The Top 10 Best Cordless Drills of 2015 & 2016

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Cordless Drills: Questions & Answers

What types of cordless drills are there?

There are four main types of cordless drills: cordless screwdrivers, basic cordless drills, cordless impact drivers, and cordless hammer drills.

What are the functions of a cordless screwdriver?

A cordless screwdriver is the most basic of all automatic drills and works exactly like a screwdriver. They provide the least power but require the least amount of energy to operate; they are best used for small, occasional projects like hanging shelves or other simple home improvement projects. They will provide between 2 and 10 volts, in general.

What are the functions of a basic cordless drill?

A basic cordless drill is a good option for anyone looking to do basic home improvement but who needs more power and versatility than a cordless screwdriver can provide. Basic cordless drills will offer an adjustable clutch and chuck to give you control over the spinning power, as well as allowing you to use either drill bits or screwdriver bits. They will generally provide between 9 and 18 volts of power.

What are the functions of a cordless impact driver?

A cordless impact driver has all the features of a basic cordless drill with the added benefit of automatic torque increase when used as a screwdriver. The cordless impact driver can sense any sort of resistance and will adjust automatically to preserve the bit and the screw. You also won’t need a pilot hole. A cordless impact driver will generally provide between 14 and 20 volts.

What are the functions of a cordless hammer drill?

A cordless hammer drill offers the most powerful performance and can handle surfaces like brick and heavy metals. It can be used for any sort of project, much like the basic cordless driver, but it also provides hammer drill capabilities that piston the bit in and out of the surface while also spinning the bit. A cordless hammer drill is much heavier than their counterparts. Cordless hammer drills offer between 18 and 36 volts of power.

What is torque, and how much torque do I need?

Torque is a measure of how much force a cordless drill can use to turn screws or bits; it does not measure the actual turning speed, only the amount of power behind the turning. Torque is measured in inches-per-pound. Torque in a drill can range from 100 to 400 or more; for example, a lightweight, 1-pound Black and Decker drill might offer 100 inches-per-pound torque, while a heavy-duty Hitachi model might offer as much as 460 inches-per-pound torque. How much torque you need will depend on how you plan to use your drill; for light work like hanging shelves, you don’t need much torque. Heavy-duty construction jobs will call for higher torque.

What sort of battery should I look for in a cordless drill?

There are three main types of batteries used in cordless drills, NiCad, NiMH, and Lithium batteries. NiCad, or Nickle Cadmium, batteries are the most durable and least expensive type of battery – they tend to have longer lifespans and hold up to heat and wear-and-tear damage. However, they are the heaviest and tend to run for the shortest amount of time. They also need more time to cool-down before recharging. NiMH, or Nickle Metal Hydride, batteries are lighter than NiCad batteries and tend to have longer running times. They are also easier to dispose of than NiCad batteries, which need to be properly recycled due to the cadmium. However, they can be susceptible to heat damage. Lithium or Lithium Ion batteries are the lightest type of battery and will run for the longest amount of time. They are not super sensitive to damage from heat or wear-and-tear. However, they are the most expensive type of drill and they tend to have shorter lifespans than either NiCad or NiMH batteries.

What speeds should I look for in a cordless drill?

Some drills come with one pre-set speed. For example, the Black and Decker LDX120C has a pre-set speed of 650 RPM. Other models will offer a range of optional speeds for different project needs; the DeWalt DCD760KL, for instance, offers up to 1,700 RPM, with options for lower speeds as well. The more speed options your drill has, the more projects you can work on with it. However, if you’re looking for a basic cordless driver, speeds between 500-1000 RPM will do just fine, and even a model with only one speed will be suitable for most standard home improvement jobs.

What features should I look for in a cordless drill?

Some good features to look for when shopping for a drill include an ergonomic design, multiple batteries, quick charging time, battery-charge indicators, an extra handle, and a work light.

Why is having an ergonomic design important?

Since you will be holding the drill for long periods of time, and since the drill will be vibrating and turning, you want to make sure that it’s comfortable to grip and hold, and that it won’t slip out of your hand. Look for models with soft-coated handles, finger grips, or other designs that make it easier to hold. Lightweight cordless drills are also a benefit, because holding a heavy drill for a long period of time can quickly cause fatigue. Black and Decker makes an ultra-light 1 pound drill with a non-slip ergonomic handle.

What are the benefits of multiple batteries?

Multiple batteries are beneficial because it allows you to charge one battery while using the other, and once the battery in use is drained you can simply switch them out to continue working without having to wait for the battery to recharge.

What is considered a quick charging time?

Charging times on cordless drivers can range from as little as 15 minutes to as many as five hours. A good charging time, available on many models that have “smart” chargers, would be between 15 and 60 minutes. Many Makita models include these smart chargers.

Why is a battery-charge indicator beneficial?

A battery-charge indicator can help you preserve the life of your batteries, as well as keep you constantly aware of how much time you have left before the battery dies. Especially with lithium-ion batteries, which can be damaged when they are allowed to become fully depleted before recharging, a battery-charge indicator will let you know when it’s time to put your battery back on the charger.

Why is an extra handle beneficial?

An extra handle on one side of the cordless drill will allow you to hold the drill with both hands, which can greatly reduce discomfort and fatigue during use. It’s also very handy if you need to get into awkward positions with the drill.

What are the benefits of a work light?

An LED work light will help illuminate a dark area and give you greater visibility on the area you are working on.

How much does a cordless drill cost?

A cordless drill can cost you between $35 and $200 depending on the model. The more expensive, the more heavy-duty and versatile the drill will be, and it will also generally have a longer lifespan. However, if you only plan on using your cordless drill occasionally for simple construction, you can get away with purchasing a lower-end model and have no issues.

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