Black and Decker LDX112C 12V Max Lithium Drill/Driver Review
Seeing how just about everyone else has a compact 12V lithium-ion powered line of power tools, Black & Decker jumped on board with their value-targeted Black & Decker LDX112C 12V Max Lithium Drill/Driver. Using what has become an industry standard format for the battery style, they opted for a slightly different approach to its integration into the handle of the tool. The front load style actually makes it so that the drill can stand on its own and offer pretty good balance. This little drill has most of what we have come to expect from this type of tool – like an integrated LED work light, rubber over-molded grips, and variable speed trigger. What actually surprised us was the metal gear box and 3/8″ metal chuck which seemed like nice touches on a value priced tool. The Black & Decker LDX112C 12V Max Lithium Drill/Driver comes in a cardboard box that includes a battery, charger, and a bi-sided driving bit. Sorry, but only one battery is included and there is no nifty carry case. But given its pretty small size, it could easily live in the junk drawer in your kitchen. Come on, admit it, you might not call it a junk drawer, but everyone has one. Its that central drawer in your kitchen or office that houses all the odds and ends that don’t seem to belong or fit elsewhere. It is the first place you will look for masking tape, screws, tacks, candles and a host of other necessities (yes, I too have one) – and what better place than to store this handy little drill/driver.
Black & Decker LDX112C Features
While not chocked full of performance features, there is a decent amount of value built in. The Black & Decker LDX112C 12V Max Lithium Drill/Driver actually has a solid feel to it and some weight. The metal gear box and 3/8″ chuck, we suspect, give this tool its solid feel. The grip angle and rubber overmold were comfortable and the forward/reverse switch were in the typical location so it was easy to switch directions. The top speed is 650 RPM which is controlled with the variable speed trigger. There is an 11 position clutch ring that was very clearly marked with numbers that range from 1 though 10 and then an additional drill only setting. Since the clutch is not a lock up type, when loosening the chuck you must grasp the black section behind the metal portion of the chuck while you give the front a twist to either loosen or tighten it onto a bit. There is a built-in LED work light and a built-in bit holder on the back of the handle.
Testing and Use
Since there is no built-in battery level indicator, the first thing we did when we got the Black & Decker LDX112C 12V Max Lithium Drill/Driver was charge the single included battery. After a quick read of the owners manual we found out, much to our dismay, that it can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to charge the 12V lithium-ion battery. That is an inordinate amount of time and is a major cost and corner-cutter for this tool. There was an indicator light on the charger that let us know when it was ready, which was good. In testing the tool we tried a variety of tasks that we thought would be common for homeowners to do. Things like driving 1″, 2″ and 3″ wood screws along with drilling holes of various diameter from 1/8″ up to 3/8″. Needless to say, as a driver we had no problems sending screws home in both regular and pressure treated pine. Drilling was the same and was just as easy. The drill did not bog down and the 100 in-lbs of torque proved to be sufficient for our tasks. Now, another word about the battery – the box claimed that the battery holds a charge five times longer (and if you read the fine print it is being compared to the old model’s Ni-cad batteries). By nature, Lithium-ion batteries hold their charges longer, so you can bet that if you charge this thing once and throw it in the drawer, it will most likely have power when you need it, even months down the road. Through our testing and use, we found that the Black & Decker LDX112C 12V Max Lithium Drill/Driver had a reasonable level of performance commensurate with its price.
The Black & Decker LDX112C 12V Max Lithium Drill/Driver is a bargain as far as performance and value. But this did come at the slight expense of some features. Things like a single battery, a super slow charge time, no storage case, and the lack of a battery level indicator were all items that we noticed. Given that it costs nearly half as much as the next 12V drill/driver, it is hard to complain too much. We suspect that for most homeowners, this drill/driver will do just the trick. For our Performance rating It earned a 6/10 which is above average given its decent amount of power, quality construction and a long lasting lithium-ion battery. For our Value rating we gave the tool a 7/10 since it represents a fair value when considering that its nearest competition cost nearly twice as much.