Definition of A Power Drill
You will maybe have heard of people talking about power drills, but what does that actually mean? In most cases when looking for this type of product, people are actually looking for an electric drill that can tackle the really tough jobs.
In terms of classification in the industry though, they are also frequently described as either being cordless or corded.
You may also hear these referred to as “hammer drills.” I agree that the various classifications of these does get confusing.
To keep it simple a power drill is actually any drill that is powered by either a main electrical source or by a battery. There are hand drills available in the market place but except for specialised types of jobs, such as furniture making, these have been replaced with power drills.
So in days gone past woodworkers would have drilled all the various sizes of holes using a hand brace or hand drill. In today’s modern world it is all done electrically in the main.
As well as corded and cordless drills there are also hammer drills. A hammer drill simply means that the drill you are going to buy has a hammer action.
That is how the chuck on the drill produces a fast hammering action and is really only ever used for drilling through the tough materials like masonry, cement, brick and stone. You will find a hammer action on almost any drill corded or cordless.
Corded Power Drills
So just to repeat, a power drill will either run off a battery that will need charged, or they plug straight into a power source and are always ready to go.
You can buy cordless drills that operate off a battery in a whole range of shapes and sizes. However, for it to be classed as a power drill you are looking at them having a battery size of at least 18 Volts and better if it is 20 Volts or higher. Anything under that is probably too small in terms of doing the bigger jobs, though will handle normal jobs around the house perfectly well.
Cordless Power Drills
For corded drills the power of these is usually measured in Amps and the higher the rating, the more powerful the drill would be. Again these drills have a fixed lead and a plug, and the motors come in different sizes, and it is these that deliver the power and the torque.
In my opinion, for a product to be classed as a proper power drill, it really does have to be a corded one with a powerful motor.
What Is A Power Drill Used For?
Before buying a power drill, it is important to understand why you would need one. The really large and powerful drills you would normally find in factories and on construction sites are used for heavy duty drilling.
They are not the typical drill that would be used on a regular basis, in and around the home. Many people do believe though that a “power drill” is actually that type of drill. That is because of the way many people refer to these in terms of general classification.
Most users today will most likely have some type of cordless drill that is powered by a Lithium-Ion battery.
Parts of a Power Drill
The motor is really what power is all about. Most heavy duty drills will use a direct current (DC) motor that uses brushes to generate the power. Cordless motors inside drills are starting to take over and DEWALT lead the way on these by some distance.
The power generated by these motors is then transferred into torque. Torque is simply the amount of strength that can be applied to the drilling area. The higher the torque the stronger and more powerful the drill will be.
The best way to think of it is like this. Imagine for a moment that you had to drill a small hole into a solid concrete wall. Almost any type of drill will do that, if you have a good quality masonry bit in the chuck.
Now imagine that you had to drill a 1/4″ hole or even a 1/2″ hole into concrete. That is going to take a large bit and a lot of power to get through the wall.
Once again many ordinary drills will manage this eventually. However, with a high voltage, high wattage motor in a good solid drill, this will handle the job with ease, and without causing any great strain on the motor inside the drill.
I have done a lengthy review article on the best cordless drills so click on this link to read that. I have also done one on the best corded drills so click on that link and when you have read those, you will understand which type suits you best.
Understanding What Power You Need
For around 99% of all users, the power of the drill will have little or no bearing on their eventual choice of purchase.
For heavy duty construction workers, or professionals, they will always buy a drill with a large motor, a good sized chuck and one that is known to be durable and tough. Manufacturers already know that this is a very small market and not a lot of this type of drill is produced.
In today’s world almost any drill that you can buy, aside from the very light 12V ones, will be powerful enough to get any job done. I hope this clears up any confusion about power drills.