Irrespective of whether you are a professional or an amateur DIYer, having a good cordless drill in your toolbox is essential. A cordless drill is a very important tool and a very handy one for all your big projects like remodeling your kitchen or building a patio, etc. to smaller jobs such as assembling your furniture, installing fixtures or for small maintenance jobs.
Most of the cordless drill models use lithium-ion batteries to run and offer longer run times and more power. And, with a cordless drill, you can do lots more than just drilling holes. However, the challenge is to find the right drill for your requirements from the plethora of options available in the market.
Our Recommendations: Best Cordless Drill Reviews
Our buying guide will help you evaluate the various cordless drill options available along with their features so that you can decide on the best cordless drill suitable for your needs.
Winner: Dewalt DCD771C2 20V Cordless Drill Driver Kit
If you’re a professional or a DIYer and you are on the lookout for a lightweight and portable, yet efficient cordless drill, then the Dewalt DCD771C2 Cordless Drill Driver Kit is the best-rated cordless drill and definitely your “go to” tool for all your everyday light and moderate tasks.
Don’t be fooled by the compact build of the Dewalt DCD771C2 drill/driver, its sturdy motor packs a punch and delivers a power output of 300 watts. The added advantage is that the drill is battery-powered, so you can use it anywhere, even in places where there is no power supply.
The Dewalt DCD771C2 cordless drill/driver has 2 variable speeds. The slower speed of 0-450 rpm allows you to take your time for the tasks and lets you remove the screws properly without damaging or stripping them.
The 2nd speed is much faster at 0-1500 rpm and the drill also has a reverse mode. Apart from the two speeds, the cordless drill/driver offers 15 settings that are suitable for various drilling and fastening jobs.
The cordless drill weighs only around 3.6 lbs including the battery, which makes it the best lightweight cordless drill and its compact design allows you to use it in constricted spaces. The LED light located just above the trigger illuminates the workspace and allows you to see clearly if you’re working in the dark.
The Dewalt DCD771C2 cordless drill/driver has an ergonomic handle, which allows you to hold the tool comfortably while you work and this also prevents hand fatigue if you’re working for prolonged periods of time. The ergonomic grip also allows you to control the cordless drill better.
You can work without any interruptions, thanks to the 2 batteries that come along with the drill. The charger charges very quickly and you can get a full charge of the batteries in around 40 minutes to an hour. The Dewalt DCD771C2 cordless drill/driver comes in a soft bag that is sturdy and big enough to accommodate the drill unit, the two batteries, charger and lots of bits.
Although the Dewalt DCD771C2 is not a heavy-duty cordless drill, it is still a fantastic tool that will get all the jobs around your home done. This cordless drill/ driver is quite basic but in terms of the affordability, the Dewalt DCD771C2 is the best cordless drill for the money.
Runner Up: Black and Decker LDX120C 20V Cordless Drill/Driver
If you’re looking for a basic drill for household use, then the Black and Decker LDX120C Drill/Driver is an excellent buy. It is not quite suitable for heavy-duty jobs but can handle lighter jobs like fixing drawers, hanging pictures and small maintenance jobs around your home.
The Black and Decker LDX120C is equipped with a 20V lithium-ion battery that can hold its charge for long periods of time and also charges quickly - in just 4 hours - which allows you to complete your jobs quickly without too many interruptions and this makes the drill the best 20V cordless drill.
The drill/driver delivers a torque of around 115 in-lbs, which is sufficient for light drilling and screwing tasks. The Black and Decker LDX120C features only a single-speed setting; however, you can control the speed of operation by the amount of pressure on the trigger, and the drill offers a speed of 0-650 rpm.
The drill/driver is equipped with a 3/8-inch keyless chuck and there are 11 settings available that are ideal for a range of applications. And, you can customize the setting according to the material you’re working with. The cordless drill/driver can handle plastic, metal and wood with equal ease and the variable speed allows you to countersink without damaging the material.
The Black and Decker LDX120C weighs around 6.4 lbs including the battery, which is fairly lightweight, allowing you to use it for long periods of time without experiencing any hand fatigue. The ergonomic handle of the drill features an anti-slip soft rubber grip, which makes handling of the drill very comfortable.
The compact build of the drill allows you work with it even in tight spaces such as drawers, cabinets, etc. The Black and Decker LDX120C features an LED light that illuminates the dark work areas and as long as the drill is in operation, the light will be on.
Although the Black and Decker LDX120C does not have the features of high-end cordless drills, it has everything that a homeowner or a DIYer needs for light jobs. What’s more, the cordless drill/driver is available at a great price, which makes it the best cordless drill for home use.
Alternative #1: Makita XPH102 LXT 18V Cordless Hammer Driver/Drill Kit
If you want a combination of speed and torque along with compact size, then the Makita XPH102 Hammer Driver/Drill is a fantastic choice. The drill/driver is extremely versatile and functions both as a driver drill or a hammer driver drill and is a great tool for professionals.
The Makita XPH102 18V LXT is equipped with a four-pole motor and delivers up to 480 lbs of torque.
Despite being powerful, the hammer drill driver is lightweight and compact. The tool is equipped with a 2-speed transmission (0-600 rpm and 0-1900 rpm) and a variable speed trigger. All you need to do is select the required gear using the slider located at the top of the unit and you can also turn on the hammer function or turn it off whenever required.
Powered by a 18V lithium-ion battery, the drill/driver gets fully charged within just 30 minutes and can be used even outdoors at low temperatures. This allows you to work for extended periods of time without any interruptions. The LXT batteries have Star Protection that prevents them from getting overheated, overloaded or over-discharged.
The Makita XPH102 18V LXT features bright dual LED lights that are mounted under the barrel that allow you to see the work area properly when there isn’t enough lighting. Once the trigger is released, the LED produces an afterglow for a few seconds and you can use the drill as a flashlight, if required.
Weighing around 3.9 lbs along with the battery, the tool is quite lightweight and does not cause fatigue if used for extended periods. The hammer driver drill has a compact, comfortable and ergonomic design which makes the handling very easy and the soft rubberized handle makes for a comfortable grip.
The Makita XPH102 18V LXT is built using the Extreme Protection Technology (XPT), which makes it resistant to dust and water and is suitable for use on worksites with harsh conditions. The hammer drill/driver comes along with 2 batteries, a charger, a belt clip and a hard carry case.
The Makita XPH102 18V LXT can be used for a wide range of applications such as masonry, wood, metal and concrete work and its ability to perform both the functions of a drill driver and a hammer drill makes it the best cordless drill driver available.
Alternative #2: Porter-Cable PCCK604L2 20V 2-Tool Combo Kit
When you are buying power tools, you want an assurance that they will help you get your job done. And, if you want to get more out of your tools and are looking for more versatility and functionality, then the Porter-Cable PCCK604L2 2-Tool Combo Kit is an ideal choice.
The combo kit includes a drill/driver, an impact driver, 2 lithium-ion batteries and a charger. The inexpensive price of the entire kit makes it an incredible buy!
The drill/driver in the kit has a 282-wattage output and 2 variable speeds 0-350 rpm and 0-1500 rpm. However, the drill/driver does not include some of the features that other models of drills have such as the magnetic slot for bit storage and a belt hook.
The impact driver in the combo kit is quite powerful at 1450 in-lbs, and has a speed of 0-2800 rpm. The kit includes two 20-volt 1.3 Ah batteries that offer greater runtime and power and also recharge very quickly so that you don’t waste too much of time while the batteries are charging.
Both the impact driver and the drill driver have a very attractive design and their compact build allows them to be used in tight and constricted workspaces.
The batteries of both units are located under the handles, which ensures that the tools are nicely balanced and this also adds to the ease of handling the tools. Both tools are equipped with ergonomic handles that allow comfortable handling and both have LED lights that illuminate the workspace while you work.
So, whether you want a super-quick solution to drive in screws or you want to drill holes very fast, the Porter-Cable PCCK604L2 20V 2-Tool Combo Kit will do it efficiently and reliably for you.
Alternative #3: Genesis GCD18BK 18V Cordless Drill/Driver Kit
If you need to buy a cordless drill but don’t really have a big budget, then the Genesis GCD18BK 18V Drill/Driver may be your best bet, as this is a really cheap cordless drill. The drill/driver is powered by an 18-volt NiCd battery, which makes the drill quite powerful and the drill unit comes with only one battery.
However, the battery does not hold the charge for a very long time, as much as a Li-Ion battery would and it takes around 3-5 hours to be charged fully. The drill also has an indicator light which lets you know that the battery is charged fully. The Genesis GCD18BK Cordless Drill/Driver has a keyless chuck and 16 clutch/torque settings that offers precise control.
The cordless drill operates at a low speed of around 550 rpm at no load. The drill/driver has a variable speed option and it also features a reverse switch that allows you to drive screws. The drill has an inbuilt LED light that lights up the workspaces, allowing you to see better.
The Genesis GCD18BK Cordless Drill/Driver has added features that differentiate it from the other models such as the bubble level, which allows you to keep the drill at a proper level and it also has a magnetic bit tray to hold the bits.
The drill/driver also has an electric brake that is a great feature to have in a cordless drill and therefore, as soon as you release the trigger, the drill will stop working immediately. The drill/driver is a great value buy, as the tool comes along with a battery, a charger, 13-piece drill and driver bits and a hard-plastic storage case.
If you want a cordless drill for your heavy-duty jobs, then the Genesis GCD18BK Cordless Drill/Driver may not be ideal buy and you could consider a more expensive option. Nevertheless, the cordless drill is an excellent value for money option that can handle most of the jobs around your home. Overall, the Genesis GCD18BK Cordless Drill/Driver is a good alternative option.
Why Should You Choose Your Cordless Drill Carefully?
Cordless drills have become a very important tool in any handyman’s tool arsenal, be it an electrician, contractor, woodworker, a hobbyist or a homeowner. A few years back, cordless drills did not offer too much of power and their batteries required charging for every 15 minutes of operation.
However, now with advanced technology, batteries can easily retain the charge for hours without recharging, so much so, that the cordless drill is becoming a popular choice over corded models.
However, the problem arises due to the fact that there are hundreds of brands and models of drills to choose from. So, the question is what is the best cordless drill? Spending more money does not necessarily translate into higher quality.
The idea is to understand what exactly you need, what you will be using the cordless drill for and what features the cordless drill you buy must possess.
You should choose your cordless drill after careful evaluation and do your homework on the various brands, lest you spend money and buy one hastily and then regret your purchase later on.
What To Pay Attention To When Choosing Your Cordless Drill
Cordless drills come in different price ranges and they also differ in terms of the features and functions they offer, which affect the performance of the drill.
Before you actually buy a cordless drill, it is a good idea to get acquainted with the various parts of the drill and determine the features and functions you require and will be using most often before actually going out and buying a cordless tool. Here are some aspects of the cordless drill that you must consider:
Torque is essentially the power of the drill - the twisting or winding force applied by the drill when it is being used. Torque is measured in Newton meters (Nm). The higher the Nm rating of the drill, the greater power the drill can deliver.
In the case of cordless drills, the torque depends on the battery voltage. A higher voltage essentially means greater torque to overcome resistance. Today, cordless drills are available in top-end voltages like 18 volts and 20 volts and higher voltage drills have the capability of boring larger holes in tougher materials.
When we speak about drilling, torque is the most important factor and if you are into heavy-duty drilling, then it is a good idea to buy a drill with a bigger torque. If the torque of the drill is too small, it will take the drill quite a bit of effort to work and it will finally fail.
And, if you do varied kinds of jobs, then it may be a good idea to buy a cordless drill with variable torque settings that can be adjusted for heavy duty and light jobs.
The chuck is essentially the part that holds the drill bit and the size of the chuck is an important aspect that you must consider (as the chuck size determines the bit size). The most common chuck sizes are ½-inch and 3/8-inch and the kind of work that you do mostly determines the chuck size required.
If you mostly do heavy-duty work, then it is better to opt for a drill with a 3/8-inch chuck. The modern cordless drill models are equipped with a keyless chuck that can be tightened or loosened without the use of any tools.
Typically, older cordless battery-powered drills used nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel-cadmium (NiCd) batteries. However, the modern models use lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries.
NiCd batteries are durable, long lasting, quite inexpensive and can be recharged over 1,000 times; however, they are toxic and not environment-friendly. On the other hand, Li-Ion batteries last longer, recharge faster and weigh lesser, but they are quite expensive and are not long lasting.
The life of the battery used in a cordless drill depends on various factors such as the temperature, the material it’s being used on and length of time it’s used (intermittent or continuous). High-end cordless drill models are equipped with gauges that can show the remaining power in the battery.
It is always a good idea to have a spare battery pack so that while you are using one, you can charge the other and this will help to save time and there will be fewer interruptions in your work.
Usually, the drill speed is measured in rpm (rotations per minute). Inexpensive cordless drills usually have a single speed of around 300 rpm and are useful for small tasks around the home such as screwing nails. These days, most drills have 2 speeds of 300 rpm and 800 rpm, and a trigger or slide switch allow you to select the speed you want.
For more heavy-duty jobs like drilling into dense materials, there are cordless drills that operate at higher speeds of 1200-1500 rpm and these models are more expensive. High-end drill models also have variable speed control and the trigger on the drill allows you to vary the pressure and control the drill bit speed.
Usually, cordless drill/drivers are equipped with a clutch, which is generally located behind the chuck. When a specific resistance level is reached, the clutch unlocks the drive shaft of the cordless drill with a click sound and although the motor is running, the bit does not move.
The clutch provides control and prevents the overtightening or stripping of the screw once it is firmly fixed. The clutch also protects the motor when there is a lot of resistance when a bolt or screw is tightened.
Cordless drills offer different clutch settings and high-end models offer up to 24 settings. The clutch settings allow you to fine-tune the amount of power delivered by the drill.
Ease Of Use
The cordless drill must be very easy to use. The most important feature that enhances the ease of use of the tool is the handle and the build of the cordless drill. Earlier models of drills had pistol grips where the handle was located behind the motor.
However, modern cordless drills are equipped with T-handles, where the handle base accommodates the battery and prevents slipping. Since the battery is at the center under the motor, the T-handle helps to provide better balance, especially in heavier drill models. The T-handle drills are compact and allow you to work in tight spaces easily.
The grip of the handle is usually covered with soft rubber to prevent slipping, increases the comfort and prevents hand fatigue if you’re using the tool for long periods of time.
It is a good idea to buy a cordless drill that has extra features. These add greater value to the drill. For instance, most cordless drills are equipped with LED lights that help to illuminate dark areas and tight spaces.
Some models have more than one handle, which makes working with heavy-duty materials, masonry, etc. easier. Other cordless drills have rotating handles so that you can use them at an angle convenient to you.
Another useful feature is the electronic brake that stops the working of the drill as soon as the trigger is released. This allows you to have maximum control of the tool and also prevent stripping of the screws. However, you must keep in mind that the more the number of features a cordless drill has, the more expensive it will be.
With so many options available, buying the right drill can be mind-boggling. So, the best way to go about buying one is to determine how you will use the drill. For instance, if you are going to only hang pictures, then spending $200 on a cordless drill does not make any sense, nor is it a great idea to buy a very cheap model which will burn out after a few days of use.
It is a good idea to evaluate the various options available vis-à-vis their features, the cost and your usage, and determine the best cordless drill for you.