Photos by Rich Keller
By Rich Keller
Most of Festool’s products feature unique capabilities and functions that you won’t find on many other tools on the market. This drill is a slight departure from Festool’s usual approach, and focuses on giving users a solid drill with fewer bells and whistles. This drill doesn’t have Festool’s Centrotec chuck on board, nor can it be added. This is, however, reflected in the price, as the T-18 E Easy is also a bit less than you would expect from Festool, selling at just $389CAD.
Festool TID 18 Easy Drill
MSRP: $389 (drill, two batteries, rapid charger, Systainer), $259 (bare drill, Systainer)
The T-18 Easy Drill is a good quality drill. It’s lightweight, well balanced and comfortable to hold. One thing I really like about this drill is the clutch settings are at the back of the tool. They’re easy to see and change, but placed in such a way that they won’t accidentally get changed, which is something that happens a lot on other drills that have the clutch settings right behind the chuck. The kit comes with two 4.0 aH batteries, fast charger and Systainer carrying case. Although I didn’t test it, Festool has also added a very similar impact drill (TID 18 Impact Drill) to their lineup.
For testing purposes, I left the wood shop behind and went to the professional repair shop I work in to take this drill for a spin. I doubt anyone is questioning whether this drill can drill a 1/4″ hole in balsa wood, or even hardwood for that matter. The two hardest tasks I can think of for any drill is enlarging holes in steel and tapping holes in steel. Both these tasks border on tool abuse, but I believe they test a couple of things about a drill that are important. Enlarging holes or drilling holes in steel takes a lot of torque, so this lets me see how much torque a drill has. Tapping not only takes torque, but taps are harder than drill bits, and even in large sizes always have a round shank, so they are hard to hold securely. This lets me see how well the chuck grips round shank drills. Festool uses an all-metal ratcheting chuck on this drill so I was hopeful this chuck would grip well. I found the T-18 worked well up to about 3/8″ in diameter, which is great for a compact drill. I drilled and tapped a series of holes at 3/8″ and found the chuck did not slip at all on the tap, and drove it fairly smoothly. This was impressive.
A compact drill is not designed for a metalworking shop, but having tortured it in the repair shop, I believe it would stand up very well for a woodworker or carpenter, which I believe is who Festool designed this tool for. Its light weight and compact size make it ideal for cabinet and furniture work, and it uses a brushless motor which should provide the user with a long and reliable service life. Once the tool is registered, a three-year wear and tear warranty on the drill, batteries and charger will add even more peace of mind.