The Black and Decker Matrix is an entry-level drill/driver that’s ideal for general home projects. If you’re a beginner in wood-working and you need to add a reliable drill to your tool chest, this machine would be a perfect addition.
That brings us to the question: who would want to buy the Black and Decker Matrix? As you’ll see in this review, the Matrix is a device for home applications so whether you’re a beginner just dipping your foot in the DIY pond or you’ve been at this for a while, the Matrix might be a good fit.
However, professionals/contractors with large projects might find this device rather inadequate. You’ll get to see why a little later in this article.
This Black and Decker Matrix review is an objective look at the drill/driver, put together after extensive use as well as checking out customer feedback. In the end, you’ll be able to decide whether it’s right for you. Keep reading.
But first, since you’re in the market for a drill-driver, here are some things that you’ll need to consider before settling on one.
How to Choose a Drill Driver: Things to Consider
Power of the motor
Consider the maximum voltage of the motor. This determines the capacity of work the driver will be able to handle (more on applications below). For most home applications, a drill with about 18 to 20 volts will do just fine.
However, there are some smaller drivers with, say, 12V power. Personally, I wouldn’t buy these since their usage is quite limited, forcing you to buy a more powerful drill for larger tasks. If you only see yourself doing light tasks like basic repairs then, fine, the low-powered drivers might be fine.
This brings us to the next consideration;
Think about what you intend to use the drill for. And it shouldn’t be just the present use but also consider what your needs might be in the future. So, if you’re an aspiring DIYer and there’s a chance that you might work on bigger projects in the future, go for a more powerful drill, possible the 18 or 20V ones.
If, on the other hand, you don’t care for large projects and all you need is a handy tool for basic repair work like fixing hinges and door handles, then perhaps the small 12V drills might do.
Design and build
The drill/driver you choose should be a design that fits perfectly in your hands. It should offer you a sturdy drip to make sure that there are few chances of accidental drops while working. And since the grip should be strong, it ought to be comfortable as well.
Consider the material used for the body. Thankfully, most (if not all) drill/drivers have a rubber clothing on the exterior, offering not just a comfortable grip but also a sturdy one. The rubber also enhances durability, which is another thing you should consider. We’ll talk about durability below.
Also, think about the weight of the tool as this will impact factors like ease of use and portability. If the tool is too heavy, it might strain your hand during extended use.
Some drivers are sold with accessories like extra drill/driver bits, an extra battery, safety gear, etc. You might want to consider whether you get any of these because you’ll end up saving a couple of bucks in the process.
Also, consider buying combo kits that have extra tools and attachments for your drill/driver. Check for kits that have a drill bit set or even a screwdriver set because you’ll definitely need these eventually.
Figure out how long a drill’s battery lasts when in use and how long it takes to charge when completely drained. A good battery should be able to handle a couple of hours of continuous use when fully charged. Check whether the driver comes with a fast charger as this would be handy in case you run out of juice in the middle of a project.
If there’s no quick-charge feature then you might have to wait at least 3 to even 5 hours for a battery to fill up completely. This is where an extra battery is appreciated.
Lithium-Ion batteries are the best since they are very reliable, so ensure the driver you buy has this type.
How much use can you get out of the drill/driver before it calls it quits? You can get the answer to this question by reading user reviews. If there are lots of complaints about the tool’s reliability then you’ll definitely want to check elsewhere.
A strong drill/driver should be able to handle tasks without overheating. Of course, if it’s a tool for home use, it may not handle heavy tasks and overusing it might lower the driver’s life. This takes us back to consideration number 2 above; intended use.
Do your research by reading the reviews (like this one) and find out whether the drill/driver can handle the tasks you plan to put it through and whether it has longevity.
Perhaps this should have been the first consideration. How much you have to spend determines the options you have so consider the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on the drill/driver. With the budget in mind, go ahead and look at the options within your price range, with the above considerations in mind.
Key Features of the Black and Decker Matrix
The drill/driver is a DIYer’s go-to tool and the Black and Decker Matrix reinforces this tool’s popularity. If you’re a beginner or an experienced woodworker, you’ll find this electric drill to be quite ideal. Below, we take a look at some of its key features and benefits.
The Matrix’s main draw for most woodworkers would be its powerful 20V motor. With such power, the drill/driver is able to handle most (if not all) home applications. Still, remember that this is a cordless drill/driver so heavy work quickly drains its battery.
If you plan on doing fairly heavy work then consider buying an extra battery. With the 20V charger, you should be able to fully recharge the battery within 3 hours.
The motor handles about 800 rotations per minute (RPMs) when the battery is completely full, a speed that starts to reduce as the battery drains. Again, for home use, this speed will do just fine.
Matrix Quick Connect System
This is my favorite feature of the Matrix; its Quick Connect System. Basically, with these Black and Decker tools, you’re able to detach the head unit and attach one of a different tool. So, if you buy the Matrix drill/driver, you’ll have the option of buying attachments for an impact driver, a sander, a jigsaw, a router or even a circular saw.
The tool’s head unit easily detaches from the power unit, allowing you to transform the Matrix into a totally different tool. For basic home applications, these attachments will spare you the cost of buying extra power tools, however, with the 20V power of the main unit, don’t expect much of a bite from some of the tools, especially the saws.
Lightweight and comfort
The Black and Decker Matrix only weighs 4.3 pounds (1.9 kgs). For a power tool, this is quite light but not too light that it feels weak and fragile. Its weight enhances portability, allowing you to easily carry it to your project.
You’ll notice that it’s quite easy to use for a prolonged period without feeling a strain on your arm. Moreover, its soft rubber cladding gives it a firm, ergonomic grip that sits comfortably in your hands.
Of course, most power drills are built this way but this drill/driver’s lightweight complements the ergonomics quite well. These features make the Black and Decker Matrix a perfect on-the-go tool.
Black and Decker are known for making quality products and with the 24-month warranty of the Matrix power drill, you have even more confidence in this tool’s durability. In case an issue arises, rest assured that Black and Decker will have your back.
However, the condition is that you need to use your drill for home applications. If it breaks because you use it for heavy, professional work, Black and Decker might not be so keen to help you out.
Check out the table below for a breakdown of the Black and Decker Matrix’s pros and cons.
- The 20V power gives an output of 800 RPM, which is good enough for general home projects.
- This drill/driver is part of Black and Decker’s Matrix Quick Connect system which allows you to interchange the tool head with other tools like a jigsaw, a sander or an impact driver. With this, you get multiple tools in one.
- The Black and Decker Matrix’s lightweight makes it easy to use for prolonged periods.
- Its ergonomic design gives it a good grip that’s comfortable in the hand.
- Despite its lightweight build, the Matrix is quite sturdy and can withstand regular abuse.
- The battery drains very fast when you subject the drill to heavy work underscoring the fact that it’s meant for light home tasks.
- Still, the drill tends to overheat when overworked.
Other Drill/Driver Options to Consider
DeWalt is master at building professional-grade machines and this 20V drill/driver is another one for the avid DIYers. It’s more expensive than the Black and Decker Matrix but it’s also more powerful; it does 2000 RPMs.
If you intend to move up to heavy work or you’re a professional looking for a good drill/driver, then this Dewalt option would be a good buy.
- Powerful motor that can handle up to 2000 RPMs.
- Has an LED light which activates when you press the trigger. This is perfect for when you’re working in a dark space like a cabinet.
- Its sturdy build makes it suitable for heavy work.
- The 4.0 Ah battery can handle a full day’s work when fully charged.
- It has a three-speed transmission that allows you to use it on any surface.
- The Dewalt is significantly heavier than the Black and Decker Matrix.
- It’s an expensive drill/driver.
SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V
This drill/driver by SKIL is one that sits somewhere between the affordable Black and Decker Matrix and the premium Dewalt drill/driver. However, it doesn’t come off as an awkward middle child, offering a bit of the power of the Dewalt and some of the affordability of the Matrix.
It has a 2.0 Ah battery with what they call Power Jump, a feature that allows it to recharge to 100% in just 30 minutes. If you’re in a hurry, a five-minute charge gives about 25% of juice to complete your project.
SKIL also brings some handy features that make it more than just a DIY tool. For instance, its battery doubles as a power bank which you can use to charge your mobile device.
- The SKIL drill/driver has a torque of up to 1800 RPM, making it ideal for just about any project.
- The 2.0Ah battery can hold a charge and the fast charger fills it up within just 30 minutes.
- A five-minute charge gives about 25% of the power.
- With a USB port on the battery, you can use this as a power bank to charge your mobile devices, if you need to.
- It’s light and compact, making it perfect for working in tight spaces.
- The battery has an indicator light so you can keep track of its power level.
The charger is big and heavy, a consequence of its high-speed charging capability.
It is sold with a 1.5Ah battery.
For regular use, that is, driving screws, it can go for about half a day. However, this time reduces when working on heavier tasks.
Unfortunately, it isn’t. You’ll need to buy this separately.
You only get a charger and a Philips/flat-head double-ended bit out of the box.
The Black and Decker Matrix is an affordable entry-level drill/driver for home projects. This tool is meant for those who work on light projects at home or those who are just starting out on the DIY journey.
Although it’s not as powerful as the two alternatives above, it still packs a bit of a punch to complete your tasks. However, if the 800 RPM torque just isn’t sufficient then consider SKIL or the Dewalt, especially if you intend to move up to more demanding projects.