This guest post was written by Scott Gray of Everyday Handyman.
If you are the type of person who is always seeking the most efficient and productive way of working, you should purchase a cordless power drill to use for all your do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. There is probably no greater loved power tool than the cordless drill/driver. Even if you aren’t remodeling your home or building furniture, you are probably hanging shelves, installing curtain rods, and making simple repairs. With a good cordless power drill, you can drill holes and place screws wherever you need to – including those out-of-the-way places – and never worry about finding an extension cord that’s long enough to reach the nearest outlet. You also don’t have to worry about a dangling cord in the path of the drill or in front of your face.
What Features Should Cordless Drills Have?
1. Reversible drive and adjustable clutch – allows you to remove screws as well as drive them in, and the adjustable clutch can be set to prevent you from driving the screw in too far or mangling the head.
2. Two speeds, minimum – enables you to work at more than one speed, and you generally drill holes at high speeds and remove and drive screws at low speeds.
3. Chuck lock – keeps the drill bit from loosening when you are in the middle of a drilling job.
4. Trigger lockout – keeps your four-year-old or anyone else from accidentally starting the drill.
5. Suitable weight – light enough for you to hold easily, depending on your strength.
6. Warranty – one-year is acceptable.
7. Carrying case – or at least a case to store bits.
The Most Important Feature of the Cordless Drill is the Battery Power
When choosing a cordless power tool of any kind, the immediate concern is, how long can the tool hold a charge and how long does it take to recharge it? Manufacturers of cordless drill have come up with various solutions. Look for any of these features:
1. Fast re-charging times, ranging from 20 minutes to one hour
2. Two batteries
3. Dual-battery charging that allows you to run the drill using both batteries back to back and then re-charge both cells at the same time.
4. The use of nickel-metal-hydride cells rather than nickel-cadmium, which means the charge will hold longer and batteries don’t have to be discarded at toxic collection centers.
Optional Cordless Drill Features
1. A light
2. A magnetized bit – reduces the number of dropped screws
3. A second handle – screws onto the side of the drill for tough jobs
4. A drill driver – heavy duty for serious DIY projects
How to Make Your Selection
1. Check out the web sites of reliable, well-known manufacturers like Black & Decker, Bosch, Craftsman, DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, Panasonic, Ryobi, and more.
2. A rough estimate of the power of the drill is the voltage, and there are light, medium and heavy-duty models. For example, there is a 9.6-volt model and an 18-volt model of the DeWalt cordless drill and a 14.4-volt Makita cordless drill.
3. When you have narrowed down your choices, consult a cordless drill review, such as the well-known Consumer Reports, for ratings and rankings.
4. You get what you pay for and you can find good sales, and discount and warehouse prices to upgrade.
It’s said that a poor workman blames his tools, but it’s really difficult to do a good job when you don’t have the right tools. If you are replacing moldings or baseboards, invest in a miter saw for the angle cuts you will need. If you are measuring anything, use a proper metal retractable tape measure like a Lufkin tape measure to make sure your measurements are accurate. If you have a lot of holes to drill or screws to set, buy a cordless drill. With a little effort, you can find the tools you need at a price you can afford to do an awesome job on your home repair and improvement projects. Go for it.
About the Author:
Scott Gray is currently a home improvement handyman enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys providing tips to consumers who are in the market for cordless and power tools like a compound miter saw.