Can I fix a stripped out cordless drill?
September 23, 2016 6:28 PM   Subscribe

My cordless and chuck-less Maktec MT064 14.4V 3/8" drill/driver won't let go of the square bit I have in there, so I can't change it. Is there some other way to loose the bit-holding parts, or do I have a perfectly functional square-bit-only electric screwdriver now?

I've had a Makita cordless drill for many years, at least a decade, and it has been great. However, it doesn't have a chuck for changing the bit -- it's the kind where you twist one ring on the nose of it forward, and the other backward, to loosen up the bit holder.

Now though, no matter how hard I twist, the rings move in the right manner but the bit holder is not loosened at all. I can feel the gear slip each time it goes around, too.

Is this just shot, time to buy a new one? Or is there some alternate way I can use, to keep this viable? Otherwise, it's time to buy a new one.
posted by msalt to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
if you have the cash, it might not be the worst time to get a new portable driver. That Maktec has a NiCad battery, newer ones will use lithium ion and will run longer and stronger.

if you don't have the cash, the chuck, which is the part you turn to get the bit out, (the chuck key would be what you would use if it werent keyless) is usually replaceable, although the part usually isn't cheap and you have to figure out how to remove it.
posted by at 6:52 PM on September 23, 2016

Thnanks! Any recommendation on drivers? Maktec did good 10 years ago but who knows if that's still true today. If the batteries aren't good for keeping, then I"m a free agent.
posted by msalt at 7:11 PM on September 23, 2016

I found a parts list for that driver, and wasn't able to find a replacement chuck with a minute of searching.'s suggestion of a Lithium Ion driver is good. The amount of power and the speed of charging are so much better in Lithium Ion.

I've had one of these for a few years, it's light, powerful, has a 1/2" chuck, and the batteries don't show any signs of wearing out.
posted by gregr at 7:33 PM on September 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you don't mind a little more noise, the Milwaukee 12V impact driver is a lovely little tool, and plenty powerful for household work.
posted by Makwa at 7:36 PM on September 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is 12V enough power? Seems like a lot of 18V in the $150-200 range, which I can afford. And some even have hammer drill capability which I need from time to time, would save me a few $20/day rental fee.

Leaning toward newer Makita 18V but you all have about an hour to talk me out of it. :)
posted by msalt at 7:47 PM on September 23, 2016

I've had great service from a Makita 18V LXT drill for the last 10 years, go for it.
posted by N-stoff at 7:53 PM on September 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Came to say my Makita LCT series has been going strong for 6+ years now and through many projects and home renovations. LCT batteries are smaller but are more compact. LXT series has a few more tools that are compatible with the battery.
posted by Karaage at 8:20 PM on September 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have an 18v Ryobi, so it's kind of bottom end. But even then you definitely get used to that extra oomph quickly. Li-ion is soooo much better than Ni-Cad, because it charges faster, runs longer on a charge, and most importantly no memory effect in the battery. I have one of those combo sets with the circular saw and the 1/2" drill and I can get a lot of work done on a single charge. If you wanna go Makita 18v, I'd say go for it.
posted by azpenguin at 9:48 PM on September 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

An 18V drill is way heavier than your current drill. If your current drill was doing the jobs you needed I would not replace it with a much larger 18V drill.

I'm a Milwaukee guy. I've got an older version of this 12V drill and it pretty well does everything I need but the most heavy of drilling/driving; especially with the 4.0Ah battery. Eg: it'll drive a 6" #12 screw into 8" of 2X SPF.

Advantages: much lighter than 18V drills. Batteries are 1/3rd to 1/2 the price (though of course have lower energy storage). Half the price of the 18V drills (often the drill and impact set comes on sale for ~$200 with two batteries and charger). Less than half the size of the 18V drills so fits in tighter spaces.
posted by Mitheral at 11:27 PM on September 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

I literally upgraded drills yesterday. A ten year-old ni-cad to a 12v Li-ion. I went with a Bosch, but it was close between that and the Milwaukee. I'm basically using it for simple things around the house - nothing more than furniture assembly and maybe once a year drilling holes on our weird fire-proof masonry walls.

The advice I got was for that level of use it wasn't worth the upgrade to 18v.
posted by JPD at 4:30 AM on September 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

About 5 years ago, and on the basis of Consumer Reports testing, I got a Black & Decker 20v Lithium-battery drill. It was under $100, and has served very well. It's really light, powerful, and has never run out of charge. Would buy again.

Amazon has what appears to be a newer version of the same thing for $45.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:49 AM on September 24, 2016

I adore my brushless 18v Milwaukee, but for a homeowner I often recommend Ridgid. They're a bit cheaper than the other major tool brands, and they make good tools woth good warranties. I know several professionals who have gone with Ridgid for their cordless gear and they like it.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:27 PM on September 24, 2016

Thanks for all the good advice! I ended up splurging on a Makita set in the 18V/LXT series: the XPH06 drill driver with the XDT08 hammer drill, something else I need from time to time.

FYI, the new drill is lighter than my old Maktec NiCad and the hammer drive (which can also work for drilling etc) is much lighter. This way I have 2 batteries, $279 total.
posted by msalt at 12:34 PM on September 26, 2016

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