All About Power Drills

Pick the type of power drill that makes any job in your home quick and easy

Power Drills - All About Power Drills

When matched with the correct drill bits and accessories, a power drill can be the most useful tool you own.

This guide will help you understand the different features available in power drills so you can choose one that best fits your needs.

Safety: Always exercise caution when using power tools. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper use, and use tools for their intended purpose. Depending on the job, wear safety equipment including eye and respiratory protection.

Power Drill Types and Features

Choose from drill-drivers, hammer drills, right angle drills and impact drivers. Each has a variety of features so that you can pick the one with all the best options suited for your job.

Tip: Consider your comfort. The drill’s grip should be comfortable to hold, and it shouldn’t be too heavy so your hand won’t fatigue as fast.


  • Drill-drivers: An all-purpose tool for drilling holes and driving screws.
  • Hammer drills: Engineered specifically to drill holes in concrete and other masonry.
  • Right-angle drills: The perfect option when drilling and driving in tight spaces.
  • Impact drivers: A driving tool with more torque and better control.


  • Corded vs. cordless: Corded tools cost less and deliver more torque while cordless drills provide convenience and must be recharged between uses.
  • Drill size/chuck capacity: The size of the chuck determines the maximum drill bit diameter allowance for that drill. The most popular is 3/8-inch diameter; lightweight-use capacity is ¼-inch, while heavy-duty capacity uses a 1/2-inch diameter.
  • Speed and power: Revolutions per minute (RPM) determines the speed of the drill. The higher the RPM, the lower the torque delivered. Amperage equals power. A lower amperage power drill may be suitable for household use or occasional shop use. A higher amperage model will deliver more power and is better suited for heavy-duty or professional use.
  • Variable speed: A variable speed motor has multiple speed settings that can be changed using a single switch.
  • Reverse mode: Convenient when removing screws or backing out when boring holes.
  • Chucks: Keyless chucks offer the convenience of quick bit change operation; keyed chucks offer a better bit grip for larger drills.