Drilling a hole with a handheld drill is easy enough to do, but making the hole perfectly perpendicular to the surface can be tough. Triton has married a plunge mechanism to a cordless drill to create its new 18-volt cordless plunge drill for $289. It's comparably priced to other 18-volt cordless hammer drills, although others lack the plunge features. Yes, $289 will buy you a drill press or even a plunge router, but if you're a woodworker whose cordless drill is expected to do lots of home-improvement jobs, too, the Triton may be for you. The plunge mechanism telescopes from the drill body and can do a couple things for you. It helps guide the drill squarely into the material. It has a depth-of-drill stop to control the hole depth. With the fence attached (included with the drill), it centers itself over round stock and on outside corners. The fence can also be registered against an outside edge of a board so an entire series of holes (for instance, adjustable-shelf holes) can be uniformly spaced from the edge. The plunge mechanism self-stores, locking in the body of the drill when not needed. The plunge drill also has a 24-position clutch, 1/2-in. chuck, hammer function (used for drilling into concrete) and an LED light so you can see where you're boring. The drill comes with two batteries and a charger.
Triton Workshop Systems, (888) 874-8661, www.tritonwoodworking.com, 18-volt cordless plunge drill, $289.