Published On Nov 29, 2021
In this video, Ask This Old House expert carpenter Nathan Gilbert explains everything you need to know about drill drivers, from their history to their modern features.
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Carpenter Nathan Gilbert takes us to the Tool Lab to discuss power drill drivers. Nathan explains that manufacturers have produced drill drivers loaded with batteries and options. There are different types, including light, medium, and heavy-duty. Nathan breaks down drill driver configurations and price ranges. Finally, he shows the different parts on most modern models.
Drill Drivers Aren’t New Technology
The first drill drivers are now over 100 years old. They were heavy, required an extension cord, and had very few safety features. Modern drill drivers have come a long way, with excellent batteries, onboard work lights, safer power, more capability, and more options.
There Are Different Types of Drill Drivers
When it comes to choosing a drill driver, there are three main options: light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty.
* Light-duty drills are suitable for small projects like assembling small furniture, driving small screws, and drilling holes through light-duty material like drywall.
* Medium-duty drill drivers are suitable for drilling medium-sized holes, drilling through most wood species, and driving average-sized screws.
* Heavy-duty drill drivers are built for hard work like driving lag bolts, drilling with hole saws, or drilling through tough materials like masonry.
Do Your Homework
Before you settle on a cordless drill driver, do some research on the battery. Be sure to purchase a bare tool that works with your existing batteries or a kit that will allow you to use that battery for future tool purchases.
Where to find it?
Nathan shows the first DIY drill made by Black and Decker [https://bit.ly/3oTHU43]. He uses the DeWalt DCF682N1 8-Volt MAX Cordless 1/4 in. Hex Gyroscopic Screwdriver [https://amzn.to/3DWZ4EB] to illustrate “light duty” drill-drivers. Then Nathan switches to “medium duty” drill-drivers, illustrated with the Milwaukee 2407-20 M12 12-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless 3/8 in. Drill/Driver [https://amzn.to/32oQSPs]. Then he moves to the Ridgid R86115B 18V Brushless 1/2" Hammer Drill [https://amzn.to/3nEyGJG] to show “Heavy duty” capacity. Other drill drivers shown include: Milwaukee 2604-20 M18 Fuel 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2 in. Hammer Drill Driver [https://amzn.to/3HVweXB] AND 2804-20 M18™ FUEL 1/2" Hammer Drill Kit [https://amzn.to/3nDzRcu]; DeWalt DCD998W1 20V Max ½ brushless hammer drill [https://amzn.to/3nGvOw7] AND DCD710S2 12V Max 3/8” Drill/driver kit [https://amzn.to/3FGOamu]; Ridgid R86114B 18V Brushless 1/2" Drill/Driver [https://thd.co/3xdSLK7]; Ryobi PBLHM101K 18V ONE+ HP Brushless Hammer Drill [https://thd.co/30TslkU].
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Tool Lab is a series that features unbiased reviews and objective tests of new and noteworthy tools. In addition to reviews and testing, we’ll also be producing user guides, buying guides, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of tools. Tool Lab is geared towards those with pro-level experience or interest—those who are new to the trades, have been working in the trades, as well as advanced DIYers who want to know what pros know and want to perform at their level. Be sure to catch new reviews and content each week on ThisOldHouse.com/Tool-Lab or on YouTube.
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