I perform light maintenance at work and occasionally require a drill at home. Previously, I owned an electric Black and Decker drill which worked well but finally died on me. I did not want another electric simply because it is confined to a wall outlet, making it impossible to use at some locations at work. I'd need several hundred feet of power cable, which is a pain-in-the-rear.
Recommend this product?
All of my previous battery powered drills were crappy low priced units. I usually bought them from Big Lots or some other overgoods store.
I happened to be at Sears the other day and the salesman there knows I work maintenance. He introduced me to this Craftsman Hammer Drill.
This unit was originally $75 by itself, and requires a separate purchase of battery and charger. It is now on clearance for $28!
So, I bought the Hammer Drill, one battery and one charger, all for approximately $90. I wanted to review the battery and charger as well, but can't find them on the Epinions list, so they are reviewed at the bottom of this review page.
This is an excellent tool. It has 24 variable speed which is very useful in driving screws into different materials. Less chance of stripping cheap screw heads.
Torque is very strong, much better than the other battery drills I've purchased in the past. Speeds are 0-400, 1400. Up to 420 LBS of torque. Hammer mode is 0-5, 200/0-18200 BPM.
Why buy this over a standard rechargable drill?
The Hammer mode puts this drill in a whole different class of tools. Ask anyone who works in construction, remodeling, building, etc and they will tell you a drill and hammer combo is the way to go.
Not only does this Hammer Drill feature high torque and power, but with the addition of the hammer mode, it can drill into all types of masonry, brick, concrete and so on. It becomes a much more universal tool, allowing many jobs to be performed from a single unit.
This Hammer Drill has many good features aside from the typical speed settings, etc.
There is an auxillary handle which can be easily attached to the drill. This handle is comfortable to grip and provides much more control of the drill, especially when drilling into harder materials. The handle easily removes in about 20 seconds by simply unscrewing the handle and removing it, if it is in-the-way.
An LED light is provided at the base of the drill and illuminates the area being drilled. That is very handy.
Bubble levels at the back and top of the drill allow a good measure of control when attempting to send screws or drills straight into the material.
In hammer mode, you can also use the depth rod which is included. This simple rod is inserted into the drill handle area. You slide it to the point where you want to stop drilling and then you drill. Easy to remove and use. prevents overdrilling when working on hard materials such as concrete and so on.
Of course, this is a keyless chuck drill. 1/2 inch, not 3/8! The trigger provides variable speed control as well. These are typical features of a good drill.
In my opinion, this Hammer Drill is much better built than the cheap drills I've bought in the past. The quality is apparent. This is a tool even the professional can use.
ALSO: A NOTE ON BATTERIES:
For now, and for the sake of price, I purchased a 19.2 volt DIEHARD battery. This battery far exceeds the power I've ever obtained from batteries on the cheaper drills I've owned. Battery charge lasts much longer, torque is much stronger. The DIEHARDs are Ni-Cad. This battery will recharge in an hour or less! No more waiting 5-6 hours for a crappy battery from an unknown brand.
However, Sears is introducing LITHIUM batteries which will fit this tool. This Hammer Drill is part of the Sears C3 series, meaning the 19.2 volt batteries used on this tool will also fit all the other rechargable C3 tools offered by Sears Craftsman. This is very useful for someone building a rechargable tool collection.
The LITHIUM batteries will offer the same or better power, but are supposed to offer FULL POWER ALL THE WAY TO DEAD BATTERY MODE. That is to say, they will not slowly weaken and lose torque as they are used. They will provide full power until they are spent and require a recharge. Battery will also recharge in an hour or less. Again, this is a sign of a professional tool, not just a cheap everyday drill.
The LITHIUM batteries are slightly more expensive and require a different charger. However, the LITHIUM charger will charge the Ni-Cad Craftsman batteries as well. So, if you have Ni-Cad DIEHARDs, they will not become useless.
If you are a professional, you may wish to invest in the LITHIUM battery and charger kits instead.
Big holiday sales are practically around the corner. Maybe I'll find a LITHIUM battery kit under the tree!
CRAFTSMAN UNIVERSAL ONE HOUR BATTERY CHARGER:
I bought this charger for $30. It will charge the Ni-Cad battery I purchased, described below, but will NOT charge LITHIUM batteries.
This charger will charge ALL battery voltages, not just 19.2 volts.
Features 3 LED indicators. Red means "charging". Green means "fully charged". Yellow indicates "bad battery".
Will charge the DIEHARD battery in an hour or less. Very handy when working on bigger projects.
CRAFTSMAN 19.2 VOLT DIEHARD BATTERY:
I bought this for $30. It was on sale, $5 off. It is Ni-Cad. It is of much better quality than the batteries of equal voltage which come with cheaper or unknown drill sets.
In fact, this battery easily outlasts the 2 batteries which came with my last rechargable drill kit, also 19.2 volts, which I had purchased from Big Lots for $30-$40. What a difference. Power output is much greater. Torque is much stronger. I will never buy a crappy no-name rechargable set again.