A cordless drill is a very essential tool for people looking to get minor/major home improvement work done. In last few years it has become a must have tool for DIY enthusiast. With this tool you can easily execute tasks like hanging curtains, fixing door handles, installing shelves of for drilling holes for hanging paintings on wall. People who have gone to big stores like wal-mart or Home depot to buy a cordless drill will agree that it is a very confusing experience as there are more than 30-40 models to choose from.
In this product segment there has been a lot of innovation is past 7-10 years, the new generation models carry more punch, have better performance and give more run time per charge. The drills are now smaller in size and low in weight, the best selling models feature ergonomic design which helps to keep the drill stable and pointed to the target area. Lighter the drill, the less pressure it will put on your wrist while working for longer durations.
One big improvement in this product segment has come in form of lithium ion batteries. These batteries are very light in weight and can hold charge for up to 18 months. Due to their light weight, the manufacturers are able to reduce the overall bulk of the drill. As compared to NiCad batteries, the lithium-ion takes less time to charge and provide more run time.
How to choose a perfect drill for your needs?
When buying this tool you should compare various models keeping in mind following points – Size, Torque, Speed, Batteries and Clutch.
Size – The size of cordless drills available in market today is way smaller than what we had 2-3 years ago. Most current models have weight of around 4-5 pounds which is very less as compared to NiCad battery powered cordless drills which were very prevalent few years ago. The new models are equipped with LED lights which help you to work in dark areas with ease. The compact size of this tool allows you to easily operate in tight areas single handedly. With small size and low weight, carrying this drill has become easier.
Torque – The power of a cordless drill is calculated in inch-pounds and it tells you about how much rotating force a particular unit can produce. Many people confuse power with the battery voltage of a cordless drill. With power ratings, you get a parameter to compare various drill models. Before buying a unit, you should analyze the type of jobs that you will be doing with this product. With this analysis you will have an idea about the power requirement. If you are buying this tool for home use, you are not required to spend too much money on buying a more powerful variant. On the other hand, if you are buying this tool for construction or remodeling jobs, then you should go with a model which produces about 300-400 inch/lbs of torque. The torque details are available on the packaging of the;=P
product, if you can’t find it there, head to the brand’s website or search on websites like amazon.
Speed – The new age cordless drill models usually come with two speed settings. These settings are added to this tool to make them more versatile and allow the operator to undertake multiple varieties of drilling and driving jobs. The low speed settings are useful for tasks which require more precision (driving larges screws) or when you have to drill large holes. On the other hand fast speed is used when you have to drill small holes. It is always advisable to start with lower speed setting and move to higher speed only when you gain confidence and have complete control over the tool. Although, you can still buy models which come with only one speed setting, but it will make tool useless for many drilling/diving jobs.
Batteries – Earlier mostly all cordless drill models featured NiCad batteries, few years later nickel-metal hydride batteries became more popular because they were more environment friendly. But lately, lithium-ion cordless batteries have taken the cordless drill market by a storm. These are the same batteries which are used on our mobile phones. Extremely low weight, fast charging, more run time per charge and ability to retain charge for more than a year are some of the reasons why lithium ion batteries are so popular. Earlier the drills powered by these batteries were expensive as compared to other models, which motivate people to choose the NiCad alternatives, but now the prices have reduced drastically and you can buy a good li-ion drill for as low as $70. A list of best selling 20v cordless drills can be found on this blog from thetoolguides.com
Apart from improvisation in batteries, the chargers have also gone energy efficient. Some of the new chargers are powerful enough to completely charge batteries in just 30-40 minutes. Although, most projects won’t require you to charge your drill battery for more than once, but for larger tasks you must keep two fully charged batteries. While you work with one battery, you can fast charge the other one.
Clutch Settings – As you shop for a new cordless drill, you will come across various models which have multiple clutch settings. The job of a clutch is to prevent the chuck from turning when it is faced with certain level of resistance. This is an important feature as it reduces the chance of destroying screw heads during fastening/unfastening jobs. Most drills come with 18-20 clutch settings that provide you with unmatched control and precision.