DIY drills for less

FRESNO, Calif.

Consumer Reports tested 89 cordless drills costing as little as $40, all the way up to $400. Many of the drills tested now use lithium ion batteries. They weigh less, which makes them easier to handle. Testers also size up how many screws a drill can drive per battery charge and how long it takes to recharge.

There are more lightweight, compact drills these days. They're meant for smaller jobs. Like the Craftsman 17586. It holds a standard, three-eighths inch drill bit. Although it's not as powerful as larger drills, it scored excellent for handling. It's a Consumer Reports Best Buy at $70. Another plus --the Craftsman re-charges in just 30 minutes, but most inexpensive drills take much longer, often more than 4 hours.

For not a lot more money, you can get a lot more drill. The $100 Craftsman, model number 17310 is another Consumer Reports Best Buy. It scored very good for speed, power and handling. And it re-charges in 30 minutes!

When you're shopping for a drill, Consumer Reports says you'll see plenty of stores promoting higher-end, more powerful drills that are often capable of drilling into concrete. But keep in mind you might end up spending extra money for more power than the typical do-it-yourselfer needs.

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