What would we do without cordless drills? They simplify what would otherwise be the most tedious work of drilling holes. Let us have a clear look at the uses of cordless drills and how they have made drilling work easier.
Types of Drills
There are mainly two types of drills;
- Drill or drivers: These are used for drilling holes and driving screws mainly into plastic, metal or timber.
- Hammer drills: These types of drills also drills holes and drives screws but have a hammer setting that rocks the drill in and out for drilling into stones, bricks and timber. They tend to be heavier than drill or drivers.
There are some other types you are going to find in the hardware shop too such as;
- Impact drivers: These are specifically designed for driving screws and loosening bolts.
- Rotary hammers: These are heavy duty versions of the hammer drill which is mostly used by trades.
Many projects involve drilling and driving. While some people would keep two drills for the same tasks, others may opt for kits that offer both combination such as drill driver and hammer drill or an impact driver for that reason.
Uses of Cordless Drills
- Pilot holes: These are small holes that are drilled in order to hold screws in position. This is to prevent wood splitting especially if a bigger screw is being used, most commonly in finish carpentry where even a small wood split would compromise the whole item quality. A small drill helps put the screw in place without damaging the wood.
- Replacing the screwdriver: Attaching and assembling is one of the most top cordless drills use. Installing and removing screws has never been an easier task. The cordless drill can be rotated on both clockwise and anticlockwise directions to either insert or remove screws.
- Holes saw: A cordless drill can take up the work of a saw by being used to cut out perfectly round holes for drains, doorknobs, and sink faucets among other round holes. They come in various sizes.
- Concrete drilling: There is a special version of a cordless drill which is usually used to drive bolts into concrete incorporating a slight vibration accompanied with a strong rotation of the drill. It can install any kind of screw into outdoor furniture and concrete.
- Drywall installation: Cordless drills play a big role when it comes to drywall installing whereby they are used to install screws into the studs beneath the wall.
Cordless Drills Categories
Cordless drills are classified in three categories; heavy duty drills, light duty and general use. That means that you get a cordless drill best suited for the role you intend to carry out with it.
- Heavy duty drills: These drills are usually built with hard and strong 18- to 24- volt batteries which give them power to drive fasteners and bore holes as well as drilling holes into concrete and bricks. That is to say that these types of drills are not only the heaviest but also tend to be the most expensive.
- Light duty drills: Best cordless drill that fall under this category are usually used for small jobs around the house such as drilling into a drywall, changing a light fixture or assembling furniture. Their battery size runs from 12 to 20 volts but their small motors do not have the capacity to drive with the same force as that of heavy duty drills.
- General use drills: Powered by 12 volt battery, general use cordless drills drive holes in wood with so much ease proving that they can be a bit powerful than expected. Charging spare batteries while you work will ensure that your cordless drill works until you are done with your work.
Cordless drills necessities
Power is usually measured in battery voltage when it comes to cordless drills. The higher the voltage, the more the rotating strength. Today’s drills power voltage runs from 6 to 7.2, 9.6, 12, and 14.4 to 18V, enough to drill and insert screws on different surfaces.
Handles Most cordless drills have a T-handle designed to accommodate and prevent the battery from coming out. It provides overall balance and supports application of more pressure when drilling and driving large screws especially for the heavy duty drills category.
Clutch a clutch separates electric drills from cordless drills. It disengages the drive shaft of the drill by making a click sound when a preset level of resistance is attained. A clutch gives the user the control so that they do not overdrive it and also protects the motor when resistance is met in driving a screw or when tightening a bolt.
Speed the least expensive cordless drills can either run at single speed or two fixed speeds; 300 rpm and 800rpm, depending on the type. They are ideal for the simplest tasks and the speed varies depending on the task they are carrying out. The low speed drives screws while the high speed drills holes. However, refined carpentry and repair tasks need a drill whose two-speed switch and trigger lets you vary the speed from 0 rpm to the top of each range. Hole drilling needs speed of 1000rpm or higher at the top end.
Battery and charging
We cannot address cordless drills without talking about their main source of power and how to keep them serving you until the work that you are carrying out is completely done. Battery capacity is measured in ampere hours (Ah) with the largest capacity running at 5 Ah or more. When it comes to battery options, Lithium-ion batteries are the most common batteries identifiable with the cordless drills. Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) mostly works with the older models of cordless drills although some newer models use them too. However, the Li-ion batteries are the most recommended since they are less toxic and are environmental friendly.
To manage battery issues such as dead batteries every other time you are carrying out drilling tasks, it is less expensive to purchase a kit with two batteries instead of buying extras later on. Battery voltage is a guide to the power you can expect from the drill.