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Cordless Drills Features (continued)
Drill Speed and Torque.Once you've settled on the optimal amount of power, you'll need to consider the related issues of speed and torque. Many larger and some smaller cordless drills have two maximum speeds -- low for higher torque when driving screws and high for lower torque when drilling.
The Porter-Cable and Bosch PS21-PA Pocket Driver are 12V cordless drills with two speeds; the former with a maximum 315 rpm and 1200 rpm, and the latter with a maximum 350 rpm and 1300 rpm. Other 12V cordless drills feature variable speeds; the Ryobi HJP002K reaches 600 rpm and the Skil 2240-01 hits 700 rpm. The cordless drills we researched also feature a reversible drive that lets you back the drill out or remove screws.
Good cordless drills also offer numerous clutch positions. The clutch is handy when using a range of bit sizes for one project -- lower numbers for small screws and larger numbers for big screws. The clutch disengages and the screwdriver bit stops spinning when the screw is sufficiently tight, which This Old House explains ensures that you don't strip the screw or over-tax the motor. Our picks for best and good cheap cordless drills have either 20 or 24 clutch positions; the Skil 2240-01 incorporates 15 and the 19.2V PowerGlide has 17.
Cheap Cordless Drills Frills.Some manufacturers pack on a few extras. LED lights to brighten the target areas and belt hooks for keeping the cordless drill by your side grace the Porter-Cable PCL120DDC-2 and Craftsman 17310 C3; the latter also features an "add energy indicator" for the battery that users say they appreciate. All the cheap cordless drills we researched sport some sort of magnetic bit holder for a convenient quick change when you're in the midst of a job, and most come with a storage/carry bag. Drill bits are usually sold separately, but the Craftsman 17310 comes with two screwdriver bits, the Porter-Cable PCL120DDC-2 and Skil 2240-01 each come with one, the Hitachi DS18VF3 provides seven bits, and the PowerGlide comes with an accessories kit that includes multiple bits.
Don't Bother Cheap Drills
This is another cheap cordless drill with the old NiCAD technology and a 3/8" chuck that isn't much of a bargain. Users like the variable speed but complain about weak motors and report problems with chargers and batteries going bad; users grouse that you can't buy these items separately.
Bosch PS21-2A Review
SKIL 2240-01 Review
PowerGlide 2186955 Review
Porter-Cable PCL120DDC-2 Review
Ryobi 18V P815 Review
Ryobi HJP002K Review
Craftsman 17310 Review
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