Cordless drills were considered heavy and not powerful enough to handle masonry and metal drilling but modern improvements with lithium batteries and powerful mortars have made cordless drills as powerful as their corded counterparts. Every modern home now needs a cordless drill for every DIY project. Fixing your own rickety shelves, assembling appliances and decorating your walls to your satisfaction is every homeowner`s ambition.
Your choice of a drill should be primarily based on the type of projects you are going to accomplish. When talking about cordless drills, we have to talk about torque because it largely determines the material you will be able to drill into. The torque size is determined by the mortar size and the voltage of your drill which ranges from 12v to 20v for home drills. Higher voltage means a stronger torque but not necessarily the best drill for you, we have included details on the projects each drill can handle effectively to help you choose your best DIY companion.
This is a guide based on expert advice and thorough examination of customer reviews that will narrow down a large number of drills in the market to your home needs. The value for your money will depend on selecting the best features for your project. Below the recommendations, we have included details on everything you need to choose, use and maintain your drill for long term service.
Top 5 Best Cordless Drills
1. Bosch 18v 1/2inch compact Driver/Drill Kit
Bosch products have some of the best premium steel mortars which ensure long term service and this model is great for handling any heavy projects in your home as well as commercial grade projects. At 18v with a 4-pole mortar, this drill delivers a 480lb torque which can drill into steel, concrete or wood. It is also good for any range of screwdriving tasks with its narrow head measuring just 7.8 inches allowing you to drill in narrow spaces. Its 21 point chuck allows you to choose an accurate torque for your task as well.
Handling is also easy complementing the excellent performance of this compact drill. It features an ergonomic handle padded with soft rubber with a serrated design that retains your grip even in wet conditions. Its slim light battery only increases total tool weight to 3lbs allowing you to work for long when lifting it overhead.
The other lovely feature about this drill is the 1.5AH batteries that give you enough runtime even when handling intense tasks. You can also choose between high torque and high-speed modes with the dual speed trigger. Moreover, the whole package comes in an easy to grip Bosch carrying case for easy transportation.
- It comes in a ready to work package including a carrying case
- It has light and quick charge batteries
- It features an ergonomic handle easy to grip even in wet condition
- A narrow head for working in narrow spaces
- It is light and compact with more heavy-duty mode runtime
- The fuel gauge is hidden from view
2. Milwaukee 2407-22 12v 3/8-inch cordless Drill/driver kit
This is a small Milwaukee model with a light compact body weighing just 1.43lbs. With this simple design, this drill still produces a stable 275lb torque which is good enough for any standard DIY projects. It can drill into wood, plastic, light steel or masonry. It also features a dual speed trigger with 0-400RPM high torque and 0-1700RPM for drilling. These are strong features for a 3/8-inch drill which is why it makes a great choice for a home drill.
It uses the M12 Redlithium with 2.5AH rating which gives you more runtime between charges than most lithium batteries. It features the all-metal single sleeve ratcheting chuck that has the strongest grip on your bits for accurate work. It also has a 19-point chuck that still allows you to choose your desired torque for a quick efficient job.
This is a complete package including two batteries which come in handy when you need a backup. It also comes with a carrying case for storing all your gear. Moreover, the inbuilt fuel gauge allows you to schedule recharging and heavy-duty tasks.
- It has a long-life battery 2.5AH
- It is very light and compact
- It is very durable because all parts are metallic
- It has an onboard fuel gauge
- The batteries are hard to remove
3. Black+Decker LDX120C 20v Cordless drill driver
This is the most famous Black Decker 20v model in the market featuring a slim 7-inch head and a compact body that drill into the narrowest of spaces. At 20v with a 4 pole mortar, this drill delivers powerful torque for drilling into concrete and metal surfaces. This drill delivers a steady 650RPM for your drill and drive operations with its light body and ergonomic handle allowing you to drill overhead without fatigue. Its bright LED work light also allows you to work in a dark place.
It Uses a quick recharge 1.5AH lithium battery that can last throughout any DIY project giving you extra run time if you have no backup battery. Its long battery life is attributed to the 3/8-inch chuck which uses less energy in high-speed drilling operations. It has a powerful mortar and a premium steel chuck that can handle commercial grade projects as well but you need an extra battery for all day drilling jobs.
It has a variable speed trigger for your high torque or high-speed tasks allowing you to complete jobs quickly. Its 11-point adjustable chuck also allows you to set accurate torque and speeds for each project. Furthermore, all Black+Decker purchases are protected by a 2-year warranty.
- Long battery life of up to 4 hours
- The batteries recharge within 30 minutes
- Light and compact design suitable for narrow spaces
- It allows for dual speed settings
- It has a 2-year warranty
4. Makita XPH10R 18v Cordless Hammer Drill/Driver
The Makita 18v Li-On series is one of the most versatile power tool lines in the market and this cordless drill can do almost everything you need on site including a stable 28-500BPM for hammering, 0-900RPM for drilling and driving. It has an effective force of 480lbs which makes it one of the best 18 volters in the market. It is specially designed for heavy-duty performance with a light compact design that reduces fatigue when working for long hours.
Its 18v battery is 2AH which complements the heavy-duty tasks performed by the drill. It is protected by the Makita extreme protection technology which features a full metallic body that protects the mortar and all the internal parts. Its premium steel parts with a 4-pole mortar are good for industrial-scale projects because they are built for the harshest environments.
It weighs just 3.4 pounds despite the heavy components allowing you to drill overhead without fatigue. Its 7-inch head is also suitable for drilling into narrow spaces with an LED work light that brightens up your every workstation. Furthermore, the included batteries charge within 25 minutes to give you more work time compared to regular drills.
- It can be used for hammering
- Premium steel protection for durability
- It has a narrow head for narrow space drilling
- It has a 3-year warranty cover
- Variable speed triggers for accurate torque settings
- It comes with a waterproof carrying case
- You have to get your own bit kit
5. DEWALT DC970K-2 18v compact drill kit
DeWalt is the largest power tool manufacturer in the market and their power tools are famous for compact designs and powerful mortars. This is their best seller 18 volter with powerful 380-watt performance than delivers more than 400lbs in torque. Its ergonomic handle with soft rubber padding complements your grip in the long hours of intense work.
It has a dual speed trigger with a high torque mode of 0-450RPM as well as a drill mode of 0-1500RPM. This makes both drilling and screwdriving easy and accurate. The other deal breaker on this DeWalt drill is the single sleeve ratcheting chuck that has the strongest grip on your bits for accuracy and to prevent losing minutes.
This package included a DeWalt contractor`s bag, your battery charger and two 18v DeWalt Nicad batteries which is a ready-to-go package for any work. The batteries are rated 1.3AH giving you enough time to complete many projects on one charge.
- It comes with a backup battery
- Powerful torque in high-speed mode
- It has an inbuilt battery power indicator
- It has an easy to grip ergonomic handle
- It is quite heavy, 4.7lbs
Factors to consider when choosing the best cordless drills for the home
A cordless drill has to be a onetime purchase to meet give you value for your money which is why you need to invest in the best features. Like most power tools, the life of your drill will largely depend on good working conditions and proper maintenance. However, at purchase, these are the basics that will ensure your drill works for you and also what we considered when making our recommendations.
The power of a cordless drill basically lies in the number of volts. Home use cordless drills have a voltage rating of 12 to 20 volts with the power increasing as you go higher. Lower voltage drills will have enough power for screwdriving and drilling at high speeds but the force/torque is small. They are only recommended if you are using them for light tasks such as wall decorations, light masonry drilling, and product assembly. For more power, 18-20v drills are the best because they deliver at least 400lbs in torque which is strong enough to drill into concrete and light steel surfaces.
Considering that the amount of work you can do depends on your battery life, it is important to go for the highest battery rating for your drill. Cordless drill batteries are rated between 6 to 8 hours but the intense power needed by the mortar may only give you one to 4 hours of runtime depending on the battery type and the work you are doing. The life of the battery is stated in AH (ampere-hours) and it should give you an insight into the amount of runtime you will have between charges. It is always important to use the manufacturer`s recommended batteries to retain voltage uniformity.
This is a simple aspect of a cordless drill that you will find invaluable if you re drilling in poorly lit spaces. Most drilling operations tend to lead you into narrow, dim lit spaces such as cabins and inside the products, you are assembling and it can be very difficult to hold a flashlight while working simultaneously. The LED light also has a power gauge on the side that displays your available battery power and the corresponding runtime.
This is the function that allows your drill to handle various tasks. High-speed modes are suitable for drilling because it requires less force. However, when driving or recovering screws, you need a lower speed with higher torque. Other brands in our recommendation also have an option for hammering which helps you expand the holes you have drills. A variable speed trigger allows you to switch to the right mode for the task at hand for accurate results.
Most of the customers we talked to complained of losing screws or being forced to stop every now and then to adjust and tighten screws and these are all because of the wrong chuck choice. Hex bits have the best grip on your chuck but straight drilling bits tend to slip when the chuck teeth start to chip. This is why we recommended single sleeve chicks with a strong steel grip that prevents chipping with time and also has a strong grip on the bits. If your chuck has a problem, you should be quick in contacting the seller for a replacement because it is the second most important part of your drill after the mortar.
Why do you need a cordless Drill at home?
The number of things you can do with your cordless drill is almost uncountable. Here is a look at the benefits of having one at home.
- Fixing your own shaky shelves, assembling new appliances and furniture is easy if you have a cordless drill.
- Cordless drills also save you money as you no longer need a handyman for your DIY projects at home or in the cabin.
- With a cordless drill, you can train anyone in your home especially children to develop a DIY mentality which also natures talent.
- Cordless drills at home allow you to fix problems in structures before they deteriorate beyond repair preventing losses.
- Cordless drills are easy to use and quick compared to manual drills and screwdrivers saving you’re a lot of time and energy.
How to store cordless drill batteries?
Cordless drill batteries can either be NICD or LI-ON and both of them require proper storage to stay in good shape. NiCd batteries are not very common but DeWalt still uses them. (https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/battery-articles/what-the-heck-is-a-nicd-battery.html) You have to ensure that they are discharged up to at least 40% before storing in a cool dry place. A leak-proof battery case or any other sealable dry place that protects from the elements will do. They self-discharge at a slow rate at room temperature and they can always be recharged even after months of storage.
LI-ON batteries are now the most common type of batteries in the market but their storage is not as complicated as Nicad because they do not contain cadmium. However, you should never store them in a fully discharged state because they may die in storage. They will also do well in a cool dry place away from water, frost, and ice. They have fewer recharge rounds and they are best disposed of if they no longer hold enough charge to perform tasks.
Can I carry a cordless drill on an airplane?
Cordless drills are power tools and carrying them is subject to the airline rules on power tools. TSA regulations, however, prohibit entering the cabin with power tools which is why you will have to check them in with the rest of your luggage into the compartment. You, however, have to unplug the batteries and put them in your carry-on luggage (https://www.knaviation.net/flying-with-tools-hardware).
Choosing one perfect cordless drill for all the drilling, hammering and screwdriving tasks you may have around your home may be very difficult. The market is very dynamic and most drills need knowledge of the technical details which is why even experts find it hard to make a good choice. Your needs will, however, narrow down to the drill speed, torque, and battery. Other components that make your drill easy to use are also very important and this guide has the details of all the important factors you need in a drill. Whether you are making your first purchase or simply getting an upgrade, this guide has got you covered.