SDS drill - 18V/24V/36V?

1 Jun 2010
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United Kingdom
Bit of advice please anyone.

I'm going to take the plunge and finally buy a cordless SDS drill.

Everyone I know has got a 24V model – yet all the latest Li-Ion models are either 18V or 36V?

How come 24V remains so popular if they're running with NiCAD or NiMH.

Is it just a matter of price? (I know Li-Ion tools aint cheap).

While I'm at it – can anyone recommend a cordless SDS...I've done a bit of research but would appreciate your thoughts

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The new LiOn batteries are quite a bit lighter than the Ni Cads or NiMh ones. Therefore a 36v Li-on battery will weigh less than a 24v NiCad.

Tool manufacturers do think about the weight of the tools they design and with cordless tools, the older battery technology came at the cost of the weight of the batteries. Once Lithium Ion technology was developed, they realised that a 36v battery would be viable.
Go into any tool shop and compare the weight of an 18v Ni Cad cordless with the weight of a Li-On one ( with batteries in of course) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
I tend to use hilti for most jobs. Currently using the 22v cordless, and the rep did bring round the sds version, which is something like the old te6a, pretty much as powerful but a lot lighter. The 22v and 14.4v li ion hilti batteries are truly stunning. I am very dissatisfied with the Makita 18v Li ion system, even bought another brand new battery to see if it really was just the two batteries I had, but no it also is pants. But also previously as my old posts will verify had a hilti te7a with two 36v li ion batteries and those also were pants, I had to sell that system as it wasn't as good as the then te6a.

So to sumarise make sure you get personal recommendation in every case where battery tools are conscerned and not just what is said here, because the only way I can rationalise the people who only speak as thou liion is the new messiah, must be stool pigeons; manufacturers guys.

Not saying all liion is bad, just I have experienced two seriously bad systems with much less reserve power than an equivalent nicad. but in the next breath I have now experienced two thoroughly excellent li ion systems.

Anyway if I needed a battery sds drill I would buy the hilti 22v one.
The real beauty of Li-On batteries is that you can stick them in the charger no matter how much charge is left in them. They don't develop a memory like other batteries.
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but the downside of the same virtue is they only have a set number of charges built into them from new. Which from laptop experience is less than a year's worth used daily.

Anyone who knows about batteries knows that, and also knows that a nicad battery properly treated has many more years more life in it than a li ion.

the only benefit of li ion is weight.
Li-ions have the benefit of size and weight (and thus capacity), no memory effect, and extremely rapid charging. The downside is, as stated, lifetime. I'd like to see a li-ion battery last 8 years like the one in the 24V SDS I have in the shed.
I run the Bosch GBH36VF-Li, and I wouldn't change it for anything. It's fantastic and will drill pretty much anything you need it to. Needs two batteries if you're doing heavy work but you'll be hard pressed to discharge one before the other has finished charging unless you're drilling a lot of big holes.
If you're going down the route of Li-Ion I can't stress the importance of using one with some sort of cell protection. Generally the manufacturers who use this are Metabo, Bosch & Milwaukee.

As Paul says above, the only real advantage to Li-Ion is weight and being able to charge it when you want - if you treat a NiCad battery properly it will stand you in good stead for many years. Lithium is potentially volatile, hence the need for electronics to protect the battery when it's working and charging - there are now many cheaper types of lithium on the market, but if you're considering going down this route you'd be better off with Ni-Cad or NIMH as they offer no sort of battery protection.

In my opinion i'd avoid Makita Li-Ion at all costs, but only because I know of cases where the batteries have packed up after less than 50 charges - but this is only my opinion and I'm sure plenty of people on here have had good experiences with Makita Lithium.

I think the reason 24v is still so popular is that it's been round for so long, and when people look at 36v SDS machines there's such a price difference that it scares many of them off.
In my opinion i'd avoid Makita Li-Ion at all costs, but only because I know of cases where the batteries have packed up after less than 50 charges - but this is only my opinion and I'm sure plenty of people on here have had good experiences with Makita Lithium.

i have the 18v lxt with a circ saw angle grinder and impact driver, did have a hammer drill but sold it.

Basically the batterys are not powerful enough to power the angle grinder or circular saw to what used to be called a "merchantable standard". I was told on here I probably had the only two bad lxt batteries in the country so boiught another to prove disprove, shame it was just as poor in reserve power and strength performance as the original two.

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