New Tool News– Review: Bosch 14.4v cordless drill/driver

Tool Comparison Test #1 11/03

BOSCH 32614 14.4-volt, 3/8-inch-chuck cordless power drill/driver

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We especially like this one. The case, functionally, is impressive. Drill feels great—light to handle yet sturdy. We drove a staggering number of screws on one battery charge with this drill/driver (344 screws). Speed selector's easy to change. Loop on stock for wrist strap (not included). Nice rubberized resilient coating on back of handle. Rounded body is beneficial while guiding drill/driver with second hand. The battery charger is very straightforward and easy to read. This model claims to survive a 3-story drop test—we were tempted to try this but were afraid we might kill somebody.

* Free-moving tip on drill is great—allows the nose to be guided and steadied without hurting your fingers.
* Brake works great—very efficient, packs a kick.
* Drill feels small and manageable, very easy to handle.

Test checklist:
Retail price: About $150 (list about $295)
Specifications: 300 in./lbs torque, 16-position adjustable clutch, up to 1,200 RPM
Weight of driver with battery:
4-1/4 lbs.
Battery attachment/ removal: 2-button depression, battery pops onto bottom of drill. Buttons are firm, and require a solid grip.
Screw head visibility maintained at close proximity to wood? Yes—long, tapered tip provides excellent visibility all the way.
Variable speed trigger? Yes—Speed 1: starts very slow, steadily increases until just before top speed, then jumps up a notch. Speed 2: Starts very slow, steady increase.
Warranty: 3-year protection plan/ 18-month battery life guarantee with registration
Languages offered in manual: English/ French/ Spanish
Number of 2-1/2-inch deck screws driven through doubled 2x4s on fully charged battery: 344
Well balanced at vertical? Horizontal? Feels very stable and comfortable at both angles.
Stiffness of trigger: Springy and comfortable—full speed is achieved without full depression of trigger.
Relative noise level of tool while operating: Average
Components included:

Tight case, metal clasps. Drill with driver bit in notch in stock (notch doubles as bit storage adapter, which removes to allow for storage of larger bits). Secondary bit comes in vertical bit rack on inside rim of case. Includes 2 batteries; one on drill, one capped in its own compartment. Extra battery cap is held on special storage post on underside of lid. One-hour charger. Factory service centers list, registration/ warranty forms, concise manual.

—Gabriel Vandervort