I haven’t posted about Greenworks very much over the years. To me, Greenworks seems like like an entry-level outdoor power tools brand, and I just haven’t paid much attention to what they were doing.
Now, Greenworks has a new 24V Max cordless power tool line, and equipped with brushless motor technology. I’ve seen some hype, and so I decided to take a closer look after a reader asked for my take on “lower rung” cordless tool brands.
Let’s take a look at Greenworks’ new 24V Max brushless drill and impact driver combo kit. This is always a good way to learn more about a brand’s general market position.
This kit comes with a drill, impact driver, slide-on charger, (2) 1.5Ah batteries, tool bag, and belt clips. It retails for $190.
My first impression is that they went a little skimpy on the batteries and charger. At this price point, I would expected a full-size charger and 2.0Ah batteries.
The Greenworks 24V Max cordless drill doesn’t look anything special, but it also doesn’t have any glaring “gotchas.”
Greenworks emphasizes that this drill delivers 2X more torque. Compared to…?
Looking their website, there are no torque specs. They mention it has a 1/2″ keyless ratcheting chuck, 2-speed gearbox, and 18 position clutch. These are all common features nowadays. What’s the speed? What’s the torque?
Ah, here we go… 2000… lumens? Did they really put 2000 lumen emitters in a close-up work power tool? 100 or even 50 lumens would be more than enough.
Digging deeper, I found what I was looking on retailers’ product pages. Both Amazon and Home Depot have some more specs.
2-speed gearbox (0-380, 0-450 RPM), 310 in.-lbs. of torque.
“2X MORE TORQUE” and the drill only delivers 310 lbs of max torque.
They equate the 18 position torque clutch with “precision control for any project.”
Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that the 0-450 RPM spec is really supposed to say 0-1450 RPM. You’re not driving larger or longer fasteners into “dense hardwood” with those speeds and 310 in-lbs max torque.
For most cordless drills and motors in general, you get the greatest torque deliver in the lower speed range. If you need to be in the lower speed mode, given as 0-380 RPM, to achieve that max torque, there are so many faster and higher performing drills on the market, and for less money.
Let’s take a break and look at Greenworks’ 24V Max battery. Cool, it has a built-in USB port, similar to many of Skil’s PWRCore cordless power tool batteries.
Greenworks provide a handy chart as to how many times their fully charged 24V Max 1.5Ah battery can recharge popular devices.
As a reminder, 24V Max battery packs operate at 21.6V nominally, something Greenworks doesn’t clarify on their website or product descriptions anyway. But, they show a cutaway of their battery pack and it has 6 Li-ion cells, so that’s usually 3.6V x 6 = 21.6V nominally.
Greenworks’ retail product descriptions say the battery pack doubles as a 9000 mAh power bank. That’s just another way of saying 9Ah.
That 9Ah or 9000mAh power bank capacity rating is true for a 3.6V battery cell, if you add them all up: 3.6V x 1.5Ah x 6 = 9Ah.
I suppose it’s fair to describe this battery as a 9000mAh power bank. I’ll give Greenworks a pass on this.
Let’s take a look at the Greenworks 24V Max cordless impact driver. It has a brushless motor, and Greenworks also described it as delivering “2X more torque.”
It has a 3-setting speed control, and Greenworks provides these speed and torque ratings: 1450 RPM, 2,666 in-lbs max torque.
That… doesn’t sound right to me. Did they reverse the numbers?
Here are specs for a leading brand’s $99 impact driver promo kit: 1500 in-lbs max torque, 0-2800 RPM, 0-3600 IPM.
Specifically, here is as it appears on the retailers’ product pages:
Impact Driver : 1/4 in. hex quick release coupler, electronic variable-speed control (3 speed), (0-380, 0-450 RPM) and 2,666-in-lbs. of torque
I have serious doubts believing that Greenworks’ cordless impact driver delivers 2666 in-lbs of max torque, even with a 24V Max battery power source and brushless motor.
Additionally, in an impact driver, max torque is dependent on speed and the anvil impact rate. 1450 RPM and 2666 in-lbs max torque? This is not possible.
Okay, so maybe the numbers are switched around – 2666 RPM and 1450 in-max torque are more believable.
There’s the “2X more” marketing claims again.
No. If this truly delivered 2666 in-lbs max torque, then yes, I would agree that it delivers 2X more torque than some other models. But I don’t believe it. And if it delivers 1450 in-lbs max torque, which is about average for entry-level models these that aren’t “subcompact” in size, I can’t imagine which 18V or 24V Max models they’re comparing it to.
I did some searching, and I cannot find any 18V-sized cordless impact driver, even an older model, that delivers less than 1/2 the max torque spec I am assuming is true here.
One more thing – QUIET OPERATION. *face palm* – sure, it’s quiet until you actually use it.
Here’s one of the few user reviews on Amazon:
I was just doing normal drilling stuff into wood, and during the first use the drill started smoking and then keep cutting out.
With the drill spec’ed at 310 in-lbs max torque, I’m not surprised by this. Cordless power tool motors can start smoking when their motors overheat and the enamel insulation around their windings cannot cool off quick enough – Makita’s first 18V brushless drill did this too.
There are a couple of things that struck my interest, such as the USB power bank functionality, but the execution seems to be a complete mess.
I steered clear of Greenworks products for a couple of years, and I’ll likely steer clear of their 24V Max cordless power tools as well. It’s a shame – it looks like they have a couple of good ingredients here, but the presentation makes the dish look completely unappetizing.
Have any of you had positive experiences with Greenworks’ cordless power tools?