Behold, the Robbox xDrill, a new “smart” cordless drill that’s designed to make drilling “sooo much simpler.”
Here are the basics: The xDrill features a brushless motor, 21V battery, 0-600/0-2000 RPM gearbox, and “3 hour work rate per charge,” whatever that means.
What’s the max torque? They don’t say.
This is also being described as “the first ever smart drill.”
It’s got a touchscreen, and Bluetooth controls, apparently WiFi, and there’s an app that accompanies it.
There are laser distance measuring tools, one on the bottom and one on the front.
The laser on the front can be rotated, enabling it to be aim forward or to either side.
What this means is that you can set your drilling point x-distance away from either wall, and y-distance away from the ceiling.
What about when you need to measure off the ceiling such as when installing shelving? I guess they didn’t think of that?
Their “imagination came up with an auto set feature” where you can set depth control. Once the desired drilling depth is achieved, the drill shuts off automatically. There’s no word as to how precise this is. I suppose yo have to zero the drill for every hole?
There’s an on-screen “leveler.”
And, you can also set custom angle settings, for drilling at an angle.
There is a Smart Speed/Torque control where you input the material type and drill bit size, to automatically set the optimal speed for the drilling application.
You can also set things manually if you want. The promo video show the increments as being lb-feet and Nm, and there’s no indication as to whether you can make finer adjustments.
Here’s what you can do with the smartphone app:
- Save [laser distance] measurements
- find your tool
- Lock drill if stolen
- Set up user profiles
- Usage data: runtime, torque, speed,
- Keep count of how many times you drop the drill
Add-ons include additional batteries, a charging dock, and an optional case.
Fundraising Price: $399 CAD (~$298 USD)
The Robbox xDrill is said to be “made for pros” and “amazing for beginners.”
What’s the max torque?
What’s the accuracy of the laser distance measuring features?
Battery charge capacity in amp-hours?
Ah, here it is:
- 45 minute charge time
- 2-3 hours runtime “regular use”
- 1 hour “vigorous use”
Marketing materials compare it to a corded heavy duty hammer drill as “your old, outdated drill.”
But, the xDrill doesn’t seem to be a hammer drill. Here, it looks like it could be drilling into a masonry wall surface, or is that just drywall, plaster, or something similar?
So, don’t throw away your “old outdated drill” just yet.
I’ve seen and used “smart” tools before. In a drill press, yes it absolutely makes sense to be able to change speeds for different materials and bit sizes. In a handheld drill, I’ve found it to be far less impactful.
The depth control seems neat. But what’s the resolution? Meaning, how well does it actually work? Can I set it to 0.45″? 3/8″? Does it have to be zeroed each time? In that case, shaft collars or a piece of masking tape might work faster and possibly even better.
$399 CAD converts to $298 USD (at the time of this posting). So that’s around $300 for a cordless drill with brushless motor and a single battery.
The xDrill looks flashy, but for the same price you can wait until the holiday season and snag a Milwaukee M18 compact brushless drill kit for $99. Or a higher-powered Ridgid kit for $99. Or one of several Dewalt brushless options for $99. There are also usually Makita, Metabo HPT, and Bosch kits for $99.
With one of those alternate options, you have $200 left in your pocket for a laser distance measuring tool, a torpedo level, box level, and probably also a printer and laminator so that you could keep a drill bit and material speed selector chart handy. There might he some money left there for a corded hammer drill as well, for heavier duty tasks.
A number of people have written in about the Robbox xDrill, and they company also sent a heads-up before the Kickstarter campaign went live.
In my opinion, it could be useful. But, would it be useful enough? Frankly, I don’t think so.
How can you find the tool or lock it if stolen? Is there a replaceable coin cell battery within the tool? Will enabling these functions drain the coin cell or the attached battery over time?
What’s the max torque? Battery charge capacity?
No LED worklight?! On a “drill of the future?”
Not to mince words, the xDrill looks flashy, but the marketing turns me off a little. It seems more like an “as seen on TV” type product than a truly professional tool. It doesn’t seem “made for pros,” it seems “marketed towards beginners.”
Now, some of the xdrill’s features could be handy. Handy enough to warranty the ~$300 USD price tag?
If you want the case, that bumps up the fundraising price from $399 CAD to $449 CAD (~$336 USD). If you want a second battery, the price jumps up to $549 CAD (~$410 USD).
The kit price, with (1) battery, (1) charger, and the case is ~$336 USD. They estimate the retail price will be $669 CAD, which converts to ~$500 USD. Their conversion estimate puts the USA price as ~$488 USD.
If you want a “smart” drill, Milwaukee’s One-Key cordless drill offers some of the same speed and torque customizations, and other app features.
I’ve used drills with built-in bubble levels, and with LED level indicators, and it’s not something I would look for in my next drill.
The xDrill’s more enticing features aren’t described in enough detail to sell me on them. There’s a lot of flash, but I need more substance.
Is the xDrill drop-tested? I’d hate to drop it off a ladder and find the touchscreen shattered.
Wait – is there no manual clutch dial? Granted you can set speeds and torques through the touch display, but a good ol’ fashioned clutch dial might be faster and easier to use. It looks like you get a clutch dial, but there are no markings. It doesn’t look like a two-handed keyless chuck, but more details would be needed for full confidence.
After the dancing segment of the promo video…
They only show the keyless chuck being turned a hair for a split second, and so I can’t tell you if the xDrill has an unmarked clutch dial or if it’s part of the chuck, or if it’s just textured for decoration.
Why 21V? 3.6V Li-ion cells x 5 = 18V. At max voltage, right off the charger, you’ll usually see 4.0V x 5 = 20V “Max”. 21V. Are they figuring 4.2V Max x 5 = 21V Max? That seems like the most likely explanation.
I guess 21V (or maybe 21V Max) is meant to sound better than 18V or 20V Max?
At the surface, the Robbox xDrill seems like a marvel. But looking at the details, I’m not yet impressed. Notice that I said yet. My stance could potentially change if the marketing was less flashy, the price was lower, or it promised more performance-related features and functions for what it’s expected to cost.
I’m also not loving the color scheme, but that’s subjective. Are there enough cooling vents?
In comparison, the Dewalt Atomic 20V Max brushless cordless drill has way more air vents.