Saturday, February 01, 2014

Review of 4 Drill Kits: Dewalt, Makita, Black & Decker, and Genesis

Here we compare four of the best cordless drill/driver kits for 2014: Black & Decker BDC120VA100, Dewalt DC970K-2, Genesis GCD18BK, and Makita LXFD01CW. The review power tool reviews the best drills with a range of prices and best cordless drill brands, like the pricier Makita LXFD01CW and the more affordable/inexpensive Genesis GCD18BK model.

Black & Decker BDC120VA100 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Drill Kit with 100 Accessories

First, we review some of the best drills by Dewalt and Black and Decker for home projects. Here we review the Black & Decker BDC120VA100 that was released at the end of 2012. This is one of the best all-around cordless power drills that is suggested for home DIY projects. This best drill includes a single battery that can hold its charge for 18 months and can be used for about an hour on a full charge; anyone considering this drill may want to buy a spare battery. The drill is lightweight making it a good alternative to heavier drills and easy to handle in small spaces. It has a 24-position clutch that allows you to drill into more delicate items and reduces the chances of string screws. The chuck is 3/8" making it very easy to change bits. The kit comes with a charger and 100 pieces of accessories, including five brad point drill bits, five masonry drill bits, thirty-two 1-inch screwdriving bits of variable sizes, fourteen 2-inch screwdriving bits of variable sizes, seven 3-1/2-inch screwdriving bits of variable sizes, ten general purpose drill bits, five 1/4-inch sockets, ten nutdrivers, one drill bit gauge, one magnetic bit tip holder and a socket adaptor, four screws and four screw anchors. Probably, the worst thing about this drill is the case that it comes in; the case doesn't have anything to hold drill in place.

Dewalt DC970K-2 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit

This Dewalt DC970k-2 review looks at another great lightweight drill/driver kit compared to the Black & Decker BDC120VA100 that is also recommended for homeowners for DIY projects, it weighs 5.2 lbs and it includes a 1/2-inch single sleeve keyless chuck (larger than the 3/8" chuck on the Black and Decker). While a great all around tool, the cons center around the batteries (45 minutes to charge) and they are bigger, heavier batteries, and it doesn't come with the large assortment of bits like the Black & Decker BDC120VA100. An important consideration when buying cordless drills is the amount of torque the drill provides, and this drill gives you a lot of torque easily screwing in large 3" screws into 2x4s.

Unlike the Black & Decker BDC120VA100, this tool is an 18-volt and two batteries are included. Dewalt also makes a 20V Max line of drills, but in the case of Dewalt 18V versus 20V the difference is not one you'll actually feel. The Dewalt DCD780C2 20-Volt Max, use a silde-on design instead of the stem-style batteries that have been used since 1996 by Dewalt. A big part of the decision to rename the batteries as 20V Max is so that buyers would not be confused. That said the 18V line of Dewalt tools (with over 40 tools) should stick around since the demand is there. People who are not heavily invested in the 18V line might want to consider buying cordless drills in the 20V line since the models have been redesigned making them more comfortable to handle. One other big difference is the underlying technology in the battery. The 18V batteries are NiCad batteries versus the 20V batteries which are Li (lithium) batteries. Lithium batteries degrade with time (about 2-3 years regardless of use) compared to NiCad batteries and NiCad batteries also work better in cold weather.

Makita LXFD01CW 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2-Inch Driver-Drill Kit

Makita is one of best cordless drill brands around. This Makita LXFD01CW review looks at the very lightweight cordless power drill that weighs only 3.3 pounds making it one of the best and most compact drills on the market; it is also the priciest drills reviewed here. The Makita has a 1/2" chuck and a rubberized handle that makes it comfortable to work with for long periods of time an important feature when buying a cordless drill. The battery charges very quickly; a the battery get get a 80% charge in less than 20 minutes. It also has a belt clip that makes it great for working on ladders. This best drill comes with two batteries in the case. The batteries on the Makita LXFD01CW are lithium which will degrade with time. This in one of the best drills reviewed here, but one potential con is that the battery cover is not too strong and could break. Another potential con is that the chuck has a wobble, but the chuck jaws stay straight.

Genesis GCD18BK 18v Cordless Drill/Driver Kit

This next drill is much more affordable than the Black & Decker BDC120VA100 or Dewalt DC970K-2 coming in at about half the price. Genesis is definitely not a brand name when it comes to best power tools, but this cordless driver may be everything you need for DIY projects. But you definitely get what you pay for, this tool doesn't have as much power in comparison with the Makita LXFD01CW or even the Dewalt and Black and Decker power tools reviewed here. It is capable of screwing in longer drywall screws, but it'll have a hard time doing so on a weak battery or with harder woods. The Genesis GCD18BK has NiCad batteries that'll take longer to charge, but don't discharge as fast just sitting. The drill comes with 16-position clutch, 3/8" keyless chuck, bubble level, and a LED headlight, like the Makita LXFD01CW reviewed here. This might not be the best drill reviewed here, but it is one of the best inexpensive drill around that comes with one battery, charger, and a 13-piece bit set.

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