Categories
Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Impact Wrench

Best Impact Wrenches in 2020

You know the frustration of trying to remove nuts and bolts that just won’t seem to budge. There is one tool that can make the job easier – an impact wrench. If you’re not well-informed about the ins and outs of this handy tool, you could end up with an impact wrench that is more trouble than it’s worth. Before you can pick one by its features, you need to know more about how they work and the different types that you can buy.

impact wrench

How Do Impact Wrenches Work?

In essence, it’s all about creating a lot of torque. Inside every impact wrench, there is a motor and a hammer-shaped mass. Once the impact wrench draws power, the hammer spins at a rapid rate, which gives the motor energy. As the motor’s energy builds and the hammer rotates, the motor drives the hammer into the tool’s anvil. As a result, you feel little impact, and you get more torque than you can produce on your own.

When Would an Impact Wrench Be Helpful?

Besides the enormous amount of torque, there is another benefit that comes from using an impact wrench – precision. This makes impact wrenches a must-have for auto mechanic shops and car enthusiasts alike. Impact wrenches are also commonly used for heavy-duty industrial applications and small at-home jobs. During times when you’re dealing with a rusted or stubborn bolt, an impact wrench becomes a lifesaver.

cordless impact wrench

How Do Impact Wrenches Differ From Torque Wrenches and Impact Drivers?

Impact wrenches, torque wrenches, and impact drivers may be closely related in some ways, but their purposes are much different. While not an everyday tool, impact wrenches are great for removing bolts, nuts, and other fasteners. On the other hand, impact drivers are suitable for driving screws and other drilling activities. Finally, torque wrenches are well-adept at making exact adjustments.

What Type of Impact Wrench Should I Buy?

These tools are categorized by the way they’re powered. Corded impact wrenches are relatively lightweight. However, staying mindful of their power cord can become burdensome. On the other hand, cordless impact wrenches offer total portability because they operate on battery power. However, the battery adds a little more weight, and you have to keep it charged.

Hydraulic impact wrenches are another variety. These tools give the most torque, but they are only used on industrial jobs and construction sites. The second most powerful impact wrench is the pneumatic one. Pneumatic impact wrenches don’t weigh as much as corded or cordless ones, but you must keep it attached to an air compressor.

electric impact wrench

Which Style Is Better – The Inline Style or Pistol Style?

Impact wrenches can further be categorized by the way they look. Pistol-style impact wrenches look similar to electric drills. Due to their ergonomic design, pistol wrenches are more comfortable to hold, and they cause less hand strain during long working periods.

The other style is called an inline impact wrench. These wrenches are slim, and the anvil is either aligned with the wrench’s body or crooked at a right angle. If you need to reach in tight spaces, inline impact wrenches are well-suited for those tasks.

impact wrenches and drivers

Top 5 Impact Wrenches

5 Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench

Every tool should be as easy to maintain and use as this pneumatic impact wrench by Ingersoll Rand. It features a trigger control that’s positioned on an ergonomic handle that’s meant to eliminate wrist strain. This impact wrench is also compact and lightweight, measuring just 7.8 inches long and weighing a mere 5.8 pounds.

Ingersoll-Rand-231C-Super-Duty-Air-Impact-Wrench

Don’t be fooled by the tool’s small size. Thanks to its dual-hammer design, the wrench can reach a maximum speed of 8,000 RPM. In turn, the tool can put out 600 foot-pounds of torque, easily removing those bolts and nuts that just won’t budge. For precision tasks, you can control the torque via the adjustable power regulator.

Read our in-depth Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench Review

As soon as you buy this pneumatic impact wrench, you can use it because it comes completely lubricated. With its pressure-feed lubrication setup, you’ll find maintenance to be hassle-free. To protect your new tool, Ingersoll Rand offers a 1-year warranty.

Check how much you can save, buying the Ingersoll Rand 231C Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

4 DEWALT DCF899B 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench

When you need a durable impact wrench that provides high performance, the DCF899B MAX XR by DeWalt is a great buy. This cordless impact wrench is easy to handle with its weight of 5.8 pounds and length of 8.81 inches, and its pistol grip has a textured rubber coating to help keep your hand steady.

DEWALT-DCF899B-20V-MAX-XR-Brushless-High-Torque-1-2-Impact-Wrench

It may be small in size, but the MAX XR is built tough. It boasts a shear-resistant anvil, and it has a secure dentin pin that prevents you from dropping your sockets. Within this impact wrench, there is a long-lasting brushless motor that puts out as much as 700 foot-pounds of torque at 2,400 impacts per minute.

Read our in-depth DEWALT DCF899B 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench Review

For times when you need to control the torque, simply uses the triple-speed switch that turns the hammer as fast as 1,900 RPM. The cordless impact wrench also has an LED light that offers visibility in dark workspaces. For your convenience, you can monitor the battery life from the fuel gauge, and you are covered by a 3-year limited warranty.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCF899B Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

3 Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Drive Air Impact Wrench

The Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Impact Wrench is every auto mechanic’s dream tool. At 4.6 pounds, the 2235TiMAX is featherlight in your hands. Its length of 7.6 inches means the tool is workable in tight areas. Plus, it comes with a 2-year warranty for your peace of mind.

Ingersoll-Rand-2235TiMAX-Drive-Air-Impact-Wrench

You also get an amazing amount of torque that maxes out at 1,350 foot-pounds at its highest of four power positions. In reverse, the torque is still impressive at 930 foot-pounds. When you need to go back and forth from forward to reverse, the button is easy to maneuver with just one hand.

Read our in-depth Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Drive Air Impact Wrench Review

No matter how often you put the impact wrench to the test, it will never let you down. It contains a twin-hammer mechanism and a steel wear plate. In addition, the housing is made of titanium, protecting it from long drops and hard usage.

Check how much you can save, buying the Ingersoll Rand 2235TiMAX Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

2 DEWALT DCF899P1 20V MAX XR Brushless High Torque 1/2″ Impact Wrench

Here is one for the at-home handyman. This cordless impact wrench kit from DeWalt comes with everything you need for user-friendly performance, including a powerful 20-volt lithium-ion battery, a charger, an integrated LED light and a one-half-inch detent anvil.

DEWALT-DCF899P1-20V-MAX-XR-Brushless-High-Torque-1-2-Impact-Wrench

You’ll also appreciate the ergonomic design of the pistol-style handle and the ability to select one of three speeds that range from 400 to 1,900 RPM. It’s also easy to hold and carry thanks to the tool’s weight of 7.2 pounds. If you do drop the impact wrench, it’s rugged enough to survive falls up to 8 feet.

The brushless motor inside of the cordless impact wrench produces 700 foot-pounds of torque and as much as 1,200 foot-pounds of breakaway torque. With its strong impact mechanism, this tool can hammer away at a rate of 2,400 impacts per minute. If you ever have a problem with the MAX XR, DeWalt offers warranty coverage on it for 3 years.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCF899P1 Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT Bare-Tool DC820B 1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Impact Wrench

Do you want an impact wrench that can get the job done fastLook no further than this cordless impact wrench made by DeWalt. The hammer spins at a top speed of 2,400 RPM, allowing the ultra-durable frameless motor to generate 1,740 inch-pounds of torque.

DEWALT-Bare-Tool-DC820B-1-2-Inch-18-Volt-Cordless-Impact-Wrench

It’s also featherlight at only 2.2 pounds. Plus, the impact wrench’s short length of 5.75 inches means it can fit into places where bulky impact wrenches can’t go. Don’t worry about comfort because the impact wrench has a no-slip pistol grip. For extra help in poorly lit areas, the tool offers a 20-second delayed LED light.

With its metal transmission, you’ll get years of reliable use from this impact wrench long after the 3-year warranty expires. However, if you must have it repaired, the first year of service comes at no additional charge. All you need to put this tool to use is one of DeWalt’s 18-volt nickel-cadmium batteries.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DC820B Impact Wrench on Amazon >>>

air impact wrench

Regardless of your level of fix-it know-how, automatic tools make life easier. When you have a long to-do list, you don’t want an inefficient power tool slowing you down. No two impact wrenches are alike, so you can’t just get the first one you see. Before you purchase one, you need to know what set of features make an impact wrench a worthwhile buy.

Impact Wrench Torque
In the world of impact wrenches, torque takes the top spot as far as features are concerned, and there is no torque that’s considered too high. Therefore, you should pass on any impact wrench with a torque under 500 foot-pounds. Besides the maximum force behind the turn, make sure there is a control that lets you regulate the power for those precision tasks.

best cordless impact wrench

Impact Wrench RPM
The number of rotations per minutes is just as important as the torque. The more rotations an impact wrench can make, the less effort you have to put forth. When you are fastening, a fast RPM equates to getting the job done quickly.

Impact Wrench IPM
IPM, or impacts per minute, is a measurement of an impact wrench’s hammering action. Like the torque and the revolutions per minute, the higher the IPM, the better. An impact hammer with a rapid IPM will make more contact with the target.

best cordless impact wrench 2018

Impact Wrench Anvil
The anvil size differs from one impact wrench to the next, spanning from one-fourth an inch to three-fourths an inch. There are also anvils as large as 2 inches, but the big ones are used for industrial applications. You also have to look at the type of anvil. A detent pin holds the socket tighter, but it takes longer to swap sockets. There is also a hog ring, which is great to have if you frequently change sockets.

Impact Wrench Motor
As with every tool, there is always a debate between brushed and brushless motors. Brushed motors are generally cheaper, driving down the cost of an impact wrench. However, brushless motors don’t have moving parts that cause the friction that leads to breakdowns.

pneumatic impact wrench

Impact Wrench Battery
The type of battery in a cordless impact wrench determines the stability of the tool’s performance from start to finish. Usually, the battery will be nickel-cadmium or lithium-ion. Nickel-cadmium batteries are less expensive, but they cause the impact wrench’s motor to slow down when the battery gets low. This is not the case with lithium-ion batteries. Plus, lithium-ion batteries can hold a charge for a longer period of time.

Impact Wrench Ergonomics
Comfort counts. You want an impact wrench that is easy to hold. Therefore, the grip should be contoured, rubberized or textured. Don’t make the mistake of picking a heavy impact wrench, thinking it will be more powerful. The key to reducing wrist strain during long projects is using a lightweight impact wrench. Additionally, a lightweight impact wrench is easier to carry around a job site.

impact wrench 2018

Impact Wrench Durability
Obviously, an unreliable impact wrench does you no good. As mentioned earlier, ones with a brushless motor are less likely to break. However, the material out of which they are constructed also matters. Durable impact wrenches are made of steel or other metal, not plastic. They may even have a titanium housing and metal transmissions.

3 Recommended Impact Wrenches


Bestseller No. 1
PORTER-CABLE Impact Wrench, 7.5-Amp, 1/2-Inch...
  • 7.5 amp motor for heavy duty applications
  • 450 feet pounds of torque
  • 2, 200 RPM & 2, 700 BPM for speed
Bestseller No. 2
DEWALT DCF880HM2 20-volt MAX Lithium Ion 1/2-Inch...
  • Compact (5. 70" front to back), lightweight (3. 4 lbs) design fits into tight areas
  • Three (3) LED lights with 20 second delay after trigger release, provide visibility without shadows
  • Hog ring anvil to easily change sockets
Bestseller No. 3
Ingersoll Rand 231C Super-Duty Air Impact Wrench,...
  • Classic, reliable design offers proven power, performance, and durability
  • Twin-hammer mechanism delivers a maximum torque of 600 foot-pounds
  • Adjustable power regulator provides easy control of torque output




Categories
Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Guides Impact Driver

Best Cordless Impact Drivers in 2020

Back in the days of yore, impact drivers were used exclusively by professional mechanics and builders for contract jobs, but today we find them becoming a crucial part of a DIY-hobbyist’s collection of power tools. The thing that makes impact drivers so great is their ability to deliver rapid bursts of high torque for driving screws of any shape and size.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

Furthermore, with the right bit, an impact driver can work similarly to a power drill. The great thing is that its high-power motor makes it work even more efficiently than a regular cordless drill.

A quick stroll down the power tool’s aisle in your local hardware store will show you the wide selection of different impact drivers available. The great thing is that you have many different specs and features to choose from, but the bad is that with so many choices, it’s normal for first-time buyers and even experienced ones to find the right model that fits their specific needs. The following portion of this article will provide you with a brief buying guide of impact drivers and the most crucial features to take into consideration.

Power Source

Like many handheld power tools, impact drivers come with or without power cords. Generally, corded impact drivers offer more power, but cordless models are much more portable – something that every contract worker is looking for. In this article, we’re going to focus only on cordless models since there is a higher demand for them.

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

Brushed vs Brushless Motor

In general, there are two different types of motors installed in impact drivers: brushed and brushless motors. Brushed motors are the classic type that is slowly being replaced by brushless motors.

Brushless motors don’t have any brushes that will wear down over time, meaning that it requires fewer visits to the maintenance man and will be usable for many years longer than the brushed variety. Performance-wise, there aren’t any significant differences.



RPM, BPM, and Torque

There are three important variables that can help you determine how well an impact driver performs. These are RPM, BPM, and torque. RPM (rotations per minute) can be an indicator for helping you know how efficient the tool is. BPM (bumps per minute) is the number of hammer-like bumps for driving screws through dense materials. Torque is the amount of force applied while the bit rotates (measured in inch pounds). Greater RPM, BPM, and torque mean more power and better efficiency.

Makita XDT111

Makita XDT111

Chuck Size

The size of the chuck determines the size of the bits that are compatible with an impact driver. The largest commonly used size is half an inch, but you can get a lot of work done with weaker ¼-inch chucks and bits. Large bits are for more heavy-duty jobs whereas small bits are for quick driving jobs that require limited amounts of torque.

Comfort

Like any handheld power tool, comfort should be a priority when choosing an impact driver. Try and find a model that offers an easy-to-grip plastic or rubber handle. The weight of an impact driver can also affect how comfortable the tool is, but you honestly won’t have any trouble finding any lightweight, compact impact driver.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

LED Light

More often than not, you’ll need to use an impact driver in poorly lit areas (e.g., closets, under the hood of your car, or even under your car). There are several impact driver models from various manufacturers that are equipped with LED lights near the chuck. However, you probably shouldn’t fully rely on these LED lights for proper illumination and also invest in a high-lumen LED torch.

Hitachi WH18DGL

Hitachi WH18DGL

Top 5 Cordless Impact Drivers

Impact drivers are naturally versatile tools that can be used in a wide range of applications, but some people, especially first-time buyers, might have some difficulties finding an appropriate model. This is understandable since a quick internet search will literally yield thousands of results.

No need to worry, we’re here to help. The following list contains our picks of the five top-performing cordless impact driver models.

5 Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver

The first impact driver on our list is from the infamous manufacturer of red-colored power tools: Milwaukee’s M18 2656-20. Keep in mind that this is a bare-tool kit, meaning you need to purchase the 18V battery RED Li-Ion battery, battery charger, and hex bits separately.

The proprietary 1.5-amp frameless motor generates up to 2,750 RPM, up to 3,450 BPM, and up to 1,500-inch-pounds of torque. This should help users finish a wide range of different jobs, though some of the more heavy-duty tasks like driving screws through dense surfaces may pose a problem. Nevertheless, for the average hobbyist, mechanic, and furniture-maker, the M18 2656-20 can be a reliable impact driver for most jobs.

Milwaukee M18

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

4 Hitachi WH18DGL Impact Driver

The WH18DGL from Hitachi is another great impact driver worth considering. This kit includes the impact driver, a single 18V rechargeable Li-Ion battery, and a battery charger. To get started with this tool, you’ll have to purchase your own ¼-inch hex bits.

The 3-amp motor generates up to 2,400 RPM and 3,200 BPM at 1,280 inch-pounds of torque. The total weight of the tool with its battery included is only around 3.1 pounds, and it also features a handy LED light near the chuck for keeping your work surface properly illuminated. When working on different surfaces with different screws or bolts, you can alter how much power to deliver by playing around with the touch-sensitive trigger.

Hitachi WH18DGL

Check how much you can save, buying the Hitachi WH18DGL Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

3 Makita XDT111 Impact Driver

The XDT111 from Makita – another Japanese-made impact driver – is definitely worth mentioning. The four-brush motor has two speeds: a low setting that provides 2,900 RPM and the top gear that delivers up to 3,500 RPM. This tool provides up to 3,500 BPM with 1,460 inch-pounds of torque. This ¼-inch impact driver weighs only around 3.9 pounds – battery included – and measures in at only 5-3/8 inches long from chuck to end.

The kit includes the tool, a hard carrying case, an 18V Li-Ion battery, and a rapid charger that can fill a battery from 0 to 100% in only 40 minutes. There are also LED lights for keeping your work surface lit up for easy visibility.

Makita XDT111

Check how much you can save, buying the Makita XDT111 Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

2 BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C Impact Driver

No list of handheld power tools is complete without including at least one BLACK+DECKER model. The BDC120C is a ¼-inch impact driver that runs off of a super-powerful 20V battery. The kit comes with the tool, the battery, a rapid charger that fills a battery to 100% in less than 40 minutes, and a screwdriver bit to get right down to work.

The 1.5-amp motor delivers up to 3,000 RPM and 3,900 BPM at a maximum torque of 1,375 inch-pounds. The amount of power-delivery is determined by how hard you press the touch-sensitive trigger. What’s impressive about this unit is that despite being equipped with a brushed motor, the heat produced by the spinning brushes dissipates much quicker than in other comparable impact driver motors.

BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C

Check how much you can save, buying the BLACK+DECKER BDCI20C Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

1 DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver

The final and number one pick on our list is the DFC885C1 from DEWALT. The company has built a reputation on manufacturing some of the world’s most reliable and efficient power tools, and the DCF885C1 is no exception.

Weighing in at only 2.9 pounds, you’ll hardly feel the weight of the unit even when working overhead and at odd angles. Although the chuck is ¼ inches, the 1.5-amp brushed motor provides enough power that you can attach 1-inch bits with an adapter. Using the touch-sensitive trigger, the impact driver can deliver up to 2,800 RPM and 3,200 BPM at 1,404-inch-pounds of torque. Three LED lights are placed conveniently near the chuck to provide more than enough light for illuminating dark spaces.

DEWALT DCF885C1

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver on Amazon >>>

Final Remarks

Impact drivers are ingenious tools that don’t just drill holes but also have the capacity to drive screws and tighten nuts and bolts. Back in the day, impact drivers were considered to be exclusively used by professionals and contract workers, but today we can find impact drivers in almost every hobbyist’s collection of handheld power tools. If you need to fix up your car, hang pictures, or put furniture together, an impact driver can be your go-to tool.

Milwaukee M18

Milwaukee M18

There are numerous specs and features to keep an eye out for when scouring the market for an impact driver. The most important of these include whether it’s corded or cordless, whether it has a brushed or brushless motor, its speed and power ratings, the size of the chuck, how comfortable it is to grip and use, and whether it has forward-facing LED lights. As long as you know the basics and understand what you need an impact driver for, finding the right model should be much easier to do.

Of course, even if you do know what you want and need, you’re going to be bombarded with thousands and thousands of different impact driver models to choose from. To help you with your search, we’ve compiled a list containing the top five cordless impact drivers available. They are all made from the world’s most popular manufacturers of power tools, but the one that takes the cake is the DCF885C1 from DEWALT. The company has established a reputation so great that an overwhelming number of people – professional and hobbyists alike – swear by the name.

DEWALT DCF885C1

DEWALT DCF885C1

The DCF885C1 is a simple 1.5-amp ¼-inch impact driver that gets its power and speed from a powerful 20V battery. The motor delivers more RPM, BPM, and torque that professional workers are looking for. Even hobbyists can enjoy using this tool as the touch-sensitive trigger can be used to deliver as much or as little torque and speed as you need.

3 Recommended Impact Drivers


SaleBestseller No. 1
DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill Combo Kit, 2-Tool...
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Lightweight tools designed to fit the user's needs
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: The DCF885 features a built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • INCLUDES: (1) DCD771 Drill/Driver, (1) DCF885 1/4 inches Impact Driver, (2) 20V MAX Lithium Ion 1.3 Ah Battery...
SaleBestseller No. 2
DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch...
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: Has built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Compact (5.55 in. front to back)and lightweight (2.8 lbs) design fits into tight areas
  • ONE HANDED BIT LOADING: Has a 1/4 in. hex chuck and accepts 1 in. bit tips. No load speed: 0 2,800
Bestseller No. 3
20V MAX Cordless 1/4" Hex Impact Driver Kit,...
  • POWERFUL MOTOR & HIGH TORQUE – Maximum torque of 1590 in-lbs, along with variable speed up to 2700RPM, this...
  • COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT: Compact design can help you fit into tighter areas, ultra-lightweight(3.1 pounds) make...
  • BRIGHT LED LIGHTS: With 3 built-in LED lights, which can increase your visibility in enclosed work spaces or...




Categories
Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Guides

Best Cordless Drill-Driver Combo Kits in 2020

One of the most effective ways to make the switch from corded to cordless power tools is with purchasing a cordless combo kit. These kits will provide you with several batteries and power tools so you can get straight to work. Combo kits can come with a variety of different tools, some costing more than $2,000 and others considerably cheaper. Most combo kits come in two or four tools, the latter being more popular, but the former being a great option for people looking to build up their collection of cordless power tools gradually.

DEWALT DCK240C2

DEWALT DCK240C2

Finding the Right Cordless Drill-Driver Combo Kit

There are literally hundreds of different cordless drill-driver combo kits available, choosing the right kit for you that much more difficult. The following segment will focus on the most important specs and features to consider when shopping around for such a kit.

Number of Batteries

When searching for combo kits, ideally you’ll want to receive as many batteries as there are tools. Some cordless drill-driver combos might come with only one battery that’s compatible in both tools, but the best kits will give you a battery for each.

Bosch CLPK22-120

Bosch CLPK22-120

Carrying Case or Bag

Since you’re buying multiple tools, you’ll want to have a designated case or bag to place them in. We prefer hard carrying cases over bags since they work better at keeping your tools in place without bumping up against each other.

Drill and Driver Specs

Since you’re getting a cordless drill and impact driver, you’ll want them to work quickly and powerfully. The following specs are the most important to consider.

Makita CT226

Makita CT226

Motor

There are two types of motors generally used in power tools: brushed and brushless motors. The former is the classic type of motor that produces a lot of heat and requires constant maintenance in replacing the brushes, whereas the latter dissipates heat much more effectively but is the costlier option. Brushless drill-driver combo kits are the better option, but brushed drills and drivers can be used in the exact same applications while producing identical results.



Power Output

The rating used to describe the power capability of power drills and impact drivers is units-watts-out (UWO) which measures the combination of speed and torque. Quicker speed and more powerful torque are generally preferred over lower ratings, but for most home applications, virtually moderate speed and torque-power will do.

Comfort

Drills and impact drivers are used in both horizontal and vertical orientations, and many jobs call for drilling holes or driving screws overhead. Find a model that fits comfortably in your hand and won’t cause fatigue in your arms and shoulders with its weight. Most cordless power drills and impact drivers are light – around 4 to 7 pounds – so lightweight versions of these tools won’t be too difficult to find.

Milwaukee 2897-22 M18 Combo Kit

Milwaukee 2897-22 M18

Battery Voltage

Basically, the voltage rating of a cordless tool’s battery determines how much power it delivers to the tool. A higher voltage means more power, making it more suitable for heavy-duty work such as in professional woodshops and auto shops. The most powerful cordless drills and drivers will come with batteries of up to 18 volts.

Top 5 Drill-Driver Combo Kits

The previous section focused on the various specs and features to consider when shopping for a drill-driver combo kit. Now that we understand what makes a good combo kit, the only thing left to do is find the right kit. To help you in your search, we’ve made a list of our picks of the best five drill-driver combo kits that work beautifully and have been highly praised by their customers.

5 DEWALT DCK290L2 Combo Kit

The first combo kit on our list is the DCK290L2 from DEWALT. This kit comes with a 3.0-amp power drill and impact driver that feature brushed motors. The kit includes 20V batteries, one for each of the tools. The drill has a large ½-inch chuck and 3-speed transmission with speeds of up to 2,000 RPM. The impact driver comes with a ¼-inch hex chuck.

DEWALT DCK290L2 Combo Kit

The brushed motor generates up to 2,800 RPM and up to 3,200 IPM with 1,400-inch-pounds of torque. This combo kit would suit first-time buyers and hobbyist DIY-ers extremely well. The entire kit comes in a carry bag with several compartments to store the battery charger, tools, and batteries.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCK290L2 on Amazon >>>

4 Milwaukee 2897-22 M18 Combo Kit

The next two-tool combo kit on our list is the infamous 2897-22 M18 from Milwaukee. This kit contains a hammer drill and an impact driver. The ½-inch hammer drill is especially impressive as it delivers up to 2,000 RPM and 1,200-inch-pounds of torque, while the 5.0-amp motor on the ¼-inch impact driver produces up to 3,700 IPM and 1,800-inch-pounds of torque.

Milwaukee 2897-22 M18 Combo Kit

The amazing thing about this kit is that the power of both tools is housed in compact cases – the hammer drill is 7.75 inches long, and the impact driver is only 5.25 inches. Their 18V REDLITHIUM batteries offer at least 30 minutes of run time before needing to be recharged.

Check how much you can save, buying the Milwaukee 2897-22 M18 on Amazon >>>

3 Makita CT226 Combo Kit

Makita’s two-tool combo kit – the CT226 – contains a 3/8-inch drill driver and ¼-inch impact driver. They both run off of 12V 2.0-amp batteries. From their chuck sizes and battery capacities, it’s fair to say that these tools are designed for light- to medium-duty applications. The drill has a two-speed transmission that can spin up to 1,700 RPM while generating around 250-inch-pounds of torque.

Makita CT226

The impact driver delivers up to 970-inch-pounds of torque while hammering out 3,500 IPM. These are two extremely lightweight tools that weigh less than 2 pounds each, basically eliminating the risk of fatigue. The kit comes with two 12V batteries, a charger, and a handy carrying case.

Check how much you can save, buying the Makita CT226 on Amazon >>>

2 Bosch CLPK22-120 Combo Kit

The CLPK22-120 combo kit from Bosch contains a 3/8-inch drill driver and a ¼-inch hex impact driver. They are both powered by 12V batteries, making them suitable for general house renovation and minor auto maintenance applications. The drill has a two-speed transmission that reaches speeds of up to 350 RPM and 1,350 RPM with a maximum torque of 256-inch-pounds.

Bosch CLPK22-120

The motor in the driver can deliver up to 2,600 RPM with 3,100 IPM at a maximum torque of 930-inch-pounds. The 12V batteries require 60 minutes of charging before reaching full capacity. A single charge can provide power to each tool for about 30 minutes. The entire kit comes in a handy carrying case in which the tools often scrape up against each other.

Check how much you can save, buying the Bosch CLPK22-120 on Amazon >>>

DEWALT DCK240C2 vs Bosch CLPK22-120: Combo Kit Comparison

1 DEWALT DCK240C2 Combo Kit

The final item on the list of our top five best drill-driver combo kits is the DCK240C2 from DEWALT. This combo kit contains the DCD771 ½-inch drill-driver with the two-speed transmission (450 RPM and 1,500 RPM maximum speeds) and the DCF88C2 ¼-inch impact driver (2,800 RPM max speed at 1,400-inch-pounds of torque).

DEWALT DCK240C2

Both of these tools are powered by super-beefy 20V batteries that provide power for up to 45 minutes on a single charge. It takes about 1 hour of charging time for the batteries to reach 100%. The kit comes with a carrying bag with separate compartments for each tool, charger, and batteries. This kit is designed to for heavy-duty house renovation and car maintenance applications.

Check how much you can save, buying the DEWALT DCK240C2 on Amazon >>>

Final Remarks

If you’re looking to switch from corded to cordless, then there’s no better way than going with a combo kit. Some of the most comprehensive cordless combo kits will set you back thousands of dollars, but if you want to make gradually build your toolset, then you’ll want to find a kit with only the most crucial tools. Some of the most vital tools you’ll need are a power drill and an impact driver that have several applications in the home, in woodshops, and in auto shops.

DEWALT DCK290L2 Combo Kit

DEWALT DCK290L2

There are literally hundreds of different drill-driver combo sets available, so it’s important to do a bit of research before purchasing a kit. There are several important specs and features to consider, such as the number of batteries included in the set, what type of case it comes in, and how well the tools actually perform. If you can find a kit that comes with one battery per tool, a good hard or soft carrying case, and high-speed and –torque drills and drivers, then you’re good to go.

DEWALT DCK240C2

DEWALT DCK240C2

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of our picks of the best five cordless drill-driver combo kits out there. Generally speaking, brand-name companies such as DEWALT, Milwaukee, Makita, and Bosch won’t disappoint. However, if you’re looking for the absolute best two-tool combo kit, we highly recommend going with the DEWALT DCK240C2. This kit is built for heavy-duty applications both in and outside the home. They are having long-lasting batteries and a quick charge, so there’s very little downtime in between charges.




Categories
A-Check Drills & Impact Tools

Best Ryobi Drill Reviews: Buying Guide

Drills are probably the most basic and most highly used power tools in most home-renovation and furniture-construction projects. However, finding the right power drill for the job is a bit trickier than it may sound. Not only do you have to think about how quickly the drill bit spins, but also how much torque it delivers to remove material.

Ryobi P271 One+ 18 Volt Lithium Ion 1/2 Inch 2-Speed Drill Driver



Of the seemingly infinite sea of power drills currently available, there’s one brand that has established itself as the go-to company for your DIY needs. This company, as you can probably already assume from the title of this article, is Ryobi – a Japanese manufacturer that caters to DIY enthusiasts and professional contractors all around the world.

Ryobi – The King of DIY Power Tools

Being labeled the unofficial king of DIY power tools is a double-edged sword. Although it’s known by most garage workshop hobbyists as being a reliable brand, it can be off-putting to those who get paid for their work.

That being said, there are plenty of serious hobbyists who would swear by Ryobi and their line of amazing, user-friendly power tools to help in their craft. Plus, it doesn’t hurt the company’s image that their products are easy on the wallet as well, so there’s that you can put on your “why I should get Ryobi tools” list.

Ryobi 18V One-Plus Series

The One-Plus series from Ryobi consists of 125 different cordless Li-Ion power tools, including a wide selection of handy-dandy cordless drills.
The wide selection of One-Plus drills range from light-duty to heavy-duty construction builds. Finding the right cordless drill from the One-Plus series is hardly a challenge, provided that you know what each of them can do and what you expect it to do.

A lot of talk about the Ryobi One-Plus power tools is mainly centered on the fact that they are extremely affordable and thus are not adequate in professional settings. This is hardly the truth, although many of Ryobi’s marketing campaigns do give off the impression that their products are suited for the average handyman. Looking at their cordless drills alone, we can see that some were engineered for basic sporadic repair and construction jobs while others give DEWALT and BLACK+DECKER a run for their money.

Ryobi P252 18V Lithium Ion Battery Powered Brushless 1,800 RPM 1/2 Inch Drill Driver w/ MagTray and Adjustable Clutch

So if there’s one thing you should know about Ryobi and their One-Plus series, it’s that a combination of the market’s prejudice and the company’s promotion strategies has labeled Ryobi, a handyman brand rather than a serious competitor in construction.

Best Ryobi Drills

If there’s one line of products of that Ryobi does well, it has to be cordless drills. They have a wide selection of cordless drills from the One-Plus series that will come in handy in everyday home repairs, hobbyist woodworking projects, and even in the most challenging construction jobs. The following are three popular One-plus driver/drills available today.

One-Plus P208

The first driver/drill we’d like to talk about is the infamous ½-inch P208 which features a sizable ½-inch chuck and a two-speed motor for added versatility. Each speed setting delivers between 0 to 440 RPM and 0 to 1,600 RPM, respectively. The P208 also exerts up to 350 inch-pounds of torque, adjustable with 24 different clutch settings to suit drilling and driving in all sorts of materials. From the speed and torque ratings, we can tell right away that the P208 is not designed for demanding jobs like drilling through concrete or mortar without a bit of resistance.

Ryobi P208 One+ 18V Lithium Ion Drill/Driver with 1/2 Inch Keyless Chuck (Batteries Not Included, Power Tool Only)

The light, compact P208 also comes with several convenience features like the magnetic tray for holding spare drill bits and a bright LED light located on the base. The rubberized handle is also a great feature as it improves your grip on the tool when working in tight places.

The One-Plus P208 is a bare-tool kit, so unless you have extra One-Plus 18V batteries and a charger lying around, you’ll have to pick these up separately. Speaking of the battery, one thing we’ve noticed about all One-Plus 18V batteries is that they take quite a bit of time to charge. From 0%, the battery requires upwards of 180 minutes to reach full capacity.

Overall, the P208 is a pretty neat cordless drill that any homeowner and/or hobbyist would enjoy using. This tool is among the weaker end of the drill One-Plus drill spectrum but could come in handy in a wide number of repair and construction scenarios.

ToolPowers

One-Plus P252

The next One-Plus driver/drill is the cordless ½-inch P252, a tool tailored for more demanding material-removal and screw-driving tasks. The jobs that the P208 is unable to do, the P252 can do with flying colors.

Ryobi P252 18V Lithium Ion Battery Powered Brushless 1,800 RPM 1/2 Inch Drill Driver w/ MagTray and Adjustable Clutch (Battery Not Included / Power Tool Only)

Like the previous unit, the P252 has a two-speed motor that delivers up to 400 RPM and 1,600 RPM on the first and second gear respectively, but its superior performance comes from a higher torque rating of 460 inch-pounds that is adjustable using the 24-clutch positions. The P252 can drill and drive screws through denser pieces of wood, metal, and even concrete.

Another thing worth knowing about the P252 is that it comes with a brushless motor. If you don’t know, brushless motors are all the rage since they produce much less heat, resulting in better battery life and a longer lasting tool. If you find yourself in need of a tool to use regularly, you should consider going brushless.

In almost every other regard, the P252 and P208 are practically identical. For instance, the P252 is also a light and compact driver/drill with an oversized, rubberized handle for maximum grip. A bright LED light is available on the base of the unit which shines at an upward angle to properly illuminate your work surface by producing a shadow-less beam.

But just like the P208, the P252 also has some considerable battery issues. Firstly, this is a bare-tool kit, so you’ll need to get the charger and One-Plus 18V batteries separately. And since the P252 uses the same type of battery, it’ll also the same charging problems as the P208. But thanks to its brushless motor, it can squeeze out a few extra minutes of runtime per charge before the battery needs to spend 180 minutes in the charger.

ToolPowers

One-Plus P271

Finally, we have the lightest of the three One-Plus driver/drills – the ½-inch P271. This cordless driver/drill’s two-speed transmission produces up to 400 RPM and 1,600 RPM on each gear, identical to the speed settings of the P252. But unlike the P252, the torque exertion of this tool is extremely limited. At its peak, the P271 exerts up to 340 inch-pounds of drilling torque (24 clutch positions), making it the least versatile of the three.

Ryobi P271 One+ 18 Volt Lithium Ion 1/2 Inch 2-Speed Drill Driver (Batteries Not Included / Power Tool Only)

The P252 and P271 use brushed motors which aren’t necessarily bad if you don’t need to use the driver/drill every day. These units use a modular motor where brushes cannot be replaced, but instead, the entire motor needs to be swapped for a fresh one when the brushes eventually wear down. Fortunately, new motors are inexpensive, but you may want to replace the entire unit in the end.

The P271 shares many of the same convenience features as the P208 and P252, including a large grip, a magnetized base for holding onto spare drill bits, and a compact design that hardly weighs a thing. However, it’s missing an LED light at the base, so make sure you have an external source of light when working in poorly lit areas.

The P271 is a bare-tool kit that doesn’t include the One-Plus 18V battery and compatible charger. The same battery problems that exist in the P208 and P252 are also present in the P271. If you plan on using the P271 regularly, we’d highly recommend investing in multiple batteries to cut downtime to a minimum.

ToolPowers

Cordless Drill Buying Guide

Regardless of whether you want to get a Ryobi One-Plus drill, you need to be aware of what sort of specs and features a drill comes with and what the drill is capable of doing. Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right drill to suit your needs.

Drill Size and Weight

Cordless drills are naturally designed to be as compact and as lightweight as possible. The size of the drill should allow you to poke the chuck and drill bit in whatever spaces you’re working in. As for the weight, it shouldn’t cause discomfort, especially when drilling overhead. The weights of these Ryobi One-Plus driver/drills is less than 3 pounds each (not including the battery).

Ryobi P208 One+ 18V Lithium Ion Drill/Driver with 1/2 Inch Keyless Chuck

Chuck Size

The chuck is the collar on a drill that grabs hold onto the drill bit. A larger chuck generally indicates toughness as larger bits are to remove more material with each rotation. The size of a drill’s chuck can range from 1/4 of an inch to ½ an inch. All three of these Ryobi One-Plus cordless drills have versatile ½-inch chucks for drilling small or larger holes with the correct bit in place.

Drill Speed

A basic drill usually has a single-speed motor, but most modern drills – a.k.a. driver/drills – come with two-speed motors with RPM caps of around 300 RPM and 1,000 RPM. The lower gear is used to drive screws at a slower speed to prevent stripping and overdriving, and the second gear is for removing more material in less time. Typically, these units have touch-sensitive triggers that allow you to work as quickly or as slowly as you’d like.

Ryobi P208 One+ 18V Lithium Ion Drill/Driver

Driver Feature and Torque

Driver/drills are much more versatile than their one-trick counterparts. Drills are used to remove material by creating a hole with a spinning drill bit, but with a driver/drill, the tool will produce a certain amount of torque needed to drive small screws into all sorts of materials.

Clutch Positions

The clutch is found around the neck of the driver/drill. Each number and found on the chuck is a separate preset that determines how much torque the tool will deliver with each turn of the chuck. Altering the clutch position will help you fine-tune how much driving power the tool can produce. The best driver/drills have 24 clutch positions and a single drilling position for when you want to remove material.

Battery Size

Cordless drills do not draw power from a wall outlet via a power cord. Instead, they rely on rechargeable batteries, which allow the tool to go wherever you need to remove material or drive screws. Although the battery does add a bit of weight to the tool, it’s worth it for the portability that cordless offers.

Ryobi P252 18V Lithium Ion Battery Powered Brushless 1,800 RPM 1/2 Inch Drill Driver

Apart from the physical size of the battery, take a look at the battery’s voltage a rating. Voltage does not have a direct correlation with power, but rather it indicates how long the tool can run. The Ryobi One-Plus’ 18V batteries are in the mid-range in terms of runtime. Batteries for cordless drills typically range from 12V to 24V.

Final Remarks

So essentially, although Ryobi is mainly marketed as being the “average handyman’s best friend,” they have a wide selection of power tools, including cordless driver/drills, built for heavy-duty construction and renovation jobs. You don’t have to look too hard at their One-Plus series to a tool that’ll suit you and your next project best.

Ryobi P271 One+ Drill Driver

In this article, we’ve chosen three Ryobi One-Plus driver/drills to talk about – the P208, P252, and P271. All three are extremely versatile and portable, though their different speed and torque ratings make them adept at different types of drilling jobs. The P252, as the most powerful of the bunch, is tailored to help professional contractors work for longer thanks to its brushless motor. It also exerts the most torque, making it the best driver/drill combo. The P271 is the lightest of the three as should be kept at home to assist you in minor home repairs.

We’ve also thrown in a brief guide that’ll help you in finding the right cordless drill. A drill relies on speed to remove more material with each turn of the drill bit, but if you’re going to get a driver/drill combo tool – such as the P208, P252, or P271 – then you’ll need all the torque you can get to drive long screws through thicker workpieces.




Categories
Buying Guides Drills & Impact Tools Guides

Best Pocket-Hole Machines in 2020

The best woodworkers try their best to conceal screws whenever possible. A neat, flush finish is what separates the amateur, DIY furniture-maker from the pros, so if you’re looking to up your game, you should make every effort to do the same. One of the best tools to do this with is the pocket-hole jig.

Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine

Kreg DB210

We all know how the pocket-hole jig works: you clamp down your jig onto your stock to pre-drill holes at an angle. There’s no doubt that this is an extremely effective tool to help hide screws, but what if you’re looking for a quicker way to go at itConsider investing in a pocket-hole machine, instead.

A pocket-hole machine works just like the classic pocket-hole jig, but it makes quicker work of otherwise time-consuming clamping, measuring, and drilling at low angles. Some machines come with a built-in drill so you don’t need to have a power drill on hand to make pocket holes. Other models work just like the ol’ fashioned pocket-hole jig, but they come with better clamping systems, fence protection to prevent drilling through your wood, and locking mechanisms to make drilling holes in multiple boards easy and accurate. To cover up the pocket holes, you can fill them with plugs that you made yourself or that are premade by a manufacturer.

PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG Pocket-Hole Joinery System

PORTER-CABLE 560

What to Look For in a Pocket-Hole Machine

Pocket-hole machines come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, weights, and – most importantly – prices. Before you head out to purchase a pocket-home machine, you’ll want to make sure they fit the following criteria.

Clamping System

When drilling pocket holes, we want to make sure that our stock is kept securely in place while the built-in drill or power drill bit can penetrate without causing too much movement. The best pocket-hole machines and jigs should come with strong-grip clamps that are adjustable to the width and/or length of the board.

Castle TSM22 Pocket Hole Machine

Castle TSM22

Locking Mechanism for Repeated Drilling

A locking mechanism is a simple yet effective way to help produce repeated pocket holes in similar sized wood boards. With the traditional pocket-hole jig, you’re left measuring each board every time before making drilling holes at an angle in your stock. Pocket-hole machines come with various locking mechanism – front-to-back locking against the back fence, and even side-to-side locking against stops.

Adjustable Back Fence, Depth Gauge, or Depth Collar

When drilling pocket holes, we don’t want the drill bit to pierce too far into the wood board which can leave a weak web or pilot hole for screwing two boards together. There are several ways manufacturers help woodworkers with making the perfect pocket-to-pilot hole ratio, and it’s all in the back fence, depth gauge, or depth collar. Depending on the model of the machine, you may get one or several methods to ensure perfect pocket holes every time.

High-Speed Drilling

Pocket-hole machines can come with built-in drills, and for this type, it’s important for the motor to deliver ample drilling speed to make neat cuts. Like power drills, you’ll want something that goes at least above 1,500 RPM.

The Castle 100 Pocket Hole Machine

The Castle 100

Which Pocket-Hole Machine to Get

As we mentioned before, there are several types of pocket-hole machines – those that come with built-in drills, and those that require having a separate power drill to make pocket holes. Our list of the top 5 pocket-hole machines includes both types.

What is a Pocket-Hole Machine and How to Use It?

5. Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine

The fifth-place position goes to Shop Fox’s W1833. It has a heavy-duty table design which allows users to rest large stock on while they use an integrated drill to cut pocket holes on the bottom-facing portion of the stock. Using a downwards plunging motion, the drill will come up at a 6° angle to make the ideal pocket hole with appropriate webbing and pilot hole ratio for each of your boards.

Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine

It comes with an adjustable back fence to prevent excessive penetration, and two side locks to help make accurate, repeated pocket holes with every plunge. One drawback is the clamp which moves down to press against your stock as you pull the handle – it can be too strong and can morph softwoods.

Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine
  • Hold down mechanism automatically adjusts to the right height and clamping pressure to securely hold the work...
  • One step automatic motor actuation; just pull the lever and forward and the motor starts before entering the...
  • 10-3/16-by-6-5/16-inch cast iron table

4. Castle 100 Pocket Hole Machine

The Castle 100 is the only model on our list that has a built-in router to make pocket holes but still requires an external drill to produce pilot holes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially considering how perfect the pocket holes are made. The guide to insert small-sized bits for drilling pilot holes is at a perfect 6° angle to enhance the quality of the web.

Castle 100 Pocket Hole Machine

It’s also a compact unit that you can take from place to place, and it comes with all the appropriate locking and clamping systems to prevent unwanted movement of your stock. It also features a dust-collection port to get rid of wood shavings and sawdust.

The Castle 100 Pocket Hole Machine
  • Portable. Cuts the professional Castle Pocket. Reduces joint shift. Dust extraction port. Routed not drilled

3. Castle TSM22 Pocket Hole Machine

The TSM22 by Castle is a popular pocket-hole machine for several reasons. First, the built-in drill delivers up to 1,780 RPM to make clean pockets and pilot holes every time. Unlike other models pocket-hole machines and the traditional pocket-hole jig, the pocket hole will not require further sanding to get rid of ugly splinters or uneven surfaces.

Castle TSM22 Pocket Hole Machine

The drill located under the head of the unit makes the 6° pilot hole for proper strength when joining two boards together with a screw. In addition, to start the drilling process, the user simply steps on a pedal which sends the multiple drills into the stock, freeing your hands up to offer support in preventing movement.

Castle TSM22 Pocket Hole Machine
  • Router—Bosch 2.0hp #1617 Drill—Bosch Colt 1.0hp #PR10E Router Bit—Premium 3/8” Solid Carbide, Rough...

2. PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG Pocket-Hole Joinery System

Out of all the models on our list, the PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG is the only one that doesn’t have an integrated drill for making pocket holes or pilot holes. Basically, you’re getting a pocket-hole jig with extra features, but the extra features are its saving grace. You get accurate measurements for repeated drillings, well-built stops to prevent penetration and make perfect-sized pocket holes, and the kit includes a collar to measure the perfect depth in every application.

PORTER-CABLE 560 QUIKJIG Pocket-Hole Joinery System

One drawback of the 560 QUIKJIG is that it even though it comes with a long drill bit for making pocket and pilot holes, there’s no built-in storage space for it. If the drill bit falls and the pilot point snaps, you have to go out and purchase a replacement.

PORTER-CABLE QUIKJIG Pocket Hole Jig & Joinery...
  • Automatic depth control system allows for easy set-up for different material thicknesses
  • Variable-spaced bushings allow a variety of positions for the pocket holes
  • Self-adjusting clamp adjusts automatically to material thickness

1. Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine

Finally, the number one spot on our list belongs to Kreg’s DB210. This is another table-style pocket-hole machine that uses a plunging handle to drill pocket and pilot holes. It comes with perfect stops to make repeated drillings super easy, and the adjustable fence allows users control in determining the depth of the pocket hole.

Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine

It also comes with a dust-collection port to get rid of pesky sawdust from your workspace. The 15.0 amp motor delivers up to 2,800 RPM for clean pockets with every plunge. As a table-style machine, it’s lightweight and can even be mounted on a bench for dedicated workers. It’s also one of the most noiseless machines out there.

Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine, Blue
  • Single-step operation starts motor, clamps workpiece, and drills pocket holes
  • Creates all Kreg Joint sizes: Standard, Micro, and HD
  • Powerful 110-V, 5.0-AMP, 2,800 RPM motor provides fast drilling

Conclusion

Pocket holes are an ingenious way to keep unsightly screws out of sight and out of mind. They work to keep two boards locked together to prevent unwanted moving and wobbling, and they can be filled in with self-made or purchasable plugs.

There are several types of pocket-home contraptions out there, and the classic one is a simple pocket-hole jig which requires meticulous measuring, makeshift locking systems for repeated drilling, and a careful hand to prevent excessive penetration through your wood. If you’re not really up to the challenge of working with normal pocket-hole jigs, then a pocket-hole machine is the way to go.

Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine

Shop Fox W1833

Pocket-hole machines do all that a simple jig does and much more. The best models come with locking mechanisms, perfect clamping systems, depth gauges or collar stops for your drill bits, built-in drills with adjustable depth, and penetration insurance.

Out of our pick on the top 5 pocket-hole machines, we feel that users can get the most value out of the Kreg DB210 than anything else on the market. First of all, it comes with its own dedicated drill so you don’t need a separate power drill to make pocket holes. Secondly, it’s lightweight, extremely sturdy, and it’s easy to use. Finally, changing bits for the built-in drill is a toolless job thanks to the quick-change chuck that uses hex bits. It delivers up to 2,800 RPM for perfect pockets with every plunge of the handle.

Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine

Kreg DB210

We understand that some people aren’t willing to invest hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars on a machine that enhances the quality of your pocket holes, but for hardcore professionals who need to make repeated pocket holes in a time-efficient manner, a pocket-hole machine can be a great investment.

Recommended Pocket Hole Machines


Bestseller No. 1
Kreg DB210 Foreman Pocket-Hole Machine, Blue
  • Single-step operation starts motor, clamps workpiece, and drills pocket holes
  • Creates all Kreg Joint sizes: Standard, Micro, and HD
  • Powerful 110-V, 5.0-AMP, 2,800 RPM motor provides fast drilling
Bestseller No. 2
Shop Fox W1833 Pocket Hole Machine
  • Hold down mechanism automatically adjusts to the right height and clamping pressure to securely hold the work...
  • One step automatic motor actuation; just pull the lever and forward and the motor starts before entering the...
  • 10-3/16-by-6-5/16-inch cast iron table
Bestseller No. 3
Armor Auto-Jig Pocket Hole System & 350 Piece...
  • One-Step Set Up!
  • The Armor Tool Auto-Jig is changing the landscape of pocket hole joinery and the way you make pocket holes in...
  • The color coded screw system with our Color-Coat technology makes it easy to match the screw size and head to...




Categories
A-Check Drills & Impact Tools Hammer Drill

Best Hammer Drills for Concrete in 2020

The hammer drill isn’t the most necessary tool to have for everyday crafts, but for small demolition and large renovation projects, you’ll thank your lucky stars that you invested in one.

What is a Hammer Drill?

A hammer drill is similar to a regular power drill except that it’s not. Consider it a mini jackhammer, if you will; you direct the bit to any surface you want to destroy, and as the bit rotates, a hammering action sends the bit deeper and deeper into the object. A power drill is designed for medium material removal, whereas a hammer drill, with its less-than-graceful hammering action, will quickly chip away at concrete, tiles, and even stone.

In a way, a hammer drill is actually more like an impact driver in terms of heightened torque delivery. However, in no way is a hammer drill used to drive screws in delicate surfaces like drywall or wood. It’ll end up destroying the screw and the surface in which you wish to drive the screw. This is not a mistake so don’t go complaining about the “drill’s” inability to drive screws even in pre-drilled holes in wood accurately.



Difference between Hammer Drill and Rotary Hammer

One question you may be wondering to yourself is whether you need a hammer drill or a rotary hammer?

The confusing thing about these tools is that they both deliver a hammering action for removing or drilling through tough materials like masonry. So where does one tool excel over the other?

A hammer drill is used for demolition jobs as well as driving screws through concrete and stone. Try doing that with a regular drill, and you’ll most likely end up with a busted piece of hardware.

A rotary hammer, on the other hand, is designed specifically for demolition projects. They can use a wide range of different attachments suited for different tasks – e.g. tide removal, busting through drywall, and tearing down brick walls. However, if you’re looking for a construction tool, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Hammer Drill Buying Guide

Finding the right hammer drill is a lot easier than it sounds. In this article, apart from giving you our picks of the best hammer drills, we’d also like to supply you with information regarding how to choose the appropriate model based on what your next project involves. We’ll divide our buying guide based on three of its most popular functions: drilling through concrete, removing tiles, and drilling stone.

Hammer Drill for Concrete Buying Guide

Drilling and driving screws through concrete is perhaps the main reason why anyone would ever need a hammer drill in the first place. The following guide will help you on your journey to find the best concrete-drilling hammer drill that money has to offer.

Motor Power

The size of the motor plays a direct role in how effective the hammer drill will drill and drive screws into concrete surfaces. Hammer drills for drilling through concrete don’t need to pack the largest motor available. A simple 5-amp model will do the trick, though it never hurts to go bigger.

Brushless Motor Recommended

Even though hammer drills are made to drill large holes in tough surfaces, they can overheat rather quickly. The best way to reduce the risk of burning the motor is by letting the tool rest 30 minutes for every 10 minutes of use.

Of course, if you have a larger budget, you could always opt to get a hammer drill that comes with a brushless motor. Compared to brushed motors, brushless motors produce much less heat, and it also gets rid of heat more quickly. The most basic benefit of brushless motors, especially in hammer drills, is productivity.

RPM and BPM

The speed of hammer drills varies greatly from model to model. There are hammer drills that deliver only around 250 RPM, whereas others can deliver upwards of 2,000 RPM. For concrete drilling, we’d highly recommend a 2,000-plus-RPM hammer drill with variable speed.

As for many forward blows are produced per minute to drive the drill bit deeper into concrete, more is better for penetrating deep below the surface. The typical BPM range is between 200 and 5,000. For concrete drilling, at least 3,000 BPM is recommended.

Corded or Cordless

Hammer drills can come either as corded or cordless models. You’re probably already familiar the uninterrupted power vs. maximum portability arguments so we won’t bother you with those.

Instead, what you need to consider is how much power each type of hammer drill offers. Corded models are almost always stronger, thus better suited for drilling into concrete. Corded models can work in concrete as well, but their smaller motors mean less drilling efficiency.
Ultimately, the decision is in your hands. They both have their pros and cons, so it’s simply a matter of personal preference.

Hammer Drill for Removing Tile Buying Guide

If you want to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, a hammer drill can be used as a handy tile remover. Although professional contractors rely on rotary hammers to do the job, with the right attachments, your concrete-drilling tool can become a scraper to destroy and remove tiles. Let’s see what the hammer drill needs to accomplish the task.

Hammering Action

Certain hammer drills have different modes of operation. The most basic mode is hammer drilling which thrusts the tool forward as the bit spins, improving penetration in tough surfaces. The second mode is drilling-only, which is exactly what it sounds like. However, this mode will do absolutely nothing but cause havoc if you attempt to drive screws into drywall or wood.

The final mode is hammer-only which delivers how many BPM without rotating the bit. This mode is necessary for removing tile with a tile scraper attachment. Make sure that the hammer drill comes with this mode otherwise the tool will make a mess.

Motor Power

Removing tiles is a much simpler task than drilling concrete and stone. Essentially, any hammer drill with at least a 3-amp motor will work at chipping grout and dried mortar in an instant. That being said, we’d still recommend getting at least a 5-amp model for versatility purposes.

Scraping Attachment

The best way to remove tiles cleanly is with a tile scraper attachment. These typically don’t come included with the kit so make sure you have enough extra duckets to purchase the scraper. Pay attention to the construction and width of the scraper. A good scraper should be made of durable steel that won’t chip or bend. A wider attachment will remove tiles more quickly than a narrower one, but it won’t do nearly as neat of a job when tackling small tiles.

Lightweight

In order to fit the hammer drill in tight corners or under sinks and cabinets, the tool should be both compact and lightweight. Because removing tiles is one of the lightest-duty jobs that a hammer drill can do, a simple one-handed model with a scraping attachment should do the trick. You can pick up the lightest unit available and still get the job done – around 4 to 6 pounds.

Brushed or Brushless Motor

Unlike hammer-drilling through concrete or stone, removing tiles with a hammer drill is not as demanding a task. Therefore, with a brushed motor in your hammer drill, you won’t have to rest as frequently to allow heat to dissipate. A brushed motor, which produces considerably more heat than its brushless counterpart, has a lower risk of overheating when the hammer drill is used exclusively for scraping and removing tiles.

Hammer Drill for Stone Buying Guide

Drilling through stone is probably the most challenging task that a hammer drill can possibly do. For this job, you’ll want the most power hammer drill available to you. In this section, we’ll go over what exactly the most powerful hammer drill is packing.

Motor Power

Drilling through slabs of stone calls for having a hammer drill with a beefy motor. You could get away with using a 5-amp hammer drill, but if you need to drill inches into stone and not just millimeters, then find a unit that’s packing a huge 8-plus-amp motor. Like concrete drilling, brushless motors are preferred over brushed.

Torque

Although the size of the motor is an important consideration, what’s equally as important is how much torque the hammer drill can produce. Torque is the amount of rotational force that the tool delivers for penetrating and drilling through tough objects.

Hammer drills produce different levels of torque, so when it comes to drilling stone, more torque is better. We’d suggest looking for a minimum of 450 inch-pounds of torque. Tough slabs or stone won’t stand a chance in preventing stone drill bits from doing their job.

RPM and BPM

The hammer drill doesn’t need to work at a tremendously high speed in order to bore holes into stone. In fact, too fast and the tool will produce less torque. If you’re getting a corded model, try and get a two-speed model that has a low speed for stone drilling and a high speed for driving screws.

As for BPM, more is better if you need to penetrate inches into stone. However, there’s no overkill when it comes to how many forward thrusts the tool produces.

Handle Style

The handle of a hammer drill plays a role in how much leverage you have for drilling through tough surfaces. There are hammer drills in the shape of regular power drills that are great for smaller, less demanding jobs like boring holes into drywall. Some even come with a side handle which helps the operator control the mini jackhammering action of the tool.

But for heavy-duty tasks like drilling and driving screws into stone, a D-style handle is the optimal choice. Your shoulder shoulders much of the tool’s tiny tremors while the second handle keeps the nose pointed at the right spot.

Final Remarks

For many DIY home renovation projects, a hammer drill can be one of the most versatile tools you could ever own. It’s a compact jackhammer-like tool that demolishes walls and removes tiles, but it can also switch from “demolition mode” to “fastening mode” to drive long screws into concrete, stone, and wood (to a certain extent).

In this article, we’ve covered the main differences between hammer drills and rotary hammers. Essentially, hammer drills are a ”jack of all trades” sort of tool that hammers and drills – thus the name – whereas a rotary hammer is mainly for demolition jobs. If you’re looking for more than a one-trick kind of deal, then the hammer drill is for you.

Hammer drills can be used on all sorts of tough surfaces – from concrete to ceramic tiles to stone. We’ve provided three different buying guides based on what sort of projects you’re planning on taking up next.

For concrete drilling, a 5-amp brushless hammer drill that delivers a minimum of 3,000 BPM is ideal. You could get by with a smaller 4-amp brushed model, but mandatory rest times to prevent motor burnout could be more than annoying.

Tile removing hammer drills are much easier to find. Essentially, any 4-plus-amp model where a tile scraping bit can be mounted into the chuck would suffice. You could go bigger if you remodel kitchens and bathrooms for a living. Or if you’d like to increase the versatility of the tool. But the most important thing to consider is the scraping attachment (sold separately). The construction and width of the tool determine how long the tool will last and how effectively it’ll take to remove larger/smaller tiles.

As for drilling through stone, you’d need the beefiest, most powerful hammer drill out there. A unit with around 8 amps of motor power and 450 inch-pounds of torque deliver would be more than enough to penetrate and/or demolish stone slabs. Stone drilling is also a rough task that causes minor earthquakes up your forearm and into your shoulders. A two-handed model with a D-style handle would help significantly reduce vibrations and keep the chuck in control.




Categories
A-Check Drill Press Drills & Impact Tools

Best Drill Presses for Metal in 2020

Drill presses really make woodworking and metalworking projects go by much more quickly. The real reason why professional and serious DIY-ers rely on drill presses is that they drill accurate and repeatable holes into all sorts of materials. In this article, we’ll go over why you should consider getting a drill press and what sort of features you should keep an eye out for different drilling projects.

Do I need a Drill Press?

You might be wondering why you even need a drill press to begin with. After all, can’t your power drill do everything that a drill press can with the added benefit of portabilityIn all honesty, with the right power drill (motor power, chuck size, and drill bits), it probably can. However, there are several factors that can ruin the drilling process, and the drill press has eliminated them completely.

The first thing is the depth adjustment system that produces identically deep holes every time. A power drill’s performance is limited by the steadiness of the user’s hand and keenness of their eye. You could always use tape mark how far the bit should reach, but it won’t guarantee perfect results. A drill press’ depth adjustment system gets rid of all guesswork involved.

But arguably the best advantage of a drill press is its ability to produce identical cuts across multiple workpieces. Simply adjust the depth gauge, set the worktable clamps or locks to accommodate each piece, pull the lever, and you’re finished. You can bore hundreds or even thousands of holes in just a few hours of work.



Types of Drill Presses

Like many power tools, drill presses come in all shapes and sizes. The three main types of drill presses are floor models, benchtop models, and magnetic drill presses (mag drill).

The main difference between freestanding floor models and benchtop models is the travel distance of the spindle. The former allows for thicker stock to rest on the worktable and drill out deeper holes. They also come with stronger motors for digging deep into hardwoods. However, benchtop drill presses are still a worthy choice, even for professional carpenters and construction men or women.

Mag presses, on the other hand, are a more specialized tool for heavy-duty construction work. They feature magnetic bases – hence the name – that attach to metal surfaces. This allows the tool to work both horizontally and vertically on metal beams. For the average DIY-er, this is definitely NOT something you will need.

Drill Press Buying Guide

The following sections will provide you with information regarding what sort of specs and features are most crucial for certain jobs. Our guide will be divided into three major portions: drill press for metal, drill press for woodworking, and drill press for plastic.

Drill Press for Metal Buying Guide

Any metal press that can drill through metal is versatile enough to be used on other materials as well, but it’s typically not the other way around. This guide will describe the various features and specs that make a drill press usable on metal pipes, bars, and conduits.

Motor Power

For drilling through metal, the drill press requires a pretty powerful motor. That’s assuming that you’re working with thick, 1-inch pieces of metal. If so, a 1/2- to a 1-horsepower motor should be more than powerful enough to do the trick.

Speed

Amateur DIY-ers might think that speed and power combined will drill through metal like it was nothing. However, even though that may be true, penetrating metal surfaces at high speeds won’t do your drill bit or the drill press’ motor much good. A good metal press should have adjustable drive belts that range from between at least 500 to over 1,000 RPM. This’ll give the tool enough speed to work on all types of materials.

Chuck and Drill Bits

The size of the chuck indicates how large or small of a bit the tool can handle. We’d recommend going large – ½ to 5/8 of an inch – since they can hold onto smaller bits as well. You may also want to get a keyed chuck as well to ensure that the drill bit doesn’t go flying across your workshop as it spins.

Speaking of bits, a good bit for drilling through metal can be any cheap HSS bit that comes with the tool. You can also purchase replacement HSS bits at a relatively low price. They’re effective and drill through metal sheet and bars without too much burr. Just make sure that the bit is well lubricated to prevent burns and to extend the life of the bit.

Worktable

There are several things regarding the work table that you need to be aware of. The first thing is the dimensions of the table. Wider tables can support larger or longer objects, providing better accuracy when plunging the drill head and bit into the piece.

Second, take a look at the clamps or locking system that comes with the worktable. The clamping system should be able to hold onto any piece you wish to drill with the tool. It’s possible to use a makeshift clamping system with whatever you have in your workshop, but it’d be nice if the tool’s worktable comes with one for you.

Finally, the tilting capability of the table is also another important consideration for drilling into odd-shaped objects or at various angles. Most tables can tilt up to 45° in either direction, while others can go as far as 90.

Spindle Travel

The distance in which the spindle travels is a direct indicator of how thick of a piece the tool can drill. Some drill presses for metalwork have a limited travel distance of only 2 inches, whereas others can travel as 6 or more inches. However, how thick of a piece the tool can drill is reliant on the size of the bit and power of the motor. Furthermore, if you’re working exclusively with sheet metal or thin bars and conduits, maybe a 2- to 3-inch spindle travel would be ideal.

Drill Press for Woodworking Buying Guide

Drill presses for woodworking projects are similar to those for metalwork, but they don’t need to be as powerful. In this section, we’ll go over what makes for a high-quality drill press for woodworking.

Motor Power

A drill press’ motor is obviously one of the most important considerations to make, but when it comes to woodworking, the motor doesn’t need to be exceedingly powerful. A 1-HP motor is the most versatile – e.g. useful for metal and wood – but if your workshop is in need of a wood-exclusive drill press, a simple 1/3- or even ½-HP model is sufficient. However, we’d recommend going for a larger motor if versatility is a priority.

Speed

Drilling through wood can be done at a higher speed than metal without leaving burn marks or burrs. But variable speed is still important if you wish to increase the range of usage of your drill press. A good drill press has at least three drive belt positions that deliver between 500 and at least 3,000 RPM. Some can even be adjusted without manually tampering with the drive belts.

Spindle Travel

The maximum distance that the spindle travels should depend on what you’re dealing with. Obviously, thicker stock requires a greater spindle travel distance. Woodworking drill presses typically move between 3 and 6 inches per turn of the lever, and the handy depth gauge system prevents the bit from penetrating too far deep into the workpiece.

Some models even allow users to adjust the height of the table depending on the stock’s thickness and desired drill depth, so there are many ways you can modify the depth of the drill based on your needs.

Worktable Size

We’ve talked about how the size of the worktable supports the stock in the previous buying guide, and the same rules apply here. We’d recommend getting any unit with a table of at least 12 x 12 inches but feel free to go larger or smaller depending on your work.

Chuck and Drill Bits

For woodworking, the ideal chuck size would be between ¼ and ½ of an inch, but your project may call for drilling as wide as 1-inch holes. Feel free to choose the appropriate chuck size based on what your current and future projects need.

But the main thing to consider is the types of drill bits used. There are plenty of woodworking drill bits to choose from, but the most simple is a spiral bit made of HSS. Carbide drill bits are also great if you have a healthier budget and are looking for a long-term solution for drilling. HSS bits, on the other hand, will wear down with use and require frequent replacing.

LED/Laser Guides

Even though LEDs or laser guides aim to ensure accuracy, they can be a bit of a pain to deal with. We can’t really recommend prioritizing laser guides as they’re used more as an estimate rather than a guarantee. However, you also shouldn’t disregard any models that come with them.

Drill Press for Plastic Buying Guide

Perhaps you’re thinking of creating a hydroponics system for your backyard or need several hundreds of feet of plastic drilled at a specific width. A drill press can be an invaluable tool for repeatable holes throughout the length of plastic piping. Let’s take a look at what features to pay attention to when shopping for plastic-drilling drill presses.

Motor Power

Since plastic is a much more brittle object than wood and metal, drilling through it doesn’t require a strong motor. You can get by with a simple 1/3-HP benchtop model for drilling plastic and wood.

Worktable and Clamping System

The worktable is probably the most important thing to consider in a plastic-drilling drill press. First of all, it needs to be large enough to accommodate the size of plastic objects you’re drilling. Although the size of the table depends on what you’re doing, we’d recommend going no smaller than 12 x 12 inches.

But the clamping system is the thing that’s worth paying extremely close attention to. Since the most popular plastic piece that’s drilled using a drill press is plastic piping, you’ll want to ensure that the clamps can hold onto the piece without it wobbling or eventually falling to the floor when the bit pierces the surface.

Chuck and Drill Bits

The size of the chuck nearly isn’t as important as it is in metal and woodworking drill presses. What matters is that it’s large enough to hold onto whatever bit you plan on using and that it’s keyed to prevent the bit from becoming detached.

As for the drill bit, the most effective type is something known as a spur-point bit or dowel bit. The design of these bits is made so they penetrate the surface of soft materials at an angle, effectively reducing friction which in turn prevents the bit from overheating. The result of using a spur-point bit is a neat hole. However, you may need to countersink the plastic workpiece prior to actual drilling.

Speed

Similar to woodworking drill presses, drilling can be done at high speed, with or without the aforementioned spur-point bit, without producing a ton of heat. However, we’d recommend keeping it slow and simple. Any model that produces anything between 500 and 800 RPM, which is practically any drill press, benchtop or otherwise, so finding the right unit for plastic really isn’t all that difficult.

Final Remarks

A drill press is one of the most versatile and reliable tools to have in the workshop. If you need to make repeated holes in hundreds or even thousands of feet of material, with proper adjustments, a drill press can make the job go by in no time at all.

In today’s article, we’ve divided our buying guide based on three commonly used materials in the workshop – metal, wood, and plastic. Depending on how versatile of a drill press you need, a single unit can be used on all three materials or just one of them.

A drill press for metal needs to be powerful to push the drill bit deep into metal sheets, pipes, or bars. If you need one for large I-beams or other similar metal pieces, consider getting a mag press which costs way more than a simple floor or benchtop drill press while also being limited only to metalwork.

Woodworking drill presses don’t need to have the most powerful of motors unless you plan on using it to drill metal. What’s important is that it uses the right bit and works at high speed – up to at least 3,000 RPM.

As for plastic drill presses, these are the most basic types on the market. You can get by with a small 1/3-HP model that generates around 500 RPM to remove material from plastic workpieces. For drilling through plastic, make sure to invest in a specific bit known as a spur-point or dowel bit which reduces friction and prevents melting of the plastic and damage to the bit and chuck.




Categories
A-Check Cordless Drill Drills & Impact Tools

Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking/Concrete/Metal

Cordless drills are the heart of any handyman’s arsenal of power tools. Drills are the perfect tool for boring holes in all sorts of materials, and in a pinch, they can also be useful in driving long screws through wood and plastic. If you plan on taking up any construction project in the near future, you’re going to want one of these wire-free bad boys hanging on your work belt.

But from the seemingly infinite number of cordless drills currently available, how can you tell which of them is suited for certain jobsWell, that’s why we’re here. In this guide, we’ll offer our knowledge on how you can find the right cordless drill for the right job. But first things first…



Why cordless?

There are several benefits that a cordless drill has over their corded counterparts.

The first advantage of cordless drills is maneuverability. There aren’t any power cords to tie the tool down to an outlet since they take their source of power with them (rechargeable battery packs). Working in remote areas, construction sites, wet places (bathroom), and the woodshop becomes much more convenient with cordless tools.

Speaking of the battery, they’re rechargeable and can pack quite a bit of power. Long are the days of limited 20-minute runtime per charge. With modern models, you can get up to 40 minutes of continuous power. Of course, the runtime depends on the size of the battery and what material you’re drilling.

Furthermore, cordless tools make construction and renovation jobs generally safer. You don’t have to fumble around with long power cords and/or extension cords. This makes working in high places and overhead easier and, therefore, safer.

Cordless drills for different jobs

From the title of this article, you can correctly assume that we’re going to talk about several types of cordless drills suited for different jobs. The thing to understand about cordless drills is that they are not just divided by whether they’re cordless or not, but can also fall into different categories based on how powerful they are and what materials their bits can drill through.

In the following sections, we’re going to talk about what makes a cordless drill ideal for woodworking, concrete and masonry, and metalworking.

Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Of the three types of materials we’re discussing today – wood, metal, and concrete – wood is the softest and thus does not need a tremendously large or powerful drill to bore holes through. The following guide will describe the various specs and features that are commonly found in cordless drills used for woodworking jobs.

12V Battery

Cordless drills use battery packs of various voltages. In general, woodworking cordless drills come with 12V batteries which are actually the smallest battery that comes with cordless drills. However, you shouldn’t equate small with weak since they are still able to power the drill to bore holes in thick wooden boards and drive hundreds of screws in a single charge.

3/8-inch Chuck

General-purpose and woodworking power drills typically feature 3/8-inch chucks. These aren’t the smallest chucks available, but they’re far from being the largest. Generally speaking, many woodworking projects won’t require heavy-duty ½- or 1-inch chucks to remove material or fasten wooden boards. If you want something more versatile with more capable of driving larger screws deeper, a ½-inch chuck is a great alternative.

Interchangeable Chucks

Not all cordless drill models come with interchangeable chucks, but those that do deserve some attention. Cordless drills with swappable chucks can come with a drill chuck and a driver chuck. These are known as drill/driver combo tools which are much handier at both removing material and driving screws.

Another thing you should know about interchangeable chucks is that some of them also come with chucks that help with drilling and driving at awkward angles or in tight spaces. These are a definite life- and time-saver when doing cabinetry work or when working in cramped areas where your arm and tool don’t have a wide range of movement.

LEDs

Proper illumination is the key to producing high-quality wood-based art. If most of your work is done in a bright woodshop or garage, then LEDs may be overkill, but when it comes time to hang cabinets or shelves in closets, the LED lights on your cordless drill will render external sources (torches work lights) completely redundant. Most modern cordless power drills come with built-in LED lights.

Lightweight

Even though cordless drills are naturally lightweight – at least compared to many corded and older cordless drills – it’s still a good idea to take a close look at the tool’s weight. Most cordless tools, without their battery, weight between 2 and 8 pounds, but light-duty, woodworking models tend to weight a maximum of 4 pounds. In our opinion, lighter is better since the added weight usually means a beefier motor which may not be necessary for your next woodworking endeavor.

Best Cordless Drill for Concrete

Compared to woodworking cordless drills, there is a lot more flexibility in terms of what specs and features make a good concrete/masonry cordless drill. However, there are certain factors that you should be aware of. In this section, we’ll discuss combination cordless drills (combi drill for short) and how they are best-suited for concrete work.

What is a Combi Drill?

A combi drill is actually a 3-in-1 cordless drill that excels at boring holes in all sorts of materials. Apart from concrete work, they can also be used for woodworking and drilling through metal.

However, the reason why we’re discussing combi drills in this section and not in woodworking or metalwork is because they’re considered a specialty type of drill. The average DIY-er may not find the need to spend more on an all-in-one cordless drill when they work exclusively with wood.

The following is a quick guide on what you need to be on the lookout for when shopping for a combi drill.

Hammering Action

The thing that sets combi drills apart from standard power drills is the forward hammer-like blows that send the drill bit deeper in your work. Without the hammering action, there would be no way for the drill to pierce hard concrete and masonry adequately.

The forward hammering is measured in blows per minute (BPM) which indicates how many times a nonexistent hammer forces the drill’s bit father into your material. Many of the best combi drills have a variable speed feature, but if you plan on using your combi drill exclusively for concrete, then a good BPM count would be around 20,000.

Even though a hammer drill would do just about the same job as a combi drill, we prefer combi drills because their hammer action can be turned on or off with the flick of a switch or by changing chucks.

Torque

Apart from how many times the combi drill hammers into your material per minute, you should also consider its torque rating. Torque is the rotational force that helps the bit remove more material more efficiently. A higher torque rating is ideal, but many models come with twisting chucks that let you adjust how much torque to deliver based on the task at hand (once again, combi drills can be used on anything). For drilling through concrete, the tool should deliver at least 400 inch-pounds of torque.

½-inch Chuck

The size of the combi drill’s chuck determines the largest bit it can mount. Good combi drills should start at ½-inch chucks but can also be as large as 1 inch. In our opinion, larger is better, especially if you need a combi drill to pierce through hard concrete and masonry.

Length and Weight

Since combi drills are used for all materials, they don’t possess the elegance and thinness of general-purpose cordless drills. This isn’t a problem since cutting through concrete and masonry isn’t exactly an elegant job. Therefore, the weight and length of the tool don’t really matter.

Side Handle

Since combi drills produce hammer-like blows to cut through rock and concrete effectively, you’ll need all the help you can get in keeping the unit stable. This is why combi drills, like hammer drills, come with side handles that let you use both hands to grip and control the unit while it creates tiny tremors when activated.

Best Cordless Drill for Metal

The final type of cordless drill we’d like to talk about is used for drilling through metal. Note that for drilling through thick conduits, pipes, or beams, a drill press or a magnetic drill press would be ideal. However, if you just need to make holes in thin sheets, then a handheld, compact cordless drill would be the more cost-effective alternative.

At least an 18V Battery

For drilling through metal, your cordless drill needs a larger battery. Even though a huge battery doesn’t necessarily mean improved drilling power, it does mean a longer battery life which is necessary since drilling through metal can be time- and energy-consuming. A cordless drill for metalwork should have at least an 18V battery, though bigger is better. You may even want to consider a 24V battery for extended runtime.

Drill Speed

Unlike wood, metal requires a more delicate drilling speed in order to bore holes without too much burr. The best thing would be to get a variable speed cordless drill that cuts through metal on its first gear and plastic/wood on its higher gear(s). A drill speed of around 300 RPM is ideal for metal.

Brushless Motor

The debate of whether to get brushed or brushless motors on your cordless drill is one that has existed for many years. In general, brushed motors are more cost-effective if you don’t use the tool regularly. However, when drilling through metal, which is a tougher material than wood, brushless motors are actually ideal. They have a higher purchase price but will not fail due to overheating as quickly. Furthermore, they’re much more efficient than their brushed counterparts so you can cut considerably more holes through metal per battery charge.

Clutch Settings

The clutch positions on a power drill indicate how much torque the tool delivers when the trigger is activated. The higher the clutch position, the more torque is delivered. Many models come with more than 20 clutch positions which are ideal for working on several types of materials, from drywall to metal.

Chuck

The size of the chuck is the dealer’s choice. The right and wrong chuck size are relative to the thickness of the metal piece you’re drilling. For thicker pieces like conduits or pipes, we recommend a larger chuck – between ½ and 1 inch. If you’re working with thin aluminum sheets, then even a ¼-inch bit would be fine. Of course, you’re able any sized bit on large chucks, so the versatile alternative would be to get a 1-inch chuck.

Final Remarks

Power drills are the heart and soul of any handyman’s collection of power tools. Their main job is to remove material from your workpiece before driving a fastener into the hole with an impact driver. However, modern drill models produce enough torque to drive screws of almost any size, practically eliminating the need for an impact driver for woodworking projects.

But drills aren’t just used for woodworking, are theyPower drills, even cordless models, are powerful enough to drill through metal, metal, and concrete.

If you’re on the hunt for the right cordless drill, the main question you should ask yourself is what materials you plan on working withWood, metal, and concrete have different densities, and thus the drill needs to have the right junk in the trunk for different jobs.

Woodworking cordless drills don’t need to be particularly powerful since wood is one of the softest building materials around. That being said, almost any cordless drill would be able to suit woodworking projects. When drilling through concrete, the drill needs that extra push to pierce the material and remove material from your work.

Combi drills with a hammering feature/chuck are ideal for digging deeper into concrete or masonry blocks. As for metal, the cordless tool doesn’t require a high-speed chuck or maximum torque delivery, but the tool will require a pretty beefy battery to supply the brushless motor (ideal but not an absolute must) drive the bit through metal while simultaneously deburring the hole.




Categories
A-Check Drills & Impact Tools

Brushed vs. Brushless Drill

If you’re just starting to get in the woodworking or DIY home repair game, then you’ll undoubtedly need to invest in a power drill. Finding the right drill can be challenging due to the high number of manufacturers producing an infinite number of different drill models with various specs. One such spec you need to consider is whether the drill comes with a brushed or brushless motor.

Brushed motors have been around for centuries, but just what are brushless motorsIf you didn’t know better, it’d probably seem like some marketing trick companies use to trick the consumer into paying more for nothing. You can rest assured that that is undoubtedly NOT the case. When you pay a premium price for a brushless power drill, you’re going to get what you pay for.

So, what exactly are brushless motorsHow do they differ from brushed motorsAre they worth the investmentDo you need a brushless power drill, or will a regular brushed motor suit you fineDon’t worry, dear reader. We’ll answer all of these questions for you in this article.



What are Brushed Motors?

Brushed motors have been around since the 1800s, so it’s fair to say that this is quite an old piece of technology. From a technical standpoint, brushed motors consist of a rotor, brushed, a commutator, an axle, and a magnet. The brushes work to charge the commutator, causing the rotor to spin, either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on the polarity of the brushes.

Pros

Since brushed motors are quite old, they sell for relatively cheap. For the average handyman, any tool with a brushed motor can be more cost-effective compared to brushless. The price of a brushed drill is only a fraction of that of a brushless one.

Furthermore, there really is no difference in performance when comparing brushed and brushless motors. The amperage or HP rating of a brushed motor works just the same as a brushless motor at the same level.

Cons

The biggest problem with brushed motors is the number of different components that are constantly in close proximity to one another. It’s not uncommon for brushed motors to experience severe maintenance problems over time, which can end up completely ruining the tool or requiring extensive repairs. So basically, any savings you made by opting for a brushed tool may end up being used to pay for repairs.

One of the leading factors that contribute to a brushed motor’s premature death is heat – something that brushed motors produce a ton of and have difficulties dissipating. In order to get the most out of a brushed motor, you need to give it ample time to rest between sessions. When talking about drills, this means giving it 15 minutes of rest for every 10 to 15 minutes of usage. However, this should only be taken into account if time is a factor in your work.

What are Brushless Motors?

Brushless motors have been around for quite some time, but it’s still a relatively new technology, meaning that it can cost quite a bit to get. As the name suggests, this motor doesn’t come with brushes, but its design is far more complicated than its brushed counterparts.

A brushless motor has at least four magnets mounted around the rotor in a cross pattern. Since the rotor is the only component bearing the weight of the magnets, brushless motors don’t require commutators or connections to produce a magnetic spin. This results in a highly efficient motor that produces hardly any heat, even when used for long periods at a time.

Pros

Efficiency is the primary selling factor of brushless motors. They don’t produce nearly as much heat as their brushed counterparts, meaning that you can drill more holes and drive more screws. If you’re a pro contractor and need to reduce downtime as much as possible, opt for brushless tools.

In addition to fewer breaks, you’ll also spend less money in the long run on repairs. Brushless motors don’t require replacement brushes. This should be obvious since brushless motors are, you know, brushless.

Cons

However, there is the matter of price to take into consideration. Brushless tools, including drills, are much costlier than their brushed counterparts. On average, you can get two brushed drills at the price of a single brushless one. Of course, you probably don’t want or need multiples of the same tool, and brushless motors are an investment.

You’ll save money on repairs in the long run. However, as we see further advancements in production technology, it’s not unrealistic to expect the price of brushless tools to drop significantly. This, of course, means that the discounted price of brushed tools will fall even further, so you should keep that in mind as well.

Basically, brushless motors and drills are only a requirement if you plan on working for long periods at a time. If you’re a simple DIY-er who rarely does home renovation or woodworking projects, brushed tools are more cost-effective.

Do I need a Brushless Drill?

After learning about the benefits that brushless motors have over brushed motors, it’s time to decide whether brushless really that much better than brushed.

The short answer to this question is a resounding yes, brushless motors in power drills are absolutely much more preferred to brushed. However, there are several things you need to consider before purchasing one.

First of which is the frequency of using your power drill. Brushless motors are better in the long run and much better when used in high frequency. Their lack of replaceable components paired with better heat dissipation means fewer, if any, maintenance problems. However, if you’re a sporadic home repairman, then going brushless may be overkill since the tool may never even actually get the chance to heat up.

The second thing is dealing with maintenance problems. You could take a brushed drill to a pro to get it tuned up, or you can play close attention DIY brush replacement videos on the internet. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it by yourself, then we recommend paying the price to get it professionally done.

All in all, brushless drills are far superior to their brushed counterparts, but only if your line of work requires using a drill constantly.




Categories
A-Check Drills & Impact Tools

Screw Gun versus Drill: What is the Difference?

Having the right tool for the right job is essential to complete tasks in a timely manner. Of course, this means having to know what exactly the right tool is. One of the most basic tools any handyman will need in his or her arsenal of power tools is a drill.

Everybody knows what a drill is. They can be either corded or cordless, have large or small chucks, and are used mainly to remove material prior to driving screws. A drill can also be used to drive screws with the right attachment.

So what exactly is a screw gunIs it like a nail gun that fires screws insteadHow does it differ from a power drillDo you need oneThese are just a few questions that any aspiring DIY-er would ask him or herself surrounding the confusion of screw guns vs. drills debate. In this article, we’re going to settle any confusion you may have regarding either of these tools and give you our two cents on which of them would be the better, more versatile tool to own.



What is a Screw Gun?

Imagine undergoing a project that requires having to drive thousands upon thousands of screws, each one having to reach a certain depth. Back in the day, professional crews had to do it by hand and hammer. Needless to say, hanging 1,000 feet of drywall – a project that requires roughly 1,000 screws – could be an all-day endeavor. But with a screw gun, you can do this in a matter of hours.

In a nutshell, a screw gun is a gun that allows users to drive screws effective and efficiently. The main issue of hanging drywall without a screw gun is driving the screw deep enough for the screw head to lay flush with the adjacent surface. Before screw guns were a thing, this was achieved by whacking the screw with a hammer, but today, pull of a trigger can embed the screw at the perfect depth.

Pros

The biggest upside of using a screw gun is that it lets you determine just how far to drive the screw. Admittedly, many renovation projects don’t really take the depth of the screw into account, and you can get by with a little bit of a hanging screw, but other projects require driving them deep enough to lay flush with your workpiece. Conversely, driving a screw too far into your project – e.g. drywall – could ruin the structural integrity of the entire sheet.

Driving screws too far into drywall may not seem like an issue at the time, but it’ll definitely become more noticeable in a few years. This is why a screw gun with an accurate, reliable depth adjustment is the must-have tool for projects involving drywall.

Some of the top screw gun models also feature self-feeding belts that automatically reload the gun so users can drive more screws in less time. This obviously helps professional construction workers in meeting tight deadlines.

Cons

A number of times we mentioned the word “drywall” should be a clear indication of what this tool can do. Basically, screw guns are used to drive a ton of screws in no time at all, and that’s it. Screw guns aren’t exactly known for versatility, making them a specialized tool for use in specialized applications only. If you don’t plan on hanging a ton of drywall, or if time isn’t a factor in your work, then a screw gun is just a luxury item.

Furthermore, remember how we said that greatest benefit of a screw gun is its ability to drive screws at a certain depthWell, this is achievable with a power drill. All you need is an attachment called a dimpler. This handy attachment lets you drive screws at a consistent depth every time. Of course, you’ll still have to load screws manually, but it’s the more cost-effective than investing in one single-function tool entirely.

What is a Drill?

Even the not-so-handyman knows what a drill is. If you need to assemble furniture, hang picture frames, or bore holes to feed wires through, then the drill is the go-to tool for the job.

A drill is a handheld power tool that’s used mainly to bore holes by removing material. The material can be anything from concrete to drywall to ceramic tiles. The size of the drill’s chuck along with the motor determines how large or small a hole the drill is capable of creating.

Pros

Unlike screw guns, a drill is an extremely versatile tool that can be used for almost anything. Even chefs make use out of power drills by attaching large whisks to the chuck to mix batter.

As we mentioned earlier, a dimpler attachment can be fitted onto the drill’s chuck to help drive screws to a certain, consistent depth, effectively replacing the only job that a screw gun can do.

Furthermore, a drill’s motor produces much more torque than a screw gun, meaning that you can drive longer screws into denser materials (not just drywall).

Cons

Continuing with the previous point, drills can be used to drive screws in a pinch, but this isn’t exactly what a drill is designed to do. If you need to drive long screws through wood or other dense materials, your go-to tool should be an impact driver.

The dimpler is a neat attachment to have, but it’s not exactly a time saver. In fact, when using drills to drive screws, you’ll most likely end up grinding your teeth at how long it takes to load each screw onto the drill bit and drive it perpendicularly into your workpiece’s surface.

Screw Gun vs. Drill – Which to get?

Between screw guns and drills, which would benefit you moreUltimately, it depends on what you need them for.

A screw gun is a special piece of equipment that won’t be used in applications outside of hanging drywall. It’s extremely accurate, easy to use, and the depth adjustment system makes it the ideal tool to fire thousands of screws at a certain depth in a fraction of the time it’d take a common drill.

However, the common drill is a much more versatile tool that can be used for all sorts of things. The main function of a drill is to bore holes by removing material, but it can also be used to drive and remove screws. You can use drills for much more than just drywall work, making it the essential tool to have for most DIY and professional construction/renovation jobs.