Whether you’re just learning the basics of simple care or are carrying on a second addition to the house, a good drill is vital. And if it’s a cordless version, you can drill holes and drive screws with the identical instrument — and not have to worry about finding an outlet near the work to power the drill. The good news: You can find countless of these drills in the marketplace. The bad news: It isn’t necessarily apparent which drills you need to be considering.
Higher voltage means more torque-spinning strength to overcome resistance. Today’s higher-voltage drills have sufficient capability to bore large holes in framing timber and flooring. That is muscle. However, the trade-off for electricity is weight. A normal 9.6V drill weighs 3 1/2 lbs., while an 18V version weighs up to 10 lbs. Handles Before cordless drill/drivers came, most drills needed pistol grips, in which the handle is behind the engine like the handle of a gun. But the majority of today’s cordless versions are equipped with a T-handle: The manage base flares to stop hand slippage and accommodate a battery. Because the battery is based under the weight and bulk of the engine, a T-handle provides better overall equilibrium, particularly in thicker drills. Also, T-handle drills can frequently get into tighter areas because your hand is from the way in the center of the drill. However, for heavy-duty drilling and driving large bits, a pistol grip does let you use pressure higher up — almost right behind the piece — allowing you to put more force on the work.
A flexible clutch is the thing that separates electric drills from cordless drill/drivers. The result is that the engine is turning, but the screwdriver piece is not. Why does a drill need a clutch? It provides you control so you do not strip a twist or overdrive it when it’s snug. It also can help protect the engine when a great deal of resistance is met in driving a twist or tightening a bolt. The amount of different clutch settings changes depending on the drill; better drills have 24 configurations. With this many clutch configurations, you can really fine-tune the power a drill provides. Settings using the lowest amounts are for small screws, higher amounts are for larger screws. Many clutches also have a drill setting, which permits the engine to push the bit at full power.
The cheapest drills run at a single rate, but many have two fixed speeds: 300 rpm and 800 rpm. A slide switch or trigger enables you to select low or high rate. These drills are ideal for many light-duty operations. The low rate is for driving screws, the higher speed for drilling holes.
For more elegant carpentry and repair jobs, select a drill which has the same two-speed switch plus also a trigger with variable speed control that lets you vary the rate from 0 to the peak of every range. And if you do more hole drilling compared to screwdriving, look for more rate — 1,000 rpm or greater — at the top end.
Batteries and Chargers
Nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries represent the latest breakthrough in batteries. They’re smaller and run more than regular nickel-cadmium (Nicad) batteries. NiMH batteries also pose less of a hazard when it comes to disposal compared to Nicads because they do not contain any cadmium, which is highly hazardous. Makita, Bosch, Hitachi and DeWalt offer NiMH batteries, and other producers will soon produce these power cells too. All cordless drills include a battery charger, with recharge intervals that range from 15 minutes to three hours. But faster is not necessarily better. A contractor might depend on fast recharges, but slower recharging is not usually a concern at home, especially if you have two batteries. What’s more, there are drawbacks to fast charging. A quick recharge can harm a battery by generating excessive heat, unless it’s a specially designed unit. These units supply 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 vertical and horizontal drilling positions to see how comfortable you feel. Contoured grips and rubberized cushioning on some versions make them very comfortable, even if you’re applying direct hands on pressure. Home centers frequently dismiss hand tools, so be on the lookout for promotions. If you know the version you need, check out costs over the phone.
Match the Tool to the Job
With all the different versions of drill/drivers on the market, it’s easy to buy more instrument than you really need. The solution: Buy a drill based on how you will use it. It will not make sense to pay $200 to get a tool you will use simply to hang images. Nor is it a good idea to pay $50 to get a drill just to have the engine burn out after a couple of days of heavy work. You do not have to drive yourself mad trying to think of all of the possible jobs you’ll have for your new tool. Look at the three scenarios that follow below and determine where you match. Should you ever need more tool than you have, then you are able to step up in power and options. Or rent a more powerful best cordless drill for those projects that require you.