If you are looking to finally get serious with your home DIY projects, a drill driver is one of those must have tools for your workshop.
With so many brands out there, how do you choose a good drill driver that will save you time, get the work done fast and will continue to work properly many years in the future?
We’ll remove all the fuss and confusion of buying a drill driver by showing you just what to look for to get the best tool for your needs.
First things first, when you get started shopping for a drill driver, you want to make several considerations. For example, the amount of power you need in a drill, the size of chuck that aligns with your needs, and the type of battery etc.
Tips For Selecting A Drill
Comfort And Safety First
A drill driver is generally a heavy tool and you want to be as comfortable as possible as you use it. If you plan to undertake only light drilling tasks and if you are not particularly gifted with large hands, you are better off with a smaller, less powerful drill.
Of course, you need a drill with adequate power but its best to get something that specifically meets your needs and is comfortable to work with.
Mind Your Voltage
The amount of voltage is essentially the power of the drill. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the drill while less powerful drills have a lower voltage.
At the same time, the more powerful a drill is, the heavier it usually is. Low voltage drills are best suited for light tasks such as drilling holes in thin walls while drills with a higher voltage are ideal for heavy use such as drilling into concrete or steel.
The chuck size largely determines the size of a bit a drill can hold. There are two chuck sizes: Those that measure 3/8 inches for light tasks and those that are ½ inches for heavier operations.
Remember that a drill is supposed to save you time. One way it does this is by punching holes and screws faster than a hammer would. The speed of the drill is measured in rotations per minute.
The best drill allows you to work on low rotation per minute (rpm) speeds of between 300rpm and 400rpm or to increase the speed to as high as 1,500rpm. Such types of drills allow you to perform light tasks and heavy-duty operations as well.
All drills come with a clutch setting but those that have multiple clutches are the best because they allow you to punch screws into the same depth so you won’t damage the surface.
The type of battery can tell you a lot about the quality of a drill. A low quality battery is usually an indication of a poor quality drill, so be extra careful to look at the battery as you shop around.
Recent drills come with lithium-ion batteries; these high quality batteries have double the amount of performance power than the conventional batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries also maintain their charge four times longer than the ordinary batteries.
- We recommend that you spend a fore more bucks on a smart charger so you can charge your battery faster, avoid overcharging and maintain the performance of your batteries for longer.
- Take a look at drills that come with the AutoShift feature.
This is a relatively new feature and some drills may not have it. Either way, a drill with an AutoShift automatically changes gears depending on the amount of power needed as you work on a project. This saves you the time and effort of manually adjusting the power and it improves the drill’s performance.
Cordless Vs. Impact Driver: What To Choose?
Let’s get this straight first: An impact driver is actually cordless and looks pretty much the same as a typical cordless drill driver. However, an impact driver does not have a keyless chuck; instead, it comes with a device that holds hex-shank bits.
An impact driver is designed to drive all types of screws. A drill driver is not too effective at driving screws; in fact, a drill driver is likely to stall if you use it to drive screws.
In short, if you were working a project that needs driving many screws, then the impact driver would be the appropriate tool to use. Impact drivers are suited for projects such as fastening plywood subfloors, backer board installations or deck building.
A cordless drill driver, which is incredibly versatile, will do just fine if you are not planning to work on any of these types of projects but instead want to DIY an item like the cable spool coffee table.
Today, some brands are offering drill chuck and accessories of drilling holes that can be used with an impact driver. This way, you do not have to buy an impact driver and a drill driver as separate tools.
Corded Vs. Cordless Drills: Which Way To Go?
Should you go for a corded or cordless drill driver? It all depends on your drilling needs!
Corded drills use electricity to drill and drive. They are less heavy compared to cordless drills because the corded ones do not come with a battery, which generally tends to add to the weight of a tool.
With a cordless drill driver, you must be prepared to buy a battery and a backup. You will also need to replace the batteries at some point when their performance declines.
Corded drills have a stronger, more consistent torque because the drill is powered by electricity, which is ultimately more powerful than batteries.
On the other hand, cordless drills are super convenient and versatile. They come with superior features such as automatic gears, adjustable clutches, and a wide range of convenience accessories.
More importantly, a cordless drill moves with you everywhere you go. These are the best tools for drilling and driving in hard-to-reach places—you do not have to pull and tag on dangling cords.
As long as the battery is well charged, a cordless drill is perfect for lightweight tasks. A corded drill driver, which is more powerful, is ideal for heavier tasks as long as there is a reliable source of electricity.
Rated Drills In Detail
1. DEWALT DCD771C2 20V MAX Compact Drill And Driver Kit
DeWalt has a reputation for providing high performance and aggressive industrial tools. The Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Compact Drill and Driver Kit is no different. It is built for the regular DIY users and is excellent for all-round projects that require large amounts of screw driving with different types of screws. It features 16 options for torque control for a variety of drilling applications.
Its two-speed transmission allows the user to undertake a wide range of drilling and fastening jobs. The two-speed transmission is backed up by an all-metal transmission mechanism, which provides longevity for the tool and an equally long run time.
The Dewalt DCD771C2 offers unprecedented ease of use and comfort due to its ergonomic construction. Its firm yet comfortable grip is complemented by a lightweight, cordless design that makes working with an aggressive tool surprisingly easy.
With 20v MAX 1.3 Ah compact lithium-ion batteries, this drill offers a longer run life than most other cordless tools. Contractors and DIYers who have used the drill commend it for its ability to drive a variety of screws into different surfaces without much of a fuss. You get aggressiveness, longevity and sturdiness with the Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Drill and Driver Kit.
2. Makita XT260 18-Volt LXT Cordless Combo Kit, 2-Piece
Makita has been in the power tool business for 100 years and they definitely know their game. There tools may be a bit pricier than other brands manufacturing power drills but the value you receive is completely worth it.
The Makita XT260 18-volt LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Kit, 2-Piece comes with an aggressive drill driver and an equally sturdy impact driver that is conveniently lightweight. The XT260 is among the most popular of Mikita’s new drill and impact driver series that is powered by 18-volt lithium-ion battery.
This combo kit not only comes with a strong and longer lasting charger; the charger also takes a much shorter time to charge, allowing you to work more and charge less.
The tool can also be charged using the Makita 18-Volt LXT batteries, which reach their full charge capacity in 30 minutes or less.
The Mikita XT260 comes with variable speeds for both the drill driver and the impact driver, allowing the tool to deliver maximum torque and speed for a wide array of drilling applications.
An outstanding feature of this drill is its patented star protection computer controls that facilitate real time data exchange between the battery and the entire tool. This feature allows the tool to automatically keep track of the operations during use to avoid overheating, excess discharging and overloading.
3. PORTER-CABLE PCCK602L2 20V MAX Lithium 2 Tool Combo Kit
The Porter-Cable PCCK602L2 20-Volt Max Lithium 2 Tool Combo Kit is taking the lead in the innovative series of drill/driver combos that are increasingly popular among professional contractors and hobbyist DIYers.
The PCCK602L2 is packed with versatility with improved power to drill into tough wood and metal surfaces, as well as undertake a wide range of fastening applications.
Both the impact driver and drill driver feature a two-speed transmission for high performance. Its compact design and easy loading capacity adds to the convenience of using this tool.
The combo comes with a handy battery gauge that indicates the remaining amount of battery charge, with its 20V MAX 1.5amp lithium ion batteries providing a longer run life and greater power.
The drill driver has a small, compact construction, making it ideal for drilling in tight and hidden spaces. Its ergonomic design makes using the drill comfortable and safe on the job site.
The PCC640 impact driver is equally compact and aggressive while boasting a lightweight for ease of use, especially for fastening applications in hidden nooks and crannies.
A two-bit storage and a quick-change chuck, saves a lot of time when using the impact drill. Inside the kit is the cordless impact driver, cordless drill driver, two compact lithium batteries, a charger, screw-driving bit, a two-sided bit all packed in a convenient kit bag.
4. Rockwell RK1806K2 20V Lithium Ion Drill And Driver Combo Kit
Rockwell are known for their compact, ergonomically designed tools that make work on the job site so much easier and convenient.
From wood drilling, deck screwing, metal drilling, fixing lag bolts and drywall screws, the Rockwell RK1806K2 20V Lithium Ion Drill and Driver Combo Kit is built to undertake different applications with unlimited aggression and power.
With a lightweight of 2lbs, this combo drill makes it less tiring even when you work on extended projects. Changing bits and finding the ideal setting for a particular application (whether drilling or fastening) is made easier by the two-speed, 16 torque settings and a keyless chuck.
The drill also comes with LED lights providing visibility when working in dimly lit spaces.
Changing the battery is super quick, adding to the list of the drill’s convenient features.The Rockwell impact driver is equally small and compact but packs plenty of strength for a wide range of fastening tasks.
Weighing just 1.8lb, this lightweight impact driver minimizes fatigue while driving lag bolts and deck screws at a noticeably rapid rate, allowing you to save time at the job site. Changing bits has never been easier and faster thanks to the impact driver’s quick change chuck feature.
5. Bosch HDS181-02L 18-Volt 1/2-Inch Hammer Drill/Driver Kit
Bosch easily equates to high-performance, versatile and innovative industrial tools built for maximum productivity. Bosch’s HDS181-02L 18-volt hammer drill/driver is built in a compact, ergonomic design packed with power and optimum performance. The drill/driver combo is designed to perform an array of applications including fencing, decking, drilling, cutting and other regular woodwork projects.
Its four-pole motor provides the HDS181-02L with high performance capabilities, all in a lightweight tool.
Working at a job site for extended hours has never been easier with an ergonomically designed drill that features steady, rubbery gripping and compact, SlimPack batteries that make for a light tool overall. The patented revolutionary batteries offer a longer run time and longevity for the drill.
The Bosch HDS181-02L features an innovative click and go design that allows users to store and transport all their tools and parts in an organized and efficient click and go stackable system. Lower downtime spent on searching for misplaced tool tools allows you to focus on the most important tasks toward the completion of your projects.
The drill comes with a versatile power system in both HDD and DD and it works perfectly well with any 18-volt lithium-ion battery in the Bosch power tool series. The HDS181-02L is unbeatable in its provision of job site productivity, with its efficiency and time-saving features.
To wrap things up, selecting a drill driver shouldn’t be a pain in the neck. Well, at least not anymore. All you need to do is consider your needs and shop for a well-known brand that guarantees good quality and post-purchase support if you need it.