out a bit more power in some of the tools.

I've had people tell me that Ryobi tools are junk but in the 10+ years I've owned them I've never had one tool go bad. The only thing that has gone bad are the two cheap batteries that came in the first kit that I purchased.

Here's my collection so far apart from my Ryobi lawn mower and weed eater which have been put away for the season:

IMG_0054.jpg

IMG_0055.jpg
 

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I'm curious why the need for impact for woodworking? I've always considered impact more for mechanic type work, where working with bolts is more commonplace. Wouldn't impact serve only to strip the soft metal heads of wood screws?

I don't use a lot of screws in my projects, and get by fantastically with my Dewalt 20v non-impact cordless when I do, though getting into cramped areas sometimes requires me to use an awl or gimlet.
"Need", of course, is relative. I probably wouldn't even have the impact driver if it hadn't been in the set. Having used it for a few years, I wouldn't want to be without it. Like you, i don't use a lot of screws in my woodworking projects unless they are very utilitarian like some shop furniture made of plywood and 2x4s. For small screws and more delicate projects, I will usually use the clutch drill to prevent over driving. However, I have had situations where a screw was stuck and I couldn't turn it either in or out with anything else. Particularly with phillips head screws, the impulse action of an impact drill does not cam out as easily and will frequently turn a screw (or maybe twist it off) that can't otherwise be turned. I've found that the impact driver is a heavier workhorse and with it, I don't concern myself as much as I used to over the screw head type. In fact, I probably use more phillips head screws than I used to just because of the impact driver.
 

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Only thing I use that's cordless is a Dyson and a screw gun. Reason I mentioned Makita is because they were used in a commercial back ground and held up perfectly.
 

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I am one of those who has yet to figure out how and where to use an impact driver. I have large (18v) and small (12v) drill/drivers. The large one lives in the shop and the small one lives inside the house. If I need two drill drivers for switching off between bits, I can always get the other one and use them together. Both have clutches, which I use to avoid stripping screws. It works for me.

Given a choice, I prefer the small 12v drill/driver. It is light, comfortable in the hand, and easy to use. Occasionally you need something larger and more powerful, but most of the time, it just works.

When the charger failed on my small Hitachi (now Metabo) 12v drill/driver, I bought a used matching impact driver on eBay because it was the cheapest way to get a replacement charger.

I keep trying to make use of the impact driver, but it is so easy to strip the phillips heads on screws. Perhaps I am doing something wrong or don't have the right touch, but I have yet to figure out a use for the small impact driver.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
The lifetime warranty on some cordless tools does not cover the charger, which can be expensive to replace. The Hitachi drill/driver has a lifetime warranty, but it doesn't cover the charger! How stupid is that? It explains why I found so many Hitachi cordless drill/drivers for sale on eBay without the matching charger.
 

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I agree with Rebel. I have two sets of Makita drill/drivers. They easily take a beating that an above average handy homeowner can give them.

I also agree with Frank. All the major brand names are going to serve you well.

And batteries are super expensive!
 

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My particular brand of cordless tool is Dewalt. I am satisfied. I have 20+ tools and 20+ batteries ranging from 1.5 to 6 amp batteries. I have both 18 volt tools and 20 volt tools as well as a 60 volt circular saw. Both brushed and brushless. I use battery adapters with the 18 volt tools with the 20 volt batteries. Works for me.

My stuff came as a new 18 volt kit, a few new individual 18 volt tools, a bunch of used 18 volt tools, a 2 piece 20 volt kit and a bunch of 20 volt tools including some yard tools bought a piece at a time.

Today was particularly satisfying while using my cordless tools. I had 3 tools set up with wire wheels while I cleaned the underside of a cast iron table saw top I am restoring. I had a drill, an angle drill and a grinder all set up with different wheels. I just grabbed the tool or brush I needed to get in the nook or cranny or surface as I worked my way methodically around the top. It took less time by not having to chance wire wheels.

Anyway, I expect virtually all the top companies have a $200 kit. You are really looking for a battery platform at this point. Look past the kit at the other tools you expect to get down the road and look at the prices of those tools. Also, look at batteries and what they cost. That information will help the decision at least as much as the current cost of a kit.

Good luck with your search and purchase.
 

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$200 for a set won't get you much. dewault has a good name and reputation

i will say this... if you only have one cordless drill make it a hammer drill
 

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Anyway, I expect virtually all the top companies have a $200 kit. You are really looking for a battery platform at this point. Look past the kit at the other tools you expect to get down the road and look at the prices of those tools. Also, look at batteries and what they cost. That information will help the decision at least as much as the current cost of a kit.
I will add one more point to this. Find a brand you like and stick to it. It is particularly useful to have multiple batteries for whatever set you have. For example, I have two Dewalt tools that use the same size battery and I have 3 batteries. One battery sits on the charger at all times. When the battery on one tool runs down, I swap it out for the one on the charger and continue working. This is apparently good for the batteries as I have been using the same ones for well over 5 years without problems.
 

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I have the Milwaukee m18 brushless drill & driver. They are often for sale as a kit for $199. With 2 batteries and a bag.

I couldn’t be happier with the power and battery life. They also have led’s to help light up the area. They have a lot of compatible m18 tools, but some of them are expensive.
 

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An impact driver is just a convenient driver to have around the house for various projects. Upon thinking about it, I probably have never used it on a strictly woodworking project. Defining woodworking as building furniture/cabinet type of work.



George
Impact drivers are great for certain types of fasteners, torx head screws in particular and really helpful if you have a bunch of screws at once like building a deck for example. I find myself using them more and more and an impact driver will put those suckers in the hardest wood in no time.. Just be careful and stop before you drive them too deep.
 
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