There are a few things you can’t know about a drill until you’ve put it to the test. Is it durable? How does the battery hold up during an intense work session? Are the bits easy to change?
These small but important factors are what shape your experience with a tool. Unfortunately, most hardware shops aren’t going to let you perform a sixteen-point inspection of their merchandise on the showroom floor.
That’s why guides like this one are handy to have. All you have to do now is read our cordless drill reviews and find the best product for your needs.
|DeWalt DCD771C2 20V Drill Driver Kit|
|Bosch 18V Power Tool Drill Kit||1 year||4.6/5|
|BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V Drill/Driver|
(Best for the Money)
|Makita 18V Lithium-Ion Driver-Drill Kit||3 years||4.3/5|
|WORX WX176L 20V Switchdriver 2-in-1||3 years||4.2/5|
The DeWalt DCD771C2 20V Cordless Drill Driver Kit includes everything you need to get started with your drill. In addition to a high-end compact drill/driver combo tool, it comes with a charging station and a convenient cloth storage case for easy transportation.
The moderate-sized power drill is lightweight and features an ergonomic grip that will be comfortable to use for long periods of time.
It’s very versatile. The 300-watt motor can reach speeds between 0-1500 RPM through use of the variable speed trigger, making it the perfect option for most tasks.
The DeWalt also benefits from a built-in LED light near the chuck. LED lights are not a necessary feature, but they can be handy to have if you tend to work in dark, awkward spaces.
There are two issues you will want to look out for. The first is the battery. Though the motor is solid, the battery won’t hold up so well to high-intensity jobs. If you’re just doing small tasks around the house, you’ll probably be fine. However, if you’re building a deck, or performing some other drill-intensive task, you’ll likely notice that the battery dies quickly.
The price is the other issue. If you’re buying for budget, this tool won’t be for you. Otherwise, it’s one of the best cordless drills on the market that most will love.
This Bosch cordless drill is a moderately priced tool that weighs only three pounds and includes an ergonomic grip—both features that will make it easy to use for long periods of time.
It’s also very durable and has 350 pounds of torque. Coupled with the powerful motor capable of speeds between 400-1300 RPM, this drill is very versatile. The range isn’t quite as extensive as the DeWalt’s, but it should still be enough to get the job done for most people.
The lack of adjustability relative to the DeWalt is one of the reasons this tool is second on our list. There’s also an issue with the chuck. It’s very easy to tighten, which is good, but not so easy to loosen, which can be a hassle when you’re in the middle of a job.
That said, it really is a good drill, and if the price tag of the DeWalt scared you off, this will be a great substitute option.
If you’re buying on a budget, you’ll want to pay special attention to the Black and Decker LDX120C 20V Drill/Driver. If you want high-end features for a moderate price, this tool might be for you.
The LDX120C’s lightweight design puts a big premium on ergonomics and is tough enough to stand up to the demands of most jobsites.
There is one unfortunate exception to that last point, though. While the majority of the tool’s body is sturdy, the chuck isn’t. It has a tendency to become misshapen over time, which will eventually result in bits falling out while you work. This is frustrating, and can even be a safety concern depending on what you are doing.
The cordless drill also isn’t as powerful as the other options we’ve seen. It’s great for lighter work, but the battery will drain quickly for bigger tasks.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Makita XFD131 is its range. It goes from 0 to 1900 RPM, which makes it one of the most versatile drills on the list.
It features a great battery with an advertised runtime of 50% longer than competitive models (though how long a drill runs is contingent on the circumstances of its use). You also get a brushless motor with this unit, which means it should run efficiently for a long time.
The main reason the Makita finds itself so low on the list is its price. This is the one of the most expensive options we’ve seen, and since it doesn’t really outperform our top two picks in any significant ways, it finds itself fourth.
That said, if the upgraded RPM range is important to you, this tool is a great way to get it.
The Worx WX176L has a couple of novelty features that you might get a kick out of. It’s a drill/driver combo tool, which means it will be very versatile.
Then there is the “Switchdriver” element of the tool. This refers to a reversible chuck that allows you to have two bits loaded into the drill at once.
The utility of this is that it makes changing bits out very fast. This is nice, but also a little unnecessary, as bits don’t take that long to change out in the first place.
Unfortunately, this unit is fairly bulky relative to the others that we’ve seen. Since that bulk isn’t translating into more power or ruggedness, it’s just in the way.
The batteries also aren’t great. They don’t hold up well to heavy-duty drilling, and if you mistakenly leave them in the charger for too long, they’ll stop working altogether.
The PORTER-CABLE 20-Volt PCC608LB Cordless & Brushless Drill offers lots of value to buyers on a budget. It’s lightweight (3.2 pounds) and includes an ergonomic grip and an impressive brushless motor with an RPM range of up to 1700.
With these features alone, it stands to compete against just about any drill on our list. So why is it located so close to the bottom? There are a few problems to bear in mind.
The chuck doesn’t grip very well on the bits, which leads to lots of errors. The LED light tends to get stuck in the on position, which can be both irritating and draining to the battery.
It also doesn’t hold up very well to heavy-duty tasks. If you need to use it as a glorified power screwdriver, you might not have any problems. As a drill, though, it can only perform lightweight jobs.
The Skil DL527502 comes with a moderate price tag. The bits are easy to change thanks to the keyless chuck. It features a handy LED light, and you do get a very basic variable speed option. Though it isn’t completely adjustable like some of the other drills on this list, the SKIL does have both a low and high-speed setting.
One issue to keep in mind is that this drill does not have as impressive a torque level as competing tools. It can handle simple tasks, but not heavy-duty work.
There is also a value issue. Though the price is moderate, you don’t get much for your money. It’s just the tool and a single battery. For a similar price, there are lots of other tools that come with cases and accessories.
The Hitachi DS18DBFL2S model comes in a very inclusive package. In addition to getting the drill itself, you also get a hard carrying case, a charger, and a backup battery.
It features 22 different torque settings and an RPM threshold of 1800, meaning you have lots of range of use.
Unfortunately, even though the package looks enticing, there are significant glitches. The body of the tool is very fragile and is likely to break in high-stress scenarios.
There is also a substantial problem with the batteries. They die easily, and if you overcharge them, they’re likely to stop working altogether. The tool isn’t a complete wash, but it will better serve casual users.
The value of a cordless drill is all in the features. You’ve seen our reviews, but now we will teach you how to be cordless drill literate as we dive into some important buying considerations. Read on for information that will help you tell the difference between a good cordless drill and a bad one.
Cordless drills are often held in one hand for a long period of time. For this reason, fatigue is a natural part of using this tool.
If you’re building a deck or finishing up a shed, fatigue will happen at some point. However, the weight of your tool will determine how quickly and how severely it happens. The less weight you can get, the better off you’ll probably be.
You can get a cordless drill that weighs only a few pounds, even with the battery attached. If you’ll be using this tool for long periods of time, don’t settle for something heavy and clunky. Invest in a tool that you can use for hours on end.
Size is another factor that will determine the tool’s workability. Ideally, you’ll be able to find something with a compact frame that will give you access to tight spots such as closets, corners, and crevices.
You can find powerful units that only take up several inches of space, so do be mindful of size as you make your purchasing decision.
High-end drills will sometimes include luxury features that you don’t need but might enjoy. LED lights are a good example of this.
Other drills might include magnetic fixtures on the side that allow you to store a variety of drill bits for ease of use. You might even find drills that can accommodate special attachments, such as grinders or sanders.
The more bonus features you get, the more you can expect the drill to cost, but if you have a healthy budget to work with, you might want to look into the extras.
Some drills are capable of operating at several different speeds. These units have what is called a “variable speed trigger,” allowing you to adjust the drill’s rotations by moderating how much pressure you apply to the trigger. This is a great feature to have if you will be using the drill a lot. Keep in mind, though, that not all variable speed triggers are the same.
There are tons of variation with this feature, with each unit featuring a unique range of speed settings. One thing holds true throughout the market: the more speed settings you can get, the more versatile your tool will ultimately be.
Ergonomic tools are designed to accommodate the human hand comfortably. The intention is to reduce fatigue and mitigate the achiness that can occur over the span of working days. It will benefit almost anyone, and it doesn’t necessarily raise the tool’s price, so be on the lookout for it.
Drills really get put through the wringer. They are designed to withstand wear and tear, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. A nut or bolt gets loose. A motor putters out. The tool dies well before its time.
When this happens, a good warranty will be your best friend. Most companies will offer at least a year. Some will even include satisfaction guarantees that allow you to return the tool after a month if you aren’t happy with it.
The better the warranty, the better off you’ll ultimately be. Bad products are rarely given solid warranties, for the simple reason that companies don’t make big promises on tools they don’t believe in.
Other types of drills we’ve reviewed:
Our cordless drill reviews are over, but with eight great choices to navigate, finalizing the buy can be tricky. Which of these options is right for your needs?
At the end of the day, we cannot definitively tell you what to buy. However, we can point you in the right direction. Of the eight that we looked at, we found the DeWalt DCD771C2 20V Cordless Drill Driver Kit to be the best option out there.
However, it is also fairly pricey. If you want something that will perform well and keep your budget intact, our best for the money pick, the BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V Drill/Driver will be right for you.
By now you’ve hopefully learned plenty about drills. Buying the right one for you should be a breeze!
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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!