Cord or Cordless Drills
Tips For Choosing Which One
By Scott Gray
The right tools can make your work easier, and when choosing cord or cordless drills, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both. If you look only at the ease of drilling a hole or setting a screw, choosing a cordless (battery-powered) drill over a standard plug-in is a no-brainer. You can use your cordless drill anywhere regardless of whether or not electricity is available, and it will always be suitable for light duties, such as hanging curtain rods, installing shelves, or simple repair work. Keep in mind, however, that cordless power tools are great to use only if:
* they are charged when you need them;
* they hold the charge long enough to complete the job you are doing;
* they are light enough that you don’t need to ice your aching arm after your project is over;
* only the batteries and chargers that come with the tool are used and the batteries are not jolted (e.g., by dropping them) so that it will continue to function properly; and
* the tool is powerful enough to get the job done.
Advantages of Standard Plug-in Electric Drills
* They are usually lighter and definitely less expensive than a cordless for the same quality and power (i.e., the twisting force needed to drill holes or to tighten and loosen screws).
* Batteries don't go dead.
* Electricity is usually only an extension cord away.
* Better torque and more consistent torque.
* You don't have to worry about the cost of replacement batteries (sometimes more expensive than the drill itself, or not available).
Cord or Cordless Drills – Your Preference
* Make sure the drill or drill has a reversible drive and an adjustable clutch.
* There should be a trigger lockout for safety reasons.
* Look for a one-year warranty, a place for bit storage, and a carrying case for cordless models.
* A light is a nice feature.
* A magnetized bit in your drill to hold screws in position will keep you from scrambling for dropped screws
* Multiple speeds are important for drills. The slower speeds are best for removing and driving screws; the faster speeds are needed for drilling holes.
* A chuck lock is great for keeping the bit in the drill where it belongs and not loosening during the drilling process.
* Cordless drills are marketed by their voltage, a rough measure of their power:
– 9.6 volts (e.g., DeWalt, Ryobi)
– 14.4 volts (e.g., Bosch, Hitachi, Makita, Bosch, DeWalt)
– 18 volts (e.g., DeWalt, Craftsman, Ryobi)
– 28 volts (e.g., Craftsman)
* Check brands through their web sites, consult reliable consumer reviews (e.g., Consumer Reports, Popular Mechanics Online, and The Canadian Home Workshop), and do some comparison shopping. For example, it is useful to know:
– Ridgid cordless drills are one of the Home Depot’s new models that will charge batteries in 20 minutes. Another model offers dual-battery charging so that the drill can be run using two batteries back to back and also recharges them at the same time.
– Ryobi cordless drills and drills are sold exclusively through Home Depot and models come with chargers that can be used with every 18-volt cordless Ryobi tool.
Make sure you consider the work you intend to do before selecting cord or cordless drills. Well-known, reliable companies supply both cordless and standard drills, and other awesome power tools and aids for all your construction and repair needs ( e.g., a point-and-read the digital tape measure with a voice recorder that stores measurement information so you don't forget). If you are an apartment dweller and want a drill for light tasks and simple repair work, you will love the cordless drills. If you are a serious do-it-yourselfer, you may prefer a standard plug-in drill supplemented with a cordless model for those occasions when ease of use is so rewarding. Remember earplugs and safety goggles, and take sensible precautions when working with any power tools.
About the Author:
Scott Gray is currently a home improvement handyman enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys providing tips to consumers who are in the market for cordless power tools.