Latest Flex News
Oct 9, 2023
Olezzo/Getty Images Oct. 9, 2023 7:30 am EST A cordless drill is as much a necessity to any homeowner or renter as a hammer or cell phone. Whether hanging a picture, putting together some furniture, or starting on that new woodworking hobby, a drill or driver is essential for making the job easier, cleaner, and more professional-looking. However, not all drills are created equal. The sheer number of options available in home improvement stores or online can easily overwhelm the new homeowner or DIY'er, especially when one factors in brand names that are vaguely familiar, but have changed ownership in past years. It's hard to know what one needs, and which drills will perform best based. Fortunately, SlashGear has your back, with this ranking of the major cordless drill brands. Our rankings are based on professional reviews, YouTube comparison videos, Amazon reviews, and my own experience as a professional mechanic, amateur woodworker, and homeowner slash handyman. 10. Black + Decker Black + Decker (phonetically Black and Decker) is an interesting brand to start our ranking. The company actually invented the portable electric drill, filing a patent on the design in 1917. However, in recent years its business has seemingly shifted to lawn care, vacuum, and small kitchen appliance innovations over power tools like cordless drills. Black + Decker is not necessarily a bad brand. Rather, it feels like the company makes tools for people who don't really use tools. The most popular Black + Decker drill on Amazon sells for under $50 with a battery, charger, and plenty of accessories, but it feels light and cheaply made. Black + Decker also sells a pretty adorable little four-volt cordless screwdriver with a unique design. While these tools can seem innovative, affordable, and useful to a certain market, experienced users will note a lack of the heft, power, and durability they demand from the tools they make a living with. Still, for the occasional user, the combination of value and interesting design makes Black + Decker a viable option. 9. Craftsman The former Sears brand is now available just about anywhere you'd expect to find tools. Craftsman tool chests and hand tools are frequently in the conversation for their value. Craftsman's power tools, mainstays in our dads' garages for decades, have unfortunately seen their pedigree drop in past years — especially after the brand's acquisition by Stanley Black + Decker in 2017. The move signaled the end of Sears as the exclusive home to the brand after nearly a hundred years. Craftsman still makes a great variety of drills and other power tools, but its focus seems to have shifted from the pro contractor to the homeowner or hobbyist. While many of its woodworking tools are still well regarded, and their hand tools (with lifetime warranties) remain in the boxes of mechanics across the country, Craftsman power tools simply aren't as well regarded as they once were. Drills, while still available in a wide variety of models, are mostly seen as a good option for infrequent users, or those with a tight budget. However, with Craftsman's most popular drill at Lowes costing nearly $80 with a battery and charger, better options are available for both the budget-conscious and the weekend DIY enthusiast. 8. Skil Founded in Illinois in 1926, Skil is another company that made its name off a solid lineup of power tools – specifically their lineup of saws – but has seen that reputation dull quite a bit after changing ownership. Owned by CHERVON (not to be confused with Chevron) since 2016, Skil tools are now made and assembled in China. Because of this, Skil's tools are very low cost, but also poor quality – with a few exceptions. Skil tools are mostly recommended by reviewers for smaller projects or occasional use. A good, affordable tool for those looking for a less-than-daily driver, Skil tools generally have good power for the price. The company has a great brushless cordless 12-volt drill selling for under $35 on Amazon without a battery pack – a great deal if the buyer already has a pack from a previous purchase. Amazon launched its "Denali by Skil" line of power tools in late 2022. While these tools are comparable in performance to "vanilla" Skil tools, it's worth mentioning that the entire line can run off of the same 20v Max battery packs that other Skil tools use, thus expanding the lineup of compatible tools substantially. 7. Ridgid A good option available at Home Depot and many smaller distributors, Ridgid markets itself as a brand for professionals. Despite that, its reputation online is more low-end, with pros often citing brands we'll be mentioning later as job site regulars over the orange tools. While Ridgid does offer a lifetime warranty on its tools and batteries, many say that the process involved in actually getting the company to honor that warranty leaves customers wanting. Ridgid's cordless drills are reasonably powerful, but several design choices make them appear a bit less well-made than drills from competitors. The keyless chuck on its most popular drill at Home Depot is plastic, while most of the top-end competitors use metal. The drill's light is a good idea, but its positioning doesn't allow for much illumination to reach the drill's target. Meanwhile, the little clip for an extra bit is another good feature in theory; in practice, however, the metal quickly stretches and leaves the holder useless. With those shortcomings and a price point of $100 for the tool without a battery or charger, Ridgid just isn't quite the prime-time player it purports itself to be. 6. Flex As we get into the top half of our rankings, the tool colors become synonymous with their manufacturers, from Bosch's signature gunmetal blue, to Ryobi's obnoxious lime green. Flex, available through Lowes, bucks this trope with a monochromatic design. Standing out by not standing out at all would be a unique choice for a newer tool label, but it turns out Flex is actually an established brand, founded in Germany in the early 1920s. The company was acquired by CHERVON in 2013 , a group that also owns power tool companies Skil, Devon, and X-Tron, and battery-powered outdoor equipment powerhouse EGO. A highlight of this family of drills — in particular the popular 24v, ½-inch Brushless Cordless drill — is the "Turbo Mode," which increases speed to match its obscene 750 inch-pounds of torque. Reviewers also point out the useful position of the drill's light, metal clutch, and limited lifetime warranty. However, Flex tools are also known for being very heavy, and while that's often a sign that a tool is well built, it's also something to consider if the drill will be used for a longer project. Price is also a factor — the drill we've been describing will set customers back about $180, although it includes a pair of 2.5 Ah batteries, a charger, and a bag. Flex tools aren't cheap, and it's a little harder to swallow that price tag on a brand that isn't as well established here in the United States as, say, a Milwaukee or Mikita. It's a good drill with a good reputation, but the cost and weight force Flex to hold down the middle of the pack. 5. Bosch Bosch is one of the larger companies on our list, with their global reach and long history of innovation encouraging them to dabble in everything from thermal plants to security solutions. However, consumers in the United States generally think of two things from the German engineering giant: its selection of power tools, and its standing as one of the best major spark plug brands . This German toolmaker's most popular drill on Amazon, the PS31 2A ⅜-inch Drill/Driver, features a unique and lightweight design, comfortable grip, and great power for a good price. Using Bosch's semi-cylindrical 12v battery system, the PS31 is a little underpowered when compared to the examples we've presented for other brands, but the smaller battery and pistol grip combine to make this sub-2 pound drill perfect for longer jobs or overhead drilling and fastening. At almost $110 for the drill, one battery, a charger, and a bag, the Bosch drill is a little pricey for the power. The company's 18v ½-inch option is actually a little less expensive, with power more in line with the other entries on our ranking, but the unique design of the ⅜-inch drill made it worth highlighting. 4. Ryobi The Home Depot exclusive brand is a great balance between power and price, one trusted by homeowners as well as professionals who are looking for a backup tool, or something they can leave on a job site. SlashGear leans on Ryobi quite a bit as well, as we've mentioned some of the company's best tools for woodworking , as well as some of the weird outliers in its 280+ tool lineup. Ryobi's most popular drill on the Home Depot site is the ONE+ 18V Brushless Cordless Compact ½-inch Drill/Driver. It's a great tool that features 400 in-lbs. of torque and a redesign from older models to drop the drill's weight and length to improve its versatility. The brushed model we mentioned in our Ryobi Tools list is a little less expensive, but another great option for homeowners. The versatility of the ONE+ battery system makes any Ryobi product a worthy investment for a homeowner looking to build a full collection of tools around a single battery system. 3. Makita Makita is a Japanese company that was founded in 1915 as an electric motor sales and repair company, but pivoted its focus to power tools after introducing a line of electric planers – the first of their kind in Japan – in 1958. Since then, Makita has focused on producing power tools for professional construction work. The company is known for its high-quality tools, which are both durable and perform admirably. It also manufactures a handful of pretty weird products that run off the same Makita 18V battery system as many of its tools. Makita produces several different varieties of drills, but we'll focus on the Makita XFD12T 5.0 Ah 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact Brushless Cordless 1/2-inch Driver-Drill. This monster offers up 530 inch-pounds of torque at up to 2000 RPM, an impressive amount of power. The 18v battery pack is able to prevent over-discharge, overload, and even overheating, shutting the drill down before the battery can be damaged. Given the high price of this tool — a price, it should be said, that many say is justified by the tool's quality — these safeguards are definitely appreciated, as they can protect the substantial investment Makita tools require. 2. Milwaukee The top pick of professionals who don't mind paying a mint for a reliable and powerful product, Milwaukee is a premium toolmaker – and its prices reflect that quality. Milwaukee's tools, the "red brand" at job sites across America, are often the control group for comparison among those looking to pit a new or more affordable product against the very best. This fact alone puts Milwaukee near the top of our list, just a touch above Mikita but a step below our top pick. Milwaukee has produced professional-grade tools since its inception in 1924, and the company's acquisition by Techtronic Industries Co. in 2005 led to a renewed focus on its position in the industry as "progressive problem solvers," making tools for professionals in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing trades. Its cordless drills use all three of the battery options Milwaukee dabbles in, from the workhorse M18 to the smaller M12 and high-powered M28. The most popular option of those on Acme tools, the M18 Compact ½-inch Brushless Cordless Drill, is a well-balanced tool that sports overload protection, a metal chuck, 500 inch-pounds of torque, and great reviews across the internet. At nearly $200 for a kit with two batteries and a charger, it's not cheap, but it's also not overpriced. Milwaukee makes a premium tool at a premium price point. 1. DeWalt
Flex Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Flex founded?
Flex was founded in 2022.
Where is Flex's headquarters?
Flex's headquarters is located at London.
What is Flex's latest funding round?
Flex's latest funding round is Seed.
How much did Flex raise?
Flex raised a total of $120K.
Who are the investors of Flex?
Investors of Flex include Techstars London Accelerator.
Who are Flex's competitors?
Competitors of Flex include Earn Alliance and 4 more.
Compare Flex to Competitors
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