Which drill?

OK I can't be a helpless female any more.. need to learn how to use one of these things - but first I have to buy one. I only want to use it to put up the occasional small bookshelf/ attach a towel rail.. that sort of thing..so do I need..
550 or 700 rpm (or faster)? Any "torque settings"? Is voltage important? In front of me (this is a well know catalogue btw) I have anything from 9v - about 24v.
Anything else I should know before I buy one?
Thanks!
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On 04/03/2004 Dulcie a wrote :

Rather than looking at the rechargeable drills, you should need to look at the mains powered ones and particularly the hammer drills for drilling fixings in walls.
The smaller DIY battery drills are only good for driving screws and drilling holes in softer materials such as wood.
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Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

If this is your *first* drill, I would get a mains powered one - I wouldn't fancy my *only* drill being battery powered! Get one with a hammer action for drilling into brick and concrete - and preferably with a 2-speed mechanical gearbox rather than just electronic speed variation. Use the high speed setting (about 2,500 rpm) plus hammer action - with decent masonry bits - for drilling into brick.
Also get yourself a device which detects pipes and cables before drilling into *anything*!
If you're mainly going to be drilling solid walls, you *could* consider an SDS drill - some of them are quite cheap these days - which will go into concrete like it's cheese! If you go this way, make sure that it is also supplied with a normal chuck for holding ordinary drill bits, for when you want to drill other materials such as wood.
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Cheers,
Set Square
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up
thing..so
I
Get a very basic mains powered one with hammer action and a variable trigger (ie not just on or off). Do not buy a battery model. You can use hammer action for drilling masonary but not for steel or wood.
It will probably cost around 15 from somewhere like Argos and many models will include some drill bits. you need different bits for drilling wood, steel or masonary (walls).
Also buy a plug in RCD if your house is not already protected by one and use it ALWAYS when drilling.
It should get you started on your drilling career.
Hope that helps. Rob
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Tel. 07010 703 702
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If it was going to be my only drill I'd go for this
http://tinyurl.com/2mxrf
Should cope with everything you will want to through at it and it's a fairly well respected make.
HTH
Jim

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fairly
I have one of these, and yes it is great... but... forgot it if you are drilling concrete you need an SDS one. (SDS drills range in price from 30quid to 110 for a bosch one) you are likely to find concrete above a window when fitting binds etc.
Scott
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of
put
btw)
trigger
use
Mains drill? <ptui!>
:-)
I'd suggest buying the best cordless drill* you can reasonably afford and these drill bits: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 295 These will let you drill into most common bricks and blocks without hammer action and make a cleaner hole because they cut into the material instead of bashing their way through it, so you end up with a hole which a wallplug will hold into instead of a small cave with crumbling walls! They will also go through wood, plastics and even metals and tiles.
If you haven't got any I'd get some of these wallplugs: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 209 for most screws, use with the 6mm drill bit http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 234 for bigger screws, 8mm drill bit.
Let me urge you to throw away those old slot-headed woodscrews and get some good screws! http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 845
The other thing you'll find invaluable about a cordless, which you can't use a cheap mains drill for, is driving screws. If you've got more than about 2 small screws to put in you'll wonder how you ever put up with a manual screwdriver before. However the screwdriver bits you use in drills are more prone to getting mangled up, so I prefer a bit holder and small, cheap, replaceable bits.
I particularly like this: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 655 although these are more common: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 298
As for bits themselves you could get these: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 772 (10 for a fiver) or a few of these: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 741 plus one of these for bigger screws: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 470 (or some sort of selection pack - make sure you get a few of Pozi #2 as that fits the most common screws).
* for the drill I'd suggest something like: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 424 which looks reasonable vfm (if you want to spend more I'd look at green Bosch drills). Two speed is nicer but costs more. Torque settings are handy when driving small screws and/or into soft materials, but with practice you get a feel for when the screw's in tightly enough. As for voltage, for a given make a higher voltage will usually be more powerful, but a 14.4V professional machine will probably be more powerful than a 24V cheapie. The power tends not to be as important for drilling holes as for driving screws, particularly longer screws of larger sizes in tight materials.
With cheap drills like the one above the battery charger will overcharge and shorten the life of the battery if you leave it charging too long. You could set a cook's type timer to remind you when the battery should be charged and switch it off then.
(Oh! and if it's your first order from them would you tell them I introduced you? ;-)
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Random thoughts.
An important thing to know that's not usually in many DIY books is that for HSS drills (or any other sort of cutting tool) there is a speed that should not be exceeded if you want to have the cutting tool have any sort of life at all.
For example (without permission from http://www.denford.co.uk/speedscalculate.htm )
Free cutting mild steel 38 m/min Low carbon steel 32 m/min Brass or bronze 55 m/min Aluminium or alloys 200 m/min Plastics 250 m/min Woods 500 m/min
For a 10mm diameter bit, the edges go 30mm per revolution, so for wood, you can go up to some 500/0.03 = 16000RPM, way faster than the drill could be advanced into the wood, and faster than most any drill. But for steel, (say you want to use a hole saw to cut a 30mm hole in a cabinet) much faster than 400RPM would be pushing it. Once you get to bigger hole-saws, you really want a drill going quite slowly indeed, or you'll burn the teeth off rapidly.
Also, never use hammer with anything other than masonry bits, it ruins things, and if you've bought one with reverse too, it's a good idea to check the switch if it doesn't want to drill (BTDT.)
And then there is safety. It may sound like a hastle, but 5 or 10 seconds spent putting on safety gear may save an eye, or mean you can hear nice music clearly later in life.
Getting hair or loose clothing caught in the drill is a bad idea, you probably won't be able to switch it off, and the results can be anything from painfull to disfiguring. Earplugs are a good idea if doing any drilling and vital if doing masonry drilling. Safety glasses are a good idea, drillbits can and do snap.
Don't drill into small light stuff by just holding it down with your hands, a clamp is best. If the drill binds in the cut, it can rip it round and tear it out of your hands and throw it round the room.
The cheapest battery power drills (Focus had one for 9.99) while useless for a lot of drilling tasks are really handy for jobs where you might end up wanting to put in a hundred screws. This can get real tiring by hand.
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What a helpful group...glad I found you :o)
Seems I have quite a lot of research to do now I have this info.
I have to say I'd rather have a cordless - just seems to me easier to use - dangling cables + power tools don't seem like a good combination.. especially if you're a nervous newbie. I was quite surprised that they seem to be so unpopular here.

http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?id 424 which looks reasonable vfm <<
John - that does look reasonable indeed - less than I was expecting to pay... actually most of the suggestions were less than I was expecting to pay.
I see I need to swot up on safety ...what is an RCD? Some sort of circuit breaker?
Thanks for all your ideas...
Dulcie
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On Fri, 5 Mar 2004 13:15:01 -0000, Dulcie wrote:
<snip>

Electrical safety and protection against earth leakage currents is a major issue. There are several methods that can be used.
The majority of portable power tools are sold as 'double insulated'. There are always at least two layers of insulation between any electrical parts of the tools and exposed metal. They normally use only a live and a neutral wire in the cable, with no earth wire.
Put very simply, an RCD is a device that makes sure that what goes up the live wire comes back down the neutral [1]. If more is going up the live than is coming back down the neutral for an unearthed piece of equipment, chances are that the difference is going through you, the user! They are very sensitive and operate in milliseconds to disconnect the supply.
[1] A very simplified explanation, and I suspect there'll be plenty of pedants along to take issue, but it gives you an idea of the principle.
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Does 'double insulated' really mean what it sounds like it means? I thought that in actual fact it meant that there are no conductive parts accessible to the user and that certain standards are required to guarantee that the user can't poke their way into conductive parts.
Certainly on 'double insulated' mains electric drills there aren't multiple layers of insulation between user and inside electrics, in fact there's only air. But the size of the ventilation holes and the distance from the electrics is enough to satisfy the 'double insulated' requirements.
--
Chris Green

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On 5 Mar 2004 13:47:51 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

Yup, I knew someone would be along to question what I said! :-)
If you've ever taken a drill or saw or whatever to pieces to change brushes, you'll see that if it's put together properly there are two layers of insulation between electrics and operator. Some of that 'double layer' may seem a bit tenuous, but there are - or should be - two layers, for instance, the cable insulation and the case.
Take a look at http://www.safety.ed.ac.uk/policy/part3/53.html for a definition.
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snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk brought next idea :

It means two layers of insulation... The basic insulation of the windings, plus an additional barrier in the form of insulation between the shaft and the chuck.
It does not protect you from poking a screwdriver through the ventilation slots.
--


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wrote:

With a drill, that isn't usually an issue as long as you follow the basic safety instructions that come with it.

I don't think that that's it. The point is that if it's your *only* drill, a mains one is going to be able to cover more jobs. Most people here probably have cordless drills - I have several and they do a great job - but there are things that they won't do well and for those a mains drill is a better bet.
Also, generally for a given price point you can get a better corded than cordless drill because the batteries are quite a bit of the cost.
However, if it really is for occasional use, then I think that John's suggestion makes a lot of sense.
Another thing to mention if you are going to be drilling holes in walls is to consider that cables and pipes may be below, so it is worth getting a cable and pipe detector.
For cables, there is a wiring regulation about where they are supposed to run. This is that they can go vertically or horizontally in a line from a wiring accessory - i.e. light switch, power socket etc.; but that they can also go into a space that is 150mm from the corner or the top of a wall. THis assumes that the electrician followed the rules and of course the trouble is that plaster hides the evils. Therefore be extra careful and always check anyway before drilling.

Exactly. Stands for residual current device. As you probably know, electricity to an appliance is carried on two wires - live and neutral. If all is working properly, the current or flow of electricity should be equal through each. If there is a fault - e.g. the cable becomes snagged and broken or the appliance develops an electrical fault, the electricity could pass to the metal of the apppliance and possibly through you to earth. The RCD detects this imbalance and trips out the power before it can hurt you.
This is a good idea to have for power tools and especially any that are used outside and lawnmowers etc.

.andy
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Thanks - I consider myself instructed, tho I'm sure I'll be back ;o)
dulcie
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They're very popular, but not as an only drill. A mains one can do anything a cordless can - and usually better too, but the reverse is not the case. And for occasional use, there's a good chance the battery will be flat just when you need it - and will need replacing too after a few years. I've still got my first mains drill - bought nearly 40 years ago, and it still works fine. I'm on my fourth cordless, having learnt the hard way that the cheap ones really aren't much use.
--
*Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Dulcie wrote on 05/03/2004 :

They are very popular, but as a supplement to a mains powered drill rather than the only drill and especially for drilling holes in walls.
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