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Aldi (yes, the grocery store) is selling tools this week, and one of them is a cordless drill

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Review by Rob posted 06-03-2015 08:07 AM 51899 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Aldi (yes, the grocery store) is selling tools this week, and one of them is a cordless drill No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Edit: MrRon pointed out that this drill looks an awful lot like the HF one, which has complaints about battery longevity (as in, after about a year it stops charging correctly). Because of that possible issue, I’m dropping my review to 3 stars for now, but if anyone else knows about the quality of Aldi li-ion tools, I’d appreciate your feedback! In any case, it still seems like a decent first drill for a new homeowner and maybe even ok for tossing around the shop.

Every so often Aldi (yes, the grocery store) has some great deals on limited-time inventory. Usually when it comes to their tools, I’m impressed with what I get for my money. I picked up a bunch of WorkZONE tools this week and have started running them through the wringer. The first one I’m going to review is the cordless drill. I bought it with the intention of testing it and deciding whether it would make a good gift. If it turned out not to be very good, I’d keep it for myself. If it was decent, I could give it to my dad for Father’s Day, since all the cordless drills he’s ever owned were junk with NiCad batteries, ran out of juice almost right away, and were never charged when he needed them. It’s so bad that he’s said for the past couple years that he doesn’t want a cordless drill, but what I think he really means is he doesn’t want to have to babysit the batteries so they’re ready to go when he needs to use the drill.

I expected the 12v Lithium-ion cordless drill to be about on par with a 12v Black & Decker Lithium-ion drill I was given as a gift. Boy, was I wrong.

The WorkZONE cordless drill comes in a double-molded hard case. The drill has an integrated LED light, keyless chuck with 19+1 clutch, 2-speed gearbox, and, of course, a lithium-ion battery and charger. That’s about on par with the Black & Decker. But what blew me away is that the drill has significantly more torque than the B&D; and the keyless chuck is the one-hand, self-locking type. These are two features that are usually reserved for higher-end tools, not normally seen on tools in the sub-$50 range.

On top of that, the case comes loaded with a magnetic bit holder, a set of screwdriver bits, and a set of drill bits.

Unfortunately it only includes one battery, but at a price of $30, you can afford to just buy two or three drills…you know, on for drilling, one for driving, and one for whatever else you can think of.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t a $100 drill selling for $30. The plastic in a couple spots seems a little cheap compared to my Bosch 12v drill, but the whole tool feels rugged, nonetheless. The forward/neutral/reverse switch doesn’t slide into forward position quite smoothly as I’d like, but these minor gripes are just me being nitpicky. The fit and finish is surprisingly good, including the hard case with bit and accessory storage. The only thing I’d like to see is a second battery, but as far as I know nobody else sells a Li-ion drill at this price point in the first place, so only including 1 battery is reasonable.

The obvious downside is that you might never be able to buy a replacement battery pack from Aldi once the included one bites the dust, but MrRon pointed out that this drill looks an awful lot like the Harbor Freight model, so that may be a source for replacement or additional batteries (though the reviews aren’t too great on the longevity of the HF batteries). Given the price and the 3-yr warranty, though, this drill is hard to pass up. I’ll try to remember to read the warranty statement tonight to see if the battery is covered.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com




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Rob

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13 comments so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2298 posts in 2365 days


#1 posted 06-03-2015 12:41 PM

Interesting, I may have to swing by Aldi’s and see if ours has any. I have the DeWalt 18V impact and drill combo, but that’s often too big for what I need. The logical side of me is telling me to give it a shot. The tool snob in me is saying steer clear. If our Aldi’s has them, logical me wins out.

What specifically is covered under the 3-year warranty, and what’s the end-user got to do to get it repaired/replaced? My guess is that, if it dies a year from now, I can’t just bring it back to Aldi’s. And I don’t want to pay $50 in shipping to get it repaired/replaced.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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bbrown

230 posts in 3548 days


#2 posted 06-03-2015 01:20 PM

Is there a link for on-line purchases? We do not have an Aldi’s here in my VA location. I read also on the quite reliable Sellers woodworking blog (British) yesterday that the Aldi chisels are quite good. They cost $6.50 for three – no kidding. I’d buy some if there was an on-line way to do so.

-- Bill Micah 6:8

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 3066 days


#3 posted 06-03-2015 05:13 PM

Ed, I don’t have the warranty statement handy but I did find contact info regarding the drill’s warranty on Aldi’s website: https://www.aldi.us/en/customer-service/warranties-manuals/warranties-detail/sis/si/workzone-12v-lithium-ion-cordless-drill/

I was going to say if a battery lasts 3 years like a cell phone battery, you’re in good shape, but then I realized I’ve had my Bosch 18V drill more than 3 years and it’s still going strong. On the other hand, Aldi does so much to reduce costs, they strike me as the type of company that would rather make a tool that is almost guaranteed to last longer than their warranty because they don’t want to have to waste resources on customer service.

bbrown, unfortunately Aldi doesn’t sell online, but the chisel deal this week is even better than that—4 for $7. I bought a set yesterday, sharpened one up and tried it out, then went back and bought more. I can see grinding and repurposing some of the chisels as skew chisels or mortising chisels, or as blades for homemade tools.

I also bought a couple sets of files, a tape measure, level, a 3M safety kit (goggles, N95 respirator, and earplugs), a few boxes of screws, and a stud detector. Whenever I go near the stud detector it starts beeping, so it must be working…. (Lame, I know, but it’s pretty much obligatory.) I’ll try to add some reviews for more items later.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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Ocelot

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#4 posted 06-03-2015 06:50 PM

Thanks for this review!

My wife shops at Aldi, though I rarely go there myself.

Keep in mind they don’t take credit cards and you have to have a quarter with you if you want to use a cart.

The chisels sound interesting. I’ll look at the other stuff too.

-Paul

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Ocelot

1975 posts in 2634 days


#5 posted 06-03-2015 06:52 PM


Whenever I go near the stud detector it starts beeping, so it must be working…. (Lame, I know, but it s pretty much obligatory.)

- Rob

My wife had a stud detector before we got married. After we married she threw it away. I don’t know if it was because she didn’t need it anymore, or because it didn’t work. ;-)

-Paul

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4764 posts in 3239 days


#6 posted 06-03-2015 07:29 PM

Looks very much like the Harbor Freight 12V Li-ion drill. It works ok, but the battery runs down very quickly.

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 3066 days


#7 posted 06-03-2015 09:58 PM

Ocelot, I’m sure your wife threw it out because it did its job and she didn’t need it any more.

Also good reminder about Aldi. I didn’t grab a cart and it wasn’t easy carrying all that stuff to the register. They do take debit cards, but half the time I can’t remember my PIN since I rarely use it, so I usually just pay cash. I almost want to say they did start taking one type of credit card, but I’m probably thinking of when Sam’s Club started accepting MasterCard.

Ron, thanks for the tip. I updated my review to include it. Now I’m somewhat conflicted about giving the drill to my dad since he doesn’t need yet another drill whose batteries might not hold a charge very well after a year or two.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

View albachippie's profile

albachippie

772 posts in 3031 days


#8 posted 06-08-2015 11:57 AM

It also looks like the bosch, makita, milwaukee….. I wouldn’t base quality on how much of a clone it is of another product. Have a look at this google search and see how many similar designs there are. I have the bosch, and love it.

My neighbor has a WORKZone 18v li on drill however. He uses it for screwing up and down the stabalising jacks on his caravan. It is kept in the caravan between holidays, and he rarely has to charge it. Loses no charge being idle for months at a time. He liked it that much that he bought 2, thus solving the battery problem.

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

View marc7101's profile

marc7101

23 posts in 1063 days


#9 posted 07-15-2015 09:38 PM

These drills can be good value for someone using it a couple of times a month for light duty work. The best cordless drill for the busy DIYer or professional still remains the top brands that are tried and tested. They spend millions on R&D and this shows when it comes to reliability.

-- Marc- http://www.thediyhubby.com/drill-press-reviews/

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Juicebox

1 post in 1011 days


#10 posted 08-16-2015 01:18 AM

Good News, you can order replacement batteries. They are $19 but there is a better way to go! If you can take your drill apart simply solder a deans plug onto the positive and negative wires and then you can use inexpensive Lipo batteries. The deans plugs and batteries are used for RC vehicles and can be found on ebay or an RC hobby shop. I highly suggest the DIY Lipo route because these batteries will give you very long use and power especially using an 18v! A $10 charger is used to charge as seen in video. Note your charger must have a Lipo cutoff, do not use an old NiMh charger unless you have a Lipo cutoff.

Here is a link to a video showing how to use a 2200mah 11.1v or 18v battery in a drill.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGCUb2oHTnY

Here is a link to order the replacement battery for the WorkZone.
http://sumec.mybigcommerce.com/workzone-12v-lithium-ion-cordless-drill-battery/

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 1160 days


#11 posted 12-26-2015 04:14 PM

I just thought I would report that Aldi is selling another cordless drill. Its a 16V, and it is going for $30. I couldn’t resist the offer, and am now charging it downstairs in the shop. Its very small and light weight, and is of the same class as the Rockwell 16V drill.

For $29.99 it makes a great gap filler. I install draperies, among other things, and am using 18V Ryobi drills. I have the original older ones, and the newer green one, which is inferior to the original, but it is lighter. The original blue ones are monsters(originally for NiCad batteries), and I have one with a hammer drill capability. But this drill is so much smaller and lighter. And if the battery goes out, it is so inexpensive I can throw it away and not have any remorse.

You’d better hurry because at this price they will not be around long.

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View sos22's profile

sos22

1 post in 1673 days


#12 posted 06-17-2016 03:18 PM

Yesterday (June 16, 2016) I bought one of the 12v Li-ion cordless drills at Aldi. I think it has changed somewhat from previous versions sold up to last year. The package now states “Samsung Li-ion 1500 mah battery pack.” The handle and battery of the Aldi drill look quite different from the HF 12v drill, and I doubt that HF gets its batteries from Samsung.

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 1160 days


#13 posted 06-17-2016 03:46 PM


Yesterday (June 16, 2016) I bought one of the 12v Li-ion cordless drills at Aldi. I think it has changed somewhat from previous versions sold up to last year. The package now states “Samsung Li-ion 1500 mah battery pack.” The handle and battery of the Aldi drill look quite different from the HF 12v drill, and I doubt that HF gets its batteries from Samsung.

- sos22

I’m still enjoying my Workforce drill. It has only one drawback that I can find. It is top heavy. If you attach an extension bit that sticks out from the drill, it will not stand up on its own. The battery base needs to be wider or heavier, or both. Otherwise, its a great little drill, while I just lay it on its side, or stick in my installation ladder’s holster.

I went looking for this new drill, over at my local Aldis store, but there wasn’t any there. I did take advantage of the adjustable clamps though. Never can have too many clamps. ;)

Oh, and their new tape measure for $4 is a steal. The old tape measure had both English and Metric measurement, which was a royal pain for me to use, since I am left handed. The new one has only the Standard English. I bought five of them, and am going to give away my older ones. Never can have enough tape measures either. ;)

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

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