Power Drill: What’re Your Drilling Priorities?

A Power Drill

If you’re just embarking on your DIY journey, you just want one power drill that does all the jobs in the house. A power drill is basically a screw diver and is considered the most popular power drill of all time. It has a chuck which accepts a whole range of bits in different lengths and sizes, from circular bits to the hex-shaped drill bit. Brilliantly, when you put your hex-shank bit into the chuck and it will turn into a screwdriver.

As your DIY improves, you’d suddenly find that the power drill doesn’t give the power you need to drive on tougher material or you are frustrated for having to switch between drills of varying powers in order to complete a job. That’s where you’ll find a need for a different power tool. So, what’re your drilling priorities? This handy guide will guide you to find the best option for you to undertake a variety of DIY tasks and projects.

Lithium-ion Battery drill vs NiCad Battery Drill

We are comparing a Bosch 20 Volt and a DeWalt 20 Volt power drill. The former has a Lithium-ion battery whereas the latter has a NiCad battery. The DeWalt power drill is larger than the Bosch power drill because its battery is larger and heavier than that of the Bosch even though both have an 18 Volt battery.

Cordless Drill Combo Kit 20V MAX XR Brushless,5.0-Ah 2-Tool DCK299P2

Cordless Drill Combo Kit 20V MAX XR Brushless,5.0-Ah 2-Tool DCK299P2 Shop at Walmart

Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts

Lithium-ion Battery Do Not Discharge When Not In Use

The advantages of Lithium Ion batteries over DeWitt batteries are obviously it is lighter and more compact, and it doesn’t feel taxing in your hand for prolonged use. When you charged a lithium-ion battery, it remained charged over time. The old-fashioned NiCad batteries, tend to discharge when not in use. 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch (DCD771C2) Shop at Walmart

20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch (DCD771C2)

When choosing how much power one require on a drill, generally you need an 18 Volt -20 Volt power battery to handle about any task in the house. A 12 Volt battery can only handle some light-duty work. Check the manufacturer’s specs as printed in the box before you made your purchase. Some manufacturers will claim it has a 20Volt max but it has an average of 18Volt battery. Generally, it is all the same. Test it and compare the power you feel in the palm of your hand.

Brushed Motor vs Brushless Motor

When choosing a power drill, consider one with a brushless motor. A brushless motor is considerably more costly. It cost about 50% more than the brushed motor. The main difference between the brushless and the brushed motor is how much resistance the motor has. There’s less resistance in the brushless motor than in the brushed motor. There’s a contact point in the brushed motor and this slowed down the speed a bit and destroy a bit of efficiency. The brushless motor is sometimes considered to be a smart motor in that they have chips inside that would help regulate power delivering power when needed and less when not needed.

It senses the amount of power it needs for the drilling task on hand and it delivers the right amount of power. A brushless motor is able to increase speed and power in its drilling and has a longer life.

The brushless motor is claimed to have 50% more run-time and definitely, the speed of the brushless motor wins hand down when compared to the brushed motor.

Torque And Speed In A Power Drill

You would have noticed in a power drill there is a torque and speed setting. Torque is the force that the drill is turning the bit. For example, if you want to drill a hole through metal. You need the power to drill the bit, so the torque has to be set high, and you would want the drill slowly so that you can control your drilling. If you are drilling in a wood, you don’t need much power, so a lower torque is sufficient. However, you would need a faster speed to drive in the bit.

A Power Drill
A torque helps to control the power required for your job

Why Torque And Variable Speed Settings Are Important

The torque is set according to the type of drilling. If you are drilling through wood and if the torque is not high enough it will not totally drive the screw to flush with the surface of the wood. If the torque is set on high, it means it has more power, then the screw will be flushed on the surface of the wood. Speed plays a complementary role, for setting too high torque with low speed, it will not be powered through.

High torque with low speed will be the initial step to guide the screw. But once the screw is guided in, the speed has to be set high to drive it in. But be careful, too much speed and torque may bury the screw and split its head. That’s why having a power drill with a setting for a torque and variable speed setting is so beneficial.

Torque Control and Variable Clutch Setting

Just behind the chuck is the torque selection ring that provides the settings for the multi-level of torque. The torque is the twisting force that is needed to overcome the resistance and screw to the correct dept required. Word of caution here, if the torque setting is too over-powering for the job, the screw can be driven too deeply. This would result in losing control of your drill and accuracy causing irreparable damage to your work.

Power Drills vs Impact Drivers

We all know the function of a power drill. Yes, its main function is to drill holes and screws. An impact driver is perhaps an upgraded version of the common power drill.

A power drill and an impact driver share many similarities. They look alike and they can drive screws into vast different materials. Their similarities end here but the impact drivers make work much easier.

An Impact Driver
You can distinguish an impact driver by the loud noise it generates when it is drilling.

Impact Drivers Makes The Difference

Here’s the main difference between a power drill and an impact driver. An impact driver drives a screw or a bit using the same rotational motion a power drill use. But as you drive in the screw, the impact driver also uses a combination of hammering action downwards and sideways. The combination of drilling and hammering makes it easier to drive screws into tough materials. The hammering effect of downwards and sideways prevent the drive bit from slippering off the screw heads. This prevents the head from being stripped off or ruining the screw.

An Impact Driver
To prevent the drive bit from slipping, normally you have to apply pressure with a power drill.

You can distinguish an impact driver by the loud noise it generates when it is drilling. The repetitive thud noise is the result of the hammering actions not found in a normal power drill. The noise increased in intensity depending on how fast you’re driving in the screw.

To prevent the drive bit from slipping, normally you have to apply pressure with a power drill. An impact driver’s hammering action together with its screwing action mostly prevents this to happen. Just apply enough pressure on the screw to keep it guided and on point.

Due to its hammering actions, an impact driver is an invaluable tool for removing stubborn bolts and screws by reversing the spin. It also is great for removing fasteners that are over-torqued and corroded.

DEWALT DCK211S2 12V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Combo

DEWALT DCK211S2 12V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver and Impact Driver Combo Shop at Walmart

Compact, lightweight design fits into tight areas 3 LED Lights provide visibility without shadows One-handed 

Limitation Of A Impact Driver

An impact driver can’t do precise drilling like a small pilot hole in wood – your power drill will do a better job since you don’t need a thumping hammering action when doing easy drilling. The thumping actions might bust the hole and pierce it.

The advantage of a power drill over the impact diver is that a power drill has a chuck that consists of claws which can open and close to accept a variety of drill bits for all many drill functions. An impact driver can have a quick-change sleeve but it can only accept ¼-inch hex shanks.

How Precise Is Power Drills Compared With Impact Driver?

Most power drills have two gears: one which has more torque is slower and is suitable for driving in screws, and the other gear has less torque and is faster for precise drilling holes. The impact driver has only one gear and has a bit of precision with use together with its variable speed.

Power drill has a clutch which prevents accidentally tightening a screw-down too much or blasting through the material. The clutch is like a built-in torque wrench in that you can set the required torque level so that when it reaches a certain torque level, it will stop the driver. Impact drivers which do not have clutches, it is easier to overdrive a bit. So if you’re using an impact driver, take special precautions when rending how much strength and precision the tool has.

Should I Use The Power Drill Or The Impact Driver?

A power drill is great for drilling and an impact driver is great for driving. You cannot choose one from another but they actually complement each other. What the power drill cannot accomplish, an impact driver can. If an impact driver lack of precision work, the power drill triumphs. Worry not, you don’t have to keep changing your tools in your work for manufacturers nowadays have come up with Power drill and Impact drill Combos, so that you can have the best of both worlds.

Hammer Drills vs. Impact drills

Those who are first introduced to hammer drills are confused about the difference between a hammer drill and an impact drill. In fact, there are differences in the method of operation, their purpose of use, appearance and weight.

A Hammer Drill
A hammer drill can drill through hard material like concrete

Purpose Of Use

Hard knocks and drilling into a hard surface like a brick or concrete are the job of a hammer drill. Due to its versatility, some hammer drills can double up as a normal regular drill.

On the other end of the spectrum, an impact driver can only drive fasteners like screws and nails. It can also drill holes and drive nails through sheetrock and drywall if needed. Unable to control its extra power, an impact driver should never be used for fine and precise woodworking.


At first glance, you would able to distinguish a hammer drill from an impact driver. The hammer drill is physically bigger in size than an impact driver and is heavier. Of course, due to the masonry work, it can handle, the hammer drill is sometimes referred to as the small jackhammer.

In contrast, the impact driver is shorter and stubbier. It has a hexagonal socket instead of a chuck. As mentioned above, an impact driver can have a quick-change sleeve but it can only accept ¼-inch hex shanks.


With its larger size, a hammer drill certainly exerted more power than an impact driver. When it drives fast on hard material, you will feel the hammer drill vibrates back and forth with a loud thunderous noise. However, it has an adjustable clutch to prevent you from applying too much force.

BLACK+DECKER Hammer Drill, 1/2-Inch, 6.0-Amp (DR670)

An impact driver power-through in a rotary manner together with an up-down thumping motion. It can also be used as a screwdriver when less power is used. Most impact driver does not have an adjustable clutch to control their power in a more precise job, like putting in a screw. BLACK+DECKER Hammer Drill, 1/2-Inch, 6.0-Amp (DR670) Shop at Walmart

Included Components: 1/2″ Hammerdrill, Side Handle, Depth Rod Powerful and compact to handle tough tasks

Cordless Drill Shopping Guide

To a DIY er or a professional, a cordless power drill is perhaps the most useful tool to have in your work. Obviously, it can drive screws and can drill holes. A perfect gift of a power drill will make your husband or father happy on his birthday and also on Father’s Day. The power tool is the symbol of power, and it is an essential tool that every home should have around to make simple home repairs rather than look in the directory to call for the service of a carpenter. Today, as more and more brick-and-mortar hardware stores are mushrooming everywhere to cater for DIY for their home improvement work, so do everything a DIY er need is available online for convenience and at a competitive price.

A Cordless Power Drill
A Cordless Power Drill: Powered By Rechargeable Lithium-ion Batteries

What A Cordless Power Drill Can Do

Your husband or your father will appreciate these power tools when they are needed to put holes and screws in wood or walls to hang a picture or paintings. You can tell whether it is a cordless drill, is when you fire up it without having a chord attach it to an electric source. During your unpacking, you’ll be greeted with 2 batteries pack and a charging dock. Select the right power drill to suit the type of woodworking and assembly.

Cordless power drills, today, are super-charged by a more efficient and rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. With advanced improvements, it allows the battery to be fully charged quicker, in less than an hour, and able to retain more power for longer. It also can use the same battery pack as other power tools from the same brand, thus reducing the cost of buying lots of batteries.

What Features Works Best For Me?


BLACK+DECKER 4-Volt MAX* Cordless Lithium-Ion Led Screwdriver, BDCS30C

How much power you want in your cordless drill will largely depend on how much voltage it has. It ranges from 3 Volts to 48 Volts. The more powerful is the drill, the higher is its voltage, and also more costly. You can see the voltage of your tool from the label on its side, BLACK+DECKER 4-Volt MAX* Cordless Lithium-Ion Led Screwdriver, BDCS30C. Shop at Walmart

Powerful 180 RPM motor for easy driving and removing screws in tight spaces. 

Black & Decker 12v Max Cordless Lithium Drill And Driver

On light-duty jobs, where you will be drilling small holes or driving screws into plasterboard, drywall, soft and hardwood a low voltage is sufficient and it does require too much power. Considering this, a 12 V or less voltage cordless power drill is best suited. Black & Decker 12v Max Cordless Lithium Drill And Driver Shop at Walmart

1 Ea11-position clutch for precision control that prevents stripping & overdriving of screws Keyless chuck 

BLACK+DECKER 20-Volt MAX Lithium 2 Speed Cordless Drill, BDCDD220C

On heavy-duty jobs where it requires driving screws and drilling into harder materials, like metal and ceramic, select a cordless drill driver with a higher 14 V or more. BLACK+DECKER 20-Volt MAX Lithium 2 Speed Cordless Drill, BDCDD220C Shop at Walmart

The compact design, 30 per cent smaller than the GC1801 Drill/Driver Lightweight at 2.64 lbs provides less fatigue 


Generally, a cordless power drill with a higher voltage capacity will weigh much more than a low-voltage one. Depending on how long you’re holding it in your hand when working on the tool, the longer you hold it, the more you would feel the strain in your wrist and arm.


Lower-voltage power drills cost less than high-power ones. You may consider saving money and buying a low-voltage power drill for simple light work but have you considered having problems in the future when trying to complete more heavy-duty tasks? You then have to buy another drill.

Multiple Use

Cordless Drill Driver Kit, 20V Max Impact Hammer Drill Set w/ Lithium batteries

Most cordless power drills today have multiple uses. You can use the drill for a circular saw or as an impact driver. If you are just starting out and you need a drill with multiple functions, a cordless drill is a cheaper alternative. Cordless Drill Driver Kit, 20V Max Impact Hammer Drill Set w/ Lithium batteries Shop at Walmart

Should You Buy A Corded Power Drill?

Between a noisy corded power drill and a sleek cordless drill, which one would you buy? Everything being equal, you would definitely choose a cordless tool. Your choice is obvious if mobility is what you are looking for. You can work anywhere, of course until your battery runs out. The corded species are cumbersome and are reliant on an extension cord for their power supply. Either you love it or you loathe it. A corded power drill also has its advantages.

A Corded Drill
Corded Power Drill is powered by 110 Volts as compared with the battery-powered drill of 4 – 20 Volts


With a 110-volt supply, the corded drill is more powerful than its closest cousin which runs at 12 to 18 Volts, or maybe a maximum of 20 Volts.

The power of the drill is not dependent on the maximum power output. Say our electricity supply is of standard 110 volts. If your drill’s motor, say 7 amps, then the maximum power output will be 770 watts (Watts =Volts x amps). Watts is not the best unit to consider when comparing the power of different drills.

Speed and torque will determine how powerful the drill is. Speed measured in rpm is simply how fast the drill spins and torque is measured in inches per pound, which is how much rotational force is behind the spin.

You’d find some impressive torque and speed in today’s top-quality corded power drill in the market. An 18 or 20 Volt will provide you with all the power you could ever need in your work around the house.

A larger power supply from the main outlet, coupled with a higher speed and torque, will make a corded power drill a favourite drill among serious DIY enthusiasts.

Mobility And Convenience

Besides having the convenience of mobility, a corded power drill does not have to be burdened with bulky and heavy batteries. That’s why you will find that the corded power drill is much smaller and leaner. When you get into a tight spot, a corded drill will help you to sneak in, where their bulky and heavier companion can’t fit.

No doubt, there’s nothing more convenient than popping in a battery and you are set to go. However, how long the charges can last will depend on the type of drilling you worked on. The power will expend fast if you are drilling on hard materials, draining the batteries. Constantly charging the batteries is a bit of a hassle but fortunately, most cordless power drills come with 2 sets of batteries.

You can make use of one battery while charging the other spare battery so that you’ll never be running out of power supply. With frequent use and charging, most batteries can not last long enough and need to be replaced when they cannot charge any more.

Drill Into Masonry

Your normal 4 Volt or 12 Volt cannot drill into masonry, it requires a drill with hammer action. Even though impact drivers also have a hammer that strikes both sideways and downwards on the bit but the force is only limited by its small voltage. Remember, a hammer drill is powered by a household current of 110 Volt.

Select a corded power drill with a low-speed gear if you drilling large-diameter holes in masonry. Choose to buy a hammer drill with multiple-speed features if working on other materials like plastic, metal or wood. BLACK+DECKER Hammer Drill, 1/2-Inch, 6.0-Amp (DR670) Shop at Walmart

BLACK+DECKER Hammer Drill, 1/2-Inch, 6.0-Amp (DR670)

Included Components: 1/2 ” Hammer Drill, Side Handle, Depth Rod Powerful and compact to handle tough tasks

Drill That Has Screwdriver Function

If you want a drill that can drive a screw and also remove screws, you need a drill that has variable speed and torque control and is also reversible.

Keyless Chuck

If you’re looking for a drill that can change bits quickly and easily, without the need for additional tools choose a keyless chuck. The keyless chuck is found at the front nose of the drill where it can hold the drill or screw bit.

A Buying Guide For The Most Suitable Power Drill

There are multiple brands to remember and choosing one requires one to know what are their features and benefits, speed and torque ratings, cordless or corded that may be suitable for the kind of work you are embarking on now or in the near future.

Besides that, you would also factor in the type of power tool that is needed. Do you need to drill into concrete or just wood or both?

Do you have to drive small screws into softwood or big screws into hardwood? What is the type of drill that will solve your problems?

As most DIY er would look for the basic cordless drill or driver for most home improvement in the house, we recommend you choose the best from the following manufacturers:

DeWALT : An American brand, long-established for almost 100 years and has a reputation for the design and building of a worldwide brand of power tools and hand tools.

Bosch: German-made. Possessed one of the largest ranges of power tools and accessories you can find anywhere. Founded in 1886.

Makita: A small all-repair shop in Nagoya, Japan – that was all it began, almost 100 years ago. Makita is still growing across the globe and has representation in almost every country. It manufactures various cordless tools, like impact wrenches, rotary hammers, hammer drills, screwdrivers,

Milwaukee: Founded in 1924 and it manufactures power tools for professional use.

Metabo: Founded in the 1920s, it’s a German manufacturer of high-quality power tools. It offers a wide range of power tools for professional users.

HiKOKI: Formerly known as Hitachi Koki, sells power tools including lithium-ion battery-operated tools worldwide.

Cordless Combi Drill

What Cordless Combi drills can do:

  • Ability to drill holes into metal and wood
  • To drive screws
  • Have hammer functionality to drill holes into masonry
  • Offer low speed for hi-torque applications like screw driving
  • Higher speeds for drilling wood or metal

Having hammer functionality adds blows in an up-down motion allowing the drill into masonry. Made for robust uses, you’ll want to choose a combi drill with a metal chuck or metal gearbox.

Check out this DEWALT 20V MAX Combo Kit, Compact 5-Tool and Makita XT612M 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 6-Pc. Combo Kit

Cordless Drill Driver

What Cordless Drill driver can do:

  • Ability to drill holes in metal and wood
  • Ability to drive screws

When choosing a drill driver pay attention to the variable speeds and torque settings. They may not be as high as in a combi drill or an impact driver. Knowing your torque settings will determine the sort of materials your drill is capable of drilling into.

If batteries are supplied with your pack, check the Ah battery ratings because the higher the Ah of the battery the longer the battery will last in-between charges. Of course, your battery will last longer when you subject less charge to it. DEWALT DCK340C2 20V Max 3-Tool Combo Kit Shop at Walmart

DEWALT DCK340C2 20V Max 3-Tool Combo Kit

Also, Check out these Cordless Drill Drivers Metabo – 12V Powermaxx Compact Brushless Drill/Driver Kit 2X 4.0Ah Lihd  and Bosch PS21-2A 12V Max 2-Speed Pocket Driver Kit with 2 Batteries

Cordless Impact Driver

What Cordless Impact Driver can do:

  • An impact driver will have a quick-release style mechanism hex chuck not found in drill drivers and combi
  • The hex chuck takes a hex screwdriver bit as its main functionality is designed to drive screws in tough materials.
  • An impact driver also capable of drilling applications
  • Impact drivers have the capacity for a high level of torque and impact
  • Check the battery in the box. Can they handle your job? Normally an 18 – 20 Volt can handle the most difficult home improvement.

Check out this Cordless Impact Driver Milwaukee 2697-22CT M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Hammer Drill/Impact Driver Combo Kit and Hitachi KC10DFL2 12-Volt Peak Cordless Lithium-Ion Driver-Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit

How To Maintain Your Power Tools

You have spent your hard-earned money to acquire those power tools, and of course, you’ll want to protect your investment. You want to make those tools last and the least you could do is practice some maintenance habits that can be applied on a daily basis.

Cool Down Motor and Tools

Working on your power drill continuously for a long period of time without stopping can put great stress on the motor and can cause it to overheat. This happens when working on difficult materials like drilling through masonry and very hard wood. Next time, if your tool is getting too hot, give it a break until it cools down. This saves your power drill from wearing out or your parts will wear out.

Power Tools Should Be Cleaned

Your power tools should be cleaned after every use before they are stored away. Cleaning the power tool with compressed air is the best option to clean the particles from its tool’s vent. It is not advisable to clean it with a brush as it would push the dirt farther into the tool which will inadvertently cause a more damaging problem later.

Lubricate The Tool’s Part

To ensure your power tools can last a long time, all the moving parts need to be lubricated. Your drill’s manufacturer’s manual will show you how to correctly lubricate and which lubrication to use on your particular tool’s make and model. A well-lubricated drill would prevent heating, chafing and corrodings.

Not To Use Worn Out Drill Bits And Saw Blades

Using worn-out drill bits or saw blades put more stress on your drill’s motor because the dull bits make it work even harder than before. It will cause overheating in the motor. It is important not to use old and damaged bits or parts in your power tool. Using the correct type of bit suitable for the job and compatible with the drill’s make is of utmost importance.

Calibrate Your Tools

Just like any precision instruments, your power tools which use lots of moving parts need to remain in alignment. Your User’s Manual will tell you when your tool is required to be celebrated, usually after a specified amount of use hours.

How To Store Your Tool When Not In Use

Your power drill should be cleaned and kept in a dry, clean place when not in use. Make sure it is not stored in a moist environment for it can be caused by corrosion and problems with the electrical components. It is best kept in the power case that comes with your purchase of the drill. The case will protect your grill from dust and particles from getting into the tool’s vents when kept inside.

Worn Parts To Be Replaced

Old and used parts will eventually need to be replaced to ensure your power drill can continue to function properly. The most common replacement is the tool’s carbon brushes, which are responsible for conducting electricity through the motor.

Battery Maintenance

Do not overheat your power drill’s battery. Allowing it to overheat will fry it beyond repair. How to manage heat is key in managing your power drill’s life. Avoid leaving in an enclosed area at the back of a truck where temperatures spike. It’s good practice to recharge the battery before it is completely run down before recharging.

“A bad workman blames his tools.”

– Anonymous

Not everyone is looking for the most powerful tool which has the ability to drive screws into those notoriously difficult surfaces. Perhaps you just need a cordless screwdriver to drive in and unscrew. You can check out my exciting findings at Cordless Screwdrivers: Features And Benefits

Tell me about your experience in finding the right power drill.

Checkout Teds Woodworking Review and 16,000 Woodworking Plans Review

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