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Top Best 10 Power Drills of 2020

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Updated August 8, 2020

The most important thing to have in any toolbox is a sturdy and versatile power drill. The Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 gives you a lot of power for your money without compromising on ergonomics or expert build quality, and consequently, we named it as the best drill in our 2020 test.

How we did the drill test

We carry out all of our tests ourselves and tested all drills in real conditions. The drills have been used over a long time in a number of different construction projects and reviewed in detail by exposing them to a number of strength tests. For example, they have been used to screw substantial screws into both thick oak edging strips and double 45 mm studs. We have looked closely at the following aspects of each drill:

  • Performance: How powerful is the drill? How does it cope with the different materials? How quickly does it respond? How good is it at removing screws? Is it easy to use? How loud or quiet is the drill?

  • Build quality: How straightforward and comprehensive do the buttons and settings feel? How noisy is the drill under different loads? Is it at all wobbly?

  • Functions: What expert functions does the power drill include? Is there space to store bits on it? Does it have a light?

In our scoring of the drills, we have taken into account the choice of material, user-friendliness and ergonomics. Finally, we have examined all of these factors in light of the drill's price to determine its value for money. We thus have higher expectations of an expensive drill than a cheaper one - and vice versa.

1. Bosch Advanced Impact 18 Quicksnap - BEST IN TEST SCREWDRIVER

Easy to use drill that’s ideal for many different tasks

Price class: Medium Weight: 1.4 kg Battery: 18 V, tested with: 2 Ah Li-Ion Measured noise level: 72.7 dB (measured) Speed: 0-400 rpm and 0-1350 rpm Torque: 38 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes Chuck: Interchangeable Miscellaneous: Chucks can be swapped, for example drill chuck, angle screw adapter and off-set angle adapter

Bosch Advanced Impact 18 QuickSnap Solo

The Bosch Advanced Impact 18 Quicksnap is a very versatile drill for homeowners who want a model that can cope with tasks ranging from building decking or an extension to assembling kitchen cabinets.

The major advantage of the Advanced Impact 18 is the quick chuck. In other words, you can replace the chuck and have a completely different function. For example, you can have a drill in one chuck and a drill head in the other and then quickly change between them by simply clicking in the other chuck. But there are other types too, such as an angle screw adapter and an off-set angle adapter. The angle screw adapter is perfect when you’re working on narrow cabinets and can’t approach the screw from a direct angle.

The disadvantage with this drill is that it's “only” medium strength, which limits the target group somewhat. But it's fine for the average homeowner. It has no problems with inserting anchor screws into decking or screwing up a TV into a wall stud with bolts. However, it's too underpowered for professionals who regularly have to screw into hard or tough materials and don’t want to have to pre-drill the holes.

Well considered and user-friendly design

The Advanced Impact 18 has a convenient and user-friendly design that’s perfect for right and left-handed users.

On the majority of drills, you set the direction of rotation with a button that you move to the left or right depending on the setting you want.

This one instead has a standard spring-loaded button. This means you can operate it with the same hand you're holding the drill in.

In other words, you don’t need to let go of the screw. A diode indicates which mode you've set it to.

The diode is powerful so it's always clear which setting you've selected.

The torque setting is user friendly. Instead of figures, you have columns that show the strength you've set it to, or if it’s set to hammer drill instead.

Overall, this makes the Advanced Impact 18 a little more user-friendly – even if you aren’t too well up on how drills work.

The noise level is fine, as is the sound profile. The weight is good and the body well balanced. An LED indicates how much battery you have left.

The handle is rubberised for the best possible hand position.

The Advanced Impact 18 is aimed at the homeowner who wants a versatile drill for every possible home DIY task. As long as you're screwing into softer woods like pine, slightly tougher fir or something similar, it's strong enough for most projects. But if you're screwing into harder woods, you may need to pre-drill. But this is rarely a major issue, so the Advanced Impact 18 is a really good buy.

Very versatilesimple chuck swapclear torque settingeasy to use direction button
Struggles with harder woods

2. Bosch PSR 18 LI-2

User-friendly, strong drill for the home DIYer

Price class: Medium Weight: 1.3 kg Battery: 18 V 1500 Li-Ion Measured noise level: 75.4 dB (average value) RPM: 0-400 rpm and 0-1340 rpm Torque: 46 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes Chuck: 10 mm quick chuck

Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 Solo

The Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 is the strongest machine in the test and coped with all of the strength tests, regardless of whether they involved hard, thick pieces of wood or long, thick screws to screw in. It was only when we reduced the power and pushed it to its limits that it had a problem with too much resistance. Normally, drills lock up and sound angry, but the PSR 18 LI-2 simply stops. This feels odd to start with and initially gives a negative impression, but over time you do get used to it. Another thing that stands out with the PSR 18 LI-2 is that it's rather slow to start up. From pressing the button until it reaches maximum speed there is a delay that we haven’t experienced previously, but it means that the screwing process is gentler and it’s easier to adjust the speed.

The PSR 18 LI2 also stands out from the crowd because of its design. Instead of having the classic appearance with the torque setting as a ring on the front, it instead has a control on the top with a button that you move sideways. The positions are marked with clear graphics that make it easy to understand you increase the drill’s strength the more you move the control to the right. For a professional, it’s more difficult to remember your settings and the design is somewhat limited. But given that DIYers are the target group the PSR 18 LI-2 is aimed at, this is more user-friendly.

The levels of comfort and ergonomics are high. The drill feels stable and well-balanced in your hands. It’s quite compact and the build quality feels good except for the fact that the chuck wobbles – only slightly – on our test example. This doesn’t prevent use of the tool. However, it does make us wonder a little about the build quality, but we didn’t encounter any sluggish buttons, loose parts or strange noises. The battery keeps its charge well between uses and a 2.5 Ah battery charges completely in exactly 60 minutes, which is very good. The only disadvantage is that it’s a little fiddly to get the battery out of the machine. Our conclusion is that the PSR 18 LI-2 is a powerful and user-friendly drill with good comfort levels that’s ideal for the average DIY user. Overall, It’s good value for money.

Stronguser-friendlycompact designshort charging timehigh comfort levelsgood value for money
Slow to startfiddly battery fastening

3. Dewalt DCD791

Compact drill that still performs with both power and persistence

Price class: Premium Dimensions: 173 x 63 x 203 mm Weight: 1.2 kg Battery: 18 V Li-Ion Measured noise level: 84.4 dB (average value) RPM: 0-550 rpm and 0-2000 rpm Torque: 70 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes (3 step) Chuck: 1.5-13 mm quick chuck Accessories included: 2 x 5 Ah batteries, charger, T-STAK kit box

Dewalt DCD791D2 (2x2.0Ah)

The Dewalt DCD791 is a competent and impressive drill that gives you a lot of power for your money in a compact and handy format which feels well-balanced in your hands. It has no problem screwing through double studs with thick, long screws or penetrating hardwood such as oak. As long as you have the wrist strength and good drill bits, the drill can cope with the work. In dusty environments it has a disadvantage that it stirs up the dust and blows it towards your face, but you have to be standing in a very enclosed environment or very close to the drill for this to be a major problem. The battery included with the machine has a high charge capacity and means that you can work for a long time without having to charge it, but the major benefit is the charger, which is able to recharge the battery while you eat lunch or use the second included battery. The charger is silent, compact and clear in terms of graphics.

The gear button on the top of the DCD791 is sluggish, but all the other functions work smoothly. The integrated holder for the drill means that you can easily suspend it from your tool belt when you need both hands free and don’t have any surface nearby to put it on. The lamp that illuminates the screw head in dark environments can be set to three different strengths, the strongest of which is extremely powerful. Unfortunately, it can’t be completely switched off. On the side of the drill there is a magnet to hold screws and bits, which can’t hold much but is an excellent complement, for example when you have two different screw sizes and quickly need to change between different bits. Overall this is a very powerful but compact drill, with few downsides.

Compactstrongwell-balancedlots of functions
Fan power (blows dust towards you in dusty environments)

4. Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 Ergonomic

Screwdriver with double grip for perfect control

Weight: 1.25 kg Battery: 18 V, 2.5 Ah Measured noise level: 81.2 dB Speed: 0-430 and 0-1400 Torque: 32 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes Chuck: 13 mm quick chuck Accessories included: Double-ended bit

Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 Ergonomic Solo

The Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 Ergonomic is a neat and well-designed drill. In terms of its name, it's confusingly like its sister model, the PSR 18 LI-2, but in other ways they're quite dissimilar. For example, it has traditional number markings for torque on the torque setting, it's weaker and has a differently shaped machine body with an extra front grip. The experience is that it's quite compact and more compressed. The design means that it's easy to hang up or store out of the way. You can get into narrow spaces effortlessly. Yet, the LI-2 Ergonomic is solidly built, which makes it relatively heavy and even slightly front heavy. The drill has two grips, one at the front and one a little further back. These are comfortable and rubberised, and the machine feels stable in your hands. The double grip is one of the best things about this drill - it makes it a perfect tool when you're drilling and need good control. Equally, it can be useful to have a two-handed grip when you're screwing in longer screws, because you then obtain better control over the machine.

We didn't notice any strange noises or loose controls. The controls present just the right amount of resistance. However, the noise profile can feel rather unpleasant due to a whining sound in the background, at least after using it for a while. The LI-2 Ergonomic isn't particularly powerful, but it's perfectly sufficient for the DIY user. It easily copes with screwing everything from plasterboard to decking screws. It reaches its limit with anchor screws in support studs. Here we have to push the motor to maximum to get the screws in, and it only just manages. Instead of stopping suddenly, it just sounds rather angry, but it doesn't generally jerk in your hands. If it does, however, it shuts down automatically and you have to restart it. As a safety function this is excellent because you reduce the risk of wrist injury. The battery lasts for a long time between charges and recharges in a little less than an hour.

If you have one with 2 batteries, you can change between them and keep the drill running all the time. In terms of functions, the LI-2 Ergonomic has the usual functions such as battery indicator, work lighting, two gears and a rotation direction selector. However, the latter is a slide control instead of a button, which makes it more difficult to reach with a one-handed grip. The drill has no extra functions such as a magnetic plate or other space for bit storage, but it does include a double-ended bit. We would have preferred a magnetic bit holder to be included. The compact design makes the Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 Ergonomic an excellent alternative for a DIY user, regardless of whether you're assembling a kitchen or building a patio.

High build qualitycompact & well designeddouble gripeasy to store
Unpleasant noise profilerather underpowered

5. Einhell TE-CD 18/2 Li Kit

Neat, good value for money drill with slightly sluggish buttons

Price class: Budget Battery: 18 V Li-Ion Measured noise level: 76.1 dB (average value) RPM: 0-350 rpm and 0-1250 rpm Torque: 44 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes Chuck: 10 mm quick chuck Accessories included: 2 x 18V 1.5 Ah battery

Einhell TE-CD 18-2 Li-i Kit (2x1.5Ah)

The Einhell TE-CD 18/2 Li Kit is a battery-driven drill/driver that suits a wide range of tasks despite the fact that it belongs to the upper end of the budget class. The battery time is among the best in our test, and it can cope with screwing hefty screws into soft fir wood without complaining. It’s only when we push it in terms of power on a thick oak edging strip that we can see it’s not an elite machine. However, it doesn’t completely fail at any of the test tasks. One thing we did note which can be slightly irritating is that it’s quite slow in reverse. This means that it takes longer than you’d want to unscrew a screw. The quick chuck makes it easy to change between drill and bit holders. The battery holds its charge well between uses and charging takes a mere 40 minutes for the 1.5 Ah battery included in our test kit, which is hard to scoff at.

The TE-CD 18/2 is relatively light and compact, which makes it easy to gain access even in restricted spaces. The rubberised grip makes it feel stable in your hands, and the balance of the drill is good, contributing to the positive impression. However, the button to change between first and second gear is extremely sluggish, and it’s tough to get the last step of torque. The intelligent belt clip on the side saves time because you can easily hang the drill from your belt while you carry out other tasks. This came in handy several times when we were standing on a ladder and had to put the drill down to measure something. Another practical function is the LED lighting, which makes it easy to see the screw head even in dark conditions. However, you can’t turn off the light. Something the drill lacks, but which would have been useful, is integrated space for drill and drill bits on the body of the machine. But overall, this is a really good and versatile drill for its price class.

Balancedcompactincludes a belt clip
Tough to setslow unscrewing

6. Bosch GSR 18V-60 C Professional

Compact, good grip and app functionality

Price class: Premium Dimensions: 173xBx248 mm Weight: 1.8 kg Battery: 18 V, 5 Ah Measured noise level: 85 dB Speed: 0-600 rpm or 0-1900 rpm Torque: 31 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes Chuck: 13 mm quick chuck Accessories included: Double-ended bit

Bosch GSR 18V-60 C Professional (2x5.0Ah)

The Bosch GSR 18V-60 C Professional is a stable and tall drill with a compact front that means you can easily get into even narrow spaces. For a tool belonging to the Bosch blue range - which is aimed at professionals - it isn't particularly powerful. But it's perfectly acceptable for a DIYer. For example, the drill is fine for screwing anchor screws into a supporting stud, but you need to use maximum strength to stop it protesting. And you can simply forget about putting thick screws in solid hardwood. But the GSR 18V-60 C has other advantages. For example, you can link it with an app to remember the settings you've used. This can be useful if you're doing fine carpentry. But for the majority of private users this type of memory setting isn't really necessary. The app does give you high speed access to the manual, however, and you can also control the sensitivity of different functions. Unfortunately, our test examples didn't include any chips so we couldn't test how well this works in practice.

The primary strength of the Bosch GSR 18V-60 C Professional is in its format, combined with the stable design. The drill has good work lighting, a clear battery indicator and a high speed charger that means you're working again from a flat battery in about 40 minutes. The belt clip included with the drill is also very useful. But if you're looking for sheer raw strength, this isn't the drill for you. Particularly not at this price level. But for a perfectionist who wants a drill in a compact format that will cope with domestic DIY - everything from building a patio to installing a kitchen - the GSR 18V-60 C is a reasonable choice. It's comprehensive, compact, well balanced and remembers your settings.

Well balancedcompact & stable designhigh build qualityapp functionality
Weak for the price class

7. Ryobi RCD1802M

Slightly underpowered but versatile budget drill

Price class: Budget Weight: 1.21 kg Battery: 18 V Li-Ion Measured noise level: 80.6 dB (average value) RPM: 0-440 rpm and 0-1600 rpm Torque: 45 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes Chuck: 13 mm quick chuck

Ryobi RCD1802M Solo

The Ryobi RCD1802M is a drill with many aces up its sleeve, such as a magnetic plate on the foot where you can place screws, together with a bit holder. There is also a built-in spirit level on the top of the drill. These functions are very welcome, particularly for this price class. In terms of design, it’s otherwise a rather large and bulky drill. It has a thick neck and quite a tall battery, which makes it feel substantial. At the same time, it’s a little unbalanced in your hands and this makes it feel heavier than it actually is. On the whole it gives a good impression, which is increased still further by the extra functions we named previously.

This drill has two Achilles heels: its strength and charging time. In terms of power it coped with more than what we expected, given the price. At the same time when we pushed it, it didn’t really reach the level that a DIYer might require. For example, it has to work at relatively high strength to get a substantial screw into a thick stud. On the other hand, the RCD1802M delivers as long as we set it on maximum level, and this means that it’s still fine for the intermittent DIYer who doesn’t want to spend more than necessary on tools. However, the charging time for the 2.5 mAh battery being more than 1.5 hours is a tad long and we hope this will improve in the future. But just the fact that such a large battery is included for this price makes us happy.

Lots of functionsgood value for money
Slightly underpoweredunbalancedlong charging time

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8. Cocraft LXC DD18

Good lightweight and cheap machine for simpler tasks

Price class: Budget Weight: 1.6 kg Battery: 18 V 2 Ah Li-Ion Speed: 0-400 rpm and 0-1500 rpm Torque: 45 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes Chuck: 13 mm quick chuck

Cocraft LXC DD18 (1x2.0Ah)

The Cocraft LXC DD18 is a relatively heavy but substantial drill. The buttons, handle and other details are positioned as you'd expect. One weakness is that the head can’t be fully locked, which is a disadvantage when you want to tighten the chuck. If you tighten it without depressing the main switch at the same time, it’s difficult to get it to lock sufficiently well for the bit holder to stay in place during use. This means that we lose the bit holder a couple of times while we’re working. The grip on the LXC DD18 is rubberised and the drill sits nicely in the hand. All the buttons are easy to adjust and have a good amount of resistance. The drill reacts quickly when you depress the main switch and stops quickly too when you release the switch. The noise profile is a bit unpleasant. Unfortunately, our example is also a bit unbalanced in the chuck, and the bit holder moves unevenly. This becomes clear when we study the movement pattern in detail, and it reduces the score for build quality. But the long warranty period is a positive point.

In terms of strength, the Cocraft LXC DD18 performs on the same level as many other drills aimed at the DIYer. It can easily cope with simpler tasks, such as screwing plasterboard screws, installing cabinet frames and screwing into decking boards. When it comes to heavier tasks, however, we begin to see its limitations. For example, the battery life is reduced considerably under heavy loads. The LXC DD18 is also just able to screw anchor screws into a patio frame, but that’s really the top of its range. This level of strength is probably sufficient for many DIYers. But if you're after a drill that performs well in demanding conditions, such as extending a house or screwing often into solid wood, you need to buy something more powerful. However, given its price the Cocraft LXC DD18 is relatively powerful and makes a good option for those with less demanding needs.

Long guaranteepowerful given the price
Poor locking functionmoves a bit unevenly

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9. Black & Decker BL186KB

A lot of power for your money, but the balance isn’t great

Price class: Budget Battery: 18 V Li-Ion Measured noise level: 80.1 dB (average value) RPM: 0-410 rpm and 0-1650 rpm Torque: 52 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes Chuck: 13 mm quick chuck Accessories included: 2 x 1.5 Ah batteries, charger, kit box

Black & Decker BL186KB (2x1.5Ah)

The Black & Decker BL186KB is a really strong drill that coped with all of the tough tasks we gave it, despite only being in the upper end of the budget class. It was only when we pushed it to its utmost at lower strengths that we could see where it starts to struggle – and even then, it did pretty well. Screwing into thick oak edging strips or substantial studs is no problem for this machine. The battery is economical and the BL186KB works for a long time on one charge. However, a major disadvantage is that the battery doesn't have an indicator. Charging also takes a long time with the small, extremely simple charger. A 1.5 Ah battery takes over 1.5 hours to fully charge. They could have improved here with a design that offers quick charge.

The biggest weakness of the BL186KB is its design. It’s unbalanced at the front, which you really notice when you use it for longer periods. It’s also rather bulky and a bit clumsy. But there are some nice features. For example, it has a bit holder and LED lighting on the foot. Unfortunately, you can’t turn the lighting on and off as you want, but it's still a welcome addition. The torque setting works well and it's easy to remove the battery. The BL186KB’s noise level is average, but the noise profile is extremely unpleasant, with a strident sound. But if you can live with that and the fact that it's rather clumsy, it's a powerful drill for the money.

Strongintegrated bit holder
No battery indicatorannoying soundslow charging

10. AEG BS 18 CBL LI-202C

Responsive but expensive without great performance. Overall? Nice drill with case.

Price class: Premium Weight: 1.8 kg Battery: 18 V Li-Ion Measured noise level: 84.7 dB (average value) RPM: 0-550 rpm and 0-2100 rpm Torque: 60 Nm Gears: 2 LED lighting: Yes Chuck: 13 mm quick chuck Accessories included: Supplied with 2 x 2.0 Ah Pro Lithium Ion batteries, 40 min charger, side handle and case.

AEG BSB 18 CBL LI-202C (2x2.0Ah)

The AEG BS 18CBL LI-202C drill/driver responds immediately when you press the button and makes it easy to regulate the speed while screwing. But otherwise it’s a bit of a compromise. It’s strong and has the functions you’d want but doesn’t provide top performance in any category – despite being quite expensive. It passed the strength trial with no problems and can cope with screwing chunkier screws into more robust studs and harder wood types, although some of its competitors perform better for a lower price. The torque control is very straightforward, the buttons are easy to set in the right positions and the build quality generally feels OK till we start to screw. Because what we don’t like about this drill is the noise profile. The measured noise level isn’t particularly high, but the noise is an unpleasant one that cuts into your ears when using the drill –particularly just when you stop using it. We had to use hearing protectors to make the working environment more comfortable.

Another disadvantage of the 18 CBL is that it feels unbalanced and heavy in your hands. Given the price, these are disadvantages we hadn’t counted on. The battery lasts well between charges and can be charged to a high level relatively quickly. Despite the fact that it’s a 2.0 Ah battery, it can be completely charged in just over 60 minutes. Overall, the AEG BS 18 CBL LI-202C is a useful but rather noisy piece of kit – but one that we had higher expectations of given its price class.

Responds immediatelyabove average strengthshort charging timecomes with case
Unpleasantly noisyunbalanced

Everything about Screwdriver

Screwdrivers are the most frequently used electrical tool in most people’s toolboxes. So, if you know that you’re going to be doing a lot of DIY, it can be sensible to invest in a good value for money but slightly more powerful version. Meanwhile, those of you who will only use one sporadically for lighter work should perhaps instead invest in an affordable model in the budget segment.

Screwdrivers are available with different voltages and different primary functions. In our guide below you can read in more detail about what distinguishes them, but a standard drill should be an 18 V drill/driver – simply because it will suit a wide range of tasks.

When you're going to buy a new drill, you can also think about the other battery-powered tools you already have. The majority of manufacturers today have systems that mean the same battery fits a large number of their tools. So, for example, if you have an electric jigsaw of particular brand, it may be sensible to buy a drill of the same brand but without a battery for it. However, it’s always a good idea to have two batteries so that you can charge one while you’re using the other.

Buying drills

When you have chosen a model, it can be useful to check the kits it’s sold as part of. If you already have batteries to one electric tool from the same manufacturer, you can buy the drill without a battery. But if you don’t, you can often find affordable kits with double batteries and a tool case.

The big drill guide

What do you need to think about when you’re buying a drill? If you have a good understanding of how they work, what distinguishes the models and what functions and accessories are available, it’s easier to make a well-informed and efficient choice.

Drill types

There are a variety of different types of drill. For example, some are only intended for screwing with, while others are also intended for drilling.

Different types of drill is described below:

Mini drill

A small drill. Often quite weak, but handy for the odd simple task. For example, if you want to hang up a few pictures or renovate a couple of items of furniture.

Screwdriver drill

A machine intended for screwing in or removing screws. Sometimes it’s useful to have a nail puller for moving home or taking down furniture. The advantage of a simple drill is that they are often good at tightening screws in tough timber, unlike many combination machines.

Impact drill

A drill with a drill bit that strikes in the direction of rotation. It strikes the screw by having high torque. The function is similar to that in an impact wrench.

The advantage of an impact drill is that it can cope with tougher resistance. When a drill can't cope with a screw, that’s when you need an impact drill. The process will also be quicker and more ergonomic as you don’t have to push against it when screwing. But they aren’t intended for drilling in concrete, even though the name may make you think that. They have a drill bit but are only intended for screwing with.

Drill/driver

A drill that you can also drill with. This combination machine is equipped with a chuck so that you can choose between a drill or bit holder, and often also have a number of gears and torque settings.

There are also drill/drivers with an impact function. The idea with many of these is for them to also be able to cope with drilling in concrete. But not all of them are good in terms of performance on this last point. Make sure you do thorough research before buying.

Right angle impact driver

The shape makes it suitable for narrow spaces where normal drills won’t fit.

Plasterboard drill

A special drill equipped with a depth stop. This is intended for sheet material. When you use it, it drives in the screw extremely quickly but stops at exactly the right depth.

Strength & torque

The strength of the drill is what primarily determines its torque. Torque is stated in Newton metres (Nm), and the size of the torque determines how hard the screw is screwed in. The drill’s maximum torque is determined by the motor power and efficiency. And the power is in turn dependent on the voltage it is supplied with. To simplify slightly, the higher the voltage, the more powerful machine and the more it can cope with tough timber, substantial screws etc. The maximum torque can also be called the torque limit. As a rule, the torque limit can be adjusted and reduced several steps from maximum. This can be selected on the basis of how hard you want to screw in the screw.

For easier screwing work, such as assembling flat pack furniture (IKEA and similar), a torque of 3-5 Nm is often sufficient. For more difficult tasks, such as hex bolts, a torque of 40 Nm or more is recommended. In the case of extremely high torque there are models that jerk so much they can injure the user’s wrists if not used carefully. A drill with extremely high torque must therefore be well designed to avoid negative consequences.

Today, 18 V is the most common voltage for battery-operated drills. One major advantage with this voltage is that you can often use batteries from the same brand on different types of machine. This where you can buy “bare” machines and save money by sharing the batteries between them.

However, 18 V is quite powerful, and for some consumers unnecessarily so. Weaker drills tend to be cheaper and weigh less.

For this reason there are also drills with lower voltages – everything from a couple of volts less to mini-drills of just 3-4 V. Screwdrivers with a voltage of around 10-12 V are generally more compact and weigh less than 18 V models.

Battery or mains power

he most common types available are battery-operated drills, because batteries have improved so much today in terms of the power you need for screwing. But there are also mains powered drills. The advantage of these is that you don’t have to change the battery. The disadvantage is that you are limited to the cable length and any extension cable.

Battery

The most common type of drill comes with a battery. Here there are three crucial points. Battery quality, battery life and how quickly you can recharge the drill after use. Battery capacity is stated in ampere hours (Ah) and together with the power (W) this determines the battery life. For example, a battery with a capacity of 4 Ah should be able to deliver a 4 ampere current for 1 hour, or alternatively 1 ampere for 4 hours. As a concrete example, a battery of 4 Ah should be able to screw in around 1800 screws.

The advantage of batteries with a higher capacity (more ampere hours) is that they can screw more screws before they have to be recharged. The disadvantage is that they are heavier and larger, which can be tiring on the arm muscles over time. Important aspects when buying a drill are the tasks you will be using it for, the number of batteries included and access to the nearest power outlet. For the DIYer there are usually plenty of nearby outlets. Then it can be worth investing in a drill with two batteries of around 1.5-2 Ah and changing between them.

There’s not much difference in terms of weight between a drill with a 3 Ah battery and one with a 1.5 Ah battery, but it’s still a couple of hundred grams. Over time that can be quite a difference if you’re going to do a lot of screwing. Particularly if you're using the drill overhead when installing a ceiling, for example. But if you want to recharge less often, a bigger battery is preferable. The actual charging time varies too. Partly as a result of battery capacity, and partly how good the charger is. A charging time of 2.5 hours isn’t unusual for the budget and medium price segments, while an hour or less is common for the professional segment.

Other than the ampere hours (Ah), the battery voltage (V) also plays a role. The higher the voltage the battery can supply to the motor, the greater the power it will have. But the higher the voltage the battery supplies, the more quickly it uses up its energy. It’s the drill voltage that determines the voltage of the battery that goes with it. Today the most common voltage for battery-operated drills is 18 V. These batteries can often be used for several types of machines from the same manufacturer, such as tiger saws or strimmers. As more manufacturers now sell battery-operated machines without batteries for a lower price, you can save money by having a number of machines that share the same battery. In some cases you can even use a battery with a significantly higher voltage (e.g. 48 V) with a lower voltage appliance. This means that you can share batteries between your drill and more powerful machines such as strimmers and motor saws.

Gears

The drill can also be equipped with gears. Lower gears give more power, and higher gears give more speed. The gear you should use is determined by the task. Easier screwing can be carried out in higher gear and vice versa.

Chuck/bit holder

There are drills without chucks, which just have a bit holder. But there are also drills with chucks, and these are the most common type today because many people use drills to drill with. The size of the chuck is important as it determines how large a drill bit you can use, and thus how big a hole you can drill.

Lighting

Many drills have built-in LED lighting. This is a very useful function which makes it easier to see the screw head even in dark environments

Guarantees

The average drill isn’t a cheap product. Good guarantees and good access to spare parts, such as new batteries, are therefore important aspects when it comes to choosing make and model.

Accessories

Bit holder: Bit holders are available in a range of variants. One of the more useful is the magnetic type that comes with bits in place using magnetism.

Bits: High-quality bits are essential for straightforward, no fuss work. They also last longer and damage fewer screw heads.

Extra batteries: When buying a battery-operated drill, it's usually sensible to buy an extra battery. Then you can carry on working while the discharged battery is recharging.

Chuck: Sometimes chucks wear out. If tightening the screw holding it in place doesn’t suffice, on the majority of models you can undo it and replace it with a new chuck. Remember that chucks are threaded anti-clockwise.

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