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B&D urban myth?

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peter-harrison

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Several years ago a power tool repairer who was fixing something for me told me that DIY grade Black & Decker electric drills had a total designed running time of 10 minutes. That is that they are designed to run for a total of 10 minutes in their entire lives!
I was outraged, then a bit understanding, then outraged again.
I have enjoyed telling this "fact" to people over the years, but sometimes wonder if it's true. Does anyone know?
 

disco_monkey79

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I suspect the average domestic drill gets that much use - bought to do one job, then never used again.

Years ago I bought a Power Devil hammer drill, and that's about how long it lasted - literally. Absolute junk.
 

Droogs

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From anecdotal conversations I have had in the past with people who worked for some of the DIY machine companies it would appear that 30 hours was the total aimed for life of a DIY drill etc over a period of 5 years of ownership. This being long enough to last most amounts of use before people feel they need to buy something more up to date
 

Phil Pascoe

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Three hours, I read many years ago. The theory was that an average household user would use it once a month for five minutes, and three years was thought to be the point at which the buyer would happy with it at the price if it had done that before it died and wouldn't be deterred from buying the same make again.
 

TheUnicorn

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From anecdotal conversations I have had in the past with people who worked for some of the DIY machine companies it would appear that 30 hours was the total aimed for life of a DIY drill etc over a period of 5 years of ownership. This being long enough to last most amounts of use before people feel they need to buy something more up to date
I think that sounds fairly reasonable for DIY grade, realistically 30 hrs of drilling is a thousand odd jobs. I'm not sure that the majority of budget end tools would stand up for 30 hrs of use, certainly wouldn't assume more than 3 hrs of use from a silverline powertool
 

Droogs

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sorry that was a typo was meant to be 3hrs
 

bourbon

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I had heard 4 hours ages ago. Reasoning being what has been said before. Must admit, My B&D cordless has done way more than that, Just lost one of the batteries, not holding its charge
 

artie

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One thing to consider.

There's use and there's USE
 

novocaine

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It's somewhat tongue and cheek as it isn't far off impossible to design components to that finite of a level given the variables. think about it. 10 minutes non stop is going to stress some components but not others, 10 minutes with a duration of 10 seconds each burst is going to stress other components but not those stressed in the full load case.

as such, they design in a life expectancy closer to 2-4 hours range based on typical usage as an average on all components. it isn't really a design consideration as the design engineers do their very best, then it goes to the quantified engineers who strip it back to a failure rate.

Its not just B&D that do this. It is endemic in all equipment you buy from industrial valves to cars to tools to shopping bags.
 

Nick Laguna UK

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I'm sure when i was with Elu / B&D they said 3 hrs too for B&D consumer early 90's. Don't have anything in writing to back this up, just remember that being a figure - and it made sense at the time. Industrial grade of course designed for far longer - they had B&D pro also at the time - they were pretty solid.
 

billw

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Several years ago a power tool repairer who was fixing something for me told me that DIY grade Black & Decker electric drills had a total designed running time of 10 minutes. That is that they are designed to run for a total of 10 minutes in their entire lives!
I was outraged, then a bit understanding, then outraged again.
I have enjoyed telling this "fact" to people over the years, but sometimes wonder if it's true. Does anyone know?
I've heard it being three hours, not 10 minutes.
 

Doug B

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Years ago I bought a Power Devil hammer drill, and that's about how long it lasted - literally. Absolute junk.
ironically & not doubting what you say as I remember them being rubbish but my old dad bought a Power Devil mower donkeys years ago, he died in 2010 & the GLW has been using it since then to mow our lawn & it’s still going strong, she’ll be gutted when it finally gives up the ghost.
 

Jacob

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I used them a lot in the early days. Replacing brushes was common but I only recall one dud failing early, a B&D "professional" drill, neat design, up-market grey and black not like the cheapo orange ones.
But non of them did anything like the work I've done since with a Bosch GBH sds
 

Mickjay

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I have a B&D mechanical 2 speed non hammer drill bought in 1975 (just after buying first house) and it's still going strong. I've no idea how many hours use it has had but I did have it drilling out a HT bolt for an hour and a half continously. It's still my go to drill when I need mains power. If it dies I will replace it with the same model my dad bought at the same time which is still working too. From memory they were on offer in Debenhams in Sheffield, so both bought one.
 

TheTiddles

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There’s a huge amount of urban myth and pseudo-science claptrap about design life’s for things.

You might design it however, and test it for 10-minutes continuous, 10-hours intermittent or whatever... adjusting the design till it passes your spec, but designing something to fail at a very specific time is enormously expensive to do and just about impossible, there are too many variables. So the stories of someone’s washing machine breaking down the day after the warranty expires are just happenstance, not designed in.
Aidan
 
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TheUnicorn

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seem to recall being told that b and d tool that are green are of a fair quality, then at some point, due to change of ownership they changed to orange and the quality plummeted
 

cowtown_eric

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I read a similar shockingly low life expectancy of the drills back in the 80's....cannot remember the source.

it could have just repeating urban mythololgy too.

Eric
 
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