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Buying a Drill

A drill is arguably the one of the most used tools for any type of do-it-yourself project. With the right drill, you can do anything from boing holes to driving screws. Various projects call for different models or drill bits, so it's important to do ample research before making a purchase. Here are some factors to consider when buying a drill.

Why buy a new drill?

Advancements in technology have improved the lifespan and battery capacity in cordless drills. These new types of drills not only have a long charge life, but they also have increased power output compared to older devices. The lightweight batteries on cordless devices can also help reduce strain and make them easy to carry.

New drills have plenty of power when working on hardwood, metal and brick. Some types not only can do basic drilling, but they can also hammer and oscillate. This means you don't have to exert a lot of force when driving screws or drilling holes.

Automatic speed and torque adjustments are features on high-grade drills. This setting changes torque and speed depending on the surface you're trying to drill through. It also prevents the drill bit from slipping out, saving you from guessing the correct drilling speed or how much force to exert.


Features of new drills

Power Source

  • Lithium ion and NiCad batteries are the two most commonly used batteries for cordless drills
  • Corded drills have consistent power to drill through hard materials like brick and concrete
features of a drill

Special features and specifications

  • Automatic shifting switches gears and increases torque when necessary
  • Built-in LED lights can help illuminate small areas and dark spaces
  • Pressure-sensitive triggers change the speed of the drill
  • Rotating handles allow you to drill from the best possible angle
  • A clutch adjusts the drill's speed appropriately for depth
  • Come with keyless or keyed chucks available in 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 and 3/4 inches 
Features of drills

Types of Drills

Cordless drills


A cordless drill comes in handy for small repairs and installations involving almost anything from wood to thin metal.

  • Price range: $20-$150
  • Speed range: 400-2,000 revolutions per minute
  • Voltage range: 9.5-20 volts
  • Weight range: 2-9 pounds with battery attached


Cordless drill

Cordless drills are best for…


On-the-go jobs: Since a cordless drill is battery-powered, it can be operated away from a power source. Once it's charged up, this type of drill allows you to make large or small holes at a worksite or outside your home.



Driving screws: A cordless model is ideal as an electric screwdriver whenever you use a screw bit. A cordless drill provides more power than a manual screwdriver and comes in handy when assembling small pieces of furniture or installing shelves.


Impact drivers

This type of drill uses increased torque to compensate for high resistance when driving screws or bolts.

  • Price range: $60-$225
  • Speed range: 2,100-3,200 revolutions per minute
  • Voltage range: 12-20 volts
  • Weight (with battery) range: 2-10 pounds


Impact Driver

Impact drivers are best for…


Tightening a bolt or driving a screw: While a drill can also drive a screw or bolt, an impact driver automatically increases the torque when needed, which keeps the screw or bolt from slipping off the bit.




Driving through thick or hard materials: With an impact driver, you can drive both screws and bolts through metal or hardwood. This allows you to exert less force than you would with a standard cordless or corded drill.


Hammer drills

A hammer drill combines drilling and hammering motions to drive through tough materials like concrete, brick and other masonry.

  • Price range: $30-$150
  • Speed range: 500-3600 revolutions per minute
  • Voltage range: 12-20 volts
  • Weight range: 2-6 pounds


hammer drill

Hammer drills are best for…

Drilling holes through concrete: A hammer drill's torque and driving power allows you to create holes and drive screws through something as strong as concrete.




Demolishing brick or stone: Whether you're replacing a worn-down section or removing a walkway entirely, a hammer drill has enough power to break up cement or stone. Using this device is much easier than chiseling out masonry by hand and cheaper than renting or purchasing heavy-duty equipment.


Bottom Line

A drill can come in an all types of power levels and serve various functions, making it a very valuable tool for anyone's toolbox. No matter what crafts, repairs and home improvement projects you want to accomplish, there's a drill that can help you get the job done. If you need increased power, consider an impact driver to drive screws or a hammer drill to bore holes in concrete. However, for remodeling and around-the-house maintenance, a cordless drill can take care of most projects.