Whether you’re just learning the basics of simple maintenance or are taking on another addition to the home, a fantastic drill is essential. And if it’s a cordless model, it is possible to drill holes and drive screws with the same tool — and not need to worry about finding an outlet close to the work to power the drill. The fantastic news: There are countless of these drills on the market. The good thing: It isn’t necessarily clear which drills you need to be considering.
Power, Handles, Clutch
For cordless drills, power is measured in voltage. Higher voltage means more torque-spinning power to overcome resistance. Now’s higher-voltage drills have enough capability to bore large holes in framing timber and flooring. That is muscle. But the trade-off for power is fat. A typical 9.6V drill weighs 3 1/2 lbs., while an 18V model weighs up to 10 pounds. Handles Before cordless drill/drivers arrived, most drills needed pistol grips, in which the handle is supporting the engine such as the handle of a gun. But the majority of the modern cordless versions are outfitted with a T-handle: The handle base flares to prevent hand slippage and adapt a battery. Since the battery is based under the bulk and weight of the engine, a T-handle provides better overall balance, particularly in heavier drills. Also, T-handle drills may often get into tighter areas as your hand is from the way in the middle of the drill. But for heavy-duty drilling and driving large screws, a pistol grip does let you use pressure higher up — almost directly behind the bit — allowing you to put more force on the work.
An adjustable clutch is the thing that separates electric drills out of cordless drill/drivers. The outcome is that the engine is still turning, but the screwdriver bit isn’t. Why does a drill need a clutch? It gives you control so you do not strip a twist or overdrive it once it’s cozy. Additionally, it helps protect the engine when a great deal of resistance is met in driving a twist thread or tightening a bolt. The number of separate clutch settings changes depending on the drill; greater drills have 24 configurations. With this many clutch configurations, it is possible to genuinely fine-tune the energy a drill delivers. Settings with the lowest numbers are for smaller screws, higher numbers are for bigger screws. Many clutches have a drill setting, which allows the engine to push the little at full power.
The least expensive drills operate in a single rate, but many have two fixed rates: 300 rpm and 800 rpm. A slide switch or trigger lets you select low or high rate. These drills are excellent for many light-duty operations. The low rate is for driving screws, the more high speed for drilling holes.
For more refined carpentry and repair jobs, select a drill which has the exact same two-speed switch and also a trigger with variable speed control that lets you change the rate from 0 to the peak of each range. And if you do much more hole drilling compared to screwdriving, start looking for greater rate — 1,000 rpm or higher — in the top end.
Batteries and Chargers
They are smaller and operate longer than standard nickel-cadmium (Nicad) batteries. Makita, Bosch, Hitachi and DeWalt provide NiMH batteries, and other manufacturers will soon produce these power cells too. All cordless drills come with a battery charger, with recharge intervals ranging from 15 minutes to three hours. But faster isn’t necessarily better. A contractor might rely on fast recharges, but slower recharging isn’t usually a concern in your home, especially if you have two batteries. What’s more, there are downsides to fast charging. A fast recharge can harm a battery by creating excess heat, unless it’s a specially designed device. These units provide a fee in as little as nine minutes without battery harm.
Have a look at drills at home centers, noting their weight and balance. Test out vertical and horizontal drilling positions to see how comfortable you feel. Contoured grips and rubberized cushioning on some versions make them quite comfortable, even when you’re employing direct hands on pressure. Home centers often dismiss hand tools, so be watching out for promotions. If you know the model you need, check out prices over the phone.
Match the Tool to the Job
With all the various versions of drill/drivers available on the market, it’s simple to buy more tool than you actually need. The solution: Purchase a drill based on how you’ll use it. It doesn’t make sense to pay $200 to get a tool you will use simply to hang images. Nor is it a fantastic idea to cover $50 to get a drill just to have the engine burn out after a couple of days of heavy work. You do not need to drive yourself crazy trying to think up all of the probable tasks you are going to need for your new tool. Look at the three scenarios that follow below and see where you match. Should you ever need more tool than you have, you can step up in power and choices. Or lease a more powerful best cordless drill for those jobs that require one.