For decades, electric drills have been one of the most important professional and home tools. An electric drill is a must-have tool, whether you are drilling holes in the wall to hang artwork or driving screws into the new swing set for the children. It is very useful for many home maintenance and repair work.
Electric drills can be used to drill holes in almost all materials. However, there are many accessories and attachments that make it possible to do many other tasks, such as screw driving and grinding, as well as mixing paint.
There are some things you should consider before choosing the right electric drill for you. There are both corded drills and cordless drills. You’ll need to determine how powerful, torque, and speed your drill needs for the project you have in mind.
Best Electric Drills
1. AVID POWER Cordless Drill 20V 3/8 inches
Compact and handy drill
Reasonable charging time
Easy to drill into various materials
Forward and reverse settings available
Item weight: 2.2 pounds
A few complaints of battery life.
2. BLACK+DECKER Corded Drill 5.5-Amp 3/8-Inch
Budget friendly powerful basic drill
Lightweight for home projects
Ergonomic grip and compact design
Variable speed settings
Built-in bit storage
Item weight: 3.25 pounds
A few reports of over tightened chuck
3. BLACK+DECKER Cordless Drill 20V MAX
Powerful and portable battery-operated drill
Great battery life
Customer-favorite soft grip handle
Come with various accessories
Easy to handle household jobs
Item weight: 4.6 pounds
Not suitable for long-time projects. It's better to prepare a backup battery for continuous working.
4. SKIL Corded Hammer Dril 7.5-Amp 1/2-Inch
Powerful hammer drill
Easy switch between drilling, hammer drilling and reverse
Good performance on concrete
Item weight: 5.22 pounds
Drill is powerful, but the drill bits are better for lighter duty jobs.
5. PORTER-CABLE Corded Drill 6-Amp 3/8-Inch
Forward and reverse drilling
Keyless 3/8-inch chuck
Easy bit changes
0-2500 RPM variable speed
Item weight: 4 pounds
Some complaints of noise in use.
Need to tighten the chuck regularly
As a corded drill, a bit heavy for long time use for some women
6. DEWALT Cordless Drill Kit 20V Max 1/2-Inch
Compact and solid drill set
Long lasting and quick recharging batteries
2 speeds to handle various drilling and fastening jobs
Come with two batteries
Item weight: 3.64 pounds
Need several spare batteries for long-time use.
7. DEWALT Brushless Impact Driver and Hammer Drill Combo Kit 20V
Handy hand drill set
Impressive driver speed
Two 4.0 Ah batteries included
Built-in lights for convenient use
Good battery life
Item weight: 11 pounds
Need to wait several hours for re-charge. It's best to use a quick-charger.
What to Consider When Buying an Electric Drill?
Electric drill types
There are many types of drills and each has its own unique features. You need to understand the capabilities of your drill if you want to get more out of it. We have listed the main features of each drill, as well as their functions, so you can choose the right option for you.
Drill drivers are a versatile tool that can handle small tasks in your home such as putting up shelves and hanging pictures or assembling flat-pack furniture. They can drill holes in wood or metal and can also be used as drivers to loosen and tighten screws with different bits.
These cordless, lightweight screwdrivers can drive in and out of screws at the same time. They also have torque control or variable speed. These screwdrivers are great for tightening loose screws in tight spaces or assembling furniture quickly, but they can’t drill holes.
For more difficult jobs around the house, a hammer drill is ideal. You can adjust the torque to set the power and keep the RPM low. This allows the drill to power through hard surfaces while minimizing damage to the surface. This drill is ideal for drilling concrete and masonry. Some slotted driving models can cut through tough materials by using a piston to fire the drill bit forward and pull it back.
These drills are 3-in-1 and offer the same features as drill drivers, but also have the hammer-action feature that allows it to drill into brick and mortar.
The impact mechanism used by impact drivers is designed to reduce the impact on the wrist and do more work for you. Because of their high torque capability, they are useful for drilling into metal and tightening bolts.
Corded or cordless
The corded electric drill can be used anywhere there is a power socket. It also works night and day if needed. Although cordless drills are a great improvement, they still require a battery to work. Cordless drills don’t have the same performance, but their torque is often higher.
The weight of cordless or corded drills depends on what size drill you purchase.
Ergonomics is another matter. While cordless drills have become more ergonomically designed, there is still a heavy battery at the grip’s end. This is not an issue with a corded drill.
There’s also the financial savings. You can buy many electric drills for less than the price of a battery for a cordless drill. It’s clear why many people prefer an electric drill over a cordless drill.
Amps are the units of power for corded electric drills. A basic model that is used for light DIY tasks will have a rating of around three amps. General-purpose drills with professional-grade quality can be rated up to nine amps.
The more difficult the job, the more power you will need. A three-amp motor would be sufficient if you are putting up shelves within internal drywall. An electric drill of six amps or more can drill holes in concrete or brick.
A drill’s speed can vary depending on its purpose. It may have one speed, two or three preset speeds, or a variable speed function.
High speed is required if you are using a small drill bit to drill a 1/16 inches hole in aluminum. But if you need to drill a 1/2-inch hole in wood, you just need to use a slower speed.
Variable speed settings are more important than the maximum speed of an electric drill. They are usually available on higher-end models. It is very useful for driving screws. A reversing function can also be used to remove screws.
Drills with low power can run at 1,000 or 1,500 RPM. Higher-powered models can run at speeds up to 2,500 and 3,000 RPM. There is usually a built-in control dial on the drill’s body. It could be moved to another part of the drill body or into the trigger. Some manufacturers claim this as an advantage.
Adjustable clutches are also common in drills. This allows a screw to be driven while the motor is still running. It prolongs the motor’s lifespan.
Brush vs. brushless motor
Brushed motors are made from carbon, while the brushless ones use magnets to generate power.
Brushless motors are more adaptable, have less friction, heat up faster, and produce less heat. Because there are no brushes that rub against any surface, friction is not an issue. Brushless motors are 50% more efficient than brushed drills and last up to 50% longer on batteries. They have a significantly longer life span than their brushed counterparts. Hence, brushless motors are more expensive.
There are two electric drill chuck types: keyed or keyless.
Since the invention of electric drills, keyed chucks are common. A key lets you apply more force to tighten your drill bit. Keyed chucks have the added advantage of applying more torque to the bit during slippage situations. However, in practice, the lack of force is rarely an issue. Many who have used keyed chucks can attest that it can be frustrating to not find the key.
Keyless chucks, which can be tightened by hand quickly and conveniently, are becoming more popular. The jaws of a keyless chuck are always made from metal or plastic. Metal is preferred for its durability.
If you intend to use the drill for small to medium-sized holes or driving screws, then a keyless is best. A keyed chuck is best for drilling large holes or in difficult materials.
Corded electric drills for general purposes weigh between three and six pounds. This isn’t too heavy but could be an issue for those with weaker hand or arm strength. You should always check the weight of any drill before buying. High performance does not necessarily mean a heavier drill. Manufacturers who are conscientious will often reduce the product’s weight.
Most electric drill cords measure between 6-8 feet in length. A shorter cord would be too restrictive. It is likely that an extension cord will be required with your electric drill, regardless of its length.
The rubberized grip makes it more comfortable to hold the drill in your hand and gives you a firm grip when using large bits and full power.
Manufacturers may quote drilling capacities as maximum sizes in steel or wood. These numbers may seem impressive but they are not practical. These figures don’t tell what kind of wood you would use or what kind of steel, so the particular material is important.
The lock-on button sometimes called a stopper, allows you to release the trigger without having to press it to keep power.
A few drills have on-board storage for a bit of a screwdriver. This is an added convenience.
How Much Do Electric Drills Cost?
Most electric drills may cost between $30 to $100. You can find some great drills at a very reasonable price from trusted brands. The factors that affect the price include accessories, batteries, and electric drill types. You should stick with trusted brands that have reliable quality assurance. It’s also important to consider the quality of accessories, such as bits, storage boxes or bags, etc.
How to Use Electric Drills Safely?
Eye protection is essential. Wear safety glasses and a dust mask when drilling wood or other man-made materials. Before you purchase, make sure you know what product protection you have.
The extension cord or cord that is attached to an electric drill should be handled with care. You can keep the extension lead or cord out of your way by looping it around your shoulder.
Tighten the chuck and make sure the bit doesn’t come loose during use. If the chuck is a keyed version, remove the key before drilling.
Bits of small diameters break easily. Make sure to use the drill slowly and keep the drill at a 90-degree angle to your workpiece. Don’t use a bent drill bit and use excessive force to the drill bit on very hard material.
Fix the workpiece to ensure accurate drilling.
Make sure your hands are well-gripped when drilling large holes with a hole saw or spade bit. Sometimes electric drills can be quite powerful. While the bit is caught on the workpiece, it might twist unexpectedly and you may not have enough hand strength to hold it.
If you are working outside, make sure to plug your corded tools into a GFCI outlet. If a cable is damaged or water enters a connection, this will immediately cut off power.
Before adjusting the bit, make sure the power supply is disconnected. Remove the drill bit when it’s not in use.