A good 18v cordless drill is indispensable whether you are learning the simple basics of maintenance or are adding a new unit to your house. As technology keeps on advancing, the power drill has also evolved. Cordless tools are considered to be more versatile. With versatility come different options for buyers. Choosing the best cordless drill for your current and future jobs can be difficult. Here are some of our tips to look at before buying one.
- When buying one, you need to find out:
- How many times you need it; do you use it often or rarely?
- How much power suits your projects, do you require heavy drilling or just want to drill a hole for a painting?
- What size chuck do you need?
- What size battery do you need?
- What other special features do you require?
The following guide will help you in finding the best cordless driver for your job.
Quick Content Navigation
- Top 5 Rated Drills & Drivers Comparison
- Makita LCT200W 18-Volt Best Cordless Drill Combo Kit Review
- Bosch DDH181-01 18-Volt Brute Best Cordless Driver Review
- DEWALT DCD775KL 1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Drill Reviews
- DEWALT DCD785C2 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Compact Hammer Drill/Driver Review
- Bosch HDS181-02 18V Compact Tough Hammer Drill / Driver Review
- Buyer’s Guide
Top 5 Rated Drills & Drivers Comparison
*Results Are Based On Amazon.com Cordless Drills & Drivers Consumer Reports & Reviews*
Makita LCT200W 18-Volt Cordless Combo Kit
4.7 out of 5 stars
480+ customer reviews
Bosch DDH181X-01 18-Volt Drill/Driver
4.6 out of 5 stars
9+ customer reviews
DEWALT DCD775KL Cordless Hammer-Drill Kit
4.5 out of 5 stars
160+ customer reviews
DEWALT DCD785C2 20V Hammer Drill/Driver Kit
4.8 out of 5 stars
80+ customer reviews
Bosch HDS181-02 18-Volt Hammer Drill Driver
4.6 out of 5 stars
130+ customer reviews
Makita LCT200W 18-Volt Best Cordless Drill Combo Kit Review
Whether you are a hard-core DIY hobbyist or a professional tradesman, it is important to pick the best best 18v cordless drill for the job in hand. Whether working on a busy site or at home, it can be really helpful to have a powerful and versatile piece of equipment which is also a portable size. This Makita LCT200W Cordless 2-Piece Combo kit could be that choice.
Makita are a well respected brand for producing power tools. They are particularly known for their cutting-edge engineering that goes into all their tools and in particular, their interest in making the most energy efficient tools possible. Here, you get two great products all together in one great package.
What’s in the Box:
- 1/2 Inch Driver-Drill
- Impact Driver
- 2 x 18 Volt Lithium-Ion Batteries
- Rapid Optimum Charger
- Contractor Bag
The best way to consider whether this Makita LCT200W drill set is the one for you, is to look at it in terms of its weight, battery, power, speed and torque. It is also important for you to look at the design and how user-friendly it is, particularly if you will be using the tools for long periods. Next, consider what consumers have said about the LCT200W, are there any problems with it, and finally, what warranty does it come with.
The main driver-drill of this Makita LCT200W set weighs only 3.5lbs, while the Makita impact-driver weighs only 2.8Lbs. Amazingly lightweight considering they are powered by 18 volts. This is a big bonus if you intend using this drill for long periods. Typically the more powerful the drill, the heavier the battery will be and thus, the heavier the drill will be.
As is standard with most professional quality power tools, the Makita Combo Drill Kit comes with 2 powerful 18-volt lithium-ion batteries. These lithium-ion batteries weigh 40% less than the old NiCd batteries and will provide you with 2,000 charge cycles. This is 2.5 times more than what you got with the old NiCd batteries.
Speed And Power
The Makita drills run on 18 volts, making this a very flexible good drill. You can use the drill for all types of fastening, driving and of course drilling. Being a compact size, you will find this drill very useful for woodworking, remodelling, electrical, plumbing or HVAC jobs. This driver-drill comes with 2 sppeds – 0-400RPM for low speed settings and 0-1,500RPM for much higher speed settings. This gives you a maximum torque of 480 inches to pounds and a PTI torque of 290 inches to pounds. The impact driver gives 1,280 inches to pounds of torque, at speeds of 2,300 RPMs and around 3,200 IPM.
What Else Should You Know
Another thing that makes this Makita cordless tool a truly flexible piece of kit is the fact that the chuck is keyless, meaning that if you are in a tight spot or up a ladder, you can easily untighten or tighten the drill when changing drill bits. The LCT200W has also been designed with the user’s comfort and safety in mind. Both the driver-drill and the impact driver are ergonomically produced so that the tools feel good in the users hand and will help reduce fatigue.
We found that Amazon is the best place to go for drill consumer reviews, as they are by customers who have actually used the top drill and have first hand experience. It received well over 470 reviews, with the majority giving it 5 stars out of 5, the average being 4.6 out of 5.
There appears to be a bit of a debate with regards to the lithium-ion batteries that power the drills. Some consumers have noted that the batteries do not have as good a charge time or are not as powerful as they are hinted at being. Other consumers offer a completely different story and state that they are very pleased with both the power and length of time they last.
It comes with the Makita 3-year warranty as standard. This covers repairs that occur as a result of defects in material or workmanship for up to 3 years, whereas the Makita batteries and Rapid Optimum Charger come with a limited 1-year warranty, both of which begin on the date of purchase.
Bosch DDH181-01 18-Volt Brute Best Cordless Driver Review
It doesn’t matter if you are just a DIY hobbyist or work in a professional capacity as a builder, carpenter, electrician or plumber, having the right tools for what you are working on can be the difference between a good job and a terrible one. To help you make the right choice, here is our unbiased review of the Bosch DDH181-01 Tough Brute Drill Driver with 2.3 AH Batteries which is one of the latest and more powerful Bosch cordless drills. The name Bosch has always been associated with quality products that pack amazing power in easy to use and very affordable packages. The DDH181-01 is part of the Touch range of Bosch drills. Lets’s take a look at this great Bosch power tool in closer detail.
What’s in the box:
- Cordless Brute Tough Drill Driver
- 2 X 18 V Litheon High Quality Fat Pack Batteries
- 1 X Fast 30 Minutes Charge Unit
- 1 X Side Handle (360 Degree)
- Robust Storage And Carry Case
- Clear And Informative Instruction Manual
If you don’t know what you are doing, it can be like walking through a minefield without a map when buying a handheld drill. For many people they just look at the price and get one that fits their budget, which could potentially be a huge mistake. To save you from this mistake, please fully read our unbiased review of this Bosch DDH181-01 drill and we will also explain the different criteria you should be looking for in a cord-less drill. This includes the power, battery, weight, speed and torque. It would also be wise to look at what other people who have purchased and used this tool are saying and if they recommend it. Finally, we will look at any problems that have been noted about the drill and if so, is there a suitable warranty cover with the drill?
We found out that the DDH181-01 Bosch Cordless Drill to be one of the more powerful and lightweight drills on the market at the moment and it runs on a highly effective 4 Pole motor that is powered by 2 3AH 18 volts batteries.
As stated above this drill packs a fairly big punch, hence the name Brute Tough. This is largely due to the Fat Pack 3AH 18 V Litheon batteries that come with the drill. We found that this gives you around 50% longer battery life per recharge cycle compared to the standard litheon batteries. They also include a practical gauge on the side which lets you know how much charge you have left in the batteries.
The best thing we found was that because they work with the same flexible system that other models like the Compact Tough run on, you can easily interchange the size of batteries you use, depending on which job you have.
For example, you have the option of using either the 1.3 AH Slim batteries, the 1.5 AH Slim batteries or the 2.6 AH Fat batteries. For instance, if you need the drill to be lighter to hold, then Slim batteries would be the sensible choice. Whereas, if you are going to be using the drill for long periods of time, the Fat battery packs would suit this type of job perfectly.
Despite being one of the top 18 volt drills on the market, it still remains one of the lightest and has a fair degree of compactness to it. It weighs around the 3 pounds mark.
Speed And Torque
We found this to be by far one of the best cordless handheld drills on the market in terms of speed and torque, especially considering its size. There are 2 speed settings; one works better with driving jobs and offers 0 to 380RPM, whilst the other is the best setting for drilling jobs giving you 0 to 1600 RPM.
The drill also gives a powerful maximum torque of 700 inches to pounds. There is also the easy to use speed trigger and 25 + 1 clutch steps which gives you the maximum amount of versatility for a variety of different tasks.
Like many of the recent offerings from Bosch, the housing of the DDH181-01 is made from a strong compound of ABS and Nylon, rather than the flimsy plastic which you find on many tools these days. The Durasheild protects all the gears and motors and will not crack, even when dropped from 12 ft.
It has an aluminium keyless chuck that automatically locks bits in. We found changing bits to be fast and easy, especially when in awkward positions. It also has less weight on the nose and because the chuck is 1/2 inch rather than 3/8 inch, the selection of drill bits you can use with the DDH181-01 is much wider.
As with all Bosch products, the design and engineering has been with the user in mind, hence, the soft grip handle fit firmly but comfortably. For those poorly lit areas and tight corners and gaps, the LED light is very helpful.
The best types of reviews are those by people who have actually bought and used the cordless DDH181-01 drill and during our research, we found over 30 reviews of the drill, of which 97% scored it 5 out of 5 and the remaining scored it 4 out of 5. This gives the drill an average of 4.9 out of 5. That is AWESOME!!
Judging by the reviews on Amazon; customers haven’t found any significant problems with the DDH181-01 Bosch drill.
DEWALT DCD775KL 1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Drill Reviews
When it comes to choosing the best drill, the Dewalt DCD775KL should be seriouly concidered. This is both for the professional user and for those who will be just using it around the house as part of a weekend hobby. One of the determining factors for a job looking good or bad is to pick the best tool for the job in hand. To aid in your choice, here is a balanced and fair review of the Dewalt DCD775KL 18 Volts compact cordless Hammer Drill, which is one of the most up to date in the Dewalt range.
Let’s start with the name. Dewalt is a name that conveys the idea of well-made and quality products that are compact, easy to operate and pack a powerful punch when necessary. The DCD775KL is the latest in a long line of great products and has the added bonus of being a hammer drill that can be used on masonry work.
What’s In The Box?
- Cordless Dewalt Hammer Drill
- 2 Compact Lithium-ion Batteries
- 1×30 Minute Yellow-Top Lithium-ion/NiCad Charger
- Robust And Sturdy Kit Box
If you are not very knowledgeable about power tools, then buying a top cordless drill can be a bit like trying to complete an obstacle course blindfolded. The majority of people tend to make the same mistake of just buying the one that best fits in with their budget, rather than the best one for their intended purposes. To help you from falling into this trap, please read the following balanced and fair review of the Dewalt DCD775KL and we will help you understand the different things you should be looking at when buying one.
The main things you should be concerned about is the power, weight, battery and speed. To make sure you make the wisest decision, it would be a good idea to read customer reviews by people who have actually used the tool and whether they recommend it or not. As this is a balanced and unbiased review we will also look at any problems or common issues that have been raised concerning this and whether you get a decent warranty included.
One of the most important things about a power tool is of course the power. The DCD775KL is one of the most powerful and most compact hammer drills Dewalt have ever released. The 18 volts Lithium-Ion batteries ensures that this is powerful enough to competently handle not only the lighter jobs around the house, but also be able to effectively perform on a construction site.
Although the DCD775KL is a very powerful hammer tool, it is amazingly lightweight at around 4.1 pounds. This is one of the benefits of using Lithium-ion batteries. As well as enabling you to use it for longer periods of time, the compact nature of this Dewalt allows you to use the drill effectively in tight spaces and at awkward angles, making it much easier to use under sinks and in tight corners up high.
As mentioned in the previous section, one of the reasons the DCD775KL is such a lightweight cordless drill is the battery type. It is powered by Lithium-ion batteries that weigh far less than the previously used NiCad batteries. As well as being ultra-compact, these batteries take just 30 minutes to be fully charged with the included charger unit and last longer. This means that they can be used for long periods of time without having to recharge. These batteries are compatible with any Dewalt power tool produced since 1996, so you can use them with other Dewalt products, making them of have real economic value.
As well as being compact, powerful and easy to use, the DCD775KL from Dewalt also offers much versatility when it comes to speed. It works with a dual speed range of 0 to 500 rpm and 0 to 1700 rpm, along with the faster 0 to 8500 rpm and 0 to 29000 rpm. To help with the speed range, this has 17 clutch settings to help you find the right force and speed for the particular job you are working on.
As with any other Dewalt or power tool on the market, this has been manufactured with you, the customer in mind. For ease of use, it fits nicely into your hand, just like a glove due to its user-friendly, ergonomic design. Instead of the 3/8 inch size chuck featured in many kits these days, the DCD775KL has a 1/2 inch sized chuck, which allows you to use a wider range of the bits, increasing its versatility even further.
The best drill reviews to look at to get a clear picture of how good or bad a product is, are ones written by customers who have actually purchased and used the product. In our research, at the time we write thi we found that there are over 160 reviews on Amazon for the Dewalt DCD775KL Cordless Hammer Drill, 66% of which scored it 5 out of 5 and 20% scored it 4. This gives it an average of 4.4 out of 5.
There appears to have been some minor complaints about the battery life (which overall seems to be unfounded) and the gentler clutch settings not being gentle enough, but these complaints are few and far between and seem to be in the minority.
DEWALT DCD785C2 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Compact Hammer Drill/Driver Review
Whether you are a DIY hobbyist or working as a commercial electrician, plumber, carpenter or builder, you will want to make sure that you have the very best tools for the job in hand. A compact tool can make things a lot easier, and choosing cordless, like this DCD785C2 Hammer Drill and Driver, can help avoid any unnecessary hazards or accidents. Most people when buying a cordless drill, just look at the price and get the one that fits their budget. This can potentially be a huge mistake.
To save you from making this same mistake, please read fully our unbiased review of this Dewalt DCD785C2 Drill and we will explain the different criteria that you should be looking at. The features we will cover are the battery, power, speed, torque and weight of this. These features are even more important if you are likely to be using the tool for many hours a day. Finally, we have researched what people who have actually bought and used it, whether they would recommend it or not. These people highlight whether there are any faults or issues and how serious they are.
Finally, we will cover whether this comes with any warranty? To help you make the right choice, here is our unbiased review of the Dewalt DCD785C2.
What’s in the box:
- The Dewalt Hammer Driver and Drill, including An On-board Bit Holder
- 2 x 20v MAX 1.5 Lithium-Ion Batteries
- 1 x 30 Minute Charger – Compatible With both the 12-Volt And 20-Volt Lithium-Ion Batteries
- A Belt Hook
- Strong Plastic Carry and Stoarge Case
The Dewalt DCD785C2 Compact Drill and Driver are powered by a 20-volt MAX Lithium-ion battery and provide up to 35 percent more runtime than existing 18-volt lithium-ion battery technology. Beware: these 20v MAX batteries are the new slide on batteries and are not conpatible with the older Dewalt drills.
This incorporates Dewalt-designed electronics built into the switch which provide maximum life for the battery and tool. This is very useful as it helps to prevent deep discharge, overloading and overheating. The 30-minute fast charger works with both the 20-volt and 12-volt lithium-ion batteries, so this can be used to charge batteries for smaller sized tools as well.
Power And Speed
The Dewalt DCD785C2 is a top cordless tool that has 350 watts of power that we found was mainly suited for light to medium drilling work. It has 2 speed settings, low speeds range from 0 to 600 RPM and high speeds range from 0 to 2000 RPM. We found this to be up to 30% faster than current hammer drill/drivers out there.
Generally, we find that the more powerful the tool, the bigger and heavier they are. So it is a nice surprise to find that the DCD785C2 hammer drill is very lightweight at only 3.5lbs.
The design of the Dewalt Cordless DCD785C2 features a moulded handgrip that will help during longer tasks, while the engineering team have changed the weight allocation to give the tool a more balanced and lighter feel. This is particularly handy for tight, hard to reach areas.
We found that the bright built-in LED light, just above the trigger was useful in dimly lit areas and had a useful 20-second delay. There is also an on-board bit holder for convenience which we found handy to have as well as the belt hook, allowing you to be able to hang the drill when it’s not in use.
The best reviews of any power tool, including the Dewalt DCD785C2 Hammer Drill, are reviews written by people who have actually purchased the tool and during our research, we found over 70 reviews of this Dewalt DCD785C2, of which 84% scored it 5.0 out of 5.0.
The only problem that some customers have with this tool is that because it uses a new generation of batteries, it is not so easy or cost effective to switch from their older systems to this one.
Bosch HDS181-02 18V Compact Tough Hammer Drill / Driver Review
Whether you are working on a busy building site or on a simple home improvement project, having the right tool for the job is important. The Bosch HDS181-02 18V Compact Drill proves that sometimes, big things come in small packages! Bosch are known for their engineering prowess and the HDS181-02 really shows this with its lightweight design, but without compromising on either power or speed.
What’s in the box:
- Cordless Hammer Drill Driver (hammer allows for drilling hard surfaces)
- 2 x 18V Litheon Slim Pack Batteries (2 batteries are a must if using for long periods)
- 1 x Philips Double Ended Drive Bit
- Tough Carry Case and Storage Case
- Clear And Informative Operating Manual
Choosing the best cordless handheld drill is not as easy as you may think. The compulsion can be to pick the one that fits into your budget, regardless of how well is suited for the job you need to do. You may think that this doesn’t matter, when it really does. There are certain things that you need to look out for before deciding which cordless drill is best. These include the power, battery, weight, speed and torque. It is also important to consider as to what kind of work it is designed for.
If you are going to use it for long periods, you will want one which is not too heavy. You want to read what people who have used this and what they think of it, are there any issues with it, and if so, is it covered by a warranty.
The HDS181-02 comes with 2x18v Slim Pack 1.5 AH batteries. We found these batteries to be extremely light-weight and long-lasting. These batteries power a 4 pole motor that gives you the maximum amount of power possible, despite its compact design. It has a versatile power system that means HDD and DD are both compatible with each Bosch Litheon battery.
The kit comes with 2xSlim Pack 1.5 AH High Capacity litheon batteries and they give 50% more runtime than an ordinary litheon battery. They includes a handy electronic fuel gauge which allows you to be able to check if you have enough energy for jobs. Additionally, the HD181-02 cordless drill can also work with the 1.3 Slim Pack, 2.6 AH Fat Pack and the 3.0 AH Fat Pack. We recommend you use the Slim Packs if you want a more light weight electric tool, but use Fat Pack batteries if you will be using it for long periods.
Surprisingly, despite its power and speed capabilities, the HD181-02 is actually one the of the smallest ones of this type and weighs around 3 pounds. Even with the slightly heavier Fat Pack batteries, this still quite light weight.
Speed And Torque
The HD181-02 comes with 2 speed settings, giving you extra versatility for different types of jobs. For jobs that require high torque, you can use the 0 to 500 RPM setting and for the jobs that require more high speed drilling, you have the option of 0 to 1,700 RPM. This delivers top performance and strong power with its 600 inches-pounds of torque and comes with 18+1 clutch settings. You will find that the variable-speed trigger helps you to match the best speed necessary for the job in hand, so you can achieve precise results.
You need not worry about dropping it, as this HDS181-02 comes with a Durasheild housing, which is made of a Nylon and ABS compound that protects it when accidents occur. Even after a drop of 10 feet, the Durashield does not break easy. It has a large 1/2-inch sized keyless chuck which allows you to be able to quickly and easily change the bits. Bosch have also paid attention to the need of the users, as this tool has a soft grip housing and handle which fits nicely in your hand. For those hard to see corners and dully lit rooms, you will find a handy LED light.
During our research, we found over 100 reviews on Amazon of the HDS181-02 Bosch cordless drill, of which 80% rated it 5.0 out 0f 5.0. On average this has a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating.
Looking at the reviews at Amazon and elsewhere, there does’t seem to be any real problems with the drill.
If you are searching for a top-quality product, we strongly recommend the Bosch HDS181-02. It is light in weight, has great battery life, and is very powerful. Even if you only plan to use it once in a while for modest jobs, you will still benefit greatly by buying this. Consider treating yourself to the HDS181-02. Say good bye to heavy tools that seem to take forever to charge, then lose power before your job is done.
Whether you are a contractor or just a do it yourselfer, the Bosch HDS181-02 Hammer / Driver is a great choice.
Chuck Size and Type
There are two chucks sizes: 3/8 inch and ½ an inch. Heavier-duty drills have a ½ inch chuck while a 3/8 inch chuck is used for every day drilling.
What About Voltage?
Voltage is basically the power the drill can produce. Like many other electronic devices, voltage represents the power on which the drill can operate best. Voltage, price and weight of the machine are directly proportional. That means that the price and weight will rise with an increase in voltage. Of course, as these things increase, it has more options for setting and different attachments and bits available.
Choosing The Right Type
When you decide to buy one, you first need to determine the kind of work that you will do. If you want one that does basic housework like fixing a curtain rod, hanging a painting or putting together some furniture, then you can buy one with low voltage. A 9 volt drill can help you do these basic jobs.
However, if you will work on bigger jobs occasionally like drilling a hole in metal or you like doing home improvements, then a 14.4 volt tool would be better suited. On the other hand, if you have your own workshop and are a do-it-yourself kind of a person, then a 24 volt or higher will be perfect.
Types Of Drills Available
Drills with low voltage come with limited options. For example, if you choose a 9 volt one then the maximum it can do is drill a hole though drywall. The torque variation will be bound along with the attachments available. A 24 volt drill comes with more options and attachments. It can also be used for a larger variety of projects. Also if you want a hammerhead type, then you have to choose a higher voltage.
Corded Vs. Cordless
Corded drills offer specific features, whereas cordless ones have other advantages. While one is portable and does not require a power outlet, the other has a longer life. A corded drill offers ongoing reliability of torque and power. Where as a cordless cannot offer these things at the same level. Since a portable drill works on battery, you will not get the same voltage. That is, as the power drains from the battery, then it becomes slower. On the other hand, a corded drill will offer you constant voltage from the start of the job till the time you end it; unless there is some sort of power failure.
However, mobility is the best aspect of being cordless because you can take it just about anywhere, without relying on a power source. Whether you want to set up a new doghouse in your backyard or assemble a bench in your patio, a cordless tool is the best one to use. So at the end, a cordless drill offers more benefits than a corded one.
For cordless drills power is measured by the battery voltage. The higher the voltage, the more torque-spinning strength the machine has. Battery voltage can range from 6V to 36V. Lower voltage is best suited for small jobs, the bigger the job, the higher the voltage. You will also want the battery to last for the duration of your work. You will need a back up battery, however using a lithium-ion battery can increase the battery duration up to four times and provide twice the performance.
Battery Types and Charges
Choosing the best battery is very important when buying this type of tool. The battery life determines how long the drill will run before it has to be charged again. You can use the typical cadmium-nickel batteries, but we all know that they do not last very long and are not very environment friendly. Lithium batteries last longer then these batteries. They are however expensive. Therefore, you need to make sure that the battery is being used properly. Improper use or complete discharge makes the battery die sooner.
As the drill works on battery, it will require charging. You will need a smart charger if you want the battery to charge quickly; normal charges take up to several hours to fully charge.
Power and Torque
The speed of the best cordless drill is another important measure. Most drills have high torque and variable speed options. They also have an adjustable clutch that reduces torque and controls it when screwing nails. Drill speed is measured in rotations per minute (rpm). With variable speed you can handle different sets of tasks for example lower speeds (300-400 rpm) allow you to screw nails easily; higher speeds (1200-1500 rpm) are best for drilling holes. Manufacturers now offer whole kits. They provide the drill, main and secondary battery, charger, drillbits, instructions and carrying case.
Last update on 2017-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API