Buying The Best Power Drill For You

How to pick the right home workshop or hobby power drill fro you based on your needs and power requirements.

To drill or not to drill is no longer the question. The real question is how will you use yours? Today there is a wide variety of drills for just about every application you can think of. And some that you can't. Choosing the right power drill for you is a matter of matching job need to tool.

Are you a hobbiest? A do-it-yourselfer raring to go and complete that "honey do" list of jobs around the house? Do you need a drill that can bore holes in thick concrete? Today's drills can do all this and more.

Consumer drills were born about the end of World War II. Consumers then, AKA cagey factory workers, used to borrow drills from their workplace, take them home, use them to complete a weekend project and return them on Monday. Astute manufactures observing this activity, realized that a huge consumer market existed and later produced downsized industrial tools for the home user. The first drills were heavy, with all metal parts and casings. Today plastic has replaced most of the metal making the drills lighter and easier to use. Add cordless portability, and you have convenience and power in a lightweight tool you can easily carry and use for extended periods.

You can still find old standby corded drills. These do cost less. You can get a reliable product in the $29-$89 range depending upon size and accessories. Corded drills are fine for the occasional use, but dragging the cord around is a pain.

More convenience and power is available from cordless drills. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, cordless drills lacked the power and charged life necessary to make them a go for the consumer market. Not so today. Battery technology has advanced to where cordless drills now have the driving power and endurance consumers both desire and need. Nothing can beat the convenience of carrying your power pack with you. How heavy a pack you can handle will depend entirely upon you.

For any drill, it's always a good idea to test drive one at your local hardware center to get a feel for the grip and weight of the tool. A variable speed control is a must that gives you a wide range of powered applications from drilling pilot holes in hardwood that splinters easily, to driving home a wallboard screw with an adapter tip. Quick adjustable chucks are another good feature to have, along with a variety of drills and bits. The price range for 1/4-inch, 1/2-inch and 3/8-inch models is $99-$159.

If you need more power, something most guys would always argue for, the price goes up. These are the semi-pro and pro models offering more bang for more of your bucks from $200-$350. These are dills you definitely must match for the type of jobs you do. If you're building or renovating a house, consider these.

If you're a hobbiest, drill kits are available that let you do just about everything besides drill. These tools fit comfortably in your hand and are lightweight enough to use continuously for long periods. Most are corded although some newer models are cordless. These drill kits have an almost-endless variety of bits and accessories for just about any project from tool sharpening, jewelry making to fine woodworking. Costs range from $70-$100.

Drills are an essential part of any toolbox or shop. Finding the right one for you will depend upon how you will use the tool, your price range and your need for corded or cordless power.

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