Our stores are having a massive Power Tool Sale for the entire month of May. This is the perfect time to understand the ins and outs of drills for your current and future home improvement projects.
Power drills are indispensable tools for home improvement and all kinds of jobs around the home, no matter the size. Picking the correct type of power drill for your job will ensure a successful result, and you’ll have a much easier time while you’re in the process.
A drill is a tool that uses rotational motion to make a hole in a surface using a drill bit. A driver, however, fastens the screws, bolts, etc., using a driver bit.
Your classic household drill is technically a “drill driver,” so if you hear it called as such, now you know why!
POWER SOURCES FOR DRILLS
An important aspect to keep in mind when shopping for a drill (or any other power tool) is determining what amount of power you’ll need for your most common jobs. A corded drill uses electricity for power, so it tends to have the most significant amount of power, and you can use it without switching out a battery. But it does come with a dreaded cord that usually is too short and awkward to work around.
Battery-powered tools have come a long way in the past 5 years. Battery-powered tools are usually found in 12 and 18-volt versions, providing ample power and torque for most drilling applications. Many tool companies will double up their batteries to get 36 volts for longer life and more ability to complete their designed jobs. This is primarily seen in rotary hammers and concrete breakers where extra power is needed. Makita has recently introduced a 40-volt battery line for more industrial applications.
Anytime batteries are considered, we advise customers to purchase at least one backup that can be charged and ready while undertaking your home improvement project. Lithium-ion batteries usually last about 4-5 years without degrading. (about 300 to 500 charging cycles) The battery will not stop working altogether but will slowly lose its power and last for a successively shorter period of time.
Here are some of the most common types of drills:
Drill drivers are the most common type of drill and the most classic power tool found around the home. They have a chuck that opens and closes around the bit and can rotate clockwise and counter-clockwise.
These tools are used for basic hole drilling and driving in wood, plastic, and metal. They are commonly sold with a starter driver bit for Phillips and flat-head screws, and drill bit sets usually range from 1/16 to 1/2 inch bit sizes.
Though not technically a drill, the impact driver plays for the same team.
The hex chuck supports various bits and uses a rotational motion with a hammering action to generate high torque. This forceful tool is used to drive self-threading screws, loosen over-torqued or rusted fasteners, and is the best to drive long and thick fasteners into hard materials.
RIGHT ANGLE DRILL
Right angle drills provide a solution to drilling or fastening in hard-to-reach or tight areas. Usually, most DIYers will resort to using a small hand screwdriver to complete the job. If undertaking a job like installing cabinets or drilling between floor joists it may require you to perform the same tight area tasks repeatedly, and a hand tool is not an efficient solution. Some manufacturers also have extension attachments to reach into even tighter areas.
Hammer drill drivers have the same design as drill drivers, but they feature a hammering mechanism that vibrates the bit back and forth, which is especially useful when boring holes in concrete and masonry work.
You can also disable the hammering feature and use it as a regular drill driver, making it an all-around versatile tool for your kit.
The rotary hammer drill driver (or combination hammer) is similar to the hammer drill but with even more workhorse hammer power.
These tools are used by pros for their severe chipping and hammering abilities. Most don’t have a “rotation only” option like the hammer drill.