The new Worx AiDrill cordless drill, WX178, is either the most innovative DIYer drill ever, or the most gimmicky.
I’m calling it a DIYer drill, because I assume it’s aimed at consumers, homeowners, hobbyists, DIYers, and similar audiences. From what I’ve seen, Worx cordless power tools aren’t aimed at professional users.
Worx says that their AiDrill will lead you to Rethink drilling and driving, entirely.
There are 3 main features that together make this an extremely unique drill.
- Automatic BitLock Chuck
- PulseAssist Impulse Function
Automatic BitLock Chuck
The Worx AiDrill features a self-centering and auto-locking chuck, which is activated by a rotatable switch. Rock the switch collar one way to secure bits in the chuck, and the other way to loosen them up.
The promo video, embedded below, makes it look fantastic, but the proof will come when a variety of bit types and sizes are thrown at it.
SafeDrive Automatic Screw Stop
Worx is calling this a game changer, and claim that the automatic screw stop works regardless of screw size or working material.
This feature basically replaces the adjustable clutch found on nearly every other cordless drill.
Sounds a lot like the Black & Decker AutoSense drill to me.
PulseAssist Impact Function
a hammer-like an impact-like impulse mode, PulseAssist, that can be used to start drill bits on hard, slick, or curved surfaces, and to loosen stubborn screws.
That sounds a lot like Metabo’s Impuls drill feature, which has been around for a number of years now.
Innovation or Gimmick?
As you watch the embedded video below, or skip the video and only consider the above points, do you feel more that the Worx AiDrill is an innovation, or a gimmick?
I think it has the potential to be an innovative cordless drill for casual users, but I have hesitations.
What happens if you under-drilled hardwood and require more torque to drive in some screws? Or if you’re using self-drilling screws? Spade drill bits, or any other non-twist drill bit, including hole saws, Unibit-style step bits, and so forth.
What happens when you’re driving in a fastener, and it hangs for a brief moment due to a lightly mangled thread?
Yes, drill clutches can require some trial and error to dial them in perfectly. But that trial and error, and adjustment range, gives you control. A tool like this looks to take away some of that control, in favor of convenience and in theory worry-free results.
Worx’s last cordless drill innovation was the SwitchDriver, an odd-looking tool with two quick release chucks.
Worx runs a lot of TV commercials and infomercials, and I fully expect for the new Worx AiDrill to be their as-seen-on-TV tool. That’s not a bad thing, it just means that a lot of the videos you see will show exaggerated failures of traditional tools.
That’s what turns me off of a tool like this – the ridiculous way “normal” tools are portrayed. If a drill is set to near its lowest clutch setting and that proves to be insufficient to drive a long screw, what sane individual will turn it forward 2 notches, try again, and then swing it to its maximum setting?
It looks to me like the “without [any of these fancy features” model is a European Bosch 18V green cordless drill with single speed, but I can’t quite identify the model.
This drill wouldn’t be a good fit for me today, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, and maybe even further back. But what about around 14 years ago when I bought my first cordless drill, a Black & Decker 12V Firestorm? Maybe…
As of the time of this posting, this YouTube video is the only place we’ve seen the Worx AiDrill. You can’t find it on Worx’s websites, or any typical Worx retailers, so we don’t know how much it’ll cost, or what its relevant specs are.