Great Cordless Drills For Less

Cordless drills make great gifts for the handy man-or woman-in your life. And Consumer Reports' latest tests find there are some really good cordless drills that won't put a big hole in your wallet!

Consumer Reports' Peter Sawchuck drilled more than a thousand holes to find the best cordless drill. He put 70 through some tough tests.

"Battery run time is key. The true test is how many screws the drill can drive before it runs out of steam." said Sawchuck.

In another test, Peter uses a torquemeter to measure power.

"You could spend 300 dollars on a cordless drill. But we found comparable performance for one-third that price." said Sawchuk.

That bargain drill? the 18-volt Porter-Cable. At $100, it's a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

And for just $60 more, you can get this Porter-Cable set, which includes the same drill plus two saws and a flashlight.

"Even though these saws don't have long run times, the kit is still a good deal for the light-duty jobs." said Sawchuk.

And if you want more oomph, consider this Craftsman drill.

It includes a hammer-drill feature for drilling through masonry more quickly. It's another Consumer Reports Best Buy, at $130.

Consumer Reports says before you buy a drill-or use one if you're given it as a gift-you want to size it up.

Raise the drill to make sure it isn't too heavy for overhead tasks.

Balance it in your hand to make sure the nose points straight ahead without tipping up or down.

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