Buying the Best Cordless Drill for Your Needs
Whether you are a serious do-it-yourselfer or you just need to hang a shelf, a cordless drill is really handy. Consumer Reports tested 48 cordless drills including ones from DeWalt, Black & Decker and Panasonic.Posted — Updated
Consumer Reports tested 48 cordless drills including ones from DeWalt, Black & Decker and Panasonic. The drills cost anywhere from $50 to $500. Cordless screwdrivers were also included in the test.
“The cordless screwdrivers are handy and they're easy to use, but they're aggravatingly slow and they're very inefficient,” Consumer Reports tester Peter Sawchuck said.
To check power, testers used a device called a dynamometer. It was connected to a computer to ensure accurate measurements. Another machine measured the twisting force of the drill.
To measure speed, testers drilled hundreds of 1-inch holes. They also drove hundreds of 3.5-inch lag screws into 4x4 pine boards.
Consumer Reports said performance, not price, should guide your choice.
“Select a drill based on the jobs that you intend to do,” Sawchuck said.
For simple jobs, Consumer Reports recommended an $80 12-volt Hitachi. It weighs just over 3 pounds and has two speeds. Plus, it comes with two batteries, and they recharge quickly.
For bigger projects, Consumer Reports recommended a $95 Craftsman. While it is nearly 2 pounds heavier, it has very good speed and power.
Consumer Reports suggested that before you buy, check the grip for comfort – and lift the drill to shoulder height – just like you would when you are drilling.
A drill that weighs too much to handle – no matter how well it performs – will be no good to you in the long run.
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