A drill is generally the first power tool people buy. Drills are cheap and very useful for tasks around the house. Nowadays, you have a lot of good and cheap drills to choose from. It can be a little bit overwhelming to find the best drill for you but there is no need to make things complicated.
First you need to decide if you want a cordless or a corded drill. Cordless drills have improved a lot over the years and they have also become cheaper, making them a very interesting alternative to the good old corded drill.
If you just want a cheap drill, because you may need it just once or twice a year, a cheap corded drill is the best option. There are no cordless drills in the dirt cheap class. You can get a drill that can manage all basic DIY tasks around the house for just $30 or even less. Of course , such a drill don’t have any bell and whistles but for basic drilling it is more than enough. Also, if you are using the drill very seldom, the battery in a cordless drill may have self-discharged and be flat.
You can find a few dirt cheap cordless drills but they often have a number of limitations, making them a poor choice.
If you are going to do a lot of heavy drilling, such as using the hammering action of a hammer drill, you may find that cordless drills don’t have enough power and that the battery does not last long. A corded hammer drill is generally the best option for such cases. Note that hammer drills have a switch, so you can disable the hammering action and use the hammer drill as a standard drill as well.
Cordless hammer drills using Lithium-ion batteries are powerful but also expensive. If you don’t need a cordless hammer drill, you can save a fair bit of money by buying a corded hammer drill.
In most other cases a cordless drill is a good choice. Typically, you get two tools, a drill and a screwdriver. In order to be able to use the drill as a screwdriver, it needs to have a reversible motor and support slow speeds. Screwing at high speed will cause damage.
If you are looking for a good but cheap cordless drill, a drill using Nicad batteries will be the best choice. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a very good and powerful cordless drill, you need a drill which uses Lithium-ion batteries. As you probably guessed, Nicad batteries are much cheaper than Lithium-ion batteries.
Note that thanks to quick-charge batteries, it is possible to work all day long with a cordless drill and two batteries. You only need to make a short break every time you need to change the batteries. It is a very good solution, especially for professionals. The only drawback is that such batteries are expensive.
Cordless drills are also available in different voltages, typically between 12V and 18V but you can find drills both below and above these voltages. The higher the voltage the more powerful the drill. But at the same time, both the batteries and the drill becomes more expensive. 18V drills are also heavier than 12V drills. For DIY tasks around the house 12V is generally good enough. If you want to do heavy drilling, 18V is a better choice.