Greenworks is making news with their expansion into shop tools. Long known for its battery-powered yard tools, the company has set its sights on a larger slice of the home improvement pie. One of their first offerings is this new Drill and Impact Driver set that promises to deliver the power needed for common home improvement tasks without the hassle of power cords.
Key Takeaways from our hands-on review:
- Solid build with a hefty feel.
- Belt clip makes easy work of toting the tools up ladders and in attics.
- Built-In LED Light is a God-send for dark workspaces
- The 24v battery offers sufficient power for most average home improvement tasks.
Let’s dive into the findings from this review and help you determine whether or not this toolset should be in your garage.
Check out the Champion 4375/3500-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator - RV Ready! (link to Amazon)
Note: Greenworks sent us these tools for review but had no input into my recommendations. As always, I test and report based on my own findings.
Unboxing The Greenworks 24v Drill and Impact Driver Kit
First impressions can sell or spoil a purchasing experience. I was delighted to find that when I opened the box, both tools were pre-packaged in a nice hefty carry case.
Handing the tools was equally pleasing. They have a solid, firm feel to them. We’ve all held those cheap battery-powered tools that feel more like a toy in your hand. You don’t get that feeling from these. Each has a nice solid feel to it and the rubber on the handgrip makes them feel just a little more…premium.
The adjustment dials, triggers, and reverse switches all feel well made as well. That’s important because these are the parts that will get the most wear and tear besides the motor itself.
Specifications And Features
I won’t dwell too much of the specs since these can be reviewed in full on the Greenworks website. I do, however, want to highlight a few key features.
The kit comes with the drill, impact driver, two batteries, charger, and carry case. (There’s also a small sampling of drill bits and some instruction manuals).
- 19 position chuck
- Variable Speed Trigger
- Built-In LED light
- Cushioned Overmold Grip
- Belt Clip
- 1/4″ Hex Quick-Release Coupler
- Built-In LED light
- Cushioned Overmold Grip
- Belt Clip
Interchangeable Batteries For A Huge Ecosystem of Tools
I am a big believer in investing in an ecosystem of battery-powered tools. Owning a hodgepodge of battery tools from different brands just ends up creating a mess of batteries and chargers.
With over 75 offerings in the 24v product line, Greenworks offers a huge ecosystem of interchangeability. This means that if you are investing in 24v Greenworks tools, your batteries can be used across your entire line of tools in that voltage range, giving you a consistent and reliable power source.
Specs are fun to compare but where the quality of a product will shine or fade is in the day-to-day use. I put these tools to the test by doing everything from simple home DIY repair projects to reinforcing weak areas of a pool deck.
I even crawled up in the attic and drilled holes through ceiling joists to run ethernet wire. Here’s where the products proved their viability and where they fell short of expectations.
I tested drilling through several different types of wood using a new and previously unused bit. For the most part, it handled the work just fine. It struggled a little when pushing into oak but that may have been due to me doing that test last.
The bit wasn’t as sharp by the time I got to that test. I blame the bit because when it came to driving screws (see next section below) it had no trouble at all with the oak.
As for drilling through wall studs and ceiling joists though, it made easy work of it.
The driver held its own in every test I threw at it when it came to driving screws. From plywood to hardwood and everything in between, the Greenworks 24v tool drove screws confidently and without mercy. I only had a small piece of 1/2 inch oak for the hardwood test but it had no issue pushing into it.
Where it really shined though was working with 2×4 pine that is common in framing. I pushed 3-inch screws through two studs and it held up just fine. I would have no hesitations about this tool being in my toolbox when I needed to do this type of work. Of course, it barely broke a sweat on a single 2×4.
I went for years without using an impact driver and those years represent countless opportunities lost. I never knew that I needed it until I used one.
This offering from Greenworks also performed admirably. I used it on the deck primarily because I was driving 3-inch deck screws and those can be demanding. But it handled the task just fine and made quick work of a task I had been putting off for far too long.
All in all, the tools performed exactly as I would expect them to.
Of all the nuances to get giddy over, the led light and belt clip are without question my favorite features of these tools. They seem minor but man do they make a difference when working. I have owned much more expensive powered hand tools that lacked these simple features.
- I climbed a ladder to secure a corner of a fascia board that had come loose and while I was there I noticed that I needed to push the soffit back into place. Being able to clip the tool to my belt so that I could put both hands into it made all the difference.
- The LED light has come to the rescue multiple times. Working in the attic, behind the washer, and even under my desk when securing cables to the underside. It puts the light right where the work is being done.
No tool is without fault and I pushed these to the limit to find their limitations. The only area where they look like they would fail a user is in the misuse of them. I drilled small holes through a series of ceiling joists as I ran an ethernet wire and had no issues. However, the drill bogged down when I ran into a ceiling plate that was triple-reinforced (three 2x4s stacked).
Understand, that is not what these tools are intended for. I didn’t expect it to be able to handle this. In fact, I did this fully expecting it to bog down.
Why? Because to fully test a tool I want to know not only what it’s capable of but also what happens when it’s pushed beyond its intended use. I’ve had a couple of powered tools that once pushed too hard, locked up, and were basically useless.
It’s worth knowing if that’s going to happen. In fact, it is essential to know if it’s what you can expect.
Fortunately, there was no lasting impact. The drill works as well as ever after being bogged down. Note that prolonged strain from bogging down and holding the trigger depressed likely would result in damage. In fact, I’m sure it would on just about any powered tool. But a short accidental overstep doesn’t look like it is anything to worry about. That’s a plus!
In the end, this all comes down to using a tool for what it’s intended for. The phrase “use the right tool for the job” is more than just a catchphrase. It will keep you safe and ensure that your power tools last.
There are only a couple of features that I wish were included. They are minor but as long as I’m wishing, here they are:
- Quick-Release – The impact driver has that handy quick-release where you can pull forward on the sleeve and it releases or engages the bit. I wish the drill had that feature. It probably wouldn’t work for many people though since it would lock you into using the quick-connect style drill bits. And you can buy an inexpensive adapter like this one (link to Amazon) to solve that issue. Still, a man can want.
- Battery Indicator check – you can easily see how much power the battery has when it’s engaged on one of the tools. Depress the trigger and the LED battery level bar lights up. Super handy but I would love for there to be a button on the battery itself so that you could check the level without connecting it to the tool. That would be really handy when you have a toolbox full of batteries and just need to get your hands on one that’s charged.
As I said, these are minor wishes. But if Greenworks ever hired me to consult and provide feedback, those would be on the list.
Things To Consider When Buying Battery-Powered Tools
When making a decision on investing in battery-powered tools, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
24v Is The Sweet Spot For The Average Homeowner
These 24v tools pack a lot of punch. They can handle a wide variety of power demands and that’s important. You don’t want to find yourself wondering if you need “this drill” or “that drill” based on how much power you need. The 24v battery system strikes a nice balance between power and portability that will meet the demands of the average homeowner for their weekend products and day-to-day repairs.
This is important because there is a real issue with some power tools having oversized batteries. We all think that bigger is better but where problems arise for a homeowner is the fatigue that is caused by those heavy tools. Holding them in awkward positions for extended periods can really take its toll.
The truth is, you want a tool that has the power to do the job but isn’t so overweighted with excess power that you dread using it. I do a lot of overhead work (installing ceiling fixtures, drilling holes to route network wires, etc.) and I can tell you without question that using a heavy tool for extended periods will turn your arms to jello.
Keep in mind that I’m talking about the average homeowner here. Power fanatics want all the power that can be packed into a portable tool regardless of the weight. I get that. It’s partly bragging rights and partly knowing you have the power in hand for any job. Believe me, I have my own cravings for excessive power when I’m working on a big project.
That’s why knowing what you’ll use a tool for is so important. This 24v system hits the sweet spot for the majority of homeowners’ DIY needs.
Ecosystem Legacy: Will The Battery Be Supported When You Need It?
Noone likes running into problems with a tool only to find out that the company has gone out of business. I recently had a call from a reader asking if I thought Greenworks would be around in 10 years as he was hesitant to start buying tools out of fear of running into this problem down the road.
It’s always anyone’s guess but here’s my take on it.
Greenworks has been manufacturing battery-powered tools for much longer than many of its competitors. In fact, they began offering lithium-battery tools in 2007 (source). That means they’ve got a long history of trial and error behind them.
The company has had some negative reviews on its customer service in the past (source) but they appear to be working to resolve that. In any case, Greenworks is a brand that has been around and by all indications intends to stay around and continue improving and expanding its product line.
Is The Greenworks 24v Drill and Impact Driver Kit Right For You?
If your work is mostly light to medium duty with occasional heavy-duty projects, the this Greenworks battery-powered duo should fit your needs just fine. If you are doing more demanding work on a regular basis, you may be tied to an electric cord for a little longer.
The good news though is that lithium-ion technology continues to improve and as companies like Greenworks continue to innovate with their product lines you likely won’t have to wait much longer no matter how demanding your work is.
You can purchase the Greenworks 24v Drill and Impact Driver Kit at the following outlets: