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Tool Comparison Test #1 11/03

MAKITA 6237DWDE MFORCE 14.4-volt, 3/8-inch chuck cordless power drill/driver

OUR FINDINGS:

We were not too impressed with this one. The case seemed to be missing parts… plastic latches easily fell off, did not appear to provide a safe or reliable seal.The drill arrived covered with oil and all moving parts were gummed up. Drill has two built-in bit holders, but only one came stocked with a bit (reversible). We had to charge the battery to use it; the charger indicated a full battery charge after 1 hour but the battery only lasted a few minutes ( 55 screws) before puttering to a halt. Second battery performed marginally better (110 screws). Overall, the poorest performing drill of the bunch.

Test checklist:
Retail price: About $169.99 (list about $370)
Specifications: 16-position adjustable clutch, up to 1,300 RPM
Weight of driver with battery:
4-1/4 lbs.
Battery attachment/ removal: One battery firmly secured into drill, the other felt very loose and not secure. Pops onto bottom of handle, removes with 2 button depression.
Screw head visibility maintained at close proximity to wood? Marginal—the chuck ends abruptly, blunt end can obscure screw head when nearing wood's surface.
Variable speed trigger? Yes, but on speed 1 drill jumped into semi-low speed. It jumped up speeds in increments, not gradually. Same for speed 2.
Warranty: Limited 1-year warranty
Languages offered in manual: English
Number of 2-1/2-inch deck screws driven through doubled 2x4s on fully charged battery: 53 on first battery; 110 on the second
Well balanced at vertical? Horizontal? Great balance at vertical. At horizontal, felt a little straining to hold steady.
Stiffness of trigger: Stiff, springy and very comfortable. Doesn't require full depression to achieve full speed.
Relative noise level of tool while operating: Extremely quiet. Light high-pitched buzz but otherwise pleasant.
Components included:

The compartment usually reserved for a flashlight (according to diagram etched into it) held a bagged pair of blue and black work gloves. Manual came taped to inside of lid. 2 foam pads on inside of lid provide extra cushioning for spare battery and drill. Spare battery, charger, cord and drill sat loosely in their own compartments. One drill bit was held in one of the drill’s two clasps.

—Gabriel Vandervort
www.NewToolNews.com

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