Electric drills are available in many styles and options. Sometimes shopping for a new one can feel overwhelming. This short guide will explain the different types of drills available, and what they are most commonly used for.
1. Pistol Grip
A pistol grip drill is the most common type of corded drill available. These are also the most versatile types of drills out there. With a standard pistol grip many attachments are available to create a drill that can be used in most applications. With this type of drill you can purchase bits and attachments that will turn the drill in to an orbital sander, a small hand saw, or a boring device.
2. Hammer Drill
A hammer drill, also called a masonry drill, is used most commonly with concrete or brick. They are designed with a hammer mechanism that can also rotate. The design of a hammer drill will allow for heavier use on harder materials without breaking. Some types of hammer drills don't have a drill only action, and others can be used for both drilling or hammering.
The rotary style hammer drill will accelerate the bit using a piston design. A standard hammer drill uses a spinning cam instead. The rotary style drill tends to be more versatile, since it can be used as both a hammer or a spinning drill.
3. Drill Press
A drill press is a fixed style of drill that can be used on a workbench. They are commonly found in workshops, and are not usually portable. A drill press will allow you to clamp the material that needs to be drilled down while you use a lever to pull the drill into the material. It requires less effort to create the holes, allows for precision since the material can be fixed to the table, and can be adjusted to create angled holes. Attachments are available that can turn the drill press into a sander, polisher, or honing machine.
4. Cordless Drills
Cordless drills are becoming more popular in household use, although many professionals also have a few in their arsenal. A cordless drill uses a rechargeable battery pack to power the drill. Depending on the applications you plan on using the drill for, different battery voltages are available. The standard 18 volt drill will work for most people who just need to make minor household repairs or small projects. Drills can be found with as much as a 36 volt battery pack, which will allow for much heavier use. A cordless drill is not designed to last forever, and tends to need to be replaced every several years. The drawback to the cordless variety is you won't have hours of continuous use if you need it. The batteries also self discharge after a period of time, requiring the battery pack to be recharged within a day or two of use.
Many attachments and drill bits are available to turn the cordless drill in to an all in one machine.