SOME readers might already be familiar with the Draper 10.8v Storm Force Range reviewed in these pages a while back, writes PETER BRETT.
The launch of three 20v tools to add to these will be welcomed by those users who need a bit more power and capability – think enthusiastic amateurs and light trades.
There are lots of features to note in the range, but dealers and end users alike will appreciate the keen pricing and multiple battery options that are flexible enough to satisfy most users, and also allow options to upgrade and change as conditions change.
The tools reviewed below are a combi drill, an impact driver, and an SDS drill/hammer. Other tools available in the range are a palm sander, angle grinder, oscillating multi tool, jigsaw, circular saw and reciprocating saw.
All have the now familiar and unmistakeable Dark Blue and Black Draper livery with the up-to-date features that most users need these days. Time to look at these tools in more detail.
This is the only tool in the range that comes in a custom-fitted plastic case, and it comes with everything you need to get started – drill, two 2Ah battery packs, a charger, auxiliary handle, belt hook and driver bit.
The tool is well made and has an abundance of grippy rubber around the handle and trigger area to allow for easy handling, as well as rubber protection ‘bumpers’ on the back of the casing and behind the chuck.
The 20 torque settings, along with hammer and drilling modes are selected via the usual collar behind the 13mm capacity keyless chuck. These are easy to select with a positive click stop on each.
The auxiliary handle screws are under the chuck collar in either left or righthanded positions, and the handle itself has grippy rubber too. A steel belt hook can also be mounted on left or right to suit user preferences, and the LED light on the handle base is aimed straight at the work area.
The 2Ah Li-Ion batteries take an hour each to charge. Drills don’t usually use a lot of power in drilling and screwdriving modes, so a couple of 2Ah batteries will be enough for most users - there is always the option to purchase a 4Ah battery if needed (one of the advantages of the Storm Force 20v system).
In use, the drill performs well on a range of basic drilling tasks. It has 50Nm of torque available and has a drilling capacity of 35mm diameter in wood, and 13mm in masonry or steel – enough to cover a range big enough for most users.
With two speeds selected via a sliding switch on top of the body, and a speed sensitive trigger, it is possible to control drilling speeds very accurately.
With a price point of £89.99 inc VAT, it is clear the Storm Force 20v combi is very well priced and designed to appeal – and it does.
Storm Force 20v SDS+ Rotary Hammer Drill
I rarely use hammer mode on any combi drills these days – not since SDS technology has become cheap enough to be widely available. SDS is just so much quicker and easier, that we are into no-brainer territory.
The Storm Force SDS+ rotary hammer drill is available as a kit with the combi drill and a capacious Draper Storage bag for £215.94, or as a bare tool for £59.95. In my view this represents very good value, as well as increasing the versatility of the Storm Force Kit.
The SDS+ drill follows a similar pattern to the combi above. It is light and easy to manage, as well as being comfortable to handle.
There is also ample grippy rubber to help handling and fend off the inevitable knocks that such a tool may sustain. Mounting a drill bit is as easy as sliding back the chuck collar and inserting the bit, and then seating it with a slight twist.
There is a forward/reverse switch above the trigger and a rotary switch to select hammer or drill mode. An LED light directed at the work really helps to illuminate the piece.
I used the SDS drill/hammer mostly on hard face bricks to mount window and door frames, and it performed well. It has a drilling capacity of 10mm, which is enough for most common household and light trade tasks.
Since drilling masonry is much more demanding than drilling wood, I would recommend that users get the 4Ah battery pack if possible.
Storm Force 20v Impact Driver
Like the SDS+ rotary hammer above, the impact driver is available as a bare tool for £46.14, or as part of a kit with the Impact Wrench (not reviewed) and storage case for £209.94. But for the best of all worlds the 3 Machine Fixing Kit (Combi drill, SDS+ and impact driver) is great value at £263.94
In my view, this is indeed the kit that an ambitious homebuilder or home improver would plump for, as it has the range of tools needed, as well as the possibility of adding battery packs for extra capacity.
The impact driver is no slouch – I had no trouble driving 120mm long concrete screws into hard face bricks through wooden frames. Compared to some impact drivers I have used, it is a lot quieter along with its 180Nm of torque.
It is as well-built as the other tools in the range, with a good ergonomic handle and ample rubberised protection on handle and body. An LED worklight on the base is helpful in darker areas and the 6mm chuck has a sprung, milled collar on it, making inserting and removing bits very easy.
Batteries and chargers
As with the tools there is some choice for users regarding batteries and chargers. For more demanding applications, like rotary hammer use, it makes sense to choose the 4Ah battery packs at £53.94 each rather than the cheaper 2Ah ones at £32.94.
For many users, an hour’s charging time is perfectly adequate, but more demanding work, you might want to choose the fast charger at £31.74 – not exactly bank breaking!
By the way, I particularly liked the battery status lights on the base of the battery packs – three striplights in red, orange and green give you all the info needed.
I think the Draper team have done a good job with this collection of tools.
Individually, they are sound basic tools and users will be able to put together many combinations and kits – all at very reasonable prices.
Storm Force is a really good way of getting exactly what you need, without a large price tag or unwanted tools.
Other tools available are palm sander, angle grinder, oscillating multi tool, jigsaw, circular saw reciprocating saw.