Power drills buyer's guide
Probably the most important part of any DIY toolkit, a good power drill should last you years and help you through all manner of projects. It will save time and make easy work of drilling holes into wood, metal and concrete, as well as drive screws and fasten bolts given the right adaptors.
Cordless or corded?
For serious DIY work a corded drill is the only option. However, for light work it’s hard to beat the convenience of a cordless model.
Lightweight and easy to handle
Safer to work with as there's no trailing cord
More versatile as they’re smaller and can be taken anywhere
Can easily double as an electric screwdriver
Not as powerful with a limited battery life
Needs to be charged before use.
Some are not capable of drilling through masonry.
Provides far more power and torque
Always ready to use and provides continuous power
May have extra features not available on a cordless model
Heavier than cordless models
The cord can be restrictive and intrusive
You're reliant on a nearby electricity socket
The higher your drill's power rating, the quicker and better performance it will give. A drill's power is indicated by volts for cordless drills and watts for corded. Generally, the more powerful the drill, the more expensive it's likely to be.
Variable speed and gears
A drill's speed is measured in RPM (revolutions per minute) and it plays an important part in how it performs. Single speed drills are not as flexible at dealing with different materials as those drills with variable speeds.
Some models also offer additional gears. This enables you to choose between high-speed drilling or a lower speed but with more torque.
A hammer, or percussion, action helps you tackle harder and heavier materials such as concrete and masonary. Using a pounding action, it pushes masonry bits in and out at high speeds measured as beats per minute. Hammer drills can be tricky to control so a secondary handle or grip can make it easier and more comfortable to use.
The drill's chuck holds the bit tightly in place and its capacity dictates the largest size of bit the drill can take. A chuck capacity of 10mm will suit most users' needs.
There are three types of mechanism: key operated, keyless or SDS. The SDS keyless system is the most secure but is restricted to high-end models. While key operated models are generally more secure as the chuck is tightened using a key, but these aren’t as quick to use as keyless alternatives.
Other useful features
A depth rod allows you to set the maximum depth of the hole that you want to drill. While an integrated magnetic bit holder provides a convenient place to store them exactly where you need them - on the drill itself.
Power drills features & videos
If you plan to make the most of the long weekend with a bit of DIY we’re here to help.