Cordless Drill Information

The first important factor you need to consider when choosing a cordless drill is the power. Where a cordless drill is concerned, the power is measured as battery voltage. Terms you need to look for that are all interrelated are power, voltage and torque. Torque is the amount of force used to rotate the drill. The higher the voltage, the more torque the drill will generate. This is a very important factor in what the drill will be able to effectively bore a hole into. Although it is not the only factor.

Today the highest voltage drills will use 18 volts, although generally the higher voltage, the more weight the batteries will be. A key goal for today’s power tool manufacturers is to try and balance high voltage with low weight. Some have been more successful than others. Weight is an important consideration. If a drill is too heavy, you will find it difficult to work with for long spells of time. The lighter, the easier you will find a drill to use.

Cordless drills usually come with an adjustable clutch. The clutch basically tells the drill to stop drilling when it reaches a pre-determined level of resistance. This is designed to stop you from overdrilling into a wall, or from stripping a screw. Cordless drills come with different range of clutch settings – generally the more clutch settings a drill has, the more accurately you can match the power to the job in hand. Many drills also have a drill setting, which allows you to run the drill at maximum power.

These days many cordless drills have different speed settings. A low speed setting is good for driving screws, whereas a higher speed setting is used for actual drilling. More expensive drills go even further by offering variable speed control within the two speed range settings. This just allows for more refined close control to the user, enabling a better fit of speed to task.

Another key difference in the world of cordless drills is the type of battery the drill uses. There are generally 3 different battery types used in cordless drills.

1.     Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)

These are the original rechargeable battery. They provide good current flow on demand and they are pretty cheap. They can provide up to 1000 charging cycles but are sensitive to the charge / discharge cycle. After discharging them, you need to let them cool down before you can begin to charge them again. An issue with Cadmium is that it is extremely harmful to the environment.

2.     Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)

NiMH are less sensitive to this charge / discharge cycle. Also they were first brought about to deal with the issue of NiCD being bad for environment. Unfortunately they have a bit of a reputation for living a short life, sometimes less than 1000 cycles.

3.     Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)

The newest type of battery on the market is Lithium Ion. Lithium Ion batteries can put out a lot of power whilst using less battery life. They provide higher power density and are much less sensitive to issues like charge cycle patterns and rising temperatures. All in all, these are the best batteries (and they are priced accordingly).

These are a few ideas of things to look out for when you are shopping for a cordless drill. Click here to read some of our in-depth reviews.