Pros:Lithium batteries hold charge for a long time, powerful motor, 3 speed transmission.
Cons:Expensive, but well worth the price.
The Bottom Line: The best 18 volt drill you can buy, great quality, powerful motor, great features and well built.
I used to have a cheap Skil brand drill and the batteries didn't hold a charge for long after several years and they don't sell replacement batteries so I decided to get a good quality drill for my next one.
After looking at the models at the store and reviews online I decided on the DeWalt DCD970KL for several reasons: -Uses lithium batteries which hold their charge for over a year and are lighter for the same amount of power -Has seperate setting rings for the clutch setting and hammerdrill/drill/driver modes which means you can keep your most commonly used clutch setting in place, other brands use the same settign ring for all settings meaning you loose your clutch setting once you get out of driver mode -Has a self tightening chuck which clicks/locks into place when tightened to prevent your bit from falling out, I also noticed the chuck requires significantly less rotations to go from full open to closed compared to other brands -3 speed transmission gives you a wider range of speed/torque combinations for more optimal drilling and driving -Hammerdrill mode in case I ever need to drill into concrete or rock
The drill feels very solidly made and I've read reviews of people dropping it from a roof onto concrete or into wet mud and the drill still works. It is a bit on the heavy side but with all the features and power it has this is to be expected. It is still very comfortable to hold and comes with a side handle that can be positioned at any angle, not just in 90 degree increments like other brands.
The driver mode has 22 clutch settings to adjust the torque applied by the drill, this is extremely useful to prevent screws from going straight through which would otherwise happen with the power of this drill.
In drill mode the clutch is bypassed to send the full power of the motor to the drill bit. The motor is very powerful and can drill large holes in hard wood easily.
The hammerdrill mode works very well, I tried it in a spare peice of paving brick and it goes through like a hot knife through butter.
The drill also has an LED light just over the trigger button to light up your work area, this is useful in dark areas such as when changing wall switches when the power and lights need to be off. The LED turns on when you press the trigger, if you press the trigger very lightly the LED will turn on without the drill turning, this is useful to see what you are doing before starting the drill.
The drill is powered by an 18 volt lithium battery which has a very good life and can be charged in about an hour. The drill comes with two batteries and a charger so it can be used continuously by alternating the battery being used with the one on the charger. Also included is a storage box to store all included parts for easy carrying.
You can also get this same drill but with a regular nickel battery under a different model number but I highly recommend the lithium version for its long lasting charge and lighter weight, nickel batteries need to be charged before use if they haven't been used for 1-2 months.