Anybody who follows me here on PowerUp! would have picked on two things about me; I love gorgeous tech and I’m really not much of a DIYer. I loathe building stuff and my skills extend only as far as assembling IKEA furniture. I own one cheap multi-head screwdriver that I got for cheap in Bunnings.
But despite that, I couldn’t help but get a serious nerd crush on the HOTO 12V Brushless Drill. It’s hands down the most gorgeous power tool I’ve ever seen and if you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of it, I don’t blame you. HOTO isn’t exactly a household name here in DIY-obsessed Australia and if not for Instagram, I wouldn’t either.
HOTO stands for Home Tools and their mission is to “bring sleek modern design to your run-of-the-mill gadgets without sacrificing functionality. From “home tools” to “the coolest tech gadgets”.” And boy they weren’t kidding. Everything they make, from this cordless drill, screwdrivers, air pump, power washer, measuring tools are ridiculously gorgeous. It’s no wonder there’s so many stunning photos of them on Instagram.
Retailing for USD $230 or about AUD $350, the HOTO 12V Brushless Drill boasts 30Nm of torque and a maximum speed of 1400rpm. It has two modes, one for screwing and another for drilling and HOTO bundles 10 S2-steel screwdriver bits, 4 metalworking drills and 4 woodworking drills in the box. Also included is a USB Type-C cable required to charge the 2000mAh rechargeable battery. Oh and HOTO offers life-time customer care when you buy there products.
The design of the drill is what I call geek-chic. It’s dressed in Ash black with a softer, textured grip contrasted by a smooth, scratch and stain resistant PC-ABS plastic shell. It’s surprisingly heavy given how small it actually is but that just adds to the premium feel. It looks like a service pistol that Q from James Bond would carry.
On top of the main barrel is a toggle marked by a bright yellow base that switches the drill between screwdriver and drilling modes. On the sides of the barrel is the directional toggle to change the drills motion clockwise or anti-clockwise. At the bottom of the barrel is the pressure sensitive trigger that allows you to precisely control how fast or slow the drill head goes.
One the back is an LED display, something you don’t see everyday on a power tool. It’s a black & white display which shows your battery status, drill direction and torque setting. There are controls on the left and right bezel to adjust the torque in real time so you always know what setting you’re on.
Another button underneath the display toggles the drill between Pulse mode and Manual mode. Pulse mode is designed for us noobs who aren’t proficient with power tools to practice and get accustomed to drilling. It lowers the torque and speed so you don’t go destroying screw heads or over drilling into stuff accidentally.
One slight annoyance is that the screen doesn’t come on unless you first activate the drill. So you can’t just check the battery life or change torque without activating the drill. Nevertheless, this display alone was enough for me to give HOTO the geek seal of approval.
At the front of the drill is the Chuck where you insert your various drill bits. I’m pretty sure it will take any standard drill bits and not just the ones HOTO provides. Also, like traditional drills, it requires unlocking the head by spinning it clockwise. Then you just drop in your bit, lock it in by spinning the head anticlockwise and you’re good to go.
As I’ve said, I’m no expert with power tools but using the HOTO drill has been a blast. It’s impressively powerful with that 30Nm of torque and can in theory, drill into metal — something I’ve not put to the test. Honestly, I don’t think you’ll ever really use it full tilt but it’s comforting to know it’s capable.
However, for everyday things like drilling holes in the wall to mount picture frames, assembling furniture, or generally light work around the home, this is a perfect tool. It’s also great for PC builders who want to quickly place screws in builds. However, for finer work with motherboards, laptops, I recommend using the smaller HOTO Precision Screwdriver which is designed exactly for this purpose.
I’ve not used the HOTO drill for long enough stretches to speak to battery life but since you likely won’t be using this in a carpentry workshop, I wouldn’t worry. I really like that unlike traditional power tools that have detachable batteries that require a special charging adapter, the HOTO has a built-in lithium battery that charges via good ol USB Type-C. So you can use your phone or laptop charger to top this up anytime.
The HOTO 12V Brushless Drill is a wonderful piece of tech that belongs in any discerning tech lovers arsenal. It’s undoubtedly the most beautiful power tool you’ll find on the market and it matches it’s beauty with brawn. I love having it, I love looking at it and I love using it. It’s everything and more for what I need.
More serious tradies would likely shy away from using this out of fear of breaking it, soiling it and most importantly, you can’t hot swap batteries. Rather, this is for us gamer nerds who obsess over our desk setups and need a power tool that gets the job done neatly and in style. It’s an easy recommend.