Looking for the best cordless drill? New features, power and battery life are light years ahead of just a few years ago. Understanding the differences and knowing what to look for is key to choosing a new cordless drill for your next project.
Cordless Drill Reviews 2014 Every household and contractor needs a powerful cordless drill to get the job done. Several features separate the best cordless drills from some of the lower-priced models including battery life, maximum rpm, and voltage. If you’re going to use your drill for little projects around the house then any of the cordless drills priced below $100.00 will probably be all you need.
Choosing the best cordless drill for your needs is a lot easier when you know what to look for. All of the models reviewed on this site are best sellers with good reviews from both industry experts and real customers as well. Simply decide what type of work you’ll be doing with your new drill, determine how much you want to spend and check out the different models featured here.
DEWALT DC970K-2 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit
This lightweight drill comes in at 5.2 lbs but boasts 18 volts of power for a 380 unit watt performance. These ratings alone make it one of the best cordless drills we reviewed. The dual-speed range motor can top out at either 450 or 1500 pm so you have more fine-tuned control of your speed. The 2 batteries included have above average battery life and can be fully recharged in one hour so you’ll never be stuck without power.
Compact, lightweight and easy to use for extended periods. The ½-inch (the largest of the top 3) ratcheting, keyless chuck feature is excellent and provides a much better grip on the bit. This particular kit comes with a contractor bag for safe and easy storage and transport. DEWALT offers a 90-day money-back guarantee as well as a 3-year warranty.
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Black & Decker BDC120VA100 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Drill Kit
We can’t stress enough the value of this kit. It comes with 100 accessories, including all-purpose bits, masonry bits, screw driving bits, sockets and more. Black & Decker even threw in 4 screws with anchors to get you started on your first project. (See the Accessories section of our buyer’s guide below for a full break-down of these accessories.)
The drill itself is powerful and compact despite being rated as a heavy-duty drill. At 20 volts, this was the most powerful cordless drill we selected in our top 3. The battery is a lithium-ion that takes about 3 hours to charge. However, the charge will hold in the battery for over a year, which is perfect for keeping the drill handy for unexpected repairs and other last-minute projects.
The 3/8-inch keyless clutch has 24 positions to prevent stripping. The handle includes a storage room for extra bits, which made changing out bits a lot faster and easier. Black & Decker offers a 2-year warranty on this drill. In addition, we know their battery pack can be swapped out with other Black & Decker cordless products, like their trimmers, chain saws, etc.
Makita LCT209W 12V max Lithium-Ion Cordless 2-Piece Combo Kit
This 2-piece compact drill kit is a real bargain among the products in our cordless drill reviews. You actually get two drills, two batteries (which charge in about 30 minutes), a charger and a sturdy metal case. One of the drills is designed as an impact drill, which makes it better for driving screws without pre-drilled holes.
The impact drill provides 800 in/lb of torque. The driver-drill functions as a normal cordless drill for creating holes and screwing in pre-drilled areas. The chucks have a 3/8-inch capacity. The impact drill has 2-speed settings, with a maximum of 2400 and 3000 rpm. The driver-drill is also 2-speed and tops out at 350 and 1300 pm.
The motors use 12 volts, which helps make them ultra-compact. Each drill weighs just over 2 pounds. Their compactness makes them easy to use in tight spaces, but they don’t compromise on power or quality. Makita offers a 3-year limited warranty on the drill itself. The batteries come with a one-year warranty.
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Features to look for when selecting the best cordless drill…
Light Duty If you’re looking to do summer projects around the house or light renovation, you’re probably going to need a drill that can handle light to medium duty. These projects can include things like putting new handles on kitchen cabinets, drilling drywall to hang curtains or paintings, or assembling furniture. For these projects, you want to look for a drill with at least 7.2 volts. However, the more voltage you have available, the better. You never know when you’ll need to screw through plywood for a quick home repair. If you don’t already have a collection of drill and screw bits, you’ll also want to consider a kit that includes enough accessories to get you started.
Medium Duty If you’re interested in heavier renovation, you need at least 12 volts of power. The kind of projects you can complete with this range including hanging drywall, drilling through hardwood and plywood, and installing or building cabinets. At this level of construction, you’ll probably want to look for a second battery to be included in your kit. You’ll also start adding some weight here with the motor and battery size. If you need to fit in small spaces or have limited movement in your hand, try to stick with compact medium-duty drills.
Batteries & Chargers
There are 3 things you want to look at when it comes to the power source of your cordless drill. The voltage, which we went over at the beginning of this article, is one factor. The second important factor is battery life. If you only plan to use the drill once in a while to hang paintings or replace the hardware on cabinet doors, you shouldn’t need too much battery life. However, if you’re considering undertaking a renovation or if you plan to use your drill for hobby building, you’ll want to look into the length of time your battery should last.
Accessories One of the reasons the Black & Decker drill made our top 3 cordless drill reviews was its extensive accessory kit. This is a great start to a new household’s tool collection, but it’s also a simple way to start over to replace missing or rusted bits with sharp and well-organized bits. Black & Decker set the standard with this collection. You can compare other models’ accessory add-ons to this list, but you’d be hard-pressed to find all of these bits for the same value.
Black & Decker BDC120VA100 Accessory List
(10) General Purpose drill bits, from 1/16” to ¼”
(5) Brad Point Drill Bits, from 1/8” to ¼”
(5) Masonry Drill Bits, from 1/8” to ¼”
(32) 1-inch Screwdriving Bits, including 4 styles (Philips, Slotted, Torx and Square)
(14) 2-inch Screwdriving Bits, including 4 styles (Philips, Slotted, Torx and Square)
(7) 3.5-inch Screwdriving Bits, including 2 styles (Philips and Square)
(5) ¼-inch Sockets, from 4 mm to 12 mm
(10) Nut drivers, from 3/16” to ½”
(1) Socket adaptor
(1) Magnetic Bit Tip Holder
(1) Drill Bit Gauge
Weight and Size Last but not least, you’ll want to look at the dimensions of your cordless drill. Most of these specifications can be found on any of the cordless drill reviews we’ve published Cordless Drill Reviews. Some weigh as little as 2 pounds, while others weigh upwards of 9 pounds. Think about how much weight you can comfortably hold, but make sure to factor in the power trade-off. If you need more power, you’ll likely have to handle more weight.
Determining the best cordless drill will depend on a number of factors including power, battery life, and weight. Most medium-duty drills, like the Makita 12 volt model are a good compromise for homeowners and do-it-yourselfers. The size and weight are also important, depending on what projects you expect to tackle.