Introduction to Cordless Power Drills and Drivers

Cordless power drills/drivers work like their corded counterparts, only there’s the convenience of not having to deal with a tangled or damaged cord, or not bothering to look for a power outlet. A cordless power drill is the most ideal for exterior repair work and outdoor carpentry, although it can be used indoors too, owing to its portability.

Cordless power drills/drivers have surged in popularity among DIY hobbyists and professional handymen, and it looks like its popularity is not going anytime soon. If you ask people what is their first cordless tool, most would answer it’s the cordless power drill.

All cordless models come with keyless chucks which measure either 3/8″ or ½”. Battery power ranges from 10.8 to 36 volts. Like corded models, cordless versions feature high and low speed settings.

While power is the reason why people choose corded power drills/drivers, convenience is the reason why others go for the cordless counterparts. This tool’s biggest advantage is the absence of the bothersome cord, which enables you to carry it anywhere you need it. You can find a variety of cordless power drills/drivers with several different features.

If you want to purchase a cordless power drill/driver, make sure that that you have at least two batteries. You don’t want to experience battery life problems in the middle of the project and wait for the unit to be fully re-charged before continuing, so it’s always better to carry more than one battery. Look for the kits that come with two batteries.

On a theoretical note, batteries with a higher capacity – usually labeled using Ah – last longer, but the main timing practically depends on what the cordless drill is used for, as any action models involving the hammer are going to consume the power quickly than standard rotary movements.

If the concern is related to the battery of the tool, a lot of drills out there now feature rechargeable batteries so users can have a peace of mind knowing they’ll have a hand to spare. In fact, spare batteries are a worthwhile consideration for consumers who’re going to be working on bigger projects.

The power that the cordless power drill generates is determined by the voltage stored in their its batteries. The higher the voltage, the higher the torque the machine will create. Current cordless power drills have the voltage that’s powerful enough to drill big holes into lumber and flooring.

But there’s a compromise: the bigger the power a cordless power drill uses, the heavier its weight becomes. A cordless drill with 9.6 volts typically weighs 3.5 pounds, so using it for longer periods can cause hand pain and fatigue. The older cordless drills only have pistol grips (like the hand gun), but now the newer models are also available with a T-handle for a more comfortable and balanced grip, making them most especially ideal for heavier drilling. Plus, you can use the T-handle models for drilling tighter spaces. However, the pistol types are still often the preferred choice for making powerful drilling as well as driving screws.

The adjustable clutch (or clutch ring) should be one of the standard features of a cordless power drill/driver. You can see the clutch just behind the keyless chuck (the part which allows you to replace drill bits easily). The clutch provides the user more control over how much torque is applied to the screw in order to: 1) prevent it from being over-driven; 2) prevent the head from being snapped off the screw; 3) and avoid creating damage to the material being worked on. The clutch in the drill works quite like the clutch in the automobile; it automatically disconnects the motor’s drive shaft from the clutch’s drive shaft when the preset value is reached to its limit.

The clutch usually has several settings. Adjusting the clutch to a low setting will cause it to disconnect at low torque, making it ideal for tasks such as driving screws into the regular drywall. If you need to drive bigger screws or drive screws into a harder material, then you will have to adjust the clutch to a high setting.

Depending on the job and provided that it is charged properly, the cordless power drill/driver will work to one’s advantage. It is perfect for doing small, quick household fixes or working on hard-to-reach places. It may be useful as a secondary tool for seasoned handymen/contractors or the main tool for DIY home builders.

It’s also important to take time and visualize where you’ll be regularly using the cordless power driver. Woodworking related jobs just require those smaller 12V models. Larger drills, in contrast, require 18-20V power if the buyer will be using a hole saw or boring holes of a bigger size.

If you’re going to be using metal, it makes sense to go with as much power as your pocket allows. But also keep in mind that most drills are used on light metals, so you may have to look around a bit to find an option that’s ideal for heavy usage. Courtesy of hammering in high speed, the right tool in this area can bore through stone and concrete with ease.

P.S. It’s also worth mentioning that bigger projects require a high voltage and consequently the weight of these cordless drills are going to be a lot more than their smaller counterparts.

Best Cordless Drills/Drivers to Buy

Makita 1/2″ 18V Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless Driver-Drill Kit

Makita 12 18V Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless Driver-Drill Kit, XFD10R

This power driver/drill from Matika delivers a torque of up to 650 inch-pounds and an RPM of 2,000, which are one of the most powerful torque and speed specs in the cordless power drills’ market. It also makes things convenient for the user with its 16 position adjustable brush motor. The Lithium Ion battery ensures you’re able to use it for long without worrying about battery drainage. Moreover, the T-handle on this power tool ensures it can be ported from one place to another with ease. For the charger, the manufacturer has put in a fan to ensure better, more efficient battery charging.

What makes it stand out?

The Matika power drill comes with an integrated LED that lights up dim areas of work. Also, it has an ergonomic and compact design at just 7-1/4-inch length.

 PORTER-CABLE PCCK607LB 20V MAX

PORTER-CABLE PCCK607LB 20V MAX Brushless Cordless Drill Driver

This is a unique brushless drill driver, equipped with a motor that delivers 50 percent additional runtime to its users. The 370 MWO motor makes it stand out among a range of other drill drivers. The PCCK607LB works best for heavy duty projects. The transmission has an RPM of 1,800 MAX endorsing quick uses and high speed application. The half inch ratcheting chuck ensures the chuck stays in place for enhancing bits’ retention. It is also lightweight with a weight of just 3.3 lbs. and can also be used in smaller areas. Another highlight of this cordless drill motor is a mode collar. This makes it easy to switch between fastening and drilling without forgoing the setting of the clutch.

 What makes it stand out?

The enhanced bit retention courtesy of the drill’s compact size and ratcheting chuck ensures that the buyer is able to use it in tight areas for extended periods.

 Rockwell RK2852K2

Rockwell RK2852K2 Li-ion Brushless

The 20-year warranty of this drill ensures that you’ll be covered in case the drill malfunctions or breaks down. It’s one of the fastest drills out there with a 2,000 RPM. The torque goes up to 531 inch-pounds, which is quite impressive for a cordless power drill. It is also pretty comfortable to hold during usage. And because it’s balanced and lightweight, your arms are unlikely to be fatigued. It also arrives with a couple of batteries, so you can always keep using one of them and put the other on charging. Each charge will provide you with a total of 40 minutes of runtime.

 What makes it stand out?

Like the previous model, Rockwell’s cordless drill motor also includes a brushless motor that offers a bonus 50% runtime per session. Also, its LED is ideal for illuminating dimly lit areas.

 Conclusion

The key takeaway from this introductory guide is that the ideal cordless power drill and drivers are based on the preferences of the buyer and what they’ll be using them for. People who want to use these power tools occasionally can get away with low power options. However, those who regularly carry out jobs should be ready to spend some more for the speed and torque they need for complicated jobs.

With that said, the best cordless drill/driver for your specific self is the one that feels good in your hands. If you’ve already used this equipment and have a favorite brand/model, then buy all means get it. While the above reviews serve as a detailed primer about what to expect from each brand and model, your personal experience will be the ultimate determinant of what cordless power drill/driver goes into your toolbox.