Drills for DIYers have been much more convenient since they all went cordless. But for the casual user who pulls out the drill only a few times a year, loading a drill or driver bit straight and remembering which clutch setting is which can add time to a task. This user would most benefit from the Worx Ai Drill, a $99 drill/driver that automates these tasks, though more experienced users could enjoy it as well.
The Ai Drill Model WX178L, one of several products the brand announced last week at the GIE+Expo trade show, has what Worx calls “advanced intelligence” (hence the “Ai”) in the tool’s imitation of human behavior. The first such display is with a feature called BitLock, a motorized 3/8-inch chuck that centers a bit you’ve loaded—no more wobbly bits—and tightens it with more torque than you’d give it by hand. To engage it, you turn a collar that Worx calls the switch ring; to remove the bit, you turn the ring the other way.
Most drill/drivers come with at least two clutch settings. The Worx Ai Drill has no settings because the internal smarts detect the material into which you’ll be putting holes or screws. This helps it with one particular drilling mode, SafeDrive, which you activate through a button on top of the drill. With SafeDrive enabled, the drill provides enough torque for what a screw must pass through and then stops by itself once the screw head is flush.
No stripping allowed
Another mode, PulseAssist, will drive a bit slowly in a pulsing way, just as an experienced user might feather the trigger to avoid stripping a screw while inserting or removing it. As with SafeDrive, it stops when the screw is flush—though you can override the setting should you need to countersink screws.
The Worx Ai Drill weighs 3.1 pounds with its 20-volt battery, which is included with a charger and a double-ended screw bit. An LED on the drill glows when the battery charge is low, but you might want an extra since a recharge takes five hours. Interested? The drill should be available in mid-December, selling through worx.com and at Amazon, Lowe’s and Menards. The product will also be sold eventually without its battery and charger, for those who own another 20-volt Worx tool that came with these, for about $60.
Should you need a workbench, a saw horse or both, another of a handful of Worx announcements at GIE+Expo was the Worx Pegasus Worktable, Model WX051. This $120 product weighs 30 pounds and switches easily between a 31×25-inch worktable and a sawhorse. It includes notches to hold in 2x4s for elevating, say, plywood for cross-cutting without digging into the table’s surface. The surface supports up to 300 pounds (1,000 when used as a sawhorse), and you can lock multiple tables together. Numerous clamps and dogs are included.