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Black & Decker Esprit

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1 Review

HP122K cordless 12V hammer drill

12volt cordless hammer drill with 2 gears, infinitely adjustable clutch, keyless chuck. 1 hour charging time.

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      16.08.2002 04:42
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      It's a drill. It's cordless. It's got hammer-action and a screw-driving setting. And if you've seen on in the shops and are wondering whether or not it's any good, read on. Some time ago I bought a shed, which I had great fun putting together (see op in the shed section for details). Unfortunately I didn't have a power-drill/screwdriver at the time and so it was put together using nails. Which isn't a bad thing in itself, and the shed is still standing. But building things with screws is a lot more fun, especially if it involves a power-tool. It must be a caveman thing, the whole fascination with powertools. I'd imagine that if my great-great(to the power of lots) grandfather LegendaryMrUgg had owned a Black & Decker PowerFlintAxe, he'd have been the envy of the pre-historic world. Handy-work has never been my families strong-point. Dad always used to get people in to do odd-jobs around the house, or I'd try and, in the process, leave a gaping hole in the wall/door/fence/garage (delete as appropriate). So I was discouraged from doing 'little jobs around the house'. All that changed when I moved into my own place and built myself a shed. I now have something that I can call my own. And something that is ripe for modification. Shelves, locks, hooks and assorted fixments. A whole new world opened up to me the day my shed was built, but it was only recently that I took the next step down the shed-owning road. The purchase of a power-tool. My shed had become damaged in some high winds (hit by a flying barbecue at some considerable speed) and needed repair. Bashing away with a hammer and nails would probably bring about an outcome that was all too familiar... a bigger hole than the one I started with. No, this time I needed to be more tactful. I needed something that would let me fix things with grace and finesse. I needed a power-screwdriver. Or better still, a cordless drill that could also driv
      e screws! To Homebase! 10 minutes later and I'm standing in the power-tool section of the local Homebase. Primeval instincts bubbling away, subconsciously listening for thundering herds of woolly mammoths. There, laid out before me, were the wonders of the modern age. No more flint axes, dodgey bows and arrows or make-do bronze knives. Instead a host of cordless drills, orbital sanders, jigsaws, nailguns and more! A veritable arsenal of powertools! Alas, most were beyond my budget. I was shocked at how much you could pay for a drill. I'm sure a bit of flint would have been cheaper... but one particular drill stood out from the rest. Sleek in it's styling and silver in colour it stood out from the olive-drab and oranges of it's siblings. It offered everything I could want from a cordless drill; a 12v motor, quick charge (1hr) battery, keyless chuck, two-speed gearing with hammer action, charge remaining indicator, adjustable clutch for control when driving screws and to top it all off, a level indicator! All of this in a slim-line silver drill, complete with sturdy carry-case. Costing around the same as most other 12v cordless drills, it had a few more features and was slightly less chunky than the competition. Credit cards were duly swiped and I headed home clutching my tool (and assorted fixings). Back at the cave I ripped open the packaging and started to assemble my new toy. Alas, there was no juice in the battery. Not being one to worry about these things I decided to put the 1 hour charger to the test... 45 minutes later and the green light had come on, indicating a full charge. Drill bit duly attached I set about repairing my shed with a handy piece of MDF, some over-sized screws and a few bolts. After an hour of work I'd finished. New locks had been fitted, holes patched up, shelves installed and lots of smaller holes drilled "for ventilation". The drill still had plenty of charge, but I was st
      ruggling to find anywhere else to drill so I called it a day. And so to my experiences of using said piece of equipment. The first thing you notice is how compact it is compared to a lot of othr drills. Nicely balanced in the hand and not too weighty. The battery clips solidy into the base (or the charger) and doesn't feel like it's going to fall out anywhere. All of the buttons are where you need them. There's a direction button just under your thumb to control whether the bit turns clockwise/anti-clockwise, the pressure sensitive trigger is undr your index fingr (where else). The gear slection (between high speed and low speed) is on the top of the drill and the clutch at the front, just behind the chuck, and is clearly marked. The handle and, indeed the back half of the drill, is covered in a non-slip rubber substance which gives a reliable and comfy grip. At the back of the drill body (where the hammer would be if it were a gun) is the level indicator which allegedly tells you when youre drilling straight and level. In practice I found this almost impossible to use, human nature requiring that I look at where I'm drilling rather than the back of my hand. Maybe with practice it will come in useful. The supplied carry-case is a sturdy affais which keeps the drill, battery and charger safe and tidy. There's room for bits'n'pieces but the case doesn't have any compartments so anything other than the dril etc. will rattle around. In use it made short work of any part of my shed I cared to point it at, drilling holes effortlessly through the treated pine and driving screws with the greatest of ease. No aching forearm after manually driving 5 screws and the variable clutch saw to it that not a single screw had the pozi-drive head stripped, far better than the old-fashioned way. The keyless chuck means no more mssing around trying to find the key when you want to change drill bits. The weight and slimline size means it&
      #39;s easy to heft around and drill at otherwise fairly awkward angles. It's the first powertool I have ever owned and I'm pleased as punch with it. £65 seems a lot of money for a drill, but considering that cordless drills range in price from £25 all the way to £125, it's somewhere near middle of the road. The Black & Decker website pitches it at the amateur DIYer and I'd have to agree. The cheaper drills tend to have 9v motors and lack any power at all making a meal of the most paltry task while the more expensive drills have 14v motors and only justify the expense if you do a LOT of drilling. The B&D Esprit has a competitive range fo features and comes in a tidy package. The 1 hour charging time is a huge bonus, and probably the reason that this particular model costs more than the others in the same range. So in summary, if you're in the market for a cordless drill with reasonable oomph, and hammer action, you could do a lot worse.

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