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Stanley FATMAX Drill Review

Just a quick note, this is a review of the Stanley FATMAX Brushed Drill, If you would like to read our Stanley FATMAX Brushless Drill Review it can be found here.

The Stanley V20 range of power tools is a new range and in my opinion, provides exceptional value for money. But how well does the Stanley FATMAX Drill do, does it deserve its place is this great value for money line up? Well, let’s have a look.

Before we get into the review I would like to state that Stanley Black & Decker sent me this drill-free of charge. There were no strings attached and the fact I received this drill free of charge does not affect my review at all. Everything here is my own thoughts and my own genuine review of this drill. So with that off my chest let’s have a look at the drill itself.

Stanley FATMAX Drill Review

Exceptional Value For Money!
STANLEY FATMAX Combi Drill with Battery, Charger & Case
5.0
Pros:
  • Very Capable Drill
  • Samsung Battery Cells
  • Hard Carry Case Included
  • 2 x Batteries Included
Cons:
  • Only 2Ah Batteries Included
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I think a good place to start is with a little background info on Stanley themselves. Now everyone is familiar with Stanley hand tools but powertools? not so much. But they actually have a huge amount of industry experience when it comes to power tools. Stanley you see is actually owned by Stanley Black & Decker Inc. Formed by a merger of the two tool powerhouses.

So they have all the experience of Black and Decker on board, but it gets better. Stanley Black and Decker are like the Coca Cola of the tool world. They actually own a lot of brands you will be familiar with. Household names such as Irwin and DeWALT. And that’s where these power tools get interesting, they are made by the same company that owns DeWALT so surely some of that design and knowledge has gone into these tools? Let’s find out.

A Look Inside The Case
A Look Inside The Case

Brushed V Brushless

As you may have already seen we have also tested and reviewed this drills brushless brother, the Stanley FATMAX Brushless Drill. But what does brushed and brushless mean, and what’s the difference?

A brushless motor is more efficient, more powerful and lasts longer than a brushed motor. A brush motor uses carbon brushes to generate movement whereas a brushless motor uses magnets. The brushes on a brushed motor wear out over time and need replacing, they also create a lot more heat than a brushless motor. They are however cheaper to manufacture, which is why cheaper tools, even by the big names, often have brushed motors.

At the price point of this drill, you simply won’t get a brushless motor, they are just too expensive.

And while a brushless motor is better, it’s unlikely you will feel the difference as a DIY user. Brushes can take forever to burn out and is something that is more likely to affect pro users who will be using the drill every day. For your average user, it is not an issue you will face for a long, long time. I have had a Makita brushed drill that is still on its original brushes 10 years later!

Brushed at the front brushless at the back
Brushed at the front brushless at the back

The brushed drill is a little larger than the brushless, again not as good as the brushless drill, but then you need to consider that the brushed drill is nearly half the price of the brushless version. All those little nitpicking differences suddenly don’t seem so large now do they?

The Battery

I have recently become a bit of a battery nerd, you might have seen my video about Makita batteries on YouTube. So with this battery deep dive still recent in the memory I was excited to see what batteries Stanley are using in these tools. The V20 platform is all new and one of the major features Stanley are pushing is the new and improved batteries.

The Brand New V20 Battery
The Brand New V20 Battery

The battery and charger themselves are pretty standard fare. They seem well built and sturdy. The charger has indicator lights to let you know when the battery is charging is and also when it is full. The battery itself has three push-button activated LED’s which show the power left in the battery itself, always a handy feature to have.

But I want to know more, I want to know what 18650 cells Stanley have gone with and also how the pack itself is built. So for that, I need to crack one of the batteries open.

Battery Circuit Board, Balance Charging
Battery Circuit Board, Balance Charging?

You can see the single row of cells which is what makes this an 18v battery at 2Ah. There are 5 individual cells connected in series. Each cell is 3.6v and has a 2Ah capacity, so times the voltage by 5 because they are is series and you get your 18v battery.

The larger 4Ah pack just has another row of 5 cells connected in parallel, which then adds the 2 x 2Ah series of cells together to give a 4Ah battery.

One interesting thing I think I have spotted on this battery is the connection from the middle two cells back to the board. This is not required to make the battery work, one connection at each end would do the trick. So I believe this is for load-balanced charging, this is where the voltage of all the cells can be checked to make sure they are equal. This is a great way of extending the overall life of the battery pack.

Samsung 20R Cells!
Samsung 20R Cells!

Now onto the cells themselves and I’m pleased to say there is more great news here. The battery is using Samsung 2oR 18650 cells, these are great quality cells designed to have a high discharge rate which is essential in power tools. you can read more about these cells here.

Testing the Drill

So now it’s time to put this drill up to some testing. I did a ton of testing with this drill as part of my best drills under £100 article. If you want to watch all the testing I have included that video below.

Spoiler: The Stanley FATMAX Drill wins!!

For those of you who would prefer to read the results, have a look below.

Results of the auger into oak test
Results of the auger into oak test
Results of the Forstner test
Results of the Forstner test
Results of the Concrete Block test
Results of the Concrete Block test
Results of the Battery test
Results of the Battery test
Results of the brick test
Results of the brick test

Conclusion

A very impressive result for the Stanley FATMAX drill, beating out the competition in nearly every test, and that’s even though it was cheaper than the Ryobi and Bosch drills!

If you are in the market for a great quality drill but are a little constrained by budget then I would not hesitate to recommend the Stanley FATMAX drill, the build quality and performance are that of a much more expensive drill.

Exceptional Value For Money!
STANLEY FATMAX Combi Drill with Battery, Charger & Case
5.0
Pros:
  • Very Capable Drill
  • Samsung Battery Cells
  • Hard Carry Case Included
  • 2 x Batteries Included
Cons:
  • Only 2Ah Batteries Included
Buy Now At Homebase
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This helps fund the Bloke Cave and allows us to create epic projects!