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Black and Decker MFL143K Multi Tool

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1 Review

Brand: Black and Decker

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      05.11.2012 14:56
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      Who needs more than one tool for the job in hand..? not me

      I've amassed rather a fine collection of tools during my time, hands tools and power tools, both mains and battery, with some tools being useful whilst some have been a complete waste of money.
      But one particular tool, which happens to be a battery operated tool is on fact a three in one tool that gives you more working options all in one space. This particular tool is from that well known orange and black colouring tools supplier we all know as DeWalt... only kidding, DeWalt are yellow... no, the orange and black tools firm is in fact called Black and Decker, with this tool being technically called the MFL143K Evo Multi tool.

      So what does this multi tool look like..?

      Without any of the heads on it it can look really strange, in fact it does look really strange, a little like the old 'phazers' that were used in the sci-fi shows. When you put the heads on then it starts to look like exactly what it's supposed to be, which is indeed more than just a single tool.
      The trigger itself is behind a hand guard which protects your hand in case of any flying debris. Then there's the motor itself, which is to the rear of the machine and is very well ventilated keeping it nice and cool when it's doing its stuff.
      The battery slides into the base of the machine and stays in place regardless of which position you have this angled at.

      The heads themselves...
      As I said, there are three tools in this machine, although it does claim to be four but for me the screwdriver and the drill are the same so I count them as one.
      These tools are, well, as I said, the drill head, which doubles as a screwdriver. Then there's a sander and finally a jigsaw, (no, not a thousand piece one that you sit around a table and put together for years only to pull apart and put back into the box).

      * The drill/screwdriver head has a 10mm chuck which is keyless, meaning that you don't have to mess around finding the chuck key in order to lock/unlock the drill bit, you just hold one end of the chuck whilst twisting the other.
      This chuck can drill depth of up to 20mm through wood and thin plastics and 10mm through steel.
      It has a fine torque which allows the power of the battery and motor to penetrate what every you are drilling through, but this does depend on the drill bits quite a bit as well because if your bits are blunt then you won't be drilling through butter let alone anything else.
      As for the screw driver selection, this has an 11 settings which allow full control of the depth of the screws you are using so that you don't cause any damage.

      * Sander head is the second option on this multi tool. This is a 'triangular' shape design and although the head itself isn't the biggest on the market it can get the most sanding jobs done in no time, getting into those corners and edges due to the triangular points.
      The sanding sheets are easily change using the old 'velcro' system. Meaning that you just take one sheet off and replace it with a new one without any need to lock it into place.

      * Finally, there's the Jigsaw option which is, well, it's a jigsaw and works exactly how it should do. This one has a speed of up to 2500 strokes per minutes and can cut up to 13mm in length. And as the flat shoe is a nice neat size you can get into many little curves to cut neatly around corners.
      Then there is what is called a tool free blade changing method which means exactly how it sounds, if you know what I mean. you don't need any screwdrivers of keys to replace the blades.


      The trigger itself has what is called a variable speed control, which basically means that if you squeeze the trigger slightly then the motor turns slowly. But if you pull the trigger forcefully then the motor will spin into over drive and give you the full force of the machine, which is useful for all three, I mean four tools on this little machine.

      It also has a reverse action, which basically means that, with the press of a button, the motor spins into reverse so that you can unscrew a screw, loosen a drill bit or even pull out that 'stuck' bit that's been jammed for ages now. The button to select the direction of the motor is situated just behind the trigger and is easily reached with the thumb whilst holding the drill, making it a one handed tool really.

      The battery is a 14.4 volt lithium one which not only packs enough power to keep going for quite some time, although it does take up to 3 hours to fully charge. It is also light enough to make the whole 'multi drill' a good weight so that you can keep holding it whilst working away. Plus, the battery holds its charge so that even if you leave it in place for a while it won't lose any charge at all, unlike some batteries that seem to have discharged just when you need them.


      Anything else to mention..?

      Yes there is, apart from the tool itself, and the three heads of course, you also should get a well detailed instruction manual, a few drill bits, screw driver bits, jigsaw blades and even some sanding sheets, all to get you started without any need to go out shopping for extra bits.


      My opinion...

      This is not a bad little tool indeed and weighs almost next to nothing so that it can be held for some time without the old 'wrist ache' kicking in.
      The heads interchange with ease, but either lock the direction button in the middle or take out the battery before doing so as an accidental press of the trigger could lead to cuts and bruises, or even loss of digits.

      It may look a little funny, even though it's the usual Black and Decker orange and black.
      I really like the idea of the trigger being behind the guard and this has one of the most comfortable handles I have ever had the privilege of holding on any power tool, making using this one more a pleasure than a chore.

      The drill/screwdriver works as well as any other one I have used, and so do the jigsaw and sander to be honest, and as they all 'slot' into the same port in the tool itself you get used to the feel of the machine in no time at all, so using the three heads feels the same as each other, although they are all totally different tools of course so don't be trying to drill a hole with the sanders or smoothing down that Chippendale table with the jigsaw, things might not go quite right.

      It's the changing of the tool heads that make this one look a little strange, with the heads attaching to the top front, or bottom front, depending on which head you have attached. But changing the heads is simple, being just a matter of pressing a button and pulling off the old head, then pushing on the new one until it clicks into place...that's it, job done and you're ready to go.

      The only downside I feel is that the battery takes about three hours to fully charge, which can seem like an eternity if you're in a rush to get a job done. But if you do what I did when I got it, and charge it up at the end of a day then it should last you through a good days 'working' without the power falling short. Or, get a spare battery so that the three hours that it takes to charge is nothing compared to the many hours of 'working time' you can get out of one battery, due to the fact it doesn't self discharge.

      So what about the price of this three, nay four in one battery powered power tool?
      This one sells for around the £60 region, which, for three tools is cracking value for money really, without a doubt, considering the power, versatility and ease of use.

      In all, if you after a sander, a drill, a screwdriver and a jigsaw then this one is well worth looking at, especially as it has a bit of a nice kick to it without that feeling of using an out of control machine that makes you nervous to handle.

      © Blissman70 2012

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