Choosing The Best Cordless Drill 2018
Out of all the tools you may have in your bag or shop; the cordless drill is our personal favorite. They are versatile and allow you to accomplish a wide variety of tasks including simply driving a screw into a piece of wood.
When shopping for the best cordless drill, there are hundreds of quality options available. From modular tools that allow you to snap off the chuck to industrial hammer drills, there is a lot to consider.
Before you pull the trigger on a new power tool, it pays to look before you leap. With cordless drills, there is a lot more to think about than if you were buying a circular saw or hammer.
Our experts have compiled a list featuring some of the top-rated cordless drills currently available today. We have also put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you focus on the key areas while helping to speed up the buying process.
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Considerations before buying
Before we get started, sit down and take a minute to think about your current selection of tools and where you see that collection in the next few years.
Are you bound to one brand and own nothing but Porter-Cable tools or do you have a nice mix?
That alone may narrow your decision considerably as plenty of folks only buy from their favorite brand. If that’s the case, have no fear as we have included options from all the big brands in the tool world.
You should also consider kits when going cordless. Depending on the tool you choose, the battery may be compatible with other tools from the same manufacturer. You won’t be able to power a leaf blower or chainsaw with your drill battery, but reciprocating saws, shop lights, circular saws, and radios are just a few popular options.
Obviously, the budget may be a limiting factor for some. Keep a price point in mind before getting too excited over a kit or drill, and consider the price when you ask yourself our next question…
What do you need the drill for?
When you have a good idea of a budget, ask yourself how you plan to use the drill. It’s a simple enough question, as some folks may just drive and remove screws while others may need a drill that can do a little bit more.
If you think you will go heavier work down the line, it may be beneficial to upgrade now rather than have an underpowered tool later.
Any drill we deem light-duty is built with one thing in mind – household work.
Have you ever spent half the day trying to put up blinds when attempting to sink screws by hand? We’ve all been there, but you never have to waste a day when you upgrade to a drill.
Drills in this class can handle any common task around your home and outdoors. They are usually under 12-volts, and very affordable.
Looking for a drill that can handle blinds but has a bit more horsepower? Drill in the “general use” range can tackle tougher tasks and are what you would want in your shop.
These drill scan range anywhere between 12-volts to 20-volts, and can come with a variety of flagship features like LED work lights, variable speed triggers, and adjustable torque rings. While you can find some of those features in other classes, these drills always have larger motors and bigger batteries.
We’re still not in a place where you can find too many heavy duty cordless drill as size is a limiting factor. Bigger tools like chainsaws can handle a 56-volt battery due to their design, but you wouldn’t want to hold a drill with a 10-pound battery on the bottom would you?
With that in mind, some of the best drill drivers are cordless and capable of getting through masonry or metal with ease.
Just remember, the harder you work the drill, the quicker the battery will go dead.
While we covered the three basic styles of drills, there are also different types of cordless drills. We told you there was a lot to consider.
This is by far the most common type of drill, and the style most people go for. As the name implies, they drill holes and drive screws.
Drill drivers are the same drills we’ve all grown to know and love, just sans the cord that keeps them tethered to a power source. This style of drill can come in light-duty, general or industrial models.
Right Angle Drill
Right Angle Drills are built to allow you to find the “right” angle by cutting back on the size of the drill in an unusual way.
These drills let you get into some very tight spaces, and can have just as much torque and power (if not more) than their full-sized brethren. It’s more of a specialty drill although it has become quite common in recent years.
Have you ever watched people in the pits of a race can zip nuts off tires in seconds? If so, you’re already familiar with an impact driver.
Impact Drivers can come in different styles, but their purpose is the same. That would be driving screws and busting frozen bolts of wheels or equipment – both areas where it excels. Depending on your needs, you may want a handheld driver instead of one with a pistol grip.
This is another drill where the name gives it away as the hammer drill can hammer away at tough materials.
Best suited for masonry and other materials you need to “hammer” through, these drills are usually in the industrial class. There are some general models with a hammer drill feature, but how well they work depends on the motor and construction of the drill.
Cordless Drill Specifications
Whether you are buying a new leather football or looking for the best pair of work boots, you usually don’t need to be concerned with specifications on most products, just the sizes, materials or quality of construction.
When it comes to tech and tools, you need to pay close attention to what lies under the hood. With cordless drills, that includes the motor along with areas like the chuck, batteries and even the handle. When looking for top rated cordless drills, you’ll need to keep in mind the following specs.
Power and Performance
The drill motor provides power and torque. Those two areas are key if you plan on sinking a screw through thick stock or want to drill a hole through metal.
The best cordless drill to suit your needs should have enough power to accomplish household tasks although you’ll want something with more horsepower if you plan to work with metal, masonry or other tough substances. Adjustable clutches are another feature to keep an eye out for.
A good cordless drill will have multiple speeds, and that is a feature you’ll find on all of our top models. How you control that speed varies, and can make a huge difference depending on what you’re working on.
Variable speed drills can have trigger locks which allow you to set the speed where you’d like it while others will have two distinct settings with High and Low speeds.
The chuck is the part at the end of your drill, and it’s where your bit goes. Some drills have chucks that require “keys” to unlock it while others can be tightened or loosed by hand.
While that is a matter of preference is some cases, most are keyless these days unless it’s an industrial drill.
The material the chuck is made from is far more important. Plastic or a composite is the most common type of material used, but not what you’ll want if you need durability. Metal chucks add weight to the drill but will hold up better over time and can take more abuse.
Comfort & Usability
No matter how nice the best power drill is, you won’t want to use it if it isn’t comfortable. This is a common issue many newcomers encounter, but one you can head off at the pass.
Do you plan on running a lot of screws in sheetrock or do you work with AC ducts that hang overhead?
Lightweight drills are your best bet if you plan to work with things over your head or chest level. Drills with bigger motors and metal parts will weigh more and tire you out during a long day. If you only use your drill for short periods of time, weight won’t be a concern.
A cordless drill can’t run without a good motor, but that motor won’t run without getting some juice from the battery.
Cordless drill batteries can vary wildly, so we aren’t even going to try and peg down a particular range. Some manufacturers are still in the 14-volt class while others are above 20-volts. There is no rhyme or reason, and you have to pay attention to more than the volts.
When you see a number like 5.0Ah, it relates to the running time, not the overall voltage or power. The higher that number, the longer your battery will last so don’t be bowled over by a 20-volt battery if it’s only rated at 2.0Ah.
This one is simple. There are two types of chargers for drills with regular chargers and quick chargers. Your drill will come bundled with one unless you buy a “bare tool” which is just the tool itself and nothing else.
Obviously, fast chargers are your best option but can add to the overall cost of a drill. Some can recharge a battery in only 30 minutes whereas a regular charger may take a few hours.
In most cases, you can purchase a charger for any drill as an add-on, so you can always opt for the quick charger later if you love the drill in a kit, but don’t dig the slow battery charger.
When you go pick up an ice cream cone do you just go for a regular scoop or deck it out with extra toppings?
While those nuts and sprinkles may cost a few cents more, the same principle applies to the best cordless drills. Some are basic, but if you are willing to pony up a few extra bucks you may be impressed by those extra features.
The most common type of “feature you’ll find on cordless drills is one that isn’t all that impressive. It is useful however as a good belt clip can make your day a whole lot easier.
Belt clips are little pieces of metal that are attached to the bottom of a drill and can often be detached if it won’t be of use.
This one is just as handy, and starting to become more common thanks to better batteries in today’s crop of drills.
LED work lights can illuminate areas directly in front of the bit. While tiny, some are incredibly bright, and they don’t suck much power. No more holding flashlights in your mouth, and they can also eliminate the need for a work light in some cases.
Depending on the drill, the carrying case will either be a contractor bag or a hard case. Both are a great accessory to get with a new drill, and some are large enough to hold more than the drill and a couple of extra batteries.
If it is a hard case, keep in mind the size if space is a concern. Bags are a little more forgiving, and can always be stored (or used for other things) if you keep your tools in a chest, cabinet or toolbox.
If you’ve been around cordless tools long enough, you already know that some of the best cordless drill reviews feature kits. That’s because you can get a lot of bang for your buck and it’s a great way to get a jumpstart on a company’s tool system.
Drill kits can come with anything from an extra battery to a circular saw or work light – it varies across the board. You will have to pay extra to pick up those goodies, but it can be considerably cheaper than picking up each piece separately.
Cordless Drill Guide
Now that you know the most common areas to look for when purchasing a new cordless drill, we have a little something extra in case you’ve never owned a power tool before.
If you have a tool collection that would make Bob Vila proud, feel free to skip ahead to our top choice for the best cordless drill overall.
Drills have been around far longer than you think. Since ancient times, we have been using tools although they have improved considerably over the centuries.
Today’s drill got its start in the mid-1950’s, and it’s safe to say we owe a lot of to Black + Decker even if they aren’t at the top of the food chain anymore. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, you can find out more about drill history in our breakdown.
How to use a drill
Using a drill may sound like something that doesn’t need a guide on how to use a drill, but for beginners, it’s not that easy. Especially if you are using a big hammer drill with an adjustable clutch.
A good drill can drill holes through wood or metal while having the ability to sink a screw with ease. Those are the most common uses for drills, and they all simply require you to press a trigger and line up to your mark.
That said, they can also be used to mix 5-gallon buckets of paint or as grinders with the right attachment.
In a nutshell, you simply need to keep safety in mind, wear eye protection and keep your hands out of the way. Adjust your drill accordingly for the task at hand, and don’t try to overdo it and get in a rush.
How to drill pocket holes
The pocket hole can be the only way to go when you need to join two pieces of wood, but it’s something that may require additional tools if you’re uninformed. Well, we’re pleased to say you no longer need a Kreg Jig to tackle a pocket hole.
As long as you have a few bits, a pencil, clamp and a measuring tape you can make a pocket hole. Mark your wood, then figure out the bit size you need for the finished hole.
Once you have that, you’ll want to choose another bit slightly smaller than the first to drill a pilot hole. This makes this easier for the larger bit and keeps the wood from cracking near edges. You drill the pocket hole into the pilot hole at an angle, and while it sounds tricky, our guide to drilling pocket holes will show you the ropes.
Cordless Drill Features
This is where most consumers will separate the pretenders from the contenders.
Drill features can vary wildly from a simple LED light that comes on when you pull the trigger to high-tech batteries with several layers of protection. You don’t have to be bowled over by the options available; you just need to concentrate on a few key areas.
Do you want a drill with a built-in hammer function or would you prefer a right-angle drill that only weighs 3 pounds? Along with the usual suspects like motors and chucks, think about additional features found on drills from different manufacturers.
You don’t have to have a college degree to understand that power tools can be dangerous. While we covered all the basics in our guide to drill safety, here are the main things to keep in mind.
Wear safety glasses and do not wear loose-fitting clothing or sleeves that could become tangled with the bit.
Glasses are common sense, but sleeves are not. If a piece of clothing or necklace becomes tangled, you will quickly find yourself in a tricky situation.
While the best cordless drill driver or power drill may have a rugged frame, it’s still a tool with electric parts that can short if you treat your tool roughly. That goes double when dealing with your batteries, one component that can cause you harm if it malfunctions.
Impact Driver vs. Drill
You may come across the term “impact driver” when shopping around for a new cordless drill. We went through all the differences between the two styles in our impact driver vs drill debate, so we’ll just highlight a few key points.
Impact drivers can do everything a drill can do, and in some cases, do it better. It applies constant torque from start to finish which makes it ideal for some applications and not so great for others. It’s easy to “do too much” if you’re not careful with an impact driver.
This type of drill is excellent for fasteners and drilling holes would give traditional drills problems.
Brushless vs. Brushed Drills
We’ll keep this one simple as we’ve already broken down the differences between brushless vs. brushed drills at length.
If an option, brushless drills are ideal as they increase the overall efficiency of the motor while reducing friction. This means there is less wear and tear, and no brushes to clean or replace so your motor and rill will last longer.
While brushless motors are more expensive, they are commonly found in top-tier cordless drills.
Cordless Drill Reviews
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Now it’s time for the drills as we’re going to go over our top choices across several different areas.
That includes drills for homeowners that want to take on a craft project or strengthen an old chair or professionals that need the best electric drill for HVAC installation, hanging pipe or electrical work.
There is a cordless drill for everyone regardless of your budget, and you’ll find your top choice in no time as long as you keep our simple tips in mind.
Best Cordless Drill Overall
Our top choice for the best cordless drill should come as no surprise as it’s from DeWalt and quite powerful to boot.
The DeWalt DCD777C2 is the company’s affordable workhorse, and it’s brushless motor results in 30% more runtime compared to a traditional model. At 2.6 pounds, it’s lightweight, and we found it to be comfortable even during extended use.
The ergonomic handle on this drill ensures your hands will stay fresh, and while it’s full-sized, it is still compact measuring only 7.52” from the chuck to the tail.
Comfort and design aside, this drill has plenty of power with no load speeds of 0-500 or 0-1,750 RPM. The runtime depends on the task at hand, but we’re pleased to say battery life won’t be an issue as it’s from the company’s 20V Max Lithium-ion lineup.
Another thing we like about this model is the high-speed transmission with two speeds and the chuck. The latter is a single sleeve ratcheting chuck capable of taking 1/2” bits and is keyless. It’s also made of metal, so it’s going to hold up well under the usual abuse. Tightening and removing the bit is simple on this particular drill.
While the tech specs are certainly nice, so is the price on the DeWalt DCD777C2. It depends on which model or package you choose, but all are affordable with quality tools. In this case, the kit comes with the drill, a contractor bag, charger and two 20V Max batteries.
In addition to the brushless model, there is a brushed kit and two other options. The first includes an area light along with the drill and aforementioned extras and the second has a circular saw with a 5,150 RPM motor.
On paper, the DeWalt DCD777C2 is tough to beat as it’s affordable, powerful and gives you a tool that will last for years to come. You also get peace of mind thanks to the company’s great warranty and the extra battery and bag are nothing to scoff at.
If there is a negative with this kit, it’s the fact that some cordless drill reviews pegged the charger to be troublesome. It’s prone to breaking connections due to the sliding mechanism although it was not something we experienced.
Makita is another brand most consumers will be familiar with. They’ve been around a while, and make quality tools. This drill is a close second to the DeWalt and a fine option if you prefer Blue and White to Black and Yellow.
Makita XPH102 is not far behind the DeWalt DCD777C2 when it comes to power, and it’s a dead heat in regards to the performance. It’s only 18-volts, but the batteries are rated at 3.0Ah compared to the 1.5Ah batteries found in DeWalt’s kit.
That means you’ll have much better runtime when you factor in the lower voltage, and you’re not going to notice a significant drop-off in power. That’s partly because of the overall quality, and also because this is a hammer drill.
The Makita XPH102 has a powerful 4-pole motor and 2-speeds for each mode. When hammering, you can get 0-9,000 or 0-28,000 BPM while the drilling speed is set to 0-600 or 0-1,900 RPM. It’s among the best drill drivers for a reason.
Another big advantage of this drill is the XPT protection system.
This means the drill can resist dust and water better than similar models in its class, which is a huge advantage if you spend most of your time on job sites or work outdoors.
As mentioned, this drill isn’t far off from our top choice although it’s not quite as powerful and does not a brushless motor. That’s the biggest difference although you won’t notice a major difference in performance for light to general usage – it does have 480 pounds of torque.
We also like the overall battery life on the Makita XPH102 and think you will appreciate it as well.
On the downside, the chuck isn’t the best and has been none to experience “wobble” in some cases. It’s also heavier than it looks at 3.9 pounds. Despite those negatives, it’s still a contender and one to consider if you need a solid drill with a hammering function.
Black + Decker LDX120C
One of the more affordable options for homeowners comes from a company that’s produced thousands of products to make life easier around the house – Black + Decker.
The first Black + Decker drill on our list is the LDX120C, a 20-volt drill that runs off Lithium-ion power. At this price point, you won’t get a brushless motor, but this one has a solid amount of power and will get the job done.
It also has variable speeds and an 11 position adjustable clutch ring behind the chuck. This allows you to tweak the torque for tougher jobs.
Features to note on this drill include a bright LED light to illuminate your work area and a keyless chuck. Changing bits will only take seconds, and you won’t have to worry about losing the key as it’s all done by hand.
The Black + Decker LDX120C is easy to use and comfortable in hand. It’s not as lightweight as some models but certainly won’t tire you out like larger drills. Overall, the build quality is solid although it does feel a little cheap and isn’t the type of tool you want to drop too often.
This drill is a great choice for homeowners that need something with more power than a light-duty drill, but don’t want to break the bank buying a new tool.
It’s capable of driving screws or drilling through metal; it’s just not something you’d want on a construction site. The chuck quality is subpar, and while affordable and backed by a solid warranty, the build quality does feel a bit cheap compared to similar models.
The Bosch DD181-02 is a tool from the company’s 18-volt arsenal, and another great choice depending on your needs. The company has managed to keep the price down on this model while providing a drill that will run with the best of them.
This is another 18-volt drill, and all the common features you would expect are present like an adjustable clutch, 2-speed transmission and a built-in LED light. In that regard, it is business as usual – the drill performs as intended and gets the job done.
Where this one stands out is the build quality and performance as it’s a drill that will stand the test of time and not leave you in a lurch after a few months of hard work. The no load speed is set to 0-400 while the top end is 0-1,300 RPM.
It can also produce 350 in. lbs. of torque which is impressive given its size.
This kit comes with the drill, charger, a bit and a contractor bag. You will also receive two 18-volt SlimPack Lithium-ion batteries. If you need something beefier, there is a model with 480 in. lbs. of torque as well.
Ryobi P271 One+
Now we are going to look at something different in the Ryobi P271 One+. It’s the cheapest drill to make our list by a wide margin, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you don’t need a lot of torque.
This drill is built for light-duty usage and to be comfortable whether you’re putting together a desk or building a birdhouse in the garage. It has a notched rubber pistol grip so it won’t be slippery and it definitely won’t weigh you down considering it only weighs 3.1 pounds.
While the keyless chuck can handle bits up to 1/2” in size, it’s plastic which is par for the course in this range. Regardless, bits are easy to change whether you’re working with wood or trying to put a hole in a thin sheet of metal.
Features to note for the Ryobi P271 One+ include a 24-position clutch with a 2-speed gearbox. We also like the built-in magnetic bit holder which rests above the battery.
This lightweight unit can’t hold its own with the big boys but is ideal for folks that need something light and affordable. It just “powerful enough” and works within the company’s tool system. It also takes batteries from the company’s One+ lineup including the old NiCad batteries.
Best 18v Cordless Drill
While our top overall picks span all voltages, most common models are anywhere between 8 and 14-volts. Well, these are the best 18-volt drills available, and all are rated for a bit more than light-duty usage.
Top Pick: Hitachi DS18DSAL
Hitachi’s first entry onto our list is the Hitachi DS18DSAL. It’s an 18-volt drill with 460 in. lbs. of torque and it also comes with a few cool accessories you won’t find with other kits.
The first question you need to ask yourself about this particular drill is how much do you want to spend?
That’s because there is a variant available with a brushless motor, and while it’s more expensive, it is a bit of a beast. That said, the regular brushed model is no slouch with a 2-speed motor and 22+1 clutch positions.
It has a ratcheting keyless chuck that can take bits up to 1/2” in size. That means you can switch bits out in an instant, and thankfully, it is made from metal, not plastic. It’s still in the industrial class however and has more than enough torque to handle jobs around the house or outdoors.
This drill comes with a nice Lithium-ion flashlight which swivels through five positions and can be aimed where you need it the most. It obviously works with the drill’s 18-volt battery as do several other tools from Hitachi’s 18v lineup. You can read a bit more about this drill in our Hitachi DS18DSAL review if you’re still on the fence.
At 3.5 pounds, the Hitachi DS18DSAL is small but powerful enough to be considered a Pro level tool. The metal chuck plays a part in that as does the high-efficiency motor under the hood.
You won’t get laughed off the construction site with this one.
While capable, we aren’t huge fans of “slide” batteries, which is what you’ll get and they are only rated at 1.5Ah which lower than we’d like. On a positive note, it’s affordable and comes with a slick hard case to keep your drill safe during transport.
Runner-up: Milwaukee 2606-22CT
Not a fan of Green and Black? Milwaukee has something a little more comfortable and just as powerful with the 2606-22CT.
This is another cordless drill in the “Pro” class with a sturdy build and metal chuck. It’s arguably the best-looking drill on our list depending on your preference although nobody can argue with its power.
You’ll get a sturdy single sleeve ratcheting metal chuck on the Milwaukee 2606-22CT that can take 1/2” bits. Slippage won’t be a concern as the powerful motor drives home screws and drills holes. It’s not what we would consider heavy, but feels good in the hand and is certainly tough enough for construction sites.
This drill runs on the company’s REDLITHIUM batteries, and you’ll get two of them in the box with the M18 and M12 Multi-V. These are intelligent batteries that lengthen the life of your tool by keeping a close eye on the voltage and guard against overloads.
We like the power of this drill and those high-tech REDLITHIUM batteries as well. It’s suitable for a wide range of tasks, and will likely outlast its warranty by a decade or more. Milwaukee makes solid tools that hold up well.
The main drawback of this kit is the price. It’s more expensive than other 18-volt kits with more accessories and in line with brushless models.
Best 20v Cordless Drill
To be honest, there are 18-volt drills just as powerful as some models rated at 20-volts or larger. That’s because it comes down to what’s inside the drill as much as what you’ll find on the label. These 20-volt drills are different, however, and are at the top of their class.
Top Pick: DeWalt DCK590L2
We won’t spend too much time on this one as we covered it at length in our DeWalt DCK590L2 review. That said, it’s an amazing kit that offers up plenty of value and comes with several 20-volt tools… not just a drill.
The DeWalt DCK590L2 is a “kit” that comes with four tools and a flashlight. You will get a beefy hammer drill with a rotating handle and a 1/2” ratcheting chuck. It has a 3-speed all-metal transmission as well. The Impact Driver is just as tough with a motor capable of hitting 2,800 RPM.
If you need something with a blade instead of a tool with torque, you’ll have two to choose from. There is a 6 1/2” circular saw that’s lightweight but powerful and a reciprocating saw. The latter has a 1” stroke length and can go between 0-3000 RPM.
Overall, this kit is a great deal and your best option if want to invest in a tool system and dig DeWalt. The tools run off the company’s 20-volt MAX platform, so you can pick up additional tools or batteries as needed.
There’s really no downside to this kit, and you’ll get the company’s outstanding 3-year warranty on the tools and batteries along with a 1-year free service contract on the tools.
Runner-up: Porter-Cable PCCK618L2
If you won’t need saws or LED lights, but you still want a kit of sorts, we have just the thing for you. Porter-Cable has an industrial solution that won’t break the bank and is just as powerful as DeWalt’s cordless kit.
The Porter-Cable PCCK618L2 is a two piece kit that comes with a cordless drill and an impact driver. It uses 20V MAX 2 batteries, which is a way of saying they are just as powerful, if not more so than other 20-volt “MAX” tools.
The drill is brushless with two speeds at 0-400 or 0-1,700 RPMs. It has a heavy duty design with a 1/2” metal chuck and won’t let you down on the job. You will be pleased with its performance.
As for the impact drill, this compact little unit can produce 1,400 in. lbs. of torque and has a 1/4” hex chuck. It is capable of speeds between 0-2,700 or 0-3,100 RPM. Both tools have integrated LED lights and are backed by the company’s 3-year guarantee.
This kit is ideal for those who want a rugged rill and the fact you get an impact driver that runs on the same system is the icing on the cake. There are no drawbacks, especially given the price and the brushless nature of the drill itself.
If we had to find a negative, it’s the charger which feels a bit cheap and not nearly as tough as the tools. As it’s a “standard” charger, the times are longer than you’ll find on similar systems as well.
Best Cordless Drill for Home Use
Homeowners generally don’t need a drill that can hammer through cinder block or sink a lag bolt through a 12” piece of oak. That’s why we are going to take a minute to focus on the best cordless drill for home use.
Top Pick: Bosch PS31-2A
Our top choice for the best cordless drill for homeowners is so popular we gave it an in-depth overview in our Bosch PS31-2A review. Several features make this one a fan favorite, but for us, it all starts with comfort and performance.
Bosch designed the PS31-2A to be comfortable during extended use, and it is extremely light at a little over 2 pounds. As you can see, the battery is nowhere in sight which cuts the weight and helps keep your arms fresh when working overhead.
While only 12-volts, this drill has plenty pop with two speeds and a clutch with 20+1 settings. It can drive and drill, just don’t expect it to handle hard labor.
Other features to note for this model include a built-in LED light, a carrying case, and two Lithium-ion batteries. If you want to spend up, you can also grab this drill with additional accessories like a work light, bit set or a full kit with a saw.
We won’t rehash our same conclusion twice, so we will simply say this.
The Bosch PS31-2A is the best drill for homeowners that don’t mind paying more for quality and need a lightweight tool for around the house. While it’s only 12-volts, you’ll be surprised by what it can do, and it’s lightweight nature make it perfect for contractors that need something svelte in their bag.
Runner-up: Black + Decker BDCDD12C
If your budget won’t allow you to jump up the Bosch, the Black + Decker BDCDD12C is a solid alternative. It’s less than half the price, and still has 12-volts of power behind the bit.
This is another drill that uses the popular “MAX” moniker to let you know how powerful it is. In this case, it’s 12-volts although it lives up to that namesake by providing an ample amount of power. Is it in the industrial class? No, but it will suffice for light-duty use.
The highlights of this dill include an integrated work light and variable speed control. It also has an 11-position clutch system so you can adjust the torque to suit your needs. It only comes with one battery, and as you’d expect, has a plastic chuck.
Black + Decker has been cranking out high-quality products that homeowners can appreciate for decades, and the BDCDD12C is another affordable addition from the company. We can’t recommend it you’re going to deal with metal or thick hardwoods, but it will work just fine for driving screws, drilling holes or putting together furniture.
Best Brushless Drill
When you want the best, go brushless. While brushed motors still have a place in the tool world, brushless motors have quickly become the go-to option for consumers that love corded tools.
Top Pick: DeWalt DCD777C2
We started this show with this one, and are going to start winding things down with it as well. The DeWalt DCD777C2 is just that good, and it’s our top choice for the best cordless drill for a few key reasons.
Simply put, this drill performs as advertised and runs off DeWalt’s 20-volt MAX battery platform. In other words, it’s top of the line when it comes to power, and is a drill you can use out in the garage or on a construction site.
This drill only weighs 2.6 pounds and has a no load speed of 0-500 or 0-1,750. It also has a 1/2” single sleeve ratcheting chuck and a built-in LED light with a 20-second trigger release delay. It was our top overall cordless drill for a good reason – it’s an excellent tool.
A combination of power, performance, and price are why this one shines brighter than the rest. It comes with two 20V MAX Lithium-ion batteries, a charger, and a contractor bag. If you’d like to learn more about the DeWalt DCD777C2, you can find our more details at the beginning of our guide.
Runner-up: Makita XFD061
Makita managed to sneak a second entry onto our list, and this one is just as solid as our first pick. The Makita XFD061 isn’t a full kit but comes with everything you need to get started and carries an affordable price.
This brushless beast is rated at 18-volts and has a 2-speed transmission and a motor capable of delivering up to 530 in. lbs. of torque. Needless to say, you won’t have issues driving or drilling with this one.
The metal chuck can handle bits up to 1/2” in size, and it carries the company’s XPT tech to help fight back against the elements. It’s heavier than similar models and even some 20-volt tools at 3.8 pounds but still comfortable to use. All-metal gears and an integrated work light are other features to note for this model.
Solid is the word best used to describe this tool. It has great battery life thanks to “smart” batteries and an efficient motor which adjusts itself to suit your needs. It is capable of handling far more than light-duty work as well.
This is another drill with no obvious downsides, and it comes complete with a tool bag, charger, and one 3.0Ah battery.
Best Corded Drill
Now that you’ve seen our choices for the best cordless drills, you may have found what you’re looking for, but there is still a place for corded models, however.
If you want something a little beefier that doesn’t require a charger, corded tools are certainly an option. We broke down what to look for in our guide to the best corded drills, so if you’d like to learn more about the drills that started it all, check out our picks for the best corded drill.
Best Drill Bits
Regardless of how fancy or powerful your new drill is, it still needs a bit.
A 12-volt drill can take the same bit as a 20-volt model, but it may not be able to perform as well. You can get around power shortages by choosing a different style of bit in some cases, while the material it’s made of plays a part in this as well.
If you’re looking for a set of new bits for your brand new drill, you can find ones to suit your needs in our guide to the best drill bits.
Best Drill Bit Sharpener
Drill bits may be cheap in most cases, but there’s no need to throw them away once they become worn.
Dull bits can be given new life with a quick sharpening, and it’s something you can accomplish in a matter of seconds with the right tool. We already covered the best options in our guide to the best drill bit sharpeners if you want to pick one up to go along with your drill and bits.
We may sound like a broken record, but finding the best cordless drill to suit your needs is fairly simple as always. Keep your needs in mind, and consider how much power you need now… along with how much you may need down the road. Your budget should help you narrow things down as well.
When torn between two models, turn to the features to see which one wins out. Things like the chuck size and tool system compatibility can make your decision simple.