Drills are essential tools in woodworking, carpentry, masonry and other jobs. They are used for boring holes in various materials, loosening or tightening screws or even chiseling away material. Drills are available in a wide range of performance characteristics like power and capacity and can be used together with different accessories. When choosing from drill types it is advisable to consider the type of job the drill will be used for. Some of the most commonly used types of drills are mentioned below.
A drill driver is a versatile tool that is ideal for various small jobs, like drilling holes or driving screws into wood, metal or masonry.
Cordless drill drivers come with two speeds and multiple torque settings. Torque for these drills is applied at a constant and it is not as high as the torque in combi drill or impact driver. Thus these types of drills are well suited for jobs that need care and precision.
Drill drivers accept a wide range of drill and screw driving bits. You can also use a wide array of accessories like wire wheel brushes and rotary sanders, with drill driver.
Often cordless drill drivers have 10.8 v lithium ion rechargeable batteries, with 3 to 5-hour charge time. A higher rated battery will make the drill work longer before it needs to be recharged.
When choosing a cordless drill driver it is important to note the capacity of holes it can drill and the top torque setting available. These two factors can affect the materials the drill can work on. Get one that is reliable and has a slip clutch that allows the torque to be adjusted.
Combi hammer drill is the best for doing light repairs and maintenance jobs. Combined drills are suitable for drilling in wood, steel, brick, concrete. It is the best tool for driving construction screws into hard woods. Combi drills also have a hammer functionality which adds blows to drilling that allows drilling in masonry.
Combi can easily do three jobs. It can drill holes into metal and wood, it can drill holes into concrete and masonry by the hammer function and it can drive screws. Combi drills come mostly in two speeds sometimes it comes in three levels of speed too. The low-speed level is used for jobs that require high torque such as screw driving. Higher speeds are mostly used for drilling metal of wood.
Cordless combi drills are the most used drills these days. They provide more mobility and come with rechargeable batteries. The commonly used batteries are the 1.3Ah Li-ion batteries, that have around 1 hour charging time.
When buying a combi drill it is important to see the construction of the combi drill. Since combi drills are used for many robust jobs, it is important to get one that is well made, reliable and feels comfortable. Get a combi drill that drills with a metal chuck or a metal gearbox.
The impact drivers are essentially used to drive screws into hard workpieces. The impact drivers are usually fitted with a hex chuck. It has a quick release mechanism that is different from the chuck found on combi drivers and drill drivers. The hex chuck takes hex screwdriver bits which easily drives into hard surfaces. It can also do drilling jobs when fitted with a correct bit.
Impact drivers have high torque and are coupled with high levels of impact. Typical impact drivers will output high levels of torque than the top combi drill.
Impact drivers power screws through some really hard materials with more torque and concussive blows. It drives long screws easily and is less likely to strip screws. It prevents wrist strain and easily fits into small spaces because of its smaller body.
SDS drill type
SDS or special direct system, or slotted drive system drills are extremely powerful. They are used when extra power is required for heavy duty jobs. These drills have three basic functions -normal drilling, hammer action or chiseling. To complete these functions, the drill can hold large drill bits with a bigger diameter. SDS drills are used by professionals for major projects. These are heavy weight and unsuitable for light drilling jobs.
The SDS drill bits have slots at the end of the shank which will fit into the chuck of an SDS drill. These slots or dents allows the bits to be pushed forward by the hammer action of the drill while being retained by the drill because of the 2 spring ball bearings which lie in the slots of the drill bit.
SDS drills work on three different modes, rotatory, rotatory with hammer and hammer only. In the rotatory mode, the chuck rotates the drill bits and the bit bites into the material. It is suitable for soft materials. In the rotatory with hammer mode, the piston inside the drill will drive forward which in turn drives the drill bit forward. This is the most commonly used method in SDS drills. The hammer only method is also called as the rotary stop or chisel mode. In this mode, the rotatory motion of the drill is stopped and only the hammer action is applied. The piston moves back and forth driving the drill bit back and forth. The drill bit is hence driven into the material
When getting an SDS drill it is necessary to figure out the jobs for which it will be needed. It saves time and energy when working on hard materials. 3 mode drills are more expensive but are often negligible. Get one that is reliable and has a front handle. SDS drills should not be used with one hand but should be supported firmly by both hands to balance the weight. It is advisable to hold both normal and the front handles securely as it vibrates during use.
A good power drill is one of the 3 basic power tools that unFRAMED Workshop advises to get when starting out with making or woodworking. To see the other 2, check out our article – 3 Essential Woodworking Power tools for Beginner Maker