A power drill is one of the first tools that most people purchase, because they are used so often. Ranging anywhere from $30 to over $300, drills come in a huge variety of styles and features. But how do you choose one that will meet your needs and not break your pocket book? Nothing is worse than buying something that is too weak or way over powered.
Corded or Cordless
Corded drills tend to be stronger, faster and more powerful than cordless. But you are limited by the distance of the cord. And, of course, the pain of carrying around an extra cord to reach, if there are no outlets close by.
Cordless have a great advantage over cordless in that you can use them anywhere. And recent advances in technology have narrowed the gap between corded and cordless in terms of power and speed. Of course the downside is that battery packs are required and have to be recharged and replaced occasionally.
Cordless drills are measured in volts, while corded are measured in amps. Sizes range from 2 volts to 24 volts. The higher the voltage the heavier the weight, so find a tool that will do 80-90% of what you want done. 12 to 14 volts is sufficient for homeowners.
The size of the material and the size of the bit determine the ideal speed of the drill. To avoid overheating large bits should turn slowly, while small bits can go fast. Starting out slow and increasing the speed till optimal speed is reached.
Speed is measured in RPM’s (rotations per minute) the higher the number the faster the speed.
The chuck is the part where the bit is inserted in the drill. Chuck sizes range from 1/4″ to 1/2″. This size is the measurement of the shaft diameter on the bit itself. Having the proper diameter bit and chuck is important to guarantee a tight fit. Improper parts could create potentially hazardous situation.
These are the main features of power drills. For basic drilling taking this information will get you a proper drill. There are additional features available, but unless you are doing a lot of drilling for work or hobbies, these features may or may not benefit you.
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