Fein ASCM18QX Drill/Driver
The gears are all metal and there are four different speeds that top out at 3,850 rpm. Unlike most shifters--which move forward and back--the shifter on this tool moves both forward and back, and side to side.
The standard chuck is easy to remove and can be replaced with a bit holder (lower left). Hex bits can also placed directly into the stem on the front of the tool.
Fein's new 18-volt series includes (front to back) an impact driver, hammer drill/driver, 4-speed drill/driver, and (not shown) an impact wrench and 2-speed drill/driver.

One of five new cordless drills and drivers introduced by Fein at the most recent STAFDA show, the ASCM18QX offers several advanced features and one feature that is entirely unique, a four-speed gearbox that allows the tool to run at up to 3,850 rpm. Most cordless drill/drivers top out at less than 2,000 rpm. Changing gears on a two- or three-speed drill means sliding the shifter forward and back; with this tool the shifter goes left and right, and forward and back—which gives you four different positions.

The new drill/driver has an electronic clutch and a removable chuck and bit holder similar to those offered by Festool and Metabo—though the system does not currently include a right-angle chuck.

With its brushless motor and supplied 4.0 Ah battery the ASCM18QX promises to have excellent runtime; Fein says it can drive 1,800 screws per charge. The company doesn’t specify the size of the fasteners or material being driven into but a photo on the website shows the tool with softwood lumber and what look to be 1 5/8- or 1 3/4-inch hi-thread drywall screws. That’s a whole lot of screws, but not any more than what other brushless drill/drivers with 4.0 Ah batteries can do.

This is one of several new 18-volt tools in a series that includes a hammer drill/driver, two-speed drill/driver, impact driver, and impact wrench. The drills are made in Germany; the impact tools in China.

ASCM18QX Specifications

Clutch: electronic
Gears: all metal; 4 speeds
No load RPM: 0-400; 0-800; 0-1,950; 0-3,850
Max torque: 796 inch-pounds
Motor: brushless
Battery: 18 volts (2.0- or 4.0 Ah)
Weight: 4.4 pounds (w 4.0 Ah battery)
Kit includes: drill/driver; two 4.0 Ah Li-Ion batteries, charger, side handle; interchangeable chuck/separate bit holder; hard plastic case
MSRP: $538 (w 4.0 Ah packs)
Web price: $439 (w 4.0 Ah packs); $369 (w 2.0 Ah packs)
Available: now; limited U.S. distribution
Country of origin: Germany
Comments: LED light built into base; on-battery gauge; 3 year warranty; no belt clip