Power Drill Selection Guide

Author: Ari Erenthal, Published on Dec 06, 2016

Boring holes is a basic part of running cables for most security system projects. To do so, you will need to choose the right drills for various scenarios.

This guide will help you understand the different types of drills available and the tradeoffs of each. No one drill will handle every sort of situation, but by understanding the capabilities of different drill types will allow you to choose the ones that suit your needs best. We explain:

  • Driver vs Hammer vs Rotary Drills
  • Corded vs Cordless
  • Drills for mounting jacks
  • Drills for wood doors or base plates
  • Drills for working in concrete buildings
  • Extension cords for corded drills
  • Batteries (12V and 18V)
  • Pricing of drills
  • Renting vs purchasing drills
  • Chucks - keyless vs keyed vs SDS

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Selecting ******

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Cordless ****** 

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Batteries *** ******** ******

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Pick *** ******* ****** *** ***** **** **

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Corded ******

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Driver ******

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Hammer ****** 

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Rotary ****** ****** 

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Comments (37)

Really scrapping the barrel for content. I'd be surprised if 1 member read this and thought I didn't know that.

Being informative is a good thing but stating the obvious is another thing altogether.

imho

Really scrapping the barrel for content. I'd be surprised if 1 member read this and thought I didn't know that.

That's quite rude.

We have thousands and thousands of members, from different backgrounds - some in the industry for 30+ years, some new, some experienced installers, some sales, etc., etc. And even some experienced installers will find the discussion and attention helpful. The net/net is some will find it useful, others will not and read the other 4,000+ articles we have.

More broadly, we are building out complete installer training. You may not like it but we are doing it because we believe it will help the industry, especially integrators who want to train / improve their up and coming technicians.

More broadly, we are building out complete installer training. You may not like it but we are doing it because we believe it will help the industry, especially integrators who want to train / improve their up and coming technicians.

as a member and business owner this is one of the many things that makes this site so valuable... not to mention the discussions and insight from other owner/operators and end users...

wow. what is your purpose for sharing that comment?

do you punch your mailman in the face when he delivers you mail you didn't want?

and humble it wasn't, imo.

plus, the word scraping only has one P

Humble no honest yes.

Re scrapping...And your phone has never thrown in a word you did not actually type.

The resultant conversations, yes are worth it, but the original article is pretty obvious.

"Cordless drills are more convenient because you do not have to find an outlet and run extension cords"

If that has to be pointed out to someone......come on..

As I said IMHonestOpinion

so I can't have an opinion.

Carry on discussing what type/brand does what and why.

That is informative and is of benefit to anyone new to the industry not that a cordless drill doesn't need an extension cord.

so I can't have an opinion.

You can have an opinion but you'd be better off not speaking for all other members ("I'd be surprised if 1 member read this and thought I didn't know that.").

"Cordless drills are more convenient because you do not have to find an outlet and run extension cords"

And let's be fair. You are cherry picking one line out of a 1885 word post that covers a variety of topics.

If the material is wrong, for sure, tell us and we will own up and fix. But if you already know the material, move on to something else. We publish 12-15 posts a week so there is not shortage of new things to read.

As I said IMHonestOpinion

Properly, it means "In My Humble Opinion", though it usually isn't.

so I can't have an opinion.

I love seeing this in some of the groups I admin; it's usually the last retort of a troll. They want to share their opinion but can't handle an admin or moderator calling them out on it for being just plain ridiculous, so they cry "censorship" instead.

Really scrapping the barrel for content.

*scraping

Sorry John, I try to keep my inner Grammar Nazi in check, but if someone's going to be a dick, they should at least spell properly in the process.

And FWIW, I've run into installers who were brilliant in their areas of expertise, but still didn't know "basic" info like this.

First, why post this undisclosed?

Second, apparently many don't know this information because there are hacks all over the place using the wrong tools for the job. Most of my tools are purchased once I discover a new tool on the job that someone with skill is using. For instance, years ago I learned that there are cordless rotary hammer drills that compete pretty strongly with corded ones.

I know I lent my large hammer drill and bit to a cable installer on a jobsite since I didn't see the point of him making 6 smaller holes for the cable because he could just make one if his employer had provided him something other than a Rigid 18V multi-purpose and a small bit. I offered it to him when I saw what he was going to do and how he was going to go about it. Afterwords, he wanted the drill.

Now Milwaukee makes the smallest SDS cordless drill for holes up to 5/8". Often times I need to make the holes with one arm and this drill is light. (I can drill one handed with my 36V but it requires a lot of effort) This is awesome since I use many alligator fasteners which require a 1/4" hole and I haven't found a cordless multi-purpose drill with the hammer function that can even come close. Once I discovered SDS bits years ago, I don't touch anything else because I like efficiency.

I know I lent my large hammer drill and bit to a cable installer on a jobsite since I didn't see the point of him making 6 smaller holes for the cable because he could just make one if his employer had provided him something other than a Rigid 18V multi-purpose and a small bit.

I think I must have worked for the same company :/

Agreed, the cordless rotary is an absolute must when dealing with engineered concrete. A simple tapcon hole is a battle to drill with a cordless hammer drill in engineered concrete while the rotary makes short work of it. Making a much needed useful size sleeve through a concrete wall is also no problem with a rotary and an appropriate sized SDS bit.

I disagree. I'm far from the most handy person and I have been in the industry for 13 years. I have never been a technician. While I can puzzle it out I usually just tell the techs "you have a credit card, get what you want - here's a job # to apply it to". It would be nice to just shop for them instead of letting them purchase premium tooling.

These type of articles are very useful to someone like me. I have made the SDS vs SDS Max bit mistake in the past. While I might find an article explaining what basic networking is completely superfluous I a willing to bet a greater portion of the industry finds it useful than not.

Actually as a business owner I like to know what I should be purchasing for my employees to use. So yes, these types of articles come in handy and I for one, greatly appreciate the different topics.

We always use Bosch with Li-ion batteries. Impact drivers, drills and hammer drills. Been really solid and well performing only having the odd failure when they get really old.

That's interesting, UD2. I considered adding impact drivers to the report but decided against it. What do you use impact drivers for, generally?

For fixing the cameras to metal clad buildings. Or we can use a plate as a support and then fix to that. Works well using tec screws. In addition they are ideal for screwing screws etc.

Impact driver is for running screws or bolts. Drills are for drilling holes. I can't tell you how many tapcon heads I snapped using a drill to run them in. Never snapped a head with a impact driver.

Agreed :)

I stopped using tapcons and switched to alligators a few years ago. I don't like the look of tapcons and I the primary reason for switching is I get better holding in more surfaces with the alligators. I have the Bosch SDS tapcon set and 2 of the standard tapcon sets and haven't used them in a while.

An impact driver is something that I use quite often.

Impact drivers are also great for helping to reduce the chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome, and subsequent workers comp claims, from years of using a screwdriver.

We commonly use impact drivers for Tapcons as well. They break with ease if you use a regular drill. Impact drivers do the trick perfectly.

I swear you could break a Tapcon with a fisher price plastic drill.

I prefer the hex-head Tapcons over the Phillips head, gets a better bite if you run into any resistance and seems to also help reduce snapping them.

You're not wrong :) Definitely only use the hex heads. With the impact driver it seems to never be an issue though.

agreed... imo, there is no other tapcon that should be bought than a hex head... it is like buying flat head screws vs. torx screws...

Very good topic, every part of CCTV installation for professionals is valuable educational material for everyone. Readership of IPVM covers a wide spectrum of people.

Understanding the needs for jobs in hand is the basics. If you don't have that right you are in trouble.

Green plugs, now if you check your CCTV camera from China, and wonder why it comes with the kind of plugs below you ever wonder why?

China buildings are all solid concrete blocks slapped together, so the only way to install anything at home on a wall any where means you must use a SDS hammer drill. So the use of the above style of wall plug/anchors are provided. mostly are the lowest cost part of your purchase.

In rural places they use splinters of wood, picked up from the floor. Newly build homes come pre-installed with 4inch diamond cut holes in every room, for Air Conditioning units. However there is no way possible to route cables for CCTV unless you chase the walls, so CCTV installations are not the most cosmetically attractive.

Everyday you can see someone carrying a giant core cutter drill on a bike, on a metro, on a skateboard whatever's needed!

I have always wondered what the heck those things were.

So how do you run cables? Wiremold? Conduit? Duct tape?

Retail Shop

A picture speaks 1,000words. I've many more examples of this style!

Sorry this is not good focus! I was walking at the time.

Wow.

KFC Resturant (snigger)

This was inside a KFC fast food establishment.

I guess maybe easier thing would be just flick the fuse for power (bottom middle) to disable and rob them of all the HEINZ ketchup's. LOL

Same guy, eh?

you asked... looks like maybe "duct tape" is the answer... possibly a zip tie or two...

My installers have always carried a cordless hammerdrill, corded hammerdrill, corded SDS, and a variety of drivers. We also have a couple of floating SDS Max corded units with various outrageously expensive yet indispensable core bits. Then one day I was on a 60 camera warehouse job and noticed I had one tech spending 90% of his time moving cords for the guy on the boom lift. Went next door to tool co. and bought a Dewalt 20v cordless SDS and some 5AH batteries. It was one of those tool purchases that was both incredibly helpful but also soul wrenching as I realized how much time we had wasted previously. My techs now carry a cordless SDS as well, and haven't drilled a hole in concrete with anything else since. Shoot, I'll get mine out if I want to hang a peghook in the garage with a single tapcon.

(timidly raises hand)

As a strict DIYer, with only my personal home install(s) and zero formal industry training; who has searched for this type of information after our first burglary (folks that are burgled once are 30% more likely to be victims a second time; my family experienced THREE in a two year time span, not including larceny x3 and vandalism x5) from an industry that does its best to keep this info "in house"/"behind closed doors" (I literally stumbled upon IPVM during recent research into my second system to replace the vandalized first install, never having info of this caliber show up in search queries; been at this since 2013!!) who is contemplating an ongoing membership, I am that "1 member" that did not know these fundamentals. And most people that know me consider me to be pretty handy.

The hundreds of hours of research I've invested in just trying to find the most basic info that's not peppered with advertising pitches/commercials/pop-ups/malvertising, coupled with the stress of needing to do the install(s) myself due to financial considerations while 'flying blind' could have been avoided altogether had I known, or been guided to IPVM from the start.

I know I represent a very small demographic in memberships, and that all installations really ought to be left to professionals, which is not how the multitude of these products are widely sold, but at the same time I find immense value in the info contained here at IPVM, because finances are what they are for me right now. So much so that this tutorial is THE deciding factor in planning to budget an ongoing membership as well as recommending IPVM membership to all my friends and family and anyone else I run into who is considering/researching security surveillance in their home/business. IPVM is like the insider's - inside club.

I can't thank IPVM enough for this opportunity.

Thank you so much for your first comment and your kind words! Let us know if we can help.

The hundreds of hours of research I've invested...could have been avoided altogether had I known, or been guided to IPVM from the start.

Right you are, Indignant you’re not ;)

My go to drill and one I use more than any is my old trusty Stanley Yankee push drill! No batteries, and no cords! I have drilled pilot holes into wood and laminates and drilled into into mortar, drywall, plaster for anchors, and even thin gauge metal.

Yankees are great for mounting devices indoors, and most technicians should carry one. For running cables, though, you'll usually need a drill to get the job done.

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