Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Drilling for dollars...

I am reading a new article from Popular Woodworking Magazine website. It seems that Festool has a new cordless driver drill coming out. It looks like a fine little drill. Festool has a really nice premium product line. The question that comes to mind for me is: Who in their right mind would pay $225 ($275 with the right angle chuck) for a cordless drill? I payed under $100 for my full set of rechargeables that includes a circular saw, flashlight, drill, and something else. I would have to go dig it out to see what the other tool was because I don't use it that often. Come on, I like a good tool. I don't even mind at times buying a premium quality tool. But nearly $300 for a cordless drill? Who is their target demographic customer? How do you keep a straight face as a salesman explaining the price?

I felt like I was going overboard buying my eggbeater drill at $50. It will never need new batteries. It won't ever need to be recharged. It will probably last for the rest of my life and then still be going strong. The other drill I use is a brace and bit. The brace is not that expensive I think I remember paying $15 for it new about 20 years ago, but I do see that they are up to $26 now. I did have to hunt around to find one that had a 4 jaw chuck because it does a good job with both square shanks and round shanks. I have the adapters that use the 1/4 hex screwdriver bits and a 3/8 socket adapter bit. Lee Valley sells them for like $10 each. It never needs to be charged. It never needs new batteries. Sound familiar? It has no problem driving big lag screws. It has enough torque that I have to be careful or I can rip the heads off 1/2" lag screws if I am not careful.

The only real extravagance I have for drilling is my set of auger bits. I don't remember what I paid (considerably less than retail -- $30 or so) but it was a full set of Irwins in a box set.You can pick up used auger bits for a dollar or two each.

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