DIY Drills For Less

A cordless drill not only can save on the cost of a handyman, but these days you can save on the cost of the drill. That according to Consumer Reports, whose tests find there's a lot of value out there right now.

Consumer Reports tested 89 cordless drills costing as little as $40, all the way up to $400.

Peter Sawchuk helped drive more than 2,600 screws during the testing.

He also performed a torque test. Each drill is secured in a vice, and then the twisting force is measured.

Many of the drills tested now use lithium-ion batteries.

They weigh less, which makes them easier to handle.

Consumer Reports also sizes up how many screws a drill can drive per battery charge and how long it takes to recharge.

Sawchuk says, "We're seeing a trend. There are more lightweight, compact drills out there today. They're meant for smaller jobs."

Like the Craftsman 17586. It holds a standard, 3/8 inch drill bit. Although it's not as powerful as larger drills, it scored excellent for handling. It's a Consumer Reports Best Buy at $70.

Sawchuk says, "You need to be aware of charge time. It can be a real dividing line. The Craftsman recharges in just 30 minutes, but most inexpensive drills take much longer, often more than four hours."

For not a lot more money, you can get a lot more drill. The $100 Craftsman, model #17310, is another Consumer Reports Best Buy. It scored very good for speed, power, and handling. And it recharges in 30 minutes!

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