Tool review: Compact Power Drivers
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.
• 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.
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