Skil 7.2-Volt Lithium-Ion Power Wrench - Review
Now with just about every major tool company trying to convert every single power tool into a cordless version, there are bound to be some duds. Some tools just won't be able to make the conversion, due to who knows what. So every time a new tool comes out, we cringe a little bit, wondering if it will be the first big disaster. With this in mind, we were curious about Skil's new Power Wrench. Would it be possible to make a battery operated ratchet tool? Skil was nice enough to let us try one out, so we're happy to say we have an answer to that question.
First, some general info on the tool. The Skil Power Wrench has a nice ergonomic handle, complete with little finger ridges. The trigger is right there and is no problem to get to and easy to keep depressed. Like a traditional ratchet, the forward/reverse toggle is located at the rear of the head, and operated just like you expect it to.
The tool is light, weighing just under two pounds. The weight is nicely distributed through the tool, so it's an easy 2 lbs to deal with, making the wrench feel solid and very natural in the hands. The tool operates on an internal lithium-ion battery, and the entire unit plugs into the charger stand, which can sit on any flat surface or be mounted to the wall.
Although the tool is only 7.2-volts, and not all that powerful, it can be used manually, just like every other ratchet you've ever used.
Under battery operation, the tool won't be driving any lag screws through any pressure-treated 4x4s, but it will easily handle assembling furniture, putting together toys, driving small bolts into pre-drilled holes, and other light duty tasks. We found that anything that was really rusted out, like most of the bolts in our Jeep's engine, were too difficult for the Power Wrench while it was under battery control. But, like we said earlier, we just used the tool manually and had the same success that we're used to with a standard wrench.
So we had a good amount of success with the ratcheting side of things, but the real accomplishment of this tool is that it can also be used as a mini right angle drill/driver. We had to do some work on a hinge in a tight little cabinet and there is no other tool that could have done the work that the Power Wrench did. Similar to when we used it as a ratchet, it wasn't about power, it was more about ease-of-use and maneuverability. It's so small and the head only needs a few inches of clearance to operate that the tool can fit just about anywhere.
In a short period of time, we became big fans of this tool. It's versatile, both as a wrench and a driver, it's compact and very easy to use. We think it's bound to be a huge seller this Christmas because it's one of those tools that is successful for everyone from the college student in their first rental, to the hardcore contractor, not to mention people who are getting up in their years and no longer have the hand strength that they used to.
Skil's Power Rench retails for around $60, and is worth the investment. The tool comes with a charger, a 6-piece socket set, a 1/4 bit conversion piece, and a 10-piece driver bit set. The socket and bit sets come in nice rubber holders that actually hold the bits as opposed to letting them spill out everywhere.
Read More in: All Reviews | Cordless | Lithium-Ion | Power Tools
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at November 4, 2007 6:35 PM