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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All, I'm looking for a new drill to do general small home improvements and auto work. All I have right now is the lowest-end Black & Decker 12V cordless (it was a gift), and I don't believe it has nearly enough torque to do things like drill out bolts.

So I'm looking for a new drill and any advice you have would be great. Considering the work I would like to do, would it be better to go 3/8" chuck or 1/2"? How important is adjustable clutch? I am probably looking for corded but I'll hear any opinions. Anything you have to say about any of this is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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it depends on your budget. Makita or DeWalt are top of the line IMO. I like the Makitas that also have the impact wrench feature, especially if you don't have air tools. Otherwise, I'd get a nice craftsman 1/2", the one with the extra handle in the front for when you need to push more....
 

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If you are going to drill out bolts from time to time, I would def get a 'corded' drill. For years I have had all my power tool Craftsman, but over the last few years, I have been buying DeWalt & Milwaukee tools for my electrical work on the side. The only drill I have w/ a 1/2" shank is my 'Hole Hawg' which I use when cutting holes for pipes and wire runs. The 90 degree drill I have is nice too for when I need to drill holes between studs. Last but not least, get a set of quality drill bits - they do make al the diff. Enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I ordered a set of Bosch cobalt bits already for the hard stuff.

So I understand that the 1/2" drills are generally torque-ier but they also usually turn much more slowly than the 3/8" drills. I don't know much about the drilling applications for different speeds so if you have any insight into which is more appropriate here that'd be great! I can still use my 12v cordless for smaller stuff like drilling drywall or wood or laminate flooring (it's been fine at all of the above) but I guess I'd say I will mostly use the new corded drill when I either don't want to wait for the B&D battery to charge or I'm doing something the B&D can't handle. Is, say 750 RPM max speed high enough to do stuff like drilling bolts?
 

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A good article for removing broken bolts:

Catalog
 

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Too much torque can be a problem. A big 1/2" chuck drill has much inertia, when the bit gets stuck either the bit breaks or your hand gets yanked. A good adjustable clutch is very useful for driving smaller screws into wood or plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Too much torque can be a problem. A big 1/2" chuck drill has much inertia, when the bit gets stuck either the bit breaks or your hand gets yanked. A good adjustable clutch is very useful for driving smaller screws into wood or plastic.
So, are you recommending 3/8"? I suppose in fairness I'm not really drilling concrete or anything. Shouldn't take -that- much torque to drill through a 1/2" or smaller bolt, or cut a knob hole in a door, for example.
 

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Drilling through a regular bolt is no big deal. Drilling out a hardened grade 8 bolt is a redonculous... Generally 3/8" drills are fairly limited in power. So personally I would go with a corded 1/2". I bought a 1/2" hammer drill from harbor freight and it worked pretty good.
 

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+1 for a corded drill. A battery powered one is nice to have on hand, but I wouldn't own a battery powered drill without having a corded one.

Batteries will wear over time, and replacement batteries (esp. 18volt+) are typically expensive. If you are working on a larger drilling job, it is best to have another backup battery, unless you can find one that will still work while charging (Do they make those?).
 

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I have a 6 year old 19.2 volt 1/2" Craftsman and it does everything I need it to do. I just bought a new lithium battery and charger for it and it's great!
 

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I have a 14.4V Dewalt and aftermarket NiMH batteries. I use it for most everything. The original batteries are NiCd, which get weaker over time. All that being said I have a corded 3/8 and 1/2 drill and a 3/8 right angle drill which I use occasionally. I have had to borrow hammer drills once or twice, but not enough to justify purchase.
 

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If you used the drill fairly often, a cordless model is definitely recommended, if it is a rare once or twice a year thing, a corded model is better. I am partial to Hitachi. Dewalt is made by Black and Decker, they really aren't the best. We would break them all the time on the job. Milwaukee is good, Makita is pretty good too. I have several Hitachis, all of them have been trouble free.

If you can get teh Hitachis from Canada, that is even better. Those are higher quality than the ones we can get here in the states. The ones you can get in Canada are made in a different factory where the quality is better.
 

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I have a 19v Porter Cable 1/2" impact/hammer drill. The thing will twist your arm off if you aren't careful.

Also have a set of Craftsman codless 18V drills One is 1/2" and the other is a 3/8" 90 degree drill. Don't use that much but it is handy when needed.

The Craftsman have so so chucks and do not grip the bit tight.

Overall I would definitely get a 1/2" drill over a 3/8" and a hammer drill is a good upgrade over a regular one.
 

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If you need the hammer, you definitely want a corded model.

One of mine is a 24 volt Hitachi LithIon, that will put many corded drills to shame. It has a 1/2" drive, and plenty or torque. But it doesn't have a hammer, and it takes langer to charge a battery than it takes to drain one (normal, but thats the way it is). You should have three batteries to keep it going all day.
 

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I've got an old ungrounded,metal case 3/8" drill that I might be willing to part with for the right price :lol2::lol2::lol2:
 
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