HomeDIYBest Cordless Drill Buyer’s Guide You Need To Know
October 4, 2017
Best Cordless Drill Buyer’s Guide You Need To Know
Are you shopping for a new cordless drill for your home and construction projects? If so, then you come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be reviewing five of the best cordless drills on the market and everything you could possibly want to learn.
Cordless drills become highly competitive with the introduction of lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are powerful and best of all, lightweight. Interested what cordless drill models make our list, keep on reading.
What To Look For
When hunting for the best cordless drills on the market, feel the grip on the handle. The drill should feel comfortable in your hand. You can get a total feel of the drill by clipping in the battery and gripping the handle to see whether you can endure its weight.
Try wielding it above your head and you’ll notice immediately if your grip gets shake. Some models of general-use drills are quite comfortable to grasp with their pistol grip and cylindrical battery embedded in the handle. However, they won’t stand upright alone so you have to lay them down after each fastener.
Most of today’s cordless drills are designed with a T-handle. The handle base is gradually wider at one end to prevent hand slippage and hold a battery. This design offers better overall balance in heavier drill models.
Charger And Indicator Light
Old models of Lithium-ion batteries often need to be charged and utilized under precise conditions to guarantee optimal performance. But new models are better because they prevent the overcharging of batteries. This can reduce the need to drain the batteries between charges to guarantee the longest possible life.
Look for chargers with an indicator light so you’ll know when the battery is fully charged. Some brands have batteries built with indicator lights.
The clutch is located just behind the chuck. It disengages the drive shaft, creating a clicking sound when a present resistance level is reached. This gives you control to prevent stripping a screw or overdriving it once tight..
The number of clutch settings may vary depending on the drill. Better drill models have a minimum of 24 settings. With that number of settings, you can fine-tune the power of a drill really well.
When checking the performance of lithium-ion batteries, look at their voltage and amp hours. The voltage will indicate power and torque. The higher the voltage, the more powerful and more-torque spinning strength to beat resistance.
Amp hours, on the other hand, relate to the life or run time of the battery. An 8-amp-hour battery should run twice as a 4-amp-hour battery- but heavier. If you like to have a lightweight drill, opt for two smaller batteries.
Most cordless models run at two fixed speeds: 300 rpm and 800 rpm. A slide switch allows you to choose low or high speed. The low speed drives screws while the high-speed drills holes. These options are suitable for most light-duty tasks.
For a more complex repair and carpentry jobs, look for the same two-speed switch and a trigger with variable speed control that allows you to change the speed anytime. You may look at a higher speed (1,000 rpm or higher) if your work is focused mostly on hole drilling.
Brushless motors lessen the friction and sense resistance from the work material. They continually adjust the amount of power drawn from the battery which means more power, longer operating time, and durability. You can tell that manufacturers put confidence in the brushless technology because they often give three to five years warranty.
How To Purchase A Cordless Drill
Cordless drills are available in three configurations: as a standalone tool, as part of a kit, or as a bare tool. A standalone tool usually comes with compatible batteries and a charger. Choose this option if you only want a drill.
A kit often includes two batteries, a charger, and other cordless tools, like a reciprocating saw, circular saw, and a work light. Choose this option if you want to get these tools aside from the cordless drill. Keep in mind that the included drill would normally be a heavy-duty one.
If you already have any other power tools and a compatible battery from a different drill mode, then choosing a bare tool is best. A bare tool might be the cheapest but it often comes with the worst value.
Narrow Your Search According To Usage
There are many models of cordless drills on the market today. For easy selection, narrow your search based on your usage of the drill: heavy, general, or light. We suggest that you look at the drill’s chuck capacity to know its power.
Models with the largest chuck size (1/2-inch) might be suitable for heavy-duty use. These drills are built around sturdy 18- to 24-volt batteries, providing them the power to bore holes through thick boards and propel huge fasteners. They can accommodate any drill bit, including those utilized for drilling into concrete blocks. However, they tend to be the most expensive and heaviest.
Drills with 3/8-inch chucks are suitable for general use. They’re normally powered by a 12-volt battery, giving them the power to easily bore holes in wood and propel a handful of screws on one charge. If you need to do a heavier job, you can always borrow or rent a hammer drill.
Light-duty drills are equipped with a fixed 1/4-inch socket, a design that only accommodates bits with a hex-shaped shaft. They’re ideal for small jobs around the house, like boring a hole in a drywall or assembling a furniture. Their batteries may vary from 12 volts to 20 volts, a bit weak when compared to heavy-duty or general-use drills.
1. Editor’s Pick – The Best Product: DEWALT DCD777C2 20V Brushless Compact Drill
The DEWALT DCD777C2 is a great compact drill driver which includes a compact brushless drill/driver, two lithium-ion batteries, a charger, and a kit bag. It features a brushless motor which means longer motor life and 15 clutch settings for a more refined task. As compared to the brushed motor models, the brushless motor of DEWALT DCD777C2 runs 30% more.
This cordless drill is equipped with LED with 20-second delay after trigger release to increase visibility in dark areas. Its comfortable grip handle offers ideal balance and tool control. The high-speed transmission offers 2-speed variations enabling users to select the level of performance needed. While the 1/2 chuck offers tight bit gripping strength, the high-performance drill can do heavy-duty tasks with its 20-voltage power.
Built with brushless motor for reliability and power
Built with LED to increase visibility
Has a lightweight and ergonomic design
Gives a comfortable grip
Delivers 2-speed variations to suit various applications
Can handle heavy-duty tasks
Backed by a 3-year limited warranty
The black plastic connector tends to wobble
The chuck easily wears out
The battery charger fails to work sometimes
2. Runner Up – The Second Best Product: Hitachi DS18DGL Compact Drill Driver Kit
Hitachi DS18DGL is an 18-volt cordless drill that offers a powerful 440 inch/lbs of torque to handle tough jobs. Two-speed gear setting is built to match the proper speed to the application. This cordless drill is powered by lithium-ion battery technology for long power and less weight. With a total of 22+1 clutch settings, you can control this drill with ultimate precision and control.
The DS18DGL is equipped with an LED light to illuminate dark work areas. The 1/2-inch chuck makes it possible replace bit easily and handle heavy-duty jobs. This drill is covered by Hitachi’s Lifetime Lithium-ion tool warranty and a 2-year lithium-ion battery warranty.
Offers superb warranty
Equipped with LED lights to work on dark areas
Built with a 2-speed gear setting
Provides 22 torque settings for ultimate control
Has an ergonomic design for comfortable use
The chuck seems to wobble
The gearing is a bit terrible as it slips between the change of speed
The charger easily wears out
3. Budget Pick – The Best Product With Limited Budget: Tacklife 12V Cordless Drill
The Tacklife Cordless Drill is an affordable tool that offers 12 volts of power. The 100-240 wide voltage charger can resist the instability of the voltage or sudden change. It’s built with 19+1 clutch settings to offer precise control. The max drilling capacity is 30mm for wood and 10mm for metal.
This cordless drill kit is equipped with a 3/8” chuck for general-use. The variable speed switch enables you to drill smoothly. It’s more efficient to use with extra features, such as a light for working in the dark, a power indicator to display battery power, and a reversing putter button operates by one hand.
Built with convenient features
Comes at an affordable price
Built with a variable speed switch and two gear options
The handle has a comfortable grip
Offers versatile accessories, like drill bits and driver bits
The drill bits are cheaply made
Poor LED placement
The warranty details are a bit vague
4. Upgrade Pick – The Highest Quality Product With High Price: Makita XPH102 Cordless Drill
Makita XPH102 is a heavy-duty drill which features an extreme protection technology (XPT). This technology is made to offer increased dust and water resistance in tough job site conditions. The variable 2-speed design is great for suiting a wide range of applications.
This 1/2-inch driver/drill is compact and ergonomically designed at only 7-3/4” long. This only weighs 3.9 pounds which are lightweight considering its large power. It’s equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls to protect batteries from over-discharging and overheating.
Equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls for battery protection
Has a fast charging time, about 30 minutes
Delivers 2 variable speed design
A bit expensive
The hammer drill easily fails to work
The chuck won’t hold a drill properly
5. Niche Pick – The Best Cordless Drill For Heavy-Duty Use: Bosch DDB1818-02 Drill Kit
The Bosch DDB181-02 Drill/Driver Kit comes with two batteries, a charger, and a contractor bag. This 18-volt drill has a lightweight design to work in tight spaces with less fatigue. It delivers 350 in/lbs of torque for powerful fastening.
LED light helps illuminate dark work areas. The two-speed transmission allows optimized torque and speed performance. Its 1/2-inch drill delivers optimum performance is great for daily drilling and driving applications.
Good for heavy-duty tasks
Offers 2-speed transmission for optimal performance
Lightweight and comfortable to use
Comes with LED lights for illumination
Features 20+1 clutch settings and a variable speed trigger
The drill isn’t spinning as it should
The chuck easily wears out
Not ideal for screw driving
Considering all the factors above our top among the five best cordless drills is the DEWALT DCD777C2. This cordless drill provides the highest voltage, which means the highest power among its rivals. It also features a brushless motor, a comfortable grip, long Lithium-ion battery life, and 1/2-inch chuck.