Best Cordless Drill – 2020 Buyers Guide
A great cordless drill is the one tool you’ll rely on both for big projects, like building a deck or remodeling a kitchen, and for smaller tasks, like installing fixtures or assembling furniture. You might even need your drill to service other tools.
Best Cordless Drill Comparisons
|Cordless Drill||Voltage||Weight||Special Feature||Price|
|DEWALT DC825B||18 Volt||2.2 lbs |
|DeWALT DCF815B||12 Volt||1.8 lbs|
|Ryobi P208 One+||18 Volt||2.6 lbs|
|Rubberized Over Grip||Check Price|
|Bosch PS41BN||12 Volt||3 lbs|
|Makita XDT14R||18 Volt||3 lbs||Brushless Motor||Check Price|
|PORTER-CABLE PCCK607LB||20 Volt||3.3 lbs||Brushless Motor||Check Price|
|DeWALT DCF620B||20 Volt||2.9 lbs||Brushless Motor||Check Price|
|Milwaukee® M12 FUEL||12 Volts||1.8 lbs|
|Visible Fuel gauge||Check Price|
|Genesis GCD18BK||18 Volt||7 lbs||Keyless Chuck||Check Price|
|PORTER-CABLE PCC601LB||20 Volt||6.2 lbs||Keyless Chuck||Check Price|
1. DEWALT DC825B 1/4-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Impact Driver – Our Top ChoiceCheck Price
The DC825B 1/4″ 18V Cordless Impact Driver gives you the ability to construct or repair a wide variety of projects, including framing or drilling holes for fasteners. It’s compact enough to fit into tricky spaces and features a lightweight design to keep you working until the job is done. Its cordless, 18-volt motor generates up to 1,330 inch-pounds of torque to make even the toughest jobs go smoothly.
This DeWalt cordless impact driver has a frameless motor to greatly extend its operating life. Its heavy-duty impact mechanism delivers greater force with less kickback, which gives you accurate results every time. The DeWalt cordless impact driver’s all-metal transmission and magnesium gear case protects it from impacts and drops (because hey, stuff happens). And to ensure you get a lifetimes’ worth of value, this model has replaceable brushes.
2. DeWALT DCF815B 12V Max 1/4″ Impact Driver – Compact SizeCheck Price
This high-performance motor delivers 3,400-BPM with a variable-speed motor (0-2,450-RPM) and 950-in-lbs of max torque. It uses two 12-volt MAX lithium-ion batteries with 1.3-Ah and 40-min recharge for easy charging and is lightweight weighing 2.3-lb design to reduce user fatigue. The 1-handed, 1/4-in hex accepts 1-in bits. Working in a dark space? 3 LED work light provides visibility in dimly lit spaces! It even has a convenient belt hook which means the driver is always close at hand.
The RYOBI 18V ONE+ System introduces the next generation in lithium-ion performance. This drill is powered by new and improved Compact LITHIUM+ batteries. It features the exclusive Mag Tray, which is perfect for holding bits and screws to maximize productivity on the job site. The new and improved Grip Zone over mold provides optimum grip and user comfort. Of all the cordless drills on the market, this one has great value for it’s cost.
4. Bosch PS41BN 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion 1/4-Inch Hex Impact Driver – Plenty Of PowerCheck Price
This compact cordless driver has the shortest head length and small enough to reach into tight areas and corners. Over all it the lightest in weight (4.8 lbs), great for over the head continuous work. It has 930 in lbs of torque / 2,600 RPM for the fast drilling you will be doing. This drill sports a 3-LED light ring so you can have light to illuminate your working area. It also comes with a unique fuel gauge so you can manage your battery for continuous work. If you want sturdy and light weight in your cordless drills, this is the choice for you.
5. Makita XDT14R 18V LTX Cordless Brushless Impact Driver – Handyman FavoriteCheck Price
This brushless motor delivers 3,600 max RPM and 1,550 in.lbs. of max torque. It is designed with a Quick-Shift Mode selector and has an has an automatic electronic controller that downshifts and reduces rotation and impact speed prior to driving screw into place. With a 3-speed power selection switch (0-1,100 / 0-2,100 / 0-3,600 RPM & 0-1,100 / 0-2,600 / 0-3,800 IPM) it will provide precise fastening control for a wide range of applications. It has a special Tightening mode (t-mode) for faster tightening of Self-Drilling screws; helps prevent damage to the screw or workpiece. This product had a 100% response rate that they would refer it to a friend!
6. PORTER-CABLE PCCK607LB 20V MAX 1/2″ Brushless Cordless Drill Driver – Quality BuildCheck Price
Great choice! This Powerful motor has 370 MWO of power for heavy duty applications and with this brushless motor, it will provide you with 50% more run time. The advanced transmission has 1,800 MAX RPM for speed of drilling & fastening applications for any job you happen to be doing. Along with this cordless drill comes a 1/2″ ratcheting chuck for improved and reliable bit retention. This drill/driver is super lightweight and compact so it will fit nicely in your toolbox.
7. DeWALT DCF620B 20-volt MAX XR Li-Ion Brushless Drywall ScrewGun – DryWall ChampCheck Price
The DeWALT DCF620B features 4,400 RPM of no-load speed with the ability to fasten various board materials/thicknesses. This screw gun can drive up to 2,800 screws per day on a 4.0Ah 20-Volt XR battery pack. DeWALT Screw guns are designed to withstand a dusty environment. The Cone-Lock(tm) nosecone locks on securely and is easily removed. It is ergonomically designed for less worker fatigue. And with that in mind you can continue getting that project done on time! Also a design feature is the built in LED light for visibility in tight spaces with a comfortable pistol grip. As for cordless drills, this baby will get the job done!
8. Milwaukee 2416-20 M12 Fuel 5/8 SDS – Contractor’s Best FriendCheck Price
The Milwaukee® M12 FUEL™ 5/8” SDS Plus Rotary Hammer provides up to 2X more run time, up to 75% more speed and the largest SDS Plus bit capacity in its class. Milwaukee has combined its exclusive POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor, REDLITHIUM™ Battery Pack (sold separately), and REDLINK PLUS™ Intelligence to deliver a 12V rotary hammer that rivals compact 18V tools on the market today. At only 10” long and 3.9 lbs, this tool provides performance and runtime that is comparable to a much larger tool, at a fraction of the size and weight. The electropneumatic design allows for drilling of up to 5/8” holes in concrete and masonry. For maximum versatility, regardless of application or orientation, the tool also features 2-mode operation, rotary hammer and hammer-only. Imagine the power to plow through anything from a 2×4 to solid concrete all at the tip of your index finger.
9.Genesis GCD18BK 18 Volt Cordless Variable Speed Drill/Driver– Great Alternative To Big BrandsCheck Price
This cordless drill will give you good bang for your buck! The price is very affordable and easy to use for all home projects. Not intended for commercial use or that will void your warranty if you do. It is reversible with and variable speeds for continuous usage and a 16 torque / clutch settings. The soft grip handle allows you better control and comfort. The on-board bubble level and built in LED light eases your mind when working on projects, you won’t loose your drill mark especially with an instant – stop electric brake.
10. PORTER-CABLE PCC601LB 20V Max 1/2-Inch Lithium Ion Drill/Driver – Great Battery LifeCheck Price
The PORTER-CABLE PCC601LB 20-volt MAX 1/2 in. Lithium Ion driver drill features a high performance motor that delivers 283 Units Watts Out. It has a 2-speed gear box (0-350/0-1500 RPMs) which delivers the power needed to complete tasks with ease. The 1/2 in. keyless chuck allows for quick bit changes, and a LED light illuminates and brightens dark work areas. This unit offers a compact size (8.25″ long) and is quite light weight (3.5lbs), which allows this tool to work in tight areas and minimizes user fatigue. Also, the 20-volt MAX Lithium Ion batteries with 1.3 amp/hour cells deliver more power and run time in a smaller package. Common applications include drilling metal and wood.
Cordless Drill Review Summary
Any one of these cordless drills will make a great addition to your tool collection whether you are a professional or just someone who likes to do a lot of household projects. All of these cordless drills are great quality and have many features that make them easy to use and long lasting as well. When you look for the right cordless drill for you, you can be assured that any of these models will be just right. Most come with excellent money back guarantees and warranties as well so you can try them out and see which is best for you!
Testing The Toughest Cordless Drills On AMAZON
Cordless Drill Buying Guide
Deciding which cordless drill to buy can be hard. Save the hair pulling, teeth grinding, postulating and compensatory beverage consumption because the guys at The Service Company got you covered.
Our Cordless Drill Buying Guide will give you a full understanding of the terminology and design features that can make deciding on which cordless drill to buy a lot easier.
So relax, have a peek at our list and get ready to get stuff done!
How To Budget For Your Cordless Drill
How much money you have budgeted to purchase your cordless drill will be crucial when selecting a model that’s best for you. There are a wide range of prices out there, and generally the higher you go in terms of price, the higher quality the drill will be. But then sometimes you want what will get the job done with little effort and muscle. Many professional contractors or remodelers buy several cordless drills to handle the different types of drilling jobs and projects that may be done. It is not uncommon for them to purchase a cordless screwdriver, impact driver and drill driver for example. What matters is that you choose models that will help you do the jobs at hand with much less difficulty and with greater speed. They do have combination styles that can do several types of job well, but overall, getting 2 or 3 different ones will cover all the bases and have you prepared for anything.
Types of Cordless Drills
Cordless drills come in an assortment of sizes, styles and power. They range from professional grade all the way to homeowner / DIY types of drills. These are incredible tools for getting work done fast as opposed to doing things by hand. Cordless drills are also awesome for making holes in a wide range of materials like plastic, wood, metal and even concrete. Because of cutting edge innovation, cordless drills run a much longer these days before you need to re-charge them.
Cordless drills have really progressed over the years to include the use of lithium-ion batteries that last significantly longer than others, LED lights for improved vision and even rapid battery chargers so your downtime is reduced. There are many other features as well that have really improved cordless drills in remarkable ways making them even more valuable for professionals and DIY-ers alike.
There are five basic types of cordless drills. Each one is designed to be better for specific uses and jobs. Get to know each type so you can match the cordless drill to the jobs and projects you will be using it for.
– Cordless screwdrivers are a fantastic tool to have on hand for assembling furniture, putting up pictures, removing cabinet doors and other lighter weight jobs. They are usually fairly small and very comfortable to use and even if you have other types of drills, having a dedicated cordless screwdriver can really make some of the simple jobs even faster.
– The most popular drill with homeowners and professionals is the drill driver. You’ll be able to drive any type of fastener through all kinds of materials with this great tool. The tool free chuck allows users to change bits quickly. Normal drill drivers are much larger in size and are not usually good for small spaces due to not being able to maneuver the drill driver around sufficiently.
– If you need higher torque than a regular drill driver, you will want to look at Impact drivers. These are great for installing and removing nuts bolts and fasteners. They are much more compact than a drill driver and can be used in tighter spaces much easier. You will need hex shaft bits and accessories for this type of cordless drill. While great for automotive work and rough carpentry as well, impact drivers are not suited for drilling holes.
– The hammer drill produces a forward thrust as well as rotation and allows users to drill through masonry materials along with driving fasteners in as well. This type of cordless drill weighs more than other varieties and it requires more battery power to run than the traditional styles but the strength is fantastic for professionals who might work with concrete, wood, and metal on a regular basis.
Rotary Hammer Drills
– Need more power? Rotary Hammer Drills are made to chisel through masonry with little problem. They are more effective than hammer drill/driver combinations at removing material. Cordless rotary hammers are very portable but they can weight over 10 pounds which make them difficult to use for extended periods of time without getting fatigued. For the professional who drills and chisels through masonry on a regular basis, a rotary hammer drill is a perfect tool to add to the collection.
Job Specific Cordless Drills
Different drills are going to be better for specific jobs than others. If you know which ones are suited for certain jobs before you start searching for the drill you want, you won’t end up with something that isn’t powerful enough or that is TOO much power.
– These are great for household projects and are the most common type of drill for users to buy
– The cordless screwdriver is great for assembling things and basic household projects. Not recommended for drilling holes or installing lag screws.
Cordless impact drivers
– These are the drills that can handle the heavy-duty jobs and are great for professionals.
The chuck is the name of the clamp that holds the drill bit in place. It’s an important feature to understand when shopping for a cordless drill because the chuck size determines the size of the bit that the drill can use. ½” and 3/8” are the two most common chuck sizes. For heavy duty work, you’ll find that a ½” chuck will perform much better and handle the load easier. Smaller or less-expensive models may have a 3/8-inch chuck. Keep in mind that this is still usually more than adequate for light duty around the house.
Cordless Drill Voltage
Volts tell you the power rating of a cordless drill and can range anywhere from 2 to 24 volts. The higher the voltage the more powerful the drill is. When a cordless drill has a lot of power, it can overcome the more difficult jobs where there may be some resistance. The downside of these more powerful drills is that they usually weigh a lot more than the less powered variety. If you’re using your cordless drill for jobs around the house or for light remodeling projects, a 14-volt drill will do the job quite nicely. On the other hand, if you need a lot of torque and you’ll be working with masonry or other tough material, you’ll need to get a drill that has more power.
No matter how good, expensive or fancy a cordless drill is, if it has an inferior battery. The better a battery is the better performance your drill will have and the longer it will last between charges.
Battery longevity is going to be affected by a number of factors:
- The material being drilled
- The temperature
- Is the drill in continuous use or intermittent use?
The more expensive types of cordless drills have battery power indicators that tell you how much battery life is left. The benefit to this meter is not having the battery completely drain in the middle of a project. It affords users the ability to plan for longer projects and make the necessary arrangements to either have a full charge before the project is started or have a backup battery ready to go when the first one is drained.
There are several types of batteries on the market, the most popular being Nickel cadmium and Lithium-ion. Of the two, Nickel cadmium is the less expensive and is durable and lasts a long time. They have a recharge ability of about 1000 times which makes them really popular with users.
Lithium-ion batteries are more expensive but they have twice the energy density and are much lighter than nickel cadmium batteries. They don’t last as long but they don’t have the toxic chemicals that Nickel cadmium batteries have. The most common practice is for users to buy a second battery pack that goes with their cordless drill so they don’t have any downtime while waiting for the battery to be recharged.
RPM’s (or rotations per minute), is the measurement for how fast a drill turns. Single speed drills are generally more affordable and normally keep running at around 300 rpm. These single speed models are perfect for fastening screws and such around the house. More costly cordless drills can work at rates of up to 1200 to 1500 rpm and can deal with boring holes into thicker materials, for example, stone work and hardwood and also metal. Be careful when you are drilling into metal… it is best to use a lower speed setting (for example 700 rpm), because of the way that at higher RPMs will quickly ruin your bit. The higher RPM drill models are more costly but the power and capacity can pay off in the long run. There are also variable speed drills that have a trigger that the user can control the speed of the bit with.
This is an important part of any cordless drill that you would consider purchasing. Purchasing a cordless drill with a comfortable grip is important, especially when you’re working with them for hours at a time. Because of new advanced designs, drill brands are creating ergonomic grips for a better user experience. Many have rubberized grips for even more comfort. If you already know that you suffer from wrist, elbow and shoulder issues, look for a lighter, compact model.
Forward / Reverse Switch
With a forward / reverse switch on your cordless drill, you can change direction as easy as flipping a switch or pressing a button. Because quickly removing old screws and hardware will help speed up any job.
This is the feature on a cordless drill that disengages the drive shaft of the drill whenever the drill meets considerable resistance. You’ll be able to tell the clutch engaging because of the telltale clicking sound the drill will have during use. The clutch prevents screws from stripping and it also keeps the motor from being overworked and burnt up. Different cordless drills have different clutch setting options. There are models that can offer as much as 24 different settings. The variable clutch settings are most often used by experienced carpenters that will tailor the drill to the particular material they are working with. For basic household tasks, a cordless drill with a variable clutch setting is not needed.
Overall Weight and Power
When it comes to cordless tools, you want something that doesn’t weigh you down completely, considering you’ll be using it without a cord and typically need to hit some random angles here and there. The “less the better” is not necessarily key here; however, you want a drill
that weighs decently yet still offers a solid construction to help with longevity.
Some people are finicky when it comes to name brands. Most will go with what has been reliable in the past or highly recommended. Sometimes it is best to stick with a brand you’ve come to trust. You can get many electric tools with the same name brand.
There are the best cordless drills with special grips, a convenient LED light to help guide your work, different speeds and more. You may be a person looking for a simple drill to get those jobs done quickly and efficiently, while others may be looking for some slick side features that make your experience and work a bit easier/hassle free. This can also lead to what makes the cordless drills price what it is. In addition to the standard features listed above, cordless drills can also have some really handy features that make your jobs and projects much easier.
You may find that some cordless drills have:
- LED lights built in for better visibility
- Additional handles for working on heavier materials like masonry
- Rotating handles
- Electronic brakes
These are just a few of the extras that cordless drills can have. When you’re looking at the different models of cordless drills, take into consideration the jobs you want it for and that will help you decide just what features you NEED, what features you’d like to have, and what you don’t really care about or need. Remember, you always get what you pay for!
Brushless Motor vs. Brush Motor
As you’re comparing cordless drills, you’ll notice that it is more common for high-end drills and impact drivers to be designed with brushless motors now. With a regular electric motor, brushes are present and can wear down over time and need replacing. If a cordless drill has a brushless motor, it will usually be more expensive, but there are many benefits to having a brushless motor.
- Brushless motors are quieter
- They produce less heat
- Brushless motors are more powerful
- You do not need replacement parts with brushless motors
Try Before You Buy
Even if you plan on buying a cordless drill online, it is a good idea to spend time in your favorite home improvement store getting a feel for the different models.
Experts say one of the most important steps before buying a cordless drill is to simply hold it in your hand. Does it feel balanced and sturdy? Does it have a comfortable grip? Most important, is it light enough to hold in an awkward position while tackling a hard-to-reach screw? If your answer is yes, yes, yes… then you’re off to a great start!
Even though you can’t actually drill something in a home improvement store, handling the drill will give you a much better idea of what it will be like to use in real life.
The Right Drill For The Job
Whether you’re hanging a picture on a wall, fixing the wheel on your child’s bike or conquering a weekend DIY project, it always pays to have the right tool for the job.
Below are our suggestions on the type of drill you to look for when doing specific jobs. Keep in mind that each drill has different strengths and weaknesses but knowing these can make your choice much easier.
Light maintenance and repair – This will include such jobs as installing drape brackets, drilling holes for drywall anchors, assembling furniture, grills, exercise equipment, etc, installing new cabinet and drawer handles and knobs, removing or replacing door hinges. All of these types of tasks are relatively quick so you don’t need a cordless drill with two batteries. To cover drilling holes and driving screws, make sure your drill has two fixed speeds and a variable speed option and look for an adjustable clutch as well. A drill such as the Ryobi P208 One+ will be great for these types of jobs.
Repair and Remodeling – These are jobs that are a bit more involved such as: building storage racks or storage closet shelving, replacing deck railings and fence pickets, drilling pilot holes, driving screws into plywood or hardwood, hanging drywall and making furniture. The drill you want will have a variable speed, two-speed ranges, a clutch, and T-handle as well. Get another battery as well so you don’t have to start in the middle of a project. The best drill for these tops of jobs would be the Makita LXDT01.
Heavy Duty Construction Work – This type of work requires a strong drill. Jobs that you would be doing could include drilling holes for bolts and spikes in pressure treated wood, drilling spikes into landscape timbers, masonry walls, installing decking, driving into steel. You will need a MINIMUM 12-volt cordless drill for these types of jobs. They are heavier and more expensive but due to the heavy load, you will need that heavier weight and stronger drill so you don’t burn them up. We recommend the Milwaukee® M12 FUEL for this type of work.
Cordless Drill Vocabulary
- Chuck – Clamp size of the bit the drill holds
- Clutch – Protects the drill motor if it encounters resistance during use
- LED Light – Some cordless drills are equipped with built in LED lights that are great for working in darker areas. The increased visibility makes seeing what you’re doing much easier.
- Li-Ion – Stands for Lithium-ion battery. These have no memory effect so there is no need for repeated conditioning. More expensive than other batteries but lasts longer.
- Max Capacity – The largest bit size that can be used in a particular drill. This will vary according to the material being drilled
- Max No Load RPM – Rotations per minute. This signifies the speed that the drill rotates. Higher RPMS mean higher power
- Ni-Cad – This is the shortened term that stands for Nickel cadmium battery
- NiMH – Stands for Nickel Metal Hydride battery. These batteries have a much higher capacity than Ni-Cad batteries. They are less toxic than Ni-Cads but still shouldn’t be tossed in the garbage when dead because of the toxicity they contain. They are more sensitive to temperatures than Ni-Cads also and can degrade when exposed to extreme heat or cold.
- Torque – This is the force that the drill uses to rotate the screw.
- Variable Speed Trigger – The speed of the rotation of the drill is governed by how tightly the trigger is squeezed. The tighter the trigger is squeezed, the faster the drill bit rotates.