Before I bought my own home, I wasn’t one of those guys who’d spend hours gazing at the power tools at the local hardware store. In fact, I never thought I would be that kind of guy. Then I decided to do my first home repair. It wasn’t a big job, but it really required a drill so I found myself trying to choose from dozens of cordless electric drills without knowing exactly what to look for.
I’ve gone through a few cordless drills but after much trial and error I found one that fits my needs perfectly. Now I’m not going to tell you what brand to buy, but I can give you some pointers to help you locate the right cordless drills for your needs.
Cordless Drills: Decide What You Need
Before you go to the hardware store or department store, have a good idea of how you could use cordless drills in your DIY plans. For example, if you’re going to do only a few minor jobs here and there, then you don’t need to shell out $300 for a top-of-the-line 18 volt piece of equipment. Save a few dollars and buy a cheaper model. It should get the job done.
Now if you’re planning some major cordless drilling projects, then it may be worth it for you to spend the extra now instead of having to buy new drills periodically. In the long run, you’ll probably end up saving money. Both Dewalt cordless drills and Makita cordless drills are brands I would recommend researching before you make a choice.
Regardless of whether you’ll be using your drill a lot of a little, you should go ahead and choose one in the 14.4 to 18 volt category. You’ll find a number of options with less, but the minimal savings won’t be worth the frustrations caused by the lower power. Weight isn’t a big difference either. Most of the 9.6 volt models weigh about the same as the 18 volt models so that shouldn’t be a factor in your decision.
Cordless Drills: Batteries
Obviously, one of the major appeals of cordless drills is that you won’t be tied down by a cord. On the down side, you will have to worry about losing battery power midway through a project which can be very annoying (I found this out when I was building a hutch as a surprise for my wife a few years ago).
My recommendation is that you choose a cordless drill that comes with a second battery so you can always have one charging while the other is in use. That method should prevent those types of problems from occurring.
While we’re talking about batteries, you should also remember to think about the cost of replacement batteries for your drill. These rechargeable batteries usually only last for about 500 recharges so eventually you may need a new one. Of course if you’re spending less than $100 you’ll probably just buy a new drill when this battery dies. If you’re spending more than that, you may want to take into consideration that cost of replacing the battery. Prices vary from $20 to $80 so this can be a deciding factor, especially if you’re planning to keep a cordless drill for a long period of time.
Remember you’re always better off choosing a big name brand for your cordless drills. These tools are likely to deliver better results and last longer even though they may cost a little more.