Review By Dean Bielanowski  GMC Website - http://www.gmcompany.com


GMC HD2G250M
1050W 2 Gear Magnesium Hammer Drill

Review
By Dean Bielanowski

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Please note: Since this review was published, Global Machinery Company (GMC) has gone into receivership and is no longer operating. As such, spare parts or technical support cannot be obtained directly through them. Their website at www.gmcompany.com appears to still be available online and offers some product information and manuals but contacting them will receive no reply. Note that OnlineToolReviews.com does not work for GMC, nor do we offer any support or spare parts for their products.

If you are buying your first drill as a home handyperson or for renovating work, I personally would recommend a hammer drill. A hammer drill offers both normal drilling modes for all types of wood, plastic and metal drilling work, as well as the hammer action for concrete or masonry drilling. One of the major downsides of hammer drills however is that they are generally larger and heavier than regular corded drills.

GMC's Magnesium Hammer Drill attempts to provide all the normal features of a quality hammer drill, but with lightweight magnesium construction to help reduce overall tool weight. Let's take a closer look...

The HD2G250M Hammer Drill
The drill features somewhat of a traditional hammer drill design with a large adjustable auxiliary handle to provide good user control while drilling, particularly when drilling in hammer mode. The motor and gear housing is dominated by the silver magnesium body, which as mentioned above, affords the tool a lower weight without sacrificing any body strength.

With an input power of 1050W, the drill has more than enough power for your general drilling tasks in most building and household materials. Listed drilling capacities are 30mm in wood, 13mm in steel and 13mm in masonry. Of course, using quality drill bits suited to the application will ensure highest performance and best results. When it comes to drilling, not all drill bits are created equal! Use quality bits and save yourself a lot of frustration, and save your tool from overworking itself too. The drill offers 2 gear settings which deliver a no load speed range of 0 - 1100 RPM on the low speed (high torque) setting, and 0 - 2800 RPM on the high speed (low torque) setting. Gear settings are selected via the gear selector turn knob on the lateral side of the magnesium part of the drill body. Torque setting does become important in different types of drilling/driving actions. For example, when drilling thin wood or softwoods, you would be best to use a high-speed, low torque setting as the material is readily drilled and the extra torque may not be needed. When driving a large fastener into wood or other materials, more torque may be required, and hence the higher torque (lower speed) gear setting would be more desirable.

In terms of direct rotational speed control, this is achieved via the variable speed trigger. Essentially, the further the trigger is depressed, the faster the drill speed, but the maximum drill speed can be further controlled via the speed dial mounted on the trigger itself. By adjusting this, you can dial the maximum speed up or down as desired for the task, providing more speed control option for the user to suit the task at hand. If you require constant power application, a trigger lock switch mounted lateral to the trigger on the main handle will lock the trigger on for continuous drilling. Drill chuck rotation is controlled via the slide switch above and lateral to the trigger. Standard forward and reverse modes are offered. To prevent damage to the switch, the drill chuck should not be spinning when you switch from forward to reverse modes (or vice versa).

The slide switch to move between drilling modes is located on the top of the magnesium housing. You can select either normal (non-hammer) drilling mode for wood, metal, plastics drilling, or hammer mode for brick, concrete or other masonry type drilling. In hammer mode the drill is capable of delivering from 0 up to a maximum of 44,600 blows per minute if on the high speed gear setting.

Moving on to the chuck itself, the HD2G250M features a 13mm Jacobs style keyless drill chuck which is encased in a rubber covering. The rubber cover actually makes the chuck quite easy to tighten and release, without tearing up your hand as some all metal keyless chucks can occasionally do. The metal chuck jaws provide a good grip on drill and driver bits and we experienced no slip in use. We cannot comment on the durability of the chuck jaws as we haven't had the drill for long enough at this time. Like most corded drills, the chuck can be removed and replaced if needed at a later date. Instructions for doing so is included in the printed manual supplied with the drill. A chuck lock button on the top of the drill casing locks the chuck when pushed down so the chuck jaws can be advanced or withdrawn to either clamp or release drill or driver bits. Overall I liked the addition of the rubber cover on the chuck. It just seemed to make adding or removing bits a more comfortable task to undertake.

Rubber overmolds are also found wrapping around the main handle, around the top rear end of the drill body and around the auxiliary handle. They provide slip protection, user comfort and a little degree of tool protection against bumps, knocks and small drops!

The front auxiliary handle is adjustable through 360 degrees around the tool and provides a support handle for harder drilling tasks, or just for holding the tool for improved tool balance. A depth stop rod is incorporated into the handle and, unlike most hammer drills, it has a slight bend at the chuck end. Why? Basically, having the bend in the rod positions the depth stop rod end closer to the center of the drill chuck, and hence closer to the drill bit. When drilling into materials that are not as thick (width-wise), in some instances, standard straight depth stop rods might not actually contact the same surface you are drilling into. With a bent end rod, there is much more of a chance to engage the end of the rod with the same surface as you are drilling, hence making accurate depth drilling possible in more instances. You can release and adjust the rod by rotating the auxiliary handle, and secure the rod again by twisting the handle in the opposite direction.

That about covers the features... Now, in terms of sound level in use, the manual states the rated sound pressure level as 91.7dB. Anything above 80dB definitely necessitates the use of ear protection, even for short duration use, so grab those pair of muffs and cover those ears. Quality ear muffs have been proven in many tests to be more effective than ear plugs, so be sure to use the right gear to protect your hearing.

Tool Weight is 2.7kg. Not overly heavy for a hammer drill, but not a drill you will want to be using for hours on end. Thankfully, you probably will not need to in most cases, unless you are in a trade requiring continuous use of a hammer drill throughout the day.

Case and Accessories
The drill ships in its own molded carry case, but perhaps one of the best selling points of this drill is the 250 piece accessory kit that it comes supplied with. Most of the accessory count is made up of driver bits, covering just about every driver bit type known to man, plus there are multiples of each type, and each size of that type as well. Driver bit types include:

  • Square Drive
  • Hex Drive
  • Slotted
  • Philips
  • Star type (6-point)
  • Pozi-Driv
  • Philips and Slotted in mid-length shanks
  • Hex nut drivers from 5mm to 13mm in 1mm increments.

Plus, there is a quick-change hex extension bit and an assortment of drilling bits including 6 x brad point drill bits (2 of 4mm, 5mm and 6mm) and 12 x standard twist drilling bits of various sizes. Each bit has its own molded location in the case, presenting an impressive array of driving and drilling accessories. What seems missing however are some masonry drilling bits. After all, this is a hammer drill designed somewhat for masonry work, so a few masonry bits would have rounded out the collection. Nonetheless, buying all these bits individually would pretty much cost as much as the drill alone anyway, and possibly much more, and the driver bits and brad-point bits seem to be of good quality. The twist drill bits are average at best however.

In Use
Like most hammer drills, the HD2G250M is very much nose heavy when held in one hand via the main handle. Grasping the auxiliary handle with your other hand provides the weight distribution and balance needed for accurate and controlled drilling. In the hands, the drill feels very comfortable, but solid at the same time. The back end of the tool (above the main handle) can be comfortable gripped with index finger wrapped around the opposite side of the body because of the ergonomic shape of the upper rear housing. The rubber overmolds here add comfort as well. When powered up, the drill exhibits vibration that seems on par with any other hammer drill of this size and power and the chuck appears to run quite true on our test unit, which should ensure accurately dimensioned drill holes, and in testing, this was indeed the case. As mentioned above, the rubber covered chuck was very comfortable to use, and I will repeat that statement again here as I feel it is a major practical use feature. I haven't come across a more comfortable keyless chuck yet. If only it was of the ratcheting variety, it would be almost priceless!

For our tests we drilled into softwood, hardwoods and masonry. In softwoods the drill handles just fine, even with larger spade bits and holesaws attached. Power is no problem when drilling the softer timber species. In hardwoods the drill performs well with most smaller bits. When using larger diameter bits, you really do need to use the sharp high quality bits to get the job done right. Large dull bits in dense material did strain the drill at times during our tests. For masonry work, the drill preformed reasonably well when set on hammer mode. Obviously it will not drill into concrete as well as a rotary SDS style drill does, but for around the house or DIY masonry work, it will do the job. Just take it slow and clear the drilled hole regularly to ensure a good result and preservation of your masonry bits. Correct use of the gear settings will also ensure performance in varying tasks.

Conclusion
At the price point this drill is offered at (AUD$99) it is obviously not designed as a heavy commercial/trade use hammer drill. It is designed more for the light/medium duty homeowner, DIY enthusiast or home renovator, and for this class of user, the drill would suit. In terms of value for money, the drill excels with part-magnesium body, ergonomic designs and that great selection of drill and driver bits! Plus the drill comes with GMC's standard 2 year replacement warranty should you have a problem. Overall, not a bad option as an all-around drill for light/medium duty use around the home or workshop and the $99 price tag (recommended retail price so could be even lower in stores) seems very attractive indeed!
 

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In Australia
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GMC HD2G250M Photos
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Just some of the 250 accessory pieces included in the kit.


The HD2G250M drill.


Gear selection knob with magnesium body surrounds.


The rubber drill chuck covering is definitely a plus for ease of use and comfort when changing bits.


The drill mode slide switch (left) and chuck lock button (right) on top of tool.


Main handle showing trigger, speed selector wheel on trigger, trigger lock and forward/reverse rotation slide switch.

Ergonomic design with plenty of rubber overmolds for comfort.

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