When Buying The Best Cordless Drill – What Questions Should I Ask?
When it comes to browsing through the best cordless drills available today, even a knowledgeable buyer may have several questions. After all, the choices have become almost overwhelming.
I think the first cordless tool I owned was over twenty years ago. It was fat, heavy and I think 6 or 7 volts. You charged it for a few hours and could work with it for 10 minutes or so. It was a Craftsman; don’t remember the price… and I was proud of it !
Today, many of the top power tool manufacturers have cordless drills ranging from 10.8 to 36 volts. The now older battery technology is still sold, but at cheaper prices. The new technology, because it is vastly improved does come with a higher price tag.
So, we want to buy a new cordless drill. What should we think about, how do we make an informed buying decision?
Let’s discuss for a moment what type of projects you encounter.
Do you attempt extreme repairs or complicated DIY projects? Are your needs just for occasional home repairs? Do you work with soft materials such as pine, plastic or drywall? Does your “to do” list include hard, tough or brittle items such as various metals, oak, ceramics and concrete? Are you in a contracting profession where your tools are your livelihood?
Answer these questions and we are ready to take a look at the specifications of some of the cordless drills. We also want to read several written reviews pertaining to the best cordless drills that you may put on your list. Remember this point; the more reviews the better. There may be some negativity surrounding any product. I do not let this bother me unless all of the bad comments point to the same issue. Then I steer clear! We have too many good choices to fool around with sub standard equipment.
OK, let’s talk a bit about the drills.
One thing is now certain in my mind. Lithium-ion battery power is the ticket. This source of power provides easier, faster and less fatigue when drilling, screwing, grinding, polishing and any other task you may tackle. Even though these drills cost a little more they are now very affordable. They have more torque and are much lighter. The cycle life of the battery is up to 3 times longer than it’s predecessors. The advances have really been phenomenal.
If you work on soft to medium materials, do a lot of small home projects and repairs, you will probably be very happy with a 12 volt lithium-ion drill. A few of the “major brands” such as Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee and Bosch have tough, high performance products in this voltage category. If you are an avid do-it-yourself advocate or a contractor I would skip the voltages between 12 and 18 volt drills. At this stage a ½ inch chuck is a necessity also. Some contractors, when making a list of the best cordless drills they want to consider, may set their goals somewhat higher. A 24 volt or even a 36 volt drill may be needed to conquer their projects.
Many “features” are standard on cordless drills but you may want to check different brands to see what they offer. One simple feature that has been omitted on several drills is a tool holder for your screwdriver bits. This confuses me as every drill I have ever owned (quite a few) has held the bits. That is a major “must have” in my opinion. You can buy an add-on of this feature though.
What brands provide us with the top tools today? Honestly, that is a tough one. I have studied and tested many by class (voltage) and all have performed admirably for the tasks I gave them. Some seemed to have a bit more power while others took a little longer to charge. There were a few features I liked that were not present on all drills. Make sure your pick has 2 batteries and a keyless chuck. After that most features are a preference.
The bottom line? After thinking about your projects, make you a list. After studying features, reviews and specs you are ready to make an educated choice from the best cordless drills the market has to offer.
Some Of The Best 12 Volt Cordless Drills
These 12 volt drills are small in stature but large in performance. The manufacturer”s have packed solid power and run-time into an extremely lightweight cordless drill. These are perfect for a homeowner or a craftsman that has different needs. I have multiple drills. A smaller one comes in handy, especially in tight spots or for overhead drilling.
The Most Popular Choice – The 18 Volt Cordless Drill
Why, might you ask, have the 18 volt cordless drills become so popular?
Like most items we buy, there are pros and cons to cordless drills. The 18 volt category of drills is no exception. These tools are more expensive and heavier than our previously discussed 12 volt models, some as much as 2 to 3 pounds heavier. During a long workday this may cause some fatigue. The prices are higher, but now very affordable. The upside of the larger 18 volt drills is very worthy of discussion. I have personally used several drills in this class and have talked to others that have done likewise. We all agree that the 18 volt cordless drill is one of the most versatile and important tools we own.
Good cordless drills generally last for several years. If you have not replaced an old one or are looking to be a first time buyer you will be pleasantly surprised with the new technology.
After all, if someone had told you a while back that there were cordless drills on the market that had 250% more runtime, weighed 40 to 50% less than previous models and had more power, would you believe it?
I didn’t until I tested one. I was immediately impressed and bought a new one a couple of days later. The newer technology is called Lithium-ion. It is the best advancement in drills since they were invented. In this writers opinion it has made the even the larger tools usable by women and men alike. Even though we are calling them larger, they are ergonomically designed for comfort and smaller hands. They are significantly smaller than their predecessors.
At our house, we are avid cordless drill users. We use them inside and out, for automotive and home repairs. We own 4 cordless drills and make use of all of them. One, a small 12 volt, belongs to my wife. But rest assured, if she encounters a job where a little more power is needed she grabs one of the 18 volt drills and goes to work.
I came home from a job one day and she was in the basement drilling holes in the concrete wall for shelving. She had the 18 volt Makita drill and had just finished installing several anchors. I was proud of her. Actually, I love the fact that she will tackle home chores, it gives me a chance to go to the golf course!
Browsing the internet can be time consuming. I would suggest you try Amazon .com if you have an interest in any tools. They have a huge assortment and delivery is usually in just 2 days.
Bottom line? It’s nice to have a small 10.8 or 12 volt drill as an extra. But if you want to purchase one good drill then an 18 volt would be your best bet. Unless you work in tight spaces or use your drill very sparingly, the slightly larger and more powerful 18 volt cordless drill will handle all of your projects.
Top Notch 18 Volt Cordless Drills
To find the Best Cordless Drills in the 18 volt category, check these out below…