For most men, the order of significant innovations throughout history is as follows: the wheel, the hammer and the cordless drill. Although the cordless drill is a must-have for any home-improvement guru, choosing the perfect one is as complicated as finding the ideal TV channel out of the five hundred available.
Unfortunately, choosing a cordless drill is not a simple task. There are just so many good companies out there creating amazing new products everyday! It is the first-round pick when it comes to hanging shelves, valances, drapery rods or anything else that requires driving a screw, unless you still prefer to break out the hammer and screwdrivers from the tool box. So, deciding among the variations of torque, volts, speed, brand, and price may seem a daunting task, it is well worth the effort to select the correct cordless drill to fit individual needs.
Take a trip to the local hardware store and spend some time walking the aisles of the cordless drill section. The drills look like side characters in a Transformers movie as their brightly patterned yellows, reds, and oranges—accentuated with black grips and bits—shine in the fluorescents.
First you’ll find drill drivers: the most common of the do-it-yourself devices that simply drill holes and drive screws. They’re versatile on purpose and a great tool with which to begin.
Next there are the hammer drills. These monsters combine drilling and hammer action, delivering literally thousands of blows per minute to pulverize masonry with greater ease than drill drivers. They’re meant for drilling brick or concrete—the Chuck Norris of the drill section.
Next to Chuck rests the cordless screwdrivers, meant for simpler jobs like outlet covers, BBQ grills or wall covers. Meant to be more convenient, they’re generally smaller and more lightweight.
Not too much further down the line you’ll find impact drivers. Impact drivers drive large lag screws and heavy-duty fasteners, while delivering four times the torque of a drill driver, making drilling a cinch.
Power drills are somewhat different from the usual suspects along this walk. For example, although cordless is generally more convenient, an inexpensive corded power drill is ideal for projects that need raw power.
Screw guns are quintessential when it comes to hanging drywall or installing subflooring. These instruments allow users to repeatedly drive screws while countersinking holes at certain depths. If that’s not enough, screw guns can auto-feed screws into the drill like bullets into a chamber.
Last but not least, the right angle drill is excellent for electrical, plumbing and even cabinetry work. This drill works best at hard to reach areas and close quarters. In fact, you may want to purchase this as a sidekick to your main choice.
Now that you’ve seen all the pretty ladies lined up, you really want to know what each has to offer. The voltage usually ranges from six all the way to a stunning eighteen volts. The smaller voltage is great for small home improvement projects and the larger is meant for jobs varying from installing cabinets to framing a house.
The facet to keep in mind is the size and weight of the drill needed to obtain the voltage. Drills that are less than ten volts may only weigh three pounds, but new eighteen-volt drills can weight up to ten pounds, which is a lot of extra weight when performing simple projects.
But, no matter how much you research, the best and most satisfying way to find the perfect drill is by taking one on a test drive. Know the jobs you have in mind and choose the voltage accordingly.
Try them all out at your local hardware store and see what feels best BUT when you’re ready to buy, go home and order online you’ll save a boatload!