Best Cordless Drills 2016
The corded drills are very powerful and it is very difficult for a cordless variants to beat the level of torque that former can generate. One big drawback of a corded drill, is that you have to carry the cord around your job site while working, which can be very inconvenient. The cordless options offers high level of mobility as it runs on battery and does not require any cords.
For people looking to buy this tool and searching for reviews and buying guide , you must understand, that it is not that difficult to get overwhelmed by different varieties of models available in market. It can be a bit frustrating experience for people to figure out the right model by evaluating the different features on their own. It is important to know that even the high priced, feature packed model can be poor on performance.
Cordless drills are very popular and versatile, it is a must have power tool for your home or job site. Because this tool does not require any cord or power connection, you can use them in indoor as well as outdoor environments. This tool can be easily used to bore holes or fasten screws in different types of materials. The drills, which come with high torque (turning force) capacity will allow you to fasten screws in harder surfaces.
Before you choose a variant, you must consider the type of work or projects you need to accomplish with this tool. This will allow you to evaluate the features of different available models in a better way.
As stated above, before you start looking for best product model for your needs, you must consider various projects and tasks that you want to complete with this tool. The basic or entry level drill will allow you to do jobs which does not require high torque levels, for example – drilling holes in materials that are not tough, assembling furniture, etc. The best quality tool will come with a combination of features like good battery life, high torque, high speed and comfortable and balanced design.
Features to look for
1) Speed – A cordless drill with good speed will ease the task of boring holes. When choosing a drill for your home or workshop, go for the model, which come with higher RPM settings. Most variants come with two speed settings (Gears), the low speed setting for driving screws and high speed for drilling holes. People who want to do accomplish both the jobs with this tool will not find much success with drills that have only one gear setting.
2) Torque – The turning force of a drill is measured in torque. Models with high torque rating are very effective for drilling in to harder surfaces. Most power tool variants come with adjustable torque settings. These settings are very useful, especially when working in screwdriver mode. Choosing the right torque setting will allow you to execute the work in a more effective manner. When you are working in screwdriver mode, choosing the correct torque setting will ensure that the drill motor is disengaged by the clutch as soon as the screw is flush with the target surface. You can adjust the torque setting according to the hardness or toughness of material you are trying to drill or drive screws in to.
Speed and torque are two variables, which differentiate a basic drill from an outstanding one. The best and most top rated variants are those, which have high torque and at the same time are capable of operating at high speed.
If you plan to do more a screw driving work with this tool, then make sure that your chosen model has at least 20 clutch settings. Using the clutch ensures precision when driving screws to any surface. The clutch helps in preventing damage to the screws and also makes sure they are not driven too deep on the surface you are working on.
3) Batteries – Most cordless drill models available in market today, carry more power than ever, one reason behind this is, the advent of Lithium Ion Batteries. Lithium ion batteries are expensive but light in weight, take less time to charge and carry huge energy density. Because of their lightweight, manufacturers are able to reduce the overall weight of the drill.
Voltage is an indicator of power a drill possesses. You will find various variants with battery voltage ranging from 6v to 36 v. A high voltage battery will allow the drill to be used in harder surfaces like steel or masonry, where as the lower voltage ones are good for lighter jobs, like assembling furniture, installing door/cabinet handles, etc.
Always choose a drill, which comes with two batteries so that you can use one of them, while other is being charged. Having two batteries will also allow you to overcome situations, when you are out of charge without completion of job.
Various top rated models feature a battery indicator, which tells you about the remaining charge on the drill. This is a must have feature if you are using lithium-ion batteries, as these batteries can get damaged if they are not charged before completely running down.
4) Battery Charger – A conventional charger will take three to four hours for recharging batteries, a smart charger on other hand can do this job in 30 to 60 minutes. Few premium smart chargers will allow you to charge two batteries at the same time, it is a very useful feature when you are handling big projects.
5) Chuck Size – The chuck size determines the maximum diameter of bit shank that can fit the drill. The standard chuck sizes for a drill are 1/4 –inch and 3/8 inch. The 1/2 inch is required for heavier jobs, where as 3/8 inch chuck will be sufficient for light duty work around your home. Some older models require keys to tighten or loosen the chucks. Latest models on other hand come with keyless system, which makes the task of loosening or tightening the chuck very easy. This is a very useful feature for people who frequently change the drill/driver bits while working.
6) Design – The best quality drills are light in weight and have a comfortable and balanced design. The proper weight distribution adds balance to the tool and puts less strain on your wrist. It is in your good interest to always check the drill’s balance before buying, this can be done by holding the drill in your hand. To check the balance, grip it firmly and hold it towards a wall as if you are trying to drive a screw, a balanced drill will point straight ahead without tilting up and down.
Although most drills weigh less than 5 pounds, but you should look for a model, which is light in weight as lifting heavier drills can wear you out quickly.
Many premium and top rated variants come equipped with LED lights. It helps in lighting up the area in front of you, which allows you to work even in low light conditions.
Best 18v Cordless Drills
1) Makita LXFD01CW
This compact size power drill from Makita is equipped with a 4-pole motor and yields 480 in.lbs. of Max Torque. It is one of the best variant in 18v segment available in the market today. The drill features 2 speed variations of 0-400 and 0-1500 RPM. This allows you to effectively execute both drilling and screw driving job with high level of precision. It comes in an ergonomic design and weights close to 3.3 lbs. The ergonomic design gives balance to the drill and allows you to work for longer duration without putting too much strain on your wrist. The high quality redesigned rubber grip provided improved comfort. The built in LED light helps you to work in low light areas like under the sink and inside the closet.
This 18v tool comes with lithium ion batteries, which apart from providing longer run time, offers numerous benefits over conventional NiCad batteries. The batteries on this drill can be easily charged in approximately 15 minutes, which is at least 4 times faster than traditional Nickel-Cadmium batteries. Moreover, the Li-ion batteries also weigh 40 percent less as compared to other batteries.
2) Bosch DDS181-02
This heavy duty but compact sized drill from Bosch comes with 18v Lithium-ion batteries and 1/2 inch chuck. This variant delivers 600 inch pound of torque and comes with two speed settings- 0-500 RPM for job requiring high level of torque and 0-1700 RPM for jobs where you need more speed. The 18+1 clutch settings in this tool allow you to drive screws in multiple type of materials with high level of precision. The light weight, soft grip and ergonomic design of this model allows you to work for long duration without getting tired. When you buy this kit, you will also get two slim pack high capacity batteries (1.5 AH). This allows you to get approximately 50 percent more run time in comparison to tool with other batteries.
3) Bosch DDH181-01 18-Volt
This lithium ion powered compact drill and driver from bosch help you in achieving top level of performance and efficiency by delivering ultimate power (700-inch pound of torque) and long run time. When you buy this tool, you get two 4.0 AH high capacity batteries and a fuel gauge for better battery management. These high quality batteries provide close to 50 percent more run time as compared to other variants. You can also use standard Bosch (18v- lithium ion) batteries with this drill.
There are two speed settings on this drill, 0-380 RPM for screw driving applications and 0-1600 RPM for boring holes. The 25+1 clutch settings along with variable speed trigger add versatility and control on this model. The tool’s housing is made of ABS/nylon composite and is wrapped with soft-grip, which allows you to hold drill for longer hours in a comfortable and convenient manner. The tough housing allows you to operate this tool in hard and tough work conditions.
This unit is equipped with aluminum keyless chuck (1/2-inch, autolock), which allows you to change bits one-handedly. ThelLED lights allow you to undertake jobs in dark and confined areas.
4) Milwaukee M-18 Compact Cordless Drill-
This Milwaukee tool yields 650- in-lbs of torque which allows you to drill/drive screws in toughest surfaces. The company claims its “Redlithium battery technology” delivers more run time per charge and has longer life span as compared to any other battery available in market today. The unit comes equipped with “REDLINK PLUS intelligence” which as per manufacturer is most advanced cordless power tool electronic system. This helps you get better and optimized performance from the drill and prevents it’s system from overloading.
5) DEWALT DCD760KL 18-Volt
Dewalt DCD760KH is an 18-volt drill, which comes with 1/2 – inch chuck size. This lightweight (4 pounds) drill comes in compact design, which allows you to operate this tool for long duration comfortably even in tight places like corners, under the sinks, closet,etc. Along with this drill you will get a pack of two lithium ion batteries and a yellow lithium charger, which is capable of charging the batteries in less than 30 minutes.
Other features include – 17 clutch settings, LED lights, Two speed settings of 0-500 RPM and 0 -1700 RPM which allow you to perform various drilling and screw driving applications with ease.
1) DEWALT DC970K-2
Though this 18 volt variant from Dewalt comes in a small package, but it is a surprisingly powerful machine. The powerful motor in this unit, yields 340 UWO of turning force. The light weight and compact design allows you to operate this tool very comfortably even when working in tight spaces and unusual angles. The Dewalt variant can be used to bore holes and drive screws in variety of materials like wood, metal and plastic. It is a perfect tool for applications like assembling furniture, cabinet, fixing frames and other numerous home improvement works. You get two speed settings of 0-450 RPM for fastening/driving screws and 0-1500 RPM for various drilling applications. The chuck size is 1/2 inch and can be operated in keyless manner. With this kit you get two NICAD batteries and a charger, which is capable enough to charge batteries with in 60 minutes. The DC970K-2 is compact, easy to operate and one of the best option in this product segment.
2) Makita XPH012 18V LXT
This compact but powerful model from Makita weighs only 4 pounds and can be used for various drilling and driving applications even on tough materials. It comes with a very capable 4 pole motor which can deliver 480 in.lbs of torque. This allows you to bore holes in to tough surfaces without any problem. The two speed settings of 0-400 RPM and 0-1500 RPM makes this tool versatile and equally capable of handling drilling and screw driving jobs with great precision. The ergonomic design and compact size provides good balance to the tool and puts less strain on your wrist when you are working for longer duration.
3) Hitachi DS18DGL 18-Volt
Hitachi DS18DGL is a small size 18-volt cordless drill which delivers 400-in lbs of torque. The compact design and powerful motors makes this product a very capable tool to perform numerous functions in tighter areas and hard surfaces. The drill comes equipped with light-weight lithium ion batteries which provide longer run time per charge. This low cost model also features LED lights, which illuminate the focus area and helps in performing drilling job with precision. The manufacturer provides two gear settings and 22+1 clutch settings for better control on speed and turning force. This works very well for applications, which require high torque and slow speed (and vice-versa).
Best 20v Cordless Drills – (Find complete list here)
1) DEWALT DCD771C2
As per our review, this is one of the best tool in this category. DEWALT DCD771C2 is very light in weight and compact in size, which allows you to work in tight and difficult to reach areas with ease. The tool’s weight is equally balanced, and operator is not required to put in much effort to keep the drill straign. The manufacturer provides power ratings in Unit Watts out instead of torque. UWO is combination of drill’s power and speed. This 20 volt cordless unit comes with 300 UWO of power, which gives you high level of performance even when drilling on tough surfaces. The LED lights on the unit illuminate the focus area to help you complete drilling or screw driving job in low-lit areas with same precision. There are two speed settings on this unit 0-450 and 0-1500 RPM.
2) PORTER-CABLE PCCK600LB
This 20v drill variant features porter and cable’s new lightweight and highly efficient lithium-ion battery platform. The tool is equipped with 1/2 –inch metal ratcheting chuck, which ensures secure and effective bit retention. Along with this product, you get a variety of tools and accessories which enable you to perform various drilling and fastening related applications with ease. It features a balanced and lightweight design, which reduces fatigue and allows you to work for long hours. Other features include – Two Speed Gearbox, High output motor, efficient lithium-ion battery charger, Dual Speed settings of 0-400, and 0-1600 RPM), Fuel/battery gauge for better charge management and much more. With so many features to offer, this tool offers you best value for money.
1) Bosch PS31-2A 12-Volt
This 2 pound, 12 volt variant is the lightest in its class and comes with a 7-inch head. The efficient design helps this drill to easily fit and operate in tight areas. It is one of the best option for jobs which involve continuous overhead work. Bosch PS31-2a is equipped with a 3/8 inch chuck (single sleeve) which allows you to perform multiple varieties of applications with ease. The drill delivers 265 in. lbs. of torque and feature two speed settings of 0-350 and 0-1300 RPM. With 20+1 clutch settings you can use torque with better precision. With this option you can easily work in dark corners and dim-light areas, thanks to the integrated LED light which lights up the focus area. This bosch variant comes with a fuel gauge, which allows you to manage battery in a convenient manner.
2) Makita LCT209W 12V –
This 12 volts two piece power tool combo kit from Makita delivers an exciting combination of power and speed allowing you to execute both drilling and fastening related applications in a very easy manner. With this kit you get tools and accessories to accomplish various drilling, fastening and driving related applications. The drill is equipped with 12 volt light weight lithium ion batteries. You will also get an “Energy star Qualified” battery charger with the kit.
This combo kit includes one 3/8 – inch chuck drill/driver which delivers 200 inch/pounds torque and offers 2 speed settings. The second tool in this kit is an impact driver which delivers massive 800 inch/pound torque. The low weight and high power combo makes these tools very capable, versatile and effective.