Kimo Cordless Drill Review
I am a firm believer in the idea of purchasing the best tools that you can afford. A pro grade tool will last for years and can make a big difference in how well your projects turn out. But not everyone has the budget to invest in top of the line tools, or maybe can’t justify spending a lot of money on a tool that will only get used occasionally. For those instances, there is a niche in the marketplace for cheap (sorry, I mean inexpensive) tools.
With that said, I have to admit that I’ve never heard of Kimo Tools or ever seen any of their products before, but I agreed to review their cordless drill kit. I have no hopes that the Kimo cordless drill is going to replace my DeWalt DCD996 and become my favorite everyday hammer drill – it’s just not designed to be that drill. It would be unfair to expect it to be that good for less that the cost of a single DeWalt battery. But let’s take a look at it and see if it’s a good value for the low price.
This review was sponsored by Kimo Tools. Kimo has provided me with products in exchange for my review. My opinion is my own.
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What’s in the Box?
If you purchase the Kimo cordless drill driver kit, it comes with the hammer drill, 1.) 20-volt max 2 ah battery, battery charger, belt clip, an assortment of drill and driver bits, a flexible bit holder and a carrying bag. First impressions: The drill is about average weight, and feels good in your hand. The battery snaps into the drill easily with a click. So far so good. The carrying case on the other hand is really thin and flimsy and just big enough for the drill, charger and not much else.
Check out the warning notice on the battery. For the life of me I don’t understand why they don’t hire an English speaking person to write these things. On the one hand it’s sort of humorous to read the broken English, but confidence that this could be a quality tool it sinking fast. It’s good to know that you shouldn’t throw the battery into a fire as that might short circuit it.
How Much Power Does It Have?
The Kimo cordless drill falls on the lower range of the scale when compared to other 18 and 20-volt drills. It’s rated at 330 in pounds of torque. In comparison, the DeWalt DCD996 is rated at 841 in pounds, while the Black and Decker LDX120C offers 115 inch pounds of torque. Torque equates to power, and the Kimo doesn’t have enough for heavy duty jobs like drilling large diameter holes with a hole saw, it has plenty for any light duty tasks like driving screws and drilling small holes.
Brushless motors in cordless hammer drills are significantly better because their design reduces the friction involved with the brushes, providing more power and extending the battery run time. The downside to a brushless motor is the cost as they are much more expensive to make. The Kimo cordless drill has a brushed motor to keep the cost down – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Click here for a more thorough look at the difference between brushed and brushless motors.
Changing bits is accomplished with a 3/8” keyless metal chuck with a plastic outer sleeve. I didn’t have any issues locking bits into the chuck – it works well.
Variable Speed Trigger
The variable speed trigger responds smoothly. Pulling the trigger harder increases the rotational speed. The button above the trigger switches the drill from forward to reverse.
Two Speed Ranges in Drill Mode
2-speed settings and 3 modes set the ranges of RPMs, allowing you to dial in the right amount for the application. In drill mode, setting 1, the trigger will work between 0 and 350 RPM- perfect for drilling large holes or driving small or delicate screws. Setting 2 operates from 0 to 1,350 RPM- the best setting for most jobs.
Two Speed Ranges in Hammer Drill Mode
With the Kimo set to hammer drill mode, setting 1 will operate between 0 and 350 RPM. Setting 2 will work between 0 and 1,350 RPM. I couldn’t find any specs online as to the rate of the hammering action, but safe to say it is pretty wimpy. It might come in handy drilling a hole in ceramic tile but you won’t want to be using this drill for concrete or masonry.
In driver mode, the rotating dial has 21 different clutch setting, allowing you to dial in just the right amount before the drill clutches out. When driving fasteners in various materials, the right clutch setting combined with the right speed setting can drive the fasteners to just the right depth.
It seems like almost every new cordless tool comes with LED lights these days and the Kimo is no exception. They included an LED light on the front above the battery. Most pro grade tools with have a 20 second delay after the trigger is released, so you can use the light when positioning the tool inside a dark cabinet or someplace like that. The Kimo LED light only stays on while the trigger is pulled so using the light as a work light is not really an option.
There are no indicator lights on the battery, but there are three lights on the drill – green, yellow and red. Green means go, battery charged to 100%. Yellow is about 50% of battery left, and no red doesn’t mean stop in this case.
How does it Perform?
Aside from the flimsy carrying bag, funny wording on the battery and the lack of hammering action, it really isn’t a bad drill. It has more power than the comparably priced Black and Decker model and is much better than an underpowered cordless screwdriver. It performs well on light duty tasks around the house and is backed by a two-year warranty. If you’re looking for an inexpensive cordless drill with a nice feature set it’s well worth considering.
One important thing to consider when looking at cordless tools is the platform you choose. If you see yourself expanding your tool collection down the road, it makes sense to start out with a brand that offers those other tools that you might get so you can use the same batteries and chargers. At the time of this review, Kimo offers an impact driver, reciprocating saw, and leaf blower that are all compatible with the 20-volt battery that comes with the drill kit. While a nice selection, it is far less than Black and Decker or Ryobi or any of the major brands.
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