Bob Vila Radio: Power Drill

By Roseann Foley Henry | Updated Mar 28, 2013 8:54 PM

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A power drill does more than just drill holes. With different attachments, it also drives screws, turns a sander, or even mixes paint. Here are a few tips to help you choose a model with convenient new features.




Listen to BOB VILA ON POWER DRILLS or read the text below:

A cordless drill is a bit heavier than a corded one, since you’re carrying the power source with you, but the convenience of taking it wherever you need it may be worth the extra weight. Older cordless models tended to be less powerful than the plug-in variety, but today’s cordless drills are catching up.

Most homeowners do fine with a three-eighths drill, meaning the chuck holds bits up to three-eighths of an inch in diameter. Heavy-duty half-inch drills hold larger bits. New models of either size are almost all keyless—and if you’ve spent any time searching for your drill’s chuck key, you’ll appreciate that.

Look for a power drill that’s reversible, which is great for removing screws and backing the drill out of holes. A variable-speed model lets you drill as slowly or quickly as the job requires, which is a handy feature.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on power tools, consider:

Circular Saws
Power Sanders
How To: Spring Clean Your Power Tools