Choosing the Best Cordless Drill

Choosing the Best Cordless Drill


Cordless drills have endless amounts of uses for handymen and professionals in all areas. Whether you’re just getting started on your first DIY project or are looking to replace an existing tool in your kit, you want to make sure you make the right choice. A cordless model is much more versatile than that of an electric one, and the battery technology has come a long way in recent years, so you can rest assured knowing you’ll have enough juice for the job. We looked at over a dozen of different models and brands and compiled a list of these five for you to choose from. Read on to pick the right one for your needs.

Most Powerful


Hitachi DS18DBFL2 Hitachi’s brushless cordless drill does not mess around. This green machine will certainly pack enough power to get whatever job done that you need it to. The Hitachi packs a punch of 620in/lbs of torque, and up to 1800RPM. The brushless motor provides this amount of power while mitigating energy loss, allowing the batteries to last longer, even when operating at such a high speed and torque. While there is a regular brushed motor version that is more affordable, the brushless provides less power and battery performance. You don’t need a tool to change out bits so you can work on the fly, and there are 22 torque settings you can precisely adjust to get the right torque for the job so you don’t strip your screws while you work. The two included lithium ion batteries are lightweight and won’t fade away like older models. They charge quickly so you won’t have to wait around for one to charge, as long as you swap them out as you go. The trigger-activated LED work light is another great feature that just makes your life a whole lot easier. If you want the most powerful cordless drill that also has a ton of great features, this is a great option.

Notable Features: Very powerful, good battery life, LED work light, two batteries included
Key Specs: 620in/lbs torque, max. 1800RPM, 18V/1.5Ah batteries (Full specs here)



Most Lightweight

Bosch DDB181 If you’re going to be using your tools for long periods of time (as almost all of you most likely will be), you’re going to inevitably get a little tired. At just 3lbs, this Bosch is the lightest andmost compact model you can get your hands on. Being so slight, it allows you to get into those hard to reach areas much easier. And if you’re ever working often above your head like for electricians, HVAC techs or when working with drywall, being so light makes it perfect for long use. The LED light allows you work easily in darker or enclosed spaces. Despite being small and lightweight, it can still provide ample power as well, with a maximum torque of 350in/lbs and 1300RPM. Of course it’s not nearly the most powerful, but that may not be necessary for some folks and thats the tradeoff you should expect. Battery life is great, since the two included lithium-ion 18V batteries hold a significant amount of charge. This lightweight tool is an awesome buy for household use and also for professionals who want something smaller and compact that easily fits in smaller pouches and kits and can be used in tighter areas.

Notable Features: Lightweight and compact, great battery life, LED work light, two batteries included
Key Specs: 350in/lbs torque, max. 1300RPM, 18V/1.5Ah batteries (Full specs here)


Best Battery Life


Makita XPH102 Makita tools are always in the consideration for top choices in any class, and this is no exception. What sets this Makita apart from the other drills on our list is the difference in their batteries. It uses 18V batteries similar to the others, but it is a 3.0Ah battery as opposed to 1.5Ah. The Ah unit (amp-hour) is a measure of how long (in hours) a battery can provide a specified amount of current (standard is 1 amp). You won’t actually get 1.5 or 3.0 hours of use from either of these batteries, because using the drill normally drains power at a faster rate than just one 1 amp. But, you CAN use the two numbers to compare between the two. In other words, a 3.0Ah battery should (all other things being equal) last twice as long as 1.5Ah battery, with the only drawback being they will be heavier due to the larger size. Besides its impressive battery life, the Makita still holds its own with a maximum torque of 600in/lbs and 1900RPM. The batteries charge quickly and the LED work light keeps your work illuminated. Overall this is an awesome choice for those that need the extra battery life and don’t want to spend time swapping batteries.

Notable Features: Longest lasting batteries, fast recharge, LED work light, single battery included
Key Specs: 400in/lbs torque, max. 1500RPM, 18V 3.0Ah battery (Full specs here)


Most Affordable

black and decker

Black & Decker LDX120C Sometimes you don’t actually care about having the most powerful model or the longest lasting battery. While quality often decreases along with price, some folks may just need something to get the job done and aren’t as worried about how it may last over time or perform in more difficult scenarios. If that sounds like you, then this Black & Decker is potentially the choice for you. While it only produces 115in/lbs of torque and a maximum of 650RPMs, this is still enough power for most simple and basic household uses. Despite the smaller 1.0Ah battery, it still provides decent battery life since the drill itself draws less power. The plastic feels thin and cheap, but that’s just another area where you’re saving on price – as always, you get what you pay for. That being said, what it lacks in power and build quality, it makes up for with its lightweight and ergonomic design. While you shouldn’t expect anything close to a professional-grade tool, if you just need a simple and basic tool for light jobs around the house, this is a great affordable option.

Notable Features: Very affordable, lightweight, LED work light
Key Specs: 115in/lbs torque, max. 650RPM, 20V/1.0Ah battery (Full specs here)


Best All-Around


Dewalt DCD771C2 While we’ve chosen in this list each cordless drill that is the best in each of our categories, we’ve also taken the time to select one that is the greatest combination of each: power, battery life, price and weight. While it may not be the best in any of those categories, it’s above average in each. This Dewalt has a maximum torque of 300in/lbs and 1500RPM which is an ample amount of power for most jobs around the house and lighter worksite needs. The 20V 1.3Ah batteries provides comparable battery life to the other 1.5Ah batteries on the list. There are two of the lithium-ion batteries included, so you can always have one charging and never stop working. And, at 3.6lbs it’s about the same weight as most of the others (not including the Bosch) though maybe slightly on the heavier side. And, like the others it features a LED work light. Overall, for this combination of features and specifications at the price point, you won’t find much better.

Notable Features: Affordable, light and compact, powerful enough for most uses, LED work light
Key Specs: 300in/lbs torque, max. 1500RPM, 20V/1.3Ah batteries (Full specs here)