I should start with full disclosure: I willingly chose to live in my garage for a year while building a house in my spare time, so I'm not at the top of the "Most Sane People Ever" list. I’m such a tool junkie that given the chance, I would totally replace one of my limbs with a prosthetic power tool. That’s how I expect my drill to perform: as if it were physically attached to my body and able to respond to my very thoughts.In stark contrast, one of my "starter drills" required me to use both hands and a toe to depress both release buttons and remove the battery from the drill. Not an exaggeration. As you can imagine, when it was time to buy a replacement, my one and only requirement was that I didn't have to do yoga to work the thing. This might not be a problem for some of you big guys who can palm a basketball, but I am neither big nor a guy. That doesn’t mean I don’t want a powerful tool, but I want it to work for me, not the other way around. I tested out compact drills from all the big names (DeWalt, Milwaukee, Craftsman, Skill, etc.), and the Makita was the only one on which I could reach the trigger and the forward/backward button without changing my grip.
The Makita 18v Compact Li-ion Cordless Driver is smaller and 2 lbs. lighter than the full-size Makita drill, but it delivers almost the same power. It’s also $110 cheaper. For you spec-heads, it’s got 480 in./lbs of torque, weighs 3.3 lbs. and has two variable speeds, an LED light and a 15-minute charger. It sells for about $185, and the combo pack with an impact driver and the obligatory flashlight is a deal at $240.Here's what I love about this Makita drill: - Have you ever been wedged between the corner of a ceiling joist and roof rafter and needed to attach blocking or a support in a space too small for a hammer? Or even a full-size cordless drill? This drill fits there. - It's light and it's comfortable, but I haven't found a project yet that this drill wasn't powerful enough to handle. This includes almost anything you would run into while building a house: installing subfloor, sheathing, drywall and cabinets, and building the occasional piece of furniture. - It charges in 15 minutes. There might be people out there who are so together that their drill batteries are always charged. I live in a garage. I am not that person. - I dropped it from the top of an 8-ft. ladder onto a concrete floor and nothing broke, which means this drill is infinitely more durable than I am.
Some might say that I am excessively fond of this drill, but I only slept with it under my pillow once. Sure, I wish it had a level, and I would never say no to more power in the same package. But this is the first drill I would recommend to anyone looking for a perfect combination of comfort and power.— Kit StansleyKit Stansley writes about serious DIY and her love of tools, the remodeler’s life and miniature donkeys at DIYDiva.net.More information on using cordless drills:- Impact Drivers Make Great Drills - How to Drive Screws Perfectly
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