Improving drills


Last night I was disassembling a big thing and I needed to switch bits often. I thought “why not use two drills with one bit each?” There were not two good working powered drills to be found in the space.

Now, that’s not to say that there weren’t batteries. We had one or more battery of every brand except Ryobi (only one). We had one more more drill of every brand (5? Ryobi). Most of the charging stations had batteries in them but were unplugged.

Y’all know I love to make the space better for everyone. I would like to standardize on a single brand of drill, a single battery type, and two good working chargers of that model. I’m sure you can imagine lots benefits: this is simpler, cleaner, and takes up less room.

This would be perfect:

The existing Ryobi charger would be kept in storage as emergency backup. Some of the cost can be offset by selling our non-standard drills and chargers to people who prefer those brands. Future donations of non-standard drill gear would be accepted and then converted to cash for VHS.

I really love that the second last picture in the link above shows the charger wall mounted. Bench top is premium real estate!

I’m willing to seed fund thing and champion it until the other drills are gone. I’d like to submit an expense claim for whatever the difference is when I’m done, or put it to the group to raise the money at that time. (Since the group pays membership which then pays the claim, it’s the same thing either way.) I’m also going to contact Ryobi and see if they would donate the above item “to invest in new makers and get them to love Ryobi products. Think of it as an extended version of the demo table at Home Depot.”

Today is 9/26. I’d like to get your feedback before 10/10 (two weeks). I intend to proceed with this plan on 10/10 unless the group sentiment is majority negative.

(Informal Poll) Remove Ryobi Drills from the Space

I myself in a professional environment have had longevity issues with Ryobi stuff.
I do think the idea is great Dan. I’d suggest Makita or Dewalt equipment for these. I’ve used both if rough environments, and they have both been good. Although I lean to Dewalt as there have been some battery issues with the Makitas.


How do you propose to fund the extra cost of obtaining Dewalt drills?


Reconsolidating the drills would be pretty cool. It seems we have to do this every few years as assorted drills get brought in.

Here’s the last thread, which has some good research by Jon:

It looks like the Bosch ones might be the ones to focus on? We still have those two pictured in the thread working fine, which is pretty impressive in hackspace environment


Funding notwithstanding, at the school we have standardized on Makita and Milwaukee cordless tools as they stand up to the most abuse, the batteries have a longer overall life and parts are readily available. We have not had good experience with Ryobi, especially the batteries.

I agree that standardizing one brand of cordless tool is a good idea from the perspective of battery sharing and management.


I always thought Makita, Hilti, DeWalt, Milwaukee (and more?) were pretty much the same stuff in different colours.
I’ve recently heard from a friend who knows a representative for one of these brands that it is true to some extent, significantly enough to say that if you prefer a brand colour over another one, that is a valid criterion!


AvE does good breakdowns on cordless drills. They do vary in quality. Ryobi is pretty bad, but also the cheapest of the mainstream ones.


After Jon bought the Bosch brand drills I was impressed enough with them to buy myself a set off
Admittedly they don’t get the same use as the VHS ones, but I am super happy with them

It was something like this set:


I also bought myself a set after using them at VHS.

One of the Toronto makerspaces was successful in talking Bosch into donating a few grand worth of tools when they opened. Might be worth someone’s time hitting them up directly.


Ok… so I’m not hearing any "no"s. There is some friendly disagreement about brand.

Who volunteers as tribute to contact their favorite drill maker?


There are a few interesting drill+battery offers on right now:


We don’t appear to have Milwaukee or Porter tools. I don’t see how increasing the variety of brands will improve the space.


Ok, this was kicked back and forth so much that I just “did”

After evaluating all the batteries, chargers and drills, it turns out the only reliable drills at the space are the two Bosch. Think about the last 10 times you’ve used a drill at the space, it was one of these.

So I’ve been scouring CL and found one. We now have 2 Bosch chargers, 3 drills and 3 batteries.*

All the Ryobi are in a really sad state and I think we should sell them as a lot as-is for whatever we can get. The build quality is shit and I can’t seem to get any of the batteries to hold a meaningful charge.

There’s also a DeWalt that seems great, a bit beat up, but has no charger I could find.

Here’s the deal. I will gladly trade this Bosch drill that I’ve dropped off at the space for the DeWalt. I think the Bosch is better, but the DeWalt is the line I have at home. Everyone wins.


I support this trade.

The Bosch drills have been the only ones I’ve used at VHS because they’re the only ones that are consistently charged and ready to go.

Thanks for making this happen.


Awesome - totally agree. Thanks @mike


If need for any more bosch stuff, it is Black Friday dealing on Amazon


If we want to, in my opinion, finish out what I personally imagine the ideal state to be, I’d say we should buy this:

This would leave us with a Bosch drill state of:
3 Regular Drills (of slightly different models but all battery-compatible)
1 Impact Drill
5 Batteries
3 Chargers

If we had just the drills above, we could satisfy even busy nights with drills all over the space, and for not-so-busy nights, people could dual-wield drills (quite useful for drill + screwdriver). If this is what we settle on, we can make a nice charging station too so drills, chargers, and batteries have a well-defined home (and can get mounted to a wall if necessary in the future).


Sounds like a plan. I own several Bosch powertools they are great.


Great idea!

70$ doesn’t seem a stellar price, given the used batteries - an equivalent full kit is currently $100 brand new, and there’s Bosch’s usual blackfriday/holidy discount program for $30 off if you buy a total of $150 of bosch stuff in one order (drill bits, sandpaper, etc. to get the order total up).

Totally support what you’re doing, just want to make sure incremental value for money is considered!


Yeah; given it was on CL for several weeks, I was in the mindset of offering them $50. I see CL prices as starting points unless its a great deal :slight_smile:

The other drill I picked up for $35 with battery.