I was working as a pest control technician a few years ago and needed a cordless drill. I was told that Makita power tools were the top of the quality line and that that was the reason for the high prices they charge. I had enough problems to solve on the job, without needing to worry about the reliability of my tools, so I purchased a 12/9 volt cordless Makita drill from Home Depot.
While working with it and drilling hundreds of holes a day, I noticed that the drill had a ring of numbers behind the chuck which showed the amount of tork that could be applied, before the clutch would stop the drills rotation. [continued below]....
..... That means when youre inserting a screw, it would apply just the amount of pressure needed to install the screw and no more. When the resistance became too high, the clutch stopped the rotation, because it was at the proper depth.
After using the clutch for a couple of days, it began to kick off before the screw was completely inserted, so I stopped using it. This was accomplished by setting the number ring at the icon that looks like a screw. In that position, it should act like it's a direct drive drill by-passing the transmission completely.
After another couple days of use, it began to kick-out at lower and lower tork levels, until it wouldnt even drive a screw; it would just make a buzzing sound and not rotate. Well, then I panicked, because I spent a lot of money on the machine and now I couldnt perform my job, without using a corded drill that required a lot of time finding and plugging into a receptacle and then accommodating and compensation for the inconvenience of the stupid cord.
I quickly returned the drill to the store and didnt have the courage to mention why, because I was afraid they would tell me that the drill had been abused, or something and they might not honor the warrantee, so I told the cashier that the drill just stopped working and they exchanged it for another new one.
The replacement lasted quite a long time before it started the buzzing noise and ceased rotating. I set it on the screw icon from the beginning and refused to use the stupid clutch and even at that, the problem showed up again but only on rare occasions. Well a couple years ago, a woman gave me a painting job and I took the some of the money and purchased a new 18 volt drill, figuring I may have just had bad luck on the others. I set the clutch ring on the drill icon and used it for about a year and a half and then the d**n thing started making the buzz sound and the chuck would stop. Now its more and more frequently the same stupid story and I wonder when the tool will stop all together or if it will happen when Im in a critical place in a job, when it decides to go south. I called the corporate office locally and recited my story to a supposed technician. He asked how long ago I made the purchase, where I got it from and if I kept my receipt. I told him that if I thought I would need to keep the receipt, I would never have bought the drill.
I told him how often the problem appeared and since it was such a frequent issue, there must be piles of drills returned every year, and so I wanted to know what caused the problem. He replied that he would need to see the drill. I then repeated my claim, that the problem has occurred so frequently and with all three of my Makita drills, he must have a diagnosis of the cause, but he stood by his guns, boy. He was going to show me who was the boss and refuse to even guess, so I requested a real technician, since I was obviously more qualified, than he, to venture a guess about the cause of the failure. I told him I would even wait.
Well, that did it. He, in a coarse Mexican accent, said I am required to bring it in for an examination and there was no other option. I must assume that since he couldnt or wouldnt explain the problem, he wasnt comfortable having his experience, mental adequacy or objectivity questioned. Ill now be forced to take the drill to his main office, but I dont know whether anyone there is qualified to tell me why Makita even makes cordless drills with a clutch.