Types of power drills and their uses

With several power drill types on the market, it’s important to choose the right one for your D.I.Y. projects. Bunnings Tools Buyer Paul outlines the benefits and some project examples for each type of drill in your ultimate power drill guide.

cordlessvs corded

Cordless vs. corded drill drivers

Cordless or corded power drills, also known as drill drivers, are ideal “…for drilling holes and driving screws into most materials except masonry,” describes Paul. The main advantage of using a cordless power drill for your D.I.Y. projects is convenience. You can use a cordless drill anywhere you like whereas a corded drill needs to have access to electricity nearby or an extension cord.

Cordless power drills are available in a range of voltage sizes, for example 12V, 14.4V and 18V. Drills with a higher voltage are more powerful and have a lot of features but are bigger and heavier than those with lower voltages.

Paul notes that “the main advantage of choosing a corded power drill is that they provide you with a higher power at a constant rate. This is ideal for tougher jobs and heavier workloads.

impact driver

The power of an impact driver

An impact driver works differently to a standard drill by offering you more power through higher bursts of torque. Paul notes they are “ideal for driving screws because the bursts of power provide more force and it’s less likely to strip the heads of the screws.” However, because you never know when the extra power is going to kick in, it can result in less precision.

An impact driver is the perfect power tool if you’re working on a project that requires a lot of screws, such as fastening decking boards or roof sheets and assembling flat pack furniture or cabinetry.

hammer and rotary

Hammer and rotary power drills

Hammer and rotary power drills are both ideal for drilling through tough surfaces like brick, concrete and stone. Hammer drills feature a hammer function that pounds the drill bit as it rotates, helping it to work its way through dense materials. The hammer function can be easily switched off to become a regular drill when needed. “The constant torque at a lower rate of a hammer means you’ll get through masonry in no time,” says Paul.

Rotary power drills are powered by air pressure and provide you with a lot more impact than hammer drills. They’re generally more durable than hammer drills and have three settings; drill mode, hammer drill or just hammer which works like a mini jackhammer.

Get your drill

View the full range of power tools available at your local Bunnings or view the D.I.Y. Basics and Skills section for more hints and tips.

Explore your options

Still unsure about the type of power drill you need? Take a look at the ultimate power drill guide.

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our DIY videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member

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