I'm now on my third cordless drill (actually fifth if you count the two I bought and returned) because of dead batteries. The batteries cost more than the drills, so they get you to just buy a new drill instead.
My last one, a Hitachi, lasted four years. It's a great drill and still works, but the batteries would no longer charge. I guess I didn't use it enough? But they are lithium ion batteries, which aren't supposed to have that problem?
A replacement battery at Lowes was $80. I saw a two-pack online somewhere for $120. Lowes had the same drill, with a charger, two batteries and a flashlight for $129, only $9 more than just the batteries. So I got that. But guess what? One of the batteries was defective out of the box and would not charge.
I had also thought to just get the (almost) cheapest $40 12v Black and Decker they had and consider it disposable. It's not like I need contractor grade equipment or anything. But I got one, and then found out it takes 6 to 9 hours to charge. Not good for spur of the moment repairs and projects. So back it went.
I thought about getting aftermarket batteries for the Hitachi, but they are still about $50 and they would probably explode or catch on fire and burn my house down.
So I ended up going back to DeWalt, a 20v model that came with two batteries. The replacements, which I will surely need at some point, are $120 for a two-pack (2.0 ah lithium ion). I've seen them online for $100 for the same two-pack. So I guess that's a little better.
But still, what a racket. It's like you're renting the batteries and they throw in a drill for free.
(Thankfully, I still have a 35 year old Craftsman plug-in drill that still works like a champ for backup when these newfangled cordless drills fail me.)
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