Tight quarters are no problem for these drills. Compact but powerful, right-angle drills can't be beat for drilling holes or driving screws inside small cabinets or in other tight spots. A right-angle drill isn't meant to be your only cordless drill; it's a specialty tool.
The higher a drill's rated speed, the less torque it will deliver, and vice versa. Most models have two speeds, or two variable ranges, with more torque in the lower range. Variable speed is great for driving screws— you can start the screw slowly and speed up to drive it home.
An electronic brake stops the chuck from spinning as soon as you release the trigger. This way, you don't have to pause before driving the next screw or changing bits.
No key required. A keyless chuck lets you tighten and loosen the chuck by hand.
Adjustable clutches let you select the desired torque for driving screws to a precise depth. Black & Decker and DeWalt offer a Versa-Clutch* that engages the chuck only when you push on the bit. Electronic clutches, which are quiet, simply cut power to the drill when a particular torque is reached.
Conventional drills come in two basic handle styles—pistol-grip and T-handle. (See photo, below.) With the pistol-grip design, you can grip high on the handle and push directly in line with the bit for stable, powerful drilling. But a pistol grip tends to be front-heavy. This can make one-handed aim and bit placement difficult.
A T-handle model is usually more compact, so it's better for use in awkward spaces. But it's harder to apply force directly in line with the bit.
Regardless of handle style, a drill should feel good in your hand, even
_ after extended use. Before you buy, visit a hardware store or home center to test several drills for weight, balance, handle size and convenience of controls.
A drill powered by a 9.6-volt battery will do for many jobs, but for heavy-duty or extended work, you'll want at least 12-volt power. There are more 12- and 14-volters than ever before to choose from, as well as several 18-volt models.
Keyless chucks generally won't apply as much tightening force as keyed chucks, but they're much more convenient. Consider getting a keyed chuck if you often use large-diameter drill bits with small shanks.
options worth having
Dueling drills. A T-handle model (left) is easier to balance and more compact. A pistol-grip (right) lets you push directly in line with the bit.
Extra battery. This is the first accessory to buy. It lets you keep working when your first battery runs out of power.
Drill holster. These leather or canvas holders give you "quick-draw" capability that's very helpful on some jobs.
Fast charger. This type of charger, which comes standard on some drills, cuts charging time down to 10 or 15 minutes.
Carrying case. It's wise to invest in a case if your drill doesn't come with one. Many will accommodate the drill's charger and an extra battery.
New models in red.
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