Skip to main content

The 9 Best Cordless Drills for Your Spring DIY Project

best cordless drills guide
(Image credit: Bosch)

Choosing the best cordless drill that works for you is an important decision for any home improver. And whether your upcoming spring home improvement project is hanging pictures or assembling a garden shed, we're here to help.

Cordless drills have the clear benefit of not requiring a cable to plugged in, but they can be powerful machines too. The lithium-ion batteries which power the drills are more than capable of providing sufficient run time and power you need for your job.

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. 

This guide to the best cordless drills on the market will help you find the best drill for your toolkit and get started with your next project. 

The Best Cordless Drills

Bosch PSB 1800

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Bosch PSB 1800

The best cordless drill overall

Specifications

Torque: 39Nm
Voltage: 18V
Battery: 1.5Ah Lithium-Ion
Weight (with battery): 1.08kg
No load speed: 0-400/1.350rpm

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Integrated work light
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most powerful
-
Battery + charger not included

The Bosch PSB 1800 is one of the best, if not the best cordless drill you can buy. It's budget-friendly and ia 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. 

There's also 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, although you'll need to buy the battery and the charger separately.


Makita DHP458Z 18V Cordless Hammer Drill

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Makita DHP458Z 18V Cordless Hammer Drill

The best cordless hammer drill

Specifications

Torque: 91Nm
Voltage: 18V
Battery: Not included
Weight : 2.1kg
No load speed: 2000rpm

Reasons to buy

+
Two-speed metal gearbox
+
Powerful
+
Easy bit installation

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly heavy
-
Battery + charger not included

The Makita DHP458Z hammer drill is a top end drill that can be used for DIY tasks or home or on a busy building site.

It has a two-speed metal gearbox and an impressive no load speed of 2000rpm, which allows for drilling into almost all materials. And the hammer feature, at 30,000 blows per minute, allows for the drilling in masonry as well. 

Makita's XPT technology is a great feature too, which helps to prevent dust and moisture ingress. There's also a single sleeveless chuck allows for easy bit installation, and LED lights to aid working in darker areas.

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. Read more about this drill in our in-depth Makita DHP458Z review.


DeWalt DCD796P1 Cordless Drill

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. DeWalt DCD796P1 Cordless Drill

The best for battery run time

Specifications

Torque: 27/70Nm
Voltage: 18V
Battery: 5.0Ah Lithium-Ion battery
Weight (with battery): 1.8kg
No load speed: 0–550/2000rpm

Reasons to buy

+
Quality, single-piece, all-metal chuck  
+
Spotlight mode
+
Long battery life 
+
Brushless motor
+
Battery included

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery connection not the best 

The DeWalt DCD796 is a compact 18V cordless, brushless drill/driver/hammer drill that will suit every task. 

It comes with a huge 5Ah battery that 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 and the battery technology optimises power to help you complete jobs quickly. 

The drill offers 13 torque settings and is suitable for drilling into steel, masonry and wood. 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. 

It also has three modes of LED work 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. Read more in our full DeWalt DCD796P1 review.


Bosch AdvancedImpact 18 Cordless Drill

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Bosch AdvancedImpact 18 Cordless Drill

The best for comfort and ease of use

Specifications

Torque: 22/36Nm
Voltage: 18V
Battery: 2.5 Ah Lithium-Ion
Weight (with battery): 1.1kg
No load speed: 0–450/1500rpm

Reasons to buy

+
Light, ergonomic design 
+
Interchangeable chucks
+
Screw holder with magnetic cap  
+
Brushless motor
+
Battery included

Reasons to avoid

-
No charge indicator on battery; only on drill
-
Slower to charge, given size of battery 

This Bosch tool is another good pick for DIY beginners because its lightweight and compact design makes it really comfortable and easy to use for a range of DIY tasks. It's 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, as well as 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.

There are different modes for screw driving, drilling and impact drilling, and it 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. Find out more in our Bosch AdvancedImpact18 review.


Makita DHP482M1JW Cordless Combi Drill

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Makita DHP482M1JW Cordless Combi Drill

A robust cordless combi drill

Specifications

Torque: 36/620Nm
Voltage: 18V
Battery: 4.0Ah Lithium-Ion battery
Weight (with battery): 1.8kg
No load speed: 0–600/1900rpm

Reasons to buy

+
Rapid charger 
+
4Ah battery charges in 36 minutes
+
Extreme Protection Technology for outdoor and harsh conditions  
+
Battery included

Reasons to avoid

-
Brushed motor is less efficient  

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. 

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. Find out more in our in-depth Makita DHP482M1JW review.


Ryobi RID1801M Cordless Drill

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Ryobi RID1801M One+ Impact Driver

The best cordless impact driver

Specifications

Torque: 220Nm
Voltage: 18V
Battery: Not included
Weight : 1.6kg
No load speed: 0-3200rpm

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive torque
+
Magnetic on-board storage
+
Three integrated lights

Reasons to avoid

-
Might be too powerful for smaller tasks
-
Battery sold separately

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.


BLACK+DECKER BDCHD18K-GB 18V Cordless Hammer Drill

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. Teeno Hammer Drill Driver Cordless Drill Set

Brilliant value for money

Specifications

Torque: 45Nm
Voltage: 20V
Battery: 2Ah Lithium Ion
Weight (with battery): 1.36kg
No load speed: 1650rpm

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money
+
Lightweight
+
Battery + charger included

Reasons to avoid

-
Quick release chuck could be tighter

This is a fantastic under-the-radar hammer drill from Teeno, which is great for general DIY tasks around the house.

You can easily drill through wood, plaster and drywall, and 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. 


The BLACK+DECKER BDCHD18K-GB 18V Cordless Hammer Drill

(Image credit: Amazon)

8. BLACK+DECKER BDCHD18K-GB 18V Cordless Hammer Drill

A budget-friendly option that's easy to use

Specifications

Torque: 40Nm
Voltage: 18V
Battery: 1.5Ah Lithium-Ion
Weight (with battery): 1.1kg
No load speed: 0-360/1400rpm

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Lightweight
+
Battery included

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as effective for drilling through masonry

This affordable drill from Black+Decker can easily tackle flat pack furniture, be used to put up shelves or curtain poles or drill into wood and metal. 

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.


Makita DK18015X2 Cordless Combi Drill & Impact Driver

(Image credit: B&Q)

9. Makita DK18015X2 Cordless Combi Drill & Impact Driver

The best combination deal

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
Easy to use
+
Gold drill bit helps with bigger jobs

Reasons to avoid

-
Batteries can't be used with Makita's LXT range

Why buy one cordless drill when you can buy two? 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.  

Combi drill

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. 

Impact driver

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.


What Should I Look For When Buying a Cordless Drill?

To ensure you buy the best cordless drill for your budget and purpose, make sure you consider these specifications:

Torque

As a rough guide, 4-15Nm will be fine for small screw driving tasks like hanging up pictures; 15-30Nm will be suitable for drilling holes and driving in medium-size screws; and 30Nm and above is advised for tackling heavy duty jobs and materials. 

Voltage

Voltage works in a similar way. You'd only likely want anything below 18V for very light-duty screw driving tasks, whereas anything above is likely to meet most homeowners' needs.

Battery

Cordless drills don't all come as the same, so keep a look out for the following: 

  • 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. 

What Does Brushless Mean on a Drill?

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 Drill Feature and 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.  

How We're Testing The Best Cordless Drills

There's a lot to consider when buying one of the best cordless drills, and the Homebuilding & Renovating team is getting hands-on experience with the products in this buying guide to help you feel confident in choosing the right drill for you. 

In our ongoing independent reviews we are testing the ease of use and power to gauge each drill's efficacy, and assessing key factors including battery life, weight and value for money. We’re also reviewing everything in-between from additional features to which drills are most beneficial for you depending on your task of choice. 

Our team is passionate about DIY and home improvement (which probably won’t be a surprise) so we already have detailed knowledge about the brands that make these [products]. Moreover, we have taken into account user reviews when compiling this buying guide, and gleaned key information from our sister sites such as Real Homes and Ideal Home to help you find the best cordless drill for your home.

Sarah is Web Editor of homebuilding.co.uk. She began her career more than a decade ago, working on the editorial team of Public Sector Building magazine, before joining the wider Homebuilding & Renovating team as Social Media Editor in 2012. Since purchasing her first house in 2015, Sarah has been adding to the ever-increasing list of home improvements she needs to make; including extending over the garage, resurfacing the driveway, replacing existing flooring and revamping the kitchen. Fortunately, in her eight years on Team Homebuilding, including three as web editor, she is not short on design inspiration or top tips to tackle or project manage these tasks herself.