How to Find the Right Drill for Your Home Improvement Project

Choose the best drill

Whether doing handyman jobs around the home or picking up a new hobby, a person needs to find the right electric or power drill to meet their needs. And the right drill becomes an important part of a complete home tool kit.

But with the many available options (both in-store and online), it’s easy to buy one that over- or undershoots the actual scope of the project. Keep these tips in mind before making a final decision on the right drill for you.

Cordless Drills

As one might suspect, cordless drills are highly recommended for those who need full mobility while they work. Their power settings may not be as impressive as their corded cousins, but the 12 to 18-volt range will be enough for most tasks. Try not to overestimate how much power each project will take because the higher the voltage, the bigger the battery will be. Hobbyists should look for batteries that have higher amp-hours so they know the drill will last through an overloaded to-do list.

Here are our choices for the best cordless electric drills:


Corded Drill

A corded drill is inherently more powerful and lighter than the cordless version. This makes them a good choice for projects that need a little extra oomph. There’s no need to worry that the battery is going to die right when you need it the most. The biggest downside to a corded drill is the lack of mobility or need for extension cords. This can result in frustration or even potentially delay the completion of the project.

And at times, a corded drill is necessary for certain projects. Projects involving woodworking or metal working may require a more powerful drill and specialized drill bit. Certain types of wood are very dense and hard, so cordless drills may not have the torque power for these type of heavy-duty projects.

Drill Sizes and Shapes

No matter what size drill a person buys, it will generally come with different settings to adjust the torque and speed, depending on the material and the nature of the task.

  • 1/4″ Drill Bit: A 1/4″ drill bit is generally the smallest size bit a drill can hold. It is the smallest diameter most drill chucks can be reduced to. A drill chuck refers to the part of the drill that holds the bit, and it can be rotated to increase or decrease in size to fit various different drill bits based on the project. This is the smallest general setting and made for light-duty work (e.g., drilling holes, inserting screws, reattaching handles, etc.)
  • 3/8″ Drill Bit: This is the most popular setting that was made with general handyman work in mind. It can accept a wide range of bits. As a result, it can do both light and moderate tasks around the home. Things like fixing a fence or working on an outdoor deck.
  • 1/2″ Drill Bit: This size setting is made with heavy carpentry in mind. Drillers can work with different types of wood, metal, or stone to craft the perfect piece of furniture.

The necessary settings will vary from project to project and should be considered prior to using the drill.

Additional Options

There are a number of different options available for drillers to achieve their goals. For example, a right-angle drill is perfect for those who are working in compact spaces. This makes it a must for tight floorboards. Brushless motors are quieter, so drillers can be respectful of others in the home. A drill press makes it virtually impossible to mess up the size and depth of a bored hole. For those who want to improve the consistency of their fasteners, a built-in level makes it simple to get the right dimensions. For those who prefer a greener alternative, there are also air drills available for most general tasks. Air drills aren’t as efficient as general power tools, but they have improved significantly with the help of modern technology.

It may feel like a lot to take in at first, it is possible for a person to find the right drill. Even if they are driven by learning a new skill or saving money. The key is to identify a solid core of priorities before picking out the specific type, shape, and accessories.