When it comes to power tools, cordless drills are one of the most commonly purchased. They can be used for a variety of jobs from woodworking to automotive repair and they have gained popularity due to their versatility.
Cordless drills offer convenience that is ideal for both hobbyists aspiring to learn more about how things work as well as professionals who use power tools for their livelihood.
A cordless drill is an excellent tool that has many uses, and with a little research, you can find the perfect model to fit your needs and budget.
There are various sizes and styles of cordless drills available. In addition to selecting the right type of drill, it’s important to consider additional factors such as battery life, speed, and the weight of the drill.
When choosing a cordless drill, consider your budget, what you will be using the tool for, and how often you plan on using it.
How much are you willing to spend?
Do not forget about expenses such as batteries since they can considerably increase the price of a cordless drill. What specific features are most important to have on your drill?
For example, if you plan on using it in small areas where space is limited, then perhaps a smaller model would be better suited for this type of work. If instead, you need to use your drill for heavier projects or ones that require more power than an average drill may offer, then look at heavy-duty models which are made with stronger components but come with a higher price tag.
In order to get the most out of your drill, it is important to know how often you plan on using it. The heavier and more powerful a cordless drill is, the bigger its battery will be.
If you plan on using your cordless drill every day for several hours, then this may not be an ideal choice since frequent charging will become annoying and therefore the additional features such as speed may not provide enough value.
For enthusiasts who enjoy working with wood or possibly doing some minor DIY home repairs where their skill level may still need improvement, less expensive models are best because they do have less power than professional versions.
Professionals can benefit from these types of drills because they offer excellent performance in various applications and can efficiently replace older models.
Types of Drill Motors
There are several types of drill motors available and it is important to know how they work in order to properly choose one.
The three basic types include:
These have no brushes, which means the motor should last longer than other models with brush systems that need to be replaced a few years. Some companies claim brushless motors offer up to 10 times more life compared to brushed versions.
However, this remains a controversial topic. Brushless drills still require servicing which may involve expensive repairs or replacement of the entire unit depending on the circumstances and what kind of warranty is provided by the manufacturer.
For an average user if you are not planning on using your drill as a business tool but rather as a hobbyist, then having to replace the motor every year or two is not a major issue.
An additional factor that you need to consider when using brushless drills is their weight. Since less metal is needed in these types of motors, they tend to be lighter which can make them more prone to overheating.
To prevent this from happening, it may be necessary to find out what kind of cooling system the model has and how much power it provides since some users may require more help keeping the motor cool than others.
While others report they don’t have any issues with overheating at all even if they are working several hours on end without interruption.
These are older models which typically need replacing after a few years of use. These are cheaper and consume less electricity than their brushless counterparts but they do lack the power and may have shorter battery life compared to other models.
However, for occasional uses such as small household repairs, you will find these work just fine.
IC (induction) Motors
This type of motor was developed in order to reduce electrical interference which makes them ideal for those who need to run several tools at once or live near high voltage lines. However, they tend to be more expensive than other types of drills.
Brushless motors are the new kid on the block so there is quite a bit of information available about them while brush-type motors have been around longer and tend therefore have more reviews.
If you are looking to do a lot of work, then brushless drills may offer better performance and longer battery life. As pointed out above, they tend to be more expensive than other options.
Cordless Drill Parts – Chuck
The chuck holds the bit which is used for drilling holes in various materials including wood, metal, or plastic. Some models use a ratchet system while others come with keyless chucks that help prevent losing your drill bits since there is nothing to remove when changing them.
However, this type of chuck does not hold drill bits tightly so if your bit jams up or gets stuck while working on a project it can easily slip out causing some frustration when trying to get it back into its proper position.
If you are looking for a drill that comes with a keyless chuck, pay attention to what size attachments it can hold. For example, if you already own a small set of drill bits but decide to buy an adapter that is too large for the chuck on your cordless model, then problems may arise when trying to use these accessories.
In addition, if the manufacturer offers interchangeable chucks which can be swapped out by simply loosening one screw or locking them in place using a lever before tightening another metal piece around the bit, this will also come in handy since it saves time and frustration especially if all other adapters are blocked from being used due to being inserted into the chuck beforehand and won’t allow you to insert any new ones later on.
For those who are looking to use their drill to work with concrete and masonry materials, choosing a model that has a lock-on button will help prevent the bit from becoming loose while in use even if your hand slips off the handle.
For additional accessory options and designs for other types of drills, be sure to check out our reviews of the best 12v drills or best 18v cordless drills.
Because cordless drills come with rechargeable batteries, you need to learn how long they can last before needing recharging or replacing so you can plan accordingly when working on specific projects.
Battery life depends on several factors including; what type of battery is being used (NiCad, NiMH, or Lithium), the size of the battery (which is determined by how many cells are in it), and the amount of power needed to perform a task.
For example, if you’re working with materials that require plenty of torque, then your battery will drain faster due to its being taxed more frequently.
Lithium-Ion batteries have become the preferred choice for most modern-day drills since they last longer compared to older designs. However, they tend to be more expensive than other types so if money is not an issue for you then this type may be right for you.
There are some who say these don’t hold long enough charge even when using them sparingly and end up buying another model which uses a different type of battery since they didn’t get the results they wanted even though it was rated as one of the best models available. There are some who love using their Lithium-Ion drills since they hold a charge for weeks.
Be sure to check out the manufacturer’s warranty before making your final purchase to see what type of coverage is included and how long you have to file any claims if anything goes wrong with your drill soon after purchasing it.
Accessories & Attachments
Drill bits come in many sizes including 1/16″, 5/64″, 3/32″, 7/64″ 1/8″, 9/64″, 5/32″, 11/64″ and 3/16″. Anything smaller than 5/64″ bits will usually be too small to use in a cordless drill since they can easily slip out when the chuck is tightened up.
For heavy-duty applications, choose drills that come with a keyless chuck as mentioned earlier. However, for most homeowners choosing an 18 or 20-volt model with this type of attachment would be great for their needs.
If you need to work on surfaces that require hole saws (which cut through materials much faster) then make sure the manufacturer has included them as part of the package so you don’t have to purchase additional accessories or attachments separately which can increase your costs without getting what you truly want at that time.
For those who need to use their cordless drill for general applications and DIY jobs, we recommend purchasing models that come with a variety of bits so you can choose the best one in order to accomplish any task at hand.
Kits will usually include both driver bits and also drill bits since they are interchangeable with each other just as long as your choice of the model comes equipped with a keyless chuck.
After using a bit or bit set several times, it may become dull due to friction depending on what type is being used. Don’t worry since there are plenty of sharpening kits that will allow you to restore these back into peak condition without having to purchase new ones.
Most kits require both an oscillating device and also a polishing disc in order to restore damaged bits back into like-new condition.
Most people won’t be able to get the same results as someone who has extensive experience sharpening drill bits since it can take a few minutes, especially if you don’t have the right equipment or knowledge required to do so.