Removable Battery

2 Almost every drill we tested has the basics down pat. Drill design has come a long way in the past few years and has settled on a common set of useful, well-designed features.

Good Basic Design

On the outside, most drills look pretty much alike. All the manufacturers have arrived at a common, basic design that works extremely well (Photo 2). You can count on finding these features on almost every drill:

• Keyless chuck. The days of fumbling for a loose chuck key are long gone, thank goodness.

• Removable battery. None of the drills we tested plug directly into an outlet. If you've got an extra battery charged and ready to go, running out of juice should never be a problem.

• Multiple clutch settings. You simply dial in the right amount of pressure to tighten any size screw. The number of settings isn't terribly important. • Center-mounted handle. The battle between this new style and the older pistol-style (where the handle is in the rear) seems to be over, and guess who won? The centered handle is definitely better balanced.

• Centered reversing switch. In, out, out, in: you can change the direction you drive screws merely by shifting your trigger finger.

• Two speed ranges. High speed is useful when you want to get those holes drilled as fast as possible. Switch to low speed when you need more torque to drive stubborn screws or big bits.

• Variable speed trigger. You can fine-tune the speed at which you drive a screw with your trigger finger and slow to a crawl at the end so your bit doesn't slip.

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