Tool Tuesday 7/21/15

Lets talk Drills.

Lets start with pros and cons of Cordless drills. You can go buy a cheap drill and ten years from now still get a replacement battery for it. You can buy a high end Makita drill or even a middle grade Craftsmen brand and be lucky to get replacement batteries for three to four years before they redesign it and you’re stuck buying a new drill or you can reverse engineer a battery.

Cheap drills can only do so much before you end up getting upset with your self and have that moment “I should of spent that extra thirty dollars!”. They use a lower voltage, amp and current. The torque is about the same as a baby’s grip. Most of all cheap ones from say Harbor Freight will blow up during use.

Regardless you be happier with a mid grade or high end drill.

Everyone has their own preference on cordless drills. I myself have a Craftsmen drill that was left to me by my late father. The drill had two battery units and one lasted ten years and the other lasted thirteen years. The only thing I didn’t like about it is when I needed it the battery would be dead because it used old school NICD cells. So if I wanted to use the cordless I had to plan ahead three hours. However I have a Skil 6340 3.5amp 0-1300 RPM corded style drill with a 3/8 key-less chuck. Had it for twenty years or so.
Skil Drill

Only issue I have with a corded drill is the power cable is only three feet long so if I need to use it I have to lug around a extension cable.

Now if you’re in the market for a drill I would suggest to get a cordless that uses Lithium cells. So if you are like me you can charge it and when needed it will still have juice in the battery up to I think three months. It’s up to you on the bells and whistles let alone the brand of drill you are looking for. I myself tried Ryobi, DeWalt, Makita, Craftsmen, Black & Decker and out of all of those I prefer the Makita. Some drills have a bubble level on the end so you can make sure you’re level. Some have smaller sized chucks and others can hold monster sized bits. Today’s drills have Micro controllers that stop the user from abusing the drill that help prolong the life of the drill and to help the company that made the thing drop down in replacements/refunds. Makes it a love/hate relation ship because sometimes you need to drill something that will take a lot out of a drill.

It doesn’t hurt to have a corded drill. They come in handy and work great for mundane things. There is a guy on YouTube that builds projects that involves a drill to work as a lathe or even a jig saw.

Here are some tips for drills.
Keep the drill bits well oiled. Buy a quick changer bit so you can switch out bits on the fly. Mount a small block of wood to the top to always make perfect straight holes or build a jig if you don’t want to hurt the drill’s casing. Never leave a battery in the charger longer then the recommended charge time. So don’t think “hey, I’ll leave it in the charger when not in use”. Smart chargers will drain the battery and recharge or stop charging, let the battery discharge then charge again. This will degrade the battery real quick. Store the drill in a dry place, do not store it in a shed or garage.

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