When it comes to tools, drills are one of the tools that nearly everyone buys first. No matter if you just moved out of the house and are putting your first toolkits together or you’re upgrading your workshop, a drill is going to be one of your first buys. But what drill do you need? And how many drills can you actually buy? In this article, we’ve selected four different types to discuss. This way, you can consider your needs with all the research done for you, and pick your best option in a matter of minutes.
For many of us, the handheld drill is the first that comes to mind. This is the most common drill, and can (should) be found in any household. Even if you use yours mainly as an automatic screwdriver, you need one of these. With hand drills, power makes a big difference. The basic models will drill a hole into a drywall surface but struggle with anything else. If you choose a battery-powered one, don’t go for the most basic (and cheapest) models. The difference between the cheapest level and one level up gives you a lot more comfortable.
If you’re looking for a bit more power, a corded hammer drill is a good investment. A good hammer drill will drill a hole in every surface. These powerful handheld machines normally don’t come in a battery-powered model, so the perfectly balanced DIY-er will have one battery-powered drill for general use and one corded hammer drill for tough jobs.
A quick side note about drills is that their effectiveness depends heavily on the drill bits. The drill bits that come with your drill are fine but will start wearing off sooner than you might think. If you’re planning to use your drill a lot over the weekend, it may be worth spending a few dollars on a fresh drill bit for the best results.
Upright sensitive drill press
From here on, the drills we’re discussing no longer fit in your hand. The upright sensitive drill press and the models below all are stationary drills. That also means that the object comes to the drill, instead of the other way around. No drilling holes in walls with these heavy machines.
For all of these models, there are wildly different price ranges available. As with other tools, an investment with your money usually lasts you longer and gives you better results. On the other hand, if your drilling needs are on a lower level, don’t hesitate to compromise a bit. You wouldn’t use a sledgehammer to build a birdhouse, and you don’t need a top-of-the-line industrial drill to put your occasional weekend projects together.
The upright sensitive drill press is the first model we’ll discuss. Although the specifics will differ, all models are standing upright, with a table to work on, on which you can lower the actual drill with an independent lever. The drill will generally be on continuously and instead of adjusting the power of the drill as you would with a handheld drill, you can adjust the pressure of the drill with the lever.
More advanced models will give you more variations, like different levers for different degrees of precision, extra accessories that keep your object in place, and maybe even different power settings. But all of them serve the same purpose: to drill at least one hole in an object.
This type of drill is the perfect step up from the handheld drill. If you find yourself drilling the same hole into similar objects repeatedly, the upright sensitive drill press is a great investment. Because of the light-duty to medium-duty nature of this type of drill, the objects should be made out of materials that don’t require a lot of strength. If you’re afraid you might have to work hard to make the drill do its job, the next model could be a much better choice.
Upright drill press
The upright drill press may sound like a downgrade from the upright sensitive drill press, but this type is used for medium-duty to heavy-duty work instead of the lighter work its little brother tackles. The sensitive part in the name of the previous model is an indication of the feedback you can feel with your hands as you lower the drill bit.
While most upright drill presses will give you the option to do the same, its added feature of the power feeding the drill into the object gives a much wider range of objects and materials. This also means that the upright drill press is commonly used for bigger and heavier materials, and sometimes lacks the fine-tuned holes that you get from being sensitive.
Upright radial arms drill press
Just as the normal upright drill press brought one important new feature compared to its previous model, the upright radial arms drill press offers a neat trick compared to the standard upright drill press. This type is commonly called the radial drill press and can radiate around its axis. This allows you to drill holes in objects that are otherwise too big or too difficult to position under a standard upright drill press.
As you can imagine, the radial arms drill press is the most extensive and expensive (general-purpose) drill available. But at the same time, this piece of machinery can make a huge difference in your day-to-day hole drilling.
There are a lot of different drills you can buy. Even after we’ve made a distinction between handheld drills and upright drills, there are a lot of different types and models to choose between. Which drill works best for you depends on your needs. If you use a drill around the house as a DIY-er, a good handheld battery-powered drill and a hammer drill will be all you need. If you’re drilling holes in a workshop, the perfect drill depends more on your materials, objects, and your budget. No matter what drill you choose, you can be sure that you’ve picked one that perfectly fits your individual needs.