Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Favorite Tools - Cordless Drill

(This is the second post in my series of common household tools that everyone should own.)

Cordless Drill

My first post in this series showed you a tool that was under $10 and could do so much it was like the Swiss army knife of tools, the Kobalt ratcheting screwdriver.If you could only have 1 tool that was the one to get.This time I am reviewing my second essential tool that every homeowner should own, the cordless drill. This tool can cost you some big money if you want to spend it, or you can buy a cheap one that will last for a year or two. I prefer one that is somewhere in the middle.
I have had about 4 of these so far (that I can remember!) and frankly, most are not worth the money. I am pretty tight with a dollar so I always tend to go with the cheaper tool and that is usually the Black and Decker model that you could get for less than $40 on sale. But in 2010 when I was remodeling the master bedroom/office/hallway my drill burned out and I needed to get another one right away. So I drove to my "toy" store (Lowes) and stood there in front of the dozen or so models they had on their wall display. I was going to go for the cheapest one again when the Lowe's guy handed me the one I own now, by Porter Cable. (They still sell it too!)

I have to say that I could feel the difference in the balance and weight of it. It had substance but wasn't so heavy that it would wear me out after using it for an hour or so. It also had 2 batteries and I have to tell you, that is just so awesome! I get so much crap from my dad because my tools aren't charged when you need them to be and this way, you can always have a battery charging.
Two batteries and very nicely balanced. Notice the grip how it is ergonomically shaped and not just straight?

It came with this set of drill bits and screw heads - bonus!
When I brought it home and let my contractor use it, he didn't want to give it back. He kept commenting on what a nice "machine" it was so I told him where I bought it and he went and bought one for himself. That is a huge compliment when you consider this was a retired contractor with 40 plus years in business and he liked it enough to go buy one.

Here are the points to look for when buying a drill:

1. Price - Let's face it, if you can't afford it you don't need it. Get the best value you can afford which may or may not be the cheapest.
2. Battery - at least a 18 volt battery and if you can get it with 2 batteries, that is even better.
3. Weight - Since I am a girl, I need something that is heavy enough to do the job without wearing me out too soon. Lift it and hold it in the store and see how long it is comfortable in that working position.
4. Balance - This is critical. Does it feel like the weight is distributed evenly top to bottom and back to front? Does it stand on it's own when you put it down?

I still have a cheap drill as well as this one. I keep the cheap one in my weekday house in case I need it and this good one at the hill house.


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