Cordless Drills: How to Keep Them Performing Well

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Cordless Drills: How to Keep Them Performing Well

One of the more ubiquitous power tools in any handyman’s kit is the drill. Used to bore holes into wood, brick, metal, or other materials, the drill functions by powering a narrow, pointed drill, or driver bit into targeted material. The bit is attached to the tool itself via a specialised radial clamp known as a chuck. The most common drill design is the pistol grip, either corded or cordless, which includes not only the grip but hammer configuration and a clutch.

When portability is a concern, workers often turn to cordless drills. Operating via rechargeable batteries, these convenient, generally lightweight tools can be taken almost anywhere, from room to room or indoors to out. By making a proper purchasing selection, and then following recommended procedures in operation and upkeep, users can ensure a long life for their cordless drill. After a bit of in-depth learning, buyers can find just what they need, from cordless drills to battery packs and chargers, at popular online marketplace eBay..

Cordless Drill Operation

A cordless drill operates much like a corded one, albeit without the inconvenient cord. Not only does the corded model’s trailing wire get in the way of mobile operation, but it also demands a nearby power source when the drill is in use. By compressing the on and off trigger, a user is able to bore holes or install screws into a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and brick.

A drill is composed of a few standard parts, chief amongst them the grip, or where the hand wraps around the tool for proper operation. The drill bit or other attachment locks into the chuck, behind which lies the torque selection ring that controls the amount of power being used by the drill. When the trigger is depressed, the drill operates, and when released, it ceases. Just above the trigger is a forward and reverse switch, which enables not only the making of holes and driving in of screws, but also their removal, when necessary.

Cordless Drill Batteries

Cordless drills are powered via a rechargeable battery. While the most common size is the 18 volt,, other models are available, as well, at varying prices. These range from the original 7.2 volt battery pack to today’s advanced voltages of 24.0,, 28.0,, and 36.0 volts, the latter ones delivering nearly the torque of a corded drill counterpart. Cordless drill battery packs are comprised of one of two materials: nickel-cadmium, or NiCd, and lithium-ion.

 Battery Type

Expense

Longevity

Charging time

Weight

Nickel-Cadmium

Less

Limited operational life

Long

Heavier

Lithium-Ion

More

Long lasting

Short

Lighter

In general, a high-capacity lithium-ion battery holds its charge up to four times longer than the nickel-cadmium model. Additionally, these newer batteries perform twice as long, meaning the carpenter can accomplish significantly more on a single charge.

Unless price is of utmost importance, a lithium-ion battery delivers greater functionality and lasts longer than its nickel-cadmium companion. Buyers can also look for the battery’s milliamp-hours, or mAh, rating, which correlates to how long the battery remains charged. Despite the type of battery chosen; however, it is always a good idea to keep a backup battery pack or two at the ready, thereby ensuring continuous operation.

When it comes to charging the battery, those seeking a faster charge may opt for a "smart" charger. Not only do these gadgets power the battery in reduced time, but they can also extend battery life by reducing or stopping the power flow as the battery becomes full. As many cordless drills come with a kit, including the battery and charger,, buyers may wish to select those with smart chargers over standard ones.

How to Select a Cordless Drill

Not everyone can afford to purchase a top-of-the-line cordless drill. In fact, not everyone needs such a tool. Upon making the decision to obtain a cordless drill, prospective buyers should first identify their needs. One factor may be how often they intend to use their cordless drill; obviously, the more projects they have on tap, the more important tool selection becomes. Identifying the type of jobs is also good information, as this helps determine how much power the drill needs. Beyond choosing the type of battery,, they should also consider any special features they want.

Drill Size

The size and functionality of the drill is of primary concern. The more bells and whistles the cordless drill has, the larger and heavier it is, and the less comfortable to operate. Thus, there is no need to buy a more powerful drill than is necessary for its intended use. As the complexity of the drill’s operation increases, so should its battery voltage. In other words, a battery with lower voltage is not going to have the power to drill through decking, masonry, or steel; these tasks are best served by higher torque.

Drill Features

Although a number of cordless drills are available, from the very basic to the highly loaded, there are some fundamental features that every operator should look for. So that screws can be both drilled in and backed out, a reversible motor is a must. Also, to allow for variations in material and job, cordless drills should have an adjustable clutch and dual-speed motor.

When it comes to more advanced features, buyers often consider such factors as a larger chuck size, which can hold wider drill bits. Additionally, while a "hammer drill&" feature is not necessary if the tool is to be used for simple tasks around the house, it comes in handy for those needing to bore holes in masonry or metal.

Drill Speed

Drill speed is another consideration, with the range being from 300 to 400 rotations per minute, or rpm, up to a high end of 1,200 to 1,500 rpm. If a drill is to be used for a variety of projects, from the very simple to the more complex, finding one that switches between high and low speeds facilitates a wider range of tasks. As a general rule of thumb, driving screws is best accomplished with lower speeds, while higher speeds perform the best at drilling holes.

How to Keep a Cordless Drill Performing Well

To keep a cordless drill performing well and lasting for many years, it is important to understand some basic operational, battery, and charging tips. Amongst the more important considerations are the unit’s batteries and its speed of operation.

Cordless Drill Settings

It is a common desire for people to want to "grab and go". The temptation to depress the clutch and operate the drill is strong, but taking time to consider the proper speed and to adjust this switch mid-job, as necessary, not so much. Operating the cordless drill at the proper speed, though, goes a long way in keeping the tool performing well. One way to approach this task is to view the cordless drill as one would an automobile with manual transmission. Shifting into fifth gear does not work when driving at low speeds; similarly, insisting on first gear on the motorway burns out the car’s engine before too long.

The same holds true with a cordless drill. Operating at high speed is just too much power when inserting a simple screw. Not only is the risk of overheating greater when powering too high while a lower speed would have been better, but users may find themselves driving the screw well past the level of the wood, thereby ruining the job at hand.

Returning to the manual transmission analogy, use of the clutch is another important consideration in cordless drill longevity. This aspect allows operators to control the amount of force their drill is exerting, preventing such aforementioned mishaps as drilling too deep. When depth is not a concern, switching the clutch to the "drilling" setting maintains optimal operation.

Cordless Drill Batteries

By holding a charge for months instead of weeks, and taking less time to charge while delivering more operation time, using a lithium-ion battery is one way to keep a cordless drill performing well. Remember, too, that, although it may cost more up front, a cordless drill with a smart charger lasts longer than one without. This feature allows the drill to automatically shift up or down in power, thereby delivering the right torque and speed settings for the project underway. This adjustment thereby prolongs the life of the cordless drill, preventing unnecessary wear and tear on its motor.

Another good suggestion is to know the battery’s limits. As soon as the battery starts to slow, it should be removed from the drill and returned to the charger. Pushing a battery beyond its tired point greatly reduces its longevity.

When and where the battery is changed are other factors. Some batteries do well when charged overnight, every night; others wear down faster if kept on the charger for too long. Make sure to find out what charging frequency is best for the particular battery so its life is not unnecessarily shortened. Also, in general, swapping this power source in high or low temperatures can not only reduce its lifespan, but may ruin the battery entirely. For this reason, drillers should carefully consider not only when and where they change the battery, but where they set up the charger.

Buying a Cordless Drill on eBay

Just because you want your cordless drill to last for years does not mean you have to buy the model with the most bells and whistles. Proper drill selection is as much a function of use and comfort as it is expanded functionality. Therefore, identifying the best drill is the first step in finding a long-lasting tool companion. Look for a drill that has the features you need for your intended projects; too much drill proves not only rather expensive but also heavy and uncomfortable to use.

After performing a search on the site for "cordless drills", you are presented with a number of results to meet your needs. You can quickly peruse these options by viewing not only photographs, but brief descriptions and pricing information, as well. Additional information and pictures are just a click away, as is such information as the seller’s quality rating and particular shipping terms. With eBay, you can make an informed buying decision and find just what you are looking for. You can also search for specific brands, just include it in your search, for example Black & Decker.

Conclusion

While nearly every household has a drill, not all of them have a cordless model. Although more convenient and portable than their corded counterparts, the cordless drill’s battery pack may be a deterrent for some, as it increases the weight of the tool. However, for those who need a drill they can easily transport, a corded model should be on the shopping list.

Once some basic considerations about the cordless drill have been made, including how many features are needed and which grip is most comfortable, there are a few things to know to ensure the tool’s longevity. Perhaps chief amongst these variables is the battery pack itself. In terms of composition, the lithium-ion battery lasts significantly longer than its nickel-cadmium counterpart; however, a notably higher cost and greater heft mean this type of battery is not right for everyone. Speed, clutch, and charge are other integral considerations, too. Armed with this knowledge, buyers can turn to eBay to find a cordless drill they can use for years.

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