Cordless Drill Buying Guide – What To Consider When Buying A Cordless Drill

What to consider when buying a cordless drill? Or might you are looking for a cordless drill buying guide. Yes, just like, choosing between a hammer drill and a screwdriver is all about use. On the one hand, the cordless drill is better for screwing, on the other, the corded drill for drilling. Torque, rotation speed, impact rate, type of battery and chuck are essential selection criteria.

In this guide, you will get to know all the features, accessories, type of cordless drill, corded drill vs cordless drill comparison, and precis tips and tricks about the cordless drill. Without wasting any second, let’s take a look at this comprehensive cordless drill buying guide.

Important Points To Be Discussed In Cordless Drill Buying Guide

  • Choose The Best Drill According To Its Use
  • Choose A Drill According To Its Characteristics
  • Recommended Accessories
  • The Types Of Drills
  • Corded Drill OR Cordless Drill
  • Common Features In Cordless Drill
  • General Tips And Use

Choose The Best Drill According To Its Use

A cordless drill-driver is a very excellent choice for work where screwing dominates.

Although, the question of the budget is relative, however, like any product, choosing a branded product with equal performance and characteristics is the guarantee of better quality and longevity. Think about immediate needs but also think about future uses for the drill.

FunctionFrequency of use  UseBuying Tips Selection of drill brands
PunctualSmall DIY. Screw-in furniture screws, drill plasterboard, wood (30 mm) or steel (13 mm).Choose a drill driver with 2 batteries 12 to 14.4 V and 1.5 to 2 Ah Ni-cd, 10 mm self-tightening chuck, 1600 rpm, a torque of approx. 35 NmSee drills
Drill and screwRegularVarious sites. Screw furniture, terrace screws, drill plasterboard, wood (35 mm), steel (13 mm), masonry (15 mm).Choose a hammer drill/driver 2 batteries 18 V / 2 or 3 Ah Li-Ion, 13 mm self-tightening chuck, from 1600 to 2000 rpm, torque of 50 Nm, 22,500 cps/min. See drills
Sustained to intensiveAny site. Screw furniture, terrace screws, drill plasterboard, wood (35 mm), steel (13 mm), masonry (15 mm).Choose a hammer drill/driver 2 18 V / 4 or 5 Ah Li-Ion batteries, 13 mm self-tightening chuck, 2100 rpm, 70 Nm torque, 31,000 cps/min. See drills 
PunctualDrill wood (25 mm), steel (10 mm) and masonry (15 mm).Choose a hammer drill of 500 W mini, self-tightening chuck or 10 or 13 mm keyed chuck, 1600 rpm, variable speed drive. See drills 
DrillRegularDrill wood (40 mm), steel (13 mm) and masonry (20 mm).Choose a 750/800 W hammer drill, 13 mm self-tightening chuck, 2000 rpm, 51000 cps/min.See drills 
Sustained to intensiveDrill wood (40 mm), steel (16 mm) and masonry (24 mm).Choose a 1000/1300 W hammer drill, 13 mm self-tightening chuck, 3000 rpm, 51000 cps/min.

NOTE: These characteristics are providing as an indication, to benefit from a better comfort of use and a better quality of the tool. It is advised to go up in range and performances.

Choose A Drill According To Its Characteristics – Quick Check Points

Following are the quick checkpoints characteristics for the cordless drill buying guide. If 80% of the following bulleted points fulfils and fits your cordless drill then it is OKAY to buy a cordless drill, No worries.

  1. Torque selector – torque is the adjustment of the screwing force according to the work. Measured in newton-meter (Nm), from 16 to 135 Nm. *
  2. Screwing – Screwdriver mode, screws from 2 to 12 mm.
  3. Drilling – For soft materials, from 3 to 40 mm in wood; from 3 to 16 mm in steel.
  4. Percussion – The percussion option is good for drilling hard materials, the impact rate ranges from 35,000 to 50,000 cps/min (blows per minute) and determines the efficiency of the drilling. From 3 to 13 mm in concrete; from 3 to 16 mm in the brick. Optional.
  5. Rotation speed – It determines the efficiency to drill in hard materials, from 800 to 3000 rpm (revolutions per minute). *
  6. Synchronous motor – it is more efficient and maintenance-free (brushless motor).
  7. Direction reverser – For screwing, unscrewing and unstacking a drill caught in a material (standard).
  8. Ergonomics and weight – As you know user comfort relative to quality, weight from 1.5 kg battery included.
  9. Belt hook –  It allows attachment to the belt, can be combined with a bit holder. Optional.
  10. Battery voltage – Voltage indicates the power (force) measured in volts (V), of 12, 14.4, 18 and 36 V *
  11. Battery intensity – It indicates the battery life measured in ampere-hours (Ah), from 1.5 to 5 Ah. *
  12. Li-Ion (lithium-Ion) – Li-ion batteries are more efficient, fast recharging, no memory effect, restores the maximum of its charge during its use until exhausted. Optional charge indicator.
  13. Ni-Cd (nickel-cadmium) – While Ni-Cd batteries less efficient, slower recharging, memory effect, drop in power at the end of the charge during use.
  14. Alternate Battery – Having 2 batteries allows you to alternate their use.
  15. Trigger progressive –  it allows to gauge the speed of rotation for drilling and screwing.
  16. Led lighting – It will help in illuminates the work area (optional)
  17. Chuck opening – 10 to 13mm opening, relative to tool performance and indicates maximum drill shank size accepted.
  18. 14b. Chuck type – Self-tightening, can be interchangeable with an SDS chuck or an angle chuck (optional). (14b’) SDS chuck fluted end bit for hammer drilling.
  19. Auxiliary handle – This handle ensures a better grip for drilling. Standard on corded drills, optional on cordless drills.
  20. Safety clutch – Safety clutch locks the drill chuck when the bit gets stuck in a material.      
  21. Soft start – This feature eliminates jerking when starting, the speed reaches its maximum gradually (optional).
  22. Battery charger – A good and fast charger is essential to the battery. 

Recommended Accessories For Your Cordless Drill

Use of drill-driverRecommended productShops
Drill metals, hard materials and woodDrill bit assortment boxView Drill Bit Sets
Drill aluminium, stainless steel, steel etc.Metal drill setSee metal drill bits for drills
Drill brick, plasterboard, concrete block etc.Material drill setSee concrete drills for drills
Drill woodWood drill bits setSee wood drill bits for drills
Screw screwsBox of bitsSee the screwdriver bits

Pro Tip: Always wear protective glasses to reduces the risk of injury from projections while drilling and wearing hearing protection is recommended when using a drill in percussion mode.

The Types Of Drills

It is very important to choose the types of drill in cordless drill buying guide. Essential for anyone who wants to fix a shelf or hang a frame, the primary role of a drill is to drill. However, between drilling concrete to insert a dowel, drilling glass, drilling and screwing in wood, drilling on metal constructions or drilling in a precise and chain way, the type and intrinsic characteristics of a drill vary. Before focusing on corded drills and cordless power drills, let’s take a look at the different types of drills and their uses.

Hammer Drill Or Corded drill 

The corded drill or hammer drill is essential in the workshop and on the job site. Preferred for drilling operations because it is less handy in screwing mode (heavier, bulkier and more powerful), its intrinsic characteristics determine its drilling capacities in various hard and soft materials. 

Be careful, a drill does not replace a  perforator, its performance for drilling hard materials is inferior. The percussion model was originally an option, however, it is now more difficult to find a drill without percussion mode than with where the semantic drift.

Cordless Drill Or Screwdriver

The battery-powered drill is just as essential as the corded drill and is preferred for job sites where there is no electricity and for screwing operations. 

Handy and versatile, the cordless drill is used as a screwdriver to assemble Ikea furniture, garden sheds, patio boards and as a drill to drill plasterboard, wood but also brick or even concrete for screwdrivers most powerful percussion. 

Pneumatic Drill

The pneumatic drill works with compressed air supplied by an independent compressor or a dedicated installation. Lightweight, its simple design recommends it for standard drilling. Its flexible power supply makes it impractical to use in harsh environments. Mainly used for small diameter holes.

Corded Drill OR Cordless Drill – The Choice According To The Use

If both drills drill and screw and are used for decorating, carpentry, landscaping or DIY jobs, each of them is better suited for one of the two functions.

Corded Drill

Oriented for intensive and versatile use, the corded drill has more power than any cordless drill. It connects to the mains (230 volts) to a standard outlet. Ideal for indoor and on-site work, it is in 99% of cases coupled with the percussion function, which allows it to drill hard materials such as brick, concrete block, stone or even concrete. 

Its mandrel is of variable type and size and can be combined with drills, bits, hole saws, bits, sockets etc. The electric drill allows you to drill all materials up to a given diameter and all screwing and unscrewing work thanks to its rotation inverter and its speed variator. 

The corded drill, however, is heavier than a battery-powered drill and with its power being higher, it is less easy to master as a screwdriver. For this reason, when it is used as a screwdriver, it is used more in construction than in carpentry. 

Mobility is limited by the length of the power cable and its use requires a mains power supply or a generator if the site is devoid of electricity.

Cordless drill 

The battery-powered drill is more recommended for versatile work where you mainly have to screw unscrew then drill. In addition to being easier to handle, its energy autonomy is a real advantage for sites without electricity or one-off projects such as setting up a garden shed at the bottom of the garden.

As on a corded drill, it is possible to mount accessories on its chuck (milling cutter, mixer etc.) and this one is of variable size (10 or 13 mm). 

A cordless drill or impact driver can drill up to about 13 mm in hard materials, however, drilling takes longer and consumes more energy (consumes the battery ). Unlike the corded drill, a percussion function is an option that should be checked before purchase if you want to drill hard materials.

Common Features – Cordless Drill Buying Guide

Any drill is made up of a  chuck, a motor unit with or without brushes, a handle and a trigger allowing it to be started. The characteristics such as the number of revolutions/minute, the percussion and the torque are the function of each drill and its technology (corded or battery) and to be sized according to the intended use. 

The min and max values ​​for each characteristic differ from a corded drill to a cordless drill.

As specified upstream, if a chisel perforator can act as a drill for certain jobs (large drilling), a drill is not a perforator and even less a chisel. Percussion mode is not sufficient for drilling large diameter holes in concrete or reinforced concrete.

To facilitate the choice of users, some manufacturers provide descriptions of the drilling machines with the maximum drilling diameters for each material  (wood, steel, concrete).

Types of chucks

The chuck is located at the end of the drill, you insert a bit, a bit, a bit or one of the many accessories(mixer, sanding disc, drill water pump etc.). 

The drilling capacity is partly determined by its diameter because it translates by relativity the general performances of the drill (power, torque, speed). 

There are 3 types of chucks:

  • The keyed chuck or classic chuck is tightened using a  chuck key (detailed in case of loss, to be attached to the power cable). Fits only entry-level corded drills. 10 mm and 13 mm keyed chuck.
  • The self-tightening chuck or self-locking chuck is much more convenient because it allows you to quickly change the bit or bit. The self-tightening chuck equips all mid-range cordless drills and corded drills. Its diameter is also available at 10 or 13 mm and it can be tightened by hand.
  • The SDS chuck is more often intended for chisel drills but some top-of-the-range corded drills have interchangeable chucks and thus offer to use a larger range of concrete drill bit with SDS shank. The particularity of these chucks is to engage the drill directly without screwing or key thanks to grooves on the shank of the drills.

Number Of Revolutions/Minute 

The number of revolutions per minute (RPM) determines the efficiency and speed of the drill at drilling hard material. Higher value on the electric drill side.

Percussion 

The percussion speed or striking rate is measured in strokes per minute (cps/min) and determines the speed and capacity of drilling in hard materials  (higher on the side of electric drills).

Couple 

The couple indicates the clamping force and is measured in newtons meters (Nm). Higher value on the cordless drill side.

General Tips And Use

  • Drill for women does not rhyme with a pink drill but with a light drill … that said, big arms and other machos also welcome a low weight screwdriver for any prolonged use.
  • The goggles are required to prevent splashing in the eyes of wood chips or iron.
  • An ergonomic or even non-slip handle is useful and brings comfort to your drill.
  • Unclog your bit when you drill, your drilling will only be more efficient –  unclogging consists of extracting the bit or the bit from its hole to evacuate the material generated by the drilling.
  • A  protective helmet, earplugs, in short, all hearing protection is to be used when drilling with your hammer drill (recommended in a closed environment).

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