Most of the tool manufacturers have a drill / driver in a 12V line. They are all great for smaller tasks where there is no reason to pull out a full-sized drill / driver. Craftsman put theirs in their Nextec line and I think it has a couple of good things going for it. One, which is a no-brainer, is the price. For less than $70 (at Sears), you can pick one of these up with the drill / driver, battery and charger. And the charger charges in about 30 minutes. And if you’ve checked out any of the competitor 12V drill / drivers, you know that $70 is a bargain. Many of the competitors come in at $100 or more. The second reason is that it works with the QuickBoost charger (sold separately). The reason this is cool, is that the QuickBoost charger’s claim to fame is that if you run out of juice in your battery, but you have just a little bit more to get done, you can put the battery on the charger and get a 25% boost in about 3 minutes, which will let you finish the job! Kind of cool, right?
So, let’s get right to the point. If you are going to build a deck, build a house, do any kind serious construction, then let me say, this is not the drill / driver for you: or at least not the ONLY drill / driver for you. I think it’s funny that in a lot of negative reviews people will say it didn’t perform, but come to find out they were using a compact 12V when they should have been using a pro-grade 18V. For light to medium jobs around the house or the shop, this drill / driver performs just fine. You can certainly put up shelving, make simple shop projects or outdoor projects, use it to drive screws in kitchen hardware or switch plates, etc. I think most of these compact drill / drivers perform better when driving than they do drilling, and this one is no exception, but for drilling pilot holes in wood or drilling holes in drywall, it works just fine. What are the PROS of this tool:
- Lightweight (is right in line with it’s competitors, in fact, right in the middle)
- Price (lower than most of it’s competitors)
- Battery lasts quite awhile and it can be re-charged on with the QuickBoost Charger.
- Has an LED light
- Feels comfortable in your hand
What I thought would make this tool better:
- Battery status indicator (fuel gauge). Although I read one consumer review that said that the LED lights starts to blink when the battery gets low, and indeed mine did.
- There is only a one year warranty on this tool, where a lot of it’s competitors have two or three year warranties.
- The clutch can loosen unexpectedly. I read this on several reviews, so I checked it out. And indeed this is the case. I found it far more frequent when drilling than driving, but it did loosen a couple of times when I was consistently driving screws into a 2×4, and more often when drilling small pilot holes into a 2×4.
And here are the manufacturer’s specs, in case you were curious:
- Weighs 2.2 lbs with the battery
- 195 inch pounds of torque
- 2 speed gearbox
- 18 position adjustable torque clutch
- 3/8 inch single sleeve keyless chuck
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