Do It Yourself: Choosing The Right Cordless Drill

There's a perfect drill for every buyer out there. The trick is simply in finding it.

There's a perfect drill for every buyer out there. The trick is simply in finding it.

Here are a few types of drills, going from lowest to highest in price, so that you can decide which one is right for you.

HAND (CRANK) DRILL

There's nothing electric about this one at all. You simply lock the bit into place, turn the crank, and make a hole. The advantages are that it's very cheap, requires no power, and can be stored in even the smallest of toolboxes.

The main problem, however, is that it takes so much longer to use, even if you've had quite a bit of practice with it. You can't spin the bit even half as fast as an electric motor can whirl it around.

ELECTRIC DRILL

These come in several types and can be found virtually anywhere - from hardware stores to Wal-Mart - for as little as ten dollars. While they're all easily recognizable as drills, and they all operate in the same basic fashion, there are plenty of differences among the sub-types.

CORDED DRILLS plug into an electrical outlet. Most are reversible, so that you can remove screws or back the drill bit out if you get it stuck in a particularly stubborn place (such as a bad piece of the wood).

Many of them are multi-speed, which is nice when you're trying to start the hole. It's easier to get the correct angle started if you take off slowly and work your way up to high-speed drilling.

Most of them also have keyless chucks: there are large plastic sleeves near the bit, which are turned to lock and unlock the bit. This beats having the chuck key dangling from the power cord.

CORDLESS DRILLS run on rechargeable batteries. Other than that, they're essentially the same as corded drills. They have the same features and functions, and work in basically the same way.



The advantage, though, is that you can take them anywhere - atop skyscrapers, into space, et cetera - without having to drag eight thousand yards of extension cord behind you.

The disadvantage is that you DO have to recharge the battery pack every so often (it differs from brand to brand and model to model). That, however, can be remedied by being sure to put it on the charger when you're finished, or purchasing a second battery pack as a backup.

DRILL PRESS

These can usually be found in shops and garages, because they're so large and expensive. You can't easily take them to a job site, such as a construction zone, but you can certainly use them to refinish furniture, work on the car, etc. in the garage.

They're very fast and extremely accurate, because the press keeps the angle exactly as you want it. There's no chance that it'll slip, as would your hand or arm, and give you a bad hole.

You can also drill through thicker materials than you could with a smaller drill.

WHICH ONE DO YOU NEED?

There are a few basic questions to ask yourself before you buy. They include:

-How often am I going to use this thing? If your profession depends on it, then you need something that is ideal for your job. You have to use it every day of your life, so be sure to pick something that is functional, easy to use, and affordable.

-Where am I going to use it?

If you're a construction worker, you're obviously not going to want a drill press - but a cordless drill might be something to seriously consider for its portability.

However, if your work is limited to the garage, you might want to invest in a corded drill and save some money. You can always upgrade later, of course.

-How much can I afford?

There's nothing wrong with buying an affordable model today and saving your money for a bigger, better piece of equipment later. While you should always invest in quality tools, you can't buy the very best every single time.

-Where should I buy it?

Use the Internet to shop around for the best price on your new tool. You can find virtually anything through a Web search; don't hesitate to look for power tools while you're downloading film clips.

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