Panasonic says its new EY74A1 drill is one of the fastest in its category. But the big news is the claim that this 18-volt drill can also run on just 14.4 volts with about as much oomph ... if a bit less run time. Called Dual Voltage Technology, it includes a more-advanced motor and electronics and lithium-nickel batteries that pack more energy than manganese or cobalt with less weight. We saw it in action at the International Builders' Show.
Indeed, the EY74A1 drill weighs only 4.3 pounds with the 18-volt battery—and under three pounds with Panasonic's lightest 14.4-volt cell. Electronic feedback circuitry also senses the work load and feeds in more power when needed to help speed you through the big jobs. You'll also find Panasonic's Dual Voltage Technology on a new impact driver, impact wrench, and a reciprocating saw.
The drill costs about $150 alone—and $380 when equipped with two 18-volt cells and the usual smart charger. Either way, it's the only drill officially rated for moisture and dust protection for those really dirty jobs.
To find a drill that fits your skill level, check the results of our tests of cordless drills and tool kits. We recommend drills for everything from light tasks to heavy duty pro-style projects.
For more news and trends from the Builders' Show, including videos of more new products, check our full coverage.
More from Consumer Reports:
Top-rated home appliances
Best and worst products for your home
Expert Ratings and reviews
Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.