Rockwell LithiumTech Cordless Combo Kit Review

By Todd Fratzel on Power Tools, Product Reviews

Rockwell LithiumTechTM RK1801K2 18-Volt Cordless Combo Kit

Rockwell LithiumTech Cordless Drill KitThe folks at Rockwell sent us some of their new LithiumTech cordless tools to test. We just tested the RK1801K2 18-Volt Cordless Combo Kit that includes an 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver and an 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Impact Driver along with a great carrying case and battery charger.

The line of LithiumTech Cordless tools was designed to be lighter and quicker to charge that similar models on the market. The following comes from Rockwell:

“There’s no question about the superior performance of LithiumTech tools over NiCd and NiMH cordless models,” said Craig Taylor, Rockwell Vice President of Brand Marketing. “Besides weighing up to one pound less than comparable NiCd models, LithiumTech tools have higher torque-to-weight-ratios, and recharge in only 35 minutes.”

Tool Specifications

The combo kit includes the RK2800K2 Impact Driver and the RK2810K2 Drill/Driver. In addition to the specifications listed below Rockwell is now offering Free Batteries For Life on cordless tools (some limitations apply).The Free Batteries for Life is something we haven’t seen in the industry before and should be an exceptional benefit for Rockwell users.

RK2800K2 – Impact Driver

  • Voltage: 18
  • No-load speed: 0-2400rpm
  • Impact rate: 0-3000bpm
  • Chuck size: 1/4″ Hex Shank
  • Max torque: 1160in-lbs
  • Charging time: 35min
  • Machine weight: 3.1lbs

RK2810K2 – Drill/Driver

  • Voltage: 18
  • No-load speed: speed 1: 0-350rpm | speed 2: 0-1300rpm
  • Chuck size: 1/2″
  • Max torque: 450in-lbs
  • Charging time: 35min
  • Machine weight: 3.9lbs

LithiumTech Cordless Combo Kit Review

The RK1801K2 LithiumTech Cordless Combo Kit offers both a drill/driver and an impact driver in a convenient carrying case with two batteries and a charger. Offered at a suggested retail price of $269.99 this combo kit is sure to raise some eyebrows. Below are our thoughts on the kit based on our experiences using it.

Power / Batteries

Both of the cordless tools in this kit come powered by 18-volt lithium-ion battery packs (interchangeable). One of the features that we really liked was the quick charging 18 volt batteries. The specifications say a 35 minute total charge and we were able to consistently charge the batteries in just under that time around 30 minutes.

Both the impact driver and drill/driver deliver consistent, uniform power for the task at hand. The impact driver doesn’t quite deliver the same torque that similar 18-volt drivers do. However, when you consider the weight of this driver it becomes an attractive feature if you’re not looking for the higher torque values used for heavy duty fasteners. We were able to easily drive 3 inch long deck screws with both tools. The impact driver also was able to sink multiple 3/8 inch lag screws with ease.

Comfort / Balance

The impact driver is a real joy to use because of it’s light weight and balance. For a tool of only 3 lbs it’s very well balanced and comfortable to use. The drill/driver is also light weight but we didn’t feel as though the balance was as good as the impact driver. This is most likely due in part to the long length of the chuck/torque assembly combined with the rather light weight batter pack. Even though the balance wasn’t as good as we hoped it certainly was a minor design issue in the grand scheme of things.

Overall Performance

The new Rockwell LithiumTech cordless combo kit includes some great features at an attractive price point. Quite a few of the stand alone impact drivers on the market come in at the same price or more and this combo kit gives you two tools for that price.

These tools are definitely some of the lightest in the 18-Volt category which is nice when it comes to worker fatigue. The impact driver does give up some torque compared to it’s competitors but it’s a compromise with it’s lighter feel.

As usual these Rockwell tools are built to withstand the rigors of construction. By far the most impressive thing we’ve seen this year is Rockwell’s offer for lifetime batteries on new cordless tools like these which makes them an even better buy! If you’re looking for a very competitively priced 18-volt combo set then we recommend you give this set a chance.

If you’re interested in buying this combo kit you can purchase it here.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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4 Comments

  1. Nice review todd. I did’nt even know Rockwell made cordless tools, I’m impressed and will consider them on my next cordless purchase.

    • Todd says:

      Rob – They also have a line of professional grade cordless tools. Rockwell has definitely impressed me this year with some of their tools.

  2. Mark Kyhl says:

    The only problem I see, on their website it says “The free for life batteries do not include shipping or handling costs”. What will the charge for these services be for “free batteries”.

  3. Roger says:

    The battery and charger are great, the drill is not. From the start, no matter how tight I would get it, it would loosen and bits would fall out often getting lost. Then, after a couple months of trying to get it really tight to try and minimize that, the whole thing froze and it would not loosen at all any more and I could not get the bit I had in it out at all. I ended up trying to loosen it with tools, and that broke the shaft. So the drill now spins with a great long lasting charged battery but the part that holds the bit doesn’t turn making it totally useless.

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