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Do cordless drill planetary gears just wear out?

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  • Do cordless drill planetary gears just wear out?

    I'm trying to diagnose my 11 year old DeWalt 14v. It's stood up pretty well to countless drops from the ladder, but it started making a gear grinding noise. I've disassembled the gearbox, and there's a grind in the closest set of planetaries to the motor, with no obvious cause. No missing teeth, just gears somewhat loose on their posts. But even when it's just the 1st internal gear and it's planetaries sitting on the motor & spindle gear, it's grindy. The teeth on the motor spindle look pretty sharpened and worn compared to the other gears.

    Is the tool just toasted from driving it's share of screws? I guess 11 is okay for some of this battery crap, but my corded Milwaukee Holeshooter, the 1st power tool I ever bought, is 27 and going strong, though these days it mostly mixes small batches of plaster & joint compound. It'll probably outlive me.

    PS: Anybody recall a good thread arguing about which drill make is best?
    Location: Jersey City NJ USA

  • #2
    I don't know which brand is best, but I have a B&D 18V model that I bought at least two years ago for about $45 and I figure that I have gotten my money's worth out of it by now. It has done everything I have asked of it. It will probably last five years or more and the prices haven't gone up much since then so a replacement will be an even better bargain.

    I doubt that it is worth buying an expensive, top of the line cordless. The real value is at the other end of the price curve.
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

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    • #3
      Everything is made of crap and fail these days. If it's not the gear, it's the motor or the switch... or the chuck that COMES APART while you are drilling a hole that has to be somewhat on location.

      I'm going to the junk yard, and I am buying a Bridgeport head, and I am going to mount it on a pistol grip and power it with a bunch of car batteries. ULTIMATE HAND DRILL.

      Seriously I am tired of buying crappy power tools.



      Originally posted by gellfex
      I'm trying to diagnose my 11 year old DeWalt 14v. It's stood up pretty well to countless drops from the ladder, but it started making a gear grinding noise. I've disassembled the gearbox, and there's a grind in the closest set of planetaries to the motor, with no obvious cause. No missing teeth, just gears somewhat loose on their posts. But even when it's just the 1st internal gear and it's planetaries sitting on the motor & spindle gear, it's grindy. The teeth on the motor spindle look pretty sharpened and worn compared to the other gears.

      Is the tool just toasted from driving it's share of screws? I guess 11 is okay for some of this battery crap, but my corded Milwaukee Holeshooter, the 1st power tool I ever bought, is 27 and going strong, though these days it mostly mixes small batches of plaster & joint compound. It'll probably outlive me.

      PS: Anybody recall a good thread arguing about which drill make is best?
      This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
      Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
      Plastic Operators Dot Com

      Comment


      • #4
        Just a WAG, as I have no idea if the gearbox end of the motor runs in a bushing or a bearing, but if it is a bearing, could that be what is making the grindy noise?
        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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        • #5
          Is the plastic ring gear? If so, is it cracked? That is the usual one most people complained about.

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          • #6
            I've never worn out a cordless drill motor or gear train , because first the batteries go bad and are too expensive to replace. So, I have several drill motors lying around without batteries. My current crop of cordless drills are all Craftsman , two of the 19.2 volt variety . I found that I could easily adapt an earlier 16.8 volt Craftsman drill motor to the 19.2 volt NiCad battery pack , so now I have three cordless drills, one of which is smaller and lighter weight and uses a 12 volt battery pack. Sears finally brought their prices down on some replacement batteries , so I can now afford to buy new batteries as needed. Now that Sears is pushing their lithium ion battery powered drills, they may once again raise the prices on their NiCads batteries to try to force people to buy a new drill too. And over the years, there has been very little interchangability among batteries, even of the same voltage.
            Again, a way to get you to spend $110 on a new drill with two batteries and a charger, instead of spending an inflated $60 on a single old style battery.
            Even so, the Craftsman cordless drills have performed well enough for me, and the keyless chucks are fine.

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            • #7
              I've got one apart here- it's a three speed and the gears are all fine. I guess it's not easy incorporating three speeds without compromising somewhere- something blown in the shifting mechanism.

              The Makitas have always been good to me, and I have two Talon drills which have been rock solid performers, including the nicad packs. Gotta be ten years on them now-

              The cordless drill I want is the one you can't buy- doesn't exist as far as I know. It would have a brushless motor, be capable of 5000 rpm, or massive torque, be not much larger than the battery pack, and still capable of holding at least a 3/8 bit with a chuck no larger than 1 inch diameter. VSR of course, and with intelligent lighting. A sharp, colored circle would emanate from the front and display on the workpiece. You orient the drill until the circle surrounds the drill bit and you're square. This feature should be amplified by a user-adjustable amount so you can get very precise if you want, or just fairly close for less critical uses. Oh, and it should not have any of those 'wow' accent lines on it- just a compact and plain body.
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=gellfex]...The teeth on the motor spindle look pretty sharpened and worn compared to the other gears.

                ...but my corded Milwaukee Holeshooter, the 1st power tool I ever bought, is 27 and going strong...QUOTE]

                Sounds like the gear on the motor shaft has pretty well lived its life. This gear operates at the highest velocity of the whole train - reminds me of the expression " the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long".

                As for the Holeshooter, I have had the same experience.
                Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

                Comment


                • #9
                  DeWalt is made by black and decker do the math now junk plus junk = more junk portercable and delta all now made by black and decker to, and black and deckers own line is the worst of them all.

                  sorry i just cant see the logic in bying certian products expecilay ones that the battery cost more then the tool, and they ware out just as fast as the junk stuff does and sence compmanys like B&D have taken over these so called hi end tool companys the QV and over all Quaility went to crap its makes me wounder why people will still but these brands knowing they are no manufactor by a company that cant even make a decent tool them selfs in the first place,

                  and it has nothing to do with the tool being made in china either so dont even start on that agian..

                  ridgid tools are made in china and they are top notch they jst have crapy lio ion batteris but the nicads are fine in their tools and i never yet worn one otu nor has our one contractor that has used ridgid tools for years and the prices in replacemnt batteries are reasonable , i dont know who makes Milwaukee but thoes are some impressive tools as well.

                  even snapon is now losing favor amonge the pros and some i know of are switching over to master craft and stanely as well, snap on is just not the compnay they used to be so now you are just paying for a name and thats it, sony did the same thing they once were awesoem and well worth the money ,now junk and you pay for the name ,

                  know i know alot of you are going to argue these points but you need to examine the facts before crawling down my A** for this ,, companys once that were good no longer are and they are now ripping off the customers in that they are charing for their name and not the Quaility,

                  my over all point is buy tools that are made by a well known junk company you will get junk in return, and it does not matter who or what country makes the tools its not them its the guys in charge that decied not the factory or the workers in the factory. get what you pay for is not always the rule.. most times you pay good money you get good stuff but its not always a set rule, and more and more these days its becomming clearer all the time,

                  here is an example for you take a look at some of your sockets on a 6 pont or muilty point either one now were the ponts are look to see how thick the wall is if it looks really thin you will have a 60% higher chance of snaping it before it even reaches its so call make spec breaking point, even as little as 2 thou makes a huge difference in how much tourqe that sock will with stand,

                  any of my master craft stuff has much thicker point wall thinkness then my stanlys this explains how i broke 2 stanely sockets recently, i have herbrand tools to and gray the realy old stuff ok when they were built right , wall thicknessis good but the metals used are brittle, compared to the new or older master craft , can you gess what tools stay in the boxes and dont get used anymore , it aint the mastercraft stuff..

                  i have even seen in the same sockets from the same batch where there was engough of a difference that i check things over really well now, before giving out my cash..

                  i went to buy a new impact socket well 2 of them i got one made by jet the other by gray , could not get them in the sizes i needed at ctire unless i boought a complet set , any how went to the one place and i say the gray one and took a look it was cut really shallow no way it was going to remove the bolt in question, so i passed on it, went to maslack got a gray same size and it was cut and made properly and it was 1.00 cheaper then the other place , there was o way an omact with only a 3 MM deep recess was going to pull out the bolt , but one that was 30MM + had more then enough..

                  anyhow nuff said

                  in total your tool is worne out before it time cause it was likey made after B&D took over and the qauility is crap, go by a new one but buy something not owned by B&D

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                  • #10
                    everything wears out....decrap faster than most ime...see above post

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                    • #11
                      Thanks guys.

                      Weston, I did price a new motor & spindle @ $35 +shipping. It would feel pretty dumb if it wasn't the solution though.

                      I guess we're all pretty jaded about the tool market. In corded tools I tend to buy bottom end crap from Harbor Freight for things I use once in a blue moon like a 3" belt sander or a giant 5/8 offset joist drill. I usually buy better for more critical tools, my router and random orbital are Porter-Cable. But it seems P-C is slapping it's badge on cheap cordless tools, so you simply can't depend on the name. A buddy believes in Festool, but I can't rationalize $500 for a 12v drill!

                      I've done pretty well buying aftermarket NiMH batteries to keep the drill going this long, they're better than the NiCads and half the price of the OEM's.

                      After posting last night I was perusing the market. On Amazon people seem pretty happy with the Makita 18v Li-ion tools. I have to say the kit with the cordless reciprocating saw and grinder is pretty appealing. I worked with a guy who had a 12v Makita impact driver and it did a great job driving 3" drywall screws.

                      Lastly, the best tool I've gotten recently was a surprise I didn't even know I wanted. Holidays last year wife got me a Ryobi 4v kit mainly for the noise reduction earmuffs w built in headphones, but the kit included a minidrill that I now use all the time for small fasteners! It has 2 speeds, adjustable clutch, LED and a locking powerdrive chuck. It even has a trigger clutch that locks the shaft when not powered, so you can drive a screw till the clutch pops, then twist the drill to get it "hand tight" to your satisfaction. It's only real flaw is it isn't VS. It's barely bigger than your palm.
                      Last edited by gellfex; 01-12-2011, 12:17 PM.
                      Location: Jersey City NJ USA

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I find Ryobi to be the best value going. HF cordless power tools are way too crappy even for their price point.
                        Every time I go to the Golden Gate Live Steamers and am forced to use a HF blue drill to drill holes into rail and screw down rail, my workday becomes utter hell. Using a Ryobi Li-Ion cordless, I could get twice the work done in the same time period.

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                        • #13
                          My first quality drill was a Milwaukee Holeshooter.I got it used about 30 years ago.It had the plastic nose casing. The gears striped out.A service center tech said the nose would distort enough under heavy load to wear out the ring and pindon gear. Milwaukee made that model for a short time and went back to the die cast nose. I bought one of them and had had no problems to date.
                          Now my beef is the crapy quality of electric cords on corded tools. They split after a year or two of use. $*&@#

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                          • #14
                            I have a fair bit of makita 18v Liion stuff & so far its been great, much better than the Nimh .... dont know about parts tho... never needed them

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                            • #15
                              The Panasonics tools are very highly rated. I have a couple of the 15.6v drills and one of the metal cutting saws. Really nice! They are often rated #1 in the woodworking mags.

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