So Which One Do You Choose?
As you determine the scope of your current home improvement project, the main tool you will be using is a power drill. The power drill is the most versatile and useful tool in your collection. Drills can become screwdrivers, socket wrenches, mixers, and can even help to break up concrete.
When you start shopping for a power drill, you will find that there are many specifications and features that can be included. Some of these features, you might never use. Two years from now, you could be very happy that you spent the time to search for features that you will require of your power drill.
The purpose of this post is to help you learn about the features of power drills so that you can determine for yourself which drill fits your best.
There are a few questions that help you to decide which type of drill you need for the tasks that you will need to complete:
- Will I be drilling primarily inside or outside of my house?
- Will I be drilling for an extended period of time, or simply doing small projects?
- Will a cord get in the way when I’m completing the tasks I’ve planned?
- Corded or Cordless?
You First Determination is Very Important
Choosing between a cordless drill and a corded drill is really the most important decision you will have to make. Corded drills are suited best for indoor jobs, used mainly in a workshop in the basement or your garage. Cordless drills are the popular choice for most consumers today, their versatility unmatched by even the greatest corded drills.
So use the above questions and ask yourself which type of drill you think would be best for you. Our next topic may also help you to decide.
Important: Choosing between a cordless drill and a corded drill is really the most important decision you will have to make.
How Much Power Do I Need? What do the Numbers Mean?
Corded drills are measured in amps. The greater the amps, the more power your corded drill will have. A decision here can also be based on where you will be using the drill. Will the receptacle that you are plugging the drill into having enough spare amps to support your tool? Common receptacles are 15A to 20A, so be careful not to plug too much into one circuit, or you will have to visit the breaker box in your house a few times.
Cordless Drills are measured by their battery capacity. This can vary from 2 volts (powered screwdrivers) to 36 volts. Most homeowners will never need more than an 18-volt drill, though a 14.4-volt tool will usually get the job done. 24-volt and 36-volt tools are mostly for professional use, and the only benefit for homeowners from these tools is that they provide greater power to drill through concrete.
Most tools produced today use Nickel-Cadmium batteries, but production has increased in Lithium-Ion battery technology. Lithium Ion batteries are lighter than Nickel-Cadmium and require less time to fully charge their cells. The amount of usage that you will receive from any battery is determined by many factors, including the material you are drilling through, the temperature of the work area, and whether you are drilling nonstop or intermittently.
What is Torque? Why Do I Need to Know?
The Rotational force that is exerted by a drill is generally known as Torque. Most high voltage cordless drills match the torque of corded drills. Unless using an auger or self-feeding bits, a drill with a torque rating of 450 in./lbs. of torque will complete any household task.
Along with torque comes another required feature of drills for homeowners: Variable Speed. There are many projects to complete, and each may require you to work with different materials. Each material has different needs when it comes to speed. Harder materials or larger bits work best when drilled at low speed. Softer material or smaller bits can be used at higher speeds.
Reversible or Not? Why Would I Need to Go in Reverse?
If you are using your power drill for drilling holes only, then you do not need a reversible drill.
If you are using your tool to multi-task as a screwdriver also, then you will need to have a reversible drill. This allows you to loosen screws that you have drilled into the working materials to either make adjustments or to simply replace them with longer screws.
Other Features and Specifications – Add to Your Existing Knowledge of Power Drills
Now that you’ve learned the basics, there’s nothing that you can’t do with your new power drill. There are, however, a few features that can make your task easier.
Some drills have a built-in work light that eliminates the need to have someone hold up a flashlight to help you see where you are drilling.
The weight of the drill is a big factor in choosing the right tool for you. A 24-volt drill can become too heavy to use very quickly, so for small jobs, it is best to have an 18 or 14.4-volt handy.
The handle or grip is another factor that most consumers forget about. There are three styles of handles that power drills are made with. The pistol-grip was the industry standard in the past as it kept the cord from getting in the way while you were drilling.
The “T”-handle is the popular style that most cordless drills come in. This grip allows the weight of the drill to be balanced on both sides of your hand and creates less wrist strain.
The third type of handle is used in a drill I haven’t covered yet. The right-angle drill allows you to reach places that normal power drills have trouble fitting into, such as between rafters in a ceiling.
The last real factor to find information on is the ease in which a drill’s bushings can be replaced. Some of the cheaper models do not have a removable plate that will allow you to change out the bushings once they’ve worn down, and others do. Damaged bushings are the main cause of power drills not working, as they provide the power to the drill’s motor.
Did the Information in this post help you to learn about power drills? Let me know if I could make any improvements, or how much you enjoyed it.