In this instalment of our series of buyers guides for the power tools you might need in your van, Makita provides advice on what to look for when choosing a high-powered, high-performance combi drill.
When taking on jobs such as window and door replacement and repairs, that include many different tasks, the versatility of the tools in your kit can make a real difference. Every professional tradesperson will be familiar with the trusty combi drill as the go-to for many everyday tasks. However, for those more demanding tasks, professionals have generally needed to reach for a more specialist machine such as a rotary hammer.
One way that professionals can benefit from both the versatility of a combi drill and the performance required for heavy-duty tasks is to look for one of the new generation of powerful cordless tools, such as those from the Makita 40VMax XGT range. However, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right product.
Power and performance
Although offering greater flexibility, productivity and safety, by eliminating the trip hazard of cables, there has traditionally been a limit to the performance of cordless tools. However, advances in tool and battery technology have increased both the power and runtime that is possible. This has been enhanced further with the development of high capacity cordless platforms such as XGT.
One of the most important tool technologies to look for in terms of ensuring performance is brushless motors. While effective, brushed motors rely on contact between carbon brushes and a rotary electrical switch to drive the tool. This contact generates fiction, which in turn produces heat and wastes energy. In contrast, brushless motors use electromagnetism to rotate the motor and drive the action of the tool. By eliminating the friction, a brushless motor can produce more torque, allowing the same results to be achieved with less power used. As a result, a brushless motor can extend run times by up to 50% per battery charge for improved productivity and fewer recharges.
The on-going advances in both the tools and batteries means that despite the greater performance, the high-powered combi drills can still be light and compact. For example, the Makita 40VMax HP001G XGT Brushless combi drill is just 4mm longer, 5mm wider and 17mm taller than the 18V LXT DHP486 Brushless combi drill.
Combi drills by their nature are supposed to be multi-purpose so it is important to look carefully at the capabilities of the tool when purchasing it. This includes the drill capacities in different materials, the impacts per minute (IPM) on the hammer drill mode and the maximum torque on screwdriver mode.
Larger drilling and torque capacities in various different materials will make work on window and door jobs – alongside other similar tasks – simple as the same drill can be used for wood, metal, uPVC and masonry. The Makita HP001G has impressive capacities of 20mm in steel and masonry and 76mm in wood. It also delivers up to 39,000 blows per minute in impact drilling mode and up to 140 newton metres (Nm) of torque as a driver.
Another consideration is how adaptable it is to different tasks. While it may sound obvious, it is worth looking for a combi drill as these offer drilling modes with and without hammer action so they can be used for a wider variety of tasks. It is also important to have a variable speed trigger and a broad range of torque settings in driver mode. This makes it easy to finely adjust the output for the task at hand. As an example, the HP001G has 41 torque settings in gear one and 21 in gear two, with the selection made on an easy to use digital display.
It is also essential to look at the safety features that the tool has. One of the simplest but most important on powerful, high-torque drills is the side handle. Using this will help prevent injury if the drill bit binds in the material and the body of the drill rotates unexpectedly – otherwise known as kickback.
In addition to this, there are tool technologies that enhance user safety. For example, many Makita tools, including the HP001G, feature its Active Feedback sensing Technology (AFT), which shuts down the tool automatically if the rotation suddenly stops.
When purchasing a combi drill, it may also be worth looking for kit options, which offer a cost effective way of expanding or upgrading your kit. These may include multiple complementary tools, batteries and chargers. For example, the Makita’s DK0176G205 XGT Combi Kit includes a TD003G Impact Driver alongside the HP001G, as well as two 40VMax XGT Li-Ion batteries and a charger. The combi kit is supplied in a Makpac case for easy storage and transportation. The TD003G delivers up to 4,100 IPM and up to 210Nm of torque, with 4-speed settings and 4-mode impact power selection to suit different fixings.
A high-performance combi drill provides a versatile option for an even wider range of tasks, especially for door and window repair and replacement jobs.
To find out more about Makita’s range of XGT tools visit Homepage (makitauk.com).