Last updated: October 14, 2021

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Do you need to buy a drill? Today we will teach you everything that is essential at the moment of acquiring this utensil that is practically mandatory in any domestic or professional environment!

The drill is the most useful and necessary electric tool. It helps you put up shelves, assemble furniture, fix cupboards and other objects that need to be hung. In many moments, you will need a drill. In addition to this domestic use, it can also be used for carpentry work, handicrafts, as a furniture fitter or handyman.

But which is the ideal model for each use? How to choose the drill that best suits your needs? In the next lines of this article, we will answer all the doubts you may have about this tool!




Summary

  • There are three most common types of drills on the market: impact, non-impact and screwdrivers. Some models have more than one function. Their recommended uses are different.
  • Although the most traditional use is domestic, in walls, drills can drill concrete, wood, metal, plastic, glass, among others. But it is necessary to choose the appropriate model and the correct drills.
  • Most drills cost between R£ 200 and R£ 300. A good model below that has exceptional cost-benefit. Above, it needs to have great specifications to be a good investment.

The Best Drilling Machine: Our Picks

Buying Guide

As you may have noticed, there are several different types of drill. What does each one mean? What are the main usage recommendations for them?

Now we will answer all your doubts about which is the best drill for you! So, the ideal machine can be acquired for your personal or professional needs.

Imagem mostra dois trabalhadores usando uma furadeira para perfurar uma barra de madeira.

The use of drills can be domestic or professional. (Source: skeeze / Pixabay)

What is a drill and what is it used for?

Have you ever needed to hang a picture on a wall? Assemble furniture? Put up shelves in your home? Working with holes in wood, concrete or metal for whatever reason?

All this requires the use of a drill. These machines work from drills that produce a large rotation as the trigger is squeezed and thereby traverse the desired surface.

Then, a plug or screw is placed in the hole made and the desired object or material is fixed. The use is quite simple. Normally, it does not require a great deal of manual skill or knowledge of handling. This changes only in professional situations.

It is very difficult not to need to make use of a drill in any domestic situation. That is why we say that this is the most useful and necessary power tool in today's world. The big question is how to choose the one that best fits the needs of each one!

Did you know that the drill had its patent registered in 1889? Its first model was launched in 1895. Despite this, the tool was still very precarious. The name behind the improvement of this tool is very famous: Henry Ford.

For his automobile assembly line, Ford needed efficient drilling machines. So he encouraged research, development and modernisation of these tools. In 1917, Samuel Duncan Black and Alonzo Decker (recognize the last names?) created the first electric model

Impact drill, impactless drill or screwdriver?

In the models mentioned above, we show both impact and non-impact drills, as well as screwdrivers. In addition, some of them have dual function. What is the purpose of each of these types?

  • Impact drills: These are the most recommended for domestic use. This is because they are the most recommended for drilling walls (concrete, brick blocks and the like). Besides the rotation, it gives small punches on the surface, making drilling easier.
  • Drill without impact: Uses only its rotation to drill. You can even drill into a wall with one of these, but it usually requires a Herculean effort. This type is recommended for working with wood, plastic and softer materials in general.
  • Screwdriver: This makes it easier to put in screws, eliminating the manual work of using a screwdriver. They are mainly professional (for furniture fitters, for example), but also help with domestic work.

Below is a table with more specifications about each of the three types:

Impact drill Impactless drill Screwdriver
Applications Use in concrete, bricks, metals, harder materials Use in wood, glass, sensitive materials Application of screws in holes already made
Disadvantages Can hurt more sensitive materials Very difficult to drill simpler materials Needs the initial use of the drill

How to use the drills?

It is no use just knowing which drill is ideal for you. You also need to understand well how to use the drills. It is with them that you make holes and choosing the right drill will make your work much easier.

Every drill comes with the chuck, the part on the end that holds the drill bit, and the chuck key, which opens and closes the chuck to change the drill bit. It's very easy and intuitive to use.

From there, you need to know which are the drills for your work. Some drill models come with several of them, others require you to shop separately.

First, you need to know that there are drills for each type of material. We highlight concrete, wood, metal and glass. Using the wrong drill bit will probably not result in a job well done.

The second issue is the size of the hole needed. Depending on the screws and plugs you have available and the need for the type of work, the drill bits will need to be larger or smaller, generating differences in the diameter of the holes.

A set of drills for concrete, the most common material to be drilled, comes in diameters between 3 and 13 mm. You will need to evaluate the one that best fits your situation!

Electric or battery powered drills?

At first, the choice between an electric or battery-powered drill may seem trivial. But in fact, at a deeper look, it can also be related to the type of work you will be doing.

For example, if you're going to use your tool in hard-to-reach places that may not have easy outlets, you'll need a battery-powered model. Electric ones are often short wired. Extension cords, therefore, may not be enough.

Weight also has an influence: due to the lack of wires and electrical compartments, battery-powered models will be lighter. On a long, repetitive job, this can make a difference.

The main advantage of an electric model is practicality. If the use is at home, with easy access to mains electricity, it will save the constant work of recharging batteries and waiting for them to be ready for use.

In the case of battery drills, you can find two types. Lithium-ion ones are more modern, not susceptible to addiction and perform better. It is a superior choice.

Below, see a table with the advantages and disadvantages of each model:

Electric drill Battery drill
Advantages Practicality, no need to charge batteries, immediate use Reach more difficult places, less weight
Disadvantages Wires usually short, need electricity You always need to charge the battery and prepare for use

What extra functions can a drill have?

There are some functions that a drill has that can make your work easier. Among them, the most important are the reversible turning and the speed adjustment.

None of them is mandatory or will influence if you intend to have a home tool for occasional use. But having a tool with these features can make your life easier in certain situations.

Dois homens trabalhando, o da frente segura uma furadeira contra uma parede.

Extra functions can make a difference in certain cases. (Source: kzenon / 123RF)

Reversible swivel

The reversible swivel makes the drilling process easier. This is because changing the direction of the drill bit improves friction with the material, preventing saturation. There will be a very small gain in service time.

Another advantage is when removing the drill bit from inside the hole. Eventually, it can get a little stuck and the inversion of the turning direction will make it come out easily.

Speed adjustment

On a model without speed adjustment, drilling happens steadily as your finger squeezes the trigger. There is no control over how fast the drill bit will spin, it depends on what it will encounter ahead.

When this system is in place, however, the speed gain also happens. However, this is a system that should be used with caution: sometimes the drill can jam in a wall because it has found foreign materials inside, for example.

If you are drilling a wall and you notice that the drill does not go beyond a certain depth, stop and evaluate if the chosen place is not where pipes or electric conduits pass. This is very important to avoid accidents!

Purchase criteria: Factors to take into account when buying a drill

In addition to everything we have already mentioned, there are some criteria that may be important at the time of purchase. We have chosen some of them so that you can make a good comparison:

  • Voltage
  • Weight
  • Power
  • Ergonomics
  • Revolutions per minute
  • Additional items

Below, we will explain in more detail the importance of each one!

Voltage

Most electric drills are not bivolt. Therefore, you need to know which is the standard voltage of your city - 220 or 110 volts - to make the correct choice. A mistake here can make your tool useless.

A 220 volt appliance will not work in a place with a standard 110 voltage. A 110, even worse, will burn out in a 220 place. Battery-powered models usually come with bi-volt chargers, but be sure to check that information, too. That way, you won't have a headache after your purchase!

Imagem mostra uma furadeira bastante compacta e leve.

Pay attention to the voltage of your chosen model. (Source: Fotorech / Pixabay)

Weight

Drills are not exactly lightweight tools. The standard weight will be between 1 and 2 kg. And this is not an irrelevant information: you can spend a good time needing to hold it without support during use.

If you think you are not physically able to do so, look for lighter models. The same goes if you use it repeatedly, for hours at a time. The more time you spend wielding the drill, the harder it will be to work efficiently.

Once again, we remind you that battery models are usually lighter than electric ones. If you have doubts on how to use a drill, check this video from Manual do Mundo channel, which brings all the possible tips.

Power

A tool for home use doesn't need a very high power. Something between 350 W and 450 W is enough. This will prevent unnecessary consumption of electricity or battery with the service being well done in the same way.

Models above that, which can reach 750 W or more, are more suitable for professionals. When a drill is left on for a long time in sequence, it needs to have a higher power output to stand the test.

So be careful about advertising very high wattages for domestic models. Sometimes this draws more attention than it brings a real improvement in the use of the product.

Revolutions per minute

This is a question that is directly related to the power. The more powerful a drill is, the faster it will be able to turn. The numbers can reach up to 1300 revolutions per minute.

However, the same as we said above can be applied here. These very high numbers may catch the eye of the unwary, but they don't have much influence on domestic use. You will put a shelf in your room with practically the same efficiency.

The difference really starts to happen when we talk about professional use. There, the rotation speed can save time on an hours-long job.

Ergonomics

Handling a drill can be tricky. While your finger is on the trigger, it can't be moved sideways, or "bent". This can cause the hole to come out diagonally, making it unfit for use.

For this reason, some brands have invested in more ergonomic models. They adjust better to the human body and provide comfort during use. This reduces the chances of shaking or any other affectation due to fatigue.

An ergonomic highlight is the support bar for the arm that is not being used. If you are going to use the tool for a long time or don't have the strength to drill holes without shaking, this is a great choice!

Extra items

Don't forget to check if the chosen model offers extra items. For example, the presence of a case can be important for safer storage. Cardboard boxes tend to wear out over time and can lead to an accident.

Also check whether or not your drill comes with extra drills, which sizes and materials are recommended. Saving money when acquiring these accessories can be a determining factor for the purchase.

A complete kit for drilling will be very useful in your life. And not having to make a new purchase for every job will save you time and money!

(Featured image source: Myriams-Photos / Pixabay)

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