Any cordless drills that you choose should include a few basic features. An adjustable clutch is a must to avoid driving screws too deep into the surface of the piece you are working on. Also a reversible motor should be an additional feature. This allows you to back out screws when necessary. In addition to this you should look for the motor to have a dual speed function with a high and low switch.
The majority of 12 volt cordless drills come with a 10mm chuck for holding the 'bits' however some incorporate a 13mm chuck so that 'bits' up to 13mm in diameter can be used. In most cases the models with a 13mm chuck will have a hammer function which is for use on masonry.
12 Volt models will all have a set of common specifications as will 14.4V, 18V, 24V and 36V such as max. torque, no load speed etc. These specifications can differ from drill to drill and will have an effect on their performance. Click to see a comparison of some important specifications to help you choose the right 12v tool for you.
There are stronger batteries for cordless drills than the 12 volt battery and can go up to as much as 24 volt and 36 volt however, 24 volt models and 36 volt models tend to be a lot heavier than a 12 volt models and considerably heavier than a corded drill. When considering the 12 volt battery there are a few main things to take into account. Firstly not all 12 volt batteries are the same. Batteries have something called a ''milliamp-hour rating'' (mAh) and two 12v batteries are not forced to have the same mAh rating. A battery of the same voltage having a higher mAh rating will hold its charge for longer than that of the lower rating. The second thing to take into account is whether or not that particular model employs a ''smart charger''. This is something that many brands are starting to incorporate. This is basically a trickle charge system that optimises the way the battery is charged which helps to extend the life of the battery.
In addition to these points the "type" of battery can also have a marked affect on a cordless drills performance. In recent years the use of lithium-ion batteries has been applied to many power tools. Lithium-ion batteries have several advantages over Nicad batteries. Lithium-ion batteries have a higher energy density than the majority of other types of rechargeable battery. What this means is that in comparison to the size or weight of the battery they have the ability to store a greater amount of energy than other types of rechargeable battery. Li-ion batteries also operate at higher voltages than other rechargeables, typically around 3.7 volts for lithium-ion vs. 1.2 volts for NiMH or NiCd. This means a single cell can often be used rather than multiple NiMH or NiCd cells. Another useful characteristic of Li-ion batteries is that their self discharge rate is lower than other types of rechargeable battery. The result of this is that after the battery has charged it should retain its charge for longer than other types of rechargeable battery. NiMH and NiCd batteries can potentially lose charge per day in the region of 1-5%. Li-ion batteries can retain the majority of their charge even when left in storage for months at a time. The downside to these high performance batteries though is that they tend to be more expensive than Nicad batteries. This is because they are more complex and require a greater expense to produce.
An important thing to note is that not all cordless drills use lithium-ion batteries some still use Nicad. You will find the type of battery used by each particular drill listed on this site in the list of specifications on each product page.
There is a huge variety of different bits and accessories that you can buy from augers and cutters to polishing stones and discs. We have added a selection below as an example to get you started.
At 12voltdrills.co.uk we compare a number of 12v cordless drills from some of the top manufacturers so that you can make the right choice and get the best tool to suit your needs. You will find detailed descriptions of 12 volt drills from brands such as Dewalt, Bosch, Makita, Hitachi, Ryobi, Aeg and Black and Decker, giving you a great selection of models to choose from and all the information you need to ensure you make the right choice.