Choosing the Right Cordless Power Drill for You

Have you recently purchased a home? Do you enjoy doing DIY projects around the house? Whether you buy or rent, you probably want to consider investing in a cordless power drill. While not a necessity, a cordless power drill makes life a whole lot easier - even for small projects like hanging pictures on the wall or assembling that new IKEA bureau (trust us, there are a ton of screws in those kits). And for bigger projects, like renovations or installations, a power drill is practically a must.

So let’s say you’re ready to bring home a power drill - how do you know which one to pick? There are plenty of options to choose from, so you’ll want to narrow it down to find the best cordless power drill for you. Keep reading for some guidance on how to decide.

Getting the Right Voltage

The battery voltage of a drill determines the drill’s power. Voltage can range from 6V all the way up to 36V. Drills on the lower end of the spectrum will be lighter in weight, but won’t have as much power and also won’t have as much battery life. However, the brand of the drill will also play a role - some lower voltage drills from reputable brands have been found to be much more reliable than higher-voltage options that are cheaply manufactured. You’ll get a good idea of what’s what by reading reviews once you’ve narrowed your list of candidates.

If you’re doing small DIY projects around the house, a 12V-14V drill is going to cover what you want. For more complicated uses - like renovations and the like - you’ll want a more powerful option such as 18V or 20V.

Torque of the Drill

Torque is another distinguishing characteristic of a power drill. Torque is the force a drill produces to turn an object. 200 in/lb is a pretty standard torque for a drill; higher torque drills will be able to drill through hard materials without a problem. Many drills today have multiple torque settings, so you can select the one that best suits the material you’re working with.

What’s in the Chuck?

The chuck of a power drill is the piece that holds the drill bit and other rotary tools. Chucks usually range in size from about ⅜” to 1”. The pricier the drill, the larger the chuck is likely to be, allowing different sized bits to be used for various applications. Many cordless power drills offer a keyless chuck option, which is a chuck that can be twisted into place with a firm hand grip. Although this is convenient, using a keyless chuck with a high torque can unintentionally loosen the chuck.

Your Drill: The Speed Demon

Consider the speed options for the power drill you’re looking at when making your decision. You’ll want a drill with multiple speed settings, depending on whether you’re doing precise driving (requiring a lower speed around 300 RPMs) or more heavy duty drilling (using a high speed of at least 600 RPMs). Higher quality power drills will usually have three speed settings, so you can adjust depending on the work you’re doing. Most cordless power drills will allow you to drill both forward and in reverse.

All About the Clutch

The clutch of a drill disengages the drive shaft when the drill reaches a preset level of resistance. This will come in handy when working with a material that can be easily damaged, drilling too far, or preventing overdriving a screw once it’s snug. You’ll know the clutch is engaging when you hear a clicking sound. Most cordless drills have an adjustable clutch, allowing you to choose the right clutch setting for the job. In general, you’ll want to use a low clutch setting for small screws and a large setting for bigger screws. Note, drill clutch settings aren’t standardized, so the brand of your drill will affect the amount of power exerted before the clutch activates.

You can find a number of high-quality cordless power drills here including heavy duty, lightweight, and compact cordless drill options. Feel free to reach out to us at Bonanza Hardware with any additional questions you have.

Do you own a cordless power drill? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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