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Looking for one of the best cordless drills to make easy work of your next DIY project? Whether you're hanging pictures or assembling a garden shed, choosing a cordless drill that works for you is an important decision for any home improver.
Cordless drills have the clear benefit of not requiring a cable to plugged in, but they can be powerful machines too, with lithium-ion batteries more than capable of providing sufficient run time and power to take the hard work out of home improvement jobs.
If you're at the beginners' end of the DIY spectrum, then you'll likely find that an impact driver will suffice for many tasks, but those with more serious DIY aspirations might find a cordless combi drill (with added hammer-drill functionality to drill into masonry) more suitable.
There is a lot to consider when choosing the best drill for your toolkit, and you'll need to have a clear idea of the jobs you intend to undertake and the materials involved.
Use this guide to the best cordless drills on the market to help you make your decision and get started with your next project.
The Best Cordless Drills
1. Bosch PSB 1800
The best cordless drill overall
Torque: 39Nm | Voltage: 18V | Battery: 1.5Ah Lithium-Ion | Weight (with battery): 1.08kg | No load speed: 0-400/1.350rpm
If you're on a budget, then the Bosch PSB 1800 is the best cordless drill to buy. It's also a beginner's dream.
This combi drill offers ease of use (simply push the button and let the drill do the rest), and 20 pre-set programmes to help you perform an array of projects, such as assembling furniture or hanging pictures.
Plus, it includes an autolock keyless chuck to make it easy to change bits, as well as an integrated work light which comes on ready for you to line up your screw before you start drilling it in place.
It also supports the same batteries as the rest of the Bosch range.
2. Makita DHP458Z 18V Cordless Hammer Drill
The best cordless hammer drill
Torque: 91Nm | Voltage: 18V | Battery: Not included | Weight : 2.1kg | No load speed: 2000rpm
The Makita DHP458Z hammer drill is a top end cordless drill that can be used for DIY tasks or home or on a busy building site.
It has a two-speed metal gearbox and a no load speed of 2000 RPM, which allows for drilling into almost all materials. And the hammer feature, at 30000 blows per minute, allows for the drilling of holes in masonry as well.
Plus, Makita's XPT technology helps to prevent dust and moisture ingress, the single sleeveless chuck allows for easy bit installation, and there are LED lights to aid working in darker areas.
(MORE: Read our in-depth Makita DHP458Z review)
The battery isn't included, but the tool is compatible with the vast range of Makita LXT batteries from 1.5Ah to 6Ah, so you can save money if you already own a Makita tool.
3. DeWalt DCD796P1 Cordless Drill
The best for battery run time
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 Makita DHP458Z, 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.
4. Bosch AdvancedImpact 18 Cordless Drill
The best for comfort and easse of use
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.
5. Makita DHP482M1JW Cordless Combi Drill
A robust cordless combi drill
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.
6. Ryobi 18V RID1801M ONE+ Cordless Drill
The best impact driver
Torque: 220Nm | Voltage: 18V | Battery: Not included | Weight : 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.
The most powerful cordless drill on this list, it is brilliant for screwing 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.
7. Teeno Hammer Drill Driver Cordless Drill Set
Brilliant value for money
Torque: 45Nm | Voltage: 20V | Battery: 2Ah Lithium Ion | Weight (with battery): 1.36kg | No load speed: 1650rpm
This fantastic hammer drill is great for general DIY tasks around the house, easily drilling through wood, plaster and drywall. It can even drill through some metals courtesy of a 20-position clutch, which enables more force to be applied.
It's lightweight too, plus it's easy to switch between driving, drilling and hammer drilling modes, depending on your task of choice.
It takes around an hour to reach a full charge, and the temperature management system is designed to keep the batteries cool during use.
8. BLACK+DECKER BDCHD18K-GB 18V Cordless Hammer Drill
A budget-friendly option that's easy to use
Torque: 40Nm | Voltage: 18V | Battery: 1.5Ah Lithium-Ion | Weight (with battery): 1.1kg | No load speed: 0-360/1400rpm
This affordable drill from Black+Decker can easily tackle flat pack furniture, or be used to put up shelves or curtain poles, or 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.
9. Makita DK18015X2 Cordless Combi Drill & Impact Driver
The best combination deal
Torque: Combi drill: 24/42Nm; Impact driver: 140Nm | Voltage: 18V (both) | Battery: 1.5 Ah Lithium-Ion | Weight (with battery): Combi drill: 1.7kg; Impact driver: 1.5kg | No load speed: Combi drill: 0-1,400rpm; Impact driver: 0-2,300
This two-drill set from Makita is great for completing multiple jobs, such as drilling into wood, plastic, metal and masonry. And they come together at a very affordable price.
Both models feature an ergonomically designed rubberized soft grip for ease of use, and as part of the twin kit you also get 2x 1.5Ah lithium-ion batteries, a charger, a hard plastic carry case with accessory compartment lid, and 3 x 65mm PH2 impact gold drill bits, to help with high-energy applications using the impact driver.
The combi drill features three drill functions (combi drill, rotary drill and hammer action) and boasts a two-speed gearbox to provide greater torque. It also features a single-sleeve keyless chuck for easy bit installation.
The impact driver packs power with 140Nm of torque, has a variable speed controlled by the trigger for greater control, and comes with a LED job light with pre-glow function to help you work in dimly lit conditions.
Both models also come with a one-year guarantee, but it's important to note that the 18V batteries supplied are not compatible with the Makita LXT range.
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.
Are Brushless Drills Better?
The difference between a brushed motor and a brushless motor can set you back £40-50 - but it's worth paying the extra to get a brushless drill.
Brushed motors sit in the drill and require small metal brushes to work with magnets to convert electricity into power. When they break, you have to replace them.
Brushless drills meanwhile have an electronic circuit board and a sensor to do the same thing. Not only do you not have to worry about replacing them, but brushless drills are more energy-efficient because no energy is lost through friction from the brushes.
What Accessories Do You Need?
If your deal of choice includes batteries and a charger then that's extremely handy. If however you are only looking to buy the bare model, then make sure you get two batteries and a charger: one battery so you can use your drill right away, and the other battery for charging while you're working.
Another useful accessory is a drill holster, or a clip that you can place on your tool belt, which makes it really easy to slot your drill in and carry it around with you.
Round Out Your Tool Kit With Our Best Buys
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