Cordless Drill Drivers
Do your DIY in no time with a cordless drill
The 21st century has seen major improvements in rechargeable batteries, with lithium ion technology enabling the production of batteries that are capable of providing more power for longer periods with a minimal charging time.
One major upshot of this development has been the emergence of the cordless drill driver. Previously, the DIY enthusiast was forced to either plug in an electric drill to the mains, or resort to the good old fashioned hand drill when power wasn't available; today a vast number of high quality cordless drills are available that combine mobility with a surprising amount of power.
The benefits of cordless drill drivers are felt by all manner of users in a variety of different situations. For the professional tradesman, the more powerful cordless drill will make life on the building site infinitely more straightforward; whether it is up high on scaffolding or working across large sites, freedom from mains cables means jobs can be completed quickly and effectively.
For the home DIY enthusiast, reaching for a lightweight portable cordless drill will seem much easier than plugging in a bulky mains powered model and getting tangled up in cables! Most models combine a drill and screwdriver feature, making them ideal for building flat pack furniture as well as putting up pictures and completing other DIY tasks.
With literally hundreds of cordless drill drivers now on the market, there is guaranteed to be a model out there with the power level and range of features to please every type of user. This site explains in more detail the features available, as well as offering advice on which machines to buy and answering some frequently posed questions.
Features of Cordless Drill Drivers
Cordless drill drivers offer a huge variety of features which can greatly improve their functionality. Some of the main features include varying power outputs, different types of battery, hammer and SDS functions, lights for working in darker areas and carry cases for safe transportation. We will look at these features in more detail below.
One of the most important features of cordless drills is their level of power output. This generally varies from 7 volts to a whopping 36 volts. The power capabilities of your drill will be directly influenced by the power and the type of battery that is used. The more modern lithium ion batteries offer greater power output and length of life than their nickel cadmium counterparts. Needless to say, you will have to pay more for a more powerful drill so there is a trade off to be made between cost and performance. Most cordless drill drivers come with different torque settings so that you can control the level of power output, regardless of the size of the battery. This is particularly useful when switching between the drill function and the screwdriver function as generally you will require a lot more power when drilling.
Another significant feature that some drills offer is a hammer function. This allows the drill to penetrate brickwork much more effectively - the chuck moves back and forth rapidly, creating the hammer function that is necessary to break through harder materials. Some of the more top of the range cordless drills even have an SDS function. An SDS drill is a step up from the hammer drill - improved action allows for much more powerful hammer blows, making them 90% more efficient than a basic hammer drill. SDS drills come with specialist drill bits and are used for boring holes through brickwork and blockwork of all types.
An extremely useful addition that many cordless hammer drills offer these days is an integral light. This feature is very handy as it means you don't have to struggle with a torch or hang a light when working in a dark area such as a loft space or underneath a floor. Also, the light itself will point in the direction you are drilling so you never have to worry about getting in the way of the light.
One final feature that is worth looking out for is a carry case for your drill. Once you have invested in a cordless drill driver you will want to make sure that it stays in good working order, particularly if you are spending a lot of money on a top of the range product. A secure carry case means that it will be safe from damage when it is not being used, which is particularly useful if it is in the back of the van with other tools and heavy equipment.
Who Makes Cordless Drill Drivers?
There are a number of different manufacturers of cordless drills, most of which are well known for the production of power tools. The main manufacturers include Bosch, Makita, Draper and Ryobi. All of these different brands offer different benefits which we will look at in more detail below.
It is certainly fair to say that Bosch is the most prolific manufacturer of cordless drill drivers. The main retailers for these power tools (B&Q, Tooled Up, DIY Tools etc) all feature an extensive number of Bosch products. What makes Bosch unique when compared to other manufacturers is the sheer range of products. They produce a 9 volt drill that can be picked up for as little as £30 and they produce a 36 volt cordless hammer drill which costs over £500.
Makita are a manufacturer that tends to produce tools for the more professional end of the market. The majority of their tools are relatively expensive as they are aimed at full-time tradesmen who will be using them everyday. If you are doing the occasional bit of DIY around the home, there is no need to invest in a top of the range tool of this calibre. However, if you are out working or on site every day, it is well worth investing in a premium product that you can rely on and will keep going for a long time.
Draper and Ryobi offer a general range of cordless drill drivers, mainly aimed at the home DIY market. However they do both offer some more expensive and more durable power tools, though this is not their main thrust. It is important to remember when you're looking for a cordless drill, or any power tool for that matter, the main thing is getting something that will suit you. It is not always necessary to spend hundreds of pounds, particularly if you don't intend regular use. However, if you are planning to make heavy use of your drill, then it is well worth considering spending a little more money to make sure it lasts and has all the necessary functionality you require.
Keep up to date
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If you've noticed him struggling with his corded drill then it's definitely time for him to upgrade to a cordless model - it will offer complete freedom of movement and provide far more convenience.
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Cordless Drill Drivers
1. Cordless drills can be used both as a drill and an electric screwdriver.
2. Cordless drill drivers are popular among both professional tradesmen and DIY enthusiasts.
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