Cordless drills are a must have tool for both the weekend warrior and the professional and having experience on both sides of that isle I feel fully qualified to let known my opinions.
Last month I had to pull the trigger and purchase a new cordless impact driver. All options were on the table in all price points but my final decision stayed with my standard choice.
The Dewalt lineup of tools remain the most reliable, durable, option full selection on the market. Sure there are cheaper brands with comparable features but you get what you pay for and nobody wants their tool to take a dump mid project.
If you are in the market for new cordless drill or impact driver here are the features that help make the project one to enjoy rather than a four letter word.
Battery power is essential. There is no other feature that can turn a simple task into an afternoon project quicker than a dead battery. Lithion ion batteries are practically the new standard. They charge fast and hold their power.
Without getting too technical, brushless motors are a feature that I feel doubles the life expectancy of your tool. The internal components of a brushless motor simply last longer especially under stressful use.
The XR version of the tools I purchased above is probably overkill for the weekend warrior but the extra oomph it provides is necessary for projects like finishing a basement and drilling 1/2 holes through 2 x 4s.
1/4 inch vs 1/2 refers to the size of the drill chuck (the part that holds the bit). Obviously, heavy duty jobs call for larger tools and so the 1/2 inch tool models are usually accompanied featuring additional power.
I should also clarify the difference between the impact driver and the drill. Impact drivers deliver 2 to 3 times more torque with a tapping action and are most often used to drive fasteners while drills are primarily used for drilling holes.
Here is another quick tip. It’s a good idea to keep a picture log of the serial numbers on each of your tools.