Best Cordless Drill Guide

VD October 10 2021

A cordless drill has many advantages compared to a corded drill that hampers the mobility of an operator. Having a cordless drill at your disposal for doing DIY projects at home creates high convenience and ease.  It is a perfect tool for drilling holes to install fixtures and put together furniture. Whether you want to remodel your rooms for a change or babyproof multiple items for the safety of your kids, a cordless drill acts as your best partner.

The popularity of cordless drills has increased in recent years, and you will find it hard to identify a home without a cordless drill these days. There are different brands and models available in the market and choosing the best one can be tough. This is why we have compiled this list of the best cordless drills that give you great value for your money

Some people think that all cordless drills are similar to one another which makes their decision difficult when buying one. They do not know how factors such as torque, battery type, speed ratings will affect their purchase decisions.

Best Cordless Drill Buying Guide: 

Let’s see what features you must look for in a cordless drill to buy it. 

Battery voltage 

The battery voltage determines the strength of the cordless drill. The higher the voltage, the more power runs through a cordless drill. 

But, as the modern models offer increased voltage of 18V to 20V in the present times to enhance the torque-spinning force for drilling large holes into heavy-duty surfaces, the tool has also become heavier to carry. 

An 18V model usually weighs at least 10 pounds.  Hence, before buying a cordless drill, take into consideration the duty cycle that you will face throughout the job. Usually, heavy-duty hours require increased voltage and increased weight.

A brushless motor is more efficient than a brushed one as it controls power to the drill bit and increases the speed of drilling holes and loosening screws. The newest models usually come with a brush-less design. You can easily identify this feature as there won't be any wires attached from the electronic parts of the drill to those for controlling speeds and torque.

An upgraded version is known as Voltage-Sensing Overload Protection (VSP) helps in preventing overheating due to overload by shutting down if an extra load is applied on battery or any other component like chuck abrasion and allowing the drill to cool before turning it on again.

A cordless drill with a lithium-ion battery can last longer than one with NiCd or NiMH batteries, which drain faster and function less efficiently in low temperatures. Lithium-ion batteries offer power density about 1.25 times more than nickel-cadmium batteries and hold up well in cold weather for long usage life. Most of the best cordless drills come with this feature nowadays.

The size of the battery is an important factor that has to be kept into consideration when buying a cordless drill as they vary in terms of their capacity or Ah rating which determines how long a battery will operate between charges while working continuously at high speed. The higher the Ah, the higher will be its price.

When buying a cordless drill that uses lithium-ion batteries, it is advised to buy one with 2Ah or more battery size to operate for a longer time without an interruption in heavy-duty jobs. Most of the 18V models come with this feature which works ideally in various situations. You can also opt for 12V models if you are not working on tough do-it-alls.

As far as battery chargers are considered, they determine how long it takes your battery to charge fully and offer high performance in cordless drills due to effective charging electronics. The newer machines have an onboard LED light indicator that shows when the battery is charged completely without removing it from the charger unit.

Battery run time is a major deciding factor for battery life as it relates to the capacity of a battery. When buying cordless drills, make sure to consider the warranty period offered on the batteries and chargers.

The newer models usually come with variable speed controls that provide two-speed options which can be selected depending upon what you are doing at any point in time. In addition, the newer features allow variable speed option from 0 to 650 RPM or more that is controlled using a trigger. 

Ergonomic Handle

An ergonomic handle would help you to hold the drill comfortably. Cordless drills have two types of handles: a T-handle and a Pistol grip. 

A T-handle protects your hand from slipping, providing it with better hold and control over the drill, whereas the pistol handgrip allows you to apply more force during heavy-duty drilling tasks. You can pick that handle you find more compatible with after testing it out.

In order to have better control over the drill, you can go for cordless drills that offer variable speed triggers which allow you to regulate the speed of drilling holes through various surfaces. In addition, it is advised to look for a machine with ergonomic handles as they provide comfort and give more control to your drill.

Speed 

The best cordless drill must offer at least two variable speed settings. A low speed would be perfect for handling easy-going projects, like driving screws, whereas a high speed would be ideal for drilling large holes in hard surfaces. 

You can also go for models with three or four variable speed settings. This feature is mostly preferred by contractors who require the best cordless drill for tough jobs including masonry, metal works, and other heavy-duty tasks.

Chuck  

The larger chuck size offers a higher torque value which allows you to work on thick wood pieces without any hassle. It means that if your machine has a greater chuck capacity, it would be able to handle different materials better as compared to models with smaller chucks.

Most of these machines are now offered with 1/2inch keyless chucks that allow quick bit changes even in restricted spaces easily. Moreover, the newer models come with 3/8inch hex chucks and that allow using both type bits and standard hexagonal drill bits.

Batteries 

Cordless drills with Lithium-ion or Nickel-metal-hydride batteries are preferable options compared to nickel-cadmium batteries. When buying the best cordless drill, keep in mind that Li-ion batteries are lightweight and give prolonged runtime, whereas nickel-metal-hydride ones are also small and provide a considerable battery life. 

Runtime

There is no standard formula for calculating run time because it depends on various factors such as what you are doing with your drill and how much pressure you apply while drilling holes through different surfaces and so on. Even the type of batteries you are using in your cordless drill can affect its runtime.

Two batteries can save your time when one is charging and you need to complete a certain project before the charge runs out. That's where two batteries come in handy. Although, carrying multiple batteries around might be an issue but just bear it if you want better performance without any disturbance.

Clutch 

The best cordless drill must offer several clutch settings to provide you with complete control over the power the drill tool delivers. You can use the various clutch settings to balance the force of the drill accordingly while working on different projects. 

Usually, the higher the number of clutch settings you have, the better control over torque you can get. Because if your machine offers clutch settings that are too high or low, it would be tough to work with.

Dust Extraction Ports

The best cordless drill must come with dust extraction ports so that you can use them for cleaning purposes while you are working on a mess of drilling holes in different surfaces. This feature will help keep your workspace clean and reduce overexposure to harmful elements especially when your work includes metal works where gunk is inevitable.

Best Cordless Drill Reviews 

We have shortlisted the top three cordless drills to help you quickly pick the most suitable one. 

Flex 24V Max Hammer Drill with Turbo 

Flex 24V Max drill features a turbo mode that boasts speed for quicker results and an anti-kickback braking mechanism that provides complete safety during work. 

With the comfortable anti-skid handle, you can control the drill’s movements with ease. It also incorporates a chuck with carbide teeth that ensures secure drill bits. All in all, this is the best cordless drill available in the market, with incredible power, remarkable design, and high-grade performance. 

PROS  

  • Carbide teeth on the chuck for secure drill bits.
  • Turbo mode feature for speedier results.
  • Anti-kickback braking mechanism for safety.

CONS  

  • Lacks a dust extraction port, but you can easily use a vacuum cleaner to extract the debris.
  • Not very enough power for heavy-duty tasks, it's suitable only for light to medium works of at most 2inch diameter holes in wood pieces. This is not an industrial tool after all, but if your work does include super tough jobs this is not the model that you are looking for anyway! Although its powerful motor makes it ideal for small DIY projects or around your house fixes.

DeWalt 20V Max Power Detect Hammer Drill DCD998 

The DeWalt DCD998 integrates a brushless motor for smooth and quiet operation, 3-mode LED light for supporting working in the dark, and a 3-speed gearbox for handling medium-load applications. 

When you use an 8Ah battery, the power-detect system boasts the speed, making drilling sharper and faster. Overall, its design is ergonomic and comfortable to hold while working. You can certainly rely on DeWalt for delivering high performance and prolonged runtime.

PROS  

  • Ergonomic design for comfort while working.
  • Power detecting system to deliver high performance.
  • LED light support in the dark environment.

CONS  

  • Heavy drill, but it's still lightweight compared to other models, so you won't really get tired easily while working with it!​

Metabo 18V Cordless Hammer Drill SB 18 LTX-3 BL QI 

Metabo 18V comes with a compact design, durable exterior, brushless motor, and high speed. The 3800 RMP speed with a brushless motor provides not only quiet but ultra-fast and smooth operation, making it perfect for drilling concrete surfaces. 

While it’s a bit heavier to hold and carry, it’ll get the job done instantly. The 3-year warranty on the Li-ion battery packs also adds value to this best cordless drill and ensures incredible performance, offering great specs and features. 

PROS  

  • Ultra high 3800 RMP for ultra-fast application of power.
  • Brushless motor which is more efficient than ordinary motors.

CONS  

  • A bit heavy, so it's not really ideal for gripping on extended periods of time!​

Final Thoughts 

Hopefully, you can make use of our quick guide to pick out the best cordless drill. While we have selected the top three models available in the market, you can also look out for other models considering your budget and compatibility with your DIY needs.