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6 Best Cordless Drills & Drivers for DIY Tasks: 2017 Review

6 Best Cordless Drill and Driver

When I was growing up, my dad was a lover of DIY, he was always fixing things around the house, spending hours in his workshop, and building furniture like our varnished oak dining table. But one thing I remember most was those ‘amusing’ moments when he was trying to insert a screw into a stubborn piece of wood while cursing away, especially when the screwdriver slipped and the screw fell out.

But with all the technological wizardry available for us in the 21st century marketplace, you do not have to suffer the embarrassment or the frustration of a wayward screwdriver. There are so many power tools to choose from. So please give a round of applause for the cordless drill.

A cordless drill is a must have power tool for home DIY enthusiasts, handymen and women. It can be used anywhere in and around your homestead, and once you have purchased one, you will wonder how you have ever managed to keep on top of your home improvement chores without it.

Our pick

THE BEST CORDLESS DRILL

Bosch HDS182-02 Brushless Compact Tough Hammer Drill/Driver

As this exceptionally well-made drill is designed with the professional construction worker in mind, you can expect an all round smooth and optimal working performance from Bosch HDS182-02.

Cordless Drill: A Multi-Purpose Power Tool

A cordless drill is a multi-purpose tool that can be used for a wide range of maintenance and renovations purposes around your homestead.

Light Maintenance: You can use a cordless drill for inserting screws, drilling holes into door frames and drywall, reattaching handles to a wardrobe, assembling furniture, or even setting up a barbecue grill.

Heavy-duty: A cordless drill can make your life easier when you have to fix a fence, install decking, drill holes into masonry and concrete, or for building your own furniture.

3 Types of Cordless Drills

Drill Drivers

A drill driver is one of the most common and affordable cordless drills. It is ideal for drilling holes, drilling in screws or loosening screws. It can be used for most surfaces: wood, metal and interior walls, but it is not ideal for dense material like masonry or concrete. Most cordless drill drivers range in size from ¼ inch to ½ inch.

Hammer Drills

A hammer drill is a very useful tool if you are working with dense building materials like concrete, stone and masonry as it can spin and move in and out of the material quickly. It has a lot of force behind it like a mini jackhammer. Hammer drills are not suitable for light materials like wood as it can split the wood. If you choose a hammer drill, remember to wear ear safety gear like earplugs as it can be loud.

Impact Drivers

An impact driver is used for commercial applications, and is highly favored by cabinetmakers. It has a lot of power and can be used for driving screws into metal and wood. It gives that much needed control when you are working in tight spots, but like the hammer drill, it can be a loud tool to work with.

There are five things to remember when you are looking to purchase a cordless drill: battery power, torque, drilling speed, brushed or brushless motor, and operator comfort.

1. Battery-power

A cordless drill is powered by a battery and they can range in power, but the best battery-power to choose is 18 or 20 volts. These voltages are ideal for light, medium and heavy-duty work applications. Batteries can be either Ni-Cad or Lithium-Ion. Although Ni-Cad has been the favoured battery as it gives you the power you need quickly for heavy-duty tasks, Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used. They provide a stable power source, they recharge quickly and they are environmentally friendly.

2. Torque

Torque measures the amount of force behind the drill to rotate the the screw or drill bit into position. The higher the torque the more power or force the drill can produce.

3. Drilling speed

The drilling speed relates to the amount of revolutions or rotation per minutes (rpm’s) that the drill can perform, basically it indicates how fast the drill is. For light-duty drilling chores, single speed drills that operate at 300 rpm are ideal for general household jobs. For medium-duty tasks look for a drill with a faster rpm from 1200 to 1500, and anything over 1500 to 1900 rpm is ideal for heavy-duty work.

4. Brushed or Brushless Motor

Most standard drills come with a brushed motor that is made up of four basic parts: carbon brushes, a ring of permanent magnets, an armature, and commutator rings. Although a brushless motor has the same components, minus the brushes and the commutator, it features an electronic controller, which means it can be more powerful than a brushed cordless drill.

Brushed motor drills may be cheaper due to their simple mechanical make-up, but the brushless drill means that the tool will have a longer run time and the battery will require less charging and will give you an overall optimal working performance.

5. Operator comfort

Operator comfort is a high priority for working with any power tool large or small, especially if you are going to be working for a long time in one stretch, or if you will be working in a tight spot or in an uncomfortable position.

Before you head off to buy your new drill, a good tip is to visit your local power tool dealer or hardware store and try handing the drills. Try before you buy is a good way to see if you and the drill will be a great fit.

Here are five ergonomic specifications to look out for when purchasing your ideal cordless drill.

  1. Forward and reverse switch. The control switch should be easy to operate with your thumb and index finger without having to release your grip.
  2. Handle grip. Look for a soft hand grip that is comfortable to hold.
  3. Trigger. Being able to have the best control over the trigger is important, so try out the drill and see if your index finger fits around the trigger comfortably. This is especially important if you are drilling into extra tough surfaces like stone or metal that may not have as much 'give' as wood.
  4. Chuck. The chuck is the part of the drill that holds the drill bit or screw. These days most power drills have keyless chucks, and to remove the drill bits you just have to twist and remove the chuck. Single-sleeve chucks make sure that the drill bit is fitted securely into the drill.
  5. Drill accessories and kits. A lot of drills allow you to attach other accessories which then turns the drill into various other handy tools. Also, some manufacturers offer drill kits where you have two separate drills like a drill driver and a impact drill.

6 Best Cordless Drill: Product Comparisons and Reviews

1.BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver

Black+Decker have been manufacturing home and garden power tools for just on a century and their dedication to creating high-quality tools means you can expect a well made and reliable power drill that will meet your expectations. The LDX120C Cordless Drill/Driver is the perfect choice for all of your basic DIY duties around your home. It is lightweight and compact, which makes it the ideal tool for working in tight and confined spaces. The 20-volt max lithium-ion battery and 115 pounds of torque and 650 rpm gives you enough power to drill holes and screws into most surfaces like wood, metal and plastic.

The 11-Position clutch helps prevent stripping of screws, and the convenient LED work light illuminates your work area. The drill also comes with an extra 20 volt lithium-ion battery and charger, and a 10 piece drilling bit set.

What we like:

  • Affordable
  • Ideal for small general household tasks
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • LED light
  • 2 year warranty

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty jobs
  • Battery takes a while to recharge

2. DEWALT DCK240C2 20v Lithium Drill Driver/Impact Combo Kit

The Dewalt DCK240C2 Drill Driver/Impact Combo Kit offers you two separate power tools in this kit: a 1/2 inch drill driver and a ¼ inch impact driver. These two lightweight power tools can be used for most light to medium-duty DIY or maintenance duties in and around your homestead.

Both drills are powered by a 20 volt 1.5Ah lithium-ion battery and a 300 watt high performance motor, and with a high speed transmission that delivers 2 speeds (0-450 & 1,500 rpm) they are strong enough to drill holes and fasten screws into wood, metal and plastic. The single sleeve ratcheting ½ inch chuck makes sure that the drill bits are fitted securely.

The impact driver features a one-handed loading ¼ inch chuck that accepts 1 inch tips, and the LED light ring with a 20 second delay gives you that extra illumination when you are working in low light areas like under sinks and for fixing cupboard shelves. The kit also includes a convenient belt hook, two 20-Volt maximum lithium-ion 1.3 Ah battery packs, a battery charger, and a contractor carrying bag.

What we like:

  • Good value
  • Choice for 2 drills
  • Good battery life
  • Powerful
  • Compact
  • Carrying case and a belt hook
  • 3 year limited warranty

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for use on hardwood floors
  • Product manual hard to read

3. Pink Power PP182 18V Cordless Drill Kit for Women

The Pink Power PP182 Cordless Drill Kit has been specifically designed with the lady DIY'er in mind. It is compact and lightweight at 3.5 lbs and is easy to handle and control when you are working in tight spots. The 18 volt ni-cad battery gives you enough power to drill through most surfaces like wood and metal. You also have a range of 16 variable torque settings up to 550 rpm, and the drill also features a keyless chuck, which makes it easy to remove and reattach drill bits.

Another handy feature of this cool looking tool is the magnetic screw holder, so you do not need to worry about wayward drill bits or screws. This pretty Pink Power drill will make sure that you are able to drill in and tightly fasten screws every time and guarantees you an overall optimal working performance.

The toolkit includes two 18 volt batteries and charger and a matching pink carrying case.

What we like:

  • Ideal for small jobs around the home
  • Good value for money
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Plenty of torque and power

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for medium to heavy-duty jobs
  • Not very fast
  • Battery and charger not very strong
  • 1 year warranty

4. WORX WX176L 2-in-1 20 volt Switch Drill & Driver

This sturdy cordless drill/driver from WORX is the ideal tool for small to medium DIY tasks and general household applications. It springs into action with just a press of a button and It is fast with plenty of drilling power due to the Powershare 20 volt max lithium-ion battery, a 12 speed brushless motor, and a choice of variable 2-speed selections from 0 to 1,500 rpm.

The new innovative design of the WORX drill means it is two tools in one, and the quick shifty system, and a keyless ¼ inch chuck allows you to quickly shift the drill to an automatic screw driver. You can also interchange drill bits easily with the quick change rotating dual chuck, and the electronic clutch comes with 11 different positions to choose from. There are two speed selections: low speed for delicate surfaces and a faster speed for tougher applications. The electronic torque control ensures that there is no stripping of screws or splitting of delicate wood surfaces.

If you are working in low light conditions, the built-in automatic LED light illuminates your work area. WORX has also designed the tool with a PowerShare battery that is interchangeable with other WORX tools

What we like:

  • Ideal for small to medium-duty tasks (works well on hardwood)
  • Solid tool
  • Good design
  • Lightweight
  • Two tools in one
  • Powerful
  • Good battery life
  • Ergonomic handle
  • 3-year limited tool and 1-year battery warranty

What we don't like:

  • Battery is hard to remove

5. Makita XFD10R 18V ½ Inch Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless Driver-Drill Kit

Makita is the leading manufacturer of reliable and technologically superior power tools, and the XFD10R cordless drill is one of the newest drills in their 18 volt lithium-Ion range. This sturdy and durable professional grade drill has everything you need for all those light to medium DIY jobs around your home: it can be used to drill holes into wood and metal and also an automatic screwdriver.

It delivers lots of power with the Makita designed 4-pole motor that gives you 480 MAX torque and an all metal two-speed transmission with speeds from 600 to 1900 rpm. There is no need to worry about those annoying slippages with the drill bit as the all metal ratcheting chuck helps the drill to maintain continual contact on a wide range of surfaces.

One of the highlights of this drill is the lithium-ion slide-style battery that is protected by Makita's Star Protection technology, which is designed to stop the tool and battery from overheating after longterm use. The battery power for this drill is excellent and you can recharge the battery in less than 30 minutes.

Working with the Makita is a delight as it is lightweight at 3.3 lbs and it is comfortable to hold with the ergonomically designed rubberized soft grip handle. The dual LED lights are mounted under the chuck, and the innovative afterglow function provides you with a few seconds of light after your have released the trigger, which helps you work smarter in low light conditions.

Makita also offers a 3 year limited warranty for the drill and battery charger.

What we like:

  • Good value for money
  • Lightweight
  • Good design
  • Powerful
  • Easy to handle
  • Lots of torque
  • Fast charging battery

What we don't like:

  • Expensive
  • Long drill bits tend to wobble in the drill

6. Bosch HDS182-02 18-volt 2.0 Ah Brushless 1/2-Inch Hammer Drill/Driver

If you are looking for a tool that offers you three tools in one and can deliver a reliable and smooth working performance, then the HDS182-02 ½ inch hammer/ drill driver from Bosch is the perfect choice.

This durable and well designed drill is favored by many professionals and it is not hard to see why it rates so highly. It is a construction site style tool with Durashield housing, so it will still continue to perform well even if you drop or use it outside in all kinds of weather.

The drill powered by a 18-volt 2.0 Ah lithium-ion SlimPack battery and an advanced EC brushless motor that is well known for its work-horse mentality, and as the tool is protected by the Electronic Motor Protection, you do not have to worry about the drill overheating after long term use.

As well as being a highly versatile tool, it can tackle even the toughest of DIY tasks. With 442 in. lbs of torque, you can use it for drilling holes or screws into wood or metal, and as a hammer drill when you are working with dense building materials. The smart Bosch drill features a single-sleeve, keyless 1/2-Inch auto-lock chuck that makes it easy to change drill bits. The handy magnetic bit holder means you can effortlessly attach and accurately drill screws every time.

The drill functions very well in tight spaces as the 18+1 clutch and variable speed trigger gives you that much needed control. Any DIY task can be completed quickly and efficiently as the drill can operate up to speeds of 1,700 rpm.

Bosch has designed this tool with the operator in mind as it has an on-board storage tray for all of your spare bits and screws, two batteries, a charger, a 4-piece bit tip set, a belt clip, and a contractor’s bag.

What we like:

  • High quality
  • Ideal for low to high-duty DIY tasks
  • Good size and weight
  • Very powerful
  • Compact and durable
  • Smooth performance
  • Good torque
  • Fast
  • Great battery life
  • On-board storage

What we don't like:

  • Expensive

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best cordless drill is the Bosch HDS182-02 18-volt Brushless 1/2-Inch Hammer/Drill/Driver. 

Our pick

THE BEST CORDLESS DRILL

Bosch HDS182-02 Brushless Compact Tough Hammer Drill/Driver

As this exceptionally well-made drill is designed with the professional construction worker in mind, you can expect an all round smooth and optimal working performance from Bosch HDS182-02.

The Bosch drill has all you need for almost any DIY work in and around your home. It is even powerful enough to drill into concrete! Although it is more expensive than some of its competitors, it is well worth the money.

As well as being a powerful cordless drill, you can use it as an automatic screwdriver and as a hammer drill when you need extra driving force for heavy-duty tasks. The battery life is excellent, and there is even space on the drill for extra drill bits.

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