There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the best cordless drill for your toolkit. Out of all the cordless tools available, the cordless drill is the one that every self builder, renovator or home improver should own.
When choosing the best cordless drill, you will need to have a clear idea of the jobs you intend to undertake and the materials involved. This will inform the type of cordless drill you need — DIY novices will likely find that an impact driver will be plenty sufficient, but those with more serious DIY aspirations might find a cordless combi-drill (with added hammer-drill functionality to drill into masonry) more suitable.
What's the Best Cordless Drill?
1. Bosch AdvancedImpact 18 Cordless Drill
A great all-rounder for general DIY tasks
Torque: 22/36Nm | Voltage: 18V | Battery: 2.5 Ah Lithium-Ion | Weight (with battery): 1.1kg | No load speed: 0–450/1500rpm
The lightweight and compact design of this cordless drill make it really comfortable and easy to use for a range of DIY tasks, and is suitable for use with metal, wood and masonry (as long as you use the correct drill bits).
Supporting interchangeable chucks, it is supplied with a drill chuck capable of using drill bits from 1.5mm to 13mm in size, a screw holder with a magnetic cap, and a single 25mm PZ2 bit.
There are also two other chucks available as accessories or in different kit combinations; an off-set angle adapter and an angle screw adapter.
(MORE: Bosch AdvancedImpact18 review)
This cordless drill features different modes for screw driving, drilling and impact drilling and offers a maximum torque of 36 Nm (Newton metres). With a 2.5Ah capacity, the drill can be fully charged in 60 minutes.
Part of the Bosch Home and Garden 18V System, this cordless drill is a great choice if you already own tools from the range — they can all be powered with the same battery and charger.
2. DeWalt DCD796P1 Cordless Drill
5Ah battery offers great run time on a single charge
Torque: 27/70Nm | Voltage: 18V | Battery: 5.0Ah Lithium-Ion battery | Weight (with battery): 1.8kg | No load speed: 0–550/2000rpm
The DeWalt DCD796 is a compact 18V cordless, brushless drill/driver/hammer drill that will suit every task. It offers 13 torque settings and is suitable for drilling into steel, masonry and wood, and the huge 5Ah battery means it has a great run-time (you can use a smaller battery to reduce the weight of the tool if necessary). The battery charges in 75 minutes.
It has an excellent quality, single-piece, all-metal chuck capable of supporting drill bits from 1.5mm to 13mm in size, and can drill up to 13mm in steel, 13mm in masonry, and 40mm in wood.
(MORE: DeWalt DCD796P1 review)
It also has three modes of LED work light that can be especially useful if you are working in spaces lacking natural light.
Similarly to the Bosch AdvancedImpact 18, DeWalt 18V batteries are compatible with the whole DeWalt XR suite of tools, so if you already own something from the range, the bare version of this drill would be a cost-effective choice.
3. Makita DHP482M1JW Cordless Combi Drill
A robust cordless combi drill great for all conditions
Torque: 36/620Nm | Voltage: 18V | Battery: 4.0Ah Lithium-Ion battery | Weight (with battery): 1.8kg | No load speed: 0–600/1900rpm
With a maximum torque of 62Nm, this cordless combi drill is a great option for general duty DIY jobs. The 4Ah battery offers decent run-time and thanks to the Rapid Charger, it can be fully charged in just 36 minutes.
(MORE: Read our in-depth Makita DHP482M1JW review)
Drilling, hammer drilling and screw driving modes are easily selected with 21 torque settings available (these are selected independently of the mode).
A nylon keyless chuck is capable of supporting drill bits from 1.5mm to 13mm in size, and the DHP482 is capable of drilling up to 13mm in steel, 13mm in masonry, and 38mm in wood.
4. Ryobi 18V RID1801M ONE+ Cordless Drill (Bare Tool)
The most powerful cordless drill on this list
Torque: 220Nm | Voltage: 18V | Battery: Not included | Weight (with battery): 1.6kg | No load speed: 0-3200rpm
The powerful motor of this cordless impact driver from budget-brand Ryobi delivers 220Nm of torque making it a great solution for more demanding DIY tasks.
It offers variable speed settings (including reverse and break modes) giving you complete control at all times, and its three integrated LED lights light up your work space and eliminate shadows at any angle.
It also has a magnetic on-board bit storage which can be really convenient especially if you are working at height or in a confined space, and easy bit changes are achieved thanks to its 6.35mm keyless hex drive.
Sold as the bare tool, it is part of Ryobi's ONE+ range, so again, if you already own other Ryobi tools and already have a 1.5Ah (or above) battery — this is a great buy. If you don't own other tools from the range, then starter kits including the tool, battery and charger are available.
5. BLACK+DECKER BDCHD18K-GB 18V Cordless Hammer Drill
The best cordless drill for those on a budget
Torque: 40Nm | Voltage: 18V | Battery: 1.5Ah Lithium-Ion | Weight (with battery): 1.1kg | No load speed: 0-360/1400rpm
If you're on a budget, then this is the best cordless drill to buy. It can easily tackle flat pack furniture, putting up shelves or curtain poles, can drill into wood and metal, and the hammer function makes light work of drilling into masonry.
It offers 10 different torque settings, with a variable speed function that will give you complete control at all times.
It's lightweight and compact enough to be easily used anywhere around the home.
How to Buy the Best Cordless Drill
To ensure you are buying the best cordless drill for your budget and purpose, you should pay attention to voltage, battery capacity and torque, as well as the various buying options available.
- Bare drills: this is the tool only, and does not include a battery or a charger (which is fine if you already own a compatible battery and charger from a tool from the same manufacturer)
- Base or standalone kits include the tool, a battery and a charger
- Advanced kits can include interchangeable chucks, several batteries and a multitude of accessories.
Batteries are available with various capacities, allowing you to use lighter, lower capacity (Ah) batteries when keeping the weight of the tool down is important, or heavier, higher capacity batteries when you want to achieve the maximum run-time between charges. Two or more batteries are ideal, so you can have one in use and one on charge at all times.
It can also be useful to compare cordless drills on their no load speed (the maximum speed it can reach when it's not drilling hols or driving screws) — as once in use, the speed will depend on how demanding the task is.
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