Freeman FAT38AD

Editor Rating: 4.5/5

Great Product

Freeman FAT38AD

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Last modified: Aug 17, 2022 @ 1:23 pm

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Freeman FAT38AD Review Summary:

Targeting areas other drills cannot reach — the pneumatic right-angled Freeman FAT38AD is ideal for DIYers and contractors working between joists, amid drywall slats, and inside cabinets.

Driven by just 90 psi at 4 CFM — making the machine ideal for home-sized compressors — this compact drill knocks out a remarkable 15000 rpm. Thus making it suitable for time-intensive projects where rapid completion is required.

With a quad-speed adjustable output, you can tailor the unit to suit your target material, while its four-finger trigger operation elevates stamina by reducing the risk of finger fatigue.

User comfort is elevated further by its low-heft 1.6-pound build — and a rotatable exhaust deflector that permits you to aim waste gases away from your face and drilling dust and debris.

With a 0.375-inch keyed chuck, this drill is suitable for most general wood and metal applications, while allowing reassuring bit stability. And, measuring 7.1 x 1.6 x 4.1 inches with a right-angled head — you can access the most confined of spaces.

Admittedly, its relatively low torque makes it unsuitable for thick metal or dense hardwood jobs. However, arriving with a plethora of accessories and an extensive seven-year warranty — this unit is a light-on-the-pocket solution to close-area work.

This machine hails from Freeman Tools, a US-based brand that’s a subsidiary of Prime Global Products, Inc. The FAT38AD is a China-built machine that is Freeman’s only entry into the right-angle compressor drill arena.

Pros:

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Affordable entry-level machine.
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Includes two quick connect fittings, oil, and wrenches.
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Lightweight aluminum construction.
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Low compressor demands.
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Novel front-mounted inverted trigger.

Cons:

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Low on torque.
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No reverse feature.
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Relatively unknown manufacturer.

Features and Benefits of the Freeman FAT38AD Pneumatic Angle Drill


While compact and powerful — there’s more to this unit than simply condensed grunt. Here are the key features of the FAT38AD.

Rapid Drilling/Driving Speed


Knocking out an eye-watering 15000 rpm, the FAT38AD from Freeman is a scarily rapid drill.

Driven by a compressor (not included) capable of delivering a minimum of 90 psi, this speedy machine will make light work of boring, drilling, driving, and reaming into woods metals and plastic.

Keyed Chuck


Sure, you’re going to lose the key. Show me an experienced drilling DIYer or trade pro who has never misplaced this vital component — and I’ll show you a liar.

Naturally, you can go for a unit that offers a keyless chuck, but for hardcore applications, you need the reassuring grip of a keyed machine — offered by the Freeman FAT 38AD 3/8-inch chuck — shielding the bit from slippage and loss.

Take my advice and connect the key to the drill with a lanyard — or risk losing it in the bottom of your toolbox. Although, 0.375-inch replacements are easily available online.

Compact and Lightweight


The Freeman FAT38AD Pneumatic 3/8″ Angle Drill excels in hard-to-reach areas and confined space applications.

Weighing just 1.6 pounds and measuring 7.1 x 1.6 x 4.1 inches — it’s ideal for projects in engine bays, inside cabinets, and between joists. Furthermore, boasting a right-angled head, you don’t have to be a wrist contortionist when addressing your target material.

Rotatable Exhaust Deflector


If you’ve used a pneumatic drill before — you will have experienced the headaches of excess exhaust gases.

These powerful jets — crucial for the operation of your machine — always seem to be emitted in the most awkward of directions. Typically, hitting you directly in the face or plowing through drilling debris — creating a veritable hurricane of dust.

Hence, it’s pleasing to see that the Freeman FAT 38AD features a 360-rotatable exhaust deflector, permitting you to direct these unwanted air plumes into areas of least annoyance.

Four-Speed Regulator


Although it’s rewarding to have 15000 rpm of grunt in your hands — for many projects, this could be serious overkill.

Hence, it’s satisfying to witness that the Freeman Pneumatic FAT3 8AD incorporates a four-speed regulator. Operated by an easy-turn dial on the base of the machine, you can step down the output rapidity to best suit your current project.

Four-Finger Trigger


Time-extensive projects can take their toll on your trigger finger. Continually squeezing this component with your precious digits can induce cramping, aches, and fatigue — curtailing your drilling job.

The FAT38AD from Freeman features an inverted four-finger trigger — elevating stamina and allowing you to crack on for longer.

Quick-Connect 0.25-Inch NPT


Included with the FAT38AD are two 0.25-inch NPT (National Pipe Thread) connectors — one automotive and one industrial.

This standard fitting for most air hoses allows you to rapidly attach and detach the unit — excellent if you’re using your compressor for a variety of pneumatic tool applications in one project.

Minimal Compressor Requirement


Requiring just 90 psi at 4 CFM (cubic-feet-per-minute), you don’t need the mother-of-all compressors to power this right-angle drill.

This low pressure and throughput demand mean that the FAT38AD will happily run off the majority of garage-style home units — saving you from substantial additional purchase costs.

Extensive Warranty


Robust and durable, the Freeman Right-Angle FAT38AD should permit extensive use without failure. However, it’s gratifying to see that this unit includes a manufacturer’s seven-year warranty — offering serious peace of mind.

Additional Accessories


I always find it rewarding to pull out a brand power tool from its crisp and shiny box — and then discover it arrives with a plethora of accessories.

If you have a similar mindset to me, then you will be pleased to discover that the FAT38AD packaging includes more than just the bare-bones tool. In fact, it features everything you need to crack on with your right angle drilling or driving projects straight-outta-the-box — well, everything except a compressor and air hose.

The FAT 38AD Freeman includes:

  • 0.25-inch automotive NPT fitting.
  • ‎0.25-inch industrial NPT fitting.
  • Industrial-grade air tool oil.
  • Chuck key.
  • Adjustment wrench.

Freeman Right Angle Pneumatic Drill FAT38AD Specifications

 Freeman FAT38AD
Weight1.6 pounds
Chuck0.375-inch keyed
Maximum Speed15000 rpm
Speed SettingsFour
Compressor Requirement90 psi at 4 CFM
Air Hose Inlet0.25-inch NPT
Dimensions7.1 x 1.6 x 4.1 inches
Case MaterialAluminum
WarrantySeven years

What Users Say About The Freeman FAT38AD


In my eyes, the Freeman Pneumatic FAT38AD is an excellent DIY and pro right-angle unit for guys who tackle jobs in the most inaccessible of areas.

But, is this opinion shared by the army of users who utilize this unit on a frequent basis?

Hence, to ensure a completely unbiased review, I sought the views of owners of this pneumatic unit — to unearth how this compact drill functions in real-world, on-site applications.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The sentiments were overwhelmingly positive. Users of the Freeman FAT 38 AD welcomed the substantial four-finger trigger, lauded its massive 15000 rpm output, and praised its compact and lightweight design.

Naturally, some owners weren’t completely overjoyed. One guy expressed serious dissatisfaction that the drill lacked a reverse operation feature. Another user indicated — quite rightly — that the drill lacked the torque to attack dense hardwoods and wet lumber.

However, the general consensus was one of positivity — with all users of the FAT38 AD agreeing it was a highly practical and rapid machine for confined space work.

Alternatives


If this Freeman FAT3 8AD review hasn’t hit any of your drilling buttons — stick with me.

I’ve sourced some impressive alternatives that may be more applicable to your requirements and the demands of your boring and driving projects.

If you’re chasing a pneumatic right-angle drill — yet feel that the Freeman lacks the torque for your hardcore projects — this unit from Chicago Pneumatic may be the solution.

Delivering 175 pounds-per-square-inch of grunt, the CP879 is more suited to addressing thick metals and dense hardwoods than the FAT38AD. However, this naturally means a compromise on speed, as it knocks out just 1800 rpm as opposed to the mighty 15000 rpm of the Freeman.

  • Significantly tougher on the pocket than the FAT38AD.
  • Includes no accessories — unlike the Freeman.
  • One-year warranty, as opposed to the seven years of the FAT3 8AD.
Should you be looking for a reliable compact pneumatic drill — but are bothered by the fact that the Freeman brand is relatively unknown — consider this alternative from the industry-behemoth Ingersoll Rand.

The 7807R from this Milwaukee company is at a similar price point to the FAT38AD, incorporates an identical 0.375-inch keyed chuck, and has the same 90 psi compressor requirement. However, coming from a US-based company with over 150 years of experience in power tool manufacture — it may offer more peace of mind for brand-conscious users.

  • At 2.5 pounds, it’s 0.9 pounds heavier than the FAT38AD.
  • Slower than the Freeman — 1800 rpm in contrast to 15000 rpm.
  • Reversible — unlike the FAT38AD.
If you’re new to the pneumatic drilling world — or feel you’ll only be using your right-angle machine on an infrequent basis — you may seek something a little lighter on the wallet than the Freeman. This unit from Central Pneumatic could be the budget drill you’re after.

As with the FAT38AD, the CP69495 incorporates a 0.375-inch chuck, aluminum housing, and a 90 psi requirement at 4 CFM. However, at a lower price point than the Freeman, it may appeal more to casual users.

  • No user-selectable speed settings — unlike the FAT38AD.
  • At 2.65 pounds, it’s heavier than the Freeman.
  • Unlike the FAT38AD, it doesn’t include oil, connectors, or wrenches.

Conclusion


Capable of accessing the most confined of spaces with its compact design — the affordably-priced Freeman Pneumatic FAT 38AD is an excellent DIY unit or secondary machine for the trade pro.

A massive 15000 rpm output provides eye-watering rapidity for time-sensitive projects, while its four-finger inverted trigger offers fatigue-busting operation. A four-speed dial permits pleasing project tailorability, and a rotatable exhaust reflector keeps annoying waste air away from your face and debris.

Sure, it’s not for everyone.

Relatively low on torque — it’s not going to appeal to users who are tackling dense and stubborn materials. And, lacking a reverse function, it’s not suitable for removing screws or low-impact bit withdrawal.

However, if you need a reliable pneumatic tool for straightforward drilling in hard-to-reach areas — I recommend taking a look at the Freeman FAT38AD.

Freeman Right Angle Air Powered FAT38AD FAQs

Q: Where Can I Buy the Freeman FAT 38AD Drill?

The FAT38 AD drill from Freeman is an affordable right-angled unit that offers compactness combined with a lightweight build. You can buy this impressive machine here.

Q: What Are the Compressor FAT38AD Freeman Requirements?

The Freeman Right Angle FAT38AD needs a compressor with an output of 90 psi at four CFM. Thus making it suitable for most home-style consumer pneumatic units.

Q: Where Can I Find the Freeman Pneumatic FAT38AD Manual?

The official Freeman tools website hosts manuals for all of its power tool range. For rapid access to the FAT38AD Manual.

Q: Is the Freeman FAT 38AD Cordless?

As a pneumatic machine, the Freeman Right Angle FAT38AD doesn’t need mains power access — although it does require a compressor capable of 90 psi at 4 CFM.

Naturally, if your compressor is electric rather than gas-driven — you will still need an electrical outlet.

Q: Where Can I Find Parts for the Freeman Pneumatic FAT38AD?

The official Freeman Tools website has a range of spare parts for the FAT 38AD. To select the component you need, check out this exploded diagram.

Q: Where Are Freeman Tools Made?

Although a US-based brand, Freeman’s tool products — including the FAT38AD pneumatic drill — are manufactured in China.

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