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Black+Decker 20V Max Drill/Driver LDX120C Review

An okay drill for basic household tasks and assembly projects at a great price
Black+Decker 20V Max Drill/Driver LDX120C
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $60 List | $39.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, lightweight
Cons:  Weak, minimal features
Manufacturer:   Black+Decker
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Nov 10, 2021
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35
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 16
  • Drilling - 35% 4
  • Driving - 35% 3
  • Battery Life - 20% 3
  • Convenience - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The Black+Decker 20V Max Drill/Driver LDX120C is a great little drill if you don't expect too much and are trying to shop on the tightest budget possible. It is definitely not the best you can get — far from it — but it handles most light-duty jobs without too much fuss. It's not necessarily a great option for the enthusiastic DIYer and it definitely isn't a good choice for a pro, but if you only want a drill for hanging the occasional picture frame or aiding in furniture assembly, then this Black+Decker is a great choice.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $60 List
$39.00 at Amazon
$140 List$79 List
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Pros Inexpensive, lightweightGreat for driving fasteners, heavy-duty, efficient use of battery lifeImpressive drilling power, strong steel drilling performance, good control, great priceInexpensive, lightweightInexpensive
Cons Weak, minimal featuresHeavy, takes some force to swap batteriesOnly includes a single batter, so-so battery life in our testsUnderpowered, poor battery lifeExtremely underpowered, short battery life
Bottom Line An okay drill for basic household tasks and assembly projects at a great priceIf you are looking for a top-tier drill to go with your existing Milwaukee batteries, this is your best betA decent drill for DIY projects that won't deplete your savingsWhile this drill isn't very expensive, there are better options if you are on a tight budgetIf you only want to do basic tasks and want the cheapest drill possible, then the BDCDD12C is an alright option
Rating Categories Black+Decker 20V Ma... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Workpro 20V Drill D... Black+Decker 12V Ma...
Drilling (35%)
4.0
9.0
7.0
3.0
1
Driving (35%)
3.0
10.0
6.0
3.0
2.0
Battery Life (20%)
3.0
10.0
4.0
3.0
1
Convenience (10%)
4.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Black+Decker 20V Ma... Milwaukee M18 Fuel... Craftsman V20 1/2-I... Workpro 20V Drill D... Black+Decker 12V Ma...
Battery Capacity (Included) 1.5 Ah Tested w/ 2 Ah 1.3 Ah 1.5 Ah 1.5 Ah
Battery Voltage 20V 18V 20V 20V 12V
Max Chuck 3/8" 1/2" 1/2" 3/8" 3/8"
Battery Chemistry Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion
Drill Model Tested LDX120C 2803-20 CMCD700 W004532A BDCDD12C
Box Model (Kit) Tested LDX120C Tested tool-only, no kit CMCD700C1 X001TOJ70B BDCDD12C
RPM 0 - 650 Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1500
Low: 0 - 400
High: 0 - 1500
0 - 550
Peak Torque (manu) N/A 1,200 in-lbs 280 UWO 142 in-lbs N/A
Measured Length 7" 7" 8-1/4" 7-1/4" 7"
Measured Weight 2 pounds
10.8 ounces
4 pounds 1 ounce 3 pounds 7 ounces 2 pounds
13.1 ounces
2 pounds
3 ounces
Measured Charge Time 210 minutes 25 minutes 58 minutes 230 minutes 200 minutes
Battery Indicator Location N/A Battery Battery Drill (not a very helpful indicator) N/A
LED Location Above the trigger Above the battery Above the trigger Above the trigger Above the battery
Included Belt Clip No Yes No Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The best drill on a tight budget, the Black+Decker LDX120C.
The best drill on a tight budget, the Black+Decker LDX120C.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Drilling


Starting off, we evaluated and compared the drilling performance of each cordless drill, which is responsible for 35% of the LDX120C's and every other drill's total score. To do this we drilled holes in wood boards with a 1" paddle bit, used a 5" hole saw in a solid core door, and drilled through a steel sheet with both ¼" and ½" twist drills. Regrettably, the LDX120C didn't do all that well.


The LDX120C actually did moderately well with the 5" hole saw in the solid door, drilling it to the full depth. However, it did take about 90 seconds to this — the top tools only took 17 or so — and it definitely protested and struggled the entire way. It started to smell quite horrific while drilling and the air coming out of the exhaust vents was incredibly hot — hot enough to burn you. The entire drill body was also exceptionally warm afterward.

The hole saw test really got this drill working hard.
The hole saw test really got this drill working hard.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The LDX120C struggled even more when it came to drilling through the steel sheets. It made it through the 16 gauge sheet with the ¼" drill bit in about 4 seconds, though it definitely struggled a bit. It struggled substantially with the ½" bit, but it eventually punched through the steel sheet after 12 seconds of drilling. However, it did protest and struggle quite a bit throughout.

The LDX120C isn't our first choice for drilling through a thin sheet...
The LDX120C isn't our first choice for drilling through a thin sheet of steel, but in testing, it made it through.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Of our three drilling tests, the LDX120C had the hardest time with the 1" paddle bit.

This drill had some trouble during our 1" spade bit test.
This drill had some trouble during our 1" spade bit test.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

We were drilling holes in a 2x12 and the Black+Decker definitely was not happy in the slightest. It took a long time to drill the holes compared to the rest and was a bit of an overall struggle fest with this drill.

The LDX120C drove wood screws in just fine during testing.
The LDX120C drove wood screws in just fine during testing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Driving


Our second set of evaluations are designed to test the driving performance of each drill when it came to installing fasteners, with this metric also accounting for 35% of the final score for each drill. We tested out the LDX120C with both wood screws and lag screws, awarding scores based on how quickly and easily it drove in these fasteners, as well as if it could set the heads properly. It again didn't do all that well compared to the burlier drills of the bunch.


This drill actually didn't do too bad with the normal wood screws — we used 3" long, #9 screws for this test to attach a pair of stacked 2x12s. It drives them into their full depth and sets the countersunk heads flush with the surface of the wood without struggling all that much. However, it definitely isn't the fastest at this, taking quite a bit more time than the top products.

The lag screw proved to be too much for the LDX120C. Luckily, light...
The lag screw proved to be too much for the LDX120C. Luckily, light users won't be trying to sink big lag screws like this.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Unfortunately, the ½" lag screw proved to be a bit too much for the LDX120C. We drilled a pilot hole through a 2x4 and into a 4x4 to drive the 5" long screw into it, but the LDX120C couldn't sink it to its full depth — no matter what we tried.

The LDX120C is simple to remove with the press of a button.
The LDX120C is simple to remove with the press of a button.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Battery Life


Moving beyond the drilling and driving performance of the Black+Decker LDX120C, we next rated and scored the battery life of this drill, as well as the time it takes to recharge. Additionally, we also awarded some bonus points if there were extra batteries included. Altogether, these account for 20% of the Black+Decker's final score. The LDX120C delivered another somewhat poor set of results. We used a 1.5 Ah battery when assessing the battery life of this tool.


To test out the battery life of each drill, we started each one with a full battery, then alternated between drilling three 1" diameter holes with the spade bit and driving in 16 of the #9 screws until the tool died. The best drills made it through over 10 cycles of this, while the Black+Decker didn't even make it through two. It made it through the first set but only drove in all the screws and drilled two holes in the second set before dying.

The LDX120C's 1.5 Ah battery also has one of the longest recharge times of the entire group, taking about 3.5 hours with the included charger. However, you can buy a fast charger separately if you really want to speed this up. This Black+Decker drill also only includes a single battery, but again, you can purchase extra batteries separately.

This drill doesn't come with a belt clip or adjustable torque...
This drill doesn't come with a belt clip or adjustable torque settings.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Convenience


For the last 10% of the total score for each tool, we looked at all the little things that make them more convenient and easier to operate. In particular, we looked at the maximum bit size that the chuck could accept, if there were different gears to maximize speed or torque, and how much each drill weighed, as well as if there is a belt clip, built-in light, battery indicator, and how easy it is to swap the batteries. The LDX120C did a bit better here, but it still wasn't awesome.


This drill lacks a belt clip and only has a single operating speed. It also has one of the smaller maximum chuck sizes, only able to hold something up to ⅜" of an inch, instead of the standard ½".

The LDX120C also lacks a battery status meter, but it is fairly easy to install or remove the battery. The locking mechanism is a good balance between holding the battery securely and allowing it to be easily released. This drill also is fairly lightweight, weighing a little more than 2.5 pounds. It also does have an integrated work light, but it is a little on the dim side.

Having the light above the trigger casts a weird shadow in your work...
Having the light above the trigger casts a weird shadow in your work area making it difficult to see what you are doing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


If you are only doing light-duty tasks, then the LDX120C is a phenomenal value. There's no reason to spend more on a drill if you don't need more performance.

The LDX120C making its way through 16 gauge steel.
The LDX120C making its way through 16 gauge steel.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


If you want a bare-bones tool that can handle light to moderate DIY projects without spending a ton of cash, then the Black+Decker 20V Max Drill/Driver LDX120C is an absolutely fantastic choice. However, it does have plenty of flaws and pales in comparison to the top products when it comes to drilling or driving performance. It's definitely on the underpowered side for DIY enthusiasts or professionals but is usually more than enough for the casual homeowner.

David Wise and Austin Palmer

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