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Anyone that has read some of my previous reviews knows that I like to do a bit of DIY and I also like to have a tool for every job, hopefully the right tool for what ever job comes up.
I mean, how annoying is it when you have to do a small DIY task in the home only to discover that you haven't got quite the right tool to do the job. So you try and get the job done using what ever tools you can get your hands on, often leading to some unnecessary damage and, sometime, a life threatening and very chaotic scenario.
Now, to stop anything going wrong, and to save my three finger, five thumbs, eleven toes and dumpling nose, I have learnt to use the right tool for the right job.
So when it comes to drilling a hole through or into something solid, like a brick wall, or stone floors, there's nothing quite like having the right drill to get the job done.
But getting the right drill can be a task in itself as there are so many on the market, all promising to be as good as any other.
Luckily though, over the years, I have used many, many drills. Some being cordless with enough power to push in a screw but not enough to drill a hole through butter. Others having more power than the Space Shuttle which you have to strap down to iron railings in order to use them without causing some serious G-Force, (maybe that is an exaggeration... but you get the idea).
And it is the latter of those powers that I am going to go into here, where I have to have something with a bit of kick so that I can get a hole through a solid brick wall, pushing the drill bit through the breeze lock on the other side too.
* So what sort of drill have I gone and got myself now then?
I have bought myself a rather fine power drill, in fact I bought it a while back and have used it many many times since, usually on those 'heavier' DIY jobs. The power tool is in fact from the Black and Decker range of drills, with this one having the full name of KR504, (although the name really doesn't say much about the drill itself, unlike some names of drills tend to do).
Anyway, this drill is one of the more powerful ones on the market. Well, powerful in the general DIY range anyway. If you want to use a drill for heavier things such as digging up part of the M60, or maybe you have found a sniff of oil ½ mile under you bathroom floor, then you're going to need a bigger drill with a lot more power.
But if you're a bit of a DIYer, like me, then this one is in the higher power range of general DIY drills.
* What does this drill look like..?
If you're familiar with the Black and Decker colours then you'll know that they are well known for the orange and black colouring, with more orange than black. So if it's not orange then it's not Black and Decker.
Anyway, the orange drill is made of a lightweight yet quite sturdy plastic casing, keeping your fingers and hands from the power of the engine encased inside.
The drill is about 290mm long by 270mm high and about 80mm at its widest point, which is near the rear above the handle, the entire drill weighs in at about 2kg, which is a little on the heavier side in the drilling world but it certainly has the power.
It is shaped in the old fashioned and very familiar style of a pistol, like any good drill should be.
On the front there is the chuck, which holds the drill bits in place. This chuck can only be fully tightened or loosened with what is called a chuck key, which is technically a little tool that has a 'wad' of metal on the end which is circled by a metal ring with teeth around the circumference. It is designed so that the 'wad' of metal slots into the little hole which is on the chuck of the drill, then, the teeth of the chuck key connect with the teeth of the chuck, interlocking, so that when you turn the metal rod handle of the chuck key the chuck turns, thus opening and closing the triple action jaws that are inside the chuck itself. It is these jaws that trap the drill bit into place as they close around it.
Anyway, passed the chuck there is the main orange body, which has many ventilation slots all around the housing itself, allowing the engine insides to keep nice and cool.
Along the top of the orange body there is a button, or more the slider, which slides from side to side. This is to set the drill into hammer mode or normal drilling mode. This is done by pushing it to the left side putting the drill into drill mode and pushing it to the right side puts the drill into hammer mode.
Then, on the top, but further back, there is one of the many ventilation slots, with another two on the sides, just above the handle.
On the handle itself, below the vents, there is the trigger with a little locking switch just behind it which, when pressed, locks the trigger on so that the motor continuously runs without you having to keep your finger remaining on the trigger.
Finally, in the looks of the drill sort of fashion, right at the bottom there is where the mains cable enters the drill, giving the drill all the power it will ever need. Only where the cable comes into the drills housing there is a small floppy piece of rubber which has what seems to look like a star shaped cutting taken out of the middle of it. This floppy bit of rubber is in fact the place where you put your chuck key so that it is always with the drill in order for you to be able to change the drill bit when ever you have to, without having to go searching for the chuck key at the bottom of your tool kit.
* Is it easy to use..?
Yes, pretty much.
You simply slot in a drill bit, making sure that the drill is unplugged from the mains just in case you accidentally press the trigger as this will cause a lot of damage to your fingers without a doubt. Once the bit is in you then use the chuck key to tighten the chuck, getting the teeth to grip into each other, watching that you don't trap your skin in between them, (ouch, believe me, lots of blood can appear here).
So, the bits in and the skin on your fingers is still all intact, almost all anyway. The chuck is as tight as you can get it. It's time to plug in the mains lead, take aim with the bit and press the trigger.
This is where the fun starts as this one kicks in with the full speed in a millisecond. There's no in between speeds, there's no slow start in order to make sure the drill bit is in the right position, (not unless you have the touch of an angel, as delicate as a feather on a balloon). Once you touch the trigger the entire power of the 500watt motor kicks in, so keep hold of the drill as it will spin faster than a DJ on acid.
Then. Once the power blasts into action, you just put the right amount of pressure onto the back end of the drill in order to give the drill bit more of a chance of getting into the brick work.
You can hold the side of the drill for more stability, gripping it towards the front, keeping the vented area as clear as you can but making sure that your fingers don't go anywhere near the chuck area as when it spins it doesn't stop quickly in an emergency, so if you get your skin caught on the turn then it will hurt.
And that's it. That's how to use the power drill. Simple really, and a few safety tips thrown in for free... what more does a person require?
Seriously though, this is a power tool and it can be a little dangerous, especially if you don't treat the drill with the respect it deserves, but treat it right and you'll soon be the best of friends.
* What are the pros and cons of this one..?
Let's see the pros first. Put you in a more positive mood...
Well, the main thing is the power of the beast, which in this case is a single speed motor offering a 500watt kick of power, which means that it gets from nought to sixty, or more 0 - 2800rpms, quicker than a Bugatti Veyron driven by the Stig herself. But to get this sort of power it has to be corded, which does restrict its movement slightly, although it does have a 2 metre mains cable so it's not exactly restricted to the plug socket area.
It has a hammer function which is ideal for getting into or even through masonry, the instruction leaflet claims up to 10mm in fact, with the same for steel and about 20mm for wood.
The 2 metre cable means that you're not restricted to a plug socket and there's no real danger of entanglements leading to electrocution.
The motor offers a lot of power whilst managing to remain as cool as the proverbial cucumber, which makes holding the drill nice and easy without that fear of something blowing up in my face.
And now for the cons...
The chuck is not keyless, which means that you do have to keep an eye on the key, making sure that it is slotted into the little rubber grip type attachment that is on the lower part of the handle, sliding it through the teeth like sections.
There is no reverse function so once you get it going there's no turning back really, you just have to carry on regardless.
There's no side handle attachment, which some drills of this type have, but as this is quite light and easy to handle, plus the front end is easy to hold onto, there's no real need for that side handle attachment.
There's no spindle lock either so you can't finish off using the entire drill as a sort of screwdriver.
But none of those negatives are real negatives, if you know what I mean. I don't really find any of those points warrant the usefulness and the power that this handy drill has to offer.
* My Opinion...
As I said, maybe a few times in fact, this is quite a powerful little beast of an orange drill. It can cope easily with most household DIY tasks, such as brick work, stone, in fact, is seems to have the power to eat through masonry, as long as you have a decent drill bit in the jaws of the chuck.
Speaking of the chuck, this is easy to tighten or loosen, with the supplied chuck key of course, although I have snagged the skin on my fingers a few times with trapping it in between the teeth of the key and the chuck. It hurts but it teaches me to be more careful next time, which is good in a way.
The chuck key itself is solid and can take a lot of hassles, being dropped over and over again just won't damage it at all. I rather like the floppy rubber star shaped holder that the chuck key sits in as it hold the key quite firmly without getting in the way what so ever. Although it can fall out sometimes, especially when using the hammer function, but as the key is made of a solid metal it won't break and you can hear it fall on the floor with a clunk.
But back to the drill.
As I said. It has the power to handle most jobs around the home and, as it is mains supplied, it should never run out of power, (I say 'should' because there's always the chance of a power cut or sudden surge, which could affect the power supply to the drill of course).
Using it is so easy, especially as it weighs very little and, due to the many vents around the housing, it manages to remain cool enough to keep holding, even after a long time trying to drill through a stubborn concrete block.
It is shaped in such a way so that you can get the best pressure pushed onto it in order to help get the drill bit through what ever you're trying to get through, and even though there's no side handle, which is on some drills in order to help with the force, you can still get your other hand wrapped comfortably around the side of this drill in order to create the same force, without covering the essential vents.
The handle has no special covering for comfort. There's no rubber cushioning, nor is there ant foam to stop you getting blisters if you use it too often. But it is covered in small holes which sort of act as a grip area in order for those sweaty hands to remain tightly gripped, thus eliminating the danger of that dreaded 'drop and spin', where the drill slips from your grip and continues spinning as it is still stuck in the wall... hence the 'drop and spin'. this can damage fingers if you stupidly try and grab the drill during its cycle spin, (as I have tried a few times... and believe me, it hurts).
The trigger is a good size and can be easily pressed even when wearing heavy gloves. Then there's the little 'lock' button behind it being easily accessed by the thumb for when you want to keep the power on without having to keep you finger on the trigger.
And for when it come to having a bit more 'oomph' there's the hammer function which is activated by a simple slide of the button which is on top of the drill. You can't miss it really as it is the only switch up there and only slides one way or the other.
You can slide it along even when the drill is on motion without damaging the motor so don't worry about any accidental knocking.
You'll know when the hammer function is chosen as it makes a load 'knocking' noise as if someone is quickly hammering on a piece of metal, fast and furious, like a wood pecker with a fondness for electricity pylons.
As for the noise of the 'normal' drilling option, well, this is as load as any other drill of its power, being as load as, say a Fiat panda on a cold morning, so it won't burst your ear drums but it will annoy the neighbours, especially if you decide to start drilling through a wall at 4o'clock in the morning, before you go to work.
In all, this drill has the power to help get into masonry and has the delicacy to carefully penetrate a piece of pine. It's nice and light whilst being able to kick the old metaphorical 'what-sit' without making the user break into a sweat.
* So what does this power drill cost then..?
This electric cabled drill sells for about £30.00, which is a cracking price for what this offers without a doubt.
I mean, comparing this to some other drills on the market which offer the same power to weight ratio this one is a bargain in any ones books.
* Would I recommend this..?
As people in the deep south sometimes shout... "Hell Yea" of course I'd recommend this, without a shadow of a doubt.
It has the power, and the style, without the hefty price tag. Plus, if mines anything to go by, it will last you longer than the mortgage on your house.
Ideal for drilling into a variety of materials such as wood metal plastic and masonry this Black & Decker drill is just the thing for putting up shelves pictures bathroom cabinets and the like. The hammer action makes light work of drilling into masonry and as it's corded it delivers 500W of mains power - just make sure you've got the right bit for the job. Comes with 2 year manufacturer's guarantee.