I'm one for tools, having quite a collection in and around my house, shed and garage. Most of my tools are useful, although, for some reason, one or two are as useful as a chocolate teapot on a hot summers day, making me wonder why I bought those tools in the first place.
But my collection of tools range from small screwdrivers that are ideal for delicate work like watch repair, (although my abilities of watch repairing stops at taking the back off and changing the battery), to heavy duty power drills which can not only drill a man sized hole in a brick wall but, with the right 'bit' slapped in it, can vibrate the wall down in a matter of minutes.
It is one of the 'middle' set of tools that I am going to tell you about here, a tool that is a bit to heavy for repairing your durex watch, I mean, timex, yet too lightweight to help you attach the washing line into the brick wall at the back of your house.
The tool I am talking about is in the screw driver range with the full title being the Einhell RT-SD 3,6 LI.
Firstly, let me give you the basics about this tool.
As you can possibly guess from the tools name, it is a 3.6 volt cordless screwdriver, powered by a Li-Ion rechargeable battery.
It features a 3 step battery light charge indicator to help you guess how much charge is left in the battery.
There is a light to help you see the screw in the darker areas of the place you're working in.
It has a forward and reverse feature so you're not only screwing a screw in, you can also unscrew it as well, making life in the screwing lane a lot easier.
There's a magnetic bit holder so that you can keep the four bits that come with the driver all together so that you don't lose them.
Plus, there's a quite useful, and almost cowboy style, side holster so that you have somewhere to store the driver when you're not using it, maybe even pretending you're a cowboy in a tacky B-movie and see how fast you can 'draw' the driver out of the holster... you know what to do, stand in front of a mirror, hands down slightly at your sides, elbow bent slightly. Then, as quick as you can, drag or 'draw' the driver out of the holster and, just as quickly, aim it at your reflection pretending to shoot, hopefully before your reflection shoots you... I've never won yet, nor have a ever lost, it's always been a 'draw'...
Anyway, enough of that, that's just me when I get something that's shaped like a gun and they throw in a belt holster. I mean, what more can a man want to help release that inner 6 year old, who remembers playing cowboys and Indians with his mates.
* So what does this look like then..?
The main body is mostly red with a grey soft grip texture over the handle. Then, on the front, the chuck is a silver metal colour with the switches being a stand out black plastic colour.
It's shaped like a gun, or more like a stun gun that was in one of those star trek movies from the end of the last century.
Along the top, from the front, behind the bit holder, or chuck as some people may call it, we have the light, which aims forwards towards and over the chuck area, making everything that the driver is pointed at light up enough to see what is there.
Then, as we follow on along the top, there is a bit holder, which has a has a magnetic touch to it so that the bits hang on in there. Behind the bit housing, as we come backwards, there is a small switch which turns the light on and off. Then, further back, there are a few lights which indicate the strength of the battery when you press the battery indicator button which is just behind the lights.
So that's the top section, know for the handle area, which has a trigger on the front, with the reverse/forward, directional switch just above this. Then right at the lower section of the handle, below the trigger, there is the port for the charging cable to be plugged into.
And that's the driver in a nutshell, or more in a holster as that is what you get to carry this driver around in, with the holster having a slot on the rear which is designed to strap to a belt, which really does give you that gunslinger, wild west feeling. (or is that just me?)
What is it used for..?
It's primarily used for taking up empty room on a shelf in you shed. But when it's not taking up precious room on the shelf then it can be used for screwing and unscrewing crinkle cut nails into and out of wood or the like.
Remember back in the olden days we had to use a hand held screwdriver. You know the ones, long handles with a funny shaped head, either cross or flat, that would slot into the top of the crinkle cut nail, or screw as it's called by people in the know. Then you'd have to use brute force and a grip of steel to turn the screwdriver in order to get the job done, sometimes causing a blister of two in the palm of your hand, (which can be a nuisance when it comes to other types of watsits...)
But now, with something like this, there's not blisters and very little effort is needed to get the crinkle cut nail in and out.
And that's what it is used for really, it's a screwdriver with an engine.
So, technically, it's a screwdriver for lazy people.
* Is it easy to use..?
To be honest it's actually one of the easiest I have used. And I've used a lot.
Firstly, as with most tools of this type, it's recommended that you give this a full charge before first use, which I did. I put it on charge over night so that the battery had the best start in life. Then, once charged, it was ready for that test run, putting it through its paces the best I could, taking it to its breaking point, putting my own life at risk for the benefit of others, (aren't I brave..?)
You put in a bit in the chuck at the front. Then you just take the handle in your hand, grip it tightly, then, after pressing the directional button, choosing forwards or reverse, you gently squeeze the trigger.
Then, if it's getting a little too dark where you're working, you flick the switch on the top to turn on the front light, illuminating the entire area that you need to see.
Changing the bits takes no effort at all and as there are no outside tools needed you don't have to waste time looking for the chuck key that you mate's hidden down his trousers for a laugh, (or did that just happen to me then?). To change the bits you just pull the one you don't want out of the chuck, then slot the one you do want in. simple as that really. Plus, the way the chuck is designed means that the bits can only go in one way and when they do they won't spin without you wanting them too.
So that's it, that's how to use this driver.
Usually I tend to go for tools that I know about, opting most times for those that have a name on them that I have used, and trusted, in the past.
Then, when I came across this one I had to check it out before buying it as I had never heard of the name before parting with my hard earned cash. The name didn't fill me with that much confidence, I mean, Einhell. Come on..! Ein HELL..! Sounds German for 'one Hell', although I think Einhell means something more on the lines of a light, or bright, or something on those lines..??? My German is not that impressive, in fact, to be honest, I sometimes struggle with English, especially after a few down the local.
Anyway, regardless of my translations, Einhell is in fact a German company who were founded in 1964 and have designed, built and sold millions of power tools through out the world.
So now that I've used this I have to say that it is not that bad at all, although I have used better if I'm honest, such as the Black and Decker PLR 36NC which has the same punch but, for some reason, can handle more work with less effort.
Or there's the more powerful one from Bosch, which give double the punch with a few added extras. But these two, and others comes with a heavier price tag, which this Einhell one doesn't, well, not really.
This has the basics that a power driver should have, which makes it useful to work with. Those being the forward and reverse action. but not only that, it also has a lockable head which stops the bits from turning when you don't want them too. This lockable head comes in handy when the battery runs down, giving you the chance to use this more as a 'normal' driver in case you've still got a few millimetres of screwing that needs doing.
It has a nice soft grip around the handle, although it's more round the back end so that the softer part of your palm gets the best cushioning.
It is a comfortable effort, especially with the soft feel grip which goes around the back of the handle.
The trigger is a good size and is easily accessed by my trigger finger, (hence the names coinciding me thinks), and the forward/reverse button can be flick with the thumb of the trigger finger hand. Or by your other fingers on your other hand if you so desire. Either way this button slides in and out with ease and makes the screwing in and out motion a lot easier in case of those tricky, stubborn jobs around the house, garden or even workplace.
The few additional features are well thought out and they really do come in handy, such as the light at the front, which is easily activated by the well positioned switch near the rear. This light really does make working in those darker areas a lot easier, which as anyone that has tried to locate a cross head counter sunk screw inside a cupboard, or under the sink. Well, this light certainly help in solving this issue.
Then there's the magnetic bit holder on the top which holds the bits with enough strength to keep them from falling all over the floor whilst your under the sink.
Sadly though there's no torque settings so you're stuck with what you've got. But, as the power that this gives you isn't that much really there's no real danger of 'over screwing' into your work too much... Although if you do 'over screw' don't be blaming me because I said there's very little danger...
The battery takes about 5 hours to fully charge on the first go, but after that I find you can get a full charge after about four hours. And the nice thing about this battery is that it doesn't self discharge, meaning that when you stop using it the power in the battery stays the same for when you want to use it again days later.
When you're charging the battery the red light comes on, then, when the battery is fully charged, the light goes out, simple to understand really.
The power indicator is a useful addition, giving you a clue as to how much power is left in there. To use this you simply press the button which is above the three lights above the handle. This will then light up the lights below it. If all lights light up then the battery is fully charged. If the amber and red light show up then the power is draining, then, if the red light is the only one showing then the battery needs charging as it is quickly running out of power.
One thing that I have to mention, mainly as it puzzled me, or more worried me when it first happened. I did find when I first charged this one up that the handle seemed to get a little too warm. Not hot, just a little warm, but not to warm so that you couldn't pick it up, but I did notice it and I felt as though this may be a fault of the product.
However, after checking the instructions and the leaflet that came with this driver I discovered that this is normal and is not a fault, which is nice to know.
Don't get me wrong, as I said, I can still pick this up when the handle is at that 'warm' temperature, so it's not a problem at all. It was more a puzzler as to whether or not it was a fault and was leading to a massive explosion caused by over charge.
I'd like to mention again that apart from the driver itself you also get four bits and a lovely little holster to carry it around with you, almost making you feel like a gun slinger from the wild west... or is that just me. This holster is made of a leather type material which is quite strong really and accommodates the driver with ease, allowing it to be slotted in or drawn out in an instance.
The bits are two cross heads and two flat heads, with a different size of each one for the different size of screws that are scattered all around you workshop, (If your workshop is anything like mine, although workshop is a bit of an exaggeration, mine's more a shed with a window).
The bits are all 'square ends' and fit into the chuck easily, gripping tightly so that when the chuck spins the bits do exactly what they are supposed to do, without any slipping at all.
In all, this is a basic power driver that is ideal for small jobs such as simple flat pack furniture. But when it comes to 'harder' jobs, such as screwing into plugs in brickwork and the like then you're going to need something more powerful, such as a claw hammer and a good swing.
* And how much does this blister saving screwdriver cost then..?
This lightweight driver sells for about £15.00, which is not that bad really, although there are more 'powerful' ones on the market that are priced around the same region.
* Would I recommend this..?
Hmmm. For £15 I'd have to scratch my head for a while, especially if I was in B & Q surrounded by a wide selection of battery powered screwdrivers. Mainly due to the fact that this only has a 3.6volt power supply and can struggle when it comes to loosening tight screws, sometimes it won't even manage at all, passing out with exhaustion after a while. Then I have to go and get my more powerful 18volt DeWalt and take revenge on the screw from hell.