If you are starting out a home workshop, or if you’re adding up power tools to a hand-tool shop you already have, which power tools must you buy first? Due to its simplicity and versatility, in woodworking and its numerous all-around uses, the portable drill is your best pick as the first power tool. It’s best to buy it as part of a kit having several accessories, choosing additional accessories as you find them useful. Even a basic kit would make it easy for you to do drilling, buffing, sanding, grinding, wire-brushing, polishing, and in time, a lot of additional carpentry chores easily and skillfully. Added accessories will help you to drive screws, countersink and counterbore for screws, or mount up the portable drill as a drill press.
Choosing Your Drill
Most drills are made having a pistol type of handle. This bears a trigger switch in the handle. Some models, nevertheless, modeled on those designed for industry, have a hammer type of grip having the switch in the handle and an additional control handle on top.
The size of the drill is dictated by the largest width or diameter of shank that can be gripped by the chuck. This may be a 1/4-inch (thus a 1/4 -inch drill), a 1/2 -inch, up to a 1-inch drill. Most popular chuck sizes are 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2-inch. Most attachments are designed for the 1/4-inch size.
A small, compact drill is favored since it allows work in tight corners and narrow areas. When working between floor joists and building studding, the workable space is less than 16 inches, and in drilling inside drawers or behind pipes even lesser space might be available. Some good drills are only 5 3/4 inches from chuck to the end of housing and only 3 3/8 inches wide. Other models have handles that can be removed for this type of tight work.
The power capacity of drills is indicated by either horsepower, amperes, or revolutions per minute (rpm), all of which indicate the size of the motor, and not the power delivered to the drill bit. Horsepower could mislead you, however. Both high horsepower and high amperage are of no use in doing a job for which they’re not needed. Additionally, they tend to add cost to the operation, and could burn out faster. A drill for household use will be effective with 1/2 to 1/4 horsepower for most needs, having 1,750 r.p.m.