Monday, July 18, 2022

Ultimate Failure and Inevitable $eplacement

 Now this is my kind of catwalk lineup!

Just look at the elegant lines.

           The ergonomic flourishes

                      The flashy juxtaposition of colors from different eras!

This is the kind of useful, utilitarian lineup worth getting all swoony about!

Far more so than the usual catwalk drivel that only looks good on a certain, limited body-type, will be replaced next season anyway, is only appropriate for occasions that the majority of us will never be invited to, and contributes pretty much nothing to the betterment of society other than moving money from your pocket into someone else's.

Here in our more useful lineup, on the right we have the old guard. Just how old I can't quite remember but I had it before we started building here on the property. So it's at least 18 years ago.

And that was clearly before Ryobi's rebranding of the blue 18 volt tools to the greeny yellow of the ONE+ line of 18 volt tools.

In fact when I first got the blue set,

which includes my angle-driver as well as my circular saw, they were powered by 1.4 AH 18 volt NICD's. (Now everything I have, which also includes a wet-vac, is powered by 4 AH 18 volt lithiums.)

So why do I also have one of the new-guard drill-drivers sitting there on my bench?

Well, of all my hand-tools the drill-driver is the one that gets used most. And that little 18 volt motor in there is pretty dang powerful and torquey. So after countless screws driven and a few hundred feet of holes drilled that torque fighting against my hand was finally too much for the handle.

The failure was gradual and at first I could still get the forward/reverse switch and the trigger to work if I held everything just right. But eventually the damage got beyond the limits of just-right and I actually had to resort to hand-driving a few screws and dragging out the drill press, because my drill-driver was now just a very awkward manual screwdriver. 

In between the initial purchase and the final failure I went through a couple sets of batteries and am now on a set of two lithiums that are still going strong.

Fortunately, not really wanting to pay for any additional batteries and/or chargers, after a bit of hunting around I was able to purchase, for a reasonable price, (Less than $40) that snazzy new drill/hammer/driver sans battery. (They usually come with 2 AMP hour batteries which are fine if you are close to a recharging outlet but less fine when parts of the property are up to a quarter-mile from the nearest outlet and having enough battery, albeit heavier battery, to get the job done on a single charge is much handier.)

Right off the bat you'll notice that the new unit does not come with the cool little bubble-level that's built into the old one. No big deal, I never used it anyway, relying on eye instead.

OK, my eye isn't always perfect, but close enough!

Both have a two-speed switch for changing between fast and somewhat torquey or slow and really torquey. But another difference between the two units, other than color, is that the blue unit had a two position mode-switch on top. One setting that engaged the torque-ring for driving screws and the other which bypassed the torque-ring for drilling holes.

The new unit has a three-position mode-switch on it. The center and far positions (relative to the photo) correspond to the two positions of the blue unit, drive screw or drill hole. The third position, the near one, engages the hammer-drill function for drilling in masonry and tile.

Not sure how useful that will be since I already had a heavier, plug-in, hammer drill for that occasionally used function.

But it's not like I had much choice, as it appears that a two-function drill/driver is no long part of the Ryobi lineup.

I'm hoping that it will loosen up with use, but for now that switch is so tight I have to use a flat-blade screwdriver, the old fashioned kind, to force the switch from either of the two side positions back into the middle. I guess maybe I need to toughen up my thumbs?!

Another feature that was missing in the old unit is this side-handle for really he-manning it when using the hammer-drill mode.

Since it's really just in the way most of the time

I've removed it and just threw the bits into the corner of the drawer where the drill/driver lives when not in actual use.

Now, it wasn't horribly expensive to replace, but hopefully this is my last drill-driver.

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