Festool’s 14.4-volt lithium-ion cordless drill, model T15+3, arrived at the same time we were testing 18-volt drills so we were able to test it along with its bigger cousins. Remarkably, the Festool showed more torque than most of the 18-volters, and it had a considerably better battery life.
Festool credits the drill’s brushless motor with its fewer wearing parts, less friction, and better motor efficiency. As the efficiency of a motor goes up, less power is lost between the battery to the chuck.
The drill includes four different chucks that can be slipped on or off the drill spindle in an instant. A keyless chuck accepts drill bits and drivers up to 1/2-in. dia. The right-angle chuck lets you get into tight spots by holding the drill so it’s perpendicular to the drill bit or driver. With the eccentric chuck installed, you can drill a hole or drive a bit right up to the inside corner of a joint. Add the quick-release chuck and you can use bits or drivers with quick-change hex shanks. If space is especially tight, you can simply insert a hex bit or driver directly into the drill spindle. This gets you a drill that’s only 6 1/4 long.
So the T15+3 gets you the compact and light-weight benefits of a 14.4-volt drill with the extra torque and battery life of an 18-volt tool. However, is it worth the stratospheric price of $570? It can save you the cost of a dedicated right-angle drill, and if you regularly drill or drill close to an inside corner, the eccentric chuck will make life a lot easier. If you are on a limited budget can certainly find other fine cordless drills for a third of the price.
In addition to the four chucks, the Festool T15+3 comes with a battery charger, two 14.4-volt batteries, and a plastic case. For more information, go to www.tdrill.festoolusa.com.
Review produced in conjunction with former Fine Woodworking Editor Tom Begnal.
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