Specs and Tester's Comments-Compact Drill/Drivers

Specs and Tester's Comments-Sub-Compact Drill/Drivers

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Specs are provided by each manufacturer and are not verified by Tools of the Trade.
Compact Drill/Drivers
THIRD PLACE
BoschVolts / Amp-HoursRPM Range / Maximum Torque Screw Timing / RankNo. of Screws / Rank Weight
3661818 / 1.30-500 / 0-1,600; 500 inch-pounds3.85 seconds / 1st 106 / 4th3.7 pounds
Image
StoryID
884891
ToolNumber
1
ComponentId
tcm:78-1628426
Tester Comments
This powerful and comfortable new tool is the first 18-volt LI Bosch tool we've ever tested, and our third-ranked compact drill/driver.
Performance: The Bosch has plenty of power. It aced our screwdriving speed test and drove lag bolts very well. It also boasts great runtime.
Ergonomics: Even though it's among the largest tools in the test, its angled body design makes it very well balanced and comfortable to use.
Controls: The chuck is the best. It's really solid, feels the nicest in hand, and operates more smoothly than the others. The clutch adjustment ring is also top rated for its feel.
Features: The battery has a unique, two-position lock to keep it from accidentally sliding off the tool. Single-LED light has flashlight mode; it can be triggered on without running the motor. Has two molded-in rubber-bit storage slots, but they don't hold bits as well as the metal-clip type. Comes with a plastic case.
Street Price
$219

Contact
Bosch Power Tools
877-267-2499
www.boschtools.com
CraftsmanVolts / Amp-HoursRPM Range / Maximum Torque Screw Timing / RankNo. of Screws / Rank Weight
315.1191019.2 / 1.30-440 / 0-1,600; 340 inch-pounds4.17 seconds / 3rd140 / 2nd3.8 pounds
Image
StoryID
884891
ToolNumber
2
ComponentId
tcm:78-1628426
Tester Comments
This tool is labeled a 19.2-volt tool but is said to be actually 20 volts. With the same amount of cells as the other tools, it should be considered comparable.
Performance: This tool has a surprising amount of power and really great battery capacity. It was a top performer when driving large lag bolts.
Ergonomics: Being on the large side, the Craftsman is only average in ergonomics. With the fattest grip, hand comfort suffered. But overall, the balance is pretty good.
Controls: The short, tapered clutch adjusting ring was a bit hard to turn. Rubber inserts on the trigger and speed selector switch are a nice touch.
Features: The dual-LED light is mounted on top of the battery housing and provides good area lighting. Works in flashlight mode, too. Has two metal-bit storage clips, a built-in bubble level, and a color-coded battery level light. Comes with a fabric duffel bag.
Street Price
$180

Contact
Craftsman
800-932-3188
www.craftsman.com/c3
HitachiVolts / Amp-HoursRPM Range / Maximum Torque Screw Timing / RankNo. of Screws / Rank Weight
DS18DSAL18 / 1.50-350 / 0-1,500; 460 inch-pounds5.12 seconds / 8th94 / 7th3.5 pounds
Image
StoryID
884891
ToolNumber
3
ComponentId
tcm:78-1628426
Tester Comments
This tool just became available to us during our test period. The slide battery model replaces the previous tower battery compact tool we were testing, so we noticed the improvements made with this one.
Performance: This tool has good performance and does everything we need on the job well enough.
Ergonomics: The new, slender handle design is a welcome feature, but it would be nicer if it had a rubber grip on the front as well as the back just like every other tool in the test. It has top-rated balance and is the lightest tool in the test by a small margin.
Controls: The clutch adjustment ring is ribbed and especially easy to turn, but the clutch slips too easily at its highest settings.
Features: Has a single-LED light with flashlight mode and a reversible belt hook. We miss the bit storage slots of the old model, but the cordless worklight in the plastic kit box is a nice bonus.
Street Price
$189

Contact
Hitachi Power Tools
800-829-4752
www.hitachipowertools.com
SECOND PLACE
MakitaVolts / Amp-HoursRPM Range / Maximum Torque Screw Timing / RankNo. of Screws / Rank Weight
BDF452HW18 / 1.50-400 / 0-1,500; 450 inch-pounds5.07 seconds / 6th (tie)65 / 7th3.5 pounds
Image
StoryID
884891
ToolNumber
4
ComponentId
tcm:78-1628426
Tester Comments
This is the tool that put the category on the map a few years back as the first popular 18-volt LI compact drill/driver, and it shares our second-place rating.
Performance: A smooth performer overall, but with its low runtime results, it's a good thing that the battery charges in a record 15 minutes. In everyday use, I found this tool to have more than enough power and battery capacity.
Ergonomics: The body style is small and light and really defines what a compact drill/driver is. This is a well balanced tool and at the height of comfort.
Controls: The clutch adjustment ring is stiff, and the protruding headlight housing also makes it difficult to rotate.
Features: The single-LED headlight has a flashlight feature and fades out about 10 seconds after the trigger is released. A belt hook is available as an accessory. Comes with a plastic case and a musical charger that plays a tune when the charge is done.
Street Price
$219

Contact
MakitaUSA
800-462-5482
www.makitatools.com
WINNER
MilwaukeeVolts / Amp-HoursRPM Range / Maximum Torque Screw Timing / RankNo. of Screws / Rank Weight
2601-2218 / 1.40-350 / 0-1,400; 400 inch-pounds5.07 seconds / 6th (tie)07 / 3rd4 pounds
Image
StoryID
884891
ToolNumber
5
ComponentId
tcm:78-1628426
Tester Comments
Our winner has the feel and features that put it ahead of the pack. It has everything we need and does everything well.
Performance: This tool has great capacity and the ability to do everything needed by a drill/driver in our work.
Ergonomics: This is the heaviest compact, but because of its excellent balance, I never noticed the weight until I put it on a scale. The comfort and feel of the tool is superb.
Controls: The sideways sliding action of the speed selector switch is unique to this tool, and I find it the easiest to read and adjust. The clutch adjustment ring is the smoothest to use, too.
Features: Has a single-LED headlight, a reversible belt hook, and three bit storage slots with metal clips. The battery fuel gauge is the easiest to read, and the tool comes in a plastic case.
Street Price
$199

Contact
Milwaukee Electric Tool
800-729-3878
www.milwaukeetool.com
SECOND PLACE
PanasonicVolts / Amp-HoursRPM Range / Maximum Torque Screw Timing / RankNo. of Screws / Rank Weight
EY7440LN2L14.4 / 3.060-400 / 200-1,350; 390 inch-pounds3.92 seconds / 2nd144 / 1st3.6 pounds
Image
StoryID
884891
ToolNumber
6
ComponentId
tcm:78-1628426
Tester Comments
Not an 18-volt tool, but it is the exact size and weight to fit the category where it shares second-place ranking.
Performance: Lower battery voltage didn't hurt this tool in power. It has the second-longest runtime and drove the most screws. The only tool in the test with a full size, 3 Ah battery, yet it only adds 0.1 pound over another tool's 1.3 Ah battery.
Ergonomics: Great handle design and superb balance give this tool top-rated feel.
Controls: The motor starts at a higher rpm than most, so it can feel like it jumps on abruptly.
Features: The single-LED on the base lights a wide area but must be switched on separately from the trigger function. This requires an extra step, but it's the only tool that lets you leave it off. The light goes out five minutes after the trigger is released. Has warning lights for low battery and overheat conditions, and the reversible belt clip adjusts up and down. With a plastic case and a cordless worklight.
Street Price
$289

Contact
Panasonic
800-338-0552
www.panasonic.com
Porter-CableVolts / Amp-HoursRPM Range / Maximum Torque Screw Timing / RankNo. of Screws / Rank Weight
PCL180DK-218 / 1.1 0-350 / 0-1,200; 325 inch-pounds4.29 seconds / 4th87 / 6th3.8 pounds
Image
StoryID
884891
ToolNumber
7
ComponentId
tcm:78-1628426
Tester Comments
This is the first tool we've seen from Porter-Cable's new "tradesman" line and its first and only LI tool. This is also among the first new 18-volt products from the brand.
Performance: Has great power and driving capacity. It performed about average in the shop tests, yet felt like an above-average tool in jobsite applications.
Ergonomics: Although not the heaviest, it has a larger body style, which makes it feel a little clumsier and less balanced.
Controls: The ribs on the clutch adjusting ring make it easy to grasp. The textured, metal chuck stands out on this model; it's the only one in the test. It provides a rugged touch, but its knurled surface can scuff up a cabinet if you are not careful when driving screws in close confines.
Features: Has a single-LED headlight that is the brightest and works as a flashlight, too. The molded-rubber bit storage slot works well for long bits, but small ones get stuck. With an upright fabric bag.
Street Price
$180

Contact
Porter-Cable
888-848-5175
www.portercable.com
RyobiVolts / Amp-HoursRPM Range / Maximum Torque Screw Timing / RankNo. of Screws / Rank Weight
P81518 / 1.5 0-440 / 0-1,600; 350 inch-pounds4.36 seconds / 5th45 / 8th3.9 pounds
Image
StoryID
884891
ToolNumber
8
ComponentId
tcm:78-1628426
Tester Comments
This tool was outclassed by the competition, but it is the lowest-priced tool in the category.
Performance: This tool drove the fewest screws per charge by a pretty large margin. It performed well enough in the field, but struggled with fasteners that required high torque.
Ergonomics: Its large body style gives the tool a lower balance rating, and with its fat handle, it didn't feel good in my hand. The chuck's taper gives it a less-certain grip when tightening and loosening bits.
Controls: The short, tapered clutch adjusting ring was a bit hard to turn. Rubber inserts on the trigger and speed selector switch are a nice touch.
Features: This is the only compact tool without a headlight, which we missed. It has a single metal-clip bit storage slot and a built-in bubble level. The magnetic tray atop the battery housing is very handy for holding fasteners at the ready. Comes with an upright fabric bag.
Street Price
$159

Contact
Ryobi Power Tools
800-525-2579
www.ryobitools.com