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jeremy511 04-14-2013 06:20 PM

Quick question about drills...
When buying a drill, what's the difference between 1/2", 1/4", 3/8", etc.? Based on the question, I guess I don't need to say that it would be used for basic projects around the house. I'm looking for something good though, that will last a long time, be powerful, and easy to use. Thanks!

joecaption 04-14-2013 06:34 PM

That's the chuck size and tells you what size bit the chuck will hold.
The smaller the chuck size as a rule the faster it will spin and the less torque it will have.
For simple around the house light use a cheap Black and Deaker 1/2" drill will do all you need to do.
Yes there's better brands but at far less then 1/2 the price why not?
Someone stole my Millwaulkee so I bought one thinking I'd replace it later but it's been working fine for 5 years.

AngelArs 04-14-2013 06:35 PM

As a general rule the bigger the size the more heavy duty it is. You might also want to make sure it's reversible and has variable speed. If you're on a budget then harbor freight usually has nice drills on sale. If you want something that will last long then Makita and Ryobi are my two favorites.

jeremy511 04-14-2013 06:44 PM

Thanks guys. I'm actually looking to replace my craftsman 14.4v niCad with an 18+v and lithium ion. Makita is a little more than I wanted to spend. I was looking at the ryobi one+ and dewalt. I just had no idea what the different sizes meant. So, I guess 1/2" will be just fine. My current drill is a 3/8". I've actually never been happy with it. Anyway, thanks for the responses!

Justgaff 04-14-2013 07:21 PM

All of my cordless tools are dewalt and they get used and abused daily. My newest drill is about 6years old and I've just recently replaced the brushes. That's it. It's been rained on, dropped off the roof, used to paddle mix mortar, and just about everything else. It has a ton of power and can easily drive 8" x 3/8 lags into treated lumber without even predrilling (just hang on!!). The 18v nicad is heavy though so if you're gonna splurge definitely get the lithium!

woodworkbykirk 04-14-2013 08:22 PM

nicad models are still available??????

jeremy511 04-14-2013 11:03 PM

Hahaha. Yes, they are.

user1007 04-15-2013 09:36 AM

1/2" (4/8 expressed in another way) drill is a pretty hefty tool for routine drilling and setting screws. IMO. And it will be heavy.

I think you would find a 1/4 or 3/8 chuck just fine for hanging blinds and routine home stuff. If you need something to hold larger bits than 1/2 for sure but make sure you do not also need the capabilities of something like a hammer drill.

jeremy511 04-15-2013 09:59 AM

I think I am gonna go for a 1/2" because you never know what the future holds. I am also planning to make a recessed tv enclosure in my basement so I'm going to get a combo kit with the appropriate saws.

AngelArs 04-15-2013 10:05 AM

If you're going to be drilling into brick or masonry in the basement then finding a drill with 'hammer' action would help you a lot. They don't cost that much more and come in handy many times. I picked one up from harbor freight 3 or 4 years ago and it has paid for itself many times over. You can turn the hammer feature on/off but I usually just leave it on except when I'm using spade drill bits.

jeremy511 04-15-2013 10:31 AM

Thanks for the tip! Fortunately, the house we purchased has a 3/4 finished basement with space to walk behind 3 of the walls. This should make my project much easier! Whoever finished the basement used aluminum studs though. I'm not sure what tool to use to cut through them. The combo kits I'm looking at have a circular and reciprocating saw. I'm guessing the recip saw should be able to cut aluminum studs? I might have to get a "special" blade though right?

user1007 04-15-2013 11:01 AM

You can get blades to cut the aluminum studs for either the circular saw or the reciprocating saw.

I am not a major fan yet of cordless saws. They can be especially dangerous when they loose torque as the battery wears down.

jeremy511 04-15-2013 12:54 PM

Good to know, thanks! I will keep that in mind and make sure I keep fresh batteries.

jeremy511 04-16-2013 11:15 PM

Well, I ended up getting the Makita drill/driver combo. I got the entry level (black and white) pair. $200 at Home Depot. I use drills pretty frequently and after handling all the different brands at the store, I decided to splurge on the Makita set. I figure I will go with a less expensive brand like ryobi one+ for the saws, sanders, etc since they won't get as much use.
Anyone have experience with the entry level Makita? I hope I didn't make a mistake and should have purchased the upper model for $100 more...

AngelArs 04-16-2013 11:33 PM

Makita makes good stuff. I'm sure you'll be very happy with it :thumbsup:

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