Corded drills can handle a wide variety of tasks. From drilling into concrete to mixing paint, these versatile devices are an essential tool for anyone. Often more powerful than their cordless counterparts, corded drills are ideal for use in a workshop or on any job where you have access to a power outlet. All corded drills are not created equal, so knowing the technical differences will help you find the right one for your needs. You"ll also want to consider whether a drill/driver or corded drill with hammering action would be a helpful addition to your toolbox. Keep the following questions in mind as you shop:
• What type of materials do you work with most often?
• How frequently will you use the drill?
• What activities will you use the drill for?
• Which bits will you need to accomplish certain tasks?
• What special features would you like to have?
Uses, Specifications, Drill Bits and Operating Tips
A corded drill gives you the ability to do far more than simply drill holes or drive screws. Take full advantage of the different tasks you can perform and types of materials you can work with to get the most out of your purchase. Knowing what tasks you will use the tool for and how much speed and torque you need to accomplish them will help you in choosing the right drill. Selecting an appropriate bit is also an important part of maximizing performance, so be sure to closely consider which type best suits the job at hand. Make sure you know how to use your drill properly and safely to ensure longevity and high-quality performance.
Uses: Corded drills can be used to drill holes and drive screws into everything from soft wood to concrete. Hammer drills pound as they rotate to make driving holes into masonry easier, so consider them if you work with concrete or stone frequently. Drill/drivers give you the ability to adjust the clutch, making them ideal for driving screws into consistent depths without overdriving or leaving them short. Your drill can be used for sanding as well as buffing with the right attachment. Adding different bits makes it easy to handle both hard and soft wood as well as metal, steel, concrete and cement.
• Drills are ideal for building decks, erecting fences, assembling toys and making furniture
• Use your drill for such diverse tasks as removing paint or rust with the right accessory
• Drills can even be used to stir paint or drywall compound quickly and thoroughly with the proper
Specifications: Corded drills are available in 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" chuck sizes. 3/8" chucks provide tremendous versatility while 1/2" chucks are best for heavy-duty applications and drilling larger holes. The higher amperage a drill is, the more power it will have, so look for a drill with enough amps to meet your needs. Speed is measured in rotations per minute (rpm), and the higher the rpm level, the lower the torque will be. Higher speeds make drilling easier in softer materials. If you know you'll need a lot of mobility, look for a long, durable cord.
• 1/4" bits are ideal for drilling small holes and other light tasks
• Keyless chucks make bit changes quick and easy
• Keyed chucks require a key and lock bits securely in place
• Lower-amp drills are ideal for drilling into soft woods
Bits: Different jobs call for different bits, and knowing which bit to use in a given situation will ensure greater consistency and quality while preserving the life of your bits. Use the chart below to learn about various bits that are available and what they are best used for
Description and Usage
|Auger||• Solid-center or expandable
• Use with hand brace
|• Cuts both metal and wood
• Clears debris from hole
|Awl||• Starter holes||• Sets up the screw hole for easier drilling|
|Brad Point||• Holes smaller than 1/2"
• Wood surfaces
|• Makes clean holes|
|Combination||• Drills pilot and countersink holes at the
|• Increases efficiency|
|Countersink||• Shallow holes in wood surfaces
• Pilot holes
|• Sets screws flush with surface
• May feature adjustable stop collars
|Forstner||• Holes with flat bottoms||• Ideal for holes that can't go all the way through a
|Hole Saw||• Holes larger than 1-1/4"
• Precise circular cuts
• Wood, plastic and metal
|• Ideal for tough materials
• Helpful for installing cables, piping and tubing
• Brick, concrete, stone and plaster
|• Drills through tough surfaces
• Cuts smaller holes
|Spade||• Holes between 1/4" to 1-1/2"
• Wood or plastic surfaces
|• Reversing out reduces the likelihood of splinters
• Cuts quickly and accurately
|Twist||• Holes smaller than 1/2"
• Metal and wood surfaces
|• Makes clean holes
Operating Tips: Using your drill correctly will ensure greater performance and longer life. Be sure to follow all of the suggested safety guidelines and use protective eyewear to avoid getting debris in your eyes. When drilling into metal, keep both the bit and metal well-lubricated with oil as you drill. Drive at an angle that is perpendicular to the surface to ensure that fasteners are driven straight in. If the drill begins to feel hot in your hands or you see smoke emanating from the area you're drilling into, stop working immediately and allow the drill to cool down. Gently touch the bit periodically to check the heat level to avoid overheating and burning out the drill or dulling the bit.
• Keeping bits and surfaces well lubricated avoids dulling when drilling into metal
• Use higher torque settings when working with harder woods
• Use lower torque settings in soft woods and to avoid stripping screws
• Use bits that are smaller than the screw to avoid creating too large of a hole
Reversing and Variable Speeds: Most drills have a reversing feature, which allows you to remove screws and back bits out to create cleaner holes. Many also feature variable speeds, giving you the ability to customize how fast or slow the rotation is as you are drilling.
Magnetic Pad/Onboard Storage: Magnetic pads hold bits in place at the base of the drill so they are conveniently handy while an onboard storage area provides a place to keep bits or a chuck key.
Multiple Clutch Settings: Drill drivers and screw guns feature a clutch adjustment ring, which may have anywhere from 2 to 24 settings. Once you know the depth and torque needed on a particular surface, set the clutch accordingly to ensure consistent results and reduce the instance of wrist snap.
Side Handle: Auxiliary handles rotate around the drill, enabling you to find the best grip and angle to work from. They also allow you to keep the drill steadier while you work for more accurate results.