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Cordless drills… an essential tool for the avid DIYer to the professional contractor.
But, with so many options, finding the drill that suits your needs can be hard.
We have compiled the following guide which features some of the top cordless drills on the market along.
There is also a comprehensive buying guide to further assist you in the decision-making process.
Note: The drills we listed will be suitable for most people, however, if you’re looking for a cordless drill that packs more of punch for harder surfaces like brick or concrete, then you will want to check out our guide on the best cordless hammer drills here.
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
On this page:
The Best Cordless Drill with Reviews for 2019
Here is a list of some of the best cordless drills we found:
1. DEWALT DCD991B 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill
- Superb power and torque
- 3 speed options
- Comes with a belt hook and auxiliary handle
Not so Good
- Battery sold separately
- Can get hot when running high speed for long periods
Our choice for best pick amongst cordless drills goes to the DEWALT DCD991B. It features an extremely powerful 20V brushless motor that delivers 820 UWO and a heavy-duty ½’’ ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck for exceptional bit grip strength.
While most cordless drills are capable of two speeds the DCD991B features a three-speed gearbox that can produce speeds of 0 – 450, 0 – 1,300 and 0 – 2,000 RPM. This allows for improved run times and quick application for a variety of tasks.
The 3 mode LED lighting function is up to 20x brighter than previous models to help illuminate those dark and confined working conditions. Along with the drill itself, you get a belt hook and 360-degree side handle. Battery sold separately and it can get hot at sustained high speeds.
The unquestionable power of the DeWalt DCD991B backed by the stand out 3 speed all metal transmission and comprehensive LED system make it a great fit for all skill levels. It certainly lives up to the DeWalt brand name!
2. CRAFTSMAN CMCD700C1 V20 Cordless Drill Kit
- Battery and charger included
- Quick charging battery
- Excellent value
Not so Good
- There are lighter options
- The included battery is only 1.3Ah
The Craftsman CMCD700C1 strikes the perfect balance between affordability and performance. The 20V lithium-ion drill delivers 280 UWO and features a ½’’ keyless chuck for quick and easy bit changes.
The two gear speeds vary from 0 – 350 and 0 – 1,500 RPM with several clutch positions to select the ideal setting for your project. LED light feature with 3 LEDs improves visibility in dim work conditions.
Quick charging battery with a charging time of 60 minutes or less. Comes with a 20V max lithium-ion battery with high-performance cells and a charger. Weighs slightly more than other cordless drills and the included battery is only 1.3Ah.
If you’re a tradesman or homeowner in need of a good value cordless drill, the Craftsman CMCD700C1 will not let you down. You won’t find a better assortment and quality of features for the price.
3. BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V MAX Lithium Ion Drill
- Excellent low price
- Super light
- Precise drilling
Not so Good
- Don’t expect contractor levels of power
- Not suitable for heavy use
If you’re in the market for the best budget cordless drill possible, you’ve found it with the BLACK+DECKER LDX120C. The 20v max lithium-ion powered drill comes with an 11 position clutch to prevent stripped screws and offer precise control while drilling into wood, plastic and metal.
Chuck size of 3/8’’. The variable speed feature allows countersinking without damaging the material you are working with. Lightweight and compact design for longer use and reduced user fatigue.
Included with the drill is a 20v max lithium-ion battery, 1-Lcs20 charger and a double-ended bit. There are more powerful cordless drills out there and as such isn’t suited to heavy use.
The BLACK+DECKER LDX120C is perfect for DIY home projects and for the price you won’t find anything that comes close. There is a reason why this drill is a hit with thousands of customers, why not find out for yourself!
4. Kobalt KDD524B-03 24V Max 1/2-in Cordless Brushless Drill
- Comes with plenty of useful accessory’s
- Very powerful
- Optional use side handle
Not so Good
- The included battery takes a while to charge
- Battery life isn’t as good as other drills on this list
The Kobalt 24-Volt Max Lithium Ion can produce 650lbs of peak torque and the two speed gearbox is capable of speeds from 0 – 550 and 0 – 2,000 RPM allowing for a variety of applications. 23 clutch settings allow you to adjust force output to match the job at hand.
Chuck size of ½’’.Includes a 24V max 2.0Ah Li-ion battery and charger, bit holder, auxiliary handle, belt clip, double-ended driver bit and a soft bag. The included battery takes a while to charge and doesn’t last for a long duration.
If pure power and torque are top at your list of priorities the Kobalt 24-Volt Max Lithium Ion won’t let you down. However, the tradeoff is a reduction in battery life, and with the long charge times, this can become an issue. Having a couple of compatible batteries for this drill would be a smart idea.
5. Milwaukee 2801 M18 18V Brushless Cordless 1/2 Inch Compact Drill
- Super lightweight
- All metal gear case
- Well balanced & easy to use
Not so Good
- Reverse switch hard to reach for left-handers
- Would benefit from greater battery capacity
Optimized for efficiency, the Milwaukee M18 2801-20 is an 18v lithium-ion brushless cordless drill capable of delivering 500lbs of peak torque. Two variable speed options of 0 – 450 and 0 – 1,800 RPM open up a wide variety of drilling and fastening options.
Coming in at just 2.5lbs the M18 is a great choice for individuals intending on using it for overhead applications and long projects. An all-metal gear case and ½’’ metal chuck offers superb durability.
The LED light provides sight when the drill is powered on. Left-handers may struggle to operate the reserve switch and the drill would benefit from greater battery capacity.
The Milwaukee M18 2801-20 is a smooth running cordless drill ideal for a variety of applications both around the home and work sites.
6. DEWALT DCD791B 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill
- Ergonomic comfort grip handle
- Compact and comfy design
- 3 year limited warranty
Not so Good
- Battery sold separately
- Chuck can sometimes stick
The brushless motor of the DEWALT DCD791B delivers up to 57% increased run time over a traditional brushed motor. High-speed transmission with 2-speed settings of 0 – 550 and 0 – 2,000 RPM.
You get brilliant bit gripping strength from the ½’’ metal ratcheting chuck and the ergonomic handle provides excellent tool control and grip.
Also included is a 3 mode LED lighting function which proves essential for working in dark and confined areas. 3-year limited warranty. Comes with a belt hook. Batteries are sold separately. The chuck can occasionally stick.
The DEWALT DCD791B is slightly more affordable than our top pick the DEWALT DCD991B. Although not quite at the same level it maintains plenty of features to keep a lot of people happy.
7. Makita XFD12Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2" Drill
- Efficient & powerful BL brushless motor
- Excellent dust and water resistance
- Rubberized soft grip handle
Not so Good
- Careful when changing and tightening the drill bit
- 2.0Ah battery sold separately
The brushless motor of the Makita XFD12Zproduces up to 530lbs of max torque and is electronically controlled for optimal battery usage and run times. A two-speed transmission allows for a wide range of drilling with speeds of 0 – 500 and 0 – 2,000 RPM.
In-house LEDs with afterglow illumination your work environment to ensure you don’t make a single mistake. The extreme protection technology (XPT) results in brilliant dust and water resistance, great for working in a variety of harsh conditions.
A rubberized handle offers added comfort during those longer jobs. Take care tightening the drill bit into the chuck, even on the slow speed setting the drill is quick to respond upon touching the trigger. Batteries sold separately.
The Makita XFD12Z has you covered when it comes to power. Need to drill ½’’ holes into some 4×4 posts, no problem. The efficient power of the XFD12Z is supported by an ergonomic, lightweight and well-balanced design that makes it a dream to use for first-time cordless drill owners.
8. PORTER-CABLE PCC608LB 20V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver
- 3-year limited warranty
- Compact & lightweight design
- Rubber over mold grip
Not so Good
- Does not have a battery gauge
- Not designed for heavy use
You’re getting a lot for your money with the PORTER-CABLE PCC608LB. It features a high torque20V brushless motor with a power output of 360 MWO. The transmission generates speeds of up to 1,700 RPM for quick fastening and drilling.
The LED light feature is positioned for optimal illumination in those dark working conditions. Chuck size is ½’’. Compact and lightweight design allows it to be used in tight work areas. Comes with 2 x PCC681L 20v batteries, charger and double-sided bit.3 year limited warranty. Does not have a battery gauge.
The PORTER-CABLE PCC608LBis a great entry-level cordless drill for beginner to intermediate users looking for a well-priced cordless drill. It packs sufficient power for any job that may crop up around the house and the light compact design allows every job to run smoothly.
When deciding on which cordless drill to go with, there are many factors you must take into account. Below we have highlighted the most important
Brushed v Brushless Motor
I am sure you noticed the term ‘brushless’ being used a lot for a number of the above drills when referring their motors. The reason is simple, they are much better than the traditional ‘brushed’ motor that has been used in tools for years.
Due to the carbon design of a brushless motor, they do not generate friction and therefore run much cooler. They also match RPM and torque output with the changing demands of the task at hand.
Overall you are getting improved performance, efficiency and longevity. As a result, brushed motors are starting to becoming obsolete and slowly phased out of the power tool market.
The chuck is the slot at the front of a drill where the drill bit is inserted. This means the size or diameter of drill bit you can use is limited to the chuck size of your drill. Common chuck sizes include 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 of an inch. If you plan to drill into metal consider a ½’’ chuck so you can use larger drill bits.
Of course, the battery capacity of a cordless drill is very important. On paper, a drill may look great but if the battery capacity is low you’ll find yourself having to constantly change it out for a fresh one. Capacity is measured in ‘Ah’ or amps per hour.
For example, a 1.5Ah battery offers 1.5 amps of current for one hour. If the drill using that battery draws all 1.5Ah, the battery will last an hour. A drill drawing 0.75 amps should last 2 hours on that same battery.
What is the difference between 18v and 20v drills?
Battery packs consist of individual battery cells. These cells are always grouped in 5s. Every cell has two voltage ratings; maximum (4v) and nominal (3.6v). Maximum refers to a battery that is fully charged and idle whereas nominal voltage refers to the battery while it is in use. Let’s do some simple math’s.
5 battery cells X 4 volts each = 20v
5 battery cells X 3.6 volts each = 18v
Back to the question at hand, what is the difference between 18v and 20v drills? The answer, nothing. It ultimately comes down to how the manufacturer wants to market their drill, e.g. DeWalt and Black + Decker label their drills at 20v while other major manufacturers like Makita and Milwaukee use 18v.
Remember, the only difference here is maximum or nominal, don’t be fooled by this underhand marketing tactic!
As touched on above, amp hours tell us how much fuel a battery has. This is no different when it comes to lithium-ion batteries. A higher capacity li-ion battery such as a 4Ah technically has twice the power duration of a 2Ah, however, it is twice as heavy. As li-ion batteries are known for their fast charging abilities it may be worth sacrificing capacity for a lighter user experience and going for the smaller option.
Charger and Charge Indicator
For optimal performance, lithium-ion batteries must be charged under accurate conditions. The only way to do this is to have a charger with an indicator light that provides real-time feedback on the current status of your batteries. Some brands even offer indicators lights on the actual battery.
Other Useful Features
Further features that add to the user experience to be on the lookout for include;
Don’t overlook the importance of a good LED lighting function on your cordless drill. You never know when the power might go out and you need to perform some emergency DIY. LEDs are also great to use while working in confined areas that are naturally dim. Avoid mistakes and make sure your cordless drill features LEDs!
A belt hook can make jobs a whole lot safer and more efficient. By putting your drill back on your tool belt you can stop laying it down on the floor where they are a potential trip hazard and at risk of breakage. You’ll also save time switching between tools, allowing you to complete your job as soon as possible.
Wrapping it up
These are, in our opinion, the top cordless drills on offer at the moment. A good cordless must have sufficient power to complete a variety of tasks, be easy to handle and reliable. All 8 drills on this list deliver on all three in their own unique way.
However, after hours of research, our best pick must go to the DEWALT DCD991B. There is no single area where this cordless drill falters. From the high power and efficiency brushless motor, heavy-duty carburized metal chuck and 3-speed transmission, it truly offers the complete package.
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