When you’re looking to buy a drill, torque is one of the very most confusing metrics to comprehend.
Every drill has a different amount of torque, and you know that you probably don’t need the drill with the most torque. So that begs the big question:
To start, for those of you working in wood, the torque setting of a drill really isn’t all that important. This is for 2 reasons:
To be honest, the amount of torque a drill has overall doesn’t matter too much when you pay attention to the other specifications and metrics put out by the drill manufacturer.
As I just mentioned, any drill can drill into wood and do a great job. The need for higher torque comes in when needing to drive into metal and masonry, which really should require you to have either a impact drill or hammer drill, depending on the thickness. These drills have the capability to power through these tough materials in ways a regular drill can only hope to!
Though the total amount of torque a drill provides isn’t highly important, the adjustment of the torque can be very important when doing tasks such as driving screws into pre-threaded holes, and re-assembling pre-drilled wood pieces.
For tasks like these, putting too much power into the screw can either strip out the screw, or even worse, strip out the threads of the hole you’re driving in to.
The good news is that it’s really easy to adjust the torque on your drill, and that can make assembling these types of projects very easy and carefree. Here’s how to do it:
Turning down the torque can really help you to take care of your projects and protect screw heads. It’s just another great feature of modern drills that we can be thankful for!
As I alluded to above, higher torque drills can be really helpful and also give you the extra torque you need to drive into really tough surfaces. I write into more detail about that in this post, and I really hope you’ll join me over there!
In the town where I grew up, Chuck was the name of our local, geriatric weatherman. He was always on top of the weather, and surprisingly both accurate and fun!
When buying a drill, it’s also important to get a good chuck, just like that hometown weatherman! Something that will serve you well, and not leave you frustrated.
A good chuck will provide the value and durability you need it to, without costing you an arm and a leg!
When looking at buying a drill, chuck size can be very important depending on what level of use and abuse you plan to use your drill for.
Since everyone has different needs, let’s run down the different grades of chucks:
If we crunch the numbers, we can see that a 1/2″ chuck is only 1/8″ larger than a 3/8″ chuck.
If you pull out your ruler, you’ll see that 1/8″ isn’t very big at all.
It may not seem like much when you read the numbers on this webpage. However, a small chuck size means 2 things for your future using your drill.
This draws us back to the first point. If you need a highly powerful drill, you need to invest in something with a 1/2″ chuck, so you’re not disappointed later.
Do your homework on what add-ons you plan to buy in the first couple years of drill ownership, and make your decision off of that. Here’s a great drill that does have a 1/2″ chuck!
Don’t worry about buying the most powerful drill if you “might” need it, you can always upgrade later and sell your old drill at a yard sale or pawn shop for a reasonable price. However, if you know you need a more powerful tool, don’t cheap out – you’ll just be disappointed!
When it comes to buying a drill, chuck size isn’t the only thing you need to examine when looking at a chuck.
The durability of a chuck is a big deal too. You see, there are all sorts of variations on chuck design out there.
Some are metal, some are plastic.
Some have 3 teeth that hold your bit, and some have more. Sometimes the teeth are durable, and other times they get misaligned and broken easily.
We note drills with “problem chucks” in our reviews so that you go buy a drill with a good education on what you’re getting. These problem chucks, though not totally useless, won’t hold bits steadily under high-pressure, and may wear out prematurely.
Thankfully, you can still get an affordable drill with a good chuck that will meet your needs, like the Genesis GCD18BK(Buy Now on Amazon). Or, you can step up to the Hitachi DS18DSAL for a highly durable model!
If you have an old drill, or a drill press around, you know that a chuck key is a small tool that you use to change drill bits and accessories in a keyed chuck.
Today, most cordless and corded drills feature a keyless chuck, which enables you to quickly and easily change your drill bit without any tool other than your hands.
It works by rotating the keyless chuck with your hand until the bit is loose, than removing and switching the bit when you’ve got the chuck open wide enough for the new bit. After that, you just tighten it down firmly and you are ready to work!
Most of the time, a keyless chuck is exactly what you need. If you don’t know that you need a keyed chuck, necessary for extra heavy-duty circumstances, than you just need a keyless chuck.
It’s much easier and faster to use, and there’s no little tool to lose!
With that, we conclude our Ultimate Chuck Guide. I truly hope that you learned a lot, and that we were able to help you understand this part of the drill buying experience even more!
For more great information on how to buy a drill, check out our Drill Buying Guides Home, or even better yet, read our free ebook! You can check that out below!
Are you looking for THE very best deals on Amazon.com? If you’re looking to buy a drill, there is no better place than from the world’s leading ecommerce website- Amazon.com!
Here are 5 ways to get the very best deal from Amazon today!
The best place to get an amazing deal on a new drill is Amazon Warehouse Deals. Why is that, you may ask?
Amazon’s Warehouse Deals site features “open box” items for 10%-20% off – or more! Open box items are products that have been returned unused, products with torn cardboard boxes or packaging.
The products are functionally complete and new, but Amazon can’t sell them as new so they savings are passed on straight to you!
It’s a hidden little secret, as the stock is constantly changing and there are never more than a few of an item for sale at a time.
You’ll find amazing deals to save on items you were going to probably buy from Amazon anyway! I have bought from Amazon Warehouse Deals before, and the give same attention to quality Amazon always gives.
One item I bought came with a box that was torn up and taped together, but the item was brand new and undamaged. Another item I bought(actually a salad spinner) was completely new, in an undamaged box, for 20% off!!! You just can’t beat that with a stick!
Over on the right side of the page under the “add to cart” option, Amazon has yet another cleverly hidden feature. It’s an option called “used and new” where you can find used models of the drill you are looking at!
Often times, these are returns or people selling tools that they just didn’t use, so they have very minimal wear – but are available at prices 50% or more off of the original price! You just can’t argue with that!
Considering how durable many drills are, buying used is a great option if you’re on a limited budget or just love to save money! Try it today!
In the same section of the website, you can also buy your new tools from other retailers.
In fact, Amazon often hides lower priced retails in the same “used and new” section as the used products to showcase their product on the product page. There are often other stores where you can get a better deal than Amazon, just know that there won’t be Prime 2-day shipping.
As long as that’s okay with you, this is another great place to get a deal!
Did you know that most Amazon products are returnable if they break within 2 months, even if the manufacturer doesn’t want them back?
I recently bought a laptop battery from Amazon, and after just 1 month of use it suddenly died. It just didn’t work at all! I filled out the manufacturers web form and awaited my response.’
The manufacturer then told me that warranty returns are only valid if you bought the product from them directly. So, I went to Amazon and they were glad to take my product back, and they paid for shipping! Then, I got a brand new one sent to me, and it’s been working like a champ!
This is a level of service that you unfortunately won’t find everywhere online – Amazon rocks!
If you’ve spent any time on Amazon, you’ve probably seen banners or heard a pitch for Amazon Prime. For just $79 per year, you get a number of great perks, including:
It’s a great way to get everything you buy on Amazon shipped to you super fast! And it’s only $6.58 per month!
If you’ve ever started a sanding project that involves small crevices, spindles, rounded edges or anything that’s not flat, you know it’s going to take some serious time to complete. Sure, the outcome of your work will be a beautifully stained project that will last for decades, but in the moment, it just feels like you aren’t actually getting much done.
Sanding can be a really long process. From electric sanders to hand sanding small nooks and crannies, many woodworking projects have their fair share of challenges. Today, while I’m not going into detail on how to sand, I want to share with you:
1. Listen to Music or Podcasts
In my mind, there’s no greater way to pass some time than by flicking on some Miles Davis and humming along. Or maybe Skillrex or Metallica is more your tune. Or perhaps you’re more of a podcast person. No matter what you favorite flavor of music or speech, having something entertaining to listen to can make time fly by as you sand the old finish away!
2. Start with Small Wins
Psychologists tell us that small wins help us to get motivated and take on bigger and tougher tasks.
In your woodworking project, this means that you try to just get 1 flat surface done, or some other small accomplishment that you can see the results of in an hour or 2. This can really help motivate you to knock out the rest of your project moving forward! Small wins for the win!
3. Sand with a Friend, Spouse, or Co-worker
Doing anything with friends makes it more enjoyable. Even if your friend, spouse or co-worker just sits and yaps with you and has a beer, they’ll still help you pass the time and be more productive as you take on your woodworking project. And who knows, they might pitch in and help too!
4. Visualize the end product
When you’ve sanded down to the grain that first time, give it a good wipe off with a slightly damp cloth and stand back for a moment. Think about how awesome your project will look when it’s completed and jump right back in to finish it off!
5. Work Often
Lastly, work often on your project so that you don’t lose sight of what you’re doing. Over time, if you don’t get in there and sand something, your brain will start to remember that it is difficult, and you may lose that visualization of the end product that we talked about in number 4!
If this happens….then you’ve got problems, so work often, even if it’s just for a few minutes or an hour a couple times a week. At the end of every week, you can look back and see that you’ve accomplished something, and that’s worth smiling about!
Two seemingly short years ago, I purchased my first drill. This came after a few years of using drills at work, so I figured I was an expert. Makes sense, right? After all, I used various drills on a daily basis, so I figured I could buy a consumer drill without any problem.
Still, there are a number of things I’ve since discovered that I wish I knew before buying. Here’s my top 5:
1. Chuck Size Matters
If you are serious about doing some intense woodworking, chuck size matters. About 6 months into my drill ownership, I realized that I wanted to make some pretty big holes with a hole saw into a piece of furniture I was making. So, I naturally made my way to the hardware store and started browsing the hole saw kits…
What I found frustrated me- all of the saws that made big holes also had a 1/2″ chuck, and I didn’t! I was used to the drills at work with 1/2″ chucks, and I didn’t even think about it before buying!
So, I had to borrow a drill from a friend to make the holes, lesson learned!
2. Battery Voltage
If you spend any time in the tool aisle, you know that there are a bunch of different voltages of drills. They range from 7.2 volts, like this Skil all the way up to 36 or more volts like this DeWalt.
So what voltage do you need?
You probably do not need the highest voltage drill out there. A 12v drill or similar is perfect for around the home tasks, while an 18v drill is better for sinking long screws, drilling through thick materials and making hole saw cuts.
3. LED Guide Light
When I first bought a drill, I thought that the LED guide light was just a “frilly” feature. You know, something that companies tack onto drills to bring up the price.
Then, I bought a cordless screwdriver and realized how wrong I was. The screwdriver featured an LED guide light, and it’s actually a really helpful feature. Often times, I’m drilling or screwing in a dark corner, or the drill itself puts a shadow on my target. Having an LED guide light allows me to hit my target accurately, every single time.
It’s not just a “frilly” add-on, LED guide lights are actually really helpful!
4. Spare Batteries
My first drill purchase was for my own home use, so I figured I’d only use it for a few minutes here and there, and then a little longer for large projects. Being the cheapskate that I am, I decided against a spare battery to save some money.
I quickly realized that I was wasting my time by only having one battery. It seemed that I always ran out of juice at the wrong time, whether I got distracted by the kids, had to make more holes than intended or just forgot to put the battery on it’s charger.
Whatever it was that happened, I was still out of power. And when you’ve got no power, you’re not getting anything done, which really stinks when you have a minute to work! So, buy a spare battery, and keep it charged and standing by so you can always get work done!
5. Spade bits and Hole Saws Are Worth the Cost!
Ever try and drill out a big hole from a ton of little holes? Even if you do a great job, it’s a ton of work.
How about using a jigsaw to make a 4″ circular hole? Good luck! Even if you’re Michaelangelo, your hands aren’t steady enough with a pulsing saw to make that circle perfect.
As I alluded to above, hole saws and spade bits can really be helpful. Anytime that you need to drill a hole bigger than your chuck size(1/2″ or 3/8″), you’ll need one of these 2 specialized tools. It’s a great way to make a bunch of perfect, identical holes for all sorts of projects!
We’ve probably all gone down to the hardware store and spent more than a few minutes in the drill aisle.
Let’s face it– drills are great, and we always want to make sure we have the proper tools for the projects we’re working on, right?
In the drill aisle, we are faced with 3 distinct sections. First we’ve got the regular drills, where we spend most of our time. This makes sense, and we compare voltage and torque and stuff like that. Then, we have the impact drills and hammer drills.
They looks super heavy duty and professional. Some of them have handles. (That must mean something!) All of them dazzle us. But what really makes them different?
I’ve assembled this short comparison below to help you understand the unique abilities of each drill and what makes them tick. I know I used to be confused to, but now am enabled to drill easier and better thanks to an understanding of when I need each drill.
This guide should give you enough information to decide whether or not a impact or hammer drill would make a great addition to your tool kit at this time.
Regular cordless drills are great for most activities. If you’re looking to buy your first drill, this is definitely the type of drill you need.
Great for sinking screws, drilling holes, assembling furniture and a whole host of other activities, the standard cordless drill is the perfect tool for someone who doesn’t own one!
The hammer drill is a highly specialized tool made especially for drilling and driving screws into concrete, bricks and other masonry. It’s strength is in the pulsing hammer that basically feels like someone is smacking the rear of the drill with a actual hammer while you drill. Therefore, a hammer drill can be hard to handle, and often has a physical handle to help control it.
A hammer drill is what you need if you are going to be drilling into concrete, but it sure isn’t a tool you want to use for anything else- your wrists won’t take it!
An impact drill, on the other hand, is not as intense as a hammer drill, but is in a category of it’s own. When an impact drill senses a tough material that it’s drilling into or driving a screw into, it steps up into high gear and delivers super-high torque to the material. It may be loud at times, and may break bits, but an impact drill is a great upgrade from a regular drill for tough tasks that aren’t so tough they require a full-on hammer drill!
You’re outside, slowly scrubbing away at some grimy brick. Or maybe you’re inside scrubbing mildew out of tile, scrubbing down car chrome, or cleaning your white fence before a pool party.
Either way, your arms are sore and tired. Your hands are chapped. You’re not really looking forward to that pool party that you’ve been cleaning for all day long.
Lucky for you, there’s a much better way to do this!
For not a whole lot of money (around $20), you can use power tools you already own to get all of this work done.
That’s right, using equipment you already own, you too can get all of this tasks done much quicker and easier by having your power tools work for you with an inexpensive drill brush.
Featuring a 1/4″ bit, it will fit pretty much any drill on the market whether you have a 1/2″ or 3/8″ chuck.
Here’s how it works: You simply loosen the drill’s chuck to allow the size of the quick-change bit to fit inside. Inserting the bit, you grin as you get excited for the progress that is about to be made. Lastly, you run the drill, changing between forward and reverse periodically in order to wear the bristles evenly.
One user states that they’ve used this method of cleaning for over 30 hours, and their brush still looks brand new! Take that for quality!
Users on Amazon report using this brush to clean tile showers in a time faster than they ever thought possible. Others mention cleaning car rims, brake pad dust, showers and more! Simply put, there isn’t a cleaning product anywhere else for $20 that saves you as much work as this drill brush.
Once you get this brush in your toolbox, you won’t be without it again! Buy this drill brush now to take advantage of the time savings now and spend more time doing the things you love instead of cleaning!
So what is a cordless screwdriver, anyways?
Well, a cordless screwdriver is a much-improved version of the old-school “screwdriver”, since it is powered like a cordless drill. Years ago, the first cordless drills on the market weren’t all that helpful to the average homeowner or hobbyist. They were really bulky, lacked rechargeable batteries, and didn’t fit into small spaces.
Today’s cordless screwdrivers are incredible, making around-the-home repairs and upgrades fast and easy. However, it’s really important to note a few things that make cordless screwdrivers different from drills.
Cordless Screwdrivers are:
Cordless Screwdrivers are NOT:
Cordless screwdrivers are really great for basic, around the house tasks like installing outlet covers, changing cabinet handles/hardware, assembling Swedish furniture, or repairing appliances. They have great clutches that are easy on sensitive equipment, so you don’t strip out the threads on plastic or aluminum projects.
If you use your drill a lot, think about how many tasks you use it for that are really easy on it. Then, consider picking up a cordless driver to do those tasks and prolong the life of your expensive drill battery.
Cordless screwdrivers are also awesome because they are so lightweight. If you’re used to using your drill for furniture assembly and some of the other tasks listed above, you will love a cordless screwdriver both for its weight and it’s ability to fit into really tight spaces.
But wait! There’s more! Some newer cordless drivers feature a internal gyroscope, allowing the driver to be turned on/off and in reverse by just a slight move of your wrist. No longer do you even have to press a button to get a screw driven. We are truly living in the 21st century!
Have you ever whipped out your cordless drill and bit set, only to realize you need to make a 1/2″ or larger hole, but don’t have the bit to do so?
Have you ever tried to use a jigsaw to make a perfect, 2″ hole? Didn’t turn out too circular, did it?
Want to make a corn hole game? The hole saw is your friend!
Thankfully, the evolution of power tools has brought upon us the ability to drill really big holes into wood, metal, foam and other materials using our drill. The amazing reality is that you can do this quickly, by yourself, and with the drill you already own.
Hole saws work by sinking a center bit into your material to line up the incoming saw, and keep your hole straight. Then, the saw come in and finishes the job!
Before you buy, there are a few very important specifications you need to look at. First, you must see if the bits you a looking at are designed for the material you are planning to cut. Most sets are rated for wood, but only some are useable on metal, and trust me, you don’t want to use a wood set on metal! It really stinks, and you may not even get your hole cut!
The second thing you must check is the bit size compared to your drill’s chuck size. Your home drill will probably have a 3/8″ or 1/2″ chuck, and it’s important to know that some sets only have a bit that fits a 1/2″ chuck!
When looking at these specialized bits, you need to first anticipate your needs. If you just need to cut a few holes, occasionally, you can save a lot of money by buying a cheap set. However, you need to know that inexpensive sets like these will quickly dull and not be as quick from the start. But, for about 1/4 of the cost, cheap saws like this are great for someone who just needs to cut a few holes, or who won’t use them often.
If you’re going to be using your saw a lot, I would highly suggest a set like this one by Irwin. I would venture to suggest you buy a more expensive set even if you don’t think you’ll need it. Hole saw drilling is really fun and you’ll come up with a billion project ideas once you use it the first few times.
Now that we’ve got you all set up with a great hole saw kit, let’s get to work. You’ll need to get out your power drill, cordless preferred, hole saw kit, adjustable wrench, and a flat head screwdriver.
First, determine what size hole you are going to cut, and get that saw out. Then, find the center bit that matches the size of your chuck. The bigger, the better, so choose the largest one that fits your drill.
Next, we want to place the center bit through the center hole in the saw, and line it up so that it notches in with the saw. The last step is to thread the nut on top, threads down and tighten it really tight with your adjustable wrench.
Grab your material, and make sure to mark the center point of the circle, as that will be your means of lining up the saw. Slowly sink the bit into the material, and then begin sinking the outer diameter hole saw into your material.
As you go along, you may find your sawdust smoking, or catching on fire. If this happens, just speed up your bit and slowly back out of the hole a little, so that some air gets circulated. If your wood project is being stained, you’ll see the burn marks, so be extra careful with this! If you have to pull your bit back, make sure you keep that center bit in the wood, so that you don’t get off alignment.
Once you make it all the way through the material, you’ve successfully drilled your first hole saw hole! Congradulations! If you are careful, pull your bit out right as you get through the material, and you won’t get a “donut” stuck in your bit. However, if you do, don’t fret. You can use your screwdriver and hands to gently spin the donut right off!
As I mentioned above, pretty much any drill can fit most hole saws, since many sets have a 3/8″ chuck option. The fact is, you can cut a hole in foam or thin laun with just about any drill- maybe even a cordless screwdriver.
However, if you want to cut through thicker woods, you’re going to need a more powerful drill. I’ve personally had great experience with the DeWalt DC970 Kit, while I haven’t had good experience with my cheap Black & Decker. While there are a lot of factors that go into hole saw readiness, a good rule of thumb is this: if it feels like the drill is getting extra hot, smells like burning or slows down considerably, you’re going to want a better drill. Anything over $60 should do the trick, unless you’re drilling a hole saw through something really dense and thick! In which case, get a bigger drill!