Cordless Drill

Discover the convenience of a cordless power drill

The modern trigger-style electric drill was first introduced by Black & Decker during the First World War, but in recent years we've seen the cordless and portable version used widely by American homeowners. This device is perhaps the handiest power tool available, and certainly one of the simplest to use. With that said, the power drill's many uses make it a reliable go-to tool. Thus, it's important that someone shopping for a new drill pays close attention to the critical details involved, including the drill's battery capabilities, size, available bits and overall feel. These finer points are all crucial in making sure that a cordless drill is ready to go when needed and won't fade prematurely or feel awkward on the job.

Advertiser Links for Cordless Drill

Cordless Drill Battery

It's important to pay close attention to the potential lifespan and charging operation of your cordless drill batteries before purchasing the drill. Most cordless drills range in voltage from 9.6 volts to 24 volts. What's the difference? A more powerful battery has more torque. That means it can drive longer screws into denser surfaces, like hardwood. In many cases, it also means a cordless drill will last longer while off its charging platform. Thus, if you often demand a lot of time from your drill and can't be bothered with charging halfway through a project, it's best to go with a device with higher voltage. Keep in mind, however, that these typically weigh more than the lower-voltage drills.

How Does it Feel?

It might sound silly, but it's important that a drill feel right before it's purchased. A potential buyer should ask to hold each device, moving it from side to side and over their head. Is the handle slippery? Is it generally awkward or too heavy? Start with a medium-sized drill (like an 18 volt cordless drill): hold it over your head and move it slowly back and forth for 30 seconds. If that feels enormously difficult and cumbersome, try another device (perhaps at a lower voltage).

Other factors to consider: does the hand drill allow you to hold drill bits a half-inch in diameter? This can be handy when driving into stone, but probably won't be necessary in woodworking. Also, note how long it takes the charger to replenish the drill's battery—is it senselessly long, or not?