Have you ever been assembling a screwed together woodworking project and only had one drill to use? Maddening, isnt it? First you chuck up the drill and drill your pilot hole; then you change drill bits for your shank hole; then one more change to put in your countersink; finally you get to put in your Phillips bit to sink the screw. Then, once you've done all that, you get to start over and do it again.
Even keyless drill chucks dont make that job all that much easier; what one needs to help avoid pulling out their hair, or throwing their drill at the wall, is a quick change drill & driver set. With these sets, a quick-change adapter that accepts standard 1/4-inch or 5/16-inch hex bits is chucked up in the drill. Then, all you've got to do is pull out one bit, and stick in another; nothing to tighten. That is, thats all you've got to do if you have the right size quick-change drill bits and drive bits.
Whoever first came up with the quick change system was a genius. They are very commonly used in manufacturing, because of the time that they save. They can save the same time for you as they do for those businesses, especially considering that most of us dont want to have four drill/driver units around to be able to avoid changing bits.
There are lots of manufacturers of quick change bits, filling the marketplace with their sets. There are many less who manufacture quick-change drill bits; and there are only a handful who provide the quick-change adapter as part of their set.
Let me give you a word of warning here about the drill bits that are used in these sets. They are usually glued into their hex bases. That means that they aren't as strong as they would be if they had been soldered or welded. However, manufacturers avoid soldering and welding so that they dont remove the temper from the high speed steel drill bits. Since they are glued, they can come loose if the bit gets caught; while this isn't very likely when drilling wood, its rather common when drilling metal. For this reason, I dont recommend using these bits when drilling metal, especially sheet metal.
For the purpose of this review, I've only included sets that include the quick-change adapter. While there are much larger and more varied sets on the market, even from the same manufacturers that made these sets, they dont include the adapter. Without that adapter, all you've got is drills and bits that have to be individually chucked into your drill.
Milwaukee makes some of the most rugged tools around. This 38 piece set will do just about anything you might want from a quick change bit set. With the extended holder and the magnetic adapter together, you can extend your bits out a full eight inches in front of your drill/driver. Read Full Review
This set from Milwaukee contains the most useful assortment I've seen. The drive bits included in the set include some double ended ones, as well as square drive and other bits that aren't so common. All the bits are made from premium S2 steel for high torque applications. The seven drill bits are titanium coated for extra long life. Besides the regular quick change magnetic bit holder, there are both short and six inch Quik-Lok holders, which will accept any type of drive bit, locking them in so they dont fall out. It has two of the most common sizes of nut drivers, as well as square drive socket holders for 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch sockets. I really cant think of anything missing from this set, unless it would be a countersink.
DeWalt's set includes two spade drill bits for larger holes, something I've never seen in a quick change set. The seven drill bits in the kit are titanium coated for longer life. Read Full Review
DeWalt has included something in their set which I've never seen in a quick change bit set before, two spade drill bits for drilling out larger holes. Their other drill bits are titanium coated for longer life. The kit includes a nice assortment of standard sized and long screwdriver bits, including square drive. 1/4-inch and 3/8-inch square drive adapters are included, for use with sockets, as well as two nut drivers for 1/4-inch and 5/16-inch hex headed screws. In addition to the rapid lock chuck, there is a magnetic extender for use with any of the drive bits.
This set from Skil includes five nut drivers, something that the other kits don't have. That gives it a bit more versatility in some applications, especially for equipment repair. Read Full Review
Skills set isnt quite as large as the Milwaukee or DeWalt sets, but it contains something theirs dont. Theyve put a full set of five different sized nut drivers in this set, instead of the two that are included in those other sets. While this may not be needed by everyone, I find my nut drivers very useful. There are seven high speed drill bits in the set. Ten of the most common sizes of short screwdriver bits are included as well. A magnetic extension which can be used with any of the bits rounds out the set.
Makita's UltraLok chuck allows for one-handed bit changes, with secure holding power. This set has a 1/4-inch square drive adapter, along with four sockets, rather than putting in nut drivers. Read Full Review
Makitas set is perfect for those who need a compact set to use on the run. The UltraLok chuck allows for easy, one-handed bit changes, while maintaining a firm lock on all bits. The set comes with four of the most common sized screwdriver bits, as well as four of the most common drill bit sizes. A 1/4-inch square drive adapter fits the four sockets included in the set. This is the only kit I know of that comes with sockets in it.
All three nutsetters in this kit are magnetic, a nice touch. It also comes with 3 Torx bits, the only set on this list that does. Read Full Review
This kit includes a three magnetic nutsetters, all in the most popular sizes. It also comes with 3 Torx bits, and is the only set on this list that includes Torx bits. The four most common drill sizes for screw pilots, along with the necessary drive bits, all come together in a handy plastic carry case. This may not be a big set, but it is definitely a very versatile one. For a compact, carry around set, this one will serve you well.