Cordless power tools are equipped with rechargeable batteries to ease carrying and using without a trailing power lead and the risk of tripping over cables as you work. Cordless devices are now popular, convenient, safe and well-priced. Regardless if you are a DIY-fan or a professional builder, our best cordless drill reviews will be helpful.
Table of Contents
Spoiler – Best Cordless Drills by Battery Voltage
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Torque: 500 in-lb
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Torque: 265 in-lb|
The drills use an electric motor spinning at range of speeds to suit both drilling and driving (for screws). The main pricing difference is down to the power of the unit’s electric motor stated in torque and generally in the 80 300 lbs/ft (also called ‘unit watt’) range and the type of battery fitted (cheaper units use heavier, bigger and less efficient NiCad or NiMH batteries; best cordless drills are now incredibly compact thanks to the latest Li-Ion batteries). The higher the voltage, the more powerful the motor and amp battery rating, the more able the drill is to cope with difficult material such as concrete and steel.
The main manufacturers trade under the DeWalt, Black Decker, Hitachi, Bosch, Makita and Genesis brands and have a wide product range with features that can be confusing so I’ve written the best cordless drill reviews to help you choose the right one for you.
To help you with your research, I’ve compiled my unique interactive chart of best cordless drill reviews below. I’ve also written separate reviews of the main cordless drill units available on the market to help you choose which is right for your tasks and needs.
How to Find Best Cordless Drill
When it comes to models and types to choose from, they don’t come much more wide and varied than the good old Cordless Drill. Looking for the best cordless drill therefore can be overwhelming, but there are certain elements common to all cordless drill models, and understanding them is the best step toward choosing the right model cordless drill for you.
There are a few tips to help you buy the best cordless drill. These are:
Battery output voltage
Battery (and motor) voltage often determines maximum power of the drill. Voltages start at 7.2volts and work their way up to 24 volts. 18 volts drills are the most common type available today as they handle nearly all jobs. Keep in mind that usually the higher the voltage (and power) the heavier your drill will be.
Let’s take a quick look at the 3 main battery types that are most commonly used on power tools today.
The main types are: NiCd or Nickel Cadmium.
- Cadmium is heavy and toxic metal, NiCd batteries also hold less charge and power than either of the other two battery types. This is old technology folks.
- For most electronic devices NiMH batteries are much better than NiCd ones. However, If you are choosing high-performing battery to drive a high-torque cordless drill, then NiCd can outperform NiMH. This is why you should always look for: Li-Ion
- This is the latest and greatest battery type and the ONLY one you want powering your best cordless drill
The advantages of Lithium Ion batteries are:
- Higher energy density than most other types of rechargeables.
- This means that for their size or weight they can store more energy which equates to: Less Weight More Power
- Li-Ion batteries retain their charge for a longer time than other (months of storage)
Nowadays if you are not using Li-Ion batteries on your cordless devices then you are far behind the times. Compared with NiCd batteries , and relative to the power output Lithium-Ion Batteries are lighter, smaller, hold their power for longer time and charge in half the time.
The Size and Weight of the best cordless Drills
A very important but often overlooked fact, the size and weight of your drill has a huge effect on how you use it. Get a unit that is too cumbersome or heavy and you won’t be able to work for a long time. Get a drill that is too large and you cannot get it into those hard to reach places (like under the kitchen cabinet for example). But if you are looking for a lightweight and relatively small drill then you have to sacrifice on overall power.
The Application (what what are you going to do with it)
What you intend on doing with your drill is also an obviously important factor to consider when choosing one, so to understand what is the best cordless drill for you, here is a quick look at the different drills types and what you might use them for.
- Your everyday cordless device comes in variety of shapes and sizes but is best used for typical jobs around the house. Will comfortably drill into wood, bricks, and mortar.
- Cordless hammer drill or driver drill is a much more violent tool and is called this because it helps you to ‘drive’ or ‘hammer’ the screw into the surface. Cordless hammer drills are the best for work on all materials with the hammering mode being designed specifically for drilling concrete and fastening metal.
Are you going to use it on wood, on steel, or concrete? Will you be using this in your everyday job? Or is just for repairs around the house that are not going to be a regular occurrence? Will you be using it for a long time period at once? Ask yourself these questions and factor in all of the above in order to find best cordless drill for you.
The power of a drill is normally measured in torque that is expressed as inch/lbs. Some of the tools deliver 44 in. lbs., the best cordless drills deliver 450 in. lbs. and more. It depends on the voltage of the battery used. Some also have torque settings or gear selections that you can use according to your needs.
A good general-purpose drill has a power rating of around 320 inch/lbs and works great for DIY tasks in your home. If you’re planning on tackling more demanding tasks, or need the best cordless drill will cope with everything including drilling concrete or steel, then you should consider getting a drill with a more powerful motor.
Almost every cordless drill has multiple speed settings. They are generally grouped into high-speed settings for drilling and lower-speed settings for dealing with screws. Make sure you choose a drill that has the flexibility to cope with the most common tasks you are likely to throw at it: so if you’re going to mostly be carrying out precision drilling and fitting screws, look for a flexible range of low-speed settings.
There are a few key factors that define the price of a drill. First is a battery technology: older, heavier battery science (NiCd and NiMH) are cheaper but have some disadvantages. The newer Li-Ion units are smaller, lighter and just as powerful but more expensive. Secondly, there’s the power rating of the electric motor: a standard rating of 320 inch/lb is average for an entry-level drill, but higher torque motors demand more powerful batteries and so the price rockets.
Other Features to Consider
Cordless Drills come with a variety of ‘extras’ sometimes, so check out what else is on offer because you may be pleasantly surprised with included features and tools. For example, in most Makita Cordless Drill Kits you will find a bonus flashlight and/or an inbuilt LED to light up the work area; ergonomic soft grips which are more comfortable for the user’s hand extra batteries tool belts and clips for the batteries and accessories. Some are even equipped with a built-in fans to cool down the tool while you are using it.
Remember, it all comes down to the battery power and its efficiency, torque, size, and weight; settings, features and comfort.
No matter what the answer is though, I bet you can choose the unit that is right for you. Welcome to best cordless drill reviews 2018, and peruse through our menu to find every cordless drill thoroughly reviewed and compared just for you!
Best Cordless Drill with 20V Battery
DEWALT 20V DCD777C2
DEWALT is known as one of the top-5 brands existing in the cordless tools market and in many respects – the best. The drills have great product design, reliability and the service is perfect. It symbolizes trade of quality and reliability. These models are designed for tough work in hard-to-reach work spaces.
DCD777C2 is a 200 watts 20v cordless drill. Its brushless motor has a 500 in-lb torque and no-load speed 0-1,600 rpm with 15 clutch settings. Brushless motor has a solid state switches on stator windings (instead of armature contact brushes of the brushed motor) to create magnetic fields. It is generally more efficient, but the electronics increases the price.
Chuck Size is 1/2 in. The tool comes in soft kit bag with two Li-Ion batteries, compatible with all 20v Dewalt devices, and a 115v charger. Product weight – 2.5 pounds, dimensions – 12.5 x 3.8 x 9.8 inches.
The drill is cowered with three-year limited warranty. The manufacturer without charge will repair any defects, but warranty does not cover malfunctions related to normal wear or tool abuse. Additionally you have 1 year free service, and 90 day money back guarantee.
The drill itself is pretty compact, well balanced in a hand, and lightweight – 7.52 in. (front to back), 2.6 lbs.
The battery doesn’t have charge indicator. But it is not so important, you’ll feel when it runs out. And it is great to have the second battery, you just snap on the other when the drill loose the torque and speed. In my experience, 2 batteries are enough for a whole day work. And moreover, you can always charge spare unit while working. The charger is pretty fast and can be be attached to a wall – the back slips and locks over the screw heads.
DCD777C2 has a non-ratchet composite chuck, the smallest bit I used in is 1/16, may be it will hold a smaller one. The chuck is KEY-LESS (Dewalt own brand). It tightens by pushing the outer chuck toward the body unit and twisting it. So there is no key needed and you can’t loose it, that’s good. But if you need to fasten the bit really hard, you may need a pair of channel lock pliers.
The drill is equipped with a LED light, which goes on when you touch the trigger and works for about 10 seconds after turning the trigger off.
Clutch settings limit an applied torque, I usually use it to drive screws so you won’t strip the head if you are driving small screws. When I drill, the full power is the best. If you set lower torque, it will not transfer any more power and you hear different sound once that is reached.
Of course, if you can stop as soon as the screw is all the way in, you might not need this clutch setting, but that can be bit risky way. see
This DeWalt cordless drill is best suited for a homeowner or beginner professional who want’s a decent drill. It has almost ideal handle shape – ergonomic and comfortable to hold.
- The chick is not the best, under the hard load it clicks and stops from time to time even when set in a maximum set
- The black dewalt letters fade off after several cleaning
- The chuck could hold the drill bits better. Of course, I can use channel lock pliers for tough work, but it takes some time
- Great battery life
- High Rpms
- Two batteries and fast recharge
The tool is ideal for all DIY drill work and good for beginner professional. It has slightly less torque than Milwaukee, but light construction is great for long work periods. And you cannot beat the price – the cost of the batteries and charger are more than the whole package.
It is 1/2″ Cordless Drill with a brushless motor for applications with minimal stall. Transmission has 1,800 rpm maximum speed, they are variable and reversible. The torque is about 300 in-lb. The 1/2″ chuck is ratcheting.
This cordless drill is slightly more compact than DeWalt – 7.4″, but is much heavier – 3.3 lbs. Similar to DeWalt, includes two LiIon Batteries and charger that automatically go into standby mode once the battery fully charged. Recharging time is about an hour.
The drill has less torque and 25% more heavier then DeWalt one. The handle is good, LED light work but in my opinion, both are worse then DeWalt, and DW DCD777C2 is cheaper.
- Weight and torque are not the best
- Quite expensive
- No storage case
- The porter cable is definitely quieter than the DeWalt
- Solid belt clip (R or L hand)
- 22 position torque control
- 2-speed transmission (very slick)
- charge meter
There are few features that could be important to you and can be decisive: built-in charge meter, quiet operation, the LED is on the bottom of the handle and illuminates the work area. It also has a work belt hook. But my choice is DeWalt.
The Black & Decker Ldx120C Comes with one Li-Ion battery (average working time is about an hour) and a charger (regular 4-hour). You may buy fast charger (0.5 hour) and additional batteries on Amazon.
11 position clutch provides torque control, the speed is 650 RPM and is variable. A torque is pretty low – 115 in-lb. The drill is equipped with a 3/8″ chuck and LED light.
Weight with a battery is 3.2 lb
Comes with full 2-year home use warranty.
Black and Decker owns Dewalt, and B&D devices are significantly cheaper. Not surprisingly, Dewalt drills are more rugged and last longer.
The LED is a weak point, as it is barely bright enough to light the work area in a dark room. In sunlight, it’s useless, but you probably wouldn’t need it anyways if it was that bright.
the chuck doesn’t grip well. When using it with drill bits you have to really tighten it down.
- Low torque
- Low RPM
- Weak LED light
- 3/8″ chuck
- Hard to beat this for price
It is light and light-duty low-power cheap drill. I guess it is good for people who only use occasionally to screw or drill wood and plastic, or to make little holes in metal. Black+Decker is also a nice backup device. But if you want a good all round drill, you should buy something better.
18V Cordless Drill Reviews
Bosch Kit DDB181-02 with 2 Li-Ion Batteries, Charger, and Soft Carry Contractor Bag
DDB181-02 is compact and lightweight (3 lbs) – industry’s best specs. Nevertheless, Bosh cordless drill is quite powerful: brushed motor develops 350 lbs. torque and 1300 RPM with 2-speed transmission with speed control trigger.
Includes 2 Li-Ion 1.5Ah (27 watt hours) batteries, 115V charger, LED light and contractor bag. Batteries that have a fuel gauge, that indicates how much charge they have left. Charging time is about 50 minutes. The battery warranty is 2 years.
The chuck holds drill bits from 1/16″ to 3/8″ shaft size.
Bosch makes reliable tools. This particular drill is assembled in Malaysia, but the quality is great. Great lighting and firm grip handle. The chuck clicks audibly when it locks on a bit and holds it good. The reverse switch is a little smaller than it should be, it’s a bit of a reach with a thumb. Changing the transmission from 1300 to 600 is a two-handed operation. The clutch settings a great if you don’t want to screw in too deep.
Compact design is great, but the tool is not as rugged as, for example, DeWalt 12V. And, in my opinion, the power is far from industry standard 18V drills. However, it is great to hang shelves, fix broken furniture, etc. Heavy duty tasks are not so often occur in home owner life. Besides, for heavy drilling you can buy VERY powerful and cheap corded hammer drill, it will be an unbeatable set.
- More compact than even most of 12-Volt tools
- 2 Li-Ion batteries
- 350 lbs. torque – average value, enough for most of the tasks
- Pricey, especially for a brushed motor drill
- Only 1 year limited warranty
Great choice for someone with smaller hands or those who need compact, but powerful (and quite expensive) device: electricians, HVAC specialists, etc.
BLACK+DECKER GCO18SFB 18-Volt Ni-Cad 3/8″ Cordless Drill
B&D GCO18SFB is economy set with one NiCd 18V battery, charger, stud finder and storage bag. The chuck is 3/4″, keyless; the torque is controlled by 24-position clutch. The motor is brushed, 750 RPM, with the variable speed/reversing trigger. Built-in magnetic bit holder for six one-inch drill bits
Stud finder works through walls up to 3/4″ thick. 2-year warranty
This is a decent light-duty around-the-house cordless drill. The battery is the same as in many yard tools, so the cost of the whole package is about the same as buying new batteries. The drill works fine for drilling the occasional hole, hand held chuck seems to work fine. However, it would not be adequate for serious construction. You get what you pay for. I would not recommend this as a primary drill for someone who actually drills a lot or is a craftsman, buy an expensive Makita, it’s worth it.
- Low speed, one range 0-750 RPM
- NiCd battery
- Only one battery in set
- No built-in light
- Low torque – 115 in-lbs
I think this is a great starter set if you are a beginner, all your projects are around the house and you don’t want to pay more for Li-Ion batteries or spare battery. And for the price the drill+battery+charger+case+studfinder are awesome.
Moreover, if your working periods are not so long, there is no sense to have two NiCd batteries. Better to buy fresh one when the first will degrade in a year or two. If you work all day long, buy DEWALT DC970K-2, and if you need lightweight Li-Ion drill, I recommend Bosch Kit DDB181-02.
Makita XFD10R 18V Li-Ion 1/2″ Cordless Drill
Makita XFD10R has own, Makita-built brushed motor with pretty high 480 in-lbs. torque. The transmission is 2-speed with maximum 1,900 RPM. The tool is built by XPT technology – provides increased dust and water resistance. Keyless chuck holds up to 1/2″ drill bit shaft.
Hard plastic case holds the drill, batteries and charger really nice and have room for extras.. Warranty – 3 years. The charger has built-in fan to cool batteries, charging time is about 30 minutes
This drill has a lot of torque and speed in a very light package. XFD10R has a chuck that makes it easy to change bits, you just pull on the chuck to release or insert the drill bit to change bits. It works fine with round bits. However, you can get some slippage under heavier torque. As with any other drill, hex bits will take care of this problem. The control rings seem to be a bit stiff. I hope they will ease up a bit. The LED light on this one is much improved. I doubt I’ll ever need the hammer drill feature as I don’t drill a lot of concrete.
1,900 RPM are great for work with diamond bits to drill glass and stone with light pressure and water cooling.
- The bits slip in the chuck under heavy torque
- Great 480 in-lbs. torque
- Great max RPM, two range transmission
- Hard solid case
- Charger has fan keeping battery cool
Great tool – good battery life and low self-discharge, very powerful, and easy to use. Great LED light, increased resistance to dust and water.
Best 12V Cordless Drills
Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt Max 3/8″ 2-Speed with 2 Li-Ion Batteries
Bosh claims that PS31-2A has best performance-to-size ratio in its class. Great torque rating – 265 in-lbs and two 2.0 amp hour batteries in the set.
The drill has two speeds (350/1,300 RPM) and 21 clutch settings for torque adjustments. Great feature – two powerful integrated LED lights.
The set is a very lightweight, it weighs only 2.14 lbs. You can also choose a lighter one model the new Brushless PS32 which weighs only 2 lbs.
It is a great compact and lightweight drill with a nice 265 in-lbs torque. The drill would be ideal if it has a better chuck. The chuck lacks traction and slips in the hand when tightening. Besides, when trying to tighten a bit by fixing the chuck and pressing the trigger, it holds the bit not enough to keep it from spinning. When trying to then tighten up the chuck by hand the drill doesn’t lock to make resistance. You have to spinning the chuck by hand many times to finally feel resistance.
The charger shuts off when charged and prevents battery damage. The Li-Ion batteries hold a charge for months though. The battery indicator is nice.
Soft nylon zipper case is very convenient, has elastic and velcro fasten to hold drill, extra battery and charger in place. The bag is big enough to accommodate a few other small accessories as well.
- In my opinion, DeWALT or Milwaukee’s chucks are better
- Brushed motor
- Compact and lightweight
- Great torque
- Powerful built-in light
- 3-year warranty
The tool really surprises with its power for its size. Some cheaper 18 volt tools have worse torque. And the Bosh fits in your belt and an extra battery in a pocket. The battery power indicator allows you to check the charge remaining in the battery before you climb into the attic. Great compact cordless drill. I don’t think you may find better.
Makita FD02W 12V max Lithium-Ion 3/8″ Cordless Drill
The drill has 2 variable speed ranges -350/1,300 RPM. The tool is pretty small – 7 7/16″ long and lightweight (2.2 lbs). It is also equipped with LED light and ergonomic handle. The motor delivers 200 in.lbs. max torque. This drill have something similar to a brake, when you release the trigger, the chuck stops almost immediately
The drill comes with two Li-Ion battery, charger (115V, 30 minutes charging time), two-ended Phillips bit and hard case. The tool has a 3/8 inch keyless chuck and offers the choice between ¼ inch hex shank and standard up to 3/8 inch shank bits.
Within 30 days of purchase you can return the tool for replacement or refund. The drill, battery and charger is warranted for the period of 3 years from the date of original purchase.
If you need brute force, buy the 18 or 20 volt device. The 12 volt is a balance between power and the ability to work in tight spaces like internal furniture connections.
I like the brand, but battery lock design is not very convenient. It takes some pinch at the two pull point and also a pull to extract the batteries, you need some time and efforts to get used to it. At first I thought the grip was going to be too big, but after using on several big projects I’ve found it to be very comfortable.
The charger is fairly quick, so recharging will never slowed you down.
- The battery is difficult to remove
- The chuck looks weak (it just my own opinion)
- The light shines right below the screw head
- LED light
- Pretty handy and compact
- Li-Ion batteries
- The power vs weight vs cost is darn near perfect
This is the drill of choice of cabinet installer. Ultra compact, light, and powerful with a full size 3/8 inch keyless chuck. The trigger control is smooth – perfect for adjusting cabinet hinges and able to drill wood and sometimes metal.
BLACK+DECKER GCO1200C 12-volt Cordless Drill
It is a simple 12V cordless drill with NiCd battery. It has one speed range 0-750 RPM
24 Position clutch regulates the torque to prevent screws from stripping. The hand is equipped with “over molds” – a soft grip molded onto the drill for additional comfort and grip.
Keyless Chuck is 3/8″. The set includes: one 12V NiCd Battery, one charger and a double ended bit. The charger input is 120v ac 60hz 8w.
Weight with a battery is about 2.8 pounds
Maximum torque – 150 in-lbs
It is inexpensive and sturdy-looking, quiet cordless drill. Pretty cheap, but too simple: no LED light, no charging light, you can’t tell if it is done charging, or if it is charging at all. It is low-power and not so lightweight.
- Low torque
- There are no light and charging indicator
- One speed range
- Weak chuck
- The price
- 2 Year Warranty
It is a cheap 12V cordless drill. No more than a starter drill for very simple DIY projects or smaller/frailer users. I don’t like it.
Best 12V(max) Cordless Drill from DEWALT – DCD710S2
B&D GCO1200C is in fact 10V drill, 12V is maximum voltage right after charger. Under a workload nominal voltage is 10.8V The tool has two-speed transmission (1500 RPM max) and torque control (15-position clutch). Maximum torque – 220 in-lbs. Equipped with single LED, mounted radially around the barrel (shadowless light). Weight – 2.4lbs with the battery. The 3/8″ chuck accepts bits up to 1″.
Comes with two Li-Ion batteries, a charger, belt hook, and soft bag.
3 Year Limited Warranty; 1 Year Free Service Contract; 90 Day Money Back Guarantee.
It is a nice lightweight drill. You can get this drill into places that bigger drill can’t get into. LED Light is bright and effective when you need it, and no bother at all when you don’t. Yellow/black color is easier to see in dark (like attics). The tool seems to be quite durable as well.
Batteries life is great, they are not bulky and help keep the overall weight of the drill down. If you are not professional, you may never use it long enough to discharge. But if you charge the battery, it’s always got power when you grab it. Soft carry case is pretty convenient, the drill, batteries and charger fit inside with lots of room to spare.
- Difficult to pull out battery
- Weak chuck, you need hex-shanked drill bits for high torque applications
- Li-Ion batteries
- Pretty high torque
- Short enough to put in pocket
It is a compact drill, sure, it is less powerful, but its incredible lightness and agility more than make up for that. I suspect I’ve done just about everything one can do with a drill and this drill serves my purpose 80% of the time. For tough works I get out my powerful corded drill with a 1/2 chuck for the job. Or 20V