My trusty 18v Craftsman drill had its final battery die on Tuesday. A trip to Sears revealed that they no longer sell the battery I need in the store, it is only available via the special parts department. That's no good, my 1st battery had died a year ago so I had no backup, and I needed to screw some stuff in 'now'.
The 18v "limited anniversary edition" (I think it got the special name because it was the first 18v kit they had) drill & light kit was actually pretty nice. Adjustable angle light, two batteries, a smart charger with multiple status lights, a dual speed variable speed drill (there is a 2 speed switch on the top for either high speed or high torque, and you can also change the speed within the range set by the switch by how far you hold the trigger) with 18 levels of ratcheting action, a keyless chuck, and two slots to hold driver bits.
Well, the untimely death of my backup battery and the lack of battery at Sears meant it was time to upgrade. It is really hard to find a nice cordless drill/driver! They are either low power, really heavy, or have some other weird reason that I didn't like them.
I finally found the DeWalt DC759 18v cordless 'heavy duty' drill/driver. It was smaller (lengthwise and weightwise) than the 18v Makita I was looking at, and seems like a great little kit. It is actually shorter (lengthwise) than the Craftsman, so that will help in some weird spots I've had to drill. I don't like that it only has one slot to hold a screwdriver bit though. It holds a reversible straight/Philips bit rather than separate ones. This is a problem because the separate ones my Craftsman could hold were the type that I could lock in to the quick-change adaptor I mount in the chuck (allows quick swapping between various bits without unlocking and aligning). I'll replace the dual-sided bit with a single Philips quick change bit and if I need to do straight slots I'll just have to hold it separately. It also didn't come with a wrist strap, though it has a slot for one so I'll need to add one. It is very handy to be able to let the drill dangle from your wrist while you are manipulating something on top of a ladder.
The 18v battery system is compatible with a number of different DeWalt cordless tools, so I'm not going to be stuck with dozens of different types of batteries - so that's good. I do have a small cordless screwdriver that uses a separate battery, but it is a very small unit, so there is no chance for something like that to share a battery with everything else anyway.