Bosch 18V Compact Drill Driver Kit
Cordless Drills & Drivers

The Ultimate Cordless Drill Buying Guide

Do you have an upcoming project construction project or want to increase the arsenal of your DIY power tools? A cordless drill is a must-have in your list of equipment. It gives the convenience to move freely and work from anywhere without worrying about a power source. Most cordless power drills feature a lightweight and compact design, which makes them highly portable. They also come with a wide range of applications such as drilling, fastening, and driving screws. 

However, there are hundreds of cordless drill brands in the market with varying designs and performances. Choosing the top-rated power drill that suits you can be a daunting task, considering the amount of information you will need to sift through. 

Lucky you, we’ve got your back! In the article below we will guide you on how to choose the best cordless drill according to your needs.  

Cordless Drill Buying Guide

As you shop for a cordless drill, it is imperative to know a few basics about this device. This way, you will have the information to choose the right drill for you. Here are some ideas to consider:

What cordless drill is best?

The best cordless drill for you is one that suits your needs and fits your budget. Ideally, your best power drill should have enough power to handle your workload. For instance, if you are drilling holes on a metallic surface, you need a heavy-duty category driver. However, if you wish to drive small screws into a softwood, then a light-duty power drill with an ¼-inch chuck will work fine for you. Therefore, consider your needs first before paying for a cordless drill to ensure that it’s suitable for your work.

How do you use a cordless drill?

Before you can operate a cordless drill, it is wise to know how the device works. Start by discovering various parts and how they function. For instance, the metallic section that holds your bits is called the chuck. A power drill chuck can house different sizes of bits ranging from ½ to ¼ inch. Most cordless drills feature keyless chucks. 

With these designs, you only need to turn the chuck collar anticlockwise or clockwise to open or close its jaws, respectively. Alternatively, you open the chuck jaws by holding the collar and running the motor. To close it, reverse the motor direction by using the selector next to the trigger. If you move this selector to the center position, you will lock the drill, and it will not run when you hold down the trigger. This setting is perfect for safety, especially when storing the cordless drill. 

Just behind the chuck is the clutch ring. It is a rotatable numbered plastic that allows you to adjust the torque applied on the drill bit. Depending on the size of the device, the clutch setting can range between 15 and 20. A lower number gives you low torque on the, but while a higher one delivers more torque. The clutch ring also can change lock the device setting to the drilling mode. In this mode, you will not experience any slippage on the chuck. Additionally, you can select the hammer setting that delivers both rotational and hammering action on the drill bit. This selection works well when working with working on stones and concrete walls. 

Behind the clutch ring sits the transmission selector. Most power drills will have multiple speeds, i.e. low and high-speed settings. The low-speed transmission provides a lot of torque which is suitable for installing screws. In high-speed mode, the drill produces less torque but very high speeds. Therefore, this speed setting is ideal for drilling applications.

How to Choose the Right Cordless Drill for You?

Now that you know how to operate a cordless drill, let’s examine the important features to consider when choosing the right power drill for you. Read to discover.  

Ergonomic Design

Most cordless drills come in a pistol design. The best models have an ergonomic handle with a rubberized surface for a firm and comfy grip. This way, you can use the tool for long hours before getting tired. If you are working on an overhead project, it is advisable to go for a lightweight cordless drill. It reduces fatigue, allowing you to work for long.

Chuck Size

The chuck size of most cordless drills ranges between 1/2 inch and ¼ inch. These sizes give you the upper limits of the bits a cordless drill can handle. They also help you gauge the size of a cordless drill. ½ inch power drills are in the heavy-duty category, while the ¼ inch type is in the light-duty category. Also consider the dimensions of the power drill, especially if you wish to use it in tight spots.

Battery Charger

In most cases, cordless drills come with battery chargers. This way, you can start using the power drill immediately without having to order a charger separately. A charger with a charge indicator shows the percentage of the battery charge. It is even better to get a power drill that displays the battery power level. This way, you will know when you need to change the battery and plan adequately. 

Battery Type

The type of battery used on your power drill determines how long the device will run without recharging. The top brands in the market use lithium-ion batteries for their cordless drills. These batteries give you better run-times than other models. Also, it is wise to go for higher voltage batteries if your power drill can support them.

Type of Motor

The top brands in the market use brushless motors on their cordless drills. These motors deliver torque on the drill bit depending on the load size. This technology protects the battery and makes it run for longer without overheating. It also protects the power drill from overloading, thereby extending its lifespan. Also, cordless drills with brushless motors come with better warranties. It shows that manufacturers have more confidence in these motors than the brushed type.

Handy Extras

Cordless drills also come with additional features such as LED lights, belt clips, and magnetic bit holders. These extra features differ from one brand to another. Go for a cordless driver that gives added convenience and improves your productivity.

Pricing

Power drills come with varying prices depending on their sizes and salient features. With a budget of $100 and $160, you can get a decent drill set that meets most of your worksite needs. However, as you shop around for a drill set, focus on getting one that best suits your needs.

Cordless Drill Safety Tips

  • The lifespan of your power drill will depend on how you handle the tool. For proper handling of your cordless drill, take time to understand your product. Study the manufacturer’s manual to understand any salient features of the cordless drill. While cordless drills may have similar features, there may be some design differences between brands. If you don’t pay attention to these differences, you can operate your power drill wrongly and damage it. 
  • Use your power drill for the appropriate application. For instance, make sure you use the correct bit every time. Adjust the torque depending on the task you are performing and insert a fully charged battery. If your battery does not have enough power, the drilling will not function efficiently. Always use a pilot hole when installing screws. This way, you will protect your wooden surface from splitting. 
  • Ensure that your work environment is safe. For instance, before you drill holes on walls or other surfaces, confirm that no hazards are lurking behind the surface, such as electrical wires and gas pipes. Always wear protective gear such as safety goggles, gloves, and an apron. Do not wear loose clothing such as ties because they can cause accidents if they get caught up in the spinning action of your drill. 
  • After using your cordless drill, lock the trigger, remove the battery and clean the tool ready for storage. Observe these safety tips above to avoid accidents and ensure that your power drill lasts longer.

TOP 5 the Best Cordless Drills

We have done thorough research on the leading power drill brands in the market and settled on the TOP 5 cordless power drills. 

Hopefully, you will find one that works for you best!

1. Bosch 18V Compact 1/2″ Drill/Driver Kit



Bosch brand is renowned the world over for reliable and highly efficient power tools. It’s no surprise that their GSR18V-190B22 cordless drill/driver stands out as one of the best power tools in its class. It delivers up to 480 inch-pound torque, which is powerful enough to handle your drill needs. The drill comes in a compact design for easy handling and features a keyless ½ inch chuck that makes changing your bits hassle-free.

The GSR18V-190B22 cordless drill comes with two-speed settings 0-1, 700 RPM, and 0-450 RPM for your high-speed driving and high-speed drilling needs, respectively. It features an ergonomic pistol grip zone for easy handling and added comfort when working. And if it gets dark or you have to work in an emergency, you don’t have to grab your flashlight because the drill comes with an in-built LED light. 

This Bosch cordless drill comes with two 2.0 Ah batteries and a charger to ensure minimal interruption when working. If one battery runs out, you can plug it into the charger and use the spare one. If you are working on high-power tasks, you can upgrade the drill and include Bosch’s CORE18V battery. Its 20+1 clutch settings allow you to select your torque range with more accuracy, thereby reducing damage on your fasteners. 

Bosch 18V Compact 1/2″ Drill/Driver Kit

SUMMARY

Dimensions7.8 x 2.95 x 8.8 Inch
Weight2.8 lb
Battery TypeLithium-ion
Wattage27 watts
Speed1,700 RPM
Voltage18 V
Warranty3 Years

Bosch 18V Compact 1/2″ Drill/Driver Kit

Pros

  • Ergonomic design 
  • Lightweight 
  • Two batteries and charger included
  • Comes with the case

Cons

  • Not brushless
  • No battery level indicator
CHECK PRICE


Downloads:

2. DEWALT 20V Max Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch (DCF885C1)


The history of the Dewalt brand dates back to the the1920s when the DEWALT Products Company designed the DeWalt “Wonder-Worker” machine. Since then, the firm has grown in leaps and bounds to become a global go-to brand for power tools. For example, the Dewalt DCF885C1 20V impact power drill gives you the flexibility to work in tight corners. It is compatible with ¼ inch hex chucks and supports one-hand loading for ease of use. 

In case you find yourself working in dark corners, don’t worry. The three built-in LED lights on this Dewalt impact driver will light up within 20 seconds of releasing the trigger for added visibility without shadows. It comes with a 1.5Ah Lithium-ion battery and a fast charger to get. 

If you are looking for a cordless driver that will last, then the Dewalt DCF885C1 will not disappoint. Its rugged design is sure to weather the harsh conditions of a construction site. No wonder the manufacturer has a 3-year warranty on the impact drill as a guarantee of quality. When it comes to performance, this cordless drill can deliver a maximum torque of 1,000 inch-pound. With only $169, you can add this Dewalt drill set to your power tools.

SUMMARY

Dimensions5.55 x 9 x 3 Inch
Weight2.8 lb
Battery TypeLithium-ion
Speed0 -2,800 RPM
Voltage20 V
Warranty3 Years

DEWALT 20V Max Impact Driver Kit

Pros

  • Battery and fast charger included
  • 3 LED lights
  • Ideal for tight spaces
  • 1-year free service

Cons

  • Not brushless
  • No battery level indicator
CHECK PRICE


Downloads:

3. Milwaukee 2504-21 M12 FUEL CP Brushless Lithium-Ion 1/2 in.



The Milwaukee 2504-21 M12 Fuel CP cordless hammer drill is your ideal pick for your overhead tasks. Its 2.3lbs lightweight design and 350 inch-pound torque allow you to achieve more while reducing fatigue. With a drilling speed of 1700RPM, this Milwaukee cordless drill is sure to give an impressive performance.

The power drill is ergonomically designed to fit your hand for a firm grip. It features an LED light that goes on when drilling, thereby allowing you to work in dark spaces. Moreover, its 6.6″ length makes it suitable for use in tight spaces. 

The M12 Fuel 1/2″ Hammer Drill comes with a brushless motor and an E-Clutch transmission for an efficient operation. This design makes the drill smart in that it can match the output torque to the applied load. This way, the battery lasts longer. The kit comes with an M12 REDLITHIUM battery, charger, and a contractor bag. 

SUMMARY

Dimensions6.6 x 2.1 x 7.8 Inch
Weight2.3 lb
Battery TypeLithium-ion
Speed1700 RPM
Voltage12 V
Warranty5 Years
CHECK PRICE


Downloads:

4. Makita FD09R1 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3/8″ Driver-Drill Kit


Makita is a global brand with over 100 years of experience designing reliable power tools, and the Makita FD09R1 12V cordless driver is no exception. This power drill comes in a compact and lightweight design for added comfort and reduced fatigue on users. It has a rubberized handle for a soft and firm grip. 

The Makita drill is an excellent pick for general purpose applications such as drilling, fastening, and driving screws. With a maximum torque of 250 inch-pound and a two-speed setting, this power drill can perform most of the drilling and fastening tasks in your home or DIY workshop. Its slide battery design gives the power drill added support to stand on its own, giving you the convenience you need in-between drilling tasks. 

You don’t have to worry about working in tight spaces because the power drill is only 7” long, making it suitable for such applications. Its LED lighting lights up your working space, making working in dark spots a breeze. This power drill comes with a brushless motor which ensures a longer runtime and long driver life. 

You don’t have to worry about overloading this power tool. Its battery protection circuit prevents overloading and overheating. Its keyless ⅜ inch chuck allows you smooth changing of bits. The Makita drill set comes with the FD09R1 driver/drill, two 2V max CXT 2.0 Ah batteries, battery charger, and case, for only $99.

Makita FD09R1 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless

SUMMARY

Dimensions4.37 x 14.49 x 11.93
Weight2.4 lb
Battery TypeLithium-ion
Speed0-450, -1,700 RPM
Voltage12 V
Warranty3 Years

Makita FD09R1 12V max CXT

Pros

  • Brushless motors
  • Charge level indicator
  • LED light
  • Highly affordable
  • Lightweight design
  • Ergonomic handle
  • 2-speed settings

Cons

  • Low power output
CHECK PRICE


Downloads:

5. PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Compact Drill Kit (PCC608LB)


PORTER-CABLE PCC608LB is a powerful cordless drill/driver designed for the harshest metal and wood drilling and fastening tasks. This power drill features an ergonomic design that gives you an easy and firm grip. Its pistol design and slide battery feature allows you efficient tool handing. You can let the drill stand on its own in between tasks and pick it up with ease. It comes with a 20V lithium-ion battery that ensures that you have sufficient power for your tough jobs. With this battery, you can install 400 crews on a single charge.

The power drill features a lightweight design that allows you to work all day. Its LED light provides you with sufficient light to work in dark spots. The metal chuck ensures a tight grip on bits, therefore, preventing slipping while working. This feature increases the product reliability even after long hours of use. Its brushless motor saves you on battery power and allows you to use it for longer, especially when handling light tasks. The drill comes with a charge and two 20V lithium-ion batteries.

SUMMARY

Dimensions7.4 x 3.7 x 9.5 Inch
Weight3.2 lbs
Battery TypeLithium-ion
Wattage330 Watts
Speed0-400/0-1,600 RPM
Voltage20 V
Warranty3 Years

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Drill Kit

Pros

  • High power output
  • Built to last
  • Impressive runtime
  • Battery level indicator

Cons

  • Gets hot quickly
  • Poor LED light positioning
CHECK PRICE


Downloads:

FAQs

Can I use an impact driver as a drill?

Yes. All you need to do is to insert a drill bit in the chuck, then use the clutch selector to set the impact driver to drilling mode and use it.

How long does a cordless drill last?

It depends on how frequently you use the drill and how much load you apply. For instance, under occasional general purpose use, a cordless drill can last between seven and nine years. But under heavy daily use, its lifespan can reduce to three to five years.

How long do cordless drill batteries last?

The life of your cordless drill batteries depends on the type, use, and storage. But if you have quality batteries and take good care of them, they should serve you for two to three years.

How do you buy a cordless drill?

You can buy a cordless drill via online stores such as Amazon or visit a trusted brick-and-dealer in your area. However, online stores allow you to order your power from anywhere, anytime and save your time.

What cordless drill should I buy?

Buy a top-rated cordless drill that can handle your workload and is within your budget. However, do not use price only as the only determinant to buy or not to buy a great product. When it comes to extra features, go for what suits your tastes and preferences.