14.4 volts vs 18 volt for homeowner

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by ctkeebler, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. ctkeebler

    ctkeebler New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I need to purchase a new drill is there a difference between 14.4 and 18 volt cordless drills for general homeowner use?

    Is there a better brand or is it mainly personal preference. Thanks

    Tom
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    When comparing the things, look at the maximum torque...a higher voltage will often be able to supply more torque. So, it comes down to what you want to use it for.

    The newer systems are coming with lithium ion batteries. These hold their charges when sitting idle longer than the ni-cad and work better if you are doing partial recharges. For the same power density, they are smaller.
  3. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

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    Location:
    MN, USA
    The charger makes more of a difference than the voltage.

    1. Never run the battery's dead. Forget what anyone says about the memory effect.

    2. lithium ion batteries fail over time regardless of how you use them.

    3. Most "cheap" chargers overcharge the battery's, that is why I use my own charger.
  4. enosez

    enosez Member

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    88
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    Weight defference. Using an 18 volt all day takes a toll on your forearms.
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    A buddy of mine has a Craftsman 14.4V drill and loves it. Light weight and plenty of torque for the average homeowner's use. I got along for many years with a 9.6V Makita (heavier than today's 14.4V Craftsmans, I think), now have 3 19.2V Craftsmans -- one 1/2", one 3/8", and one 1/2" offset. They're pretty heavy, but I couldn't pass up the deal I got on them, and I like them. At work they all used 18V DeWalts, which is a super piece of equipment -- in general, I have a high opinion of DeWalt -- but very heavy.

    If I were you, I'd go to Sears, which sells a bunch of name brands, and heft all of them to see how they feel. Hold them out at arm's length for a while. I think you'd be happy with the 14.4V drill.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    It does depend on what you plan to do with it. Any 18 volter will be quite heavy for general household chores like putting up brackets for blinds or curtains, for example. Any job where you are working up high. On the other hand, if you are planning to build a deck and want to drive some 3/8 lags and a lot of 3" deck screws, then you will appreciate the extra power.

    My "workhorse" drill is my 12 volt DeWalt ( ~16 years old!). For beefy stuff, I try to fall back on my 1/2" chuck Porter Cable side handle corded drill.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    drill

    Weight and physical size should be two factors in your decision. A third one would be the expandability of that voltage. 18 volt batteries usually have a wide range of compatible devices, whereas 12 and 14.5 volts are usually only used to power a drill.
  8. ctkeebler

    ctkeebler New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    well I went to home depot yesterday not knowing it was a big tool sale. I was looking for 14.4 or 18 volt drill.

    They had a makita 18 volt Lithium drill (3.5 pounds) and 18 volt lithium impact driver combo for 297.00 with 30.00 off. So the combo was cheaper than other 18 volt stand alone drills.
  9. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    I was going to recomend the Makita liIon drill. It's super light and compact and perfect for a homeowner. Holds a great charge.

    One caveat:

    If it were me (and I'm an active homeowner), I'd return the drill/impact combo and just get the drill package (it'll be ~ $200 - even cheaper if you shop on line). Then I'd get a 2nd drill body used (without battery) online for about $60.

    I have an impact driver. Unless yr driving 100 lag bolts all day or building a deck, the impact driver is overkill; the drill will do more than adequately. Further, the impact drivers can snap the heads off of some screws and are LOUD when they hammer - bad if you're doing any work when others are sleeping in the house.

    Having a second DRILL, however, is awesome. You can chuck one with a drill bit and the 2nd with a driver bit. I've tried all manner of quickchange bits and IMHO none are a substitute for a 2nd drill. Allows you to hold a piece with one hand, and drill it, then screw it with the other.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    I second that. The other advantage is that having three drills, I can usually find at least one of them.
  11. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I've got the Makita lithium-ion 18v drill-hammerdrill, and the 14.4v drill... 18v is way more than you need, 95% of the time. The 14 gets used every day, the 18 only when I need the hammer, or for mixing mud, or some other heavy-duty task.

    BTW, impacts are a lot easier on your wrist, than a drill/driver, if you're driving screws all day.
  12. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    The 18v LiIOn Makita Hammerdrill is as heavy as the 14.4 NiCad Makitas. However, the 18v Makita COMPACT LiIon is as light and small as the 12v (bkz the battery's smaller. It chucks easier, has a great LED, and has great control. It's the (IMHO) perfect homeowner drill.

    Personally, I'd only use a corded drill for mixing mud.
  13. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Right; even my Milwaukee gets pretty warm doing that.
  14. ctkeebler

    ctkeebler New Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Sorry, I should have mentioned that it was the compact 18 volt drill. I did have another dewalt 18 volt xrp hammer, buts its too big and heavy for normal everyday stuff.

    I also have a bosch 10.8 lithium which works alot better than I thought it would.
  15. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

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    I use my Festool cordless for that! I can mix two 5gal pails of mortar on a single charge. :D
  16. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    Using a Festool for mixing mud?!

    BLASPHEMY!

    That's like using yr Ferrari for hauling compost and yard waste

    If I had a Festool anything, I don't think I'd take it out of the case except to polish it and admire it, and maybe vacuum the dust off it with my $1200 Festool vacuumsystainer.
  17. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

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    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    LOL ... It's a brute. I love it. Too bad I can't afford any other tools now. :(

    But I can drill! And I can mix! And I can screw! Hammer? Uhmm.....
  18. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Location:
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    Mebbe so, but you're screwed on the 3rd :(, whereas the old D-handle will keep on keeping on...

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