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Cordless drill for hand-painting kitchens

Listed under Blog, Equipment, hand-painted kitchen Posted Aug 25 2011

Just so you are under no illusions – I might be able to sound half intelligent about hand-painting kitchens and re-decorating big old houses, but my knowledge of the merits of various cordless drills could be written on the back of a door hinge.

However I am confident that this little beauty, the Makita 14.4 volt cordless drill-driver (8281D) is a great tool for kitchen painters.

It was highly recommended to me by a Neville and Johnson fitter who has been using it as his cordless screwdriver of choice for 3 years. As a bit of context, Neville and Johnson design and install some of the most prestigious fitted furniture in some of the most exclusive properties imaginable. So unless I have been spun a jolly good yarn, this is one of the best £69’s a kitchen painter like me is ever likely to spend on a power tool.

Thanks B&Q, you did something right, at last, especially including 2 batteries for uninterrupted use all day every day, if required.

Please note: This was on a limited offer, so if you are reading this after the end of August 2011, the prices may have changed.

Why do you need a cordless screwdriver for hand-painting a kitchen?

One of the jobs on day one of hand-painting a kitchen is to take off kitchen doors (and drawer fronts if the construction allows.) It is fairly straightforward, unscrewing the hinges from the frame, then the hinges from the doors. I have always done this manually and I know it is slow, but now I have a Makita, evolution is afoot!

A tip to bear in mind – remember to mark where every door went, and mark which hinge goes where on each door. That’s right, if the top hinge on door A goes back on the bottom of door A, you may find the door doesn’t close properly. Putting that right is a far bigger time-waster than debating the virtues of manual screwdriver versus cordless!

Dissembling integrated fridge freezer doors can be a bit more challenging than a standard door, as every company seems to have their own proprietary set-up, but the more you do, the luckier you get. A set of hex keys is worth having to hand for integrated door fronts.

That is almost the full extent of my joinery skills. ie I can put a kitchen back exactly as I found it, and I’m also pretty good at adjusting standard spring hinges up, down and sideways. (It is the same idea as adjusting a rear derailleur on a bike, where you screw in to let things out, and all that non-intuitive stuff!)

I was contemplating a Festools cordless drill-driver, but couldn’t justify the cost. Having said that, if you need one to use way beyond the odd set of kitchen doors once or twice a fortnight, I suspect the Festools will last you a career of chippy-related endeavour.

For the time being, a 14.4 volt Makita seems to be about the right cordless tool for my job. And you may even get to see it in action, if you book me in to hand-paint your kitchen for you!

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