Handheld Power Drill Buying Guide

Handheld power drills are good tools to have around the house or for work. But with the number of drills on the market and the differences in them, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you and your needs. This is where a buying guide comes in.

Types of Handheld Power Drills

The corded pistol-grip power drill is the most common type of handheld power drill sold and used today. It has a high powered motor giving it the power it needs to complete everyday tasks. There are a number of attachments that can be used with this type of drill turning it into a variety of tools from a powered screwdriver to a sander or saw.

A cordless handheld power drill is almost identical to the corded pistol-grip power drill but there is no cord. This type of drill runs on rechargeable batteries which need to be charged when the power runs low. Many will have more than one battery for their cordless drill so the battery can be swapped out while the other battery charges. Typical charging time is an hour or more, but when Rapid Charge Batteries are used, the charging time can be cut down to 10 to 15 minutes.

A hammer drill is similar to the pistol-grip power drill, but it was designed for drilling into masonry. This type of drill not only spins like a standard drill, but has an up and down hammering motion that helps the user drill a hole in or drill screws or bolts into cement.

Pay Attention to

The amount of power you are looking for

In corded drills, the power is measured in amps. As the number of amps rise, the more power the drill has. A standard drill that is used around the home will typically have 8 amps. With cordless drills, the power is measured in volts. The more volts a drill has, the more power it has. The most powerful cordless drill has 20 volts. For using a drill around the home, 12 to 16 volts will work.

Whether the drill has a clutch

The clutch is a part of the drill that will react when there is resistance. If you are trying to screw in a screw and there is resistance on the screw because you have it screwed in all the way, the clutch will react in order to try and prevent you from stripping the screw or from putting the screw in too far. Not all drills have a clutch but it is a feature you may want.

The speed options

Not all drills have multiple options for the speed of the drill. Typically a higher speed is used if you are going to drill holes and the lower speeds are for screwing in screws. If your drill has only one purpose, then you may be ok with a drill that has only one speed.

If there is a forward and reverse option

The majority of the drills on the market have this option. It is ideal for being able to not only put screws in, but to be able to take them out with the reverse option as well.

How big the chuck is

The chuck of a drill is at the tip of it where the bit is put in. The chuck ranges anywhere from 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 of an inch. A 1/2 inch chuck is typically used for more heavy duty jobs. The chuck can be either keyless or keyed. When using a keyed chuck, you need to have the key in order to change the bit used in the drill. The keyless chuck does not need a key to change the bit and removes any kind of worry about losing the key.

Whether you are looking for cordless or corded

There are pros and cons to each of these drills, so it depends on what you will be using it for. If you are looking to bring the drill with you to do some work and you will not be close enough to an electric outlet to run your corded drill, then a cordless drill is the way to go. But if you are only going to be using it near the house and electric outlets and you don't want to have to worry about batteries going dead, then you may want a corded drill.

The type of battery included with a cordless drill

If you decide that a cordless drill is the way to go, then you will want to pay special attention to the battery and what is included with the drill. Verify whether or not the battery that comes with the drill is a Lithium-ion battery. This type of battery will last about four times longer than a standard battery will. Verify the type of charger that comes with the drill. Some of the chargers take hours to charge, but there are others that will charge a battery within a short period of time. You may also want to buy a kit for the drill that includes an additional battery. This will allow you to continue working with the second battery while the first one is charging.

Top Brands and Product Lines

DEWALT DWD112 - Corded drill known for its speed.

Milwaukee 0240-20 - Corded drill known for its power.

Makita LXFD03 - Cordless drill known for its speed settings, long battery life, and short charge time.