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More electronic assembly issues


Biggie

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First I had a 2712 sds rotary hammer go dead this fall that I had to replace the electronic assembly.  Now I have a 2655 recon impact wrench that I picked up 2 years ago.  In the first year of having it I had some intermittent dead trigger problems so I sent it in under warranty.  I didn't keep the warranty paper work but I know it said they replaced the trigger and I think the electronic assembly.  It was good for another year but now the same trigger issue came back and happened much more frequently.  This time it's out of warranty so to ebay I went and picked up another new electronic assembly.

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Now I'm not trying to claim that I baby these tools because I don't.  I just sometimes wonder how the electronics in brushless tools will hold up overtime.  This was the first gen impact wrench and I know the second gen has more potting to try keep dust and moisture out.  That being said though I have a 2704 hammer drill that started making a funny noise a couple months ago.  I had my tool guy take it in for warranty because it's only on its second year of use and it came back as the motor is shot and it'll be $150 to fix a $150 drill.  I told them just to send it back unfixed but I assume it's something in the electronic assembly that went bad just from looking at parts pricing for a 2704 but I haven't got it back yet to check.

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Therein lies the fundamental problem with brushless tools. Aside from being expensive, the electronics are not bulletproof. Potting only helps moisture resistance so much. Heat is a bigger issue and potting can increase thermal stresses and reduce repairability.

I love my Brushless stuff, but I know I need to take care of them.
If I wanted beater tools, I would buy the newer 4 pole brushed stuff. Takes a beating and cheap like stink to repair.

But I love precision and all that Brushless has to offer. It’s a trade off, but I think it’s worth it. Especially for impacts and drills.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I've really lost confidence in brushless tools. They've just been too random and unreliable for me so far.

 

I've posted a few times about issues I've had, but here's another one: My new brushless Dewalt 20V string trimmer will exceed it's maximum speed if I suddenly lift the trimmer head upwards towards shoulder level. It really revs hard for about a second. It sounds like it's going 500-1000rpm more than the rated top rpm. Another brushless gremlin.

 

I am quite happy that the Dewalt 20V hedge trimmer I just bought is brushed, because that will be worked hard. 

 

I think the brands (perhaps excluding the slow players like Bosch, Hilti, Metabo) may have brought brushless to the consumer too soon. I won't be surprised if most of my brushless tools won't be working in a few years. The batteries will outlast them. 

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They really need to heatsink those MOSFETs or at least blow air over them. If it's intermittent you might be able to restore it by cleaning the board and resoldering the components, just dab some solder on everything...or heating it in an oven, you can search reflowing a PCB online.

 

The problem is they're getting caked with dust and dirt and holding in excess heat and shortening the life of the components on the board. I'd bet you can buy replacement parts from aliexpress(China) or mouser(US but more expensive, especially the shipping).

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So I finally got my 2704 drill back today, sent it with my tool guy back in September.  It came back fully assembled and looked as though it maybe hadn't been taken apart. Which I thought was strange because it didn't get covered under warranty and I told them to send it back unfixed. I was told it would be $150 to fix which I took to be the $130 electronic assembly so I picked it up for $50 on ebay and was going to fix it myself.

 

I changed out the electronic assembly and it still had a whine and vibration to it.  That wasn't my problem so I grabbed my 2703 drill/driver and swapped the armatures and found my problem.  If you look close its actually separating.

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Now my first question is why on a 2 year old drill is an armature going bad not covered under warranty?  Second why am I being told that a $20 part, that can be changed in 5 minutes, is a $150 dollar job and I should just buy a new drill?  I might be wrong but I just can't help but think if I had done an e-service warranty claim I would have had a fixed drill back in a week.

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I don't know if it's the same issue or not, but my 2763 impact is about to go back to Milwaukee after very minimal use.  It works fine so long as you commit to full speed, but trying to gradually pull the trigger results in a fizzing sound and error code.

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2 hours ago, HiltiWpg said:

Man, if the laminations are separating already, that’s some pretty shoddy quality.

That's exactly what happened.  I just didn't know the wording haha.  The dark lines on it are actually shadows from the gaps in the laminations and its the worst on the fan end.

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Kind of shaking my faith in milwaukee at the moment but I'm in pretty deep at this point.

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1 minute ago, Biggie said:

That's exactly what happened.  I just didn't know the wording haha.  The dark lines on it are actually shadows from the gaps in the laminations and its the worst on the fan end.

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Kind of shaking my faith in milwaukee at the moment but I'm in pretty deep at this point.

 

I hate to sound cynical, but I feel like our loyalty to pretty much any brand in today's world is based more on personal experience and less on the manufacturer's commitment to making the best quality tools.  At some point, quality is compromised to meet a price point while generating a healthy profit, so I wouldn't be surprised to see something similar happen to any brand's drill.  This holds true for almost every consumer good nowadays.  My neighbor had bad experiences with GM trucks so he switched to Ford and hasn't had any major issues.  I've had my GMC for over ten years and have almost a quarter of a million miles on it with no major issues. 

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I know, I just needed a place to complain. 

 

We had dewalt 18v for a long time and it seemed like we were always taking out triggers and motors.  We bought a couple 20v sets and had a few triggers go bad and so it was at that point that we started switching over to m18 in 2014.  They've actually been pretty good until now that I've started seeing some issues.  Actually of all the dewalt 20v tools those first two triggers were replaced and they're all still running today short of a couple batteries.

 

I'm sure there are better tools out there, but you're also going to pay more for them upfront.  I guess it's just about finding the right balance.  I would really like to try out some hilti tools.  I actually think their core tools are somewhat competitively priced but to replace all the tools on my truck would get very expensive.

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I agree that finding the right balance of quality versus cost would be nice.  I think that for most of us, though, Milwaukee, DeWalt, and similarly tiered brands represent the best of what we can realistically expect to get.  I'm not a professional, instead buying tools due to wants and having a little extra income, but even if I were I feel like my tool collection wouldn't be too dissimilar from what it currently looks like.  I feel like Ryobi is a great brand for the same reasons of quality versus cost; a homeowner can expect to see good use out of a relatively inexpensive tools with somewhat few issues. 

 

I've tried becoming more objective over the years, and it's worked to some extent.  Years ago I'd have cursed anything that failed to meet my expectations, so naturally I bought a pair of Belleville 590 combat boots a few years ago after having a pair for ten years with no issues.  A few months ago the newer boots cracked all the way through the sole.  I'm buying another pair regardless, but if it happens again, Belleville will hear from me!  ;D

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Of all the drills I own, my favourite are definitely my Bosch 36v machines, bare bones brushed tech that is reliable and a joy to use! 

 

Before those I had Milwaukee V18 drills, brushed combi and SDS, they took such a beating and didn't give any grief for approximately eight years. The chuck finally gave out on the combi and the trigger needed replacing on the SDS. The trigger cost me forty quid and the chuck got a WD40 bath, then they were stolen. Great machines though. 

 

I hope that companies like Bosch and Hilti continue to offer brushed variants. 

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I got the new armature today and 5 minutes later my 2704 is running like a top.  I don't think it needed the electronic assembly but it has a new one and I have an old one as a backup.  Here is a picture of the new and old armature side by side if it helps anyone out in the future you can see the lamination is separating in the old one on the left.

 

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