Impact Drivers

Fairly new on the market, this type of cordless drill can apply several times the torque of a standard cordless drill in short, loud bursts. Impact drivers are engineered primarily for heavy, repetitive tasks such as driving long screws and bolts. Drill chucks, if they're available, must be purchased separately. Most models have electronic brakes and V4-in., quick-disconnect hex chucks.

Right-Angle Drills

Tight quarters don't present a problem for these drills. Compact but still powerful, these cordless models will be well received by any woodworker who has struggled to drill holes or drive screws inside small cabinets or other tightly constrained spaces. A right-angle drill isn't intended to serve as a primary cordless drill; it's more of a specialty tool.

Options Worth Having

Extra battery. This is the first accessory to buy. It allows you to keep working when your first battery runs out of power.

Drill holster. If you don't mind being taken for a John Wayne impersonator, you'll always have your drill at your side and ready for action.

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.

For More Info

To learn more about cordless drill technology, see "What's New in Cordless Drills," AW #47 (October 1995).

pistol-grip design, you 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; one-handed aim and bit placement can be 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

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.

store or home center to test several drills for weight, balance, handle size and convenience of controls.

Electronic Brake 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.


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.


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.

Keyless chuck. If you tend to lose your keys, you'll love this feature, which lets you tighten and loosen the chuck by hand.

Cordless Drills

New models in red.

Black & Decker PS320

Metabo BEAT 100/2 R+L

Skil HD2645.04

o2 O

Hitachi DS1 JDV2B

Brand & Model

List Price

Battery Volts

Fast Charge

Max. Rpm: low Range, High Range*

Chuck Type

Chuck rirurlfv

No. of Clutch Settings'*



Weight (lbs.)

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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