Matrix Quick Connect System Review - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

An economical, expandable, power tool system for anyone doing light-duty woodworking and home improvement projects.

Matrix Quick Connect System

Matrix Quick Connect System



The Matrix is a multi-functional tool system that enables a range of attachments to be used with a single power base unit. The 'power base unit' essentially consists of a drill/driver with a removable head. Once you remove the head (which consists of the drill/driver chuck and gear box unit), you can replace it with another attachment.

The power base units (aka the drill/drivers) are available in three formats: 12V and 20V cordless, and 4 Amp corded. Currently there are nine attachments that can be used with any of the three drill/drivers, and Black & Decker say they have more on the way.

It's a pretty clever system that enables you to buy a single power base unit (i.e. the drill/driver), and then purchase individual attachments as the need arises, effectively converting your drill/driver into an oscillating tool, impact driver, jigsaw, detail sander, trim saw, router, recip saw, hedge trimmer/shears, or inflator (images at the bottom of this page). Paraphrasing Gandalf – there is 'one tool to run them all'.


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Power base units, L to R: 20V and 12V cordless, 4 Amp corded

I recently tried the 20V cordless model (#BDCDMT120). It's a bare bones drill/driver, with 3/8" chuck, 10 clutch settings, and a variable speed of 0 to 800 RPM. Black & Decker doesn't specify the torque rating. The double-sleeve keyless chuck that takes both hands to tighten. It has a rather smooth plastic cap that makes it somewhat difficult to fully tighten the jaws on the bit shank.

The 20V Matrix a fairly large tool, about 9" high with a 9" head length, and weighs in at 3.3 pounds (with the battery installed). The drill/driver is reasonably well balanced, and has a nicely padded grip. You get one 20V, 1.5 Ah battery, and a slow charger that recharges a fully depleted battery in about 4 hours. Just above the battery housing on the base of the drill is a clip that holds a single driver bit.

This is no-frills drill/driver suited for basic household tasks. I found it worked well with the typical range of drill bits up to about 3/4", and for driving #8 screws up to 6" long. I wasn't able to drill 1" holes with an Irwin Speedbor bit, and it bogged down when I tried to sink 3/8" x 6" lag screws. Still, the 20V Matrix should be able to tackle most of the drilling and driving jobs a homeowner is likely to undertake. However, if you're an avid DIYer intending to undertake more intensive home renovations (for example, building a deck or putting an extra bedroom in the basement), then you'll likely want to consider a different drill/driver.

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Quick connect system

Attachments are quick to remove and install – you simple depress a lock button on the top of the base unit housing. Once installed, attachments remain firmly in place. The attachment I tried was the high pressure inflator (#BDCMTHPI), which enables you to inflate tires, sport balls, air mattresses, toys, and the like. 

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High pressure inflator attachment with on-board nozzles storage

The inflator has a 14" hose, and comes with needle and beach ball nozzles that conveniently store in a small compartment on the side of the inflator. At 1-3/8" diameter the dial face is somewhat on the small side, making the divider marks hard to read. Each mark, or tick, represents 2 PSI, so it's a bit of an eyestrain to get a precise reading. Fortunately most beach balls and bike tires don't need you to dial in exact PSI levels.

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Easy tire inflation

I didn't have any balls or beach toys to inflate, but I did have a car tire. The hose easily attaches to the tire valve. I removed 10 pounds of pressure from the tire, and it took less than a minute to re-inflate the tire to the correct level. Not too shabby. It's a lot quicker than hauling out my portable air compressor, running an extension cord to the power outlet, and then inflating the tire. The inflator delivers a continuous 80 PSI, and a maximum of 100 PSI, which is more than enough to pump up any size car, motorbike, or bicycle tire.

The upside of the Matrix system is that it provides people with an economical, expandable, power tool system that is simple to use, and easy to add onto. The downside is that you don't get the range of features you would normally get with individual power tools.

Still, the Black & Decker Matrix might be the ticket for anyone looking to be a modicum of woodworking and home improvement projects.

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The current Matrix line of attachments
 

KEY FEATURES:

BDCDMT120 (20V Drill/Driver):

Voltage: 20
Speed: 0-800 RPM
Clutch Settings: 10
Chuck Size: 3/8"
Weight: 3 lbs. 3.5 oz (with battery installed)
Warranty: 2 years
Includes: (1) 20V battery; charger; double ended driver bit

BDCMTHPI (Inflator Attachment):

Continuous PSI: 80
Maximum PSI: 100
14" hose
Warranty: 2 years

Includes: Needle and beach ball nozzles


COMPANY:Black & Decker
MODEL:BDCDMT120 (20V Drill/Driver)
BDCMTHPI (Inflator Attachment)
PRICE:$99.99 BDCDMT120 (20V Drill/Driver)
$39.99 BDCMTHPI (Inflator Attachment)
MADE IN:China
SOURCE:BDCDMT120 (20V Drill/Driver): Lowe’s, Amazon.ca, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware and Walmart
BDCMTHPI (Inflator Attachment): Lowe’s and Canadian Tire
July 2014
Author: 
Carl Duguay
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