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Thread: Upgrade to 18v or buy more 14v batteries?

  1. #1

    Upgrade to 18v or buy more 14v batteries?

    I have my dads hand me down dewalt 14v set. Got everything; 3-4 drills, circular saw, sawzall, flash light, several chargers. Only have 3 orig batteries and 2 Amazon reproduction. The amazon ones are lighter and don’t last long. Orig batteries also seem to fade. I’m currently ‘renewing’ them with a charger I have that has that yellow button. We’ll see.

    I was at HD today and saw a Ridgid octane brushless drill and impact driver set for $190 with 2 batteries and charger. I think their 18v saw was also on sale. I was debating the upgrade and slowly adding more to the 18v line. They or just buy more batteries for my dewalt set. I’m just a hobbyist but flooring my attic during the corona and the battery issue is killing me.

    I did recently buy a Bosch 12v drive and impact and was hesitant to use that drilling 3” screws into studs.

  2. #2
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    I bought off brand batteries for my 14 volt DeWalt tools and couldn't be happier with them. They are all black with no yellow. I bought them from Amazon and got 2 for less than a DeWalt 14 volt battery cost. They have been in use for over a year now.

    https://www.amazon.com/2-Pack-DeWalt.../dp/B00L1RT8BI A pretty good deal at $41 plus shipping.

    Charley

  3. #3
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    I have one of the DeWalt 14.4 drill/drivers from way back. I did the "rebuild" thing a couple of times which wasn't all that great, but about a year ago, my local HD had a couple of them on the bargain table for an "attractive price" so I bought them. I like using this drill for certain heavy work outside where if I blow it up, I'll not be saying as many bad words as I would with my Festool tools. If I replaced it, it would be with a tool similar to what you mention...something 18v. I do like Ridgid as a general brand, so it would be on the list.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    Patrick, there are many issues to consider before you “upgrade”. Especially since you have a system of tools which may need to be replaced, all for the sake of a couple of batteries.

    - it seems that some brands measure/rate the voltage of their batteries differently. For example, the Festool C12 drill is rated 10.8v in Australia (and Europe?) and 12v in the USA. What is the difference between 14.4v and 18v? They may be the same voltage, or too close to matter.

    - battery type can count. It depends on how often you use the tool/battery. I have a 25 year old Panasonic 12v drill and replaced the batteries about a year ago for metal types (NiMh) It gets intermittent use, and these hold the charge so much better than NiCd. The replacement batteries are all made in China, probably from the same factory, and available very cheaply now. I love this old Panasonic drill, and want to keep it running.

    - Is the tool/drill for use around the workshop and furniture building, or for odd jobs around the house. Or is it for the work site, where heavy demands may be placed on it through the day? My primary use is in building furniture in the workshop, so I want the lightest tool, rather than one where the battery lasts all day with heavy loads. The latter applies to the building site. My go-to drill is the C12, and the battery is small. Overall weight of the drill is less than the Panasonic, which is more powerful, but the lower weight is welcomed when all one wants to do is drive screws. I recently picked up a like-new, used Festool DRC 18/4 for its amazing power. I see many who own this drill, and the basic 18v version, opting for 5.2 or 6.2 Ah batteries. These will last all day, but are large and heavy. I opted for two 3.1 Ah batteries, which bring the weight down. In fact, I began searching out Centrotec bits to reduce the weight even more. This way, the overall mass of the 18/4 is less than the Panasonic.

    - I’ve mentioned drills above mainly because I do not own a “system” of tools. If I was to go down that route, I would still question whether the tool is what I want to continue using, or whether it is time to upgrade the tool. Having a million different chargers is what we are trying to avoid. That is inevitably going to create a compromise in the quality if the individual tools if you stick to one maker. If I had to do this (and I am not inclined to do so), I’d look at Makita or Milwaukee for their reputations. I’ve used Makita for 30 years or more.

    I hope some of my rambles help you focus on what is important for you.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #5
    A Few years ago I gave my 18v Dewalt set to my brother and upgraded to the 20v Li-ion. They aren't perfect but they can put out the work. You aren't driving your high school car. I'll bet you don't have a big huge tube TV. Tools come and tools go. And we change with them unless you're one of those Neanderthals. Even hand tools have evolved wood planes to metal planes buck saws to handsaws.

  6. #6
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    Personally if they aren't Li-ion batteries I wouldn't waste my time with them.
    Check you local stores for this deal. People are still finding them hidden up high in the rafters down the isles.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-6-To...ded/1001045264
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  7. #7
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    Patrick
    check out these https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Z7TSKTJ...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
    less money over twice the power and hold charge longer

    I would not add to the 14.4 line nor would I dispose of them just upgrade batteries.
    I have 4 DeWalt 14.4 drills, a right angle drill and a hammer drill all in the basement along with DeWalt 18 v impact driver and vacumn.
    I had the DeWalt circular saw, recp saw, two drills and two lights and gave those to a friend over 12 years ago so I could buy 18v DeWalt for myself
    Now have 2 18v drills, 1 18v impact, band saw, circular saw, jig saw, grinder, 1/2" impact driver,vacuum and 2 lights all upgraded to NiMh batteries in the garage.
    At work I started out with the DeWalt 18 v LiOn hammer Drill and driver set, added LiOn batteries along with band saw, grinder, wood circular saw, metal circular saw, right angle drill, hammer drill. light, vacuum. Added a 20v DeWalt Hammer Drill and Impact Driver, light, grease gun and 1/2" impact driver with 20/60 LiOn batteries and fast charger last year.

    Whole lot of difference in run time and power from 14.4 to 18v NiCad then nice upgrade to NiMh, 18 LiOn another nice step up. 20 v with brushless motors is a big step up in power and weight reduction actually weigh less and smaller size than the 14.4. Thru all this since 1995 with the first 14.4 drill which I still have, have only burned up one wire inside that drill using a 1" auger bit in double 2x4 wall and a whole lot of batteries ruined by the 14.4 saws, all the original and replacement NiCads are bad. Only use NiMh at home now and LiOn at work.
    Far cry from the first Skill 1.8v to Black and Decker 3.6v to Skil Boar Guns 9 v to DeWalt 12v, etc to now.
    Last edited by Ron Selzer; 03-27-2020 at 11:02 PM. Reason: add last sentence

  8. #8
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    Mar 2005
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    Bosch

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Irish View Post
    I have my dads hand me down dewalt 14v set. Got everything; 3-4 drills, circular saw, sawzall, flash light, several chargers. Only have 3 orig batteries and 2 Amazon reproduction. The amazon ones are lighter and don’t last long. Orig batteries also seem to fade. I’m currently ‘renewing’ them with a charger I have that has that yellow button. We’ll see.

    I was at HD today and saw a Ridgid octane brushless drill and impact driver set for $190 with 2 batteries and charger. I think their 18v saw was also on sale. I was debating the upgrade and slowly adding more to the 18v line. They or just buy more batteries for my dewalt set. I’m just a hobbyist but flooring my attic during the corona and the battery issue is killing me.

    I did recently buy a Bosch 12v drive and impact and was hesitant to use that drilling 3” screws into studs.

    I think you will find the Bosch 12v Max to be more than adequate for 3” screws. I am still using my 12V Max impact driver after four years. That includes building a deck. I recently used it to drive 4” Timberlocks. Keep the Dewalt until the batteries go, then just use your Bosch.
    Charlie Jones

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    I buy batteries off ebay. You can get the name brand for a lot less than many places. . I would try one new battery and decide from there. If you know of anyone nearby with newer cordless, especially Li-ion, maybe you could try them. Li-ion are a much better battery. And the brushless tools are impressive with power and run time between charges.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Irish View Post
    I have my dads hand me down dewalt 14v set. Got everything; 3-4 drills, circular saw, sawzall, flash light, several chargers. Only have 3 orig batteries and 2 Amazon reproduction. The amazon ones are lighter and don’t last long. Orig batteries also seem to fade. I’m currently ‘renewing’ them with a charger I have that has that yellow button. We’ll see.

    I was at HD today and saw a Ridgid octane brushless drill and impact driver set for $190 with 2 batteries and charger. I think their 18v saw was also on sale. I was debating the upgrade and slowly adding more to the 18v line. They or just buy more batteries for my dewalt set. I’m just a hobbyist but flooring my attic during the corona and the battery issue is killing me.

    I did recently buy a Bosch 12v drive and impact and was hesitant to use that drilling 3” screws into studs.
    The DeWalt 20v and Milwaukee 18v tools are the way to go. I have both. You can get some killer deals right now on sets of either at acmetools.com (it's worth being on their mailing list) and some others. They really want your business. The Milwaukee work lights, in particular, are sensational. You can light up an entire attic with a battery, using the 18v Rocket tower.

    Otherwise you're just putting money into a dying system. We've come a long way.

    I gave all my old 12v and 14v stuff to Goodwill a couple of years ago (but the newer Milwaukee Fuel 12v stuff is still good if you want something super light.)

  11. #11
    I think you have too many tools to switch based upon batteries. I don't think you'll see much difference 14V versus 18V but the newer brushless motors do provide more power and longer battery life and lithim ion batteries are the only way to go. I bought a bunch of my Ryobi cordless tools with Ni Cd batteries and the drills were useful but the saws were not. Lithium ion batteries transformed those tools.

    In addition to the Ryobi tools, I have one 12V Bosch (click drill), a Milwaukee 12V drill/dirver, a 18V Skill saw and hammer drill, and a bunch of Ryobi 40V yard tools. They all work. I used to have a DeWalt drill but got rid of it due to battery prices.

    If it was a tool or too, I'd switch to a brushless 18V. But with set, I'd find some off brand batteries that are pretty good and get some work done.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dwight View Post
    I think you have too many tools to switch based upon batteries. ...
    Patrick, I think Jim makes an excellent point - it would be a big investment to replace all of those tools. I'm in a similar situation with Dewalt 18v with a bunch of tools, all those you mention plus impact drivers and angle grinders, and have had repeated failure of Dewalt batteries over the years and I've bought a bunch of replacement batteries. The things are so expensive I would sometimes find kits with a new Dewalt tool and two batteries for less money than a pair of batteries.

    Although I do get much better life on other brands, for example the LithiumIon batteries with Hitachi that simply refuse to deteriorate, I can't see spending a couple of thousand $$ of new tools to replace the Dewalt. I've slowly started replacing Dewalt 18v batteries with much cheaper compatible batteries bought from Amazon. If I had the 14v I'd look for some less expensive substitutes.

  13. #13
    I buy my Bosch tools from CPOtools - many Bosch tools. CPO has a 120 day return on their reconditioned tools - most of the reconditioned tools were used to demonstrate at tools shows . Have purchased at least 25-30 of the 18 volt drills from CPO never a problem .
    Had a problem with an impact driver once , no problem returning it. All companies want to sell you tools - you soon learn best companies to do business with when you have problem with a tool.

  14. #14
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    My first battery drill was a Makita with a 9 volt stick in the handle. Then I got a 14.4 volt Dewalt XPS, a pro drill at the time. Still have it, on my third round of batteries. It is now my backup drill. I did get a 14.4 volt Ryobi drill dedicated for my RV. Next was my Porter Cable 18 volt Lion combo set. Still my go-to, on my second set of batteries. Recently I added a 20 volt PC recip saw, grinder and a jigsaw, batteries not compatible with the PC 18 volt ones, I'm a little miffed at that. I have given up on getting new batteries for the Makita, so I finally tossed them.
    NOW you tell me...

  15. #15
    Ridgid tools bought at Home Depot usually come with a lifetime warranty that includes free parts for life- that includes batteries.

    I bought a 12V drill back when that was the highest voltage available and have replaced both batteries 4 times for free. I thought the drill would have given up by now but it’s still going strong and does everything I need in my home shop.

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