What to Consider when Shopping for the Best Power Tools 

 July 3, 2020

By  Lisa Hanel

Power tools have become the best type of tools for anyone seeking to complete tasks in a faster and more efficient manner. These tools, unlike traditional hand tools, have been built to be incredibly easy to use for the average person.

Besides that, there are a couple of other benefits associated with the use of power tools. While various brands are trying to design the best power tools, some of these tools are not efficient or useful as the others.

While there are tons of these tools available for use right now, some have proven to be essential in everything from comercial use to everyday life. Cordless drills are among these super-popular tools.

A cordless drill is a powerful tool with a battery at one end and a boring tip at the other end. As the name suggests, cordless drills are wireless. This feature makes them portable, thereby making it an excellent choice for craftsmen. Cordless drills, unlike corded drills, do not have to be plugged into a socket before each use and users do not have to worry about tripping over wires. Depending on the model, cordless drills either make use of multiple or a single battery

The control output does not only make this power tool versatile, but it also helps it achieve a uniform torque and a higher accuracy level. With a modern design, cordless drills come with additional features that you would not ordinarily find in a corded drill. It comes with a variable button for controlling the speed as well as a built-in light for added visibility.

Like corded versions, cordless drills allow you to make use of gears and other accessories. While choosing the best cordless drill has proven to be a difficult task for prospective buyers, this buying guide takes an in-depth look into cordless drills with the sole aim of simplifying the buying process.

What is a Cordless Drill?

Oftentimes referred to as a driver or plain “drill,” a cordless drill is basically a powerful tool that has been designed to aid you in making holes in walls or other surfaces. Also, it can be used to drive or fasten screws, nuts, and bolts into wood or other objects.

Built with a clutch, this drill type has been constructed to immediately disengage the drivetrain when a specific amount of torque or turning force is achieved. The ability to disengage the drivetrain automatically helps prevent the drivetrain from snapping the fastener off, stripping the fastener, or driving the fastener harder into the wood or object, thus breaking either the tool or the object.

Since these drills are battery-powered, you will need to own an extra battery if you want to keep working. This saves you time because, without a spare battery, you would have to wait for about an hour for it to charge.

Fortunately, there are also fast charge batteries that take only 10 to 15 minutes to charge. Even if you own these batteries, getting a spare battery will still save you time.

Types of Cordless Drills

There are actually a couple of cordless drills you can choose from depending on the type of work you plan on carrying out. Some of the best cordless tools or types include:

1. Hammer Drills

This drill type has been built to repeatedly hammer objects, which affords you the opportunity to work on materials like concrete, brick, and stone. Although coming with additional features that you would ordinarily not find in a cordless drill, the hammer drill happens to be heavier than all of the other types. This is because it needs to make up for the extra power that is required to drill through concrete, stone, or brick.

This drill is oftentimes referred to as one of the most powerful drills available. It is built in such a way that the mechanism pushes the bit in and out to chip away concrete while the built-in motor spins the bit. Most of the hammer drills available today allow you to select either hammer drill, drive, or normal drill functions. Simply put, you can turn off the hammering and make use of the driving and drilling features.

2. Drivers

This is the most popular cordless drill type. It is specially used for driving holes in walls or fastening screws, bolts, and nuts. They can also be used on plastic as well as other objects. Regardless of the power level this cordless drill has, all it does is spin clockwise or anti-clockwise. While some options come with a clutch that let you set the power level that gets transferred while driving, others do not.

Although this drill can be used for almost any purpose, the size of the hole you’re trying to drill will determine the power level of the drill you need. You are advised to go through the manufacturer’s manual before starting any project.

3. Impact Drivers

Impact drivers have fallen under the “not really a cordless drill” category in recent years. This is because of its unique features. Unlike other types of cordless drills, impact drivers are fondly called such because they have been built with an anvil mechanism and a rotating hammer. As you make use of it, the hammer forcefully strikes the anvil mechanism, giving it a much greater turning force than any standard drill.

The efficient, accurate, and time-saving features of the impact driver are why most drill manufacturers have designed their drills to be “impact ready.” This allows you to drill with your impact driver. Although not being as smooth as your standard drill, it is capable of getting the job done very quickly. Impact drivers or drills have become champions of screwdriving, making them ideal for all your fastening, screwing, and drilling needs.

4. Rotary Hammers

Otherwise referred to as a combination hammer, a rotary hammer is basically the big brother to a hammer’s drill. It is larger than the regular hammer drill.

Besides that, they have been built with a more robust and powerful hammering/chipping mechanism which helps to deliver a greater drilling power than any hammer drill designed. Depending on the model you opt for, most rotary hammers offer you two modes to choose from: hammer with rotation, and chipping.

  • Chipping mode — as the name suggests, this mode uses chipping bits to pound into walls or objects like a jackhammer.
  • Hammering with rotation — this mode helps you drill holes in walls and other objects.

Like the other cordless drill types mentioned, rotary hammers can be used to drill holes in objects, it can also be used to fasten large nails, screws, nuts, and bolts.

What to Consider when Shopping for Cordless Drills

Choosing a cordless drill or driver for work can be a difficult task for you, especially if you’re not well versed in that area. The increasing number of cordless drills being designed and put up for purchase has made it quite difficult for you to get your hands on your ideal choice without help.

To help you out, this section of this piece will discuss some of the core features you need to look out for when choosing the best power tools.

1. Power

For drills, power is measured simply in battery voltage. A higher voltage simply means that the spinning or torque strength is increased to help you overcome any form of resistance. A couple of years back, most of the drills available had a power voltage of 6.6V to 9.6V but with the technological advancements we experience daily, there are tons of cordless drills with voltages as high as 24V and more.

Drills with higher voltages are capable and more suitable for boring holes into lumber, wood, concrete, and other materials. Depending on the type of work you plan to carry out, it is important that you take into consideration the power voltage of the drill you settle for. If you are always working on lighter materials, then you may consider getting a cordless drill with a mid-level power voltage.

2. Clutch

This is exactly what separates the best cordless drill from bottom tier drills.

Situated right above the drill’s chuck, the clutch is built to automatically disengage the drivetrain of the drill by making a click sound when the ideal or maximum resistance level is reached. You’re probably wondering what a clutch is and why it is important to your drill.

A clutch gives you a certain level of control that ensures that you do not overdrive, strip a screw, or continue making use of it once the bit is snug. In addition, this important feature helps to protect the motor when it meets resistance as it drives or fastens a screw or bolt. Depending on the drill, there are over 24 different clutch settings you can choose from. With these large settings, you are able to fine-tune or monitor the type of power it delivers. Only some clutches have a setting that affords the motor the opportunity to drive a bit at full power.

3. Batteries and Chargers

While there are tons of batteries available, some happen to be quite different from others. One of these batteries is the nickel-metal-hydride (NIMH). Although smaller, this battery happens to be a more efficient and powerful battery than its predecessor, the nickel-cadmium battery. Aside from being more efficient, they also happen to pose less threat to you and the environment.

Regardless of the model or type of cordless drill you own or plan to buy, bear in mind that they all have batteries. Batteries have a charge range of 15 minutes to over three hours. However, a faster charge time does not really translate to quality. While some construction workers will opt for a fast-charging battery because it helps them complete tasks easier and earlier, homeowners who mostly use these drills at home may not really need to get a fast-charging battery.

Some of the best DeWalt drills come with the NIMH battery, which means that it is more efficient. It is also worth mentioning that a fast or quick charger has the potential to damage your battery, in the process overheating your power tool as well as destroying certain vital parts. Hitachi, Panasonic, and Makita are a few of the best battery drills you can find.

4. Speed

Generally, the least expensive cordless drills run at that slowest pace. Almost every drill has two fixed speeds around 300 and 800 RPM, this makes them ideal for all light-duty activities you want to carry out. With the help of a slide switch or trigger, you are able to select if you want it to go at a high or low speed.

The low speed is basically for driving screws while the high speed is for drilling holes in walls or other objects and materials.

Depending on the type of work you’re trying to carry out, you may decide to choose a drill with two speed levels. If you happen to engage in more hole drilling activities than screwdriving, then it is advised that you look for a cordless drill with more than 1000 RPM as this usually indicates a better motor overall.

5. Budget

Your budget is also an important factor to take into consideration when choosing a cordless drill. The amount of money you set aside will depend on a couple of factors: your monthly or annual income, the type of work you plan on carrying out, as well as any other important factors.

As mentioned earlier, a cordless drill with a higher speed level will cost more than those with a low-speed level. This is why it is important that you take into consideration the type of job you will be doing with it.

Best Power Tools: How to Use a Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is one of the most versatile power tools out there. From carrying out minor tasks to the installation of frames and drilling holes, this tool can be used for many activities.

For these tools to be useful, it is equally important that you set it up properly depending on the task you’re carrying out. There are a couple of settings you should choose from to enable you to complete tasks accurately.

  1. The controls — built with a gearshift lever, you’re able to choose between high and low-speed levels. The adjustable clutch, on the other hand, lets you fine tune how much turning force or power the drill is able to produce. The lever, on the other hand, changes the direction the cordless bit rotates while the variable speed control lets you change the speed.
  2. Drilling — to start drilling, you need to place a drill bit into the chuck, then turn it anti-clockwise for it to be tightened. Then, set the gearshift into a high-speed setting and move the clutch to the drilling position. Switch the reverse lever to the forward position and you are good to go.
  3. Driving — if you’re keen on using this cordless drill to drill into walls, you have to set it to a torque position, then adjust the clutch to the proper setting. Once complete, you can begin drilling.

Does Size Matter?

This is one of the core questions that has been asked when the issue of cordless or corded drills is being talked about. The size of the cordless drill may not determine its efficiency and powerful nature, but if you’re carrying out difficult tasks, you will need to get a heavier or bigger drill for precision and accuracy.

Getting a smaller sized drill for your job offers you tons of benefits: it is portable and incredibly easy to carry about.

To simplify this issue, do not worry about the size of the entire drill so much as the size of the motor.

Benefits of Cordless Drills

There are a couple of benefits associated with the use of cordless drills over other drill types. These benefits include but are definitely not limited to the following:

  • Multiple features — when you get a cordless drill, you are indirectly getting two tools: a drill and a screwdriver. Since they do not come with cords or wires, they are easy to carry about. It is not just a tool for experts as cordless drills have become easy to use for the average person, thereby making it an excellent choice for experts or people with a limited knowledge of drilling or driving.
  • Efficient batteries — this is another core benefit of cordless drills over cord drills. They are designed with batteries which means that users do not have to worry about tripping over wires or being limited by cord length.
  • Ideal for activities — when shopping for a power tool, one of the things to take into consideration is its use. It should be able to allow you to carry out tons of activities without much resistance. Plus, they are easy to bring to different locations.

Top Cordless Drills

While we have reviewed some of the factors to look out for in a cordless drill, there are a few drills that have managed to stand out from the crowd. These top cordless drills include:

  1. DeWalt Flexvolt Drill — with an insane 60-volt battery and a 20-volt max tool, this tool enables what is referred to as cross-compatibility between voltages. Some of these DeWalt cordless drills are even capable of accepting a 120-volt adapter. Basically, it is an efficient drilling system that has been designed to offer you everything you would want in a cordless drill.
  2. Ryobi P208 1+ — this is one of the best compact drill sets made by a leading brand in the industry. One thing that sets this drill set apart from some of the others is the singular fact that it lets you set up one driver and one drill. With one tool, you can drive while the other can be used to drill.
  3. Makita 18-volt drill kit – designed specifically for construction workers working on huge or heavy-duty projects, the Makita cordless drill lets you work for hours without worrying about its battery running low. This is one of the best battery drills out there. It has a fast charge battery and is capable of lasting longer than most other cordless drills.

Home Uses of Cordless Drills

While it may look like these cordless drills have been designed mainly for company use, this is not so. There are a couple of uses and benefits associated with owning these drills at home. Some of these home uses include:

  • Nuts and bolts — cordless drills can be used to screw in nuts and bolts. For example, if the nuts of your electronic appliance become loose, cordless tool can be used to screw them back in quickly and securely.
  • Concrete drilling – hanging picture frames on your wall by yourself can be a difficult task. With the help of a cordless drill, you are able to bore holes into walls faster.
  • Can serve as a hammer – if you don’t own a hammer, a cordless drill may be just the perfect tool for driving a nail into wood or concrete.


Cordless drills are currently one of the best power tools out there. Shopping for this item is becoming increasingly difficult because of the influx of various drill brands. To help you make the right choice, we have shared some of the most important factors you need to take into consideration when buying the best power tools.

Lisa Hanel

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