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Author Topic: PDC 18/4 poor torque?  (Read 4696 times)

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Offline steve_p

  • Posts: 4
PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« on: December 08, 2015, 05:11 PM »
HI newbie here, had a TS55 for years and the (surprisingly powerful) CSX I got for a job abroad that I could easily pack for the flight. Other than that, racks of various tools from every manufacturer.

Recently bought a PDC 18/4 since my collection of ancient 18V NiCad Dewalt gear is starting to fail and I've always enjoyed using the other well-designed Festo stuff. Was nearly swayed by the Metabos with huge torque figures but went for the brighter green.

Using a 25mm (1") spade bit the other day (on the drill setting, speed 1), found that the torque limit was beeping away constantly, I could hardly get it to make a hole when drilling a chain to form a larger hole, it beeped every time the bit slightly snagged on an edge. My mate got his Li-ion dewalt out (not even the top model) and it tore through it like butter. (I'm sure in the past my CSX had no problem with a 25mm spade, that one just keeps going til you stall it.) But the PDC seems to protect itself too early, like it reckons it's too refined for hard work. I was also drilling 12mm holes in mild steel plates on the same job, when the same happened. Could hardly get a hole out of it, using Dewalt Extreme HSS bits, which normally cut well in a hand-held drill. Just kept beeeping away and stopping. At least with a standard non-electronic drill it'll try to keep spinning and let you gauge whether you're over-working it. Driving long screws doesn't seem to present a problem, however.

Anyone else had this experience? I was intending to buy a few more for the workshop but I'm reconsidering now..

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Offline Wuffles

  • Posts: 1313
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2015, 05:48 PM »
Battery charged?

Had the exact same embarrassing experience, changed the battery for a chrged one (thought the original one was charged, but the PDC charger is unintuitive in the way you load batteries) and was away.

The drill should manage what you are talking about with no problem at all.
Tool list updated to reflect knowledge :: hammer, screwdriver, one pozi bit, and another bigger hammer.

Offline DB10

  • Posts: 911
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2015, 06:06 PM »
  It's not always easy to tell how much charge is left on a bettery using the green light switch on the PDC.
    It's crazy not having a series of charge lights on the batteries like most other 18v batteries, just my opinion.

Offline Brice Burrell

  • Posts: 7371
  • Remodeling Contractor
    • The Green and Dark Blue blog
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2015, 07:10 PM »
Be sure you have the drill in the "drill" mode.  You might want to check to see if you have the drill in "drive" mode with a lowish torque setting.  Drill mode disengages the torque cut out feature so you will have the full torque at your disposal.

The PDC is designed for real work, I have no issues drilling 25mm holes.     
Check out my new blog, The Green and Dark Blue Blog.

Offline tdfiver

  • Posts: 92
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2015, 03:04 AM »
Similar issue with my DRC 18/4 drill. I took mine into local dealers who thought it needed a replacement motor at £200 ! anyway it's going back to Festool Service centre.

They checked the batteries were charged but could not replicate my original problem, so why they thought it needed a new motor I don't know.

Offline steve_p

  • Posts: 4
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 08:37 AM »
Similar issue with my DRC 18/4 drill. I took mine into local dealers who thought it needed a replacement motor at £200 ! anyway it's going back to Festool Service centre.

They checked the batteries were charged but could not replicate my original problem, so why they thought it needed a new motor I don't know.

Hmm thanks for that info, at least I'm not the only one. Was yours new too? Maybe I'll take it back to see what the dealer says.

Drill was definitely in drill mode and using freshly charged batteries (they're new, only been charged 3-4 times so far.) Since I'm new to the unit, I assumed I was being stupid and had something engaged/disengaged that shouldn't be, but all was correct.

I think the problem is when the tool 'catches'- in my case when the spade bit broke through to an adjacent hole, and when the HSS bit broke through the rear of the material. Normal drills will just keep trying (admittedly injuring your wrist in the process!) but you can usually get over the 'mini-stall' with brute force, whereas the festo electronics call it a day, brake the rotation and you lose the momentum.

Maybe it's just too refined for what I'm doing with it, but it seems a shame when it's sold as a kind of all-purpose tool between precision workbench drill and a corded one. I'd prefer it to turn off the self-protection in drill mode, sometimes you need 2 seconds of tool abuse to get the job done! If I need to carry another drill for those occasional moments, then I might as well go for another brand.


Offline Wuffles

  • Posts: 1313
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2015, 08:55 AM »
Similar issue with my DRC 18/4 drill. I took mine into local dealers who thought it needed a replacement motor at £200 ! anyway it's going back to Festool Service centre.

They checked the batteries were charged but could not replicate my original problem, so why they thought it needed a new motor I don't know.

Hmm thanks for that info, at least I'm not the only one. Was yours new too? Maybe I'll take it back to see what the dealer says.

Drill was definitely in drill mode and using freshly charged batteries (they're new, only been charged 3-4 times so far.) Since I'm new to the unit, I assumed I was being stupid and had something engaged/disengaged that shouldn't be, but all was correct.

I think the problem is when the tool 'catches'- in my case when the spade bit broke through to an adjacent hole, and when the HSS bit broke through the rear of the material. Normal drills will just keep trying (admittedly injuring your wrist in the process!) but you can usually get over the 'mini-stall' with brute force, whereas the festo electronics call it a day, brake the rotation and you lose the momentum.

Maybe it's just too refined for what I'm doing with it, but it seems a shame when it's sold as a kind of all-purpose tool between precision workbench drill and a corded one. I'd prefer it to turn off the self-protection in drill mode, sometimes you need 2 seconds of tool abuse to get the job done! If I need to carry another drill for those occasional moments, then I might as well go for another brand.

I've twisted and deformed a 6mm Bosch HSS bit in a PDC when it caught, so the electronics don't always give up quicker than you can do damage.

Reason I asked about the batteries being charged is that you can put them in the charger, walk away when you see the light comes on and be blissfully unaware that as you turned around it starts flashing red because the battery isn't seated properly.
Tool list updated to reflect knowledge :: hammer, screwdriver, one pozi bit, and another bigger hammer.

Offline steve_p

  • Posts: 4
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2015, 03:44 PM »
Similar issue with my DRC 18/4 drill. I took mine into local dealers who thought it needed a replacement motor at £200 ! anyway it's going back to Festool Service centre.

They checked the batteries were charged but could not replicate my original problem, so why they thought it needed a new motor I don't know.

Hmm thanks for that info, at least I'm not the only one. Was yours new too? Maybe I'll take it back to see what the dealer says.

Drill was definitely in drill mode and using freshly charged batteries (they're new, only been charged 3-4 times so far.) Since I'm new to the unit, I assumed I was being stupid and had something engaged/disengaged that shouldn't be, but all was correct.

I think the problem is when the tool 'catches'- in my case when the spade bit broke through to an adjacent hole, and when the HSS bit broke through the rear of the material. Normal drills will just keep trying (admittedly injuring your wrist in the process!) but you can usually get over the 'mini-stall' with brute force, whereas the festo electronics call it a day, brake the rotation and you lose the momentum.

Maybe it's just too refined for what I'm doing with it, but it seems a shame when it's sold as a kind of all-purpose tool between precision workbench drill and a corded one. I'd prefer it to turn off the self-protection in drill mode, sometimes you need 2 seconds of tool abuse to get the job done! If I need to carry another drill for those occasional moments, then I might as well go for another brand.

I've twisted and deformed a 6mm Bosch HSS bit in a PDC when it caught, so the electronics don't always give up quicker than you can do damage.

Reason I asked about the batteries being charged is that you can put them in the charger, walk away when you see the light comes on and be blissfully unaware that as you turned around it starts flashing red because the battery isn't seated properly.


thanks Wuffles I'll check for that, I have indeed noticed the red light a couple of times had to re-seat the pack, so it's definitely worth a shot.

Offline Davej

  • Posts: 630
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2015, 04:48 PM »
I'm happy with my pdc and yes the speed selection could be easier but at 3500 rpm a high torque would be wrist snapping even with the side handle.
There never will be a ' holy grail ' of cordless drills due to variations in people's needs but after over 30 yrs in the trade and using all the major brands its the best out there at the moment imho


Dave
I dont mind growing old but i refuse to grow up

Offline steve_p

  • Posts: 4
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2015, 07:45 AM »
I drilled about 20no 12mm dia holes in 12mm mild steel plate at the weekend and the PDC was no trouble at all, it nearly pulled my hand off a couple of times. No beeping at all. So perhaps it was indeed a battery issue. It was almost fresh out the box so maybe they need a few charges to reach full capacity or something.

Anyway, I'm happy with it now, thanks for the replies everyone  :)

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2280
Re: PDC 18/4 poor torque?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2015, 09:52 AM »
Similar issue with my DRC 18/4 drill. I took mine into local dealers who thought it needed a replacement motor at £200 ! anyway it's going back to Festool Service centre.

They checked the batteries were charged but could not replicate my original problem, so why they thought it needed a new motor I don't know.

Hmm thanks for that info, at least I'm not the only one. Was yours new too? Maybe I'll take it back to see what the dealer says.

Drill was definitely in drill mode and using freshly charged batteries (they're new, only been charged 3-4 times so far.) Since I'm new to the unit, I assumed I was being stupid and had something engaged/disengaged that shouldn't be, but all was correct.

I think the problem is when the tool 'catches'- in my case when the spade bit broke through to an adjacent hole, and when the HSS bit broke through the rear of the material. Normal drills will just keep trying (admittedly injuring your wrist in the process!) but you can usually get over the 'mini-stall' with brute force, whereas the festo electronics call it a day, brake the rotation and you lose the momentum.

Maybe it's just too refined for what I'm doing with it, but it seems a shame when it's sold as a kind of all-purpose tool between precision workbench drill and a corded one. I'd prefer it to turn off the self-protection in drill mode, sometimes you need 2 seconds of tool abuse to get the job done! If I need to carry another drill for those occasional moments, then I might as well go for another brand.

I've twisted and deformed a 6mm Bosch HSS bit in a PDC when it caught, so the electronics don't always give up quicker than you can do damage.

Reason I asked about the batteries being charged is that you can put them in the charger, walk away when you see the light comes on and be blissfully unaware that as you turned around it starts flashing red because the battery isn't seated properly.
  YES!!!  Happened to me several times until I could study how I was installing the battery into the charger and it wasn't fully seated. Really suprised me since I've never had this happen with my other Festool batteries/drills.... [embarassed] [embarassed] [embarassed] [embarassed] [embarassed]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....