Cordless Drills

A good cordless drill is one of the most useful power tools you can have in your toolbox

Cordless Drills Buying Guide

Having a cordless drill among your power tool arsenal, means that you can perform drilling and driving tasks with ease anywhere in, or around your home.

This buying guide highlights the different types of cordless drills available, along with recent technological advances and operational and safety tips.

Selecting Your Drill

Choose a drill that feels good in your hands, not necessarily the most powerful model

  • Batteries play an important part of drill effectiveness. Choose one that charges quickly and holds the charge for an extended period of time.
  • Voltage is the primary indicator for the power of a drill. Most often, they range from 6 up to 36 Volts.
  • The chuck size determines how large of a drill bit a drill can hold. The two most common sizes are 3/8 inch and ½ inch.
  • Drill speed is measured in rotations per minute (RPM). Look for a drill with an RPM range of 300-1,500 to tackle a wide range of tasks.
  • Models between 12-18 Volts are ideal for general use.
  • Lower speeds are best for driving screws and higher speeds for drilling holes.

Advances in Technology

Battery improvements have come a long way over the past few years, offering quick charges and longer run times

  • Lithium-ion batteries provide twice the performance and run four times longer than standard batteries.
  • Some chargers take several hours to fully recharge.
  • Smart chargers work quicker and prohibits over-charging, which extends battery life.
  • AutoShift improves drill performance by automatically performing at the optimum speed and torque setting, which saves time and guesswork by shifting gears when more power is needed.
  • Many drills come with drill kits, which contain the drill, main and secondary battery, charger, drill bits and carrying case.

Safety and Operational Tips

Be sure to take precautions and wear safety gear when using drills

Choosing the right drill size is an important decision. While it's always tempting to supersize a tool, lugging around the jumbo model can make a long workday seem endless. Before you make a final decision, stop by your local The Home Depot store to get your hands on the wide range of choices. For example, you can complete many household tasks with a 12-volt drill, which weighs considerably less than the 18-volt big brother.

Start every project with a fully charged battery in the drill and your back-up battery in the charger. That way, you'll almost never run into the problem of having two exhausted batteries at the same time. And whenever you take a break, give your drill a breather as well by popping the battery into the charger or swapping power packs.

When you're working on finished surfaces, lay your drill down on a folded towel instead of standing it on its battery. This eliminates the possibility of gouging a completed project by knocking over the drill.

Buy a holster, and you'll never have to wonder where to set down your drill.

  • Use safety glasses to avoid eye debris and work gloves to avoid blisters.
  • Use a tool belt or holster to keep the drill at your side when not in use during projects.
  • Take dead batteries to your local Home Depot for recycling.
  • The more torque the drill has, the better it will drill into harder surfaces.
  • Use slower speeds for greater torque and to avoid stripping screws.