Power Tools

We Reviewed the Best Drill Brands of 2021. Here are Our Top 5 Best Picks.

Have you always handed over drilling-related tasks, like fixing things about the house, mounting a shelf on the wall, or even something as simple as hanging up a photo frame, to a skilled technician?

Maybe today you’d like to take matters into your own hands, but don’t own the necessary equipment to tackle the job. So you begin to scour the net for the perfect drilling machine. It’s just a drill, right? No biggie. 

Three hours in, you have a wired-up brain, jumbled-up comparison charts, and suddenly can’t recollect the significance of torque or the function of a chuck. You’re even more confused than when you started, not to mention overwhelmed. 

No need to get hassled; we’re here to simplify the process for you. We’ve put together a buying guide to help you select a drill brand that will have you fixing things in the house like a true handyman.

Drill Buying Guide

Cordless Vs. Corded

Our grandfathers used drills with a basic T-handle and some elbow grease. Eventually, manufacturers ran electricity through them with long cords before setting them free with lithium-ion batteries a few years later. 

On entering the drilling world, the first thing you’ll want to determine is whether to opt for a corded or cordless drill. 

The general function behind cordless drills is pretty similar to its corded cousins—boring holes, loosening and tightening screws, and even chiseling away materials. The most apparent difference is mobility. Insert the battery in your cordless drill, and you’re all set to tackle your home projects. Whereas with a corded drill, you’ll have to constantly tug at the burdensome extension cord that also doubles over as a tripping hazard.

A downside to cordless drills is that they need regular recharging, so you may want to have a spare battery handy if the need arises. On this front, corded drills are a much more reliable power supply source and are ideal for projects that may take up a lot of time.

Besides portability, cordless drills allow for ease of storage. These machines have storage containers where you can place the drill and the batteries. On the other hand, corded drills are cumbersome to store because of their long wires that may get entangled. 

Voltage, speed, and torque, which we will get to later in the article, also decide whether to go cordless or not. Corded drills are much more powerful than their cordless counterparts because of their higher voltage, but that doesn’t change the fact that high-end cordless drills have impressive torque and speed to manage projects around the house.

How To Choose The Right Drill For You

Both corded and cordless drills have their pros and pitfalls, so your choice has to be in line with the nature of your task. For homeowners looking to take on drilling projects at home, a cordless drill is an excellent choice. Let’s discuss specific attributes of drilling machines before heading into our top 5 picks so that you can make an informed purchase.

Voltage 

Voltage is the power-churning element of a drill. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the machine, allowing drills to bore holes through tough surfaces like masonry or even hard concrete walls. A 12-volt drill provides more than enough power for drilling tasks at home, with more demanding projects requiring 18-20 volt drills. But it’s important to note that cordless drills with a higher voltage have bigger, bulkier batteries, which may hinder extensive usage.

Torque

The drill bit rotates because of a force known as torque. Drilling hard materials like concrete need more torque than low power tasks such as drilling wood. Newton-metres (Nm) is the standard measurement for torque, and different drilling machines have different torque ratings. For light jobs, a rating between 200-400 will work, whereas intense tasks require a rating of 500 and above.

Motor

The primary function of a motor is to convert electricity into mechanical force. There are two types of cordless drill motors—brushed and brushless. Brushless motors don’t heat up because they are constructed with magnets and generate less friction, unlike the brushed variant, which is made up of carbon. When considering high-grade performance and saving on time, brushless motors have the upper hand again. 

Speed

RPM, or revolutions per minute, indicates the cordless driver’s speed or how quickly a chuck turns. One complete rotation of a chuck is equivalent to 1 RPM. On average, most cordless drills have a speed of 1000 RPMs, but they can vary between 500-2000 RPMs.

Batteries

Since cordless drills depend entirely on battery power, the battery type should be at the top of your checklist when purchasing a drill. You could either get drills with extra batteries or a single powerful drill that offers extra runtime. The choice is yours. 

Safety Tips For Drills

As much as drilling machines are a boon for your home improvements and automotive tasks, you must use them only after meeting all the safety precautions, which are:

  • Wear tight-fit clothing
  • Protective gear is a must
  • Make sure your workpiece is stable
  • Apply the correct pressure to the drill
  • Insert the drill bit properly into the chuck

How To Use a Drill Properly

This section will cover step-by-step instructions on using a cordless drilling machine, so you have the technical know-how when the time arrives to fold up your sleeves and get right to it. 

  • Step 1: Choose an appropriate drill bit

To drive a screw, you’ll want to choose a drill bit that’s similar in shape to the end of the screwdriver. You can follow an easy method to find the right-sized bit. Hold the screw up and align it parallelly behind the bit. If the bit is the correct size, it will cover the shaft of the screw without hiding the screw threads on both sides.

The different types of drill bits are screwdriver bits, twist drill bits, Forstner bits, spade bits, and hole saw bits. 

  • Step 2: Insert the bit into the drill

Twist the chuck (circular area at the top of the drill) counterclockwise, and you’ll see the diameter of the jaws widen. Insert the smooth part of the drill bit (shank) into the jaws, followed by tightening the chuck. 

Note that you may risk breaking the bit if you don’t clamp the jaws on the flat sides of the shank, particularly for smaller bits. 

  • Step 3: Check the required settings

Before you get underway with the task at hand, be sure to check you have a fully charged battery. If not, you must swap out the battery, or it may lead to moderate, inefficient drilling.

You will find speed settings on the drill—the faster setting is ideal for drilling holes, while the slower setting is excellent to drive screws into the chosen material.

As a general rule of thumb, clockwise rotation is used for screwing into the material, and counterclockwise rotation removes the bit or unscrews. You can switch between both directions by pressing the buttons on either side of the handles. Before drilling, make sure to turn the dial to the drill symbol or the highest number.

  • Step 4: Set up the material 

You’ll want to use a clamp or a vice to secure the material you’re about to drill. For better finishing when the drill exits, you can place a scrap piece of wood underneath the material.

  • Step 5: Drill the hole

Drilling straight through a material requires that you place the drill bit at a perpendicular angle to it, making sure it’s touching. 

At first, drill slowly until the bit starts to cut through the material. Then, speed it up while applying steady pressure, and you’ll have a perfectly cut hole. Lastly, pull the bit out to clean the hole with the drill spinning in the same direction. 

  • Step 6: Check the hole

Bolts, screws, and rivets should ideally fit into the hole without difficulty. In case it doesn’t fit, you can either insert a larger bit into the hole or use the same drill bit and turn the drill in a circular motion when drilling to make space for the screw.

  • Step 7: Clean your work area

Once you drill the holes, pop out the battery and charge it if necessary. To avoid splinters, vacuum the entire area and gather the chipped material and dust.

Review Of The Best Drill Brands And Their Drills

DEWALT: DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill 1/2-Inch (DCD791D2)

This trusty machine by DeWalt is an excellent add-on to your workshed collection. DEWALT 20V MAX drill is skillfully engineered for a secure ergonomic grip that gives you balanced tool control. Plus, its well-thought design easily fits into tight areas, unlike other bulky power drills.

What’s exceptional about this drilling tool is its 3-mode built-in LED light—20 times brighter than its previous model—making drilling projects in the dark or confined spaces a breeze for you. 

As is the case for any significant drilling job, having the right equipment with standout features is key to getting the best results. The DeWalt drill with a brushless motor has two-speed modes. You can select the 0-550 RPM setting for less intense drilling; in case of faster drilling, you can switch to the 0-2000 RPM mode. 

Apart from providing 57% more runtime than brushed variants, this 20V drill is also considerably lightweight (3.5 lbs), rarely wearing down a user during extensive use. In addition, a half-inch metal chuck with superior bit-gripping strength combined with XR Lithium-ion powered batteries will go a long way in ensuring that you acquire a solid finishing, whatever kind of drilling job you choose to take up.

SUMMARY

DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill (DCD791D2)

Pros

  • Easy to handle lightweight design
  • Longer run time with brushless motor
  • Compact size that fits into tight spaces
  • Long battery life
  • Effective 3-mode built-in LED lights

Cons

  • Customers complain of defective chuck
  • Not the best option for intensive and heavy DIY
CHECK PRICE

Downloads:

MAKITA: Makita XT269M 18V LXT Brushless Cordless 2-Pc. Combo Kit (4.0Ah)

Founded in 1915, Makita, a Japanese manufacturing company, initially sold and fixed lighting equipment, motors, and transformers. After more than a century of innovation, we all bow down to their level of superiority among the top power drill contenders as they produce some top-notch quality lithium-ion drilling machines in the market.

The two-piece combo kit houses two compact cordless drills with powerful brushless motors that can be used for various purposes such as fastening, driving, and drilling. Moreover, its BL brushless motor optimizes battery energy by a whopping 50% and runs much cooler due to the absence of carbon brushes, enabling a longer lifespan. This feature makes it a well-liked product among the do-it-yourself gurus as they can engage in household improvements for extended periods. Extreme protection technology is another remarkable feature of the Makita XT269M as it protects against dust and water on harsh job sites. 

The 18V Lithium-Ion 4.0Ah battery features an LED battery charge levels indicator for added convenience. It has a track record of 40 minutes full recharge, so you can focus on your task without wasting precious time having it sit on the charger.

To ensure both impact drilling and fast drilling functions, this well-built machine is known for its hammer driver-drill (0-500 RPM and 0-2000 RPM) and speed impact driver (0-3400 RPM and 0-3600 IPM) engineered for both occasional DIYers and intense professional drilling functions.

SUMMARY

Makita XT269M 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Drill

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Works well for intense drilling sessions
  • Battery life is commendable
  • Customers like the high torque and compact size

Cons

  • Customers complain of overheating
CHECK PRICE

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MILWAUKEE: Milwaukee 2801-22CT M18 18-Volt Brushless Cordless Drill/Driver Kit

Here’s another best-in-class drill worthy of your attention—the Milwaukee 2801-22CT. This well-balanced machine delivers unparalleled power with its optimal tool performance and is undoubtedly built like a workhorse. Its cost is within reach for the do-it-yourself experts, and the performance is perfect for pros that don’t require a ton of power. 

Paired with Milwaukee’s REDLINK™ Intelligence, advanced overload protection that monitors the temperature, you’ll be safeguarded against abusive and corrupt applications. Plus, its 2.0Ah batteries are strengthened with the REDLITHIUM™ battery, a unique Milwaukee power technology that bumps up battery life and performance by delivering more work per charge. Couple these with its compact and ergonomic design, and you’ve got yourself a unit that can run for hours while easily slipping in between tight spaces.

Like the DeWalt, the Milwaukee unit, too, comes with a ½ inch metal ratcheting chuck that locks in the bit securely, preventing it from coming loose and offering maximum impact while you’re busy with a range of drilling and fastening applications. 

The compact driver delivers 500 in. lbs. of torque and 0-500/0-1,800 RPM, and its brushless motor has an efficient runtime and longer life. The drill Kit comprises the drill, M18™ REDLITHIUM™ CP2.0 batteries, M18™/M12™ multi-voltage charger, and a carrying case.

SUMMARY

Milwaukee 2801-22CT M18 18-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver

Pros

  • Lightweight and powerful
  • Metal chuck that offers maximum impact
  • Ergonomic design for stronger grip

Cons

  • Bits are hard to control when removing
  • Weak LED lighting
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Downloads:

BOSCH: BOSCH GSB18V-535CB25 18V EC Brushless Hammer Drill/Driver Kit

If you haven’t spent a day or two going over the exceptional features of Bosch GSB18V-535CB25 and being amazed by the capacity of this sturdy unit, then have you ever lived? That’s right, we’re talking about a tool with Bluetooth connectivity, the Bosch Toolbox app, and a CoolPack 2.0 heat-management system. 

Bluetooth connectivity connects the toolbox app to any nearby device for enhanced control and feedback. This way, with just a few taps, you can configure your tool based on your preference so that it displays the same settings every time you switch it on.  

The exclusive CoolPack 2.0 technology cools the battery 15% faster with a 135% longer lifespan. Paired with high power cell technology and an advanced battery design, you’re guaranteed to include this highly functional machine in both your pro and handyman drilling activities for the long time that it serves you. 

Like all other drills, the Bosch GSB18V-535CB25 also has two variable settings for power (0-600 RPM) and speed (0-1900 RPM). If you typically drive lags and larger fasteners with an impact driver or an impact wrench, this drill will do it without a problem due to the massive amount of torque it generates.

The KickBack control feature stops the tool if sudden bind-ups occur while working, protecting you against injuries. This is a splendid feature when driving screws, mainly while using metallic materials.

An all-metal chuck allows for more durability as well as top-grade bit retention. The best Bosch drill features 20+1 settings to give you more control over the level of torque applied to a screw while providing better driving accuracy.

SUMMARY

BOSCH GSB18V-535CB25 18V EC Hammer Drill/Driver Kit

Pros

  • Can take it out on construction jobs
  • KickBack Control feature reduces risk
  • Easily customizable settings with Bluetooth
  • Generates an aggressive amount of torque

Cons

  • The blinking red light of anti-kickback is distracting
  • The chuck grinds on opening/closing at times
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RYOBI: Ryobi Drill Set Bundle with Ryobi 18V ONE

Looking for an excellent compact combo for your home? The Ryobi drill set bundle is a no-brainer. Before we get into the specifics, let’s talk about what comes in the Ryobi set. You get the 18V drill, a 31-piece drill bit set, lithium-ion battery, charger, a double-ended bit, and a Buho tool bag. 

Apart from an LED light to illuminate workspaces and an additional bit storage, one of the main highlights of the Ryobi drill is its power and performance, considering how small it looks. Especially if you’re moving into a new apartment or home and need to assemble furniture parts or mount shelves, nothing beats this dependable unit. It’s lightweight and compact, so you don’t need to shy away from any kind of home improvement.

Moreover, carrying the kit around your house, followed by safe storage, becomes easily manageable with the Buho storage bag.

With the 31 black oxide drill and drive bits, you’ll be well equipped to bore holes through wood, metal, plastic, and brick. It also has carbide-tipped masonry bits used for intense drilling of the most rigid materials. 

Customers have given this complete assortment bundle a smashing 4.9 out of 5 on Amazon, with 89% five-star ratings.

Ryobi Drill Set Bundle with Ryobi 18V ONE+ Drill

SUMMARY

Ryobi 18V ONE+ Drill

Pros

  • Perfect for work around the house
  • 31 drill bit set for a variety of applications
  • Excellent battery life for light-duty jobs
  • Affordable toolset

Cons

  • Not suitable for pro-level jobs
CHECK PRICE

Downloads:

FAQs

What is the best cordless drill brand?

Based on our research, Bosch GSB18V-535CB25 is the winner because of its one-of-a-kind features, from Bluetooth connectivity and Kickback control to 20+1 clutch controls and high power cell technology.

Which is better, DeWalt or Makita?

Going as per tool to tool comparison, Dewalt is a better brand. But an overall weighing up of the two reveals that Makita emerges strong when considering long-lasting battery performance, while Dewalt is well-known for its production, durability, and torque.

How much does a power drill cost?

Top-quality drills from reputable manufacturers will cost you somewhere between $120 to $160. But if you’re looking to purchase an entire kit, the price will be more than a standalone product.

How can I maintain my power drill?

You can keep the tool clean by investing in a compressor and a blowgun to remove dust fragments and debris.

Where can I get a replacement for my drill instruction manual?

Most drill brands provide a copy of the instruction manuals on their website for you to download. Alternatively, you can contact the manufacturing company to have a replacement manual sent to you.

Can I use a cordless drill to drill ceramic tiles and concrete?

Yes, you can use a cordless drill to drill ceramic tiles and concrete, but only if you set the drill to hammer mode for drilling concrete. When it comes to ceramic tiles, disable the hammer mode and use a low torque configuration to be safer so that the tiles don’t snap.

How long does a cordless drill battery last?

This will depend on what drill brand you choose. Generally, they will last a few hours, but this will also vary in how you use the drill. More complex jobs can drain the battery faster while also weakening it.