Do it yourselfers and professionals both need a drill in their toolbox to bore pilot holes or pass through an endless variety of substrates. Many drill manufacturers make a variety of drill types ranging from good old fashioned hand crank drills to cordless drills to electric drills along with a wide range of specialty drills to get into tight spaces or drills that act as hammers to sink holes in hard masonry surfaces. Knowing which type of drill is best for the job will cut the work time significantly. Many professionals swear by their cordless drill as do many do it yourself type homeowners. Some feel the electrically powered drills perform better, while others with small jobs rely on their hand crank drill. The choice is yours.


Cordless ones get their power from a rechargeable battery. Plugging the battery into a transformer and then plugging the transformer into a wall keeps some drills going through the entire job. Some cordless drill batteries hold power longer than others such as the Makita 18V lithium Ion model. Some cordless-drill manufacturers offer extra batteries or batteries with a longer life. If you project will require a lot of drilling, it’s well worth the investment. Batteries take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours or more to charge. To keep your battery at its most efficient, turn the drill off when you aren’t actually drilling. Cordless-drills come in variable speeds, one speed, two speed and reversible models.


Electric onesrely on a power cord plugged into an electrical receptacle to gain power. Electric drills come in a variety of chuck sizes designed to hold different types of drill-bits. Some electric-drills have a high speed setting which allows you to bore a tiny hole with less shaking back and forth. Back and forth movement will widen the hole and make the opening bigger than you originally intended causing fasteners to not grip tightly. A typical electric drill can handle most household do it yourself type projects.


Hand onesare operated on hand power either by cranking the handle or pushing the housing against the substrate. A standard hand-drill can make holes through wood, softer metals and plastic – it’s not for big jobs – by turning the handle that is attached to a gear the bit rotates and bores in. A brace-drill has a center piece that bows out and works best on wood or removing screws. A push-drill, as the name suggests, bores a hole as you push it. Push drills also come in miniature sizes to accommodate crafters and model builders.

Right Angle

Right angled onesare used where space is limited and the body of the drill won’t fit the opening. A right angle-drill looks like a regular drill but takes a 90 degree turn at the end. Some right angle drills come with a removable head so you can turn it back into a standard drill. Most right angled drills come as variable speed and reversible so you can easily bore large or small holes.


Hammer onesare made specifically to go through brick, concrete, stone and other masonry surfaces. The hand held tool spins the drill-bit while hammering it back and forth to sink into the hard surface. Hammer drills come as both cordless and electric models. They are almost always reversible so you are able to back the bit out of the masonry surface. Hammer drills typically come with a  depth stop attachment so you don’t sink the bit too far into the masonry surface.

Close Quarters

Close quarters onesmake drilling in tight spots easier than using a traditional drill or in areas where a right angle-drill won’t fit. Close quarters drills have a much more compact head and smaller body. They are able to accept a wide variety of drill-bit sizes. They are available as variable speed, one speed and reversible.

D Handle

D handle onesare perfect for jobs that require a large hole made with an auger bit or spade bit. The design and shape of the handle offers more control and straight on drilling. D handles come with a larger chuck to fit the bits and are available as variable speed, single or double speeds. D handle ones are used on jobs and projects where torque is needed to drill through the material.

Screwdriver Combo

These combo tools as the name suggests will drill a hole and sink the screw. Typically a drill screwdriver combo comes as a cordless type so you can easily use is without worrying about where you can plug it in. They offer a high torque capability so they can go through a substrate quickly and easily.

Drywall and Driver Combo

Another combo tool made for a specific project – drywall installation. Drywall-drills and drivers come with a depth stop so you do not over sink a screw and ruin the face of the drywall. They are made to bore through both the softer drywall and the harder studs behind it. Drywall-drills and drivers come as both cordless and electrically powered. Choose the model depending on the amount of drywall that needs to be hung. If you have a half or full room of drywall to hang, a cordless is fine. If you are drywalling an entire house, consider opting for a corded one.


Drill-presses come as bench type models or freestanding models both of which require bolts to hold them in place. The biggest benefit of a drill press is its accuracy. You cannot pinpoint a hole as well with a hand held drill as you can with a drill-press. A drill-press is capable of creating straight on holes, angled holes or square holes.

Tips for Drilling

No matter what you are drilling, mark the spot for the hole, place a nail or awl over the mark and tap it with a hammer. The starter hole will keep the drill-bit in place as you begin to bore a hole.

Choose the correct drill for the job you are doing. Drills aren’t always one type fits all jobs.

While cordless onesmay be convenient, if you are doing a large project, you will waste a lot of time waiting for the battery to recharge unless you buy an extra battery or two as a back up.