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Electric Drill Overview
How many of us have a tool box with nothing useful in it? Far too many, I’m sure. For those of you that do not frequent hardware stores, or even the home improvement section of Amazon, I’m happy to let you know that the power tools of today are affordable, intuitive and safe. The specific tool that we’re here to talk about today is the power drill. While it is not a jack of all trades, it is an essential contributor to nearly any building project that goes on in and around the home.
I take definitions from Wikipedia, there’s no denying it. They provide information accurately and concisely. If you’re looking up information on an obscure political event or a once-famous person, you may want to check other sources, but for something like a power tool, it’s pretty safe. So, by definition, “a drill is a tool primarily used for making round holes or driving fasteners. It is fitted with a bit, either a drill or driver, depending on application, secured by a chuck. Drills vary widely in speed, power, and size.”
Why purchase a drill?
Why should I have a drill of my own, you say? It’s simple. If you want a job done correctly, you need to do it yourself. In order to get it done on your own, you need the right tools. Now listen, we’re not telling you to go build framework for a new addition or a 20-foot high suspended deck right off the bat. Leave these projects to the people you pay to do stuff.
A personal drill is the ideal tool for putting together furniture and completing basic DIY home projects, especially those easy ones you find on Pinterest and YouTube. If you want to replicate something you see on the DIY Network or HGTV, always remember that the people on those shows have years upon years of experience and professional training.
Corded vs. cordless drills
The two main types of drill are cordless and corded, both of which are covered in our guide. Power has to come from somewhere, right? Each comes with a bevy of pros and cons, but ultimately it boils down to personal preference. My biggest thing in determining personal preference is comfort. In order to be comfortable and confident, especially when handling power tools, you have to know your tools inside and out. Read the manuals, watch videos on the company website and see what others are saying—educate yourself.
Electric corded & cordless drill reviews
Below, we take a look at five of our favorite power drills. We outline what makes each of them special and provide enough information (we hope) for you to make an informed decision when jumping into the big bright world of home improvement. Whether you’re buying your first power tool ever, or a seasoned veteran looking to make their first purchase in a while, we think that there’s something everyone can gain from a little reading.
Here are the best electric drills:
1. Best Overall: Dewalt 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, 1/2-Inch (DCD771C2)
Dewalt DCD780C2 Cordless Drill Review
After cutting and drilling for nearly 100 years, DeWALT has become a bit of a household name. Owned by Stanley Black & Decker, DeWALT produces a variety of power and hand tools that have helped build a following that swears by the brand. One of their most reputable offerings, the DeWALT 20V MAX cordless drill and driver kit epitomizes the quality and versatility that users have come to know, love and expect.
When DeWALT put this kit together, they wanted to give their consumers a single product that has everything they need, rather than making them buy the set as one-off pieces and add-ons. With this kit, you get two-speed (450 & 1500 rpm) drill, as well as a carrying bag, two rechargeable batteries and a charging port. As long as you have a place to plug in the charger, you’ll never run out of power, so long as you remember to plug in the battery you aren’t using.
What separates this drill/driver from a lot of other models is its compact frame and how comfortable it is to hold. If you’re spending hours working on a job, odds are that you’re also spending hours with a drill in your hand. If that drill is heavy, bulky or just a bad shape, you’re going to be reminded of that with driven screw—nobody wants that. By engineering a drill that is powerful (300 watts), yet easy to use, DeWALT has succeeded in creating a drill kit for the people.
Original Retail 160.00
2. Best for a Woman: WORKPRO Pink Cordless 20V Lithium-ion Drill Driver Set (1.5Ah) - Includes 1 Battery, Charger and Storage Bag
WORKPRO W004532A Pink 20V Cordless Drill Review
Ignore the color of this drill (unless you like it) for just a second, and focus on the quality and value offered with the WORKPRO Pink Cordless 20V Lithium-ion Drill Driver Set. With this set, you get a two-speed drill (400 & 1500 rpm), six drill bits, ten bits, one battery, a charger and carrying bag to make sure it all stays in one place. With this drill and driver set, nobody will ever mistake your tools for theirs again.
A unique feature that once you use, you’ll never use a drill without again is the built-in LED light. We’ve all had an experience where we mark a spot with pencil and get ready to drill, only to have the shadow of the drill block out exactly where you want to go. With the simple addition of a bright light, WORKPRO helps us avoid an issue that realistically should have been fixed generations of drills ago.
I’d hate to say that WORKPRO is pandering to the female market, but the combination of a pastel drill and bag makes it seem that way. What isn’t up for debate, however, is that quality of the drill. Bottom line, if it weren’t an effective product, it wouldn’t be on our list. If you happen to be someone that loves pink, or just having something a little bit different from the next person, the unique color is just a bonus.Original Retail 100.00
3. Best for Beginners: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories (LD120VA)
BLACK+DECKER LD120VA Cordless Drill Review
When you buy the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver, you aren’t just buying a drill, you’re buying the setup for anything you might ever need to drill. The drill itself operates at a maximum of 750 rpm and features a 24-position clutch, but it found a spot on our list thanks to its myriad of accessories.
The accessories we’re speaking of include a 20-volt battery, charger, six drill bits, ten 1-inch driving bits, nine 2-inch driving bits, four nut drivers and a magnetic bit tip holder. Any more accessories and they’d realistically just get lost in the shuffle.
Some people might be concerned with only having one battery, but thanks to its high-quality lithium-ion composition, it holds a charge for 18 months—and no, that is not a typo. As you use it more, the capacity will decrease over time, but we expect it to last for more than a full day’s work for quite some time. Rather than get stuck with a dead drill on your hand, always make sure to charge the night before.
The ultimate drill for getting things done around the house, you can use this on a variety of surfaces. A professional carpenter might need a bit more power than offered by this BLACK+DECKER drill, but if you need to drill or screw through some wood, metal, or plastic—look no further. If you want to avoid dipping into the Craigslist, Angie’s List or Yellow Pages talent pool, this is a perfect tool to have laying around your home.Original Retail 100.00
4. Best on a Budget: BLACK+DECKER Corded Drill, 5.2-Amp, 3/8-Inch (DR260C)
BLACK+DECKER DR260C Corded Drill Review
The solo representative of corded drills on our list, the BLACK+DECKER 5.2-Amp Corded Drill has proved its worthiness with a carefully crafted combination of power, reliability, and user-friendliness.
Power is the least of your worries with the BLACK+DECKER 5.2-Amp Corded Drill thanks to a 1500 rpm capacity. Besides the drill, you also get a double-ended screwdriving bit to help you accomplish the most basic jobs. By far the most convenient aspect of this drill is that there is a built-in spot for you to store the drill bit when not in use. If you’re like me, you constantly leave your bits just beyond reach and end up having to leave the immediate task at hand for a few moments. Thanks to this holder, mounting frustration with DIY projects can be held off for at least a little bit longer.
Another thing that you can cross off your list of potential troubles is battery life, thanks to the corded design. Rather than spend time fussing over remembering to charge your battery, having it die when you need it the most, or even forgetting it somewhere altogether, you can just go corded. As long as your’re close to a plug (six feet), you always have the ability to work and drill at full capacity.Original Retail 50.00
5. Best for Home Use: Avid Power 20V MAX Lithium Ion Cordless Drill
Avid Power MW316 20V MAX Cordless Drill Review
The Avid Power 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill set does a little bit of everything, and that’s not an exaggeration. With a wide variety of attachments, you’d be hard-pressed to find a project this drill set cannot tackle. Besides the drill (550 rpm), you also get ten drill bits, ten driver bits, an extension bar, a magnetic flexible shaft, a rechargeable battery, and a charging port.
With countless attachments and 16 torque settings, drilling through wood, ceramics, drywall, plastic, and metal is hardly a challenge. Far and away the most exciting attachment is the flexible shaft. If you have any type of craftsmen experience, you know that there are places that are difficult to get at, and others that are flat out impossible to access. Instead of forcing you to redesign what you’re working on, or with particularly frustrating projects, reevaluate every decision you’ve ever made, simply pop this attachment on and continue.
Okay, this isn’t so much a feature on the drill as much as it is something that will make your life substantially easier while spending hours at work. The pack that charges your battery is also USB compatible, aka, your phone doesn’t have to die or be charged in the truck at various points throughout the day. If you’re someone that likes to be flexible, you no longer have to plan your lunch break around when you can boost your battery and make it last for as much of the day as possible.Original Retail 70.00
Brand Avid Power
Electric Drill Buying Guide
Now that you’ve seen what’s out there, you’re either dead set on your next drill or in need a little push in the right direction. To help you with the proverbial push, we listed some questions we ask ourselves when we pick out a drill of our own, as well as some answers and guidance.
Corded or cordless drill?
In terms of functionality, a corded drill operates the exact same way as a cordless drill. The real question becomes about battery life and your ability to monitor said battery life.
Nearly all cordless drills come with one or two batteries. For drills with just one battery, it is essential you find one with an extended battery life. With a single battery, it is imperative that you have the discipline to charge the night before you plan on doing your work. When you have two batteries, the same principle is in play, but there is a safety net of being able to rotate the batteries. One way that multiple batteries have failed people in the past is always thinking the other is charged, but in all fairness to drill manufacturers, that is a user error.
If you have a cordless drill, you never have to worry about running out of power. One thing that you do need to know is how long the cord is. If it’s a very short cord, be prepared to lug an extension cord around. In reality, this is less of a problem than it might appear as companies have extended the length of their cords to keep up with cordless competition. These aren’t iPhone chargers, you don’t have to be a foot from an outlet to use.
Since you’ll be spending a lot of time with this tool in your hands, it makes sense to choose one that won’t fight your body every step of the way.
A critical piece of comfort is weight. Thanks to drastic improvements in technology and design, no matter what drill you buy today, it will be lighter than one bought 20 years ago. Just because things are better than they used to be does not mean you can ignore this aspect. Since drills are used in both awkward and normal positions, picking a lightweight model will pay off by preventing arm strain and letting you continue to work, instead of forcing you to take a break.
The other side to the comfort equation is the handle. Most easy to use drills will come with an ergonomic handle. If you’re someone with large hands, you’ll be able to handle drills of all shapes and sizes. If your hands are on the smaller side, be sure to find a drill with a smaller handle. Not only is this something that contributes to ease of carry, but being able to comfortably hold a drill and use all buttons without strain is also a key safety component.