13 Types of Power Drills for Wood & Other DIY Projects (Beginners Guide)

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Have you ever tried to build something out of wood, maybe a shelf or a table, and found yourself stuck because you didn’t have the right tool to drill holes or screw the pieces together? It’s a frustrating feeling, especially when you’re all set with your materials and eager to see your project come to life. This is a common problem many DIY enthusiasts, carpenters, and woodworkers face. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we will introduce you to the different types of power drills for wood, helping you understand which drill is the best fit for your woodworking projects. Whether you’re a beginner just getting your hands dirty or a pro looking to upgrade your toolkit, there’s something here for everyone.

Overview of Power Drills and Their Application in DIY Projects

Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or just starting out, the right power drill can make a significant difference in the outcome of your projects. It allows you to drill precise holes, drive screws effortlessly, and tackle various woodworking tasks with efficiency and ease. Without the right power drill, you may struggle with incorrect hole sizes, stripped screws, or difficulty in handling different types of wood materials.

That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of power drills available and their specific applications. By choosing the right power drill for your woodworking tasks, you can enhance your capabilities, achieve professional results, and make your woodworking experience enjoyable and rewarding.

Types of Power Drills for Woodworking

Power Drill Image Uses Recommended
For Woodworking
Standard Drill Driver BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless DrillDriver (LD120VA) General wood drilling and screw driving Check Price
Impact Driver Ridgid 18V Tool Lineup - Ridgid 18V OCTANE Brushless 6 Mode High Torque Impact Wrench - R86211B Driving screws into hard materials Check Price
Hammer Drill SKIL 7.5-Amp 12-Inch Corded Hammer Drill - HD182001 Drilling into concrete and masonry Check Price
Right-Angle Drill Driver Right-Angle Drill Driver - White Accessing tight and awkward angles Check Price
Drywall Screwgun Drywall Screwgun Specifically for hanging drywall Check Price
Drill Press WEN 4214 Drill Press (review) Precision drilling tasks Check Price
For Other DIY Projects
Rotary Hammer Drill Rotary Hammer Drill - White Heavy-duty drilling into hard surfaces Check Price
Ground Auger Ground Auger Digging holes in the ground Check Price
Core Drill Core Drill - White Creating large holes in concrete and stone Check Price
Electric Screwdriver Electric Screwdriver - White Driving screws with ease and precision Check Price
Based on the Power Source
Pneumatic Drills Pneumatic Drills High torque applications needing air power Check Price
Cordless Drills DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill Driver Kit (DCD771C2) Versatile drilling without a power cord Check Price
Corded Drills BLACK+DECKER Corded Drill, 5.5A, 38in (DR260C) Continuous power for demanding tasks Check Price

1. Standard Drill Driver

Standard Drill Driver

Power: The standard drill driver can provide sufficient power for most woodworking tasks.


Speed: It offers variable speed settings, allowing you to adjust according to the specific material or task at hand.

Chuck Size/Type: It usually comes with a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch chuck, allowing for versatility in using different sizes of drill bits.

When to use: The standard drill driver is ideal for basic hole drilling in wood, plastic, and metal, and it is also suitable for driving fasteners in different materials. It can handle a range of woodworking tasks with ease.

Recommendation: DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless 1/2 in. Drill/Driver (DCD771C2)

2. Impact Driver

Impact Driver

Power: Impact drivers are known for their high torque.

Speed: They offer variable speed settings, allowing for control and precision when driving screws.

Chuck Size/Type: Impact drivers usually have a 1/4-inch hex chuck, which is compatible with hexagonal screwdriver bits.

Portability: Many impact drivers are cordless, making them highly portable and convenient for woodworking projects.

When to use: Impact drivers are perfect for driving long screws or fasteners into wood without stripping or damaging the material. They excel in tasks that require high torque, making them suitable for heavy-duty woodworking projects.

Recommendation: Milwaukee 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/4 in. Hex Impact Driver

3. Hammer Drill

Hammer Drill

Power: Hammer drills are known for their high power.

Speed: They typically offer multiple speed settings to match the hardness of the material being drilled.

Chuck Size/Type: Hammer drills often come with a 1/2-inch chuck, providing flexibility in using various drill bits.

See our review of the Ridgid Gen5x Hammer Drill

Portability: Hammer drills are available in both corded and cordless versions, allowing for portable usage depending on your needs.

When to use: Hammer drills are ideal for tasks that involve drilling into hard surfaces like concrete, masonry, or stone. They provide the necessary impact force to break through tough materials, making them suitable for heavy-duty woodworking projects.

Recommendation: Milwaukee M18 Cordless 1/2 in. Hammer Drill Driver Kit

4. Right-Angle Drill Driver

Right-Angle Drill Driver

Power: Right-angle drill drivers typically offer sufficient power for drilling and driving screws in woodworking projects.

Speed: They come with variable speed settings, allowing for control and versatility depending on the task at hand.

Chuck Size/Type: Right-angle drill drivers often have a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch chuck, accommodating various drill bit sizes.

Portability: With their compact design, right-angle drill drivers offer excellent maneuverability and accessibility in tight spaces.

When to use: Right-angle drill drivers are ideal for drilling and screwdriving in tight spaces or corners where a standard drill driver cannot reach. They are commonly used for cabinet installation, furniture assembly, and other woodworking tasks that require drilling at odd angles.

Recommendation: Milwaukee M12 Cordless 3/8 in. Right Angle Drill

5. Drywall Screwgun

Drywall Screwgun

Speed: They typically offer high-speed settings to allow for rapid screwdriving.

Chuck Size/Type: Drywall screwguns have a specially designed chuck that only accommodates drywall screwdriver bits.

Portability: They are lightweight and compact, making them easy to maneuver and portable.

When to use: Drywall screwguns are primarily used for installing drywall, making them ideal for woodworking projects that involve hanging or repairing drywall. They excel in driving screws quickly and accurately, saving time and effort.

Recommendation: Makita 18V LXT Cordless Drywall Screwdriver

6. Drill Press

Power Drill Press

Power: Drill presses offer substantial power, making them capable of drilling large holes and handling tougher materials.

Speed: They come with multiple speed settings to accommodate different drilling needs.

Chuck Size/Type: Drill presses typically have a larger chuck size, ranging from 1/2-inch to 5/8-inch, allowing for the use of larger drill bits.

See our review of the Wen 4214 Drill Press Machine

Portability: Drill presses are usually large and stationary machines, making them less portable compared to handheld drills.

When to use: Drill presses are excellent for projects that require consistent and accurate drilling. They are ideal for drilling precise holes in woodworking projects, and they are commonly used in furniture making and cabinetry.

Recommendation: RYOBI 10 in. 5 Speed Drill Press

Types of Power Drills for Other DIY Applications

7. Rotary Hammer Drill

Rotary Hammer Drill

A rotary hammer drill combines the rotational power of a regular drill with a hammering action to drill through tough materials like concrete, brick, or stone. It uses a chipping mechanism to deliver high impact force while spinning the drill bit.

When to use: A rotary hammer drill is ideal for heavy-duty drilling through materials such as concrete, asphalt, brick, stone, or masonry. It is commonly used in construction and renovation projects that involve drilling into these tough surfaces.

Recommendation: Bosch 8 Amp 1 in. SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Drill

8. Ground Auger

Ground Auger

A ground auger, also known as an earth auger or post-hole auger, is designed specifically for digging holes in the soil. It is commonly used for installing fence posts or preparing the ground for planting vegetation.

When to use: Ground augers are best used when you need to dig holes in the ground, such as for installing fence posts or creating holes for gardening purposes. They make the task of digging holes easier and more efficient.

Recommendation: Sportsman Earth Series 43cc 6 in. Gas Powered Auger

9. Core Drill

Core Drill

Core drills use a hollow cylindrical bit to remove a core of material, leaving behind a clean, round hole. They often have a water cooling system to prevent overheating and ensure smooth drilling.

When to use: A core drill is typically used for heavy-duty drilling tasks that require precise and large-diameter holes in materials like concrete for plumbing, electrical, or HVAC installations. It is commonly used in construction and renovation projects.

Recommendation: Milwaukee MX FUEL Handheld Core Drill Kit (MXF301-2CP)

10. Electric Screwdriver

Electric Screwdriver

Electric screwdrivers fall into the category of drills due to their powered rotational force for driving screws and other fasteners. They are portable tools with a built-in battery that needs to be charged before use. The rotating screwdriver tip allows for efficient driving of screws, depending on the bit.

When to use: Electric screwdrivers are best used for tightening or loosening screws and other fasteners. They are especially useful in tight spaces where standard drill drivers or impact drivers may have difficulty accessing, such as tight corners or behind walls.

Recommendation: Milwaukee M12 Cordless 1/4 in. Hex Screwdriver Kit

Types of Power Drills Based on Power Source

11. Pneumatic Drills

Pneumatic Drills

Pneumatic drills, also known as air drills, are powered by compressed air. They are commonly used in industrial settings and require an air compressor for operation.

When to use: Pneumatic drills are ideal for heavy-duty drilling tasks that require high torque and power, such as drilling through metal or concrete. They are commonly found in professional woodworking or construction settings.

Recommendation: Campbell Hausfeld Reversible Pneumatic Drill (XT401000)

12. Cordless Drills

cordless electric drill

Cordless drills, as the name suggests, are powered by rechargeable batteries and do not require a power cord for operation. They offer convenience and portability.

Related: Cordless Drill vs Corded Drill: Which is The Right Choice For You?

When to use: Cordless drills are versatile and can be used for a wide range of drilling and driving tasks in woodworking. They are suitable for both small-scale projects and larger applications. They are great for working in areas with limited or no access to electrical outlets.

Recommendation: DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless 1/2 in. Drill/Driver (DCD771C2)

13. Corded Drills

Corded Drill

Corded drills are designed to be plugged into an electrical outlet for power. They offer continuous and consistent power supply, making them suitable for demanding drilling tasks.

When to use: Corded drills are ideal for heavy-duty drilling applications that require sustained power and long-duration operation. They are commonly used in construction or woodworking projects that involve drilling into tough materials.

Recommendation: RYOBI 5.5 Amp Corded 3/8 in. Compact Drill/Driver

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best type of power drill for beginner woodworkers?

The best type of power drill for beginner woodworkers is generally a cordless standard drill driver. Look for one that is comfortable to hold, has a compact size, and offers sufficient power for driving screws and drilling holes in different types of wood.

Can I use a hammer drill on all types of wood?

Hammer drills are primarily designed for drilling into hard materials like concrete or masonry. While you can technically use a hammer drill on wood, it may not be necessary or ideal for most woodworking applications. A standard drill driver or cordless drill will suffice for drilling holes in wood.

How do I maintain my power drill for woodworking?


To maintain your power drill for woodworking, it’s important to regularly clean the drill and remove any dust or debris that may accumulate. Keep the chuck and drill bits clean and lubricated. Check the power cord (for corded drills) or the battery (for cordless drills) for any damage. Store the drill in a dry and safe place to prevent damage or rust.

Related: 14 Types of Wood Drill Bits for Every Project (The Ultimate Guide)

What safety equipment should I use when operating a power drill?

When operating a power drill, it’s important to prioritize safety. Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris. Use ear protection if the drill produces loud noise. Consider wearing work gloves to protect your hands. It’s also a good idea to secure the workpiece with clamps to prevent movement and maintain stability while drilling.

Related: 7 Workshop Safety Gears You Should Use When Operating Power Tools

Final Thoughts

In this guide, we’ve navigated through the diverse world of power drills, highlighting the 13 key types suited for a variety of woodworking and DIY tasks. From the versatility of standard and cordless drills to the specialized strength of hammer drills and core drills, each type has its unique features tailored for specific projects.

Have some old drills gathering dust in your garage? Discover the 20 Best Places to Exchange Used Power Tools For Money.

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DIY Wooden Plans - Editorial Team
DIY Wooden Plans - Editorial Team

We’re a small team of skilled woodworkers and engineers with a combined experience of over 15 years using power tools for woodworking. We have been creating power tool tutorials since 2020. Our aim is to become the largest free woodworking power tool resource website in the industry.

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