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A cordless power drill under £100 is perfectly adequate for most weekend DIYers or hobbyists. There’s no need to stretch your finances further than they need stretching if you’re doing fairly easy DIY work around the home as and when you need to.
If this doesn’t describe you and the kind of DIY work you plan on doing, or you feel as though you’ll need a more powerful machine, check out this list of the best cordless drills over £100.
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What to consider when buying a cordless drill
- The higher the voltage, the more powerful the drill. Most home DIYers will get adequate service from an 18v machine, but if you’re in the trade, you should choose a 24v or higher model. For light work, a 12v machine is fine.
- Battery capacity is rated using an Ah measurement. Ah stands for ampere hour or amp-hour. The higher the Ah number, the more powerful the battery (and weightier too!).
- How many batteries do you need? In an ideal world, you’ll want to have at least two batteries with one always fully charged and ready to take over if the one you’re using goes flat.
- Lithium-ion batteries are used in most cordless drills these days. They’re lightweight, more powerful than their older counterparts and they’re safer for the environment. You can charge a lithium-ion battery whenever you want (you don’t have to wait for it to go flat) and there’s no self-discharge (loss of stored charge) when it hasn’t been used for a long time.
- Brushless motors. Drills built with brushless motors tend to last longer, provide better torque control and faster speeds due to reduced friction and heat build-up.
- Weight. Always take into consideration the weight of the drill before you buy.
How to choose the best type of drill for you
Are you confused by the various types of drill on the market? In this short drill buying guide, we’ll dig a little deeper into your choices. You’ll also find some helpful tips and advice on how to choose the best drill for you.
How will you use your drill?
Knowing how you’ll use your drill helps focus your options.
For light DIY jobs around the house, such as hanging pictures, putting up shelves and building flatpack furniture, a drill driver is best. They’re used for drilling into different kinds of material such as wood and metal and for driving screws. They’re so much easier to use compared to traditional, manual screwdrivers, and they get the job done quicker!
For drilling into concrete or brickwork, you’ll need a combi drill with hammer function or a hammer drill. A drill driver doesn’t have the power to handle this type of DIY work.
That’s just a quick overview. Keep reading. We’re about to go into more detail.
4 types of electric power drill currently on the market
An electric power drill typically falls into one of the following categories:
- Combi drill
- Drill driver
- Impact driver
- Hammer drill
A combi (combination) drill is a great all-rounder. You use it for drilling into wood or metal and for driving screws. And when you switch to the hammer action, you can use it for drilling into concrete and masonry.
Whatever material you’re drilling into, always make sure you’re using the correct drill bit.
Pros of combi drills
- A versatile machine with the ability to drill into wood, metal, masonry and concrete
- Can be used as a standard drill, hammer drill or impact driver
- A wide range of choices with prices to fit every pocket
Cons of combi drills
- Lower torque and speed compared to impact drivers when driving screws
- Heavier and bulkier than other types of drill
Drill drivers don’t have the power or versatility of the combi drill. They’re a good choice for drilling into wood and metal and for driving screws. But they don’t have the power to tackle concrete or brickwork.
For drilling into brick walls or concrete posts, the drill driver is the wrong choice. For light DIY jobs around the home, it’s at the top of the list.
Pros of drill drivers
- Typically cheaper than combi drills
- Use on metal and wood
- Doubles up as a powerful and efficient screwdriver
Cons of drill drivers
- Not suitable for heavy work such as drilling into masonry
- Not as strong as a combi drill
Impact drivers add a bit of clout when needed. They’re high torque machines designed to do one job only – drive screws. Which they do faster and easier than any machine currently on the market.
With that said, you can use them for drilling but you’ll need a set of hex shank drill bits to match the chuck of the typical impact driver.
Pros of impact drivers
- Ideal for high torque applications
- Awesome screwdriver
- Compact design so they can get into tight spaces
Cons of impact drivers
- Not suitable for drilling masonry
- Not as versatile as combi drills or drill drivers
Hammer drills are used for drilling into brickwork, stone and concrete. They use a hammering action to provide rapid and powerful blows to the material’s surface. With the proper machine and correct masonry bit, you’ll drill a hole in no time.
Pros of hammer drills
- Perfect for drilling into brickwork, stone and concrete
Cons of hammer drills
- Not designed to be used on wood or metal
- Not as versatile as a combi drill or drill driver
- Bulkier and heavier than other types of drill
Which is the right power drill for you?
When you’re buying a drill, always shop around for bargains. There are plenty to be had if you’re in the right place at the right time. Choose a machine that matches the kind of DIY work you do, and always spend as much as you can afford at the time.