The Best Cordless Drills

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Finding The Best Cordless Drills to Buy

The Best Cordless Drills – Find The Best 2012 Cordless Drill to Buy

Since you came to this site, I will assume you are looking to buy a cordless drill. With so many drills to pick from, the question is, “which are the best 2012 cordless drills to buy?” The best cordless drill doesn’t have to be the most expensive one, or the drill that has the most features. The best cordless drill for you may not be the same as it is for other shoppers. The best one for you is the one that best fits your eeds. You have your own reason to buy a cordless drill. That reason may be totally different than the reason given by most other cordless drill shoppers. Some will be totally motivated by price, while others will be looking for specific features. Depending on the exact use, some will make their determination based on the size of drill they need. Your choice may be based on one of these reasons or on all of the above.

Some of your decision may be determined by the type of woodworking, or home projects you will be doing. If you are planning a larger project such as a shed or playhouse, you may choose a 1/2 inch cordless drill. If you are working on building a computer desk, or a smaller project of some kind, a 1/4 inch drill may be more than enough.

Probably the first thing to consider is how often you intend on using this drill. If you intend on using this drill a lot, I would recommend buying a more heavy-duty cordless drill. Some will only use a drill two or three times a year while others will get extensive use out of it. I have always had the mindset that the better built tool will probably last a lot longer. If I only have to purchase the drill once over a period of 15 to 20 years, it actually may be cheaper to buy the more expensive heavy duty tool for twice as much as it is to buy two or three cheap drills in the same period of time.

Types of Cordless Drills

The design of cordless drills is such that their construction matches their intended use. A cordless drill/driver provides both a drill and electric screwdriver with a simple change of drill bits. Because this drill is so easy to use, many home owners prefer it over other designs. The following is a list of the various types of cordless drills and their intended function:

The Drill Driver – This is the most versatile drill and probably the best cordless drill to start with.  It is used to drill holes and also to drive screws. This drill is the most common power tool most DIY people have in their tool box.

Cordless Screwdriver – This cordless drill is used for simple jobs such as hanging pictures and shelves on the wall. It works well for light duty jobs. The electric screwdriver is small, light-weight, and very convenient to use.

Screw Gun – This tool is used for bigger jobs such as hanging drywall or for building a deck. These guns allow you to not only drive screws but also countersink holes. Another feature is auto-feed of screws into the drill. More heavy-duty cordless drills with sufficient backup batteries will work, but it may be best to have a power cord drill for this purpose. Check everything out first.

Right Angle Drill – This is a great tool when working in very close quarters. This drill is ideal for applications of electrical, plumbing, or cabinetry work. It is the best tool to have when drilling into hard to get to areas.

Power Drill – You can use a cordless drill for this application, but it works better to have a corded drill when you require a significant amount of raw power. Cordless may not be the best for this application.

Impact Driver – The Impact Driver is great for driving large lag screws, or other heavy-duty applications. This drill has three or four times the torque power of a Drill Driver, and makes those jobs much easier.

Hammer Drill – When you need to drill into concrete or brick, this kind of drill works best. These drills combine a hammer action to the drilling. As a result of thousands of blows per minute, it pulverizes masonry material, making the drilling much easier and faster.  

Size is Another Factor For Cordless Drills

When I say size, I’m talking about the size of the drill shank. There are two common sizes for cordless drills. The most common size is the ¼ inch, which is normally adequate for all of your smaller projects. The drill bits for these drills have to be ¼” in diameter at the base where it fits into the shank. You can also buy drill bits that are larger than ¼” that are designed for the ¼ inch drill. If you are going to use larger bits very much, you may want to get a 3/8 inch cordless drill. Your 3/8 inch drills will have more power than the ¼ inch drills. These larger cordless drills are also larger in size than the ¼ inch drills. They will have a different feel and won’t be able to get into tighter spots. Keep this in mind when deciding which is best for you.

Features to Consider When Buying a Cordless Drill

When considering cordless drill features, there are some basic features you should always look for. One of those features is a reversible motor that allows you to back out screws. A dual-speed motor is also very important. Make sure the drill has a high and low switch. An adjustable clutch will also help keep you from driving screws too deeply into your material when it is adjusted properly.

Additional Features to Consider With a Cordless Drill:

Depending on your applications, check out the chuck size. Some drills hold bits that are 3/8” in diameter. Some of the larger models will hold drill bits up to ½” in diameter. These would be included on a hammer drill. Again, this would be for a masonry application.

Many recent models of cordless drills employ a "smart charger" that will help extend battery life by optimizing the way the batteries are charged.  With these chargers, they switch to a trickle-charge mode when they get close to a full charge. This maxes out the battery capacity.

Many models of cordless drills include two batteries with the drill along with a battery charger. This isn’t a requirement but I wouldn’t buy one without them. With two batteries, you can be using one and charging the other at the same time.

An added feature on some cordless drills is built-in LED lights. These lights work great when working in dim places. You will thank yourself for including that when choosing your cordless drill.

Another feature that is worth having is a pressure-sensitive trigger. I believe this is worth paying a little more to have. With these criteria in mind, you can now proceed to choose the best cordless drill for you.

How do You Choose the Best Cordless Drill?

Many cordless drills on the market today do have all of the features discussed above. If you have two or more drills that are equal when comparing those features, there are some differences to look for in making your determination. Here is something else to look for: when the batteries are the same voltage, look for the mAh rating. The mAh stands for milliamp-hour, and represents the amount of current the battery can deliver. The battery with a higher mAh number will deliver longer life before needing to be recharged.


Another thing to check out prior to buying, is the feel of the drill. This may sound silly, but hold it in a number of positions, such as over your head, to simulate the various positions you may be in when drilling. Ask yourself how the drill feels in each of those positions. Also consider how long you could hold the drill in that position if you had to for an extended time.

The higher the voltage of your battery, the more power it will deliver. A very popular model is an 18v cordless drill. This is better than a 12v cordless drill when it comes to battery life. These are things to consider when deciding which of the cordless drills is best for you.

Here are some factors to consider when deciding which battery voltage is best for your specific applications:

Small Home Projects – the best voltage ranges between 9.6v and 12v. This would include drilling screws into wood, hanging curtain rods, pictures or light fixtures.

Medium Home Projects – the best voltage ranges between 12v and 14.4v. With this voltage rating you can do most general home maintenance projects such as drilling into wood or metal and driving screws into wood. You will do fine on weekend DIY projects.

Serious DIY Projects – the best voltage ranges between 14.4v and 18v. With this cordless drill, you can do home remodeling and building of decks along with all kinds of woodworking projects. You can drive large lag screws or fasteners with no problem.

Professional Daily Use – the best voltage ranges between 18v and 24v. This tool is suitable for plumbers, carpenters, and electricians who do heavy-duty drilling and fastening.      

Hopefully this information has been helpful for you in choosing the cordless drills that are best for your applications. See our cordless drill reviews for specific information on the various cordless drills that are available for sale. I hope you get a lot of good out of the drill you choose. Happy projects!