Cordless Drill/Driver Choices

Cabinetmakers talk about the cordless tools they like. October 26, 2011

I have a key employee returning from a long stretch of being out on workman's comp. He now has some decreased capacity in his right arm. I need to find the lightest available cordless drill on the market that's at least 18v. Any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
Small impact, lithium.

From contributor P:
I am really impressed with the Milwaukee cordless lithiums. They have a drill/impact combo for a pretty reasonable price.

From contributor M:
I know you specified 18v electric, but would you consider pneumatic? They are a lot lighter. Why does it need to be 18v? I used a 14v for a long time with no problem for assembly. I have tried out 12 volt screwdrivers that felt good in the store, but I guess the battery life could be a problem. For cabinet assembly 12v and 14v will do fine. As for specific brands, we use Makita 18v lithium in the shop and on the job site. I really like them. Before I used Dewalt and Ridgid as well, but I like the Makitas more.

From contributor A:
FESTOOL! Enough said.

From contributor C:
The new DeWalt line of 12 volt Max is lightweight and reliable.

From contributor S:
Just watched a couple of reviews of the new Festool CXS. Little tiny thing that has way more power than its size would suggest. I don't own one. Watch the series of Paul Marcel's reviews for the most thorough evaluation.

From contributor R:
I'm a big fan of the Makita lithium ion impact drivers. I have 3 18volts in my shop and usually have all 3 on the workbench during cabinet assembly. With the 1.5ah batteries, they are super light and last at least half a day of constant work driving 1.5" screws. I am on my second set of batteries... Just picked them up today.

The other great thing about the Makitas other than they are small, light and compact is that they take one heck of a beating. I bet I have dropped mine a hundred times off the workbench and (many times off ladders) onto cement. I used to be a diehard Dewalt guy until I got these!

From contributor V:
Yep, the more I look into the specs, the more it looks like the Makita lithiums are the way to go. Thanks for the feedback, guys. It's appreciated.

From contributor R:
I have also heard great reviews about the little 10.8v (I believe they just started marketing them as 12volts) impact drivers and drills. I told my rep the other day to get one in for me so I could test it out. They are very small and compact and have been told they work great for the finer aspects of cabinet assembly such as installing slides, hinges or anything with a 3/4" or smaller screw.