Best Cordless Drill: Which Model Will Win?

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Whether you’re replacing your current drill, or you’re building out your cache of tools for the first time, a quality cordless drill is indispensable. But, with cordless tools more popular than ever, there’s a litany of different options on the market, each one promising to be the best drill for your needs.

Today, we’re going to help you narrow the field as we take a closer look at the best cordless drill options on the market from today’s top brands.

2019’s Best Cordless Drills

Without further delay, let’s dive right into the best cordless drill options that are available today. Whether you’re a seasoned professional, or a novice looking for a budget drill, this list has you covered.

ImageProductPrice
Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Cordless Lithium-Ion 1/2 inch Compact Drill Driver KitTOP RATEDDeWalt DCD771C2
  • from $110.00
CLICK HERE TO BUY
Bosch Power Tools Drill Kit DDB181-02 - 18V Compact Drill/Driver Kit with 2 Lithium Ion Batteries, 18V Charger, & Soft Carry Contractor Bag - Great For Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC TradesmanBosch DDB181-02
  • $98.19
CLICK HERE TO BUY
SKIL 20V 1/2 Inch Cordless Drill Driver, Includes 2.0Ah PWRCore 20 Lithium Battery and Charger - DL527502SKIL DL527502
  • $69.99
CLICK HERE TO BUY
BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V MAX Lithium Ion Drill / DriverBUDGET PICKBLACK+DECKER LDX120C
  • $49.00
CLICK HERE TO BUY
Makita FD07R1 12V MAX CXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Driver-Drill Kit, 3/8'Makita FD07R1
  • $153.72
CLICK HERE TO BUY

Last update on 2019-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

DeWalt DCD771C2

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Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Cordless Lithium-Ion 1/2 inch Compact Drill Driver Kit
  • Compact, lightweight design fits into tight areas
  • High performance motor delivers 300 unit watts out (UWO) of power ability completing a wide range of applications
  • High speed transmission delivers 2 speeds (0-450 & 1,500 rpm) for a range of fastening and drilling applications

Last update on 2019-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The DCD771C2 is DeWalt’s most popular cordless drill, and it’s an excellent option for serious home improvement enthusiasts, as well as experienced contractors and tradespeople.

This drill works on DeWalt’s 20V lithium-ion platform, which boasts over 180 different tools that all work with the same 20V batteries. If you already own DeWalt power tools, or if you plan on adding more tools to your collection in the future, it makes a great deal of sense to go with one company so you can use the batteries for multiple tools.

DeWalt also makes a broad range of 20V batteries from compact 1.5AH options up to heavy-duty 9AH batteries which provide significantly more power and run time.

The DCD771C2 also boasts an impressive cache of features, including a two-speed transmission that works at either 0-450rpm or 1,500rpm for maximum versatility. A high-performance motor delivers 300UWO (unit watts out) which makes this drill ideal for virtually any drilling or driving application.

Rounding out this drill is an easy to grip ergonomic handle, and a keyless ½” chuck with adjustable clutch. DeWalt includes a charger, two 20v batteries, and a carrying case, and they stand behind their drill with a lengthy 3-year warranty.

What We Like

  • More than ample power for any job
  • Two-speed transmission
  • Includes two batteries
  • Strong warranty

What Could Be Better

  • Mediocre runtime (consider upgrading to larger batteries)
  • A bit heavy for a compact drill

Bosch DDB181-02

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Bosch Power Tools Drill Kit DDB181-02 - 18V Compact Drill/Driver Kit with 2 Lithium Ion Batteries, 18V Charger, & Soft Carry Contractor Bag - Great For Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC Tradesman
  • COMPACT: Most compact cordless 18-Volt power drill driver, 3 lbs. of lightweight design allows for optimal handling in even the tightest...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Lightest weight 18V cordless battery powered compact drill driver for more efficiency and less fatigue during the toughest...
  • HIGH TORQUE AND SPEED: High torque and speed at only 3 lbs., The Bosch DDB181-02 provides 350 lbs. of optimized torque for powerful...

Last update on 2019-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bosch is a well-established provider of premium power tools, and their DDB181-02 drill delivers value and performance that’s as well suited for occasional use as it is for use by seasoned pros.

The DDB181-02 is compact and lightweight, making it ideal for use in tight quarters, but it still packs an ample punch for handling bigger jobs. This drill delivers 350lbs of torque and has a two-speed transmission that operates at 400 or 1,300 RPM.

This drill is compatible with Bosch’s full line of 18V power tools, so you’ll be able to use the included 18V battery across a wide range of tools from drills and drivers to saws, blowers, work lights and more.

Included in this kit are the DBD181-02 drill, 18v lithium ion battery, charger, and a carrying case. The included battery provides 1.5ah, so it’s certainly on the smaller side in terms of power and capacity.

Bosch also has an upgraded battery line, the CORE18V which provides significantly more power and runtime, but at an upgraded price. If you like Bosch’s tools, you’ll want to look into this more powerful battery as the runtime and power of the stock batteries leaves a lot to be desired.

Rounding out this drill is an ergonomic handle, 20 position clutch and a keyless ½” chuck for easy bit changes. Bosch backs this drill with a 1-year warranty.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Includes battery, charger, and case
  • Compact and lightweight

What Could Be Better

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Mediocre warranty

SKIL DL527502

SKIL 20V 1/2 Inch Cordless Drill Driver, Includes 2.0Ah PWRCore 20 Lithium Battery and Charger - DL527502
  • EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GET STARTED-Cordless drill set comes with a PWRCore 20 2.0Ah Lithium Battery and 20V Charger.
  • THE GO-TO DIY DRILL-This cordless drill is the perfect tool for everyday needs like tightening screws, drilling into surfaces and more.
  • LONGER RUN TIME & BATTERY LIFE-The PWRCore 20 Lithium Battery has an innovative temperature management system to keep the battery cool and...

Last update on 2019-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With the DL527502. SKIL blends performance and incredible ease of use to make one of the most popular and powerful compact cordless drills available today. Best of all, they do so at a price point that won’t break the bank.

One of the most noteworthy features of this drill is that it uses the SKIL PWRCore 20 battery, which provides more power and runtime than virtually all of the batteries that are included as standard equipment with the drills on this list. This battery also has an innovative temperature management system designed to reduce battery temperature while increasing battery life.

A two-speed transmission provides ample power, operating at 0-420 or 1,450 RPM. This drill delivers 177lbs of torque, which is more than ample for virtually any job you’ll be tackling with this drill. A 17-position clutch helps reduce motor wear while increasing effectiveness.

As for using the drill, users are sure to love the ergonomic grip, ½” keyless chuck, lightweight construction, and onboard LED work light that illuminates the surface both before and after the drill is engaged. SKIL backs this drill with an impressive five-year warranty on the tool itself, with a two-year warranty on the battery and charger.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Onboard lighting
  • Impressive warranty
  • Above average runtime and power

What Could Be Better

  • Only includes one battery
  • Doesn’t include case

BLACK+DECKER LDX120C

BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V MAX Lithium Ion Drill / Driver
  • Ideal for drilling into wood, metal plastic and all screw driving tasks
  • Chuck Size: 3/8 in; Clutch Setting: 11; Included Components: (1) LDX120 Drill/Driver, (1) LBX20 20V MAX* Lithium Ion Battery, (1) LCS20...
  • Lithium Ion Technology & 20V MAX: Lighter, more compact, no memory, longer life

Last update on 2019-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Not everyone needs professional quality construction or a litany of added features. Some of us are looking for an easy-to-use drill for occasional projects that’s both reliable and affordable. If that sounds like you, the LDX120C from BLACK+DECKER may be ideal for you.

This drill is part of BLACK+DECKER’s 20v lithium-ion system, so it’s compatible with all of the other tools from this line, including B&D’s popular line of lawn and yard tools. This kit includes one 20v battery and charger.

As for performance, this drill features a single speed transmission with a maximum of 650 RPM. It delivers 115 pounds of torque. While it may be underpowered for more demanding tasks, it’s perfectly suited for basic maintenance and home improvement projects.

The drill is comfortable in hand and light enough to hold during longer projects without fatigue. It features a keyless ⅜” chuck and an 11-position clutch. An LED work light illuminates your work surface, allowing you to work more precisely.

Overall, the LDX120C lacks the power and high-level features of the other drills on this list, but it’s available for around half the price of most of the drills we’ve covered. While some people may find it underwhelming, those who just need a basic drill for occasional use are sure to love the LDX120C. BLACK+DECKER backs this drill with a two-year warranty.

What We Like

  • Exceptionally affordable
  • Onboard work light
  • Compatible with all BLACK+DECKER 20v tools

What Could We Better

  • Limited power
  • Only ⅜” chuck

Makita FD07R1

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Makita FD07R1 12V MAX CXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Driver-Drill Kit, 3/8"
  • Compact and ergonomic design at only 6-1/16" long
  • Weighs only 2.3 lbs. with battery for reduced operator fatigue
  • BL Brushless Motor delivers 280 in.lbs. of Max Torque

Last update on 2019-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Makita has a long-standing reputation as an industry leader when it comes to power tools, and their FD07R1 cordless drill is a favorite among serious homeowners and dedicated tradespeople alike.

While this drill may seem underpowered compared to the competition, (it uses a 12V battery system instead of 20V) it performs like a proven champ, and it’s the go-to drill for many contracting professionals.

This drill features a two-speed transmission that operates at up to 450 RPM or 1,500 RPM. The brushless motor delivers an impressive 280 pounds of torque. With no carbon brushes to get in the way, this motor runs significantly cooler and more efficiently, which safeguards the tool for longer life.

At around 2 ½ pounds without a battery, it’s a bit heavier than most compact drills. Most users seem to appreciate the heavier build, which feels like it will last a lifetime. This drill also includes a hardshell carrying case to keep it protected when it’s not in use. Altogether, the kit consists of the drill, one battery, one charger, and the case. Makita backs it with a 3-year warranty.

While this drill is incredibly capable, it does have a few downsides. For one, the 12V battery system delivers less power and runtime than a comparable 20V battery, and the chuck on this drill is only ⅜” which will limit your ability to use larger bits.

What We Like

  • Top of the line performance
  • Impressive torque
  • Brushless motor for increased life

What Could Be Better

  • Only ⅜” chuck
  • Runs on 12V, not 20V

Cordless Drill Buyers Guide

Whether you opt for one of the great drills we’ve covered above, or you’re thinking about different options that weren’t included here, there are some things you’ll want to consider when you’re evaluating each drill. Depending on your needs, you’ll be able to narrow your drill search by considering these

Power

One of the most important things you’ll want to consider is how much power the drill can generate. The power of a cordless drill is measured in battery voltage. While drills originally topped off at 9.6V, today’s drills often utilize 18V or 20V power systems. You’ll also find drills in several other voltages from 6 to 20.

The higher the voltage, the more torque the drill should be able to generate at the top end. But, this is just a general rule; you’ll find top of the line 12V drills that create more torque than a budget-priced 20V model.

Depending on the projects you’re planning on tackling, you may be able to get away with a less powerful drill. For most tasks, an 18 or 20V drill makes the most sense.

Motor & Transmission

The motor and transmission of a drill are also crucial areas to take a closer look at.

A multi-speed transmission will allow you to drill or drive at two or more speeds, which can be very helpful depending on the project you’re working on. Cheaper drills tend to only work at a single speed.

When it comes to the motor, you’ll want to look for one that’s powerful enough to tackle all the tasks you’ll use it for. For most people, something around 1,400 RPM or higher is ideal for any job they’ll need their drill for.

Another area to look at regarding the motor is whether or not it features brushless construction. Brushless motors eliminate the physical connection between the motor’s components, which results in reduced friction and energy consumption. As such, brushless drills tend to last significantly longer while also delivering greatly improved battery life.

While more and more brushless drills are becoming available, which increases competition and drives down prices, brushless drills are still considerably more expensive than their less advanced competition. But, if you’ll be using the drill often, or if you’re a professional, it’s worth the extra investment to go brushless.

Clutch

If there’s a feather in the cap of cordless drills compared to electric models, it’s the inclusion of a clutch, a feature that’s absent on electric drills.

The clutch is located behind the chuck of the drill, and it allows the user to select a specific resistance where the drill will disengage the driveshaft. Once this level of resistance is reached, the drill will make a clicking sound, and the bit will stop turning.

Not only will this help prevent you from overdriving, but it will keep you from stripping screws and hardware as well. While those are two cool added features, the real benefit of a clutch may be that it protects the motor and extends the lifespan of your drill.

Top of the line cordless drills will have 20 or more settings on the clutch so that you can dial in an exact level of resistance. But even cheaper drills which feature fewer settings can still be quite useful.

Chuck Size

The size of the chuck refers to the maximum size of bit the drill can accommodate. You’ll find both ⅜” and ½” chuck sizes available. The vast majority of bits will work with a ⅜” chuck, but a small number of larger and specialized bits require a ½” chuck. If possible, opt for a drill with a ½” chuck, which will provide the most versatility.

Batteries

Lastly, you’ll want to consider the batteries. While you may still find tools that use nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride batteries, lithium-ion batteries have since become the industry standard, and every device we covered uses Li-ion power. In short, avoid the latter two options and go straight for the lithium-ion powered tools.

Usually, a drill will include at least one battery, unless you’re buying a bare tool because you already own compatible batteries.

Keep in mind that not all batteries are created equally. For most batteries, you’ll notice two numbers: the voltage, which will indicate the amount of torque the tool can generate, and the amp hours, which will show the batteries runtime.

Batteries with fewer amp hours provide less runtime than batteries with more. However, batteries with longer run times are bulkier and more cumbersome. Depending on the type of projects you tackle, you’ll likely find that the sweet spot exists somewhere in the middle. A battery in the 2-3ah range will provide extended tool life without adding a ton of extra weight to the tool.

Another feature to look for is a ‘fuel gauge’ on the battery. Many top manufacturers provide these power gauges to help you visualize how much juice is left in your battery. If you’ve ever climbed up a ladder only to find out your drill had about 10 seconds of life left in it, this is a feature you already know the value of.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which voltage is best for a cordless drill?

A: The answer to this question will depend on the type of projects you’ll be using the drill for. For basic home improvement tasks, like assembling furniture or drilling holes in wood, a 12 or 18-volt drill should be sufficient. But, for bigger jobs or more frequent use, a 20-volt drill may suit you best.

Q: Why buy a drill with a brushless motor?

A: Brushless motors generate less friction and operate more smoothly and efficiently than motors with brushes. This translates to longer motor life, and longer battery life as well. Brushless motors are ideal for professionals and serious home improvement enthusiasts.

Q: Who has the longest lasting batteries?

A: You’ll find that most manufacturers batteries get about the same amount of battery life. Most manufacturers also make larger batteries which provide longer tool life. If you’re concerned with battery life, a battery with high amp-hours may be your best bet. But, buyer beware, larger batteries are significantly heavier than smaller ones.

Final Verdict

Each of the drills we covered today is high-quality, built to last tools that should make a great addition to your toolbox. But there can only be one winner, so we selected our favorite model as the best cordless drill. Our #1 choice for the best cordless drill is the DeWalt DCD771C2.

Sale
Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX Cordless Lithium-Ion 1/2 inch Compact Drill Driver Kit
  • Compact, lightweight design fits into tight areas
  • High performance motor delivers 300 unit watts out (UWO) of power ability completing a wide range of applications
  • High speed transmission delivers 2 speeds (0-450 & 1,500 rpm) for a range of fastening and drilling applications

Last update on 2019-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This DeWalt drill delivers impressive performance by virtually every measure. It generates an impressive amount of torque, and it has the power you need to tackle more demanding jobs. This drill is comfortable to use, and it includes an extra battery and carrying case. It’s also backed by DeWalt’s strong 3-year warranty.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you can’t go wrong with the SKIL DL527502, which packs many top-of-the-line features despite coming in at around half the price of our favorite DeWalt drill. Which drill will you choose? Tell us in the comments.

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