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Cordless Drill Shopping Guide
You’ve got the work bench with drawers to fill, a new hammer, and fresh measuring tape. The next item on your list is a cordless drill, a staple for any properly setup building space. With a quick search, you’ll quickly realize that buying a cordless drill now is like trying to purchase jet propulsion compared to the options that were available 10 years ago. With options like lithium ion batteries, industrial attachments, magnets, compact motors and more, how do you decide which brand or product is right for your specific needs? This buying guide will help you figure it out!
How long is the battery life?
Battery technology has come a long way in the last 10 years. From cars to hydro-electric power, a lot of experts believe that batteries are our future. Most cordless drills on the market today come with lithium ion batteries that are capable of holding a charge for up to a year! While sizes do vary, 20V is the standard and is capable of performing an entire day’s work without constant charging. For construction site usage or drilling through metal, a larger battery or a set of two 20V lithium ion batteries may be beneficial.
What attachments can be used?
From drill bits to screwdriver attachments, nut drivers, magnetic bit holders and more, there are a never-ending supply of unique fittings made for every cordless drill on the market. The important thing to ensure is that your drill is compatible with the standard issue design of after-market attachments. Upon the purchasing of a new drill you may not know exactly what you’ll be using it for in the future. You may need that after-market broad point drill bit after all for building your backyard deck a few years from now.
Some cordless drill packages even include some of these attachments with the drill itself. If you already know the project you’re about to embark on, a packaged drill that includes additional attachments and a carrying case may be the solution for you!
How is it designed?
The ergonomic design of your drill may not be the most important factor contributing to your purchasing decision, but it is important enough to consider. Are you going to be working long hours on a job site? Carrying a heavy, bulky drill around with you on your tool belt? There are ergonomically designed compact drills on the market designed for laborers and contractors alike. A drill with a solid trigger feel and comfortable grip can mean no painful blisters at the end of the work day.
How efficient is the drill?
Efficiently working with your drill can save time, energy and money. Battery life, attachment availability, and ergonomic design are all factors that contribute to efficiency, but some brands are even taking it to the next level. A few popular manufacturers are beginning to sell compact models with flexible shafts offering portability and usability in small spaces that was previously not possible. Working for an entire day on the same lithium ion battery, squeezing into small spaces, and impacting large bolts all with the same product was unheard of 10 years ago but is now so achievable!
Some brands are even introducing cordless drills with brushless motors. Models with brushless motors operate with reduced friction, increasing the motor’s life by up to 10X according to certain manufacturers.
What is the drill’s torque and speed?
The torque rating for a cordless drill translates to the power at which it can spin a bit into wood or metal without getting stuck. The greater the torque output of a drill, the more ability it has to overcome friction when driving screws or bits.
Some cordless drills now even come with variable speed settings which allow you to essentially downshift the torque setting. While the traditional torque and speed settings would satisfy most users, if you are going to be working with hardwood or drilling into sheet-metal this option may be what you need.
How much does the drill weigh?
While weight might not be a big deal for drills that will spend most of their life on a workbench, if you plan on carrying your cordless drill around, weight could be a factor you want to look into. Ranging anywhere from 3-10 pounds, there are a ton of options available on both ends of the weight spectrum.
Trusting Our Top Pick
Navigating the many choices for every consumer purchase can be challenging. Our team spends hours doing research, combing through forums, and reading consumer reviews on even the most basic of household items, and we summarize that information in clear, precise comparisons.
Join the millions that have trusted BuyersGuide.org to help them make smarter buying decisions. We help our readers spend their money wisely and find the right product to suit their specific needs. Our independent expert reviews and data-driven shopping recommendations empower you find the cordless drill that's right for you.
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