Home » Paul Sellers’ Blog » Aldi Drill-driver Under Test

Aldi Drill-driver Under Test

You don’t see me too often extolling the merits of power equipment but one piece of equipment i use enough in the day to day of life is a battery-driven drill-driver. I like them because they are a one hand operation, leaving my free hand to hold the work. It doesn’t mean I  am abandoning my use of the eggbeater version and the brace either. Both have their place too just that they are very convenient for driving screws in some of the work I do. It’s about balance.

Last year I bought an inexpensive 14v battery-driven drill-driver because I wanted to see how it stood up. It did fine but compared to an 18v it was of course underpowered. For drilling holes though it was just fine so I used it alongside my Dewalt version 18v Lithium Ion and the two paired up fine. It was one made for the supermarket chain you either love or hate, Aldi. I’m easy either way but currently they’ve been selling an upgraded version in the form of an 18v Lithium Ion so I bought three to test them out as I use them frequently enough on my projects. The cost? £24.95.

OK, those of you working on the job site can frown and mutter, but running this alongside my Dewalt of the same voltage, if there was a difference, it was so minimal I certainly could not tell. So I have used them over the past couple of weeks now and I found myself reaching for either the Dewalt or the Aldi equally and in the end without preference. The Dewalt is heavier but that is because you can hammer drill concrete and brick with it and the Aldi version has no hammer action. For me that is inconsequential because I usually reach for a Bosch version for that quite rare occasion when I need one. the neat thing here of course is I can say it the way it is. Aldi gives a three-year no-fuss, no-frills warranty on the whole unit including the battery and you simply take the unit back to the store with a receipt for a full, unchallenged refund, repair or replacement. I say no frills because it hinges only on proof of purchase. I thought some of my friends out there might want to take advantage while they are in the store. If they work as well as Aldi chisels you may never need to buy another drill/driver. In my hands, Dewalt and Bosch haven’t gone past two years to date before the batteries have gone out.

The bit size accommodation maxes out at the same 1/2″ (13mm) as the Dewalt and with 17 torque options you are well under way to discrimination as to pressures in the drive power. The size of the Aldi is very close to the Dewalt but I like the lighter weight for some of the work I do.

With the kind of warranty offered, and the convenience too, I don’t see that you can lose with this.

48 comments

  1. David R says:

    It might be the battery is not covered by the general warranty. With laptop computers it’s often limited to one year on the battery. I’m going to keep a look out for this one here in Germany regardless, since my 10 year old brand cordless drill gave up some time ago.

    Thanks for testing it for us.

    Cordially,
    David

      • Mark Baker says:

        Aloha Paul ,
        Its been a long time since my first cordless drill , a Makita 9.6volt w/a ‘keyed ‘ chuck . We’ve come along way since then , now that we have all kinds of ways to ‘fly’ cordless ! A tip to all working on job sites where your tools are ‘locked up’ with all the rest of your crewmates tools ,
        good brands are the first to be taken when the tool room is broken into . To survive these brake-in’s , its best to only get the ‘cheapest’ , the thieves aren’t going for anything but the best to get $$$ from the pun shop .

        • Paul Sellers says:

          Since the blog I have really put this through it’s paces and the more I use it the more it fits my work. Light but not too light, punchy bit nit over aggressive. Drills holes and drives screws readily and that is all I need.

  2. Eddy flynn says:

    We have the smaller Aldi drill 12v in our workshop and it works well ,we also use the twin pack red drill driver and impact driver that are also 18v and work fantastic and for £100 i can’t fault it

  3. Michael Clive Mueller says:

    I use the Aldi 12volt drill in my handyman business for drilling and screwing because it is light and compact. I find it works great. I use a Hitachi 18v for any heavy stuff.

  4. S Richardson says:

    This will be fine for occasional use, but useless for anything sustained. we’ve tried the cheapies and they drive you mad with constantly having to charge them. Never exceed their stated load or even get close to it. And do not use big auger bits with them. These things are alright in the shed (maybe)
    A thing I would like to mention is, don’t use spade bits with any battery powered drill, they are meant to be used at high speed and cordless drills are nowhere near fast enough.

    • Thomas S. Tuthill says:

      I use spade bits with a Milwaukee 18v cordless drill all the time; most recently through composite beams supporting the joists in my cabin — went through much more quickly than I thought it would, and the bit didn’t seem to dull at all on the composite epoxy-wood strands making up the beam. I have also used them going through Advantech flooring, though this does seem to dull the bit after a while.

  5. Paul Davies says:

    When I read Paul’s review, I rushed out to my local Aldi and bought one as a back-up. Looks and feels great for the money. My only criticism at this stage is that the charger looks cheap compared to the main brands.
    I checked the small print and the battery is excluded from the warranty. Does anyone know the price and availability of spare batteries?

  6. Mike Towndrow says:

    Thanks Paul, I was in the market for a second cordless drill/driver.
    No longer available to order on line, but nipped over to the Aldi store at Botley, Oxford and bagged one.
    There were around 10 to 15 still available there this afternoon if anyone else local to Oxford is looking for one.

  7. sylvain says:

    In European Union, everything has to have a warranty of two years (including the battery). That is until the Brexit… for those in UK.
    Sylvain

    • Iksta Iner says:

      Under the 1979 Sales of Goods Act retailers have an obligation to repair or replace faulty electrical goods for up to 6 years (5 in Scotland) in the UK. UK consumers have greater protection than those in the European Union!
      Under new Consumer Law in the UK you only have to accept 1 repair or replacement before you can get a refund.
      About time Europe caught up and stopped being 4 years behind us

      • BoB says:

        For goods bought recently the coalition Governments Consumer Right Act takes effect.

        The 1979 Act only applies to Goods and Services bought before the new Act came into effect.

  8. Ken says:

    Dear Paul,
    I hope that your not “endorsing” for gain including freebies

    Otherwise thank you for inspiring me

    Ken

  9. Tom Bittner says:

    I was buying Bosch drills exclusively for years and while i won”t buy them anymore they were decent drills. After 2-3 years the batteries would die. The replacement batteries were as much as a new drill! If you bought the clone battery replacements they would not last at all. It was tough for me to throw away a $200 drill where my corded drills still work like new after 30 years.
    I will freely admit i abuse my cordless drill, I have used a 6″ hole saw with it to cut through sheet metal. I have drilled 1 1/4 spade blades into tree stumps. I will not say what it is but will say only its a high end drill.
    The technologies behind batteries is constantly changing, by the time your batteries are kaput your drill is obsolete. The price of the old drill technology is pushed down to where it becomes very affordable. If you are only going to be driving screws once in awhile with predrilled holes then why waste your money on a high end drill? It all depends on what your using it for.

  10. Allan Whiffin says:

    I purchased a Lidl 10.8 volt drill/driver 3 yrs ago, and purchased an extra battery from e bay, it appears to perform as well as my blue bosch 10.8 driver I have had for some yrs at a fraction of the price, plus it has a drill option as well

  11. Michael Ballinger says:

    I started out with an IKEA drill and pushed it to it’s absolute limits for 7 years until it started blowing black smoke. It was crudely made and lacked power but was €30 and I managed to drill super hard concrete foundations with it. What it taught me was how to use a drill with great accuracy. I now have a dewalt and the difference is incredible. What I will say is that as others mentioned the batteries may die after a few years (mine haven’t) but there is an entire line of tools that the more expensive brands use their batteries across. So if you’re considering more than a single drill it’s great to be able to interchange batteries between all your power tools. That said as a stand alone drill the aldi looks great.

  12. Paul L Dallender says:

    Aldi have proved time and time again that quality does not always mean having to pay big bucks. Over the years I have had some excellent tools and equipment which is still as good today as when I first bought them.

    However, I will say one thing………WHEN WILL THE CHISELS BE ON SALE AGAIN!

    Over a year ago I emailed Aldi asking the same question and the response was they couldn’t say but to keep an eye on their website. Well since then I have visited our local Aldi store virtually every week but to no avail.

    I have seen other items return on several occasions in that time but never the chisels. So if anyone has some inside information as to when they will be back, could you let us know.

    • Dave Ring says:

      For the past two years, the Work Zone chisels have appeared in Aldi’s US stores around the first of June at $6.95 for a set of four. it seems to be a once-a-year deal like most of Aldi’s special buys.

      Dave

    • Michael Ballinger says:

      You get what you pay for and by that in this instance I mean convenience. You can wait a year checking every week or buy some other chisels and get to work. I picked up a set by pure chance over a year ago and they’re good enough but I wouldn’t be hanging around for them, they’re my secondary chisels.

      • Paul Sellers says:

        Different strokes for different folks, Mike. Thanks for your thoughts and the thoughts of others. I probably would never have blogged on the Aldi chisels had I not found them to be as good as the rest at least and maybe better than many. At £7 for four it means thousands of new woodworkers are equipped. I considered something recently and that is what criteria to use best when I evaluate the worth of the tools I use. For some it is a question of waiting a year or two to buy a piece of equipment or a tool. These are the ones I reach too first, mostly because they may put off doing something because they hear gurus in the pay of the big boys doing their sales pitch and those unconcerned about money saying the same because they don’t consider those who might not be able to afford what they have. In the case of this drill-driver, as I said in this article, I played the two drills side by side and couldn’t really detect enough difference to say that the one was drastically better than the other for drilling holes in wood and other materials and then driving screws too. It isn’t even false economy if it lasted but a year because all the others cost 4-5 times as much. Partly I do like many people do and evaluate a tool by how often I reach for them, then by which ones I reach for if indeed I have other makes or types. I refined my personal-use Aldi’s some years ago by putting new handles on some and refining the existing handles on others. I also polished the steel out to remove some of the grind marks (which were no worse than the higher end chisel grind marks). The results of my testing was that a chisel from a higher end chisel manufacturer in Britain snapped off an inch from the end and I was using only mild pressure at the time. This left me less confident in the product and the maker but I bought another and am testing that one out. Another higher end manufacturer from North America made a chisel that not only sliced my fingers during hand sharpening but the fingers of students who brought their own with them from the same maker too. We’ve used over 100 Aldi chisels in our in our classes and test work for over seven years to date. They just keep going. They have never snapped, never bent, always taken a good edge and always held a good edge. These too carried a 3 year warranty. I like warranties you never have to dig out.

        • Michael Ballinger says:

          I agree with you on all fronts Paul, it’s just when they’re not available you could be left waiting a long time. I wasn’t suggesting that the only alternative is to buy expensive tools – I picked up a chisel in France to do a job for my mother in law while I was on holidays. It was a little more expensive being €10 but it meant I got the job done. I still use that chisel and it seems to keep a good enough edge. Inspired by you when I got home I took off the metal ring on the end and shaped the handle to suit me. I regularly pick up tools that you endorse because they’re a safe bet.

          • Paul Sellers says:

            I valued your contribution, Michael. Nothing at all wrong with all that you said. Just broadening my own contribution a little further. Thank you for your participation. And I usually do try to really put tools through a decent bench test through real use. I was using it today and though this little guy is feisty!

        • Mark says:

          I bought a set of chisels from Lidl last year on your recommendation intending to use them as a bash about set. At the same time i bought a high quality branded set, which I intended to keep for best. Truth is, after preparing the Lidl chisels, I like them so much the branded ones are still in their box and haven’t even been flattened etc. One caveat emptor though. The 1/4″ I have is bent in the sideways plane. My fault for not going thru the sets in store and checking properly. I wipe them down with baby oil. They’ve been hanging up all winter in my cold damp garage next to the Worc/Brum canal (Rust City Central). I got a couple of small rust spots on the collars but the steels themselves have not one spot of rust on them. I am impressed and happy.

    • Paddy says:

      Hey Paul,

      I contacted Aldi about the “Paul Seller’s chisels” two years back and the impression I got then was that they had no intention of selling them in the near future, if ever again. In the end, I got a set from Lidl (different packaging of course, but almost identical to the Aldi set, stamped up with the same German company details, etc).

      I know Aldi haven’t stocked them since then, but perhaps Lidl still sell them?

      regards
      Paddy

  13. Charles says:

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. This post dovetails nicely with the recent posts on loaning tools. Here’s a drill I wouldn’t mind using or loaning.

  14. Joe says:

    Thanks Paul. Of all the woodworkers, I trust your tool reviews the most as you aren’t being funded or endorsed by them. The person who can solve (and patent) drill batteries that last much longer would have a road paved of gold in front of them. Heck, I wish someone would make a universal battery that had adapters you could then insert into your cordless tools so that one battery sale runs on all of them.

    Should my current drill fail I will give the Aldi a look. I don’t want to spend much money on a cordless drill.

  15. Ed says:

    Forget 14v :-)…I use the Milwaukee 12v drill/driver because it is so light and agile. It comes with two batteries, so one can be on the charger while I use the other. It only takes about 20 minutes for a charge, so I never run out. Even still, I get several hours of hard work per charge. I realize this doesn’t fit the niche of being a super-saver, but I wanted to mention the issue of size. After 5 to 8 years, some runout has developed in the chuck, which I need to figure out. Otherwise, I’m still using the original batteries (which surprises me, to be honest).

    • Ed says:

      I better add…a tradeoff for lightness is that the chuck only goes to 3/8″. That has rarely been a problem, but it can be.

  16. Kris Freyermuth says:

    It’s relatively easy to replace the internal batteries in a drill. Some soldering skills are required, but IMHO well within reach of anyone who dares to square a board using only planes and hand saws. There are countless aids available on YouTube and Instructables.

  17. David says:

    You should not fully charge your lithium battery and then let it sit around, that is one of the worst things you can do to it, if you do it will shorten the life of the battery by half or more. Also avoid keeping them in hot environments, like a hot car. The ideal charge level to store them at is 30-40% and then charge when you need it.

    • Michael Ballinger says:

      That was an interesting bit of information and I decided to verify it by reading several sources one being a chemistry university. I never knew that a full charge puts stress on the battery, I did know about temperatures especially when it’s really cold it’ll drain the battery in my phone or camera much more quickly. Interesting to add that lithium batteries don’t like rapid charging either so avoid those chargers if you can.

  18. Dennis Hollinghurst says:

    I had an Aldi 14v drill and after 18months the battery developed a fault, in such that it would not charge. I emailed the service centre, attached a copy of my receipt and within 48 hours a new battery was delivered via courier to my home.
    I have several other Aldi tools and so far I have not been disappointed by the quality or performance.

  19. Christopher Dennis says:

    Useful and unbiased information as usual Paul.

    I worked for a large Engineers Merchant and Industrial Supplier when I first went into sales 20 years ago and gleaned a great deal about branding and who makes what for who else; whilst much has changed over the years I do chuckle at people who swear by one brand for all their power tool requirements when so much re-branding goes on.

    In terms of cars we all know that VW group make VW, Seat, Skoda and Porche to cater for different market sectors but frown at Lidl, Aldi or say even Screwfix own branded products when they very likely come out of the same factories as better known brands especially the black and yellow made popular on a certain garden makeover tv programme around the millennium.

    Yes your Aldi drill won’t stand heavy use on site but it is £25 and cracking value at that.
    I’ve picked up a few choice pieces at Aldi and Lidl recently and they are good value and should last if used within their limits.
    I still have most of my Black and Decker power tools that I bought from my Mum’s Kays catalogue with pocket/milk-round money when I was still at school in the mid-1980s; they work well and will continue to do so if given respect.

    Thanks for posting this type of information to make tools available to people with all depths of pocket.

  20. Ferd says:

    Thanks again for a very helpful review. We have an Aldis near us here in central Pennsylvania but I have never seen them offer the driver or the chisels. This probably has to do with Lowes being just a half mile away where there is a plethora of power tool brands. I always wind up buying Hitachi brand drivers as they are middle-of-the-road in price & have always given me good results. I have seen these drivers dropped from 40 feet and come back running and uncracked. Batteries seem to last three years even if stored for a month or two. Really enjoy reading & watching you: a peaceful place in a world of chaos.

    Blessings, Ferd

  21. Stephen G. says:

    One thing that I really appreciate about you Paul is that your style, personality, and effort brings together so many similar types – responsible, creative, funny,, and just plain interesting. You guys are my kind of people. A few people are thrown in that think their way is the only (right) way, but seems to be the exception not the rule. You have created an inviting place for us to congregate around the workbench and learn something about woodwork, about life, and about ourselves. Thank you sir!

    Any chance you’ll be in the US anytime in 2017?

  22. Frank Manello says:

    Heck I’ll try the Aldi’s if for no other reason than they are less expensive than a new Dewalt battery.

  23. François says:

    As a professional woodworker making movie set I use Festool cordless drills, I’ve used them for the last 10 years and never had to change a battery. Most of my fellow workers use Festool Makita or Bosch but recently I noticed people are buying more and more cheap tools because we get robbed a lot!

  24. Geomanuk says:

    Just a point you may all be interested in I bought a Parkline 12V from lidl and to be very honest it did a remarkable amount of work for about 18 months. I was extremely surprised by its performance and very pleased, maybe 80% of that work was for wall plugs. Then the battery died constantly recharging. Contacted Lidl and it appears no contingency in place for obtaining a new battery therefore a perfectly serviceable drill is effectively scrap. As I have noticed in the past both lidl and aldi often sell the same products but with differing brand names. This may be a point to consider when buying any tool requiring a battery.

  25. John Cadd says:

    So here I was today with my brace and bit fitting the hinges and locks on a heavy mahogany back door. The door catch needed a different shaped bit .On the first screw the bit broke in half. That bit came from a box of screw tips that I have never opened till today . You never know what you`re getting unless you try them out for us Paul .

  26. Pete says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this Paul. I managed to track one down at Liskeard today, along with a rather nifty jig saw.

  27. sla says:

    It will be useful to share some knowledge about boring. Different type of hols, different types of hand drills, how to keep square or an angle. Different types of drill bits. How to add precision. How to bore fast and clean larger holes. How to hold it correctly.

    Today as a first hand drill, we should by an electric one like this. Then a brace, in many cases electric drill will not work, it is too fast or not enough torque. With this 2 we can basically do everything. An egg beater is fun to use and works in many cases, but it is not essential, I have different sizes and love them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *