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dannyr

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Maybe I'll be shooed away, but I'm going to ask about electric drills on the hand tool forum.
I do like my hand drills - the brace and the 'eggbeater' but if there's a pile of similar holes to drill, I go electric - second generation cordless are pretty good, but I like a corded drill if in the workshop and I've just realised that my early 1970s Black and Decker (UK diy type) is still going strong whereas later drills (various makes) have perished. I'm guessing the gears went plastic, cost cutting took over etc after that time - they certainly got very cheap by the 1990s.
So now I've bought another 1970s UK B&D - it's been knocked about/seen some action, but seems to be really good operationally.

Anyone else found this to be the case?
 

The_Yellow_Ardvark

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The B&D Pre 1988 Drill are strong units.
I have my Fathers B&D Metal case Gold unit, the only draw back is the 3/8 chuck.
Still have the 1988 B&D All in one kit. The one with sander, circular saw, jig saw and wire brush.

I have a couple of B&D Gut busters as well.
The modern drills I have used and have are weak design and don't last.

Keep with the older drills.
 

D_W

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Many of the older drills had strong gears and low power. I suspect they were made that way for two reasons:
1) not enough power to snap in a stopped cut and hurt a DIY type
2) not enough power to break themselves when someone got them in a cut like #1

Dad has a B-D drill from the 70s that still works. It goes slow and makes a lot of noise.

Friend's dad has a craftsman drill from around that time that was marketed to car/automotive types. It's twice as powerful but will go up to 3000 rpm. It's a pearl. Not that heavy, and super good for high rpm work.

Dad gave me his "good" drill when I left home and had all of my tools in one small toolbox. It was a smoother operating 3 amp (figure 350 watts in your terms, as 2 1/2 or 2amp drills are at 110v, thus about 250-300 watts) newer craftsman drill. it would be considered vintage now (1990 or so). It lets go of its chuck, and I've never addressed getting it to not do that.

the only good corded drills left now are pretty much the few remaining original brushed models (like the milwaukee holeshooters) and coring drills that may be the last to be replaced by cordless due to their size and heavy use.

I haven't looked in a while - there's probably a milwaukee version of those now, too, given that there are viable limbing and light duty battery powered chainsaws that must be in the neighborhood of a kilowatt of consumption.
 

Cheshirechappie

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dannyr":1k3h9842 said:
Maybe I'll be shooed away, but I'm going to ask about electric drills on the hand tool forum.
I do like my hand drills - the brace and the 'eggbeater' but if there's a pile of similar holes to drill, I go electric - second generation cordless are pretty good, but I like a corded drill if in the workshop and I've just realised that my early 1970s Black and Decker (UK diy type) is still going strong whereas later drills (various makes) have perished. I'm guessing the gears went plastic, cost cutting took over etc after that time - they certainly got very cheap by the 1990s.
So now I've bought another 1970s UK B&D - it's been knocked about/seen some action, but seems to be really good operationally.

Anyone else found this to be the case?
I recall a similar thought being raised on the forum some years ago, but can't find the thread, now. Someone explained it by saying the big manufacturers realised some time in the 1990s that many of the drills sold through the big DIY sheds in particular, were often bought as presents, tended to end up in household tool kits, and in this day and age, many householders didn't actually do much DIY. They reckoned many drills had less than five hours of real use over their lives. Consequently, they felt they could increase their market share a percentage point or two (bearing in mind this market is very competitive) by making a range of drills with a design life of ten hours use or less, having cheaper components, and thus dropping the price drastically. (They usually also made a trade and industrial range of better engineered tools, but obviously they are priced accordingly.)

Never having seen this confirmed by someone with actual direct knowledge of whether it's right or not, it may be wise to regard this as possibly conjecture, but it does sound plausible.

Thus, the tools from the '60s, '70s and '80s were actually well-made, quite often, and as long as they aren't heavily abused, last accordingly. (I don't use it, but I still have my Dad's 3/8" chuck Bridges electric drill (Mark IV Neonic, no less!) dating from either the late '50s or early '60s, and it worked last time it was roused from it's slumber.) From the '90s onwards, you got what you payed for.

Just another example of life in the age of Disposable Everything, I suppose.
 

dannyr

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One other point:- I don't have a pillar drill as such, but do have a vertical stand with base to use the drill in - in fact I now have 2 - one really solid cast iron and steel one by Record which only holds a drill by the standard collar behind the chuck - everything's well-built about this, but it only fits this collar ie my old cheapo no-longer-working drills (I also tried a supposedly pro Bosch on this but it burnt out quite quickly).

Unfortunately the older B&Ds I favour have their own fitting (in some ways better as they hold back and front of the drill body) - so now I have a second drill stand - reasonably made in UK by B&D, but light alloy and not quite so solid. I think the good old Record will have to go - lack of space.

This also allows me to use a non-hammer drill as my pillar drill - I hear and think I can see that hammer drills are less good for precision work as they necessarily have some built-in free play.
 

Jarno

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Found a 80s Fein drill at a thrift store, very nice unit (came from my employer actually, still had the calibration sticker we use on it).
Supremely accurate, but only takes drills up to 6mm, and has an on off switch, no softstart or variable rpm.
But for 15 euros, very nice, and more accurate than more recent units.
 
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