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Tool review: Compact Power Drivers

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More to consider before buying
Chuck comparison
Enlarge Image
 
Drivers with a 3/8" three-jaw
chuck (left) work with hex- and
round-shank bits. Models with
a hex chuck (right) accept
only bits with 1/4" hex shanks.

More to consider before buying

Charge time. Each driver comes with two batteries and a charger. All required from 30 to 60 minutes to top off, but given the run time per charge shown by most of the drivers, you'll likely not exhaust a battery before the second one is recharged.

Chucks. Six models feature 3/8" three-jaw chucks, while the others have quick-connect 1/4" hex chucks, as shown at right. Neither style proved a deal-breaker, unless you plan to drill much with the tool; only the three-jaw chucks accept round-shank bits.


Grips comparison
Enlarge Image
 
Eight of the 10 drivers feature
thicker grips, like the Bosch
PS20-2A (left). The Hitachi (right)
and Ryobi have slim grips.

Clutches. All the tools sport clutches with at least 10 settings -- most had 18 or more -- and we found all the clutches helpful to prevent stripping out or shearing off heads of brittle drywall screws, as well as tiny brass hinge screws.

Grip comfort and balance. Most of the drivers felt comfortable and nicely balanced. Those with three-jaw chucks proved slightly more front heavy. Battery packs on some models feature small stems, resulting in slimmer grips, as shown at right. The triangular-shaped packs on the others slide into the handles, requiring thicker grips that could be uncomfortable for small hands.


Continued on page 3:  Our recommendation

 

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Comments (4)
7520515641
JM92410 wrote:

I'm using an 18v Hitachi and two of these - http://superblog.co/the-best-cordless-drill-and-gyro-screwdriver-black-and-decker-bdcs40g-review/ - in my business in Virginia. I use the latter mainly for assembling IKEA furnitures. It works flawlessly every day and is still like brand new performance-wise after almost two years now. The Gyro looks like a gimmicky tool but it's actually a serious tool and I highly recommend it.

4/16/2014 12:03:36 PM Report Abuse
JM92410 wrote:

I'm using an 18v Hitachi

4/16/2014 12:02:17 PM Report Abuse
jma74 wrote:

In searching for a new drill, I have seen a lot of reports of chuck wobble in major manufacturers of drills from Dewalt, Makita & Milwaukee. Is this a significnat problem duw to most of these products being assembled in China? I s there a better optoion to consider for a new drill?

2/17/2013 06:07:55 PM Report Abuse
coltons4 wrote:

i have the bosch i driver angle compact driver works great with installing small screws in tight spaces

6/23/2011 09:51:01 PM Report Abuse

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