How high is this on your priority list? A cordless drill set. In our opinion, it should be very high up because most DIY jobs will simply turn out better when you have one of the best cordless drill options in your toolkit. It’s not only about the quality of workmanship that’s possible when you’re not hampered by wires. In addition, you’ll be able to work almost ANYWHERE. As a bonus, you’re even safer since there aren’t any chances of accidentally tripping on a wire. Can you imagine what you can achieve with one of these in your hand?
Of course, you can’t simply pick up any drill you find in the store. The experts say you must always consider three vital aspects: Power, torque, and speed. We present that and more below, after looking for some of your best options in the 2020 market. We even compared dimensions and weight. This has practical implications if you have limited space or if you’re a professional moving around on a worksite all the time. And let’s not forget about the importance of your warranty.
Top 8 Cordless Drills Review 2020
We went straight to the experts in all niches and asked them to test & give feedback: Professionals in the construction industry, as well as a few passionate DIYers. The right cordless drill must suit your work style, so our reviews tell you what you need to know whether you’re a hobbyist or a pro. The comparison chart is a quick reference, but the in-depth cordless drill reviews combined with the informative buying guide will also give you the insight to make the best decision to upgrade your tool set this year. Get yours and enjoy your work even more from now on.
DEWALT DCD791D2 – Editor’s Choice
- Speeds: 0-550 / 0-2,000 RPM
- Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.5 x 10.1 inches
- Weight: 3.5 lbs
- Warranty: 3 years, 1 year free service
Extra features: brushless motor, 3-mode LED lights w/ spotlight mode, comes with 2 XR Li-ion batteries
Of course this one will rate high on our list as it’s a brushless motor from a very well known brand. That tells you you’ll enjoy extreme longevity so it’s no surprise DeWalt promises 57% more run time. This is also why the brand can give you a very impressive three year warranty and the 12 month service promise is a welcome extra; especially if you know you put your tools through some heavy duty work.
What impressed our test group even more however was how unique components simply stand out compared to other items on the market. The chuck grips firmer than most they’ve tried, even while it provides a very precise and smooth handling experience. That comes in handy even if you’re an amateur, as it helps you get the hang of your new tool effortlessly.
The brand puts together a very attractive package by giving you two batteries to enable you to function during long work days. To improve longevity the LED light even has a shut off feature to conserve energy, so after 20 minutes it will stop glowing. This light is brighter than on previous DeWalt models so it makes working in low light areas much easier than before.
Welcome extras include different speed settings and the physical design makes it a best DeWalt cordless drill. It’s compact, making it easier to work in tight spaces.
A nice extra would have been a bit holder.
- Compact design
- Excellent grip thanks to quality chuck design
- 2 batteries included
- LED light
- No bit holder
Makita CX200RB – Best Small
- Speeds: 0-500 / 0-1,700 RPM
- Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 11.1 inches
- Weight: 2.8 lbs
- Warranty: 3 years
Extra features: brushless motor, fast battery charge, inbuilt LED light
Here you can see the designers meant business as you’re given a sturdily designed brushless cordless unit, but it’s surprisingly lightweight. Makita seems to have done its homework in all aspects.
At weight well below 3lb users use less energy and prevent unnecessary fatigue.
This kit also includes a bag, spacious enough to keep all your components such as a charger.
This drill’s range of speed is quite impressive so you can work on a range of materials without damaging the surface or your drill.
The quality brand gives you a more than satisfactory three year warranty so professionals and DIYers can all have peace of mind about the purchase. It’s a sign of quality components.
This is also an example of the brand’s transition to 18V models from its 12V range. If you already love Makita you can now get some more power if you upgrade.
Our testers noted the compact design and how well balanced these units were. That makes it easier to control, no matter your hand’s size, which obviously leads to better workmanship.
It’s not at the power of the 20V units yet, but with weighing so little, it’s actually a perfect compromise between a range of features.
- Bag supplied
- Very light
- Long warranty
- Excellent speed settings
- Not the most powerful on the list
Memphis MX20D144 – Best 20V
- Speeds: 0–600 / 0–2,000 RPM
- Dimensions: 14.9 x 5 x 10.9 inches
- Weight: 3.6 lbs
- Warranty: 30-day money-back guarantee
Extra features: inbuilt LED light, comes with 2 Li-ion batteries
Here you have one purchase that does it all as Memphis gives you one of the best cordless drill sets, safely stored in a plastic case. The case is designed to house batteries and your charger so you always have everything you need on hand. The components are also protected from the effects of dust on a worksite. It even has a handle, making for easy carrying; very helpful when working on a large site.
This is a brushless motor set which means you get longer battery life and less energy loss compared to brushed versions.
This motor is capable of delivering 2000rpm, one of the highest ratings you’ll find on our list. That gives you more options in terms of the materials you can successfully work on. Even harder materials won’t be a problem to drill through.
The brand gives you two 20V lithium batteries, keeping your down time to a minimum without any additional purchases: The batteries last quite long and they charge quickly.
Even though the device is so potent, the brand managed to keep it compact and light weight. It’s no heavier than some other models on our list of best cordless drills.
Because it’s so powerful it can work for professionals, but it’s so easy to use that new DIYers will find it helpful too. The only thing we would have like: better warranty features.
This unit is decently priced and you still get advanced features such as an LED light, making this a great all rounder to consider.
- High RPM
- Comfortable to work on
- Case included
- Two batteries provided
- Short warranty period
Milwaukee 2494-22 – Best Lightweight
- Speeds: 0-400 / 0-1,800 RPM
- Dimensions: not specified
- Weight: 3 lbs
- Warranty: 5 years on tool, 2 years battery
Extra features: comes with 2 Li-ion M12 batteries and a M12 battery charger
Part of the buzz around this set (drill + driver) is the unique Redlink intelligence. This innovation supports communication between the battery and the tool itself. This communication monitors the distribution of power coming from the battery. Now there won’t be too much sent through, which can result in overheating. Problem solved!
And just wait until you see the compact battery. This makes for very easy handling as there’s no weighty item pulling your hand off balance. It also means you can have a high end drill weighing only 3lb: More than manageable for almost any professional of DIYer. The excellent balance makes it easy to do precision work too and they’re practical for DIYers as well as industrial use. Just note the 12V batteries may be more suited to home use.
This unit doesn’t have that many extras, but the brand does supply you with a carry bag. This is extremely practical as it has a padded handle which allows for comfortable carrying. Although only a bag, it’s designed to keep dust out and it’s the perfect size: Keep your chargers, 12V batteries and tools all together so you have access to components whenever necessary.
Users noted the impressive battery life as well as the fact that even people with injuries (e.g. in the neck or shoulder) find it comfortable using these. Final bonus: The impressive warranty period.
- Compact battery design
- Balanced unit
- Bag provided
- Redlink intelligence prevents overheating
- Great warranty
- Only 12V batteries
Makita CT322W – Best for Homeowner
- Speeds: 0-600 / 0-1,900 RPM
- Dimensions: 9.3 x 13 x 10 inches
- Weight: 3.3 lbs
- Warranty: 3 years
Extra features: 2 Li-ion batteries included, LED lights
Makita is another brand that rarely disappoints and here they’ve done it again. Not only does this one deliver on speed and power, but it’s surprisingly comfortable to work with thanks to the rubberized grips. That, along with the ergonomic design, makes it a practical option for newbies, since they won’t feel too uncomfortable with the new tool in their hands. The reasonable weight makes it an even more valuable investment no matter your experience level. It’s much easier to learn to use a new tool if it’s more manageable. Even with the battery attached it’s still impressively light. All of this is why we recommend this as the best option for homeowner use.
The speed of up to 1900rpm is more than enough to work on a range of materials. You can adjust (pick between two settings) to enjoy the best results.
This design doesn’t incorporate an LED light, but the brand supplies you with one which you can attach or even put on your arm. With six 500 lumens LED bulbs you’ll easily work in low light conditions with this best rated cordless drill.
The smart design extends to the battery as well, as you get overload and overheat protection. Even if you use yours a lot each day for work you won’t be at risk.
The battery gives 50% more run time than many other models’ power packs. Last (and best) thing about the battery: it charges super fast to limit your down time.
A compact unit that gives you the power and comfort to deliver excellent workmanship: That’s what you want from a cordless drill!
- Comfortable to work with
- Charges fast
- Light weight
- Speed settings
- No embedded light
Bosch 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit DDB181-02 – Budget Pick
- Speeds: 0-400 / 0-1,300 RPM
- Dimensions: 14 x 3.5 x 11 inches
- Weight: 3 lbs
- Warranty: 1 year on tool, 2 years on battery
Extra features: LED work light, comes with 2 batteries, charger and carry bag
Now we’re going to prove you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy some of the best features today’s market has to offer. Bosch is a brand we all know and this model comes at a price most DIYers won’t mind paying. And if you’re a professional looking for tools, it’s worth considering too as it delivers quite a lot of power for such a compact design. Although weighing in on 3lb, you’ll still get over 1000rpms.
You can be much more productive if lighter tools help you finish the jobs you usually need larger equipment (impractical to carry around) for. Bosch even designed a sturdy bag to carry your tool and its attachments in, so moving it around a work site is easy.
Note that you can switch between two different speed settings to customize according to your project. Although this is a lower end model, the brand added an LED light so you get great convenience for an impressive price tag. The designers even got the layout right: Unlike on some tools, the light is positioned on the base instead of behind the chuck, meaning you don’t get bothersome shadows while you work.
That price tag gets you two batteries, so you’re sorted for large projects, without spending a lot. The batteries don’t have fuel gauges, however.
Yes, it’s one of the best cordless drills under $100, but we still would have liked to see a longer warranty period.
- LED light
- Low price
- Light power tool
- Shorter warranty than some
- No battery life indicators
PORTER CABLE PCCK604L2 – Best Drill/Driver
- Speeds: 0-350 / 0-1,500 RPM
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 7.5 x 8.9 inches
- Weight: 3.5 lbs
- Warranty: 3 years, 1 year free service
Extra features: LED light and bit holder
From Porter Cable comes excellent cordless drills and impact drivers. This drill, although not the lightest option on our list, is still manageable in weight. The brand also put some thought into the handle, so the ergonomic result will make it comfortable to work with.
We love the handy extras such as the LED light and the bit storage unit will save you a surprising amount of time. When you have all your components on hand there’s less travel back to your tool box. At the end of the day that adds up to minutes of time saved, more work getting done and less fatigue overall.
Fatigue is also limited thanks to the unique, light batteries used by this brand. The popular Lithium Ion types are light while giving you longer run times than NiCD ones. However, note that these are only 1.3Ah batteries. If you’re used to higher ratings you may find these run out of power faster than expected. Of course, that means they’re light and comfortable to work with.
This compact drill can give you an impressive 1500rpm speed. That’s what you need for heavy duty tasks when working on hard substances, so this will come in handy for home owners and professionals alike. You may even get your work done faster than before, as the power makes it feel as if screws are being pulled into the wood—that’s how well this unit works!
Our test group didn’t only report this power, but they were also impressed by the balance of the unit. That makes it easy to get used to and will improve your precision, enhancing your workmanship.
- Ergonomic design
- Bit holder included
- LED light
- Great balance
- Only 1.3Ah batteries
Hitachi DS18DGL – Best Warranty
- Speeds: 0-450 / 0-1,250 RPM
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 3.1 x 8.9 inches
- Weight: 3.7 lbs
- Warranty: lifetime on tool, 2 years battery, 1 year charger
Extra features: LED light, slimmer handle for ergonomic grip
It’s noticeable even before you pick up this one yourself: Just looking at it, or seeing someone use it you notice how comfortable the grip seems. Why? Because it’s a specially designed, slimmer casing. That’s not meant for people with smaller hands only—no matter how big your hands are, you’ll feel more in control the more your drill design allows your hand to enfold the handle.
The added benefit is that such a design usually requires less arm strength, making it easier for more people to enjoy DIY work again.
Despite the slim design, it’s not the lightest unit on the list though, so this is one area the brand can still improve.
Hitachi’s engineering impresses, but the battery does as well. In testing, it rarely lost charge, even if left for long periods between jobs. That’s good news for home owners and DIYers who won’t always think of charging before a project, or won’t have time to if something suddenly needs fixing.
Here’s the great thing: It’s one of the brands that offers a lifetime warranty. Even the batteries and charger have warranties, so there’s no risk trying out this tool.
Users have commented on how easy it is to work with these tools, making them practical options for those new to the power tool world. However, the brand still provides you with two speed settings, so those more experienced can customize according to their needs.
- LED light
- Comfortable, slim handle
- Simple to work with
- Lifetime warranty
- Heavier than some others
Marketing jargon can quickly confuse you about which one is the real best pick for your tool shed. It's better to be informed on this topic before you make your final choice. We compiled a summary of all the important facts. First up, here’s some motivation on how this is the best decision you’ll make for your handiwork this year.
Advantages of having a top-quality cordless drill
What makes this version so much different than its corded counterpart? There’s no matching these benefits:
- You can now use your drill inside or outside, no matter how far you are from a power outlet.
- You’re not restricted by the length of your power cable and you don’t have to lug around extension cords.
- There’s no cord you or someone else can accidentally trip over.
- You can work even if there’s a power outage or on premises(such as a new development) that aren't connected to the grid yet.
And when you pick from our list it’s possible to get amazing versatility without paying too much. Just have a look at our Bosch budget option. It’s affordable but comes from one of the leading power tool companies.
Not exactly sure what features make a cordless drill valuable? Let’s list them for you.
Features to consider when getting a cordless drill
There are quite a few aspects to consider, but always remember that a power tool must also align with your personal preferences. For example, most people prioritize battery life, but a DIYer who only uses it for short, small projects doesn’t have to spend money on this aspect specifically. So, while you browse these topics, discern how it applies to your working environment and then pick the best drill based on what’s important to you.
In this category, it’s not only about getting the drill that goes at the fastest speed. Of course, a faster drill will help you finish your project quicker, but also consider speed settings. Different jobs require unique adjustments so you don’t damage the drill or the object you’re working with. For example, drilling through metal actually works best at slower speeds such as 700rpm. This will prevent your bits getting worn. So make sure you can pick the desired setting.
Your speed is measured in RPM (rotations per minute) and some will only have one speed setting. This keeps them more affordable, but if the setting is in the low hundreds you can probably only fasten screws with them. You need over 1000rpms to start drilling holes in thick wood or stone.
Once again: think about what you want to do with your drill and pick one accordingly.
Here you need to consider two things: what space do you have available for storage (even during transporting your tools) and what size will you feel comfortable handling? A larger drill may carry more power and battery life, so they should at least be considered. But if you want a comfortable experience with a tool that’s easy to hold and control, a compact design is a smart option.
According to our experts, this isn’t the most important consideration on this list, just ensure you don’t buy one that’s too big for your toolbox if storage space is a problem on your premises.
This aspect is a bit more important than dimensions, and no, the bigger ones won’t always weigh the most. It depends on the materials the brands use, as well as the battery design, since this makes up quite a large portion of the final weight you’ll carry around.
Whether comfort is high on your list at the moment or not, those in the know have realized the importance of your tools not causing fatigue. That’s why brands engineer units as light as the Makita CX200RB.
You could damage the item you’re working on or you could hurt yourself or someone else if the drill suddenly slips, you being unable to keep it under control.
Therefore, gauge what weight you find easy to hold, even for long periods of time, and try to find an item in that range.
A cordless drill usually has a voltage rating between 2V and 24V. Of course with higher voltage you’ll enjoy more power. However, this comes with added weight. A wise balance for most projects at home will be +/- 14V, but professionals will usually need higher rated ones.
Torque is measured in inch-pounds. This relates to how much power your new tool has and the force it can produce in order to turn the bits.
You need to consider the maximum torque specs: Will the power it exerts help you in working on your chosen surface? Stone will need much more power than thin wood - for extra tough jobs, consider getting a cordless hammer drill.
But of course, you won’t be doing the same type of work every day. You must be able to adjust the torque settings to match the job requirements. Using too much power per inch may shatter the surface you’re working on.
It’s important to note that torque (and even speed) isn’t as important to occasional DIYers as it is to professionals.
Professionals may opt for the ½” chucks which can handle drilling through bricks. The added benefit here is that they can hold almost any bit and the drill itself is often more powerful.
General or light duty drills will have 3/8” chucks or ¼” sockets. They’re designed with general work in mind and is appropriate for DIY work.
LED work light
This is such a handy bonus if you can get your hands on a model that has it embedded! An LED light that’s already part of your power tool means you can work in low lit areas. This may be the case on new developments where all the rooms’ lighting isn’t installed yet. Also, if you’re fixing something outside at dusk or in the dark the LED light means you don’t have to lug another light to where you’re working.
LED lights also make it easier to work in tight spaces as you don’t have to clutter the area with lighting equipment. Even if there’s only enough space for your arm to get in, you’re still sorted.
Just make sure it sits in a practical location, shedding light on your work instead of creating shadows. You can see a terrific example in the Bosch unit on our list.
Battery and charger
Here’s one of the most important features, especially if you’re using this for more than just occasional work around the house.
First up: Make sure a battery is included with your purchase. If you have to buy one separately you run the risk of not finding stock at all or having to wait for the brand to provide you with one. It’s even better if you get two batteries (or simply inquire about purchasing additional ones) so you can charge the depleted one while you carry on working.
In addition, you have to consider the battery features: battery life, its quality and how long it takes to recharge. Batteries can take anything from a few minutes to over an hour before running flat. If you have two batteries this doesn’t matter, but only if it will recharge within the time the other one takes to become empty again. Professionals must pick models that won’t cause them to be unable to work for long periods of time while batteries charge. Luckily there are models that take less than 30 minutes to charge. A great extra in this category is if there are battery indicators so you at least know when your battery is fully charged again, or you can gauge how much power is left.
Remember that batteries that last longer may also be heavier, so don’t make it impossible to work comfortably simply so you can enjoy long battery life. It’s important to find a balance between features that will work for you.
Last thought: does your purchase include a battery charger? If this is an additional purchase it means your final expense on your new power tool can be much higher than anticipated.
Accessories and extra tools included
If you’re a professional you know the importance of customizing the drill to the job at hand. That means you need different drill bits. Ideally, these should be included in your original purchase. It may work out more budget-friendly and you don’t have to waste time trying to find compatible accessories. For DIYers, you may not need a broad range of bits, but make sure you can do basic jobs with the ones supplied.
Handy extras are tools and tool bags, though these won’t affect how well your drill works. A tool container such as a bag or case will, however, help you look after your drill. It will keep out dust which is always present on a construction site and prevent some of the wear & tear associated with this work.
It’s always smart to consider warranties when shopping for power tools.
Make sure what exactly the warranty covers so you know when you’re in your rights to request a repair or new parts. Also, know that a warranty often lapses after the first repairs have been done. And of course, trying to repair an item yourself will void it entirely.
Most often the warranty will cover defects related to faulty material. Even the factory workmanship may be covered. Your new drill may go through some heavy duty handling and you don’t want small factory faults resulting in a total breakdown. A proper warranty will at least prevent you having to replace the entire drill at your expense.
Tips on how to get the most out of your cordless drill
A few additional considerations to look out for include:
- A forward/reverse switch that allows quick adjustment for removing old screws.
- An additional handle which comes in handy when you’re doing masonry work
- Electronic brakes
- A wide variety of clutch settings you can match to your project or substance you’re working on.
Please briefly answer the following questions:
A cordless drill can work for many projects, but you must ensure the speed, power and chuck size will be appropriate for the materials you plan on working on. Tools that turn too slow will only get through light wood objects, while faster ones will help you drill into stone or similar hard substances. You can also work on metal, though you have to monitor your speed well to prevent damage to bits.
First consider your application. You may think the best cordless drill set must have the most powerful battery such as the 5.0Ah or the 4.0Ah. These also offer you longer battery lives most of the time. But be prepared to deal with a lot of extra weight apart from the fact that it’s also much more expensive. If you’re only using your cordless drill occasionally for general tasks or DIY projects you probably won’t need that long a battery life. You may also feel uncomfortable working with such a heavy power tool if you’re not used to handling them daily. If however, your livelihood depends on power and having almost no downtime, heavy yet powerful batteries are worthy investments. As we’ve mentioned: Align your purchase with your application.
Brushless motors are the results of impressive engineering compared to brushed motors. The brushes and commutator found in traditional motors aren’t necessary which means there’s less friction inside the unit. They’re more efficient because you lose less energy to heat. A brushed unit can often also sense the resistance from the surface you’re working on. It will adjust the power it draws from the battery accordingly instead of running at top speed consistently as with a brushed version. This actually prevents excessive wear and run time can be longer. These types often have longer warranties as well.
Once again, DeWalt shows you why it’s such a respected name in this business. We can’t but place the DCD791D2 at the top of our list as it’s the unit with the best combination of features: it has almost everything you want from an LED light to being relatively light weight. The high end brand even throws in two batteries, one of the best features to look for.
If you’re after a light weight model though, the Makita CX200RB should go home with you. It’s super light, but doesn’t compromise on delivering quality or power. The brand also didn’t forget extras such as an LED light, so it’s a smart choice for various applications.
Lastly is a surprising third place: the Memphis MX20D144. Although not from one of the most celebrated brands (yet), this set is a winner because it’s so comfortable to work with. That makes it practical for newbies and home owners. We just hope the brand’s warranties can improve in future.
There’s no question: this list of best cordless drill sets holds something for everyone and you can see brands know what consumers find valuable. What is top of your list?