I bought this set of 12v tools about six months ago to supplement/ replace my aging 18v DeWalt tools. The majority of the work I do these days involves tile setting in conjunction with bathroom and kitchen upgrades, but I also end up doing a fair amount of carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. A cordless drill/ driver is one of the most versatile, most commonly used pieces in almost any tradesman, or homeowners' kit. My 18v tools have served me very well over the ten plus years I've owned them, but their age is certainly showing, and the batteries are quite expensive.
Recommend this product?
The carpenters I work around often use their 18v versions of the impact driver in this kit, and I have been amazed to see the ease with which lag-type screws up to 3 1/2 to 4 inches seemingly disappear into heavy framing lumber. My own needs, however, do not involve that much really heavy duty screw-framing, and there are often times when I have wished to have had a more compact drill or driver to use between floor joists or behind immovable plumbing bits.
These diminutive 12v tools are a vast improvement over my dated, larger, higher voltage version. The 12v Lithium Ion batteries are about 1/3 the size (and weight) of their 18v counterparts. The charger, however, appears to only be suitable for use on these batteries alone, unlike the universality of the NiCad version. For me, that's not a huge issue, although I would like to be able to charge the batteries in my DeWalt jobsite radio.
The ergonomics of these tools is really quite impressive. Those tiny little batteries attach to very comfortable, nicely molded and padded handles. The power heads are deceptive, it is hard to believe that so much torque comes from such a small motor and gearbox.
The driver/ drill features a single, very bright but unfortunately placed LED light that has trouble illuminating the actual point-of-work, as the large key-less chuck blocks the majority of the lights' output. It has a two-range gearbox as most all of this type of drill does, and can take up to a 3/8" drill bit. The key-less chuck is a very welcome change from the old fashioned type that my earlier tools had, it locks itself into position almost magically when you go to open or close the chuck jaws. Very nice.
For me the real standout tool in this set is the impact driver. It too has a ridiculously tiny, but amazingly torquey? motor and gearbox. Unlike the drill, this piece has three very well placed bright LED lights arranged around the periphery of the chuck. They illuminate the work brilliantly, without shadows. The chuck is a bayonet-style, where bits with the proper groove cut around their hexagonal base simply snap into place when inserted, and are just as easily removed by sliding the small metal collar when you want to change them. Very slick. Also, very powerful. I recently put down about 50 square feet of Hardibacker, a cement board under-layment for floor tile. This material can be quite difficult to screw down properly, particularly if you do not use the correct, square drive screws. The impact driver made it much easier to fully countersink the flat head screws into that unyielding cement surface, which pays big dividends once it comes time to lay the tile floor.
Battery life seems to be very good, although I haven't had to use these tools too extensively yet over a long term. That fifty square foot floor didn't faze the impact driver, and that's about as much as I care to do at one time anyway. The supplied charger refreshes the batteries from complete exhaustion to full charge in under 50 minutes, and as you probably know, Li Ion batteries have MUCH better life spans than their NiCad counterparts. You need not fear re-charging them before they are fully depleted, which is a no no for Ni Cads.
As a promotion, I received a small 12v portable flashlight when I bought this kit at Home Depot. The light is very nicely made as well, has a magnetic base and a fully adjustable ball-swivel light head. It uses the same 12v batteries as the other two tools in the set.
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