Six Letters Re: Cordless DC Power Tool Selection

Hi James,
I too have chosen DeWalt, but went out of my way recently to purchase a 12 volt cordless drill.  My reason being that the rechargeable batteries will eventually degrade.  18 volts is hard to come by without stacking small cells together in series.  But 12 volt batteries are ubiquitous in all kinds of shapes, sizes and capacities, and can be pressed into service easily with a few feet of wire. – Ray K.

Dear James.
I just want you to know that we appreciate what you do ,the information you provide is priceless,and don`t start my day without touching base at I use my battery operated tools daily, as a contractor -handyman. I have also found Dewalt to make  great tools. My batteries started to go on my drill, impact driver set, so I went to the Big Box store. I found the price for one spare battery was $80 dollars. Yikes! So I started looking around for options. What I found might save you and your readers some money, and give them some inexpensive backup–since “two is one.” I found a combo kit with a DeWalt drill, two batteries, charger and flashlight on sale for for $159. This, mind you, was at the same store that sells a single battery for $80. Hope this helps, – HookNshoot

Regarding Dewalt cordless tools, I agree that they have good quality and lifespan. In my case, I switched over to Bosch Cordless tools seven years ago. I ordered the full set of tools including the jig saw and the car charger and a free canvas carry bag plus an 18v hand plainer from the factory outlet at a good savings with new factory warranty.

The initial Bosch warranty is better and check out the six foot drop test online. Your results may vary and according to Bosch their 12 volt product line has performance close to the 18 volt product line, with less weight.

My change jar is being saved to purchase for their 18 volt impact driver.

As for the batteries after seven years of sporadic use including the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina I had two of my three 18v batteries [eventually develop] dead cells. New replacements
seemed expensive so I called the local battery place and asked how much to rebuild. I had three batteries rebuilt, with same day service. The cost was $150 versus $240 for buying factory new replacements. Plus the batteries were at full charge when I got home. That’s my two copper-washed zinc cents worth.

Remember that most rechargeable battery packs can be rebuilt for about 2/3 the cost of new and as a plus you are “saving the Earth.”

Disclaimer: I am not in anyway compensated or have a financial interest in either company. I like them both but just prefer Bosch.

Cheers, – JHB

Here are a couple of do-it-yourself “corded battery pack” conversions, like you mentioned:

Convert a perfectly good cordless drill to a corded one.

How To Make a Cordless Tool Corded

Regards, – Zac


Hello James,
As you noted in your overview of cordless tools, the weak link is in the batteries. When they fail (and they will [eventually] fail) an otherwise useful tool becomes useless.
As an option, you recommend using a high amperage 18 volt DC power source. But unfortunately, 18 volt power sources are not common.

Perhaps another option would be to own 12 volt DC power tools. When their batteries fail, the tool could be powered by any high amperage 12 volt DC power source, like a car battery.
Although these tools may lack the torque of their 18 volt brethren, the quality is still there. 12 volt lead-acid batteries are readily available. Additionally, in a grid-down situation, a number of other tools, appliances and communication gear could be powered by that same 12 volt battery. And, as you pointed out, be sure to use appropriate fuses. Best Regards, – David S.


For extented hours of use on cordless power tool use, check this Y-T video out on what I’d call “semi-cordless”: Ultimate Battery Power. Oh, and here is a link to that company’s web site: Kudos on having the biggest and very best prepping site in the blogosphere. The others are just pale imitators! – Charles J.