A cordless drill is a useful device to own, especially if you’re a DIY person who likes to do things around the house or office. Whether you’re buying a drill for the first time or replacing your existing one, the following concise buying guide will arm you with the right knowledge so that you can take an informed decision.
But, before we begin, what exactly is a cordless drill?
A cordless drill is a compact, handheld machine you can use to drill holes and drive screws into wood, concrete, metal, tile, flooring, etc. As it runs on battery, it is easy to maneuver and carry around. For maintenance jobs that you’d rather do yourself than call in a technician, it’s essential to have a good drill that’s powerful yet easy to use.
When looking for cordless drills online, you’ll find that the power is mentioned in battery voltage. If you’re looking for a high-powered drill that can easily bore into tough surfaces such as flooring and lumber, choose a model with voltage power between 9V and 18V.
Do remember that the higher the voltage, the bulkier the machine. The 18V models can weigh up to 10 lbs., which is a lot of weight to carry around.
Cordless drills use two types of batteries: the conventional Nicad (nickel-cadmium) batteries and the latest NiMH (Nickel-metal-hydride) batteries. The latter are more compact and have longer running life than Nicad. Additionally, NiMH batteries don’t contain the highly toxic metal cadmium, allowing for environment-friendly disposal.
The battery chargers are also of two types: fast and slow. If you’re buying the drill for business, you might want a speedy charger, but know that it may heat up the unit and damage the battery. Slow charging is good if you’re buying the drill for home use.
The standard drill models come with a single speed setting, which is good for small jobs. We recommend that you let this one pass, and ensure that your first drill is at least a mid-level model with added features, if not a top-end one. So look for a power drill that has at least two speeds. The higher setting is useful when drilling holes into walls and masonry.
The best cordless drills will have the T-shaped handle, which is easier to grasp and makes carrying and working with the drill extremely comfortable. The conventional pistol grip is fast losing favor, as the T-handle not only offers firmer grip, it distributes the drill’s weight and allows the drill to be placed upright independent of any support.
Additional features such as rubber covering on the handle and contoured grip will make using the drill even more comfortable, particularly during remodeling and construction work.
To sum up, buy a cordless drill that’s good for the work you’ll do most frequently. Avoid overspending on a heavy-duty power tool if you only intend to use it for light maintenance and repair work. At the same time, refrain from the buying the cheapest model available, for it might die on you even before you can recover the cost.