Screwfix Drill/Impact Driver Twin Pack Bargains - DeWalt vs Makita

8 Sep 2010
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South West Wales
United Kingdom
Hi folks

First up, in case anyone hasn't seen it there's an extra 10% off at Screwfix until midnight tonight...

So I've been thinking to get a new cordless drill set as my old Ryobis are completely passed it. These two options have really caught my eye and with the additional money off come in at just over £160 which seems a really good price. They're only for home DIY use.

Some of the things that my inexperienced eyes have noticed:

- DeWalt is brushless, Makita isn't
- DeWalt has LED lights on both units, Makita just on the impact driver
- Makita has lower torque and speed
- Makita possibly has more overall fans, although DeWalt do have a fair share and I have read of people switching from Makita to DeWalt and being happy. Seems more the other way round though.
- Both items get great reviews on Screwfix, but the companies get bad reviews on TrustPilot

Before I toss a coin to decide, I thought I'd ask the people of the forum your thoughts.

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I have purchased a few dewalt tools from Screwfix, had a problem with the chuck running out slightly - 1st cordless tool i had purchssed and they let me look at a couple they had in stock and i picked the best - BUT that was before covid , over 3 years ago now
As a Diyer, i dont use as much a s trade would, BUT i have carried out a lot of projects with it, and used a lot on all kinds of different things

Personally I would get the 3 speed impact driver, dewalt make - rather than the single speed

I'll lookup the numbers and come back

DCD778 combi drill - is the same drill
But i got the
and often use the different settings - so in softwood , i have on setting 1 and maybe changed to 2 to drive in
on a fence and other big projects i have used on setting 3
basic comments as i am sure you are ordering now lol
dewalt make tools aimed at the diy market tend to have less metal parts [visible or hidden] they are still reasonable tools but made to b&d type standards [a company they own]
they will make kit specific to store or group[b&q/screwfix same group ] so no compareson available
3ah or less tends to be diy 4ah and above tends to be trade within dewalt kits
That Makita drill is the most basic model (DHP453) and is really only suitable for lightweight use. They make several better drills than that, so it wouldn't be my choice, if, for example, I wanted to drill masonry. It has nylon gears. I am a long time trade Makita user
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Hi folks

Having asked on another couple of forums, some people elsewhere said you should never buy power tools from places like Toolstation and Screwfix. The logic being that they are always cheaper elsewhere and they tend to be poorly spec'd/priced cheaply to lure people in to a brand loyalty.

I've already bought the DeWalt set. Haven't used them yet and am starting to get near to my 30 day return deadline. Following the above, I've had a look and tried to compare offerings from other sites. I had to give up in the end. There are so many different model numbers, and then slight variations to the same numbers... To compare within one brand would need a degree in power tools. To do the same for all competing brands would need a PhD!

What I did find is that whilst the Screwfix set seems to be exclusive to SF, the individual tools - DCD778 and DCF787 - are available to buy in a few other shops. Taking the impact driver (DCF787) as an example, the best bare unit I could find was around £70. Which to my mind makes £160 for impact driver, drill, case, charger and two batteries quite a good deal.

Does anyone here agree with the above RE buying such tools for SF / TS? If anyone can find or knows of a comparable set for less money, or a better quality set for around the same money, please do let me know. I'd love to hear before the deadline to return is reached. Whilst I am tempted to splash out and go for a more professional better quality and more expensive set (or Milwaukee, etc), I don't think my use would justify it. I do like to buy well and buy once, but these tools might get used solidly for a week or two, then left for a month. Once the house is renovated, they'll only see small DIY jobs around the house, and things like fences, wood shelters, etc. outdoors. But that won't be all the time either. So I didn't go el cheapo, and not super pro either.

All ears to any suggestions.


PS - even the DeWalt batteries are hard to compare! Some are block with a yellow button and some the reverse. Is there more to it than just colour? Does that signify different quality ranges or something?
Personally both drills are down on power compared to other products, however of the 2 the DeWalt is better it has more torque on both tools over the Makita.

The price is good for what you get. These are however the budget version each of the brand's do.

For other brands for the decent drills and impacts you looking at least another £100+ on top.
I found a lot of the confusion is that the same drill is sold with different numbers/suffixes depending on what it comes with; eg battery quantity, capacity, case, other accessories.
FFX eBay black Friday deals are sometimes competitive.
I have seen that often toolstation & screwfix put sets on offer , otherwise they are similar prices to places like Axminster, FFX and D&M Tools , which i often also purchase from when on offer

I'm a DIYer and i purchased the Drill & Impact driver in summer 2018 and i have used them a lot , renovating a bungalow. they have been fine. Used for a few weeks and then left for a month or two and then another project comes along. I keep the batteries in the airing cupboard, as I have read here an on other post that batterylife is impacted if batteries are cold, i think below freezing. But 5 batteries in a small bag in the cupboard is no big deal.

I listed the tools in my earlier post.

The batteries don't seem to be much different in price from different places, often FFX may have an offer on if purchasing 2 batteries

yes the codes suffix changes depending on the set.

I have noticed availability of Dewalt tools can be difficult at the moment.

My son-in-law has both Dewalt and Milwaukee and various other makes of power tools , the Milwaukee are very nice , expensive
There are a lot of reviews between various drills & impact drivers on youtube, maybe worth a watch if you are considering changing, also Milwaukee have 2 battery systems M12 & M18 , the M12 are lighter and again there are quite a few reviews on comparable powers/torque. In fact I watched one only last week.

As mentioned the impact driver i purchased bare was the DCF887 because it has 3 selectable torque/speed settings, which i do use a lot , setting 1 mainly for small screws in MDF etc , as the higher setting just drives the head into the wood , so i have more control over the depth the screw goes and i often use a countersink.

One main consideration is that once you buy into a cordless system then you tend to stay with that brand/models.

I now have cordless, jigsaw, Planner, Circular saw, Grinder, Right-angle Drill , Multitool. And i also have corded, Mitre saw, SDS Drill, ALL Dewalt now.
if you do expand the kit , may be worth considering the cost of using all Milwaukee. Corded of course it does not matter , unlike a battery system
My next drill will be a Milwaulkee Fuel (probably M18), never had a bad bit of kit from them and most is used daily at work.
My next drill will be a Milwaulkee Fuel (probably M18), never had a bad bit of kit from them and most is used daily at work.

Whilst looking into all this, it seems you get DeWalt fans who bash Makita, Makita fans who bash DeWalt, Bosch, Erbauer, etc fans in the side lines... People who say they're all much of a muchness. The divergence in opinions is quite strong. Except for Milwaukee... It seems that anytime they ever get a mention it is a positive one. Which did tempt me, a lot. And for a few extra quid perhaps that's what I would have got. But the model you mention, to get a matching impact driver, two batteries, charger and case, seems I'd be paying over £100 more, and I'm not sure my level of DIY even warrants the price tag of the DeWalts!
The divergence in opinions is quite strong. Except for Milwaukee... It seems that anytime they ever get a mention it is a positive one.
OK, well I'll maybe I should correct that impression...

Number one: A colleague, about 3 years ago, had a brand new Milwaukee 18 volt kit where the bearings in the brushless impact driver continually "ticked". It went back to Milwaukee three times for new bearings and in one case a new gear assembly before they replaced the entire unit.

Number two: I currently have a corded, German made, 2-1/2 year old recip saw for which Milwaukee cannot supply new brushes any longer. This is not a grey import and it was only about £300 worth of tool, so obviously a throw away piece of kit...

Number three: I have a 12 volt Milwaukee combi set (the one wiith the exchangeable chucks) where two of the bit holders actually won't retain long bit holders, meaning that if I point the tool downwards I am likely to lose both bit and holder - not so bad when working inide a kitchen cabinet, but a royal PIA if I'm 40ft up in a cherry picke... This is apparently a design feature. WtF?

Number Four: The 18 volt "Gen 1" second fix nailers would lock out 70 to 80% if you tried bump firing them. I had one on sale or return and I couldn't live with the shortcomings - it lasted about 4 weeks. Problem apparently fixed in "Gen 2" - by which time I'd alread bought four Hikoki/Hitachi guns

Thecfact is, you'll see a lot more tradesmen on sites using Makita or deWalt kit partly because it is more widely available and it has been around for a couple of decades longer (Milwaukee as a brand were almost unknown in the UK until about 10 or 12 years ago). This may also be a carry over from the original marketing work done in the 1980 and '90s by Mak and DW, but what is true is that once you start with a battery system you do tend to stick with it for maybe 10 or 15 to 20 years unless you only have a couple of tools (the cost of replacing 15 to 20 cordless tools can be eye watering). In addition Milwaukee is sold by far fewer outlets, which is something to do with how long they have been in the UK, and seems to sell to plumbers a lot more, maybe because they do a lot of specialist kit for the "lead men". Bosch, Hikoki, Metabo and Festool are all seen, but just not as much as the other brands. Then there are the "speciality" cordless tools like Fein and Hilti which are well regsrded in certain trades (e.g. Hilti is the choice of a lot of dry liners). In reality, though, there really isn't that much difference between the big brands - they all have models which are the dogs danglies (e.g Hikoki's top of the range impact driver, Hilti's collated screwdriver) and they all make the odd lemon (see above)

So not having seen many complaints about Milwaukee isn't a sign that they are better. It just means that there are less people using them. And a lot of people are tribal about their tool choices - not many people are going to slag off the brand they have chosen as they presumably think it reflects on them

BTW I have about 15 years on Makita 18 volt Li-Ion tools and I swapped from DW cordless nailers (1st fix, 16ga, 18ga) to Hikoki 18 months ago. My laser is a DW 12 volt cordless.
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I have a DeWalt Lithium Ion combi drill at home that's done over 15 good years so no DeWalt bashing from me.

The Milwaulkee side is all Fuel, used in workshop environment and 2 years in and no complaints.

I bought another Die Grinder for home and the M12 LED Floodlight, all great kit.


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