Cordless Drills & Drivers

Picking the Best Small Cordless Drill: Buying Guide + Review of the Best Small Drills

Cordless drills are a must-have for all homeowners and DIYers. Small cordless drills allow users to perform tasks around the house such as drilling holes into the wall, inserting screws, sawing hard surfaces, and installing drywall. A small cordless drill enables homeowners and workers to easily complete lengthy tasks due to its user-friendly interface, compact design, long battery life, and comfortable grip.

Small cordless drills can vary in price, ranging anywhere between $75 and $400. If you are on the fence about purchasing a cordless drill or simply do not know where to start, this buying guide will help you pick out the best drill to complete your projects.

Small Cordless Drill Buying Guide

In order to select the right tool, you’ll first need to know what the parts of a cordless drill actually refer to. Here are some keywords you may come across that describe the characteristics of a cordless drill:

Size – Each cordless drill listed in this guide is made of a portable, compact design that allows you to carry your drill on-the-go, around the house, or in your car with ease. Some drills even come with a cargo bag that allows you to transport your drill safely.

Chuck – The chuck allows the drill to steadily hold and rotate the drill bit. The chuck can come in different sizes such as ¼-inch for smaller projects, 3/8 for everyday use, and a larger size such as ½-inch for heavy-duty projects.

Torque– The torque is the twisting force that allows the drill to rotate. The torque settings lock into place and should be clearly labeled. The higher the number, the more twisting power it delivers.

Drill Speed – A drill’s speed is measured in RPM or rotations per minute. A lower RPM allows for slower drilling while a larger RPM allows for faster drilling. Always research what RPM your project should use. Pay attention to the material and test it on a low RPM to start.

Battery– All of the cordless drills within this guide come with lithium-ion batteries and a charger. A lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery that is often used in electronic devices, electric vehicles, and even in military applications. A lithium-ion battery extends the battery’s lifetime, increases safety, gives off consistent power, and charges quickly.

How to Select the Right Small Cordless Drill For You

Starting a new project can make you feel stressed out. People often envision the end goal, but might get anxiety about starting a new project because they don’t know how to begin. Users want the work to be quick, easy, thorough, and reliable. The good news, it can be! Before you buy a cordless drill, look for these keywords that describe the qualities of the drill that will help you complete your new project in no time!

Compact – Having a cordless drill with a compact design enables you to work long hours without experiencing work fatigue. A compact drill usually weighs below 5 pounds and can fit into your on-the-go lifestyle with ease.

Durable – Durability is a must-have for your small cordless drill. You want a drill that is able to withstand sudden drops and high pressure. 

Portable – Since you will most likely bring your cordless drill with you on-the-go, you need a drill that is reliable and that can withstand different environments. Make sure your drill is portable and that you have a carrying case when you bring it with you.

Long Battery Life – These small cordless drills come with a lithium-ion battery. A lithium-ion battery provides a long battery life which allows you to complete hours on the job without having to stop to charge. All lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable, and the drills listed come with their own chargers.

LED Light – You might be working in dark, tight spaces that require light. When an LED light is included in the drill design, it allows you to see clearly and keep working without needing to setup a secondary light source such as a flashlight or overhead light.

Safety Tips

  • Read the safety manual before using your new small cordless drill.
  • Keep your workspace clean and well-lit.
  • Do not operate in the presence of flammable materials.
  • Keep children and animals away from your workspace.
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes while you work.
  • Avoid baggy clothing and jewelry that could catch on to something when you work.
  • Consider wearing ear protection such as earmuffs or earplugs in order to protect your long-term hearing.
  • Consider wearing a mask to protect your lungs from dust and debris.

How to Use a Cordless Drill Properly

  • Check to make sure you are using the correct drill-bit size for your project. You can match the material you are working on with and a drill bit size chart.
  • Make sure all pieces are securely fastened before using your drill.
  • Hold the tool firmly with both hands. Hold one hand on the handle and the other hand gripping around the battery area.
  • Secure your workstation and the surface you are drilling into.
  • Consider the material you will be drilling into. For an anchor, drill slowly in order to reduce splitting. For wood, drill faster and start with a smaller hole and gradually increase to a larger hole.
  • Always apply a steady, balanced pressure when drilling. If you feel that you have to use an excessive amount of force, double-check that the drill-bit size is correct for your project and the materials you are working with.
  • Overheating may occur with your drill. To avoid overheating, drill at a lower speed at a slower pace. If the drill overheats, let it cool down before using it again.

Hint: Use a pencil to draw a small dot in the exact place you want to drill into. This will help you make sure it is in the spot you want before actually drilling.

Review of the TOP 5 Best Small Cordless Drills

1. Milwaukee 2701-22CT Compact Brushless Drill/Driver Kit

The Milwaukee 2701-22CT M18 ½” Compact Brushless Drill/Driver Kit provides excellent balance and control while working on all your projects. This small cordless drill is ideal for overhead applications or for work in tight spaces. The Milwaukee Compact Brushless Drill contains a REDLITHIUM™ Battery. This type of lithium battery lasts longer than the competitors and works hard so you don’t have to.

Torque – The Milwaukee cordless drill has a peak torque of 500 pounds and comes with a two-speed all-metal gearbox. 

REDLINK™ Intelligence: Advanced overload protection defends against abusive applications and monitors the temperature to prevent damage and ensure maximum tool & battery life.

Multi-Speed Trigger– This small cordless drill contains a two-speed trigger that allows the RPM to move slower or faster depending on your project needs.

Multiple Clutch Positions The Milwaukee 2701-22CT contains a clutch with 19 different positions. The clutch is user-friendly due to its clear labels and tight scroll which makes each position locked into place while you are working.

Compact Design – The Milwaukee 2701-22CT has a small, compact design measuring 14x16x6 inches and weighs just under 4 pounds. This makes the drill ideal for completing homeworking projects without wearing out your arm and upper body.

Brushless motor –Brushless motor for better efficiency and longer life, Milwaukee® Brushless Motor: Optimized for efficiency, this motor delivers over 50% more run-time and 2X longer life than brushed motors. Also delivers 500 in-lbs. of torque and 0-400/0-1,800 RPM for a wide range of drilling & fastening applications.

Maximum Durability– The Milwaukee cordless drill is made of a plastic body and a glass fiber that is reinforced nylon. The drill also includes a black rubberized molding that allows for a comfortable grip.

Drop Protection – The cordless drill comes with an all-metal gear case which provides the maximum impact and shock durability.

Long Battery Life – The lithium-ion battery allows you to complete projects for hours without needing to recharge the battery. 

LED light – The LED light allows for work in darker, tighter spaces.

SUMMARY

Milwaukee 2701-22CT M18 1/2″

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Maximum durability
  • Minimizes work fatigue
  • Drop protection
  • Long battery life
  • Quick charging
  • Overheating protection
  • 5-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • LED light

Cons

  • Higher price point
  • LED light casts a shadow
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2. Bosch PS32-02 Cordless Drill Driver

The Bosch PS32-02 Cordless Drill Driver is the most lightweight in its category. At only 2.1 pounds, this cordless drill is extremely portable, compact, and also powerful. It comes with a brushless motor which gives you two times more motor life and adds to its compact design. At only 6 inches long, this cordless drill is perfect for long projects and on-the-go work. There are 2-speed options: 0-400 RPM and 0-1300 RPM.

Lightweight – This lightweight cordless drill driver is a powerhouse for a weight of just 2.1 pounds. This allows for all-day comfort while you work on your projects.

Compact design – This cordless drill is compact but can also withstand hard-to-maneuver tasks with its 7-inch head length. 

Powerful Drill – This durable drill allows for 265 pounds of maximum torque. There are 20 clutch settings that allow for precise torque adjustment.

Multiple Settings – The Bosch cordless drill comes with two settings: 0-350 RPM and 0-1,300 RPM.  20+1 clutch settings for more precise torque adjustment

Secure – The Bosch PS32-01 Cordless Drill contains a chuck that securely holds and fastens drill bits. The Bosch cordless drill also features a belt clip for convenient and secure storage.

Long Battery Life – This Bosch cordless drill comes with two lithium-ion batteries that allow you to complete projects for hours while charging one battery at a time.

Portable – The Bosch PS32-01 comes with a soft carrying case that allows for ultimate portability. 

LED Light – The Bosch Cordless Drill’s integrated LED light allows you to see in even the darkest workspace.

SUMMARY

Bosch PS32-02 Cordless Drill Driver

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Powerful
  • Portable
  • LED light

Cons

  • Internal design cheaply made
  • Faulty trigger
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3. BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Drill

The BLACK+DECKER 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver is lightweight, compact, and features multiple settings. This cordless drill can actually hold a charge for 18 months due to its lithium-ion battery. The 11-Position clutch allows you to use the correct setting for several work projects. This Black+Decker drill comes with an LED light on both the drill and the charger that allows you to reach dark spaces and know when your battery is fully charged. 

Lightweight – The Black + Decker 20V is super lightweight, weighing only 3.15 pounds.

Long Battery Life– The Black + Decker 20V comes with a lithium-ion battery. The lithium-ion technology allows for more compact and longer-lasting battery life.

Compact Design – The Black + Decker cordless drill is a compact design whose dimensions are 10.63 x 3.69 x 8.5 inches.

Multiple Clutch Settings– This cordless drill includes an 11-position clutch. This provides precise control for drilling into different materials such as wood, metal, and plastic as well is great for all screwdriving tasks.

Multiple Speed Settings – The Black + Decker 20V Cordless drill includes a variable speed setting. This allows you to drill deeper or shorter without damaging the material you are working with.

Long Battery Life – The lithium-ion battery allows you to complete projects for hours without needing to recharge the battery. 

LED Light – The charger comes with an LED indicator light that shows you when your battery is fully charged. The drill itself comes with a small LED light that allows you to work in dark spaces.

SUMMARY

BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Drill

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple settings
  • Long battery life
  • LED light

Cons

  • Feels heavier than it is
  • Small design not intended for people with larger hands
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4. Makita XPH11RB 18V LXT

The Makita XPH11RB 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Sub-Compact Brushless Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill Kit delivers a powerful performance with a lightweight design. This Makita drill is an 18-volt series that allows for higher voltage than others in its category. The Makita XPH11RB features a brushless motor that enables the drill to run efficiently and not overhear. The Makita small cordless drill also comes with two-speed settings as well as an LED light that illuminates your workspaces.

Lightweight – The Makita XPH11RB 18V LXT cordless drill is only 2.9 pounds with the battery which allows for portability and for less work-related fatigue.

Multiple Speeds – The Makita XPH11RB offers two-speed transmissions: 0-500 and 0-1,700 RPM and 0-7,500 and 0-25,500 BPM.

LED Light – The Makita cordless drill contains an LED light that allows you to work in dark spaces with ease.

Long Battery Life – The lithium-ion battery allows you to complete projects for hours without needing to recharge the battery.

SUMMARY

Makita XPH11RB 18V LXT

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic design
  • Multiple speeds
  • Long battery life
  • LED light

Cons

  • Clutch can be faulty
  • Not intended for drilling multiple holes at once
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5. DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit (DCD771C2)

The DEWALT 20V MAX* Lithium-ion Compact Drill/Driver Kit is a cordless drill with a lightweight design that is perfect for working in small, tight spaces for long periods of time. This DEWALT drill offers a comfortable grip that helps overcome work fatigue, high power capabilities, and a long-lasting rechargeable battery.

Compact Design – The DEWALT cordless drill is both compact and comfortable for the user. This cordless drill weighs under 4 pounds and contains an ergonomic handle that delivers both comfort and control.  

Portability – The DEWALT 20V drill comes with a soft carrying case, making it portable for on-the-go work.

High Performance – The DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill/Driver Kit delivers high-performance with over 300-unit watts of power ability and capabilities. 

Multiple Settings – The DEWALT 20V drill contains 2-speed variations that allow you to choose the level of performance needed for various applications.

Multiple Chuck Settings – The 1/2″ chuck provides ultimate gripping strength. There are 16 clutch settings great for completing an array of projects.

Long Battery Life – The lithium-ion battery allows you to complete projects for hours without needing to recharge the battery. This dill comes with two lithium-ion batteries which allow you to charge one while never having to stop working. Recharging takes about 64 minutes to fully recharge.

SUMMARY

DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Multi-speed transmission
  • Ergonomic handle
  • High performance
  • 16 clutch settings
  • Includes soft carrying case

Cons

  • LED light causes glare on the workstation
  • Takes a long time to drill larger holes
  • Slow recharging time
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FAQs

What is the smallest cordless drill?

The DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch (DCD771C2) is the smallest cordless drill in its category. At only 4.25 inches, the DEWALT 20V cordless drill delivers powerful capabilities, offers secure storage, and is extremely portable in its design.

Who makes the smallest cordless drill?

The brand DEWALT makes a drill that is only 4.25 inches long. The DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, Compact, 1/2-Inch (DCD771C2) is extremely compact and portable.

What is the lightest cordless drill?

The lightest cordless drill is the Bosch PS32-02 Cordless Drill. The Bosch drill only weighs 2.1 pounds and is only 6 inches long. Although it is light, it also performs with high power. With multiple clutch settings and RPM ranges from 0-1300, the Bosch PS32-02 drill can deliver great quality work.