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Buying Guide – Drills

Buying Guide – Drills

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Drills : Add reliablity and power to your toolbox

It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned pro or a DIY beginner, a reliable and durable drill is one of the most practical and versatile tools to have in your workshop, garage or home. In the last years, drills have greatly evolved to fit the needs of all users. It offers multifunctional power in both compact and lightweight designs. When having a drill, you can perform a vast array of drilling tasks faster, with both ease and power.


How to choose the right drill

First of all, you need to choose a drill that is comfortable to use and hold. If you have small hands or need a drill to do only light tasks in the workshop or around the house, don’t purchase the bigger and most powerful drill you find. Power is also an essential element to look into. Since there are many types of drills available on the market nowadays, you must know what your needs are prior to your purchase. Take a look at the different types of drills to determine which ones are best for your.


Cordless Compact Drills

Cordless compact drills are prized for their convenience and ability to handle rough jobs. The voltage is the first indicator of power of a cordless drill; it can range anywhere from 4V to 36V. However, the models between 12V and 18V are the most commonly used for general tasks. Most of the time, low-voltage drills are used for light jobs around the house, like replacing doors hinges or installing handles on cabinets. On the other hand, more powerful drills, like cordless hammerdrills, can be used for drilling into masonry or steel. You need to consider that a cordless drill is only as good as its battery. Keep an eye open for high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that will hold their charge four time as long as traditional nickel batteries.

Our recommendation: DeWALT - 20V MAX* Lithium Ion Compact Drill / Driver Kit (1.5 Ah)


Corded Drills

Like cordless drills, corded drills can handle many tasks, from driving screws to drilling holes in concrete to mixing paint. Corded drills tend to be more powerful than their cordless counterparts and can be used anywhere there is an access to a power outlet. Power of corded drills is measured in amperage (amp), with larger amp values, giving greater power. Since corded drills have a steady supply of electricity, that makes them well-suited for jobs that requires a constant drilling or drilling in material, like concrete or stone. Corded drills are offered in a vast array of models, from heavy-duty pistol grip drills to drywall screwdrivers, to corded hammerdrills.

Our recommendation: Bosch - 1/2" Hammer Drill Kit - 1191VSRK



Hammerdrills are generally used for serious drilling jobs, as drilling holes in concrete, block, stone, and brick. They have a bit spin combined with a chuck vibration that offers short, rapid thrusts that help chip away and crush material, like a jackhammer. To estimate the amount of hammering action, compare beats-per-minute (BPM) or impact-per-minute (IPM) of the tools you are looking to purchase.

Depending on the model you choose, the hammer action can usually be switched off, so you can use the tool as a standard drill. If you are planning on driving holes into masonry on a regular basis, hammerdrills are the best purchase you can make.

Our recommendation: Makita - 1/2" Hammer Drill - NHP1310


Impact Drivers

Impact drivers are made to driver most types of screws. They produce a fast “tapping” action, which, combined with the turning of the bit, prevents stripping of the screw head. Impact drivers are ideal for drilling in hard material, such as concrete, stone, block, and brick. They are also specifically designed for fastening jobs related to metal, pressure-treated wood and cabinetry. Finally, impact drivers can also be used fo standard drillers, but are not as efficient as standard drills or hammerdrills.

Our recommendation: Bosch - 18V Impact Driver - 25618-01



Drill/drivers are made for both drilling and for driving screws. They feature an adjustable clutch mechanism that allows you to drive screws in consistent depths without overdriving or leaving them short. You can also completely turn off the clutch to allow the tool to function as a standard drill. The multifunction tool known as the drill/driver/hammerdrill, features the vibrating chuck of a hammerdrill, in addition to the drill/driving capabilities is even more useful.

Our recommendation: SKIL - 18-Volt Li-Ion Drill/Driver Kit - 2898LI-02


Chuck Size and Drill Bits

Chuck size determines how large of a bit a drill can hole. Usual chuck sizes are 3/8", which fits with everyday tasks, and 1/2”, made for tougher applications. If you are looking for a drill with exceptional versatility, 3/8” chuck is the best you can find, while a drill with a 1/2” is ideal for heavy-duty jobs or drilling larger holes.

In addition, different jobs call for different drill bits. Using the right bit does not only help ensure your work’s quality, but also helps to extend the life of your drills and drill bits. Adding different bits to your toolbox makes it easier to drill into different types of wood, metal, steel, concrete, or cement.

Our recommendations: DeWALT - 30 Pc. Rapid Load Set - DW2518 – Samona/ROK - 84-pc Impact Driver Accessory Set - 36330


When choosing a drill, another factor to consider is rotations per minute (rpm), which measures how fast your drill turns. Drills that allow you to change from lower speeds ( around 300-500 rpm) to higher speeds (1,200-1,500 rpm) allow you to handle a wider range of drilling tasks. Most of the time, the harder the material you are driller, the lower the rpm should be.

On the other hand, the torque is the force the drill produces to turn an object, rather than how fast an object will turn. Torque is generally measured in inch-per-pound (in./lbs), and refers to the twisting force at the chuck when the drill is used to make a hole. The bigger the torque, the easier it will bore through the material.


Keyless Chuck: The chuck holds the drill bit straight in place. Keyless chuck allow you to change bits without having to use a separate tool.

Variable Speed and Reverse: Many models of drills provide multiple speed settings, which allow you to choose the right one for the job you need it for, and have a reverse feature that allows you to remove screws and other fasteners.

Auxiliary Handle: Drills with side handles offer greater control and two-handed operation. Also, they rotate, helping you to find the right angle and position from which to work.

Multiple Clutch Settings: Cordless drills often feature a clutch adjustment ring, that allows you to adjust the amount of power delivered to the bit. The moment you know the depth and torque needed, set the clutch accordingly to ensure stable results and to reduce instances and wrist snap.

Electronic Brake: This particular feature causes the drill to stop automatically when you stop squeezing the trigger, preventing you from stripping screws or overdriving.


Check out our selection of drills in featured brands!


If you wish to have more information regarding our selection of band saws and table saws, contact us!


Federated Tool – Retail Store

1581 Oxford St. East

London, Ontario, N5V 2Z4

(click on the address for directions)


Toll Free: 1-800-387-0608

Phone: (519) 451-0100

Fax: (519) 451-9376



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