By Jon Eakes
Manufacturers go to all sorts of lengths to get my attention, but this was a bit different. A good robust half-inch cordless drill showed up on my doorstep. It seemed just a bit heavy but I charged up the batteries to check it out later.
I certainly liked the ratcheted down keyless chuck as it clicked onto a bit. Two-speed, forward/reverse with a screw depth chuck collar. A stop brake shut it right off like a circular saw. Even the belt hook was kind of nifty, but a drill is a drill is a drill right? So I dug out the letter that came with it to see why they sent it.
"Please try to destroy this drill."
Despite years of inbred training to never drop a cordless tool, I let it go onto the floor a couple of times. I managed to pop the battery out, but nothing seemed to be bothered. So I took it to a concrete floor and started knocking it off of the table, off the ladder, even off the roof! I finally managed to dent the nose shield on the front end and that made the chuck action just a bit harder to work, but as I studied it carefully, I realized that I was really being cheap in my testing. I didn't want to bend any of my screw heads or drill bits so I was just dropping the drill itself.
When I chucked in a bit I realized that before the vulnerable nose housing would hit the concrete, the bit had to take most of the shock. So I destroyed two drill bits and three screw drivers, dirtied and scratched up the housing, but it just kept on running.
They tell me that it is possible to break it, but you really have to work at it. As I bent and broke bit after bit, I kept chucking in a good one and testing for the true running of the chuck. It was always dead on. The battery casing wouldn't crack and every time the battery popped out of the drill, it popped right back in, fitting and locking perfectly into place. They apparently made it heavier to make it tougher, but they certainly built a tool designed to take abuse. The Bosch Brute Tough is only 14.4v, but it has power.
I think I will pass it on to my son. If anyone can break it, it's him. HB
broadcaster, author, home renovation and tool expert Jon Eakes provides a
tool feature in each edition of Home BUILDER.