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BLACK+DECKER LDX120C Review

If you need a drill for basic household tasks and want to spend as little on it as possible, then the LDX120C by BLACK+DECKER is a great choice
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $60 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, lightweight
Cons:  Weak, minimal features
Manufacturer:   BLACK+DECKER
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  May 23, 2019
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35
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 15
  • Drilling - 35% 4
  • Driving - 35% 3
  • Included Battery - 20% 3
  • Convenience - 10% 4

Our Verdict

Earning the Best Buy award, the BLACK+DECKER 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 the LDX120C is a great choice.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award    
Price $60 List
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Pros Inexpensive, lightweightPowerful, great battery life, fantastic integrated worklightExcellent drilling performance, tons of driving power, decently convenientBurly construction, tons of powerPhenomenal driving performance, solid drilling power
Cons Weak, minimal featuresExpensive, only includes a single batterySo-so battery life, somewhat priceyHeavy, costlySubpar battery life
Bottom Line If you need a drill for basic household tasks and want to spend as little on it as possible, then the LDX120C by BLACK+DECKER is a great choiceIf you want a heavy-duty drill that can keep up with all your toughest projects, the Kobalt is the best you can getThe DCD777C2 is one of the best drills we have seen and would have claimed the top spot if it only had a better battery lifeThis beefy drill features industrial build quality with an all-metal chuck but was just slightly outmatched when it came to drilling powerThe DCD771C2 is a good option if you value driving performance above drilling power
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Rating Categories BLACK+DECKER LDX120C Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 DEWALT DCD777C2 Milwaukee M18 DEWALT DCD771C2
Drilling (35%)
10
0
4
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
Driving (35%)
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
Included Battery (20%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
4
Convenience (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
Specs BLACK+DECKER LDX120C Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 DEWALT DCD777C2 Milwaukee M18 DEWALT DCD771C2
Battery Capacity (Included) 1.5 Ah 2 Ah 1.5 Ah 1.5 Ah 1.3 Ah
Battery Voltage 20V 24V 20V 18V 20V
Max Chuck 3/8" 1/2" 1/2" 1/2" 1/2"
Battery Chemistry Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion Lithium-Ion
Drill Model Tested LDX120C KDD 524B-03 DCD777 2606-20 DCD771
Box Model (Kit) Tested LDX120C 672823 DCD777C2 2606-22CT DCD771C2
RPM 0 - 650 Low: 0 - 550
High: 0 - 2000
Low: 0 - 500
High: 0 - 1750
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1800
Low: 0 - 450
High: 0 - 1800
Peak Torque N/A 650 in-lbs 340 UWO 500 in-lbs 300 UWO
Measured Length 7" 7-3/8" 7-1/4" 7-1/4" 8-3/8"
Measured Weight 2 pounds
10.8 oz
3 pounds
15.2 oz
3 pounds
4.1 oz
3 pounds
12.6 oz
3 pounds
7.3 oz
Measured Charge Time 210 minutes 75 minutes 65 minutes 31 minutes 58 minutes
Battery Indicator Location N/A Battery N/A Battery N/A
LED Location Above the trigger Above the battery Above the trigger Above the trigger Above the trigger
Included Belt Clip No Yes No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The best drill on a tight budget  the BLACK+DECKER LDX120C.
The best drill on a tight budget, the BLACK+DECKER LDX120C.

Performance Comparison


To determine which tools we would bestow awards upon, we bought all the most promising and popular products, then tested them head-to-head in close to 20 different evaluations. We split these assessments into four weighted rating metrics, with the LDX120C's performance described in the sections below.

The LDX120C making its way through 16 gauge steel.
The LDX120C making its way through 16 gauge steel.

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, earning a 4 out of 10.


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.

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

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.

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.

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, earning a 3 out of 10 for its performance.


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.
The lag screw proved to be too much for the LDX120C.

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.

Included Battery


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, earning a 3 out of 10.


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 settings.
This drill doesn't come with a belt clip or adjustable torque settings.

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 than the last metrics, but it still wasn't awesome, earning it a 4 out of 10.


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

Value


If you are only doing light-duty tasks, then the LDX120C is a phenomenal value.

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 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