There comes a time in your project or renovation life where you develop a certain comfort with the tools you have. You may not own every tool you need or want, but you're able to make do with the ones you own, making them work for the tasks at hand, even if they aren't quite ideal.

The cordless drill I received for Christmas 2002, just before we moved into our house, has been a true workhorse of a tool, and one I came to rely on day in and day out. Whether drilling a simple pilot hole and securing a screw, or mixing thinset and drilling into masonry, this small 14.4v DeWalt drill was given little break and did more for me than it was ever meant to do.

Several months ago I began lusting after a new drill. I knew a hammer drill would be more appropriately suited for many of my tasks, and I also understood that the overall life of my old drill would ultimately suffer the longer it took to add a new drill to our workbench. So I did what every tool obsessed DIYer tends to do, I stalked the potential selection of drills online like a creepy guy looking for a date.

Like a frustrated Internet geek looking for that elusive supermodel girlfriend, I clicked my way through the of the tool world, Amazon's Tools & Home Improvement store, reading review after review.

After much weeding out of various options, I finally identified a drill that fit the bill and even dedicated a toolbox Tuesday to that potential addition, almost like I was writing a Craig's List missed connection.

As luck would have it (or was it fate?), over Christmas my in-laws gifted me this very drill that I had pined for. I received the bare drill, as I already had a few batteries, so that made the whole thing far more reasonable (the batteries are expensive).

Over the past few months I've been using this new DeWalt XRP 18v hammer drill on various projects, and I must say, oh-my!

I simply didn't know what I had been missing! And now I can't believe I went so long without picking this up. What a mistake!

This drill has so much more torque than our older drill, and has been able to rip through some of the more difficult tasks with ease. From boring large holes in 2x4s or pressure treated material, to sinking a masonry bit into some brick while on the hammer setting, this drill can do it with ease. The additional torque comes courtesy of the more powerful motor and higher voltage battery over the older drill.

The key to this drill is the dial on the neck that allows me to specify if I need to use the drill to set a screw, drill a hole, or leverage the hammer drill action for the heavier duty work.

I've primarily been using the new drill while my old drill sets nearby, ready to set whatever screw is necessary.

Which brings me to my next point. I had absolutely no idea just how useful a second drill would be! It shames me to think about how much time I must have wasted over the years changing between drill bits and screwdriver bits. Just thinking about drilling pilot holes and then setting screws makes me shutter at the 5-10 seconds of wasted time between every action. Now, I just grab the new drill to drill a hole, then grab the old drill to set the screw. It's a life simplification I couldn't really appreciate, or even realize I needed, until I experienced it.

Overall the new drill seems more comfortable and ergonomic than the old drill, though it is slightly larger.

And one cool feature I didn't anticipate caring about, but has turned out to he quite useful, is the drill's tiny LED that lights when the trigger is depressed.

It makes me think of those super deep sea fish that have evolved over millions of years and have those lights on their heads. You know the ones I'm talking about.

Yes, I just compared our new drill to a creepy deep sea creature-fish.

If you've been shopping around for a new drill like I was, or if you have just one all-purpose drill in your tool arsenal and no extra cordless screwdriver, this very well may be the drill that rounds out your collection.

It's saying a lot when a tool elicits that agonizing mentality of "why didn't I buy this sooner?" Now that my lack of tool possession has been corrected, I hope my folly in lack of ownership will help you to avoid a similar tragic fate.

Do you have experience with this new drill of mine, or perhaps a similar model or style? Be sure to let us know your opinions on the topic. After all, I did really want this specific drill based on the advice of commenters on our previous post.

Did you enjoy reading this post? Want to learn more about our first-hand experiences with other tools, devices or items used throughout our renovation? If so, check out our complete list of product reviews in our Toolbox Tuesday section

Note: We weren't compensated for this review. We simply want to share good products when we see them, and hope that learning from our mistakes can help save you time, money and frustration.

Comments 7


3/26/2013 at 7:08 PM
I second having two drills - it's bliss. In fact, I own that very same hammer drill in the corded version (even more oomph)!
This drill has so much torque that I've forgotten to get a good hold and almost injured myself several times.
3/27/2013 at 12:28 PM
I'll probably never forget the time I broke our 18v Dewalt drill at work.

You might find a bit of amusement in my little story, so I thought I'd post it for you guys. Basically, all of our cordless drills at work are Dewalt, and when we need the 1/2" chuck for heavy dusty jobs, we use the 18v monster.

Quickie side note: The Dewalt impact drills are probably the most amazing drills I've ever used. They can hammer-in screws into solid maple (usually the screw will break before the drill quits).

We were on a job site, and we were drilling 4" or 5" holes into a bulkhead for pot lights (something in the area of 10-12 holes). My coworker had made a series of holes, then passed me the drill to continue (it was a huge bulkhead and I was in a good spot to continue). It was either my first or second hole, and I pushed too hard, too quick (as the centre bit passed through the wood), and this caused the hole-saw bit to very quickly and forcefully grab into the wood (just veneered particle board), and the sheer force of the bit jamming into the wood caused the handle on the drill to snap at the neck. I was horrified! I knew this was a very expensive drill. No one was impressed, including my boss, who was with us for the installation.

We ended up having to borrow another drill from other on-site workers and my boss/coworker finished the rest of the holes. :(

Let this be a bit of a warning when drilling large holes.
I can't even imagine the amount of stress necessary to break the handle right off. That's impressive! I broke my bosses belt sander one day, so I know exactly the look you got. There's nothing like looking over at your boss with one of his favorite or expensive power tools in multiple non functional pieces.
3/27/2013 at 1:54 PM
Dude! 2 drills is the way to go. Hands.Down. Once you have 2, you'll never know how you worked constantly switching bits.
I've been using 2 now for a few months, but in the last couple of days, I've been using 2 drills a lot. What an amazing difference it makes!
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