Product Type: Black & Decker Cordless Screwdriver
Newest Review: ... to the product.. Well firstly its Black and Decker so for those who know their tools were not at a bad start already as the company has pr... more
Is it a gun..? is it a long stick..? no, it's a screw driver
Black & Decker PLR36NC
Member Name: blissman70
Black & Decker PLR36NC
Advantages: Easy to use, feels good in the hand, gets into many places
Disadvantages: not as powerful as hoped, no torque and a guess on how much power in battery
Anyway, as I often say if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing myself, (I also say such things as flobberlobberjobber, but that tends to get me a few funny looks, especially from the people sat near me on the train). So I tend to prefer doing many jobs around my home myself so that at least I know that it is, A, done properly, or B, there's only me that can be blamed if anything goes wrong.
But to do a good DIY job
* Let me briefly tell you what it looks like.
It is the usual Black and Decker colouring of orange and black, with the handle having a very nice black soft feel to it so that it doesn't cause blisters.
It's not massive, compared some power drivers, although it's a lot bigger than your standard cross head screwdriver that loiters somewhere in the back end of a kitchen draw. The actual size of this, when in the gun shaped position, is about 280mm high, 195mm long and about 8mm in diameter. If you put it in the long position then it is about 460mm long.
On the front there is the 'bit' holder. I would call it the chuck but as it is only designed to hold a ¼ inch hexagonal shaped end bit then it can't really be called a chuck, so a bit holder it is then.
Anyway, surrounding the bit holder there is a very useful LED ring light, which is activated by the press of the trigger. Then, as we look backwards along the unit, passed the Black and Decker logo, there is the twistable handle, which is unlocked by the little switch that is very visible on the top section on the left side of the handle, (as you look at it as if you were actually using it). On the very back of the top of the handle, (are you with me?), there is the direction slider, up for forward, down for reverse.
Then, the most important part of the unit, on the front of the handle, there is the trigger, or the on/off switch as it is called in the technical world where this driver is talked about. When you have twisted the unit into the long position the trigger is about half way along the length of the driver and can be pushed by your trigger finger or, if you have it turned a certain way, by your thumb.
* Has it got a bit of kick then..?
To be honest it's not the most powerful of power drivers, although power may be a bit of an over statement, but it can handle those small jobs around the home.
It offers 3.6 volts of power, giving up to 180rpm, which is not that much for a real power tool but can manage a few screws to undo or tighten.
There is, what they like to call, a 'spindle lock mechanism' which is a posh name for the fact that you can unscrew and screw things in by just turning the unit as the head locks in position when it stops spinning. This comes in handy when the last of the battery power suddenly runs out and you only needed three more turns to fully tighten the screw into the wood.
* What about its capabilities..?
It's a screwdriver that can screw screws into something and, with a sliding motion of a button, can unscrew the screws too.
That's all it can do really, which is the most of its capabilities to be honest.
But, unlike many of its counterparts, this one can transform from a pistol shaped driver to a long shaped one, which gives you a better chance of getting in and out of those more, shall we say awkward areas.
Plus, another nice thing about this driver is that it has a very useful device which is built into the front, where the driver bits are slotted into. This built in device is actually a rather bright little LED light system, or a torch, which surrounds the chuck area and, when the trigger is pressed, illuminates the area that you are working on.
* And what do I think of this chunky battery powered screwdriver..? (in other words, my opinion...)
I have used several types of battery powered screwdrivers over the years, with some being as useful as a glass hammer whilst others have made what I though would be a difficult job a lot easier than expected, and this particular driver sits somewhere in the middle.
As I mentioned it is not the most powerful, nor is it as weak as a 2 week old kitten with hyperthermia on a snow covered mountain peak in the middle of the coldest winter in a thousand years, (or Blackpool in November). It has enough power to do a few small jobs such as screwing, (way hey... no not that type so stop it..!!), I mean screwing in a screw into say a cupboard door hinge or the like. Even going as far as taking the screw back out again.
Sadly though, it doesn't have enough power to get at any 'stuck' screws that may have rusted over slightly after years of sitting in a hole covered in vapours from the steam room.
The handle is as comfortable as a close fitting sports bra that's been measured by professional and the black soft material around the section where your palm will rest makes gripping this one very lovely indeed. Then, as the whole body is nice and chunky it is easy enough for those people who find gripping a normal screwdriver to actually used. So people with such things as arthritis or any forms of cramp can still get a good enough grip on this chunky driver.
It does have a few downsides, which I do have to mention, although the downsides aren't enough to make me throw this at the dog in frustration.
Firstly, there's absolutely no torque control so if you want to use this on delicate work then I do have to be very careful indeed, although the power this gives isn't going to cause that much damage if you screw in a bit too much.
The screwdriver bit can be stored away in the little slot on top of the unit, clipping it securely there until you need it, which is great in the beginning, but after a while, with the constant taking out and putting back into the clip, it does become a little looser making it fall out a few times, which is annoying enough for me to simply not use the clip anymore as I am sick of having to find the screwdriver bit when it's fallen out and roll behind a cupboard or some other place that I can not get my hand behind.
Then there's the rechargeable battery which takes about 12 hours to fully charge so that you've got enough power to do a bit of screwing, (again, don't think that way).
And speaking of the battery, the charger simply plugs direct into the unit and there is no indication as to when the battery is actually full, nor does it give you a clue as to how much power is in there either, which can be a bit of a nuisance as when you think it's got a full charge, then you start to screw in a screw, it slows down to the speed of a drunken mouse climbing the stairs.
In all, this is not a bad little tool at the end of the day, or even at the start of the day either. It may look like a standard power drill, with the handle and trigger being at a 90° angle to the main body, but, with the twist and a push, the entire unit becomes as straight as an arrow, giving you the power to give those stubborn screws a bit more force from above. Which give this one a bit of a leg up over some of the other types of power drivers that I have owned, and used.
* And the price of this screwdriver..?
This screwdriver, as that is what it is. It's not a drill as you can't fit any drill bits into the end, so it is a screwdriver. But what ever you want to call it, screw driver, drill, Fred, Uncle Bulgaria, (remember him?), or what ever. Regardless of its name, this unit sells for about £30.00 to £35.00.
* Would I recommend this to you then..?
Yes I would I suppose, although the price is a little high for what it actually has to offer, especially when there are other named devices out there that do the same job.
If you can get it for a lower price, say less than £20, then grab it while you can as it will no doubt come in handy for those small jobs around the home.
Summary: It's not you normal sized screwdriver, unless you've got really big hands