Drill Set Guide
Drills are workshop tools which have a cutting tool or driving tool attachment. The attachment is can either be a drill driver or bit and is used for boring holes in different materials. In some cases, they may be used to fasten materials together with fasteners such as screws. There are many types of drills; hand drills, pistol grip drills (corded), hammer drill, rotary hammer drill, cordless drills, drill press, geared head press drills, radial arm press drills and mill drills. On this page, we will discuss the cordless drills and everything you need to know about them.
What are cordless drills? Cordless drills are electric drills which use rechargeable batteries. Just as the name suggests, cordless drills have no cord or a power cable. For quite some time, corded drills were superior to the cordless ones due to their power capacity. However, with the advancement in technology, cordless drills have become more powerful and efficient in comparison to their corded cousins. The most convenient thing about cordless drills is that they can be used around the house without dragging the cord around.
Why do we need the cordless drills?
The cordless driver or drill is very popular due to its portability. This tool is used for drilling holes and driving in screws. It has a keyless chuck which is compatible with almost all drill bits and screw driving bits. Therefore, if you have accessories such as hole-saws, wire-wheel brushes, rotary sanders and round/hex drill bits, you don’t have to worry about compatibility if you own a cordless drilling tool. In addition, if you prefer adjusting the amount of torque when screw driving, this equipment is the best for you. The slip clutch equipment on the cordless drill allows you to set the torque to the desired value. That is not all! Since the cordless drill uses rechargeable batteries, you can continue operating even when the lights go out. This is one of the greatest advantages of using cordless drills over the corded types.
How do I choose a cordless drill? There are many brands of cordless drills available in the market. Depending on the model, the brands will come with different operational speeds, torques, design and batteries. When choosing any cordless drill, you have to factor in the project at hand or what job you wish to do with it. For instance, the basic drills are best for assembling furniture or drilling small holes while the advanced ones are best for tough materials. Without further ado, here are some things to consider while choosing a drill bit:
Features The power output of any drilling machine is determined by the speed and torque output. These two features will categorize a drilling machine either as a decent type or an excellent power type. If you are working on a project where you have to drill lots of holes, ensure the drill has a high RPM value. This is because higher speeds are better for drilling holes. In addition, picking one that has two-speed settings is better. It will enable you to set up high speeds required for drilling holes while slower speeds will be for driving screws.
Each time the word torque is mentioned, power is the aspect which follows it. Generally, torque is directly proportional to power and this is used to determine the strength of any drilling equipment. Therefore, the best cordless drills will always have a high torque so as to enable you to drill holes through harder surfaces. The best-rated power drills will always operate at high speeds and produce high torques. Such drills will come in handy for tough projects.
Another feature which you should consider when looking for the best cordless drills is the power rating or UWO. Power is determined by speed and torque. The higher the UWO rating, the more the powerful a drill is and the faster it can perform a particular task.
If your project requires you to drive in more screws, look for one that has at least 20 clutch settings. This will prevent you from sinking the screws too deep into the material. In other words, the more the clutch settings, the more the options you have for inputting a specific amount of force to drive the screw to the perfect depth.
Design This refers to the physical part of the drill. Ensure that the drill is comfortable, lightweight, balanced and has features which make it easy for you to carry out the job. The better the ergonomic design, the better the drill machine. For instance, you don’t want to use a heavy machine which will wear you out quickly before finishing your project. In addition, you don’t want to use a drill, which has more weight at the top than at the bottom. An unbalanced drill might lead to poor quality work. Among the best cordless drills, many weigh less than 5 pounds and have weight both at the top and below the grip.
Take a situation where you are working on slightly dark areas such as under the sink or in a closet. You will definitely require a source of light. This is why you should also look for a drill that has LEDs for illuminating the area in front of you. Most people don’t find this feature necessary, but just to be on the winning side always put it under consideration.
Lastly, ensure that the bit holder is attached to the drill tool. This will make your tool more durable and reliable as there is no need of attaching or detaching the bit holder.
Batteries This is a very important feature of cordless drills as they don’t rely on wall power. The battery type in a drill will portray some of its features such as weight and overall power output. For instance, the lithium-ion batteries are lightweight, long-lasting and give better power output. Any drill with an output voltage of 18 volts or higher can drill tough surfaces such as metal or masonry.
Imagine that you are working on a timed project and the drill runs out of power before completing the task. Even though, you will recharge the batteries you will not recover the time lost. Therefore, you should always look for a drill that comes with two batteries so that once one of them runs out of juice, you may use the other one comfortably. In addition, look at the time taken to charge the batteries. If a drill takes too much time in re-charging one battery, you can be frustrated, especially when both batteries run out of charge.
Truth be told, these drilling tools can be very expensive and it is best to always protect your investment against some things which can damage your tool. This is why you should always look for a company that offers good warranties for its products. Most of the companies will give two warranties; one for the drill and the other for the battery. Also, ensure that the company has both email and telephone support.
Other considerations Cordless combo kit A cordless combo kit comprises more than one cordless tools which share the same battery or charger. This implies that you can re-charge one battery using one of the chargers instead of relying on one tool for charging. This saves you a lot of time. In addition, the cordless combo kit comes will most of the accessories required for the projects.
Battery charge indicator There is nothing more frustrating than a drill running out of juice in the middle of an operation. Therefore, if the tool has an indicator you will be able to know when the charge is too low.
Cooling system If the drill overheats, it will not run for long periods of time continuously. Therefore, good cordless drills have cooling fans and shields which take away excess heat.
Accessories Simple accessories such as auxiliary handles, pressure sensitive triggers and single sleeve keyless chucks are necessary to have during projects.
Multi-stage clutch system Cordless drills should allow you to shift from low speed to high-speed rpms and vice-versa. This will make it easier for you to select the perfect speed for the task. Moreover, a multi-stage clutch will enable you to achieve high precision driving.
Chuck size The most common sizes of the cordless drill chuck are; 3/8 inches and 1/2 inches. The 1/2 inch models are heavy duty models which are preferred by professionals. The 3/8 inch models are used by average people. In addition, the chuck should have sufficient grip to prevent it from wobbling during operation. Lastly, the chuck should be designed in such a way that it is easy to change the drill bit. For example, most chucks can be twisted by hand to remove or attach a drill bit.
Cordless Drill Types Generally, cordless drills are categorized into four types according to the task they are designed for:
Cordless screwdrivers Cordless drills/drivers Cordless impact drivers Cordless hammer drill/ drivers Cordless screwdrivers Of the four, these have the least power output. They are also the lightest and most compact in the list. Their main function is driving in screws and are most suitable for simple tasks such as woodworking. However, they are not suitable for drilling holes. Their voltage output is 2.4-10.8 volts.
Cordless Drill Brands
There are several brands of drilling machines, but I will only highlight top brands available in the market with their websites.
Cordless drills or drivers
If you are a DIY homeowner, this is the perfect tool for you. They are the most popular brand of cordless drilling tools. They can be used in drilling holes through wood or soft metals also performs in screwing operations. They have an adjustable clutch which will enable the operator to adjust the torque. Their power output ranges from 7.2 volts-20.2 volts.
Cordless impact drivers This is most suitable for heavy-duty tasks. It is similar to the common cordless drill, but the difference comes in that it has a collet that is compatible with hex-shanked driver bits rather than the keyless chuck present on the cordless drill. This drill tool will automatically increase the driving torque if it senses any form of resistance during operation. This prevents the drilling attachment from slipping and eliminates the need for a pilot hole. They are some of the best for driving in screws and long fasteners rather than drilling holes. Their power output is about 14.4-20 volts.
Cordless hammers drill/drivers These are the more powerful of the four, hence are good for drilling on hard surfaces such as brick and concrete. However, they are heavier and much noisier than the rest. It has a variable-speed clutch and during operation, it punches the drill bit out and in while simultaneously spinning it. They have special drill bits and their output is between 18 volts and 36 volts.
Parts of cordless drill So far, most of the features of cordless drill have been mentioned above, but there is still a need to address some of the main parts.
Gears Gears are the ones responsible for the multi-operational ability of a drilling tool. Most drills have a two-geared system. The first gear provides low speeds and higher torque, which is suitable for driving screws while the second gear provides higher speeds necessary for drilling holes. Therefore, always look for a tool which has more than one gear.
Chuck Are you still looking for the chuck key? Long are the days when chucks had to come with a key. Modern cordless drills come with a keyless chuck which will enable you to remove the key by simply twisting the chuck.
Motor The motor determines the torque output of the drill. By attaching an adjustable clutch to the motor, you will be able to set different torques.
Battery types Currently, the Nickel Cadmium batteries are being replaced by the Lithium-ion batteries which provide more energy storage for cordless drills.
Conclusion There are many brands of cordless drills on the market and each of them is designed for a specific task. Therefore, you should always know what you want to accomplish with the drill before buying it. Do you require more holes than screws in your project? What is the nature of material or surface you will be working on? Are the ergonomic qualities of the tool suitable for you?
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