BLACK+DECKER AutoSense Drill Makes Driving Flush Easy #sponsored

I recently gave the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Lithium Cordless Drill with AutoSense a spin to see how well the automatic torque limiting clutch technology that claims to stop driving when a screw is flush works. I was pleasantly surprised.


I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. I want to make sure a screw is REALLY in there when I drive it, and I just couldn’t see how this was going to drive a screw as deeply as I wanted. I mean, after all, this drill has no torque settings other that drilling or driving.

Here’s the setting for drilling. You simply press the lighted button on top.



You insert a drill bit and tighten like you would with any other cordless.


Drilling worked great, even with a countersink bit. The added LED light was a bonus.


I even gave it a try at drilling pocket holes in 1 1/2” stock. I had no problems or performance issues and it worked as well as my larger drill/drivers.

But the real test was going to be in driving. Here’s where it stopped when driving a screw into a pilot hole in a 2×4.


What you see is where it stopped. I’d say that’s pretty good. It’d be fair to call this a no damage drill, in a sense. Just like with drilling, it’s a simple button press to select the driving mode.




Interestingly, I found that I could cheat past the initial stopping point by pulling the trigger again, but it might only go another quarter turn. This was in a soft 2×4, so that could explain this. But, the screw I test was in as far as it needed to be. I also tested driving screws into countersunk holes and pocket holes. Both instances the drill stopped right where it needed to.

I’m really please with the size and weight. You can see below the dimensions measured out.



This small profile will come in handy in tight spaces. I’m particularly thinking of some of my pocket hole joinery projects that require a small drill.

At 2.6 pounds, I don’t feel that the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Lithium Cordless Drill with AutoSense will wear you out using it over an extended period of time.


It certainly packs a punch in a small space with the 20v max* battery.


Now, how would I use this drill? As an overall DIY around the house tool and for projects requiring drilling and driving in tight spaces. For the latter, because of its short profile, it could eliminate the need for right-angle attachments. There is still more testing I want to accomplish once I’ve had it longer (as of this post, I’ve had it just a handful of days) to see how battery life performs. I did give it a workout, however, drilling dozens of consecutive holes non-stop, followed by drilling screws into those holes non-stop as well. It didn’t falter in its ability to automatically stop when the screws were flush.



BLACK+DECKER AutoSense Drill details

The 20V MAX* Lithium Cordless Drill with AutoSense has two modes, drill and drive. In drive mode, a microprocessor continuously measures the tool’s performance. As the screw enters the material there is a rapid change in its torque profile. The microprocessor analyzes the rate of change and stops most screws flush with the material within three milliseconds. To countersink screws, the tool provides depth control for micro adjustments. In drill mode, the combined power of the 20V MAX* battery and the drill’s 0-800 RPM motor provide the performance necessary for the quick completion of any homeowner application.

In addition to Autosense technology, the drill features the following:
– Lightweight design (2.6 lbs)
– Simple two button design
– 20V MAX* battery
– LED light and Bit holder
List price is about $140, but you can find it at various online retailers for about $80.
Thanks to BLACK+DECKER for sponsoring this post and giveaway.

 WIN a BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Lithium Cordless Drill with Autosense! Comment below about why or how you would use this drill and you could be selected to receive one for free. Be sure to comment before July 1, 2014.

Published in: Uncategorized on June 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm  Comments (13)  
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Beginner Power Tools: The First Three

Everybody likes lists and I’m often asked by beginners which power tools they should get first – so here I’ve assembled a rundown of the three power tools I think beginners can start with comfortably and for the least amount of money.


No surprise here. Every house and apartment should at least have a drill, if no other power tool. Most are used for assembly of store-bought pieces of furniture, or various other “some assembly required” household items. Drilling pilot holes for screws is a must-have skill for many beginner-level projects. With additional jigs, such as a pocket hole jig, a drill can help a beginner gain confidence in pursuing more woodworking adventures.

Drills are relatively inexpensive, especially chorded and lower voltage battery models. Just know that the lower the price, the lower the quality. If you’re just getting started, I’d say go for one that’s priced somewhere in the middle of the pack. Be sure to pick up a good bit starter kit, with several drill bit sizes (from 1/16- to 1/2-inch) and driver bits.

Jig Saw

Arguably the first saw most people use learn to use. Of course it gets used most in cutting curves, but with a straightedge guide you can make adequate cross cuts (cutting across a board to length) for most projects. They’re not as powerful or effective as a circular saw for this task, but if you’re planning only to get by with one power saw to start, a jig saw would be it. Some models allow for the base plate to tilt, which would allow you to cut bevels. I don’t recommend jig saws for trying to rip (cutting down the entire length of a board to result in a more narrow piece).

With the right blades, you can cut through metal, plastic, and wood. Make sure you purchase a good assortment of blades.


Sanding is frustrating, especially for beginners when they realize how much time it takes to get a smooth surface. A power sander beats sanding by hand for sure, but it can also help shape a project.

Take corners for example. You could use a power sander to roundover a corner or an edge to add a softer look (and reduce a potentially sharp hazard). It might not be as perfect as using a router with a roundover bit, but you’ll get an adequate job done and not have to use another tool.

Here I’d recommend two types: a detail sander and a random orbit sander (ROS). If you can only get one, go for the detail sander. It will allow you to sand larger surfaces (but will take longer than an ROS), but it will include attachments that will allow you to sand hard to reach and unique surfaces. Be sure to get replacement sanding pads in various grits (roughness), from 60 grit (which will remove wood quickly and will be rough) to 180 or 220 grit (for creating a smooth finish).

Before you purchase a tool, make sure you research them thoroughly by looking for reviews and asking user opinions on social networks.

Sketch of the Day: Small Plant Stand

This project would only require a drill, hole saw bit, and circular saw (or miter saw). I call it a plant stand, but it could also serve as a small side where you could place a drink or small plate. In fact, I have one similar to it in my home I made several years ago – its primary function is as a drink stand beside a chair.

Look for this as a future Plan of the Week.

Don’t forget to like Chief’s Shop on Facebook! At 250 likes someone will be selected to receive a $25 gift card from Lowe’s or Woodcraft.

Make Some Sawdust!


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