14 Amazing Power Drills You Can Buy

14 Amazing (And Often Overlooked) Types of Power Drills You Can Buy!

When it comes to having a full tool kit, things just wouldn’t feel complete without a drill. But when it comes to choosing one, many new DIYers fail to realise that there is an overwhelming choice. But since hand drills come in useful for many types of projects, it is essential to know which types work best for which applications.

In this guide, we will be introducing you to some of the most common types of power drill and giving you a rundown of their best uses. We will also explain everything you need to know about drill features and the types of technology used in these essential appliances.

Drill Features Explained

When you buy a drill, one of the best ways to know what you are getting is to read the detailed product specifications provided on most online stores. Even if you are buying in store, you’ll see details of the drill features on the packaging. The problem is that if you have never purchased a drill in the past, this can often feel like double Dutch! Allow us to simplify things and explain what to expect from certain features.

Depth Stop

When you are making several holes that need to be of a uniform size, the depth stop feature turns out to be invaluable. This is typically located at the side of the drill and can be set so that the drill bit does not penetrate the material past a certain point. This is also great when you know that you cannot drill past a certain depth, for example when avoiding electrical installations in walls.

Function Switch

Most drills come with a trigger switch that turns the power on and off. When this trigger is engaged, power is allowed to flow from the source to the drill. You will find that most drills are fitted with variable-speed triggers.

Motor Housing

The drill motor is protected by a casing both internally and externally. This is an important feature to inspect when choosing a power drill as it must be durable enough to offer adequate protection to the motor. Plastic and metal casing will offer a good level of protection should the tool be dropped or impacted in any way.

Forward/Reverse Switch

Drills don’t always work in one direction. Let’s say that you are using a screwdriver bit to remove screws rather than drive them in; you’d need the bit to move in the opposite direction. This is where your forward/reverse switch comes in. This is usually located at the side of the drill and can be moved to change direction.

Hanger Hook For Storage

If you want to avoid cluttering up your toolbox, or even worse, your workbench, having a hanger hook can make storing your drill much easier.

360 Degree Handles

You may not always be in a perfectly aligned position when drilling and this can make using a static handle a little tricky. However, with a 360º handle, you are given much greater freedom of movement which will allow you to drill in more confined spaces as well as improving safety.

LED Light

When you are working in anything but perfect natural light, you might not always get a good view of your project. That’s why an LED light is ideal for illuminating your work and ensuring precision and safety.

Clutch Adjustment Collar

There may be a number of different settings on your drill but the clutch setting is largely considered to be the most important of all. Generally speaking, the clutch adjustment collar will display a set of numbers ranging from 1 to 10 or 1 to 20. These numbers represent the different settings for the clutch which delivers the torque range. Higher numbers represent higher torque and this means that larger bits can be driven.

It is essential to set this correctly as too much resistance will result in the motor cutting out. Not to mention that too much force may overdrive the screw which might damage your project. You may need to go through a little trial and error in order to find the sweet spot for each of your drill bits.

Keyless Chuck

The chuck is a part at the head of the drill which holds the bit in place. Some drills feature a keyless chuck which makes changing drill bits a lot more quick and simple. The bits can be released and replaced without having to use another tool. You would expect this type of convenience from almost all modern tools.

Variable Speed Trigger / Pistol Grip

Variable speed drills allow the user to apply different amounts of pressure to operate the drill. The harder you press, the more power is generated. You will find that most decent drills have between two and four-speed settings that typically range between 200rpm and 2000rpm. Although this may vary between brands.

Pistol grip drills can be used at varying levels of power for drilling a wider range of surfaces. If you are going to be working with wood, ceramics, fibreglass and other materials, this type of drill gives you the versatility to do so.

Torque Settings

Torque is the force of the spinning motion created by the drill. Depending on what you are using the drill for, you may need varying levels of torque. It is important to set torque correctly as using too much can mean that your accuracy is thrown off and the screw will go in too deeply, potentially ruining your project.

Battery Lock/Release

The battery lock/release clip is located on the battery housing and allows the user to remove and insert the battery. Once the battery is inside the tool, this clip locks the housing in place.

Belt Clip

Some drills come with a belt clip that helps to keep the hands free when needed.

Electric Brake

Many drills feature an electric brake which vastly improves how safe they are to use. The way this works is that, once the trigger is released, the chuck will come to an immediate stop. Not only will this improve safety but many drill manufacturers claim that this is also a great way to conserve power.

Auxiliary Handle

Drilling can be dangerous so having safety features is imperative. But as well as improving safety, the auxiliary handle will also help to make the drill more accurate. It does this by giving the user greater control and force, making the application much steadier. You will typically find this handle at the side of the drill.

Battery Voltage

Battery voltage refers to the difference in electrical potential between the two battery terminals; one being positive and the other being negative. The bigger the difference, the greater potential for power. In terms of what this means for your drill battery; if you choose a higher battery voltage, the tool will be more powerful.

Types Of Hand Drill And Their Functions

There are so many different types of power drills on the market and each one has a slightly different function. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, you might choose any one of these types of drills. Let’s take a closer look at your options.

Drill Driver

Many people who are looking to buy a hand drill need something that they can go to when tackling small domestic DIY tasks. This is where a drill driver really comes into its own. These are lightweight drills that offer excellent versatility.

They are ideal for drilling holes into a variety of materials including metal and wood but also work well for inserting and removing screws. You will, of course, need to swap out the drill heads for different tasks but the drill will typically come with everything you need.

Power Screwdriver

As its name may suggest, a power screwdriver, which is sometimes called an electric screwdriver, is the perfect tool for inserting and removing screws. These are lightweight and easy to use and while they may not have the capacity to put holes in tough materials, they are ideal as an everyday tool for things like assembling flat pack furniture and making minor repairs around the home.

Generally speaking, a power screwdriver will not have a chuck that opens and closes like you would see on a drill. Instead, it typically features a head that is designed to only accept driver bits.

Combi Drills

If you are looking for something that will allow you to take on a variety of DIY tasks at home then a combi drill might be your best bet. These drills have many of the same features as the drill driver but also come with a hammering action making them suitable for more tasking jobs. This includes drilling into brick and stone.

Hammer Drill

A hammer drill is designed to drive screws and make holes into much more resistant material such as masonry. This is a great choice for the more heavy-duty DIY jobs that need to be done around the home. For example, putting up shelves on a supporting wall.

One of the reasons that this type of drill is so effective at working with harder materials is that the RPM remains low but you have the ability to adjust the torque according to what you are drilling. This means that the material is unlikely to sustain any damage during the drilling process.

SDS Hammer Drill

The SDS hammer drill is comparable in some ways to a regular hammer drill however, in this case, the hammering action is boosted thanks to a slotted drive system. This type of system features a piston that controls the forward and back motion of the drill and as a result, the drill is much stronger. In addition to this, SDS hammer drills create less friction which makes penetrating tough materials much simpler.

However, with this type of drill, you do need to use special drill bits that are designed to put up with the extra pressure. If you are doing anything like chiselling then an SDS hammer drill is an indispensable tool.

Percussion Drills

A percussion drill is another name given to the hammer drill. This type of rotary hand drill is used to penetrate more robust materials and has an impact mechanism that creates the hammering motion. One of the main benefits of this action is that it makes penetrating tougher materials much quicker than using a standard type of drill.

Rotary Drills

A rotary drill uses a rotating drill bit that is incredibly sharp and is forced using downward pressure which will cut through the surface you are drilling. These drills are typically used for much more demanding jobs like drilling through concrete and brick, among other things.

Angle Drills

If you need a drill that is more comfortable to use then you might consider investing in an angle drill; which you will sometimes hear being called a right angle drill. As this name might suggest, the drill head sits at a 90ºangle to the handle. This head is also a lot shorter than other types of drill.

For getting into tight spaces, the angle drill is something of a lifesaver. This makes it perfect for applications like plumbing and construction where you have much less wriggle room for your tools.

Diamond Core Drills

Diamond core drills are rotary drills that feature a diamond drill bit. They are used for creating very precise holes. Moreover, these holes are incredibly clean and accurate.

The diamond core bit is hollow which goes a long way in ensuring that the drill does not overheat. They come in different sizes that range from as small as 1mm all the way through to 60mm on average. However, there are much larger diamond drills that are able to make holes as big as 1500mm.

Impact Driver / Angle Impact Driver

While using a power screwdriver might be a good option for less trying tasks, if you have larger projects or those that are particularly heavy-duty, you may be better served by an impact driver. They have much greater torque and this makes them ideal for working with metal and for tightening bolts.

This type of drill works by using an impact mechanism that does the majority of the hard work, taking the pressure off of you. This ease of use is further benefited due to the fact that the impact driver is much more lightweight when compared to similar tools.

Impact Wrench / Angle Impact Wrench

Impact wrenches are much more powerful than their impact driver cousins but this also means that they are much heavier and often trickier to handle. But you probably wouldn’t use an impact wrench around the house since they are typically used in mechanics and car repair. Instead of being designed to remove and insert screws, the impact wrench is specially designed to tighten and loosen bolts.

Oil-Pulse Driver

When using a normal impact driver, this is powered by a hammer and anvil mechanism which increases torque. As the hammer and anvil slam together, this boosts the power and therefore the speed.

However, an oil pulse driver uses a different type of the same mechanism which is contained within a module along with gear oil. The oil within the casing moves rapidly which in turn operates the hammer and anvil mechanism. The result is that the driver is much quieter since the impacts are longer and slower. You might be wondering whether it is worth investing in this type of tool just for quieter operation but one of the other important draws of this type of tool is that the way it works means you get a much longer lifespan than other types of drivers.


Drills are among some of the most versatile tools on the market. For example, they aren’t only used for driving screws and boring holes, there are also mixing paddles that can be attached to your drill to make for a more convenient mixing of various substances.

Most commonly, this type of drill attachment is used for mixing things like paint, gypsum and plaster. Variable speeds mean that you have greater control over the mixing and can prevent splashes. The size and shape of the paddles mean that you get a much smoother consistency that is free from lumps.

Demolition Hammer Drill

When your drilling needs are much more demanding, you might need a demolition drill which is sometimes called a breaker. This type of drill will break up heavy-duty materials such as bricks, blocks and concrete. They are also exceptional when it comes to removing tiles thanks to their powerful action that destroys the surface of the material, causing it to break up.

Drill Technology

As well as a range of features, your new drill will use different types of technology. While this might not seem like a big deal or anything that you really need to understand, it certainly can help you get to know your tool better.

Cordless Drills vs Corded Drills

There is an ongoing debate as to whether corded or cordless drills are better but in reality, they are relatively equal. It’s just that they are each suited to different users. If you are looking for a lightweight drill, for example, then you might go for a corded tool since these do not have the addition of a battery pack that can make cordless drills slightly heavier.

However, you should consider the fact that a cordless drill gives you far greater freedom since you won’t be tethered to a power source. Of course, you can use an extension lead if you want to move around with your drill but this isn’t the most convenient method.

In days gone by, many people considered that corded drills were always the most powerful but with modern technology, some of the top cordless drills rival this power perfectly. The problem is that you will have to put a much greater hole in your wallet to benefit from this.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Look at any modern cordless tool, whether it be a drill, a garden trimmer, a vacuum cleaner or anything else, and you will likely notice that it contains a lithium-ion battery. One of the main reasons that manufacturers are favouring this type of battery is that it is much kinder to the environment.

What’s more, these are lightweight batteries that offer an incredible amount of power. When compared to older types of battery, they also have the benefit of not having to go through a deep cycle. You can remove the battery and charge it whenever you please. When the tool is not in use, the battery won’t discharge so you’ll always have power no matter how long it has been between uses.

While many lithium-ion batteries charge very quickly, it is a good idea to invest in a spare just in case you run out mid-job.

Brushless Motors

Just like lithium-ion batteries, brushless motors are now featured in a lot of new power tools, including drills. This type of motor is able to produce far greater speeds owing to reduced friction. What’s more, they do this with reduced noise and greater reliability. It is far less likely that a brushless motor will fail when compared to a brushed motor. This is because their lifespan is increased due to the lack of brush corrosion which is common in a brushed motor.

One-Battery Fits All Tools

Most drills are made by manufacturers that also make a range of other equipment; much of which is cordless. If you opt for a particular brand, there is a chance that you won’t need an individual battery for each tool, or you may want spares. This is where power-sharing comes to be invaluable.

You will be able to purchase a range of tools from the same brand and as long as you have at least one battery and charger, you will be able to power them all. While a lot of these manufacturers sell their tools with a battery included, there are also options to buy the bare tool so that you don’t end up with too many batteries.

Further reading:

Lady drilling into a wallFor more information on the uses of Electric Drills, then please read our article, ‘Electric Drill Ultimate Guide: Everything You Want To Know About Electric Drills‘.

Best Cordless Drill Under £100
Best Cordless Drill Under £100

If you are looking for a cheap all-round drill-driver, then read our latest buyer’s guide, ‘Best Cordless Drill Under £100

14 Amazing Power Drills You Can Buy

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