Cordless Drills

by The Carpenter

Looking for a power drill is by no means as simple as picking up the cheapest one on the shelf. Power drills are used for a multitude of tasks besides just drilling holes. You need to begin by knowing how much you expect to use the tool and what kind of work you will do with it. There are many options even for a basic power drill, without even exploring the specialized types available.

The power supply can be furnished by either an AC power cord that draws power from a wall outlet, or a cordless drill that uses battery power. For a tool to make basic repairs or installation around the home, a simple corded drill is the least expensive method. While having unlimited power supply, you have to make sure the cord does not get in the way. It is recommended that a minimum 8′ cord be used for some maneuverability around the work area. The electrical power is measured by amperage. Too low may not provide enough force for some typical household jobs, but too high may be more power and expense than is needed.

Cordless, battery powered drills provide total freedom of movement and location whether working indoors or out. While battery power is measured in volts, the same applies as with corded drills. A low voltage does not provide as much force as a higher. If your work is with small crafting items, a low voltage will be fine. For daily professional use, a higher voltage will make your work easier and well worth the extra cost.

Batteries come in three varieties. The least expensive are nickel-cadmium (NiCad) and nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH). For occasional household use these batteries are quite sufficient. However, if your drill needs are much more frequent or professional, the extra expense of lithium-ion batteries will save in the long run. Lithium batteries provide longer service and hold a charge, on average, up to six times longer than NiCad.

Power drills also come in three sizes relating to the diameter of the bit shaft. The smallest 1/4″, while being least expensive, is also the least versatile. By far the most common size is the 3/8″ diameter bit shaft. This size accommodates the greatest variety of bit attachments, from hole drills to sanding attachments and other specialized tools. Only someone working professionally in heavy-duty jobs would be likely to require the 1/2″ diameter shafts.

Once you have decided on the basics of your drill, there are other aspects to investigate before making your final purchase. While the key chuck is rapidly being replaced by the key-less chuck collar, make sure that the bit can be easily tightened and maintains its grip in operation.

While it may not be necessary for infrequent home repairs, having a drill that is reversible can be a very useful feature. Not only can this type of drill be used for screwing and unscrewing, it is much easier to free a bound drill bit by backing it out of the hole. You will usually find this feature on variable speed drills that allow slow revolution for inserting screws while still being able to switch to fast drilling for sinking holes.

Make sure the drill handle fits your hand comfortably and that the function switches are easy to access. What is a good fit for one person may be too awkward to contemplate for another. You will be able to work better and longer if the tool is not an uncomfortable obstacle in itself.

You may also want to investigate the options of an entire drill kit. Would a smart charger be preferable to a standard battery recharger? What are the costs and specifications of the batteries and how many might you need to assure power through the workday? Would you want your drill to include drill-bit storage in the handle, belt hooks, or a cooling fan for the motor? Consider a carrying case and find one that will conveniently contain your entire drill kit including batteries, bits, and charger.

Once you understand the jobs you will be doing you will be more able to search through the many options to find what will become the perfect tool for your work.

Related posts:

  1. Bosch Cordless Drills
  2. Chain Saws
  3. Portable Generators
  4. Toro Power Shovel Electric Snow Thrower Review
  5. Cost of Recessed Lighting

Leave a Comment

Previous post: Air Compressors

Next post: Table Saws