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We’d like to assume that the funky-looking new SmartDriver is a flaming piece of plastic with little or no value to everyday life;  however that’s what we did with the original SmartDriver, and we were dead wrong. In fact, the one I got over a year ago is still in active service and going strong.

B&D added a few features like a magnetic screw holder that slides out from under the shaft, an LED work light, and torque adjustment. It seems to us that they’ve packed a lot more function in the little Lithium-Ion SmartDriver for about the same $40 as last year’s model.

As much as we may want to dis it, the best we can come up with in the negativity area is that the magnet looks like it might snap off if you dropped it.  But even if it did shear clean off, the new driver still sports two major features above and beyond the old already-decent offering. So all things being equal we must give the funky-looking new model grudging respect.

LI4000 Gen SmartDriver [Black & Decker]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

7 Responses to Black & Decker’s 2nd Gen Smartdriver

  1. der5er says:

    I wanted (and GOT) one of these for Christmas simply because of the screw holder. I haven’t used that part of it yet, but I can say that this is one powerful little driver. The screw holder does slide back into the tool so that it does not protrude at all unless you’re using it, so there’s really not much chance of it snapping off.

    I like the ‘drill style’ direction changer right above the trigger. On past drivers I’ve owned, it was a two-way trigger that I always pulled the wrong direction. With this setup, I make less mistakes, and that’s always a good thing.

    The LED light isn’t very bright or well directed, IMHO. But I’ll take any light where I can get it. It also provides a visual clue when you’re about to over-torque something. When the driver is under a heavy load, the light shuts off. I don’t know if this is a bug or an ‘undocumented feature,’ but it kept me from stripping out a screw just the other day (because I’m too lazy to adjust the torque setting).

  2. Barri says:

    Wow i picked up one of these from lowes about a month back and it was $15. I use it for my 1/5TH RC cars and it works a treat.

  3. Fabian says:

    Seems like a gimmick..

    Can someone invent this as a snap on device for other drills..

    like I’m gonna buy a whole new drill just for this plastic screw holder.. pass…

    F.

  4. KMR says:

    Doesn’t a screw driver bits with a fastener guide do the same exact thing or am I missing something with the Black and Decker item above.

    I’ve been using shrouded driver bits for years and they work great. Like $5 at HD or Lowes for a decent Dewalt one.

    http://www.dewalt.com/us/products/accessory_category_detail.asp?categoryID=268

  5. Stanley L says:

    Well for one thing, fastener guides tend to be specific to the screw, so you need to buy an additional one for each type of screw. Second, the guide extends the length, which can be a problem. Third, this is a small, modern, Lithium-Ion driver, so for many people, the driver is a significant upgrade anyway.

  6. ToolGuyd says:

    This update doesn’t look half bad. At least there’s no laser guide attachment, yet…

  7. der5er says:

    @ToolGuyd You’re right. Laser guides are always coming.

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