The typical homeowner, or endeavored renter, uses their drill to drive and remove screws, drill through wood and metal, and run ancillary attachments like a car buffer.
The modern drill is the cornerstone of its owner’s power tool collection. Picking the right drill for your needs is important because it is an expensive purchase that can cause great frustration if the choice is wrong.
In this post I will go over what I look for when buying a drill for light and medium duty tasks often done by homeowners. Then I will recommend some drills on the marketplace I feel meet the requirements I go by.
What to Look For : Portability
The most basic question for drills is, “cordless or corded”?
The answer is cordless for homeowners. Today’s cordless drills are powerful enough to drill through thinner metals, tile, and light masonry. The top strength of the best cordless drills on the market have enough power to meet almost every homeowners’ needs, so homeowners should opt for the flexibility of a cordless drill.
If you ever need heavy drill power you can rent or purchase a corded impact drill. I’ve used corded impact drills to go through medium to heavy masonry, thicker than typical metals, and to run a landscaping auger.
What to Look For : Strength
Strength varies greatly in cordless drills. Strength in a drill is determined by its torque. Torque in a drill is measured in inch-pounds measurement in energy.
A high strength cordless drill has at least 300 inch-pounds of max torque. A low strength drill has lower than 200 inch-pounds of max torque.
What to Look For : Durability
I’ve had many drills die on me in many different ways over the years. It is always disappointing to see an expensive piece of equipment go down, and the loss of a cordless drill often sinks a project until the drill can be replaced.
In my opinion a drill should last you one year for every ten dollars you spend on it; ten years for $100, etc. Unfortunately that is not always the case for cordless drills. I have used and heard of many cordless drills which cost over $100, but lasted less than 4 years.
The best way to judge durability of a cordless drill is to gather feedback from owners. Those owners might be product reviewers on website listings, or they may be friends and family.
Also, look at the specifications of the drill you would like to buy. If you want durability make sure it uses metal construction for its parts. Hard plastic just does not last on power tools.
The manufacturer will not be forthcoming about durability issues. That research is on us, the consumer.
A Great 10 Year Drill for a Homeowner is the Bosch 36V Litheon Drill
The Bosch 36V is one of the top drills on the market today. It scores tops in dependability with steel construction; including a steel reinforced collar to product the chuck and shock protection in the tool housing.
With a max torque of 600 in-lbs the Bosch 36V is one of the strongest drills on the market. It can easily handle any phase of home construction; so, it is a great option for the homeowner who wants to do any and everything.
Professionals use the Bosch 36V on a daily basis and their positive reviews can be found on any site selling the drill. The downside to the Bosch 36V for a homeowner is its price. The Bosch 36V epitomizes the phrase it costs more because it is worth more with its high but justifiable price point.
The Bosch 36V is a great choice for the homeowner who will use their drill a few times a month and absolutely want it to be dependable for ten or more years.
A Great Multi-purpose Drill for a Homeowner is the Milwaukee 18-Volt Cordless 1/2″ Compact Drill Driver
Powerful and well priced, the Milwaukee 18V features a max torque of 480 in-lbs. in a minimal size.
The Milwaukee 18V has high marks in customer and industry review. I have great experience with the Milwaukee brand myself and this tool feels as solid as the rest of their line. The all-metal chuck is one good sign of the durability of the Milwaukee 18V.
The typical homeowner would great value from the Milwaukee 18V. The durability marks from customers are high, and one battery is reported to last long enough for a half day project. The extended life Lithium-ion battery recharges to full in 30 minutes.
The Drill Master 18 Volt Cordless 3/8″ Drill is a Great Choice for a Homeowner on a Budget
Affordable and reliable, the Drill Master 18V is the signature drill from the economically priced tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools.
The Drill Master 18V offers all the important features for a drill and has one of the lower prices in the market. The construction of the Drill Master 18V is not on par with our other recommended drills, but it does have the best construction for its low price point.
If you know you will use your drill only a few times a year, look into the Drill Master 18V; it may be your best value.