Whether you’re a handyman, a professional contractor, or just a homebody that likes to tinker on things, a drill would most like be in your inventory of tools. With so many to choose from as to the type and brand, which one should you buy? Convenience-wise, a good cordless drill is one way to go.
For everything else, below are the things you should consider when buying the best budget cordless drill on the market.
What Type of Drill Do You Need?
There are basically four types of drills according to their specific functions, namely:
- Drill-driver – this cordless drill, which also acts as a screwdriver, is considered by many as the most popular power tool. This single tool is so great that it does a lot of jobs. You can set it to drill function, and it has a keyless chuck that can accept different bits such as circular drill bits and hex-shaped drills. Then, you can set it to screwdriver function by putting in the hex shank screwdriver bit. It also has the adjustable slip clutch so that the screwdriver stops when it hits the intended dept in the wood.
- Hammer drill – this is used in getting screws in masonry areas wherein you need a lot of hammering. With this, you cannot use just any kind of bits that fit in it. Instead, you only particularly need masonry bits. This kind of drill performs two actions: the drilling and the back and forth motion so that the drill can penetrate in concrete and stones.
- Rotary hammer – this kind of drill is very similar to the hammer drill in the sense that it also has the same two motions when used on masonry products. The difference is that rotary hammers are more powerful because they utilize a piston mechanism rather than the special clutch that hammer drills use.
- Impact driver – if ever you are in need to drive home a lot of screws, and you feel that the drill-drivers don’t give you that much power, this tool is engineered to do just that in a faster, more powerful fashion. Impact drivers look similar to the drill-drivers except for one crucial difference. Drill-drivers have a keyless chuck, while impact drivers have collet chuck that only accepts hex-shanked driver bits.
What Type of Features Do You Need?
Each drill model and brand is engineered to address specific needs, so there’s an intention or conscious effort from the manufacturers to make each tool unique. What you should be concerned about is identifying the kind of projects you usually do and use them as a basis for the type and specifications of the drills you need to have.
The following features will let you decide what will work best for you:
- Battery – the capacity of the battery is very crucial in the overall performance of the cordless drill. Newer tools use Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, whereas older ones use nickel-cadmium batteries (NiCd). The basic difference between the two is that the Li-ion is smaller in size and more environmentally-friendly than NiCd. However, because of the added protection circuit, it costs 40% more expensive to produce, which translates to its higher selling price. In terms of capacity or Amp-hours, the higher Ah, the longer the charge will last. Also, look for the one which charges faster and will last longer, which can be more expensive but will be worth it.
- Voltage – you should be able to determine early on if you are only doing light drilling jobs or if substantial projects are in the offing. This will help you decide whether to choose to buy a low-powered or high-powered drill. For light DIY projects, a voltage rating of 4 to 8 volts would be enough. On the other hand, you need to opt for a voltage of around 12 to 18 for everything else but expect drills with these volts to be quite heavy.
- Chuck Size and Type – chucks are an essential accessory and can handle a lot of jobs depending on the type and size and the type of drilling you have in mind. The types of chucks include the keyless, the keyed, and the dowel chuck. The keyed type obviously uses a key to tighten the grip, which improves the amount of torque. Compared to the keyless type, it has a smaller body, which gives more room to drill, especially on mini lathes. On the contrary, the keyless type only needs some twisting from your hands, and that’s it. Meanwhile, the dowel chuck’s jaw has been bored out in order to make contact around the dowel. This type of chuck is specifically designed to hold dowels and not applicable to drill bits. This provides a secure grip without damaging the wood.
- Torque and Speed Settings – there is an inverse relationship between the speed and the torque in the sense that whenever you increase the speed, the torque will decrease. In the same manner, you can achieve the most torque as you lower the speed. When choosing among different models of drills, the torque and speed are what you should be considering. However, you might have that misconception that higher numbers are always better. In some cases and brands, the lower ones are more advisable.
- Additional Features – there are also a lot of features that, although may not necessarily make or break your decision to buy, they can significantly improve your overall experience using the drill. One of these is the belt clip, which can really be useful when you want the drill readily available whenever you need it. Belt clips spare from having to bend down to pick it up or leave your station as you can just hang the drill from your belt. Another useful feature is the LED light, which lets you work in dark spaces with ease like basements and under compact spaces.
When you are trying to find the perfect drill that can make you turn a blind on everything else, unfortunately, there’s no such thing. Each will have its advantages and disadvantages, depending on the project at hand. By considering the above specifications, you should be able to make the best choice. However, when still in doubt, make sure to consult an expert. After all, experience is still the best teacher.