good morning group
I subscribe to a trade magazine called Tools of the Trade (also at
www.toolsofthetrade.net). It's a trades magazine that caters to the
building trades with tool evaluations, articles on safety issues, new
products and such... neat little publication with a free subscription and
little "circle # 203" cards that you can send off for more info.
ANYWAY !!-----here comes this months issue with a product test on
Hammerdrills. They put 9 different models/makes to the test and rated
them. It included DeWalt, Bosch,
Fein,Freud,Hitachi,Makita,Metabo,Milwaukee,and Porter-Cable. All were 1/2"
corded drills rated between 5 and 8.2 amps... weights from 5 # to 6.6 #'s
There was much comment on specific features but it all boiled down to...
the heavier tools actually added to the ease of operation by soaking up
some of the vibration and shock...the extra weight also lessening the
amount of force the operator had to exert. . They also said that all the
drills "had nearly equal power and volume" so their emphasis turned to
balance, handle design and features. The best tools are well balanced and
require few secondary hand movements to make adjustments or access
triggers, grips, etc...
They rated the Dewalt as the one with best balance, but were well pleased
with the Metabo,Bosch,Freud and Porter-Cable.
Side handles are necessary for safe and comfortable use. Dewalt, Metabo
and Fein have simple twist to loosen, turn to any point on the 360 circle
and twist to grip again.... one had operation. Other tools had wing nuts
that held their handle and often loosened more than tightened which
Depth bars were deemed unnecessary (how precise can you be with a HAMMER
drill ???) It's sorta like my rules of precision... Measure it with
mics, mark it with chalk and cut it with an axe. Anyway most of the depth
bars stayed in the blow molded plastic case (if equipped).
A good deal of emphasis was put on the chuck/key. They cautioned against
keyless chucks stating vibration and current chuck design made it difficult
to keep the chuck tight. Large chuck and key are important for comfort and
proper clamping. Bosch, Hitachi, Metabo and Porter-Cable had the best keys
Switches/controls were all about equal.. Eight of the units all had large
dials/levers to adjust speeds and hammer modes and they emphasized the
recessed trigger lock for safety (especially for us left handed users)
Blows per minute varied from a range of 7,800/19,000 up to 24,000/56,000
but they saw no real difference in performance across the spread. average
drilling times were 6 seconds thru a concrete block, 77 seconds thru 8" of
concrete, 6 seconds thru 8" of old Douglas fir and 3 seconds thru a
pressure treated 4x4.
Their favorite was the Dewalt DW515 ( 8.2 amp - 0-2,400 rpm - 6#s -
17,800/41,000 bmp - $189.00) with high scores for balance, side handle,
padded grips and easy to operate controls.
Metabo 751 came in close second... good balance, switches and side handle..
the rest of pack follows like this Bosch 1194AVSRK, Porter-Cable 7751, Fein
638, Hitachi DV20V2, Freud FPD182R, Milwaukee 5378-20 and Mikita HP2010.
Street prices were Dewalt - 189... Metabo - 209...Bosch - 145,
Porter-Cable - 165, Fein - 359 (???they like their tools ???), Hitachi -
176, Freud - 165, Milwaukee - 150, Mikita - 219
Hope this epistle helps.... I'm searching the pawn shops for the Dewalt....
visit the mags site and sign up for a free subscription