What To Consider When Buying A Drill: Weight, Size, Battery?
Before you buy a drill there are a number of things you need to consider. There are different types of drills which are best suited for different jobs and materials, so when you are buying a drill you will first need to think about what material you want to drill through and how much you’re willing to spend on a stronger, more powerful model.
Other important considerations include the drills weight, size and battery. There is no point buying a drill you are not comfortable using, and so it makes sense that you’ll need to find a weight and size which you are comfortable holding for extended periods of time, and if you are looking for a cordless drill then you’ll need to think about the battery and how you can get the best and fastest results for your money.
The weight of your drill is important because you don’t want to buy something that you won’t be able to hold firmly and comfortably. Some drills are heavier and more ‘hardcore’ than others and some of the heavier drills may weigh 5KG or more. This isn’t that much weight to lift for a short period of time, but you’ll need to consider whether you can sustain that amount of weight for the duration of various drilling jobs.
If you are looking to use your drill for regular household jobs then an electric rotary drill should do the trick. These drills come in both corded and cordless varieties. Whilst the cordless models tend to be a little heavier than their corded counterparts, both are still significantly lighter than heavier duty drills. Lithium-ion batteries also tend to be lighter than other comparable options, so that is something to keep in mind if you are looking for a cordless model.
If you are planning on using your drill for bigger jobs, and you want to drill through tough materials like concrete and masonry, then you may want to buy or rent an electric hammer drill. These drills have a ‘hammer action’ setting which mimics the motion of a hammer to provide you with extra force and power. You can use an electric hammer drill for regular drilling jobs, but as electric hammer drills are significantly heavier (around 5KG or more) they are not necessarily the most convenient choice in terms of sustained use.
The drills measurement refers to the size of the chuck rather than the actual body of the drill itself. The size of the drill chuck (i.e. the part of the drill which holds the bit tightly whilst you drill holes with it) is important because it determines the size of the bit that will fit in your drill, and so it may affect the types of jobs you are able to undertake.
If you have a cheaper drill which is designed for smaller jobs than a ¼ inch chuck should be fine, if you want to be able to use many different types of bits, but still mainly work on everyday tasks, then a 3/8 inch drill is a good choice, and a ½ inch drill is better suited for more hardcore jobs.
There is also the size of the hole you are drilling itself. Bits come in many shapes and sizes, and some bits will have a diameter of just 0.0125 mm whilst larger bits will measure at 3.5 cm or more. Spade bits are a good choice for larger holes if you do not want to use a hole saw instead.
Cordless drills are battery powered, so if you choose to buy a cordless drill you will need to think about the battery and how long that battery is going to take to recharge.
Many cordless drills may have a quick charge time (sometimes an hour or less), but other models may take several hours to fully charge. This is fine if you’re only planning on using your drill for small jobs, but it can be really frustrating if the battery dies when you’re in the middle of a job and you then have to wait hours before you can resume.
You will also, of course, need to think about how long the charge will last when you use your drill. Some companies will advertise the ‘idle’ battery life of a drill, and it can be quite impressively long, but of course, this doesn’t reflect how long the drill is going to last when you actually use it. The more power you use up and the faster you drill will use more battery power, so a lot of it depends on the actual job itself.
Many drills will come with two battery packs so you can use one battery whilst the other charges. If your drill does not come with a spare battery, you can always buy one. This will obviously cost more, so it is better to buy drill which comes with its own spare battery if possible.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most common and the most popular battery type and they are used for many electrical appliances. These batteries are lighter, environmentally safe, they don’t self-discharge and they are generally considered to be better quality than their NiCd counterparts. The one downside to Lithium-ion batteries is that they do tend to be more expensive, so if you are on a strict budget another battery type may be a better option for you.