18v tool brand choice

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
We were driving in 6 inch screws long before cordless tools, both my Makita drill / driver and impact driver will drive them in with ease along with many other brands like Bosch and Dewalt, the issue is the market is flooded with capable tools so to stand out you do what the car industry does and come up with some standout name to give you that little edge.

This video is worth a watch if you can suffer the adverts and it is a Dewalt which stands out .
 
XR is the battery style (slideon) as opposed to the older XRP (plugin) battery style...
(even more confusing- the XR comes labelled as both 20v and 18v (it is identical in both battery styles 'nominal 18v' with the same number of cells in the lithium versions) and you can get 'brushless' in both styles...)

XR (marked as both 18v and 20v, newer style tools, lithiums only)
View attachment 166575
XRP (usually marked as 18v, plug-in, older style, available in Lithium, NiMH and even old Nicads (not interchangeable on the chargers,the tools use any, but each type has a different charger)

Lithium (note the ridges on the top, only fits lithium charger)
View attachment 166576
Older NIMH (although be careful, many aftermarket ones look like the NiMH, but are packed with lithiums!!!) Note no 'vertical ridges' at the top... Don't use the aftermarket on the NiMH charger- it will fit, but your battery pack won't last long...
View attachment 166577
18v Nicad (again, watch out for aftermarket ones that look like nicads, but are lithiums internally- these CAN'T be charged on the old Nicad charger!!!

View attachment 166578

Chargers are getting even more confusing, with some of the newer ones capable of charging any chemistry, but the older ones 'have' to be matched with their appropriate batteries....
(its a bit of a mess chargerwise, as DeWalt have been using the XRP style for decades, having gone through three major chemistry changes in battery packs (nicad, then NiMH, now lithiums- each with their own charging requirements... only recently have the new 'intelligent' chargers had the ability to adapt to whatever you plugged in- then they went and changed to the 'slideon' form factor- a move that lost them a lot of their trade customers, so much so they brought back the XRP for the 'tradies tools' and the XR is basically aimed at the home handyman level...
not sure that xrp always means the older stryle plug in battery, this drill is marked xrp and comes boxed with slide on batteries

https://www.amazon.co.uk/DEWALT-DCD...13375&sprefix=dewalt+996+drill,aps,192&sr=8-6
I had heard XR referred to (youtube probably) as eXtra Runtime, referring to the better performance of brushless tools, I assume the XRP adds in 'pro' or 'performance'

that said I'm sure I've seen tools marked XR that aren't brushless at all
 
Although it's not very powerful, I find that bosch in the video with the 1/2" square drive and 1/4" hex socket actually suits me well. V comfortable, great lighting, adjustable power and enough impact for my needs. I'm not stripping rusted car parts every day so the fact that it's the (?) most feeble doesn't much matter.
Reviews help but nothing beats hands on time with a tool to tell you if it's the best one for you. It's like test driving a car. 10 seconds in the drivers seat can tell you if it's a yes or a no.
 
not sure that xrp always means the older stryle plug in battery, this drill is marked xrp and comes boxed with slide on batteries

https://www.amazon.co.uk/DEWALT-DCD...13375&sprefix=dewalt+996+drill,aps,192&sr=8-6
I had heard XR referred to (youtube probably) as eXtra Runtime, referring to the better performance of brushless tools, I assume the XRP adds in 'pro' or 'performance'

that said I'm sure I've seen tools marked XR that aren't brushless at all
Most of mine are XR with brushes. Had them a good while now. I remember them introducing XR way back and at the time they were calling it extra rugged. They were first introduced on impact drivers and sabre saws I think
 
I do not think there is one correct answer to which make to buy, even if you were in the very unusual position of starting from scratch.
I've friends in the trades and each swear by there preferred Bosch, Makita, DeWalt and Milwakee.
I've ran 10.8 volt Makita for drill drivers/circular saw and angle drive. For bench/workshop work I cannot fault them or the batteries.
I inherited an 18v Bosch Blue drill/driver from my son when he emigrated 6 years ago and for fitting work it again has been faultless.
When faced with buying a nail gun I bought a DeWalt with small 2 Amp/hr batteries and I do not regret it.
If you can run on one platform then well done, but in reality I've bought what fits my hand and my budget, the later based on expected tool use. If you are going to use something regularly does it really matter if it's the same make as your other tools, or how much it costs. as long as you can afford it and it performs the function you require.

Colin
 
not sure that xrp always means the older stryle plug in battery, this drill is marked xrp and comes boxed with slide on batteries

https://www.amazon.co.uk/DEWALT-DCD...13375&sprefix=dewalt+996+drill,aps,192&sr=8-6
I had heard XR referred to (youtube probably) as eXtra Runtime, referring to the better performance of brushless tools, I assume the XRP adds in 'pro' or 'performance'

that said I'm sure I've seen tools marked XR that aren't brushless at all
Dewalt often reuse the same housings for both XR (slideon) and XRP (plugin) tools, both ranges have both brushed and non brush versions around (often using the same gearbox etc- its the motor on the end of that gearbox that is different)
Dewalt have made it very confusing- as they have marked the 18v and 20v (XR in particular can be found with both 18v and 20v markings on the battery) and the XRP is even more confusing- with Nicad, NiMH and li-ion all were available in the XRP format- can be interchangably used in the XRP tool range, but require different chargers to be recharged...
A picture from your link...

Screenshot from 2023-11-20 16-07-40.png

Note that it is incorrectly using the XRP labeling on the tool (obviously havent bothered to have the casting modified for the metal gearbox housing), the plastic housing is using the new XR plastic parts (had to be modified to accept the XR slideon battery of course) and the battery itself is marked as an XR (18v this time, but they are also marked as 20v in some cases- despite both having the identical number of cells internally for both the 18v XR and the 20v XR (and the 18v XRP...)

You 'used' to be able to tell the differences in the XRP range (Nicad/NiMh or Li-ion) by the shape the Nicad and NiiMH used the 'rounder case' (but the lithiums had different tops, which would interchange in the tool, but not in the chargers) and the Li-ion had a squarer case- but these days that is no guarantee with clones flooding the market, often using li-ion in the 'round' case and the wrong 'tops'

Nicad 18v XRP (note the 'flat side' at the top- Nicad and NiMH both had this)
th-2282870734.jpeg

18v Li-ion XRP- (note the 'squarer' case (still fitted the same tools) and the two ridges on the top instead of the flat surface- this prevented them being used in a Nicad or NiMH charger...)
th-2555157176.jpeg



18v XR Li-ion (they have dropped the obsolete Nicad and NiMH chemistries by the introduction of the XR slideon range- I'm surprised they even still sell the Nicad or NiMH batteries in the XRP range, but they do...)
th-1690685790.jpeg

A '20v' XR- (same actual capacity and voltage (number of cells internally)- its a 'marketing ploy' to make them appear 'more powerful' than their 18v competitors lol- but its just using the nominal charging voltage rather than the nominal running voltage- identical capacity and number of cells internally lol)
th-640521062.jpeg

Of course you can also use the XRP with XR batteries (some tools have this capability built into them, in the case of my shop-vac, it will accept either, or you can use XR batteries in a XRP tool with an adapter

'Multiport' (my shop vac)
Screenshot from 2023-11-20 16-53-17.png


LOL- my vacuum cleaner needs a good vacuuming!!! The XR slides onto the four visible metal 'tongues', the XRP goes into the 'roundish' hole...

I have an adapter lying around somewhere for the use of the XR battery in the XRP tools- I mostly use it as a 'huge' 5v USB powerbank for charging the phone on long trips, camping, fishing etc lol)- one hint for those who buy these- dont leave the battery in place when not using it- the USB charge circuit runs whenever the battery is plugged in and will flatten the battery in a week or two, even with nothing plugged into the USB charge port!!!
226646-3363560351.jpg

I run Dewalt because I started off with them (over twenty years ago)- and now have several chargers, (started off with the Nicads, but now using almost exclusively li-ion XRP on all toools except the chainsaw (XR, not available in XRP) and a sabre saw (ordered the wrong one and got the XR instead of the XRP)- I know several tradies that were more than slightly annoyed with the XR introduction, as they preferred to have a 'single battery and charger' across their entire tool range (as do I) but in reality- there is very little difference between any of the 'trade quality' tools (DeWalt has been slipping more and more into the 'home handyman' class, their quality is nothing like it used to be)
 
Last edited:
Also if you are using the standard auger bits with the screw thread as the Brad point - the higher speed probably isn’t allowing the screw to bite into the wood and pull the rest of the drill into the cut ?
The threaded bit at higher speed is likely acting more like a drill, and not biting.
 
I use DeWalt tools served me well over the years however they suffer from expensive repairs as replacement parts are sold as units, however one hasn't failed me yet. Good job you stayed away from Milwaukee according to this guy who fixes them daily they are junk with Chinese parts. He angers a lot of people but the proof is in the pudding just watch his other Milwaukee repairs
 
according to this guy who fixes them daily .... He angers a lot of people but the proof is in the pudding just watch his other Milwaukee repairs

I hadn't come across him before.
Great straightforward repairs giving sight of the innards without the ego and bullsh of Ave's teardowns.
Interesting to see inside the 18v brushless panasonic drill and the new lightweight Skil in other videos, and he's done the two top brand tracksaws too.

Oh, and if there's a lesson in this it's download the manual for a tool before you buy it and look at the exploded diagram. If individual parts like bearings have a number, these should be replaceable. If all you see are big assemblies then these will cost £££.

My own bosch drill - one of the better models - has lost one of the two LEDs and I idly looked at the diagram to see if I could buy a replacement. Turns out all the electrics from battery connector, motor controller, switch, led's are one big moulded assembly costing £120+ as a part. Potted all in one assemblies like this are cheaper to assemble and offer higher reliability. It's a good drill but totally uneconomic to repair anything electrical.

Thanks
 
Last edited:
I reckon there is massive badge engineering.
We see that with nearly all machinery, there is more in common than there are differences and very obvious that they are made by the same company. The badge just blinds some people, they don't see past it and believe that the product is better because of the badge. Look at cars, why buy a VW when you get the same product but cheaper if it has a Skoda badge, the new mini, everyone knows it is not a real mini and then the new Defender, nothing like the genuine article but people just accept it is because the badge tells them it is. When it comes to component parts then there will be a large amount of them that are brought in, the days where a manufacturer produced nearly everything has long gone as the size of them has shrunk but in exchange they do lose control of quality and product improvement.

My own bosch drill - one of the better models - has lost one of the two LEDs and I idly looked at the diagram to see if I could buy a replacement. Turns out all the electrics from battery connector, motor controller, switch, led's are one big moulded assembly costing £120+ as a part.

A good example of something produced from sub assemblies, much easier to assemble than lots of smaller fiddly components, but the manufacturer will claim made in Britain.
 
i started with pro bosch and apart from replacing batteries(nimh) had no complaints.
moved to hitachi when the battery types changed(li-ion) and now have a mixture of hitachi/hikoki and quite a lot of makita lxt stuff.
depends on the task in hand which i use ,esp boarding as the makita impact is quite a bit lighter and more comfortable for all day use.
no issues with any off it tbh and always thought dewalt was over priced so no experience with that brand for that reason.
i did have an elu 14.4 many years ago though which i think maybe dewalt bought over if i mind correctly
 
I reckon there is massive badge engineering.
Not just the DeWalt Stanley clones, but most brand Will use the same motor, speed controller, and batteries...
Phil is right about the components, there's just too much price pressure for any manufacturing company to not use Chinese / Indian components. But I can say with high confidence that DeWalt motors and modules are unique to DeWalt. The same motor may be used in multiple DW tools, and variants evolve as tools are updated / replaced. There is a design of battery packs that is generic and used by multiple cheaper brand companies, but again with a high degree of certainty, DW battery packs are unique to DW.
 
Phil, yes, you are correct, the cells inside any battery are standard catalogue items. There are many suppliers of 18650 cells out there for example, and they are not all created equal. The manufacturing process of balancing the cells, connecting them, mounting the electronic module, the design of the interface with the tool / charger (HW and SW) is all (certainly in my world) unique to a tool / battery platform. It has to comply with many internal and external quality and safety standards and undergoes rigorous testing. I can't speak for other manufacturers though.
 
Phil is right about the components, there's just too much price pressure for any manufacturing company to not use Chinese / Indian components. But I can say with high confidence that DeWalt motors and modules are unique to DeWalt. The same motor may be used in multiple DW tools, and variants evolve as tools are updated / replaced. There is a design of battery packs that is generic and used by multiple cheaper brand companies, but again with a high degree of certainty, DW battery packs are unique to DW.
so no crossover between the stanley fatmax power tools and the dewalt, both owned by the same company? that seems inefficiant if nothing else. I thought they were the same batteries with a slight difference in the moulding, so you could use the same batteries if you sliced of a little bit of plastic from somewhere (according to youtube).

I tend to think it isn't worth taking the risk with batteries, I gather for instance that Dewalt tools have the battery protection in the tool and the charger, not in the battery, so if you were to use it on the wrong tool, via an adaptor, you could drain the battery to death, and it wouldn't recharge
 
That last paragraph is the reason that most every tool manufacturer will have a warning in their manual to only use their approved accessories.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top