Whether you’re a professional craftsman or just a hobbyist, a good drill is a must-have in your arsenal. Few other tools can match the versatility of a power drill, especially if it’s a cordless model — with it, you can take on a wide range of tasks without being tethered to a wall outlet. Now that you know its importance, why not familiarize yourself with the factors you’ll need to keep in mind when shopping for a cordless drill?
Match the Tool to the Job
With all the options available out there, it’s easy to be swayed into buying more than what you actually need. To avoid this, first determine how you expect to use the drill based on the applications you tackle more often. It’s worth emphasizing that this doesn’t mean figuring out all the tasks you’ll have to complete. The goal here is to understand what type of drill will best suit your needs.
Speaking of which, drills come in several basic types, the most common of which include:
-Drill drivers: As the name suggests, this type can be used to drill holes and drive screws. While they’re more affordable than other types, drill drivers are only ideal for use on light materials like wood and plastic.
-Cordless screwdriver: This is the type you’ll want to go for if most of your projects involve driving screws into tight spaces. Cordless screwdrivers are usually designed to be nimble and lightweight, which means you won’t tire when using yours for hours on end.
-Impact drivers: Drills of this type tend to pack quite a lot of power, albeit without sacrificing precision. Combine this with their staccato impact action, and what you have is the ability to smoothly drive screws into tight spaces without injuring your wrists.
-Right angle drills: Drills of this type are designed to allow users cut back on their size, thus making it possible to find the angle needed to reach into confined spaces. While this isn’t the kind of tool you’ll come across in the average handyman’s toolbox, a right-angle drill can make a huge difference in certain applications.
-Cordless combo kits: This isn’t a specific category per se, but it’s something you’ll want to look into if you need accessories to go hand-in-hand with your cordless drill. A combo tool set is comprised of 2 or more peripherals that share the same batteries and charger, thus saving you the need to buy extra power packs.
This mostly depends on the voltage of the battery that comes with the particular model you’re looking at. A high voltage indicates more power, which translates to more torque to overcome resistance. With that in mind, go for the highest voltage you can afford if your projects will involve drilling into steel or concrete. On the other hand, a low-voltage drill will comfortably suit your needs as long as you limit its use to light-duty tasks.
Most cordless drills provide at least 2 fixed speeds, but higher-end models provide the option to adjust the range. That being said, the mechanism with which you adjust a drill’s speed also matters. For refined task, choose one whose switch allows you to climb up gradually from 0 rpm to the top of each range.
While it’s important to choose a drill whose chuck size can accommodate the largest bits you’ll ever have to use, also remember to check out other aspects of this feature. In particular, you’ll want a keyless chuck so you can loosen and tighten it easily by hand, hence saving the time you’d spend looking for the key. In addition, you’re better off choosing a metal chuck over a plastic one — its durability over the long term will more than make up for the weight penalty.
Located just behind the chuck, this feature prevents the drill head from spinning when the torque gets too high. This translates to less risk of stripping screws once they’re snug. Ideally, the best cordless drill is one that provides as many clutch settings as practically possible. With it, you can actually fine-tune its power to match the specific task at hand.
Overall, a cordless drill always proves to be a worthwhile addition to a toolbox. Rather than focus on the bargain only to end up regretting later on, you’re better off spending your money on the best cordless drill you can possibly afford. So even as you compare models based on these crucial factors, don’t overlook the need to check out cordless drill reviews online while shopping.