Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lucy, 'Splain me something...

Well, maybe even Lucy can't help here, the situation defies logic. Well, to me anyway.

It all started when my handy-dandy, ever trusty electric drill needed to have its battery charged. The DeWalt portable drill I have been using for the last several years came with two batteries and a charger, so, it has never been a problem in the past. I always keep the unused battery charged and ready to pop in the drill whenever the one in the drill runs down. A minute or so after the one in the drill goes flat, and I'm usually up and running. I swap them out all the time so they both get used interchangeably. The drill kit with the batteries came in a very nice hard carrying case with neat little chrome latches, really cool!

I bought the drill kit at Home Depot for $99.00 during a special promotion, and considered myself a shrewd buyer as the price soon went up to $129.00 for the kit. I haven't paid much attention lately, but I've seen the popular kit around when I've been in the store. I assumed the price would eventually increase until a newer model came out or the drill was discontinued.

As I was taking down hurricane shutters recently, a fairly heavy-use project, the battery in the drill ran out. I use the drill with an adapter as a power wrench, the only sensible way to remove wingnuts and bolts without spending an extra couple of hours. However, the replacement battery in the charger was unexpectedly dead, so the project came to a manual, grinding halt.

I decided to price a new one while I recharged the one remaining battery. Wow! Talk about sticker shock. The lowest price I could find on-line was $54 and that was for a nondescript, oddly labeled battery that vaguely resembled the original DeWalt unit. The cheapest DeWalt unit was $79 and that was without on-line shipping costs. So, I headed off to Home Depot to see what I could find.

The current replacement 18 volt battery, now labeled with an X to show it's better than the original, is located conveniently in the very first tool bin, neatly packaged in theft-proof plastic. If you think child-proof caps on medicine bottles are stinkers, try industrial level theft protection on tools. At any rate, I balked at its $89 price tag. Well, maybe I don't need the replacement battery as badly as I thought. As I turn to leave, I happen to glance around the shelves and see the original drill kit I bought several years ago, now on sale for $84.99. It's the last one left. Let's see, how long is a microsecond?

I now have my backup battery, plus another new spare battery, another charger, and a brand new drill. And of course another neat little carrying case with chrome latches. And I saved five bucks to boot. See, even Lucy can't explain this one.

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