Sometimes shopping online can seem like an exercise in frustration. Manufacturers aren’t shy about exaggerating what their products can do, and it’s hard to get a good idea of what they’re really worth.
We think that shopping online should be easy, which is why we’ve created these reviews of the best 12V cordless drills of 2020. Our reviews are designed to show you the good and the bad from each model and help you get great value for your money. Once you’ve read through our guide, you should be able to find the model which is right for you at a price you’ll love.
|Bosch 12-Volt Drill/Driver Kit PS31-2A|
|Makita FD02W 12V Drill-Driver Kit||3 years||4.7/5|
|PORTER-CABLE PCL120DDC-2 12-Volt Drill/Driver||3 years||4.5/5|
Best for the Money
|ACDelco ARD847||1 year||3.9/5|
The Bosch 12-Volt Drill/Driver Kit PS31-2A is easily the best overall 12V cordless drill on the market today. It comes with a case and a charger, making it one of the more complete kits you’ll get for the price. It also includes two batteries, which means you can keep working pretty much indefinitely, as long as you can get access to an electric outlet for the charger. The clutch on this model also comes with more than 20 settings. With that many, you should be able to find the one that’s right for your project, no matter what you’re trying to do.
It also comes with an excellent LED light, which does a great job of illuminating the space in which you work. The only downside to this model is that it can be hard to remove the batteries. If you have a weaker grip or arthritic fingers, you’ll probably be frustrated with that fact. If it were redesigned to be far easier, we’d like this model far more. However, the value of this model is so high, and it works so well otherwise, that it would be hard to put this model anywhere other than first place.
The Makita FD02W 12V Drill-Driver Kit is another great option for those looking for a 12V cordless drill. This model also comes with two batteries. If you manage your charge correctly, you should be able to keep drilling without having to stop, if you’re charging the battery while you work. This model comes with a case, which gives you an easy way of transporting the drill and keeping it safe, while also bringing the second charged battery along with you. Furthermore, this model comes with decent max torque, allowing for up to 200 inch-pounds of torque, which is enough to finish many kinds of jobs without a problem.
This model also includes an LED light. However, it’s positioned poorly. Instead of illuminating the work area, many users report that it is positioned so that it casts a shadow across the area in which you’re trying to work. That will slow most people down significantly, and it ought to be fixed. It’s ultimately what keep this model from competition for first place. However, if you’re not going to get a lot of good use out of the light, then you should be happy with the rest of this device’s performance.
The PORTER-CABLE PCL120DDC-2 12-Volt Drill/Driver comes with a variable-speed trigger, something which is lacking on the previous models. If two speeds aren’t enough for you, and you want fine control over your project, then this is the model that would suit you best. It also comes with a great clutch with more than 20 settings, so that you can have not only the speed for which you’re looking but the appropriate level of torque, too. With a battery installed, this model only weighs 2.4 pounds, which is very lightweight. You could carry it around all day with no problem.
Unfortunately, this model also suffers from a misplaced LED light. Instead of perfectly illuminating the work area, it likes to cast a shadow, which makes the job that much harder. It’s also about a third more expensive than our first two models. While the variable-speed trigger is nice, it’s really the only area in which this model is better than the competition. For most people, the increase in price won’t be worth the slight increase in the value. However, if you’re dead-set on getting a variable-speed trigger on your next cordless 12V drill, then this model is the one for you.
You could spend an arm and a leg and get the newest models on the market, but there’s a chance you could buy a model with older technology and get a model that works just as well but comes at a far lower price. Since you can get the BLACK+DECKER GCO1200C for up to 80 percent less than other models on our list, it earns the title of “best for the money.” It comes with a great 24-position clutch that provides extraordinary control over the torque that you put out when using this drill. The battery is also easy to remove, especially relative to some of the other models on our list.
It weighs about a pound, making it a light tool, and one that won’t be a burden while you work. However, it only comes with one battery. It may be worth it for many to have fewer batteries but save a lot of money. It’s also a bit bulky compared to the other models on our list. It weighs less, which is good, but the form factor isn’t quite as convenient. However, if you’re looking for a good deal, the price of this model is great.
The ACDelco ARD847 makes many of the same mistakes that other models on this list suffer from, and while it does provide some decent value for the money, it doesn’t work as well as one would hope. It does come with two batteries, which allows you to work nearly indefinitely as long as you keep a battery on the charger while you work. It also comes with a hard-sided case, which is really nice for the price point.
However, this model comes with a clutch with five settings. That’s a quarter of what you could get on other 12V cordless drills, and it means you’ll miss out on a lot of control with this model. It also suffers from the bad light placement that plagues 12V cordless drills and tends to cast a shadow instead of lighting the work area. Finally, it doesn’t’ have the same high-end power that you can get out of similar models, leaving you not able to complete the same kinds of projects. While this model isn’t the most expensive one on the market today, it’s not one which is going to leave most people happy with their purchase and provides poor value for your money.
The Bosch 12-Volt Drill/Driver Kit PS31-2A is our top 12V cordless drill due to its great clutch settings, LED light, and included case and charger. The Makita FD02W 12V Drill-Driver Kit comes with a case, two batteries, and good max torque, but has a poor LED light design that drops it to second place. The PORTER-CABLE PCL120DDC-2 12-Volt Drill/Driver is lightweight, comes with a great clutch and a variable-speed trigger. Since you can get it for far less than our top models, it claims the title of “best value for the money.” The BLACK+DECKER GCO1200C is very lightweight and comes with an easy to remove battery, but its bulkiness drops it to fourth place. The ACDelco ARD847 comes with two batteries and a case, though a poor clutch and a lack of high-end power mean it can only earn the last place.
We hope that our reviews have taught you a lot about cordless drills and have helped you find the model that will keep you satisfied long into the future.
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Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!