Makita Battery drills..1.3ah battery vs 3ah battery. Is it worth the extra cost?

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  • Makita Battery drills..1.3ah battery vs 3ah battery. Is it worth the extra cost?
  • Hi there. Looking at buying a new Makita rechargeable battery drill. I have the Makita DAB radio which means I definitely want Makita not Bosch etc, as it runs off the drill batteries. The 3ah battery drill with a spare battery would cost around £210, while the 1.3ah battery drill is around £130 all in with two batteries. In your expert opinions, is the extra battery life worth nearly another £100?

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Isn’t the 1.3Ah a NiCad battery?
    The LIon stuff is better, I would expect a NiCad to be much cheaper by now. With fast charging LIon the capacity is less of an issue. My 3Ah drill will last a day of DIY easily but if it does go flat stick it on the charger, go for pee put, the kettle on and its already half charged and ok to use.

    Yes and no in my experience. Bigger batteries last longer between charges and can offer more punch but are very expansive to replace when the go on the fritz. They are usually heavier by quite a bit unless they are lithium. A heat drill is hard to hold above your head for hard to reach jobs. Little batteries don’t last as long between charges but you can usually pick them up cheap so replacing them is easier. They are usually lighter too but this can make them feel cheap and plasticky. All depends what you’re planning on using it for.
    Fwiw, if it’s a 1.3ah nimh vs 3.0ah lion then it’s not contest the lion drill wins hands down. If both lion I’d probably still go bigger.

    alanl
    Member

    Depends on the use.
    For general woodwork and driving, 1.3Ah is fine. For masonry and larger bored holes, I’d be looking at 3Ah.
    I’ve got both for my drill, and the 1.3 is only used as a spare.
    But I do use it for work, so if for occasional DIY, 1.3 will be fine

    curvature
    Member

    I use the 3Ah batteries on a weekly basis for my work.

    They take 22mins to fully charge and if only used for light drilling or putting in screws will easily last a day. I buy screws buy the 1000 so that might give you an idea of usage.

    Also be aware that Makita after several specification drills with the batteries.

    The 453 that Screwfix are doing on offer is not a patch on the 452 which is only marginally more expensive.

    http://www.onlinepowertools.co.uk/prod/makita-bhp452rfx-li-ion-cordless-combi-drill-kit-1-battery

    I have a 452 and a 453. They tend to bung the 453 into Makita packs. A useful point is the 452 doesn’t have an LED light.

    Also do you know that Makita are now doing 4Ah batteries just to confuse you….

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    the question as above is whether its li-ion batteries you’re already using (I can’t remember if the radio works with both the new and old shape batteries). If its nicad/nimh the longer charge times mean the bigger capacity the better.

    The fast charge time of li-ions means (depending on what your working day is like) theres not much disadvantage of lower capacity batteries for drill driving – whatever capacity of battery the spare will always charge faster than you can run the other one down. Even then you can use them part charged with no penalty. They usually get to 80% very quickly indeed, then longer to get to 100% – the charger has a light to indicate that and you get a usable charge in no time at all.

    Where the larger 3 and 4amp/hr batteries have their value is with either having more than one tool on the go – say two drills, one to pilot/countersink and one to drive screws, in which case you want both tools to go all day, or for tools other than drivers – angle grinders, circular saws etc those are the tools that need the higher capacity for a good duty cycle, the longer life batteries are of negligible benefit for drill/driving alone.

    mark90
    Member

    The 453 that Screwfix are doing on offer is not a patch on the 452 which is only marginally more expensive

    In what way is the 452 better?

    Genuine question as I was thinking about getting a 453 with 2 1.3 LiIons (£130 from B&Q is best price I’ve seen, only one battery from Screwfix) for general light/occasional DIY use. Worth spending the extra on a 452?

    I was looking at li-ion rather than nicad/NiMH. The short charge time is pretty impressive. There’s also the bonus of being able to interchange with the other bare tools with the 3Ah battery. I’m now thinking though, that I’ve already got a Makita impact driver for screwing screws, and a pneumatic Hitachi SDS for drilling masonry, so maybe the 3Ah wouldn’t be necessary? I’m really undecided. Can’t help thinking that for the sake of £100 extra I might as well go for the 3Ah as I don’t want to regret it at a later date. I’ll be using it for work and also for extension building on my own house next year. Has anyone used the non makita replacement batteries you can buy on eBay? Just wondering how tthey compare?

    Is the only difference the batteries though? I’m a DeWalt man and quite often there’s a special offer on them but most often on the down specced body with the smaller Ah batteries.

    The higher spec bodies have different gear boxes and chucks even if they appear to look the ‘same’ to the untrained eye.

    I use mine all day long and get the big batteries to save on tool downtime between charges. for more DIY use having a smaller battery with a quick charger wouldn’t be so much of an issue.

    T1000
    Member

    Worth checking out the b&q pricing in other locations… They were £100 yesterday in a b&q near Bristol

    With 2 x 1.3 lion bats

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    £100 extra is quite a hike for changing batteries twice a day instead on once – with either you won’t be left battery-less as you could be with ni-cads running one flat in less time than the other will charge. If you do think you’ll buy further 18v kit (the angle grinder and circular saw are both ace) then having a good battery set to begin with is a cost effective way of getting those bare later.

    That said the 3.0amp batteries are pretty affordable on their own now at @£60. Also quite often you can get bare tools bundled with a single battery and no charger which can be a cost effective way of expanding later.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Watch the b&q ones. They do a set that has non cross compatible batteries. Fine if you only want one drill but not great for future proofing and building up s good kit

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    I bought the 456 model with a 3ah batt for £150 from toolstation.
    Very happy with it.

    It runs long enough to finish a job completely + the posh charger takes only a few mins to fully charge, so by the time you’ve had a brew it can be ready for another 100 holes.
    http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Power+Tools/18v+Drills/Makita+BHP456RFWX+LXT+Combi+Drill+18V/d40/sd2789/p48669

    I got the feeling that it was a cut above the Makita models that are around the £120/£130 mark and the better battery and charger made it a no-brainer for me.

    curvature
    Member

    The 452 has the led light ( i sometimes work in poor light levels so it’s plus point for me), it has a slightly shorter body and higher speeds.

    It also feels better put together.

    mark90
    Member

    Thanks. I’ll look out for a deal.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    What’s the lifespan of the battery while unused? And how often will it be used? Every cordless drill I’ve had including my old makita has been essentially killed by the battery dying off, cable is better for occasional use IMO

    redben
    Member

    I use my 3amp lxt batteries everyday and for trade use i don’t think you can beat them for performance/cost.
    i have just bought two 4amp batteries for the sds which seemingly go on forever!

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