Power Tool Buyers Guide: Buying The Best Drill

If you're shopping for a power drill, how can you tell which one is the best for your projects? Learn about the features, price and capabilities of the different types of drills.

Having a power drill in your arsenal of tools can help your do-it-yourself jobs around the house become less time consuming and easier to accomplish. If you don't already have a drill, you should consider buying one, but, make sure that you choose the best one.

There are two types of power drills, and they differ on how they receive their power. A corded power drill needs to be plugged into a standard household outlet, while a cordless drill gets its power from a rechargeable battery pack. Therefore, this tool is portable and can be used anywhere. It's also lighter and easier to use in cramped spaces. Battery packs are easy to snap in and out of a drill, and into the charger. And, they can last for a number of years, depending on how often they are charged and discharged. A cordless drill can handle most any job that a corded drill can.

If a cordless power drill sounds like it would fit your needs the best, you can purchase one for around two hundred dollars. Look for a drill that houses a battery operated motor that is somewhere around the eighteen volt range. Eighteen volts should be able to provide enough power to handle even the heaviest of jobs around the house. Also, look for a battery powered drill that has a variable speed motor. "Variable speed" means that you can run the drill as slow or as fast as you desire. This can be especially helpful when you are trying to start boring a hole in a hard material and you need to turn the bit slowly. Stay away from one speed cordless drills because they aren't suitable for use on concrete or hard metals. Along with the variable speed, you should also choose a battery powered drill that has a reverse direction feature. This feature will allow you to change the direction of the drilling bit. This can be especially helpful when you are trying to remove a drill bit from a hard material. It can also be used to loosen screws, bolts, and other fasteners.

If you're planning on using your cordless drill to handle larger drill bits, then you should find a tool that sports a half inch adjustable chuck. This will allow you to use any size bits up to a half inch. And, make sure that the drill you choose has two battery packs so that one can be in the charger while you're using the second one. You'll probably have to purchase the second battery pack separately, but it will be well worth the extra cost. Battery packs vary in price, depending on their size and brand name.

A corded power drill, on the other hand, that needs to be plugged into a household outlet, might be the best choice for you instead. One main advantage of this type of drill is that you don't have to worry about running out of battery power in the middle of a project. One of the cons, though, is that the cord might be too short to reach your work area. You would then need to stop your work and add an extension cord. The commercial type of drill does have a longer cord so you can reach farther. In addition to it being heavy duty, you might want to choose a commercial drill to get this handy feature.

Finally, whether you choose a battery powered drill or a corded drill, you should always pick the tool up to see it feels right for you. Hold it in one hand and check its weight- is it heavy and cumbersome and difficult to handle? Does its handle feel comfortable and easy to grip? Does the tool have a strap firmly attached to it so you can wrap it around your wrist while you're climbing a ladder?

Other features, such as a built in bubble level on the handle and a sturdy carrying case that includes a compartment to store your extra bits in, can make a power drill easier to use even more.

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