Rockwell has entered the cordless brushless tool arena with three new offerings – a drill/driver, a hammer drill, and an impact driver. The drill was previously available at Menards, but is now shipping to other distributors.
Reminder: 20V Max = 18V.
Rockwell’s new RK2852K2 20V Max brushless drill/driver offers some reasonably good on-paper specs.
Torque delivery maxes out at 531 in-lbs, and the 2-speed gearbox is quite speedy with no-load ranges of 0-600 and 0-2000 RPM.
Features include a 1/2″ single sleeve ratcheting chuck, LED worklight, 18+1 clutch settings, and a compact design. The kit comes with (2) 2.0Ah batteries and a 1-hour charger.
Buy Now(Drill via Amazon)
The RK2853K2 brushless hammer drill is similar to Rockwell’s new drill/driver, but with the addition of a 24,000 BPM masonry-drilling hammer mechanism.
Buy Now(Hammer Drill via Amazon)
Rockwell’s RK2860K2 1/4″ hex impact driver also boasts some decent numbers – max torque delivery of 1500 in-lbs and 2800 RPM/3000 BPM motor speed.
Amazon’s product description for the new impact driver says it has 20+1 torque settings, but there doesn’t seem to be an electronic torque or speed control dial.
There is a small hard-to-read feature towards the base of the tool, but this is missing from most of Rockwell’s product images. Even if this was an electronic speed control, it would be a pain to cycle through “20+1” settings with a button.
Buy Now(Impact Driver via Amazon)
Rockwell justifies the high pricing by emphasizing how brushless motors require no maintenance compared to brushed motor tools, and that their “batteries for life” program helps to reduce costs of ownership over time.
However, unless the gap between MSRP and actual retail pricing widens, these tools will be hard to find appealing. The prices of these tools approach those of Bosch and Dewalt offerings, and of other consumer brands’ brushless models. This, on top of Rockwell’s lack of product selection in their 20V Max lineup, makes me reluctant to consider the brand in favorable light.
The only other Rockwell 20V Max tools that are currently available include a drill, an impact driver, and a cordless SoniCrafter oscillating multi-tool.
I must say, the tools look very sharply designed, and the tools’ 10-year motor warranties – notice how they say motor warranty – causes me to raise an eyebrow in interest.
One more thing that I find off-putting is how the tools themselves say “20V Max,” or rather “20V MaxLithium,” while all of the marketing language on the product pages and press release I found online simply say “20V,” which can be misleading, as “20V Max” is simply a fancy way of saying 18V.