Power Drills & Drivers Buying Guide
Learn about power drills and drivers for your next DIY project. Cordless drill, hammer drill, impact drill or right angle drill? We carry the best names in the industry, from DEWALT and Kobalt to Bosch and BLACK + DECKER. In this buying guide, learn which drill or driver best suits your needs and how to use it properly and safely.
The Best Drill or Driver for Each Job
The type of drill or driver you ultimately end up with will depend on a few factors: the nature of the project, materials being drilled into, and frequency and location of use.
Drills are used to create holes in materials, while drivers secure screws into those holes. The kind of bit you attach determines if you'll be drilling or driving — or even both.
We'll walk you through every step so you'll get the tool that best fits your budget and needs.
Comparing Corded & Cordless Drills
What to Look for In Drills & Drivers
• Clutch: This mechanism (available mostly on cordless models) allows you to control how much torque is applied to a screw so you don't sink the screw too deeply, strip the head, or break the shaft. Clutches will automatically disengage the bit from the motor when the torque exceeds a preset value.
• Power: The higher the voltage, the more torque-spinning strength is available to overcome resistance. However, extra power might not always be worth it as it can translate to extra weight on the drill. For smaller projects, look for voltage in the 6V to 7.2V range. Heavy-duty projects call for a minimum of 12V.
• Shape/Design: Most of today's drills and drivers have a T-handle, which makes them easy to grip and balance. But if you're undertaking a big project, a drill or driver with a pistol grip (one where you can apply pressure higher up) can be better for using more force.
• Speed: Less expensive drills and drivers will typically come with only one speed option, but most have two: 300rpm and 800rpm. The slower speed is typically for driving screws to prevent the screw head from getting stripped, while the higher speed is better suited for drilling holes.
• Chuck: The chuck, which comes in one of two forms, is the part of the drill that clamps the bit in place. Keyless chucks can either rotate to lock the bit in place or be pulled down to insert or remove the bit. Keyed chucks require a key to be inserted before adjusting the tightness of the bit. Both types of chucks are available in various sub-types depending on where and what it's used for. The most common chuck sizes are 1/4 in., 1/2 in. and 3/8 in., with the smaller the chuck size, the better it is for smaller, lighter tasks
Important Safety Tips While Drilling
Make sure to clear your workspace, and avoid wearing baggy clothes that can get caught in the rotating drill chuck (or you can also tuck them in). Drills are good at using the right amount of torque, so don't try and force it. If it doesn't seem to be working right, check the bit to see if it needs replacing or that it's the right one for the job. Before drilling or driving, mark the hole with a centre punch or pilot hole. When finished, lay the drill down sideways so it doesn't fall over and damage itself or the material.
Comparing Battery Types for Drills & Drivers
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