Remember when the selection of cordless drill/drivers consisted of just “big drills” and “cordless screwdrives?” Those times are long gone. Why am I telling you this? Because it’s tricky to understand where this new drill fits into the market, and it’s not something I can describe in a few sentences.
Let’s start with the basics: B&D’s new SC1400 (which is easier to say than “Super Compact Drill w/Lithium Ion Technology) is an average-sized 14.4V unit delivering 210 in-lbs of torque. It features an all-metal standard chuck and two speed settings: 0-350 RPM and 0-1400 RPM. Its battery is built-in. Read on past the jump for the low-down.
So where does this fit into the market? Let’s review briefly what’s gone down in 2006:
While li-ion tools were really a big 2005 innovation, they hit their production stride last year. Milwaukee expanded their 28V V28 line and introduced their 20V V18 line, bringing pro-level li-ion power to handymen and high-end DIYers. Bosch expanded li-ion in both directions, fleshing out their powerful 36V line while also creating a “compact” pro-line with the PS10 and PS20. Since then, many other manufacturers have begun producing li-ion lines, mainly in the “crossover” 18V category (commonly bought by contractors and DIYers alike).
With that in mind, consider this: The SC1400 offers a standard chuck and speeds comparable with full-size drills, and this is drill is “compact” in size comparison to an 18V, not all drills. So, this is obviously intended as a full-use drill and not primarily a driver like the PS20. Its 210 in-lbs of torque compares quite favorably to 14.4V and inexpensive 18V models, but not so much to pro-level 18V units.
The SC1400 seems to be a high-end DIYer drill primarily for use drilling in wood and driving — a plush homeowner’s drill. Of course, the question is, will homeowners pay a street price of $135-$150 for a cordless drill? And is it worth it?
We’ll let you know when we get a chance to test one soon.