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10 Best Cordless Drills – (Reviews & Buying Guide 2021)

Do you have a power tool that you can count on to make the perfect hole every time? If you are looking for a unit that will always meet and exceed your expectations, you need the best cordless drill out there.

The mission of finding it is not that easy. Although these tools are both powerful and versatile, the fact you can choose between hundreds of different models doesn’t help. The advantage and the differences lie in the details.

That is why you want to check out our cordless drill reviews. We used our extensive knowledge and years of experience to carefully evaluate many tools and select only the best units available at this moment.

You can discover more about how we made our choices in our cordless drill buying guide. It contains all the details you should know before making the purchase, so make sure to read carefully.

Best Cordless Drills

1. DEWALT DCD791D2 Compact Drill/Driver Kit

DEWALT-DCD791D2-20V-Compact-Drill-Driver-KitDeWalt emphasizes a brushless motor as the main advantage of this compact drill driver. Thanks to its performance, you can expect significantly more run time compared to its brushed counterparts.

The tool features a compact design, which makes it easy to reach tight locations. Additionally, the LED light illuminates the area and ensures that you can work in a low-light condition. It is interesting to note that the LED comes with three different features.

The drill features two different speed settings with the maximum speed at high setting going up to 2,000RPM. The chuck size is set at ½,” and the grip seems ergonomic and easy to operate.

The clutch may seem a bit too stiff at first, and you might need to be extra careful with delicate projects. Fortunately, it loosens up over time and adds to the unit’s versatility.

Read the full review → DEWALT DCD791D2

2. Makita XFD061 18V LXT Brushless Cordless 1/2″ Driver-Drill Kit

Makita-XFD061-18V-Cordless-Driver-Drill-KitMakita made a durable unit that operators can use in severe conditions and job sites. It is highly resistant to water and dust, but it also seems quite powerful.

The maximum torque is 530 in-lbs while the speed setting allows you two different modes – one that goes up to 400RPM, and the other that can deliver 1,550RPM. It is worth noting that the product has overload and overheat protection.

The tool is quite light with 3.8 pounds of strength, and it utilizes an 18V battery that has fairly long battery life. The rubber grip should ensure a high level of comfort while minimizing fatigue.

The LED light could have been positioned better, and that affects getting a proper level of illumination when operating in dark areas. However, you can solve this by tilting the unit a bit, just as much as needed to keep maximum comfort.

Read the full review → Makita XFD061

3. WORX WX176L.1 Switchdriver 2-in-1 Cordless Drill and Driver

WORX-WX176L.1-Switchdriver-2-in-1-Cordless-Drill-and-DriverWorx designed a tool that seems incredibly light with its weight being a bit above three pounds. It contributes to both portability and maneuverability of the unit.

Users will also appreciate the soft grip and the integrated LED light to boost visibility. The chuck capacity is ¼” and the product comes with two HSS drill bits, and a 2” screwdriver bit, as well as a versatile 67-piece project kit.

The unit utilizes a 20V lithium battery, which might take up to five hours to charge, but you get two batteries so that you constantly have a power supply secured.

The maximum torque is 265in-lbs which is not as strong as some other units. However, the two variable speed settings and a maximum of 1,400RPM still ensure great versatility. Combined with the fact that you get an entire working kit, it makes this an excellent unit for all DIY enthusiasts out there.

Read the full review → WORX WX176L.1

4. Bosch DDB181-02 Compact Drill/Driver Kit Review

Bosch-DDB181-02-Cordless-Drill-Driver-Tool-SetBosch made a tool that is available with several different maximum torques, but we will focus on the medium strength one. This model delivers up to 350in-lbs of torque, as well as an adjustable speed trigger. The maximum speed is set at 1,300RPM.

It is interesting to note that the clutch has a total of 21 settings to enable higher control over the drill. The unit comes with an 18V battery, and you also get a charger. The tool is compatible with all the other batteries Bosch made in this category.

The total weight of the unit is just above three pounds, which makes it light. Add to that the soft grip, and you get a tool that even the beginners can use easily.

Overall, the drill delivers solid results, although it is undoubtedly an entry-level tool that doesn’t have all premium components.

Read the full review → Bosch Power Tools Kit DDB181-02

5. BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V MAX Drill / Driver

BLACK+DECKER-LDX120C-20V-Drill-DriverIf you are only entering the world of drilling, this unit may be a great choice for you. It is a budget-friendly tool that is great for beginners and DIY enthusiasts that mostly handle light projects.

The adjustable clutch with 11 different positions gives the operator complete control over the tool. It also makes the model versatile for plastic, wood, and metal, but please note it probably won’t handle too thick and too hard pieces.

The product has a chuck size of 3/8 inches and uses a 20V battery, which puts it into the category of large drill drivers. The maximum RPM is 650 while torque goes up to which may be modest compared to some other units.

The design of the unit is the classic mixture of orange and black that we often see in the tools made by Black+Decker.
Read the full review: BLACK+DECKER LDX120C

6. Milwaukee M12 12V 3/8-Inch Drill Driver

Milwaukee-M12-12V-3_8-Inch-Drill-DriverMilwaukee decided to make a compact-sized unit, which is the reason they included the 12V battery. They may have sacrificed battery life, but in return, you get a tool that weighs about two pounds, which makes it one of the lightest on our list.

That doesn’t take away a lot in terms of strength. The drill has a 275in-lbs peak torque and goes up to 1,500RPM. The limit decreases to 400RPM if you use the low-speed setting.

For the price, the unit is quite durable, and that was secured with the quality of components. A thing that stands out is the metal ratcheting chuck. Its size is set at 3/8 inches.

Although the tool is relatively small, the handle is ergonomic for optimal comfort. As we mentioned, the battery life is limited, but the gauge will constantly inform you how much fuel is there in the tank.

Read the full review → Milwaukee M12

7. Ryobi P208 One+ 18V Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver

Ryobi-P208-One+-Drill-DriverRyobi made another modest-rated drill that should deliver enough strength for an occasional user. It delivers a solid speed of up to 1,600 rotations per minute, as well as the two-speed setting for extra versatility.

The clutch has no less than 24 positions to allow you maximum control over the unit and prevent stripping the screws. The magnetic bit storage is an excellent accessory, and it can come in handy when working on ladders.

The chuck size is somewhat standard with ½ inches, but it is the simple bit replacement that is a great thing about this unit. You don’t need any tools to switch a bit, and the process only takes seconds. The only thing that it requires is a bit extra care to ensure that the bit was mounted properly.

You do not get batteries or charger with this unit, but you can order them separately.

Read the full review → Ryobi P208 One+

8. Greenworks 24V 2-Speed Cordless Compact Drill

Greenworks-24V-2-Speed-Cordless-Compact-DrillIt is the battery that makes this tool stand out as it utilizes a 24V power source. Thanks to that, it has a solid battery life, but it is also a bit heavier than other units. The tool weighs around seven pounds, which may increase the risk of fatigue when working it for hours.

It is a smart trade-off if you are looking for a powerful tool. Greenworks made a model that has peak torque set at 498RPM. The two variable settings are available with the maximum speed of 1,750RPM, and you can choose between 24 clutch adjustments to ideally suit the application you are drilling.

The chuck size is the standard ½ inches, and the LED light is there to improve the operator’s accuracy. Overall, this drill can be a great choice if you are looking for a strong model, and you don’t mind a couple of extra pounds.

Read the full review → Greenworks 37012B

9. Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Compact Drill Driver Kit

Dewalt-DCD771C2-20V-Compact-Drill-Driver-KitIt seems that DeWalt managed to balance quality and price optimally in this tool. The drill features two different speeds with the low setting going up to 450RPM and the high setting having the peak of 1,500RPM.

The unit is quite versatile and suitable for different materials, including wood, plastic, and metal. The chuck size is ½ inches while the grip is rubberized and feels quite soft.

The unit comes with a set of two batteries, as well as a charger. The case that you get is convenient and makes it easier to carry the tool from one job site to another.

A downside of the tool is that the battery life is not impressive. The total lifespan of the batteries is also not great, but what matters is that the tool is durable and can serve you for years to come.

Read the full review → Dewalt DCD771C2

10. Hi-Spec 18 V Pro Combo Cordless Drill Driver

Hi-Spec is another manufacturer that opted to offer an entire kit instead of only making a tool. The bit set has a total of 30 pieces to maximize the versatility of the unit.

The clutch is keyless, which makes bit replacement seamless and easy. Keep in mind that the tool belongs to the budget-friendly models, which means that you can’t expect exceptional quality. Regardless, the drill is capable of doing the job and is very versatile.

The tool offers a total of 17 positions and variable speed settings that go up to 550RPM. You will also notice a bit holder on the drill itself. It helps to have your favorite sizes on you, especially when you work in hard to reach the area.

As for the design, the red color dominates, but you will also notice black and gray. Finally, the tool is light and has a high portability level.

Cordless Drill Buying Guide

They say that cordless drills are among the strongest types of power drills, but if you want a reliable unit, you still need to pick it wisely. That is why you should carefully read our buying guide that aims to assist you in finding the best drill for your needs.

best cordless drill

What to Consider When Buying a Cordless Drill

Since finding the ideal cordless drill depends on the tool’s capabilities, but also your preference, we will list the crucial questions to ask when buying these units.

  • How to Choose the Desired Speed and Torque of the Cordless Drill?

    We are starting with a critical question, and we are doing that for a reason. The initial thing you want to consider is how you plan to use the tool you are buying.
    If you are a professional that often works with hard materials, you will need as much torque and speed you can get. On the other hand, if you are a DIY enthusiast that doesn’t plan to handle hard materials often, a modestly powerful unit should be enough. That way you can save some money and make the unit more affordable.

  • Why Do I Need Variable Speed Settings?

    Variable speed settings are something that most cordless drill drivers have these days. They are important because they ensure higher versatility and prolong the tool’s longevity.
    The idea is to adjust the speed based on the material you are drilling. That means you do not use excessive RPM if that is not necessary. It ensures you will get the job done right every time and prevent screw stripping or strapping.

  • What Is the Ideal Chuck Size?

    The chuck size will reveal you about the drill bits that you can use with a particular tool. Once again, your choice will depend on the plans you have for the model.
    If you are wondering about an average chuck size, most drill drivers these days come at the ½-inch size. It is an optimal size that should give you plenty of options and ensure versatility to suit the most individual, as well as professional users.

  • How Do I Discover If a Tool Has a Comfortable Grip?

    Yes, comfort is crucial, especially for amateur home users. You want a tool that guarantees ease of operation and fits comfortably into your hand. That is also important for professional operators as a comfortable grip will ensure they can work for hours with minimum fatigue.
    You should always look for a cordless drill driver that has an ergonomic grip. It indicates the manufacturer designed it while keeping in mind the shape of an average user’s hand size. Additionally, a non-slippery grip both promotes safety and increases comfort. Rubber is usually the preferred choice of manufacturers when it comes to preventing grips from slipping.

  • What Is the Company That Made the Tool?

    If you choose a reputable brand and a trustworthy manufacturer, you ensure several things. First, it guarantees you will get an original product with the specifications that are listed in the product description.

    Next, premium brands tend to make durable tools that are a long-term investment. The fact you know they will perform as expected means you can trust the unit. Therefore, the risk of ruining a workpiece or making an inadequate hole decrease.

    Some of the reputable brands on the cordless drill driver market include DeWalt, Black+Decker, Makita, Milwaukee, Bosch, Ryobi, etc.

Most Important Cordless Drill Driver Specs & Features

You can easily get lost in all those product descriptions filled with numbers and other different specifications. That is why we are listing the most important features you should focus on when making the decision on which unit to pick.

Here is a list of specifications crucial for a cordless drill driver.

  • Speed and Torque

    These two go hand in hand because they are equally important for the total power of the drill. As you might know, the torque goes up as the RPM (rotations per minute) increase, and vice versa.
    The general rule here is the more, the better. It means that a tool with a higher RPM can generate more torque and, therefore, deliver more power. The only downside is that extra strength usually comes with a higher price tag, so try to find the best balance.

  • Battery Life

    Cordless drills are portable units, which makes them perfect for moving around and working at different places. But if you want to maximize its benefits, you want a tool with admirable battery life. It is simple – you do not want to be running to the charger all the time. That is why you need a unit that uses a reliable and long-lasting battery.
    Additionally, stronger batteries will deliver more power, which will make them suitable even for demanding home improvement and other projects. We suggest checking out the specifications in terms of how long the manufacturer claims the battery will last, as well as recharge time, before settling down on a driver.

  • Chuck Size

    The chuck size will tell you more about the bit shank size the drill can handle. It will depend on your preference, but the average units use a ½” chuck. That should be enough for most projects as it delivers an adequate versatility level. You can drill both compact holes in wooden materials, as well as big holes in heavy materials like concrete.

Other Features to Consider

Your search for the desired cordless driver doesn’t end here. Buyers can consider many other features apart from the ones mentioned above. Here is what else can play a part in your purchasing decision:

  • Clutch

    a useful addition that allows you to modify the driving force to fit the material you are drilling. Once the tool finds an adequate force level, the clutch will prevent the driver from using extra rotational force because it won’t be necessary. That both protects the motor from overheating and prevents potential issues, such as snapping or stripping a screw.

  • LED light

    it can be a useful feature to lighten the workpiece, especially if you are working in areas with limited light.

  • Grip

    aside from it being comfortable, it is vital for it to be ergonomic and non-slippery.

  • Weight

    cordless units are generally light, but you want to find one whose weight suits you perfectly. In general, everything under or around five to ten pounds should be okay. Extra weight usually means more power, but it is all about your preference.

18 Volt vs 20 Volt Cordless Drill

If you set your mind on a cordless tool, it is because you are aware it will bring portability and ease of operation while minimizing fatigue. You probably know that even the highest quality cordless hammer drill on the market can’t deliver the same power as a corded unit, and that is the case with all other power tools, too.

But what about the choice you have between cordless models? You have two variants at your disposal – 18V and 20V – and the truth is they are quite similar. They use connected battery cells and are made in the same way.

As the name suggests, the crucial difference is in the voltage. What you should know is that cells that make these batteries have a 3.6V nominal rating and 4V maximum rating. The 18V tools will utilize the nominal, and 20V units the maximum rating.

cordless drill reviews-

How to Choose Between 18V and 20V Cordless Drill

The above discussion about the voltage may be confusing, but here are clear instructions on how to pick from these unit types:

  • Weight and size

    20V units should be larger and heavier, but they should also deliver more power. It depends on your preference and your plans for the unit. If you will frequently transport the unit between job sites, but you won’t drill any hard materials with it, a light unit is a perfect choice. But if you need some extra power, a heavier unit may be worth the hassle.

  • Torque and speed

    the general rule is that a 20V unit can provide higher speed than 18V, but you should still check the specifications of a particular drill.

  • Other features

    an adequate chuck size, neat additions like LED light, and other accessories are what makes a particular unit better than the others.

In short, 20V units are heavier, but they bring more power while 18V tools are easier to move around, but they may lack a bit in power. However, you should always check the other features of a drill driver, too, and not make a decision only based on the battery voltage.

Features of the Best Cordless Drill for Home Use

Are you planning to use your drill at home? If the answer is yes, here are some specific tips for all the DIY experts out there that need a cordless drill driver:

  • Don’t go for the most powerful units. The chances are you won’t need them as you will mostly focus on light home improvement projects.
  • It is all about comfort. You do not want a drill driver that doesn’t sit comfortably in your hand. You want one that will be easy to use. An ergonomic grip and a model that is not too heavy are the right combinations.
  • Versatility. The majority of cordless tools are still quite versatile, but make sure that the chuck size is big enough to allow a wide range of bits to be mounted on the unit.
  • Go for a LED light. If your workshop or garage is not well-lightened, a LED light can be of crucial help. Additionally, if you take the drill to another room to drill something in the corner or a hard to reach the spot, it can make your job easier if you illuminate the workpiece.

FAQs & Answers

Q: How to Charge a Cordless Drill Battery without a Charger?

A: It is not a pleasant situation to find yourself with a cordless drill with a drained battery and no charger around. Whether you forgot it somewhere else or it died, the alternative for a charger lies in finding another power source.

You may consider hooking the battery to the main power, but this is a dangerous process, so make sure to be careful. Alternatively, you can use the power of other batteries. In this case, you will need to secure a connector and enough batteries for the charging process. Connect the batteries in a series, and make sure to wrap the tape to hold everything in place tightly.

Now, it is time to attach the wires on both sides – the one where you left a negative side out, and the one where the positive side is out. Now, attach the battery you created to your drill battery – make sure you attach positive and negative sides with the same connections. You shouldn’t feel any funky smell or anything else weird. If you do, disconnect immediately to prevent any problems. If everything seems okay, be patient until the recharging process completes.

Q: Is It Better to Have a Cordless Drill or an Impact Driver?

A: It is never easy to say one or the other because it may come down to your preference. The cordless drill is undoubtedly among the most popular power tools and its benefits include:

  • A great choice for delicate projects that demand accuracy
  • Adjust speed and torque with a slip clutch
  • Suitable for an extensive selection of bits
  • Can hold many accessories

As each tool, they also have some cons, which include:

  • Not for those looking for a lot of power
  • Depending on the model, they might not be suitable for big fasteners

When it comes to impact drivers, they have a completely different working process than cordless drills. You can find out more about that in an impact driver buying guide, but first, take a look at the pros of the tool:

  • Easily drive screws into the hardest materials
  • Mixes torque and force to drive stubborn fasteners
  • Minimizes fatigue even when used for long

And here are the cons of these tools:

  • A high price
  • They can be quite noisy
  • Compatibility with drill bits is not impressive

Q: What Is the Difference Between Cordless and Corded Drills?

A: Although we are focusing on cordless models in this article, you can also find corded drill reviews if you think they would be a better fit.

The distinctive difference in the two is that the corded units have a cord and you can plug them directly into the power socket. As a result, they can deliver plenty of power, but they are dependent on the existence of outlets around you. Additionally, the cord length might not be long, and it can affect maneuverability.

Unlike that, cordless drills use batteries as a power source. While they might not deliver as much power as corded models, they are still very versatile. Their main advantage, however, is portability. The fact that you can easily move the unit around or take it to another job site is extremely convenient.

Many cordless units have long battery life, but you still have to monitor the remaining runtime so that it doesn’t give up on you at a crucial point. Fortunately, it is quick and easy to recharge the drill.

While you’re at it, have a look at our best drill press picks!

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Wrap Up

We have many good candidates for the best cordless drill on our list. As our buying guide indicates, your crucial consideration should be how you plan to use the unit.

If you are a professional user that wants a drill to use every day, you want a tool that is reliable in the long run. You also need one that minimizes fatigue and makes operating the tool effortlessly.

But if you are a DIY enthusiast that plans to work with the drill around the house and in your workshop, you may not need the most premium unit out there. In that case, it is worth checking out our cordless drill reviews for an affordable tool that presents a good value for money.

As long as you ensure that you make an informed buying decision, you won’t make a mistake. Thanks to our purchasing guide and reviews, you will easily choose the most suitable drill driver out there.

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