It doesn’t matter if you are a serious DIY’er, a routine craftsman, or a professional tradesman, having a great quality cordless drill is essential these days for getting the job done quickly and easily. You need a drill that offers you a combination of power, torque, and battery life so that no matter what you are doing, you know that you can get it done without a lot of fuss. Some additional features such as special settings or multiple speeds might be nice if you feel that you will use them, but in the end, the most important thing is that you get a high-quality drill that will help you get your projects or tasks done so you can move on to other things. Before we get started looking at the most important considerations you should keep in mind when selecting a drill, lets touch on one important tip; do not try to go for a bargain on this buy. Your drill is without a doubt one of the most important pieces of equipment in your tool set. Skimping out on quality now to save a few bucks will lead to a lot of major issues down the line, and you can be sure that Murphy’s Law will come into play and those issues will arise when they are for sure to be the most inconvenient. With that being said let take a look at the most important aspects of buys a cordless drill.
There are two major types of drills that are available on the mass consumer market, drill/drivers and hammer drills. Both types do the same thing, convert the rotation of an electric motor to torque that is then passed through the chuck to the bit to make a hole or manipulate a fastener. The major difference is that a hammer dill also has a hammer function which causes the bit to rock in and out a small amount and thus helps to drive the bit into masonry. While you may not need a hammer style drill for most of your day to day projects, it might be a nice function to have if you plan on working with masonry, stone, or other extremely dense materials on occasion.
There are other types of drills that you may encounter in the hardware store. These include rotary hammers and impact drivers. Rotary hammers do the same thing as a hammer drill but they are much more heavy duty in their capacity. Impact drivers are used specifically for working with fasteners such as screws and bolts.
Today the most common battery type is Lithium-Ion, but older models and some heavier duty drills may use Nickle-Cadmium batteries which are better for tools that have to do hard work more often. The main advantage to Li-Ion is that they recharge quicker and hold a charge longer on the device. NiCad batteries, however, can hold a stronger charge and thus provide longer periods of work at high power which is perfect for professional usage.
A 10mm chuck is what you are likely to find on cheaper lower power drills. If you only do small crafts and the occasional home project such as hanging pictures, this will be more than sufficient, but if you plan to use larger bits or specialized attachments then you will need a drill that has at the very least a 13mm chuck. You should also opt for a keyless chuck unless you are going to be working with seriously high power drills. Keyless chucks allow you to quickly change bits when you need to without having to use a separate chuck key, just loosen and tighten by hand.
Having a work light is great. Common on professional grade tools for a while, It has only been in the last decade or so that work lights have become standard on most consumer grade drills. LED work lights are best as they do not draw a lot of power from the battery pack. You should also look for a light that can be controlled independently from the trigger for lining up before you actually start to drill.
While reversible drills have been around a while, not all are created equal. Make sure that the drill that you choose offers the same amount of torque in reverse as it does in forward. The direction control should also be able to be changed with your thumb without having to change grip position. Ideally, it should be mounted right behind the trigger.
Anyone who has ever overdriving, snapped a screw head, or tore up a piece of delicate material when drilling in can attest, having the ability to control the amount of torque that the drill passes through to the chuck is a godsend. There are two kinds of torque selectors chuck style and motor style. While there is no real advantage with one over the other, the chuck style does tend to be more popular.
Much like the torque control or direction control, the speed control can make a world of difference in how effective your drill is for you, day in and day out. Choose a drill that has a large, easy to read, and easy to adjust speed control, one that is mounted behind the chuck is best, but a control that is mounted on the rear of the drill body works well too. Try to avoid ones that are slide style or which are mounted on the side or bottom of the drill as they are not as easy to see in the middle of your task.
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