Festool 576754 T-18 E Easy Drill

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.

Clutch Position – Festool’s new drill offering has the clutch located at the back, away from where it could mistakenly get bumped and changed during operation.

Festool TID 18 Easy Drill
MSRP: $389 (drill, two batteries, rapid charger, Systainer), $259 (bare drill, Systainer)
Website: FestoolCanada.com

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.

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