Best Cordless Drills

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 7, 2019
A cordless drill is an irreplaceable helper of any handyman. The cordless drill is used for most repairing jobs at summer cottages, in garages and at home. This article will describe 5 best cordless drills and help you choose the best one. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Max Torque
Speed Range
Battery Type/Power
Maximum Drill/Bit Diameter
Tool Weight
Control System
Features
Package
Warranty
 
PROS

All new and upgraded BL™ motor doesn't utilize carbon brushes. This results in a much longer service life of the motor compared to drills with brush engines and eliminates heat up during operation.

CONS

A charger is rather heavy and bulky.

OUR VERDICT

Fitted with the Extreme Protection Technology (XPT™), this high torque cordless drill from Makita features improved moisture and dust protection that makes it a perfect choice for heavy-duty jobs at harsh job site conditions. It will become the best helper for any seasoned builder.

detailed parameters
Max Torque

530 in-lbs

Speed Range

0-400 / 0-1550 RPM

Battery Type/Power

1 x Lithium-Ion battery/ 3.0Ah

Maximum Drill/Bit Diameter

1/2"

Tool Weight

3.8 lbs

Control System

16 torque levels, Speed control trigger, Reverse button

Features

BL™ brushless motor, Extreme Protection Technology (XPT™), Built-in dual LED lights, Hammer drilling, Belt clip

Package

LXT® Battery Charger, Tool Bag

Warranty

1 year

PROS

24 torque levels provide a freedom of choosing an optimal option based on the task at hand and materials used. And you can quickly select the needed torque at a single click of a switch.

CONS

The tool bag quality leaves something more to be desired.

OUR VERDICT

It's a highly convenient heavy-duty cordless drill that stands out for a meticulously though design.  A special magnetic holder and bit storage allows having various drill and screw bits at hand just when you need them. On top of that, an all upgraded GRIPZONE™ handle provides a comfortable and secure grip.

detailed parameters
Max Torque

350 in-lbs

Speed Range

0-440 / 0-1600 RPM

Battery Type/Power

2 x Lithium-Ion Battery/ 1.3Ah 

Maximum Drill/Bit Diameter

1/2"

Tool Weight

2.7 lbs

Control System

24 torque levels, Speed control trigger, Reverse button

Features

MAGTRAY™ magnetic holder, Compartment for bit storage, LED light

Package

Battery Charger, Tool Bag

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The kit comes complete with 2 all-purpose 20V batteries distinguished by quick charging and prolonged service life. In addition, the batteries can be used with the majority of other Dewalt Max power tools. 

CONS

Rather noisy operation at maximum RPMs.

OUR VERDICT

Similar to all Dewalt tool, this cordless drill perfectly combines power, reliability, convenience of use, and functionality. It offers high-quality build and consistently flawless operation, all of this making it popular among professionals and suitable for DIYers as well. 

detailed parameters
Max Torque

300 in-lbs

Speed Range

0-450 / 0-1500 RPM

Battery Type/Power

2 x Lithium-Ion Batteries/ 1.3Ah 

Maximum Drill/Bit Diameter

1/2"

Tool Weight

3.6 lbs

Control System

16 torque levels, Speed control trigger, Reverse button

Features

LED light

Package

Battery Charger, Tool Bag

Warranty

3 years

PROS

Despite its bulky construction and pretty high motor power, this model weighs only 2.5 lbs with a 20V battery attached. Such lightweight design makes it especially convenient for extended use.

CONS

There are only 11 torque levels available.

OUR VERDICT

Compact and extremely lightweight, the Black and Decker cordless drill is an optimal solution for woodworkers, joiners, cabinet-makers, and sheet rockers. It will let you conveniently work in tight spaces and the 650 RPM torque delivers enough power for working with the majority of basic materials (plywood, wood, metal, and brick).

detailed parameters
Max Torque

115 in-lbs

Speed Range

0-650 RPM

Battery Type/Power

1 x Lithium-Ion Battery/ 1.5Ah 

Maximum Drill/Bit Diameter

3/8"

Tool Weight

2.5 lbs

Control System

11 torque levels, Speed control trigger, Reverse button

Features

Compartment for bit storage, LED light

Package

Battery Charger

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The ratcheting all-metal chuck has a diameter of 1/2 inches, which makes it compatible with most of the standard bits and drill attachments out there. The universal driver also doesn't require any additional tools for changing the bits, greatly simplifying the whole process.

CONS

The tool tends to get very hot after prolonged use. 

OUR VERDICT

The All-In-One kit from Hitachi stands out for a complete package that, along with the tool itself, includes two high-capacity rechargeable batteries, a charger, and a handy plastic carry case for convenient handling. Combined with a powerful brushless motor, this Hitachi drill will be a great pick for all drilling tasks both at the worksite and at home.

detailed parameters
Max Torque

620 in-lbs

Speed Range

0-1800 RPM

Battery Type/Power

2 x Lithium-Ion 1.5Ah Battery 

Maximum Drill/Bit Diameter

1/2"

Tool Weight

3.5 lbs (with a battery)

Control System

22 torque levels, Speed control trigger, Reverse button

Features

Brushless motor technology, LED light

Package

Hard plastic case, Charger, 2 x 1.5Ah batteries included

Warranty

Limited lifetime (2 years for batteries and 1 year for charger)

Makita XFD061

Built to Impress

The 18-volt model from Makita comes with an array of handy features and accessories that will be a real find for any professional builder or renovator. Providing cordless functionality, the drill features a 3.0 Ah battery that will deliver several hours of continuous use. Unlike many other competitive models with similar batteries that are rather heavy, the Makita drill weighs only 3.8 lbs and is pretty easy and convenient to handle causing no excess arm strain. Thanks to a charger base included in the package, you can easily charge the tool anytime when needed.

Despite the fact that it is not a super fast charging model, it takes the battery only about an hour to get fully charged which is a decent characteristic. Taking into consideration sheer numbers, the LXT base offers 3-time faster charging and the advanced battery system is securely protected from overloads, discharges, and overheat meanwhile prolonging the service life of the motor as well. Thus, this function alone makes this model one of the most reliable drills on the market. On top of that, the Star Protection technology allows monitoring the battery power level to keep it duly charged.

As for the heart of this heavy-duty cordless drill, the motor of the Makita XFD061 can generate the unmatched torque of 530 in-lbs and yield staggering 1550 revolutions per minute in just a few moments. Such torque to speed ratio makes this model a true power horse able to cope with various types of drilling jobs and perfectly perform on different materials ranging from softer wood and plastics to solid metal and bricks.

Powerful and fitted with the branded battery system, the Makita is by far the most powerful cordless drill delivering drilling performance comparable to that of corded models.

Review of Makita XFD061 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2" Driver-Drill Kit (3.0Ah)

Brushless Motor That Beats Any Other

Since the Makita XFD061 is a brushless model, its engine doesn’t wear out as quickly as brush engines. One of the main advantages of brushless tools is that they don’t have to deal with frictions or voltage drops wearing out the motor and greatly affecting its operation. Packed with a powerful Li-ion battery and heavy-duty motor on board, this LXT drill will serve you much longer than other models in its class and deliver failure-free operation year after year.

On top of that, made from plastic and rubberized materials, the tool features a special extreme protection technology preventing motor exposure to dust and moisture and further extending its service life. Meanwhile, two LED lights ensure convenient work under low-light conditions in dark spaces and pory lit areas with limited access to electrical outlets.

As reliable and efficient as it is, the Makita cordless drill with light is a perfect choice for professionals and all those concerned about wisely spending their time and resources on repair jobs and renovations.

Makita XFD061 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2" Driver-Drill Kit (3.0Ah) in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Ryobi P1811

Endless Capabilities

This 20V cordless drill from Ryobi will be a great gift for any beginner renovator as well as for an experienced construction worker since it offers all the features of a premium model embodied in a neatly designed housing. It's a brushless model that won’t even break a sweat when facing sturdy or dense materials such as hardwood, metal and even brick.

Belonging to the Ryobi One+ family power tools, the P1811 comes fitted with 2 Li-ion batteries compatible with other tools from this Japanese brand. Hence, you can use the batteries with other Ryobi power equipment without a hassle. Along with two batteries, the tool package contains a charger to juice the batteries up when needed and a carry bag to conveniently store and transport the drill along with its accessories.

Notably, the patented Ryobi charger is capable of charging all types of 18V batteries produced by the company that allows you to conveniently use it not only for this particular cordless drill but also for any ONE+ series device. The IntelliPort of the appliance with its colored LED lights will conveniently display the battery charging status. By following the manufacturer’s instructions and utilizing the charger correctly you can significantly prolong the service life of the batteries. Subject to being properly charged and maintained, the batteries can hold the charge for several hours of continuous, intensive use.

Coming in a bundle with 2 branded rechargeable interchangeable batteries, the Ryobi cordless drill will cater to the majority of routine drilling needs and help you build your collection of Ryobi power tools.

Review of Ryobi P1811 One+ Compact Drill Driver Kit

Versatility Is the Key

The battery itself is fairly light, so it contributes to an overall light weight of the tool. With the battery attached, the drill weighs only 2.7 lbs, so, it is quite easy to operate even with one hand. What is interesting about this model is that despite the mediocre battery capacity it still manages to reach the breakneck drill rotation speed of 1600 revolutions per minute, which puts the Ryobi P1811 on the pedestal of the powerful cordless drills. The unit can achieve the maximum torque level of up to 350 in-lbs while 24 torque options give you a freedom to choose an optimal level based on the task at hand and materials used. And you can quickly select the needed torque at a single click of a switch.

As for convenience of use, the device is equipped with a special MAGTRAY™ for storing metal drill and screwdriver bits. What is more, the tool features a triple LED system that offers an excellent illumination of the work surface and allows for an easier operation when working with materials that produce a lot of dust.

As you can see, thanks to its amazing capabilities meant for heavy-duty works, this high torque cordless drill from Ryobi will come in handy for any professional and amateur builder.

Ryobi P1811 One+ Compact Drill Driver Kit in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Features

The light is a cool feature plus the magnetic pad.

Key Specs

Best value in cordless tools. You will not even come close to the price-to-performance ratio with anything else brand new.

Size & Weight

The smaller size is perfect. Also swapping the battery to use in my 6.5 inch ryobi circular saw was awesome.
 

DEWALT DCD771C2

A Real Bargain

The DeWalt DCD 771C2 is a 20-volt model that holds a real punch inside its small engine which makes it an ideal choice for basic drilling and fastening tasks. Since the device is able to reach a stunning 1500 RPM in just a few seconds with a simple press of a trigger, it can become your best friend when it comes to all sorts of renovation jobs, be it decking, installing drywall, or attaching moldings.

Two powerful batteries that come with a tool, paired with a forceful driver, make this compact cordless drill a true workhorse and a real bargain. Out of the box, we recommend that you perform two charging cycles in order to not have issues with batteries charging in the future. If you do that, the batteries will serve you faithfully for a long time. The recharging takes about 2 hours, which is the average time typical of cordless tools, and the full charge provides up to 9 hours of continuous operation, long enough for most jobs. Like with many other tools, the batteries are fully compatible with other DeWalt tools, which makes the DCD 771C2 a very good value.

In addition to the tool, the package contains a carry bag where you can store the tool and all its accessories.

Review of DEWALT DCD771C2 20V MAX Cordless Lithium-Ion 1/2 inch Compact Drill Driver Kit

Simple yet Reliable Helper

In addition to excellent mechanical capabilities, the device features several convenience options enhancing its overall usability. 3 LED lights will let you conveniently work with dark wood species or facilitate the operation in case there are no other light sources around. What sets DeWalt LED light from others is a special stay-on function that keeps the lights on for another 15 seconds after you release the trigger. This feature will be really helpful when you decide to check out the drilled holes in the dark.

The quality of the tool construction is second to none as you would expect from DeWalt. All parts are made of metal and solid plastic contributing to the overall durability and wear-resistance of the drill. Additionally, the rubberized padding on the handle provides firm, secure, and comfortable grip adding stability and balance during operation, which is crucial for making accurate drill holes.

Though the device lacks some bells and whistles of more sophisticated premium packages, this powerful model will still be a perfect fit for professional construction workers and rookie handymen alike, since it does get the job done quickly and efficiently.

DEWALT DCD771C2 20V MAX Cordless Lithium-Ion 1/2 inch Compact Drill Driver Kit in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Key Specs

At first I was very impressed, the torque and performance was very good and the battery seemed to last a long time, much better than the old Bosche cordless drill I had for many years.

Features

Two batteries, solid construction, and an LED light make for a real nice drill. The simplicity in attaching a bit is helpful and the ability to accurately adjust the speed of the drill is helpful when you're trying to get it juuust right.

Size & Weight

Given the light weight of the battery, the drill does seem a shade top heavy but it's easy to get used to.
 

Black & Decker BDCDD120C

Light Weight and Decent Power Cleverly Combined

Being a budget-friendly option, the Black & Decker is a great choice for handling most basic tasks. It can drill through plywood, thin metal as well as brick and rocks of moderate density with ease. The BDCDD120C is one of few cordless drills that come with already charged battery, meaning you can try it out right after unpacking the box. Also, the BDCDD120C is one of the less expensive tools that have both a battery and a charger included. Of course, this drill might be not enough for daily drilling tasks but if you're only a weekend warrior and search for a good quality tool, this one will fit you fine. It's light in weight and has a comfy grip so you can hold it in hands comfortably. Despite such lightweight design, however, the BDCDD120C has a rather powerful 20V motor, capable of producing up to 650 revolutions per minute, which is nothing short of impressive given that the tool's weight is only 2.5 lbs. Compared to drills from the same price range, this is the fastest we've seen.

Ready-to-use right out of the box and so light in weight, this Black & Decker cordless drill is ideal for prolonged monotonous drilling tasks. It delivers sufficient power and drill different materials perfectly.

Review of Black & Decker BDCDD120C 20V MAX Lithium Single Speed Drill/Driver

Designed With User Convenience in Mind

The BDCDD120C features a keyless chuck that offers an effortless bit changing. Simply turn the chuck and it will release a bit. Likewise, you can fix it in place by turning the chuck in the opposite direction. As for the housing, it is mostly made of sturdy plastic with some metal joints and rubber paddings for a more comfortable operation. Thanks to the rubberized inserts, the handle is soft to the touch and ensures firm and secure grip even when holding the unit with damp hands.

We have found one thing to be quite unusual in this model. Typically the drill LED lights are installed directly behind the chuck. However, this model’s LED light is installed directly on the bottom panel of the device and is facing the drill bit. This creative design might appear helpful in some cases, yet, there is no way to check how clean the drilled hole is. Albeit that minor inconvenience, the light is still bright and can be used quite effectively while performing power drilling and driving screws, especially at poorly lit work sites.

Though limited in speed options, this cordless drill with light from Black & Decker can easily surprise even the most sophisticated renovators with its convenience features.

Black & Decker BDCDD120C 20V MAX Lithium Single Speed Drill/Driver in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Hitachi DS18DBFL2

When the Standard Is Not Enough

When other cordless drills seem low-powered, what are your options besides going for a bulkier corded device? The answer to this question is quite simple - you need a heavy-duty cordless drill packed with a high-power brushless motor like the drill from Hitachi.

More powerful than regular drills, the brushless models offer a significantly greater torque as well as the improved autonomous capabilities. Speaking of performance characteristics of this particular Hitachi model, it has an amazing professional-grade torque level of 620 in/lbs with the speeds of up to 1800 RPM. These specifications allow using the 18-volt drill on pretty much any material, given the right bit attachment is used. The maximum drill bit size this driver drill accommodates is ½”, which makes it suitable for use with most standard bits. The only minor inconvenience is that the drill only comes with a driver and no additional bits are included in the package, so, make sure that you purchase them beforehand.

As for the autonomous capabilities of the Hitachi drill, the kit comes equipped with two 1.5 Ah batteries and a special docking station for charging one battery at a time. The batteries included in the package with the drill have a relatively long life compared to similar products in the same price range, making it suitable for extensive use.

Alternatively, you can always use the second battery to replace the one that runs out of power. The charging time takes 2-3 hours on average, so, you won’t really have any downtimes with the batteries as long as you keep at least one of them charging as you drill.

Review of Hitachi DS18DBFL2 Cordless Lithium Ion Brushless Driver Drill

Some Handy Perks You'll Appreciate

For your convenience, the DS18DBFL2 features an optical trigger that eases the drilling process and makes it smoother. This will come in handy for high precision drilling should you need to make a couple of accurate holes. Furthermore, the handle of the drill has an ergonomic shape to neatly fit into your palm and to ease the drilling quite a bit. Thanks to an ergonomic and perfectly balanced design, you won't actually feel the tool weight (3.5 lbs with a battery). On top of that, the kit includes a carry case that fits the drill together with the battery and the charger making it a great portable solution for on-the-go use.

Wrapping things up, the Hitachi DS18DBFL2 will be a good pick for any professional and on-site worker who deals with drilling tasks on a daily basis. Moreover, the ease of use and simple controls make it easier to hold and operate for amateur handymen and beginner DIY folks as well. Hence, if you look for a great starter model, this device will fit that bill just right.

Hitachi DS18DBFL2 Cordless Lithium Ion Brushless Driver Drill in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Cordless Drill?

The standard drills generally are sought-after helpers at home or at the construction site. However, it is not always convenient to carry a bulky corded device that can weigh up to 20 pounds or even more.

This is when cordless drills come into play. Such drills are very flexible and feature all the main functions of the standard drill models (if not more). While the mobility and light weight are the main differences of a cordless drill, their motor power is often omitted.

While some cordless models are designed for smaller drilling or decorating projects, others can boast a brushless motor that can speed up the chuck of the device up to 1500 RPM in a matter of seconds. This makes them a great middle-ground solution for all kinds of drilling tasks, including but not limited to making holes in wooden and metal surfaces without breaking a sweat.

If you have to work for a long time and perform rather hard tasks, you need a powerful mains-operated tool. So, we advise you to take a glance at hammer drills and choose a tool according to your needs. Alternatively, a standard drill will be a good option in case you don’t need extra mobility and prefer drilling in an old-fashioned way.

Best Cordless Drills

What Features to Compare

Performance

Torque is the first thing which should be considered before purchasing a cordless drill. It is the torque that determines the force with which the drill will operate. Cordless drills with higher torque are more versatile and suitable for a greater variety of jobs and tasks – they can screw/unscrew fasteners and drill holes in dense materials with various thickness. Rotations per minute (RPM) is another essential parameter to look at. The higher this number is, the more powerful the drill will be. 500 RPM would be definitely enough for simple works like screwing while drilling would require at least 1000 RPM. Chuck size and drill speed are the main parameters that determine the diameter of a drilling hole. For the matter, the material also matters. Drilling into wood compared to drilling into a denser material will always result in larger drilling holes.

To ensure long-term operation, the drill should come with a high-performance battery. Usually, the battery life is predetermined by a few factors - the material the drill is used for and work duration. So if you often use the drill and do that for heavy-load jobs, it may a sensible decision to purchase one more battery to keep at hand.

Control System

Every cordless drill features its own control system suitable for various drilling needs. A trigger to control the speed of drilling will ensure convenient operation while a reverse switch used to change the direction of a drill bit will find use in domestic applications, such as screwing and unscrewing dowels, fasters and so on.

Features

Next, it's important to consider the usability features of a cordless drill as well. These include the size of the tool - the drill should not be too bulky or heavy to complicate its use - its build, and whether it has an ergonomic grip so that you can operate it comfortably without twisting and straining your wrist. That said, keep in mind that a tool that is too small in size won't work with hard materials, making it unsuitable for a range of jobs.

Check out the chuck of the drill too. Its size will determine the size of bits it can work with. Skipping tech details, the larger the chunk is, the larger shank diameter the drill will accept. So, if you plan to drill quite large holes, larger than 20mm in diameter, we recommend considering models with 1/2 chunk size to accommodate larger bits.

Additional Functions

Those consumers who’ve already done some research on the Internet could probably see that all cordless drills differ in this or that way. To find the best-suited tool for your needs, consider the additional functions of different drills as well. A cordless drill with hammer drilling capabilities will come in handy if you’ve got no puncher at hand. Built-in lights are great for working in dimly lit workspaces. The clutch will not let the motor burn or overheat when used on dense materials.

Did you know?

How Brushless Drills Work and What Are Their Benefits

Brushless motors are not a novelty nowadays, especially in the world of portable hand tools used in the construction. Many companies have a full line-up of such tools to meet the market needs and satisfy the most exacting users.

Normally, brushless cordless drills are slightly more expensive than their standard counterparts, yet they will quickly pay off as they work by 30% more efficiently. Since brushless drills apply advanced electronics in order to operate properly, they also come packed high-quality lithium-ion batteries. In order to achieve an impressive boost in power, these cord-free tools utilize permanent magnets creating no physical contact and no power loss. On top of that, there are no metal brushes that get in contact with the magnet and thus, the armature of the engine is located in between two magnets that spin the rotor itself.

A simple, yet highly effective way to make the drill driver spin is to use electronic switches that accordingly control response rotations. With that in mind, brushless models usually consume more power, and thus, need a battery with a much higher capacity instead of average-capacity batteries used in standard models. At the same time, however, they also provide a much longer continuous runtime as well as ensure a prolonged service life as compared to other cordless drills. Additionally, a better engine performance also offers more output force and power when it comes down to the high-efficiency drilling.

Today, with an array of different models available, many brushless models (even those falling into a budget-friendly price-tag) can provide a corded-like experience, even on medium-to-low speed settings, which is quite impressive. That was achieved, thanks to considerable progress in the Li-ion battery technology in the last decade.

Details aside, the brushless cordless drills proved to be more functionally versatile and that can be the key factor when it comes down to heavy-duty jobs that require all or nothing.

The First Cordless Models Ever Built

The history of portable hand tools spans over 100 years and there are a lot of features that still can be improved today. Initially, a portable drill was created and designed to be operated single-handedly by one person. However, with that being said, in 1916 it was far from the truth. The hand tools of that time were rather bulky, heavy, and extremely hard to operate.

A lot of things changed since that time and the first cordless drill was finally created. The first ever cordless model was manufactured by Black & Decker back in 1961. The prototype featured a well-known design of a trigger switch to operate the drill and was powered by nickel-cadmium batteries. Surprisingly enough, the first drill with the trigger switch was also created by B & D company in 1917.

The main purpose of the power drills of that time was the industrial and commercial use. Since then, the technology was thoroughly improved during the following decades and many other companies tried to capitalize on the success of the cordless design. And eventually, many succeeded by introducing more and more new upgraded designs that were intended to significantly ease the drilling process, extend the tool applicability, and improve drilling results to the maximum.

Sources:

1. Cordless drill buying guide, Bunnings Warehouse.

2. Drill, Wikipedia. January 12, 2017.

3. Michael Duty How Does a Cordless Drill Work? eHow.

4. Steve Maxwell Know the Drill: What to Look for When Buying a Cordless Drill, Mother Earth News.

5. Everything you need to know about buying a drill, realestate. May 20, 2014.

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