Review of the DeWALT 18V Lithium Ion Compact Drill/Impact Driver Combo Kit came at a good time for me. In the middle of a move, the drill was called upon for a number of tasks, including door hinge screw removal and replacement, wall-hanging screw removal, wall-hanging pilot hole drilling and wall-hanging screw “installation.” Not necessarily professional grade tasks, but there would be enough action that I could test out battery life, drill weight (lightness is one of its selling points), bit speed and chuck performance. Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to test out the Impact Driver (yet), so this review will be limited to the drill.
To start, the kit’s two lithium ion batteries would need to be charged before the drill could be used. DeWALT claims a 30-minute charge time for each 18V Lithium-Ion battery (which are compatible with all DeWALT 18V power tools built since 1996). Lo, 30 minutes it was for each. 60 minutes later and my new drill was ready to go.
Accompanying the kit were a slew of Impact Ready Hole Saws (not used), a 7-piece Impact Ready Drill Set (used) and a set of screwdriver bits (used), complete with a pivoting bit tip holder that I didn’t use “on the job” but played around with a bit.
For the simple job of removing the door hinge screws, the DeWALT Drill was certainly up to the task. The Drill has more than enough power and 17 torque settings to adjust for the job. Changing out the screwdriver bits and bit tip holder was easy and quick enough, and though I did notice a slight wobble, it wasn’t an issue when unscrewing. The same went for when screwing door hinge back into place. The Drill comes with a dual speed range (0-500 RPM and 0-1700 RPM) which can be changed by sliding a rather prominent switch at the top of the drill. For the purposes of my job I never had to come out of the first speed.
At the new place, I used the drill with a 5/32 drill bit to punch some pilot holes through the drywall. I kept a keen eye out for any wobble. The earlier incident was either a one-off or in my imagination, as I never noticed it again. The handy LED installed just above the trigger is a nice touch, and one I notice on more than a few drills these days.
My only frustration stemmed from the playing around with the pivoting bit tip holder. Once I put a screwdriver bit in, I couldn’t get it out. It took a pair of pliers to remove the stubborn bit. A minor nuisance, but one nonetheless. The pivoting bit holder itself is a useful accessory, making hard to reach screws easier to access. After a day of drilling, I’m not sure which had more life: my arm or the battery. The benefits from the drill’s lightness seem matched only by the longevity of the batteries. Two notable pros that this drill has going for it.
In summary, the DeWALT Drill/Impact Driver Kit is a worthy purchase, particularly if you have use for both tools. If you don’t need the Impact Driver, stick with the Drill.
The Kit retails for $279.99 at Sears.