Regular corded or cordless drills are certainly one of the first items to
buy if you are setting up a workshop, or just for general DIY tasks around
the home. If you are re-modeling or just making fine furniture, there are
times where the size of the drill doesn't allow you to get into tight
corners to add that all important fixing screw or fastener. Enter the
right angle drill. A device that will allow you to get into many smaller
areas where the normal drills cannot go. In our continuing line of reviews
of Ryobi's Professional Series range, today we take a look at the
CAD1402VK cordless right angle drill (model CAP-144 in the UK).
What's in the Box?
The CAD1402VK ships in a molded plastic carry case. Inside you will
find the drill itself, two 14.4 volt cordless drill batteries, a battery
charger and small printed manuals. The size of the case is not much larger
than the contents themselves, so you can store and organize the tools in
the case without consuming valuable shop space. The printed manual
contains basic functional and safety instructions to get you hard. The
CAD1402VK is a fairly simple tool to use, and should be a no-brainer for
anyone that has ever used a drill before. A quick read up on the included
charger operation is a must however, and naturally, you should read all
applicable safety information.
If you take a look at the photos in the right hand column, the Ryobi
Right Angle Drill is far from the look of a standard drill. It has to be
designed long and narrow, particularly at the head to get into all those
tight areas and angles. While you can buy small right angle drill
attachments for your standard corded/cordless drills, and while they do
work well in most situations, once they are attached, the whole assembly
of drill + attachment can be a little awkward to handle and can be quite
heavy for use in overhead applications. The single unit right angle drill
is, in general, more compact and easier to use than a two unit tool.
Let's take a closer look, starting from the top of the tool and working
our way down. Up top is the drill chuck. It is a keyless chuck capable of
taking bits up to 10mm (3/8") diameter. While 10mm is a little smaller
than say the 13mm chuck that is somewhat standard on regular drills, it is
sufficiently large enough to handle almost all drill bits and drivers you
would need for tasks that this drill would commonly be used for. You do
need to hold the inner ring steady while tightening or loosening the outer
ring to secure or release a drill bit. This is generally not a problem but
because of its smaller size, it can be a little fiddly at times,
especially if you have large hands. I don't see it as a major problem,
although you do have to make sure it is tight enough on round shank
drilling bits to stop them slipping. The hex shank drill/driver bits are
no problem at all. The
distance from the front edge of the drill chuck to the back of the drill
head is only 110mm (4.3 inches). Note that this does not include the
length of a chucked drill bit or driver. Even so, the drill head is quite
compact and allows access to areas standard drills cannot get to. On the
reverse side of the drill head is a rubber overmold grip. This provides
some user comfort and helps in aligning your driver or drill bit with a
mark (if it is visible) by reducing slipping of hand or fingers. It also
affords the tool a little more protection if you are bumping the tool
around in tight spaces.
Moving down the shaft, we come to the rotational direction selector switch.
This has three positions. The central position locks the trigger so it
cannot be used. This is handy if you have kids around. If you push the
selector to the left side (if holding the drill in the right hand), the
drill chuck will rotate clockwise for normal drilling or screw driving
operations. Push the selector through to the right and the drill operates
in an anti-clockwise rotation when the trigger is pressed. This is used to
remove screws or back out a drill bit if needed, or clear out a drilled
hole. It works just as your standard forward/reverse selector works on a
normal drill, so not much more to say in that department.
Next is the trigger itself. The CAD1402VK is a variable speed drill
with speed controlled by the trigger itself. The more you push the trigger in, the
faster the drill chuck rotates. Variable speed ranges from 0 rotations
(stopped) to 800 rotations per minute. The 14.4v motor is capable of
delivering 12Nm of torque. While its not enough torque to pull out heavily
embedded or 'stuck' screws, it performed well during use and managed to
disassemble plenty of screws from a 25 year old kitchen demolition where
the screws had been painted over several times. At full speed, when you
power off, the drill gives a little hint of recoil, so it does indeed feel
reasonably well-powered in the hand.
On the back side of the trigger and rotational direction selector is
another overmold rubber grip, and is the main handling part of the tool.
This part of the tool is oval shaped, so it grips comfortably. In fact,
during use, what I found to be the best feature of the tool itself was not
how it drilled, how it unscrewed or how long the battery lasted, but it
was the balance of the tool itself. The CAD1402VK is extremely well
balanced. If held upright, there is the slightest hint of forward bias,
tipping the head, but it is barely noticeable. If held horizontally, there
is almost no noticeable imbalance between battery end and drill head end.
This weight equilibrium across the tool makes it very easy to use and very
easy on the hand, arms and muscles. User fatigue was almost a non-issue
with this tool, which is surprising considering it does weigh around 2kg
Moving down, we come to the base of the tool. A couple of driver bits
(flat and phillips head) are included and sit securely in slots in the
base. They wont fall out, but are easy enough to take out or put back in.
At the back of the tool is a yellow wrist strap. If you place a hand
through the strap and then hold the tool normally, there is a greatly
reduced chance of dropping and damaging the tool. This is especially
important as you will likely be knocking this drill around in tight
corners or spaces, and could very easily knock it out of your hand if you
are not careful.
At the very base is the 14.4 volt battery. In fact, Ryobi have
included two of them in the kit, which is great news. You should never be
without battery power as one can be charging while the second is in use.
The batteries themselves are rated at 2.0Ah and contain NiCD cells, so you
do have to look after them as they can be prone to memory effect. With
common sense you will get good life out of the batteries. At 2.0Ah, they
seem to go on forever, and with the quick charger included, which is
similar to the one that comes with many other Pro Series Ryobi tools, you
can be back up and running in an hour thanks to the rapid charge cycle. I
prefer to leave them on the charger a little longer to ensure a complete
charge. The charger features indicator lights that can tell you when a
battery is fully charged, or even if the battery is damaged and not taking
The batteries themselves constitute perhaps half of the tool's overall
weight when attached. They attach via small spring latches on either side
of the battery and grip firmly to the drill base. They can only fit in one
way because of the asymmetrical pole design.
Use & Conclusion
Some of the task we used the drill for included attaching drawer
fronts to drawer boxes, even when the drawer was already installed,
removing screws from shelf supports in a thin pantry cupboard where a
regular drill, or even a decent sized hand screw driver would not fit,
plus general DIY fit ups, shelf attachment and curtain rod installation
around the house etc. We found battery life to be excellent, with a backup
always ready to go. The tool delivers enough power and torque to handle
most tasks, however, it did come unstuck on larger diameter screws and
bolts that were heavily imbedded in hardwood. We expected as much. Even
our normal 18v driver and corded drill could not budge them. Tool balance
was the real highlight, and user comfort rates very high. The Ryobi
CAD1402VK offers good performance, is not overly complicated to use
(simple design with easy to use features), feels solid and durable and
most important of all, delivered the results we were expecting. As long as
you take care of the batteries and use sharp drill bits with this tool,
you should find that if you purchase this tool, you will achieve results
similar to what we realized in our tests and in general use.
The Ryobi CAD1402VK retails for AUD$199 and is available in Australia from
Gasweld, Total Tools, Mitre10 and other popular tool retailers. If your
local retailer does not stock them, ask them to order some in!
Order Online through these companies...
Click graphic to go to
their direct product page for this item
In the United Kingdom