I was tempted by the $15.99 price. How bad can it be? Well, according the
downloadable manual, the torque settings range from 16in/lb to 35in/lb
What could it possibly drill - cardboard?
I looked at one in person last weekend and was able to resist the
temptation. It's the blue DrillMaster brand. All I know about that name
is that I gambled a couple bucks on a set of DM hole saws that are
pretty damn crappy. Next time I wanted a hole saw, I bought a good
bi-metal one in the size I needed. So to me, "DrillMaster" translates
to "sucks a big wagon of ass."
But so far I'm happy with other stuff I've got from HF-- clamps, a CMS,
a baby drill press, a biscuit joiner, chisels, gouges, many odds n
I have several Chicago 18V drills (orange) from HF that I like and use
all the time. Of course, on sale they are $40 and normally about $70.
The DrillMaster drills have all ways looked like junk.
I have bought dozens of HF items and most have been satisfactory and some a
darn good buy. But my experience with their 14v version of this drill
several years ago was terrible. Cheap chargers, no regulation, poor
connection, and the battery was good for about 3 or 4 charges before they
died. Gave them away at a garage sale.....all 3 of them.... I bought 3
because the whole drill on sale was cheaper than spare batteries! Save your
money on this one
Jesse R Strawbridge (in dtDUg.1431$ email@example.com)
| I have several Chicago 18V drills (orange) from HF that I like and
| use all the time. Of course, on sale they are $40 and normally
| about $70.
Me too. I have one tailed 3/8" that's used almost exclusively for
pocket joinery drilling and one rechargable 3/8" that's used for
driving the screws. Bought 'em both on sale about three years ago. I'm
not partial to keyless chucks; but I'd buy either of these again. I
figure they'd paid for themselves sever times over the first year of
use - and they're still going strong.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
I bought 3 of them a while back - cheaper than spare battery. Haven't had a
problem. Drive a lot of square drive screws with no problem. On the occasion
when I've used them as a drill, I've had no complaints. Battery doesn't seem
to last as long as "branded" items but at that price, who cares?
There's no "quick" recharge and it takes about 5 hours to recharge ( that's
also why I bought 3 of them ) and the charger does NOT shut down
automatically when the battery has been recharged. That's the only thing I
really don't like about it but it's not too hard to set a timer to remind
Would they last day in and day out on a construction job site? I seriously
doubt it but for home workshop use it's a good deal.
Compared Drill Master torque to two others: (1) Kawasaki 19.2V (kit w/light,
$40 at Pep Boys) is 300in/lb. (2) Milwaukee 18V (~$140 online) is 495in/lb.
I tried to find torque numbers for two other cheapies - Hyundai 18V and
Coleman 18V - but no luck.
Glad you're satisfied, but it seems 35in/lb classifies the DM as an
oversized powered screwdriver, not suitable for drilling studs for 3/8" lag
Considering the way the Taiwanese or Chinese manuals are prepared I'd be
more inclined to believe the manual was in error. I've drilled some fairly
large holes with them with no problem. Caveat - I haven't drilled a lot of
large holes at one time though. At that price, I'm not concerned - I do
believe you get what you pay for but this is more than adequate for my needs
so it's a good buy - to me. YMMV
If you RTFM a litle more closely you'll see that the 35 in-lb figure
is the maximum CLUTCHED torque. It's not as explicit as it could be,
but on the next setting, the clutch is locked and will not slip. The
manual for this particular model does not list a maximum torque but
similar 18V drills sold by Harbor Freight vary from 100 - 180 that I
have seen. I purchased 2 of their 18V Drillmaster drills some time ago
when they were on sale for $9.99. Not sure if they are the same model
under discussion here.
I have a Dewalt 18V drill and of course it is beyond comparison in
brute force to the DM, but then again, retail on the Dewalt is about
15 times the price. I use the drillmasters very frequently and I don't
mind lending them out which I would never do with the Dewalt.
(Actually, I own _2_ Dewalts and I did lend one of them out once, and
because of what happened I won't lend out the other, but that's a
At any rate, the Drillmaster is not near as poweful as a Dewalt or
name brand, the batteries don't last as lone, etc, but are they worth
$10 or $15? Absolutely. Despite their lower power output they are just
as efficient as my Dewalt at snapping off the heads of cheap drywall
screws, ruining cheap driver tips in good quality screws, burying
screws much deeper than I intended, or stripping out the threads
in pine, fir, and other softwoods.
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Here in Canada, Canadian
Tire sells a Chinese brand called Jobmate. They make power and hand tools,
and the prices are unbelievably low. The quality is even lower. Calling them
crap would be a compliment. Buyer beware.
As I understand it, torque is a measure of how much force something
rotating exerts on a material. If you're drilling, too low torque of
will stop the drill in the hole. You'll probably not notice anything
with a 1/8" bit, but get to the larger sizes like 1/4" and 1/2" and
suddenly you realize how good or bad your drill is.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.