While we wait for a leak of Home Depot's 2010 Black Friday ad that actually has staying power (the retailer is busily hitting sites that post it with takedown notices), the full Lowe's ad has found its way online, and as expected, it's packed with over 100 sale items. As we already noted in an earlier post, some of the stuff, like the old-tech Ni-Cd cordless tool kits, you can probably ignore. If you're looking to upgrade your personal cordless tool stockpile, however, there are some more attractive-looking offerings scattered in the ad. Let's have a look and see whether they're worth braving the crowds for.
Bosch 2-piece 12V lithium-ion combo kit
One of the sale items that immediately caught our eye was this Bosch 2-piece 12-volt cordless drill combo kit (item "A" in the photo). It's marked down to $129 from its regular price of $179. While not exactly cheap, this is still a killer deal. Here's why: the kit includes two of Bosch's latest Lithium-ion compact drivers, the PS21-2A Pocket Driver and the PS41-2A impact driver. The predecessors to these two models are runners up in our reports on cordless drills and cordless screwdrivers, and the new models are substantially more compact than the older ones. As for the $129 sale price, we'd jump on it if you're looking for a new or replacement cordless screwdriver or impact driver. By itself, the PS21-2A retails for $120 at Amazon and the PS41-2A sells for around $166. The $129 Black Friday price for both seems like a no-brainer.
Skil iXO 2336-02 3.6V palm-sized screwdriver
The latest version of the Skil iXO series, the iXO3, is named a runner up in our new report on cordless screwdrivers. The model for $29.97 in the Lowe's circular is the original Skil iXO, which is still listed it on the manufacturer website, but it's no longer available at Amazon, where it's marked as a discontinued model. The iXO drivers (iXO, iXO2, and iXO3) get good reviews in general, but note that the Black Friday price is really just Lowe's everyday price, so there's no deal here. Given that the original iXO appears to be discontinued, it looks as if Lowe's is merely using Black Friday to call attention to the driver and blow out its existing stock. If you like it, by all means get it, but do so at your leisure -- there's no need to rush out on Black Friday for this one.
Hitachi 3-piece 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit
We actually mention this kit, the Hitachi KC18DHL (which includes the DS18DSAL drill/driver, the WH18DSAL impact driver, and UB18DAL flashlight), in our newly-updated cordless drills report. It's neither a best-reviewed nor runner-up model, but the editors of American Woodworker magazine recommend it, and it does well in user reviews at both Amazon.com and NorthernTool.com. Like the Skil iXO mentioned above, however, the Black Friday price of $199 is merely the Lowe's everyday price. This Hitachi lithium combo kit is also covered by a 10-year warranty, which is rather impressive. It's clearly a nice set, but there's no deal to speak of here. We'd wait and see if the price drops. Otherwise, you can just pick it up at this price any old time.