Tips for buying a cordless drill

Here are my tips for buying a cordless drill.

Tips for buying a Cordless Drill

Cordless drill/drivers are the most used power tool in the handyman’s workshop. The cordless drill/driver is a very handy tool that can be used just about anywhere.

Today I will explain the features of a cordless drill/driver and what features you will need to consider.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

types of Cordless drills

There are 3 types of cordless drills/drivers, drill/driver, hammer drill/driver and impact driver.

Drill/drivers are for light weight work, occasional drilling and driving into lighter weight materials. Features of a drill/driver are variable speed, clutch or torque settings, forward and reverse motion, keyless chuck and some have small light that shines when drilling or driving.

Cordless drill clutch and functionHammer drill/drivers are for heavier work and can be used for most drilling and driving jobs you’ll need to do. These heavier hammer drill/drivers have the same features as the drill/driver, but also have the hammer feature that helps when drilling into masonry.

Impact drivers are for driving screws and bolts into materials with less force required from the operator.  If you have lots of screws to drive in, an impact driver is the best option for you. A impact driver is better suited for driving screws or bolts as it takes less effort from you and is easier to control how far you drive the screws in.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

cordless drill batteries

Cordless drill batteryThere are 2 types of batteries used for cordless drills these days,  lithium ion and nickel–cadmium battery (NiCd). Lithium ion batteries are the norm these days with NiCd batteries usually in older models.

Lithium ion batteries offer better power and run time as well as being lighter than the NiCd battery. They are also better for the environment with less harmful chemicals. Cordless drills with lithium ion batteries have a charge gauge allowing you to figure out when you need to recharge you battery.Cordless drill battery level

NiCd batteries are larger and heavier than lithium ion batteries. Another issue with NiCd batteries is they often run out of charge when not used. This can be annoying when you go to use your cordless drill and find it needs to be recharged.

Batteries for cordless drills come in different voltages and Ah (amphere hour). The common voltages available are 12V, 14V and 18V. Voltage is the power rating of the cordless drill. Ah is usually 2Ah or 4Ah and measures how long between recharges,  4Ah will run for more time than 2Ah will.

A cordless drill may say it is a 20V max battery, these are actually 18V drills. The 18V is the average voltage the cordless drill has, but they are 20v maximum voltage.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

brushless motor or bush motors

The brushless motor cordless drill/drivers are the latest models available. With a brushless motor your drill will be more powerful and last longer than a conventional bush motor. However the cost of a brushless motor will be more expensive and may not be required if you are using it for the occasional project.

speed control

Cordless drill speed controlMost cordless drills have a couple of speed controls. One on top of the drill, a button with 1 and 2 on it. The 1 position is for driving screws in and 2 is for drilling. Another speed control is the trigger, the tighter the trigger is pulled the faster the drill goes.

Cordless drill forward and reverse buttonForward and reverse motion is controlled by a button above the grip that is pushed either to the left or right. When the button is pushed to the right, the drill will unscrew and when pushed to the left drives screws into material.

Check out our top 3 cordless drills for the handyman review HERE

Conclusion

Which cordless drill would suit you?

If you are only doing the occasional job or project a Drill/driver is all you need. These are lighter and easier to handle, and will last for many years.

For the weekend warrior a hammer drill/driver is your weapon of choice. These are able to handle most jobs and are very robust.

If your projects require lots of screws or bolts to be driven in, a impact driver is the best choice.

A handy tip is to buy both a drill/driver and a impact driver, this way you don’t have to swap and change bits all the time.

Thanks for reading my tips for buying a cordless drill, if you have any other questions about cordless drills, please let me know. I will try and answer all your questions.

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