909 (Nine Zero Nine) is soon coming out with a new 12V drill/driver that they say is the world’s most advanced design. The new TOUCH drill does away with the electro-mechanical switch found in most modern cordless drills, and replaces it with touch-sensitive controls.
To activate the drill/driver in its forward direction, squeeze the grip with your index finger. For the reverse direction, squeeze the grip with your middle finger.
In the Touch drill’s Indiegogo campaign, it says that the tool’s touch-based trigger switch was engineered using a quantum physics-based solution.
A test sample of the 909 came in last night, and it does seem to be quite innovative. I wouldn’t say that the pressure, capacitive, or resistive switch – whatever it is – is a quantum mechanics solution, but the verdict is up in the air until I dissect the tool or learn more from the Touch drill’s inventor.
The drill/driver is compact, lightweight, and seems to be built with plenty of power. Its unconventional trigger takes a bit of time to get used to, but does feel more intuitive with each use. I have a feeling that the reverse switch will take me a little more time to get the hang of.
The Touch drill also features a side-positioned gearbox speed range switch for easier one-hand mode selection. I don’t see as much benefit in this as with the unique trigger controls, but I don’t see a downside either.
The Touch drill seems to be very well designed and well built, and I look forward to spending some more time putting it through a battery of performance tests.
A 12V Max 4.0Ah battery, compact universal charger, and full complement of bells and whistles round out the package.
A Touch impact driver is also available, and while a sample is sitting here on my test bench for a couple of hours now, I haven’t yet taken it out of the box.
The tool’s inventor is seeking to raise funds via the indiegogo fund raising platform. If you want to get your hands on a first-run Touch drill/driver or impact driver kit, you’ll have to make a $199 pledge. A combo kit and 20V brushless impact driver are also available.
Buy Now(via Indiegogo)
While I would love to give the Touch drill a glowing First Impression review, the fact is I need more time to make up my mind. My intent for this Review in Progress post is to draw out any questions or concerns you might have while testing is still underway.
Speed control sensitivity is one aspect I am looking at closely, but there might be other considerations that are not quite as obvious to me.
Not every unique and innovative tool design is going to be the spearhead for industry-wide changes. Dewalt’s gyroscopic screwdriver (recently reviewed here) is an excellent example of this. As well engineered as the new Dewalt driver might be, I don’t think it has the potential to be game changing.
Similarly, although I am quite impressed and optimistic about the new line of 909 Touch power tools, I am somewhat hesitant that new and different will equate to better.
In the meantime, please let me know if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns about the new Touch drill and driver. And if you think it’s something you would like to own, the Indiegogo campaign will be live for another 4-1/2 weeks, with product estimated to ship out in November 2013.