Cordless Drills: 4 Features to Know


By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) – Cordless drills come in handy for almost every DIY and home improvement project, but users ought to know beforehand how to maximize their effectiveness. After all, to properly use a drill takes more than just fitting the bit and pulling the trigger. Here are four aspects of cordless drill operation to keep in mind:

  • Forward/reverse control: This is a sliding switch that indicates and changes the direction the power drill is driving depending on which way it is pressed, according to Popular Mechanics (PM). There should be corresponding arrows on each side of the switch to help indicate direction. Setting the switch in the center position will lock the tool.
  • Speed setting: Most electric drills have two or three speeds, PM Low speed/high torque is best for driving screws; medium speed/torque can be used for drilling or driving; high speed is ideal for drilling or driving fasteners. Don’t adjust the speed switch unless the tool is at a complete stop. 
  • Clutch adjustment: The clutch setting features a numbered dial used to set the clutch to deliver a torque range. The higher the number, PM reports, the higher the torque and the larger the fastener that can be driven. Adjust the clutch to find the sweet spot that will drive the screw to the desired depth.
  • Charge indicator: Many cordless drills will have an indicator light showing how much of a charge the battery has left, notes PM. Often when a battery dies, they simply stop working with no slowdown or notice; these indicators make sure there are no surprises.

“Even with a charge indicator light, it is still a hassle to reach for a cordless drill when an urgent need pops up, only to find that it needs to be charged up for hours first,” says Stephen Voller, CEO and founder of ZapGo Ltd. “It would be much more convenient if the recharge took only a few minutes—but that’s impossible with standard Lithium-ion batteries.”

ZapGo’s Carbon-Ion™ cell (Zap&Go) is being developed as the first Carbon-Ion cell that combines the fast-charging characteristics of a supercapacitor and—within a few years—is anticipated to match the energy density of Li-ion batteries, while also being safe and recyclable. Unlike Li-ion, which works by an electrochemical reaction, Zap&Go involves storing electrons with no electrochemical reaction. This means there is nothing to get used up, so Zap&Go cells can last through many more charge and discharge cycles than Li-ion.

ZapGo’s platform technology will first be incorporated into commercialized products such as cordless power tools, robotic cleaners and electric bikes during late 2017. According to R&D Magazine, at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, the company exhibited a range of functioning products—including an 18-volt power drill—where the recharge time had been reduced from hours to less than five minutes.

“At some point in the future, DIYers will be able to focus on putting that drill to use without fretting about how long it will take to charge up,” adds Voller.

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