- Kick rate
- Tools: power in volts and amperes
- Handling of percussion drills
- Disengageable chucks
- Battery and charger for screwdrivers
- Few accessories supplied with drills
- Work with a percussion drill
- Maintenance and option of drills
- Test procedure
- The favorite of System D
- Effective drilling and screwing
- Comparative test results of screwdrivers
Handy and lightweight, cordless drills are now as powerful as wired models. Equipped with the percussion function, they perform without worry all kinds of holes.
Cordless screwdrivers have become popular machines for all DIYers. Thanks to their variable tightening torque, they are able to screw long or short screws, small or large diameter (8 mm max for the models tested here).
They can also drill holes in just about any material: wood, PVC, metal, but also concrete (not vibrated), brick, soft stone... The gears percussion mechanism is identical to that of corded drills, but in addition compact. On the models tested, the maximum hit rates ranged from 21,000 to 34,000 cps / min (for the Dewalt), making them quite powerful drills, given their size.
Tools: power in volts and amperes
All six machines are equipped with an electronic dimmer start trigger that acts as an accelerator. This trigger is coupled to a two-speed selector (fast or slow) that allows to clamp the motor and effecter screwing and delicate drilling.
The screwdrivers of our test are equipped with a Li-Ion battery (lithium-ion) offering a power of 18 to 20 V (Triton) and 2 to 4 Ah.
Its data are important because, compared to a wired model, we do not speak in watt (W) for the power, but in volt (V) and in ampere-hours (Ah). The more volts, the more powerful the drill and the more amps it has autonomy.
This power allows intensive work and allows to have maximum tightening torques for screwing in hard materials, between 48 (Triton) and 90 Nm (Makita).
The drills are equipped with self-tightening three-jaw chuck which accepts drill shanks up to Ø 13 mm, for holes up to 16 mm in diameter in concrete and 76 mm in diameter in wood for Makita.
Handling of percussion drills
Mandrels, self-tightening, are metal on Dewalt, Makita and Metabo. Solid, they offer excellent maintenance of the drill tail.
To avoid the rise in torque causing "jerks" during screwing, each drill screwdriver is equipped with a disengageable chuck. When the maximum tightening torque is exceeded, the chuck turns in a vacuum
Two rings are located behind the mandrel (one on Metabo and Dewalt). One regulates the usable torque for screwing and the other, multifunction, allows to choose between screwing, drilling and percussion, represented by very readable pictograms.
The selector placed on the top of the body of each drill modulates the speed for delicate work.
On the Bosch and the Metabo, it is well identifiable with its red color.
The mandrel direction reversal control is conveniently located on the handle. In the neutral position, it locks the chuck to prevent inadvertent starting.
A led equips all the machines. It lights up as soon as the start trigger is activated.
On the Makita, there are two particularly effective
Finally, housing is provided to store screw bits or a drill.
The Bosch and the Triton are, however, devoid of it.
Battery and charger for screwdrivers
It is possible at any time to check the charge of the batteries. Just press the button on the battery to know the level of charge (except on Triton).
The batteries slide easily into the charger. The AEG and Makita chargers clearly inform you of the state of the battery and make it easy to see the charge.
Note that the Bosch drill is the only one that can be charged at any time without removing the battery.
Few accessories supplied with drills
The drills come with a charger and two batteries. Charging time varies between 25 minutes (Makita) and 85 minutes (Bosch). The chargers AEG, Dewalt and Makita can accommodate batteries from 10 to 18 V. That of the Metabo from 14 to 36 V.
For reasons of economy and environmental protection, the batteries fit on other wireless devices of the same manufacturer.
Bosch and Makita offer a large number of tools running on the same battery.
Manufacturers are rather stingy about accessories.
Only AEG and Makita provide two screwdrivers and Bosch offers a real tool kit with 51 pieces to screw and drill in wood, metal and masonry.
The AEG and Makita drills come with an auxiliary handle that mounts to the drill head.
It allows to have more strength for intensive percussion drilling in the masonry.
Work with a percussion drill
The lightness of the machines (1.5 kg for Bosch) allows a good maneuverability.
The removable auxiliary handle that equips the Makita and AEG really brings more strength to percussion drilling.
The Makita also has a metal depth gauge. One-handed use is not a problem.
On the Triton, some vibrations go back up during the drilling of the metal.
Thanks to the high tightening torque, especially on the AEG and Makita, it is possible to screw hexagon bolts, while still making a pre-hole.
A button on the handle of the AEG makes it possible to activate the lighting.
Maintenance and option of drills
On the Metabo and the AEG, the chuck is disassembled to allow the use of hexagonal screwdrivers and facilitate the cleaning of the drill.
On the Makita, the rear cover is removed by removing two retaining screws, which allows to easily change the coals in case of excessive wear.
- The piercing allowed us to verify the efficiency of the various types of drilling and the maximum capacities communicated by the manufacturers. We focused on the percussion mode to test the endurance of each machine and the good performance of drills in the chucks.
- We then tested the devices in screwing intensive by provoking the safety releases of the mandrels and checking the tightening torques.
- Batteries and charger are essential. We carried out the tests until the exhaustion of the batteries which, in general and to our great surprise, show a good autonomy. The charging time has been verified as well as the ease of use of the chargers.
- The comfort of use takes into account the slip-resistant cladding, the quality of workmanship, the maneuverability, the installation of the tools and the flexibility of use of the controls of each machine. Finally, vibrations in percussion mode have been tracked.
The favorite of System D
Good value for money, this drill seduced us.
Compact enough, it is very handy and the work is done comfortably.
In percussion mode, it is highly efficient without generating too much vibration or loosening the chuck.
The multifunction ring is easy to use. The battery charge is fast enough.
The tightening torque of 60 Nm is present and can cope with all kinds of situations.
This machine can therefore be suitable for the most demanding DIYers and beginners who want a reliable machine at a reasonable price.
Effective drilling and screwing
To evaluate the performance and endurance of the batteries of each machine, timed drilling tests were carried out in percussion mode in blocks of 50 x 20 x 20 cm with the largest drill diameters recommended by the manufacturers. Five holes were drilled in succession without cooling the machine. Then, holes were made in a pine beam of 20 x 15 cm, with drills Ø 12 mm, then in a square steel tube 40 x 40 mm, thickness 3 mm. Ø 3 mm pre-holes, then Ø 13 mm holes were made in the steel. For screwing, Ø 4 x 100 mm screws and Ø 8 x 100 mm lag bolts were used.
Comparative test results of screwdrivers
Click on the images below to read the details of the results of this test bench and find out which drill screwdriver to buy: