I loved this drill when I first got it, so I'm going to chalk up my problem to it being a one-off issue (see "Experience" section).
1. Awesome ergonomics. I just wanted to hold my new drill because it feels great to hold. I caught my friends picking up my drill to feel it in their hand.
2. Light weight. It's incredible how much torque such a small piece of equipment can generate.
3. Sturdy ratcheting chuck. The chuck feels solid - way more solid than any of the other compact drills I have examined. I didn't experience any discernible wobble problems.
4. Batteries charge fast (less than 30 min.) and have a long run-time.
5. LED light helps illuminate target surface from a distance.* (I didn't realize how useful this feature would be. Added bonus.)
1. * LED suffers from shadow cast by the chuck when up close to target surface.
2. Weak manual on one sheet of paper. They could definitely improve upon that with a booklet and a larger font.
I was in the middle of installing a closet system in my master bedroom. Toward the end of the project, I was driving screws into MDF shelving when I pulled the trigger and the drill started clicking but not really spinning. I also started to smell something burning, so looked at the motor part of the drill and pulled the trigger. I will admit that I wasn't wearing goggles (bad), and something small (speck-sized) hit me in the eye. I was able to get the drill spinning again after pulling the trigger a couple more times, but the same thing happened again. The drill also developed a very subtle clicking sound from that point. Luckily I was literally on my last screw, so I was able to finish the project. I returned the drill not sure if I wanted to give Dewalt another shot. In the end, I just really liked the drill and want it to work out, so I ordered the drill and impact driver combo kit to replace it. If I have anything productive to add to this review after receiving the new set, I will update it.
Some people are partial to Dewalt. Some people seem to complain that Dewalt tools are just over-priced Porter Cable tools. I'm too ignorant of the power tool industry to have an opinion on that. I'm just a new home-owner that has lots of fixing up to be done. (Ever see "The Money Pit"?) I just want a drill that is light, comfortable, and powerful, and I want the batteries to last. I looked at all reputable brands and chose this one because of the size, weight, solid chuck and long lasting batteries.
I'm rating the drill 3 stars due to my defective experience. I hope to raise that to 5 stars if my new drill pans out. I really hope this was a one-off incident. I'm also hoping that I don't get the dreaded "wobbly chuck" problem that others have mentioned with the new drill...
I received a clearly used combo kit in the mail. It had been resealed and the case was fairly scratched up. Best of all <sarcasm>, the impact driver smelled like it was burning. I also decided to check out the chuck to see if there was the reported wobble, and yes, there was a definite wobble. (Please see the attached video. The bit in the drill spins straight in several other drills. I was doing some hex driving and felt I needed to document it. Sorry for the shadows. I have other videos of the chuck itself wobbling, but they are less clear.)
Shipping me a used and defective product was Amazon's fault. There is no way this kit should have been sent back out. I have already ordered a replacement, but I'm starting to really wonder about Dewalt's quality after checking out the wobble on the drill's chuck. I'm not going to change my 3 star rating yet, but if this one comes back with the same chuck wobble or any burning issues, I will...and I'll be changing brands. Stay tuned...
FINAL UPDATE (3/6/2012):
My last combo set arrived. This one appeared to be new (no scratches on case and it was not re-sealed). Both the drill and the impact driver smelled like they were burning. Maybe this is how they're supposed to smell, but if that's the case then Dewalt needs to at least be consistent. The fact that my first and second drill did not (at least initially) smell like they were burning, but the third one did indicates manufacturing problems to me. That being said, my major problem is not with the smell.
The third drill exhibited the same noticeable wobble as the second drill. I am now very disappointed with Dewalt for allowing this product to make it into production with this issue. When I'm spending this much money on something, I expect quality. I love the ergonomics and features of this drill, so I'm giving it 2 stars for potential. Until Dewalt gets its act together and fixes the chuck wobble, I recommend looking elsewhere.
Side note: It seems that chuck wobble is reported in reviews of most, if not all, "high-end" compact drills that I have looked at, so maybe there is a problem getting a true chuck in such a small body.