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A cordless drill is undeniably handy for household projects, giving you freedom to tackle that latest job wherever it may be, regardless of whether there’s a nearby outlet. Many cordless drills will include batteries so that you can use one while the other is charging, and most use lithium-ion cells that are lighter than older nickel cadmium batteries. Experts say one of the most important steps before buying a cordless drill is to simply hold it in your hand. Does it feel balanced, comfortable to grip, and sturdy? Is it light enough to hold in an awkward position while tackling a hard-to-reach screw? If the answer is yes, then consider how much power you’ll need. One rule of thumb is to look for a ½-inch chuck (the part of the drill that holds bits). That typically indicates a more powerful drill, and a bigger chuck can accept bigger drill bits. Smaller or less-expensive models may have a 3/8-inch chuck. Keep in mind that this is still usually more than adequate for light duty around the house.
Here, the best cordless drills on the market.
Best Overall: Metabo HPT Hitachi DS18DSAL 18-Volt Lithium Ion Compact Pro Driver Drill with Flashlight
Experts and owner say the Hitachi DS18DSAL is the cordless drill to beat, praising its range of features, versatility, and power. This 18-volt model is available with either a brushed motor or a slightly pricier, more efficient brushless motor. Maximum speed is 1,500 RPM. It also weighs only 3.3 pounds and is under 8 inches long, making it light and compact enough to easily tote around the house or yard.
This Hitachi wins raves from experts for speed, power, handling and relatively quick charging times. Features are numerous, including a variable-speed trigger, a 22-stage clutch, a metal belt loop, an LED job light, and a ½-inch ratcheting metal chuck. The drill also comes with a hard carrying case, carrying strap, dual-tipped driver bit, two batteries, and a standalone five-position rechargeable LED flashlight that accepts the same battery as the drill. Owners say they love the precision this drill offers, and the power is great – 460 inch-pounds of torque – especially for the price. There are a few reports of battery issues, though. It’s backed by an impressive lifetime tool warranty and a two-year battery warranty.
If you need a cordless drill with similar power as the Hitachi but don’t want to spend over $100, the Porter-Cable PCC601LB is worth your attention, owners say. It’s a 20-volt tool with a top speed that matches the Hitachi’s – 1,500 RPM – and is just a hair bigger at about 3.5 pounds and a little over 8 inches long.
The Porter-Cable has a 23-stage clutch, a ½-inch chuck, and an integrated LED job light to light up those hard-to-see screws. It comes with two rechargeable batteries and a soft-sided carrying bag, which might be better than a hard case for users who have limited storage space. Users say this model feels sturdy and well-balanced, with enough torque for most common jobs. A few do complain that the chuck feels wobbly, however, and there are some complaints about dead batteries. It’s covered by a three-year warranty.
It’s reliable, powerful, and perfect for any size job around the house. LDX120C Cordless Drill/Driver is compact, lightweight and ideal for home DIY projects in tight spaces. An 11-position clutch prevents the stripping of screws and provides precise power where you need it, and integrated LED light at the front of the drill lights the way in dark spaces.
The LDX120C gives 115 pounds of torque and 650 rpm for drilling quickly and neatly through drywall, metal, plastic, and wood — this cordless drill may be small, but it has the power of a larger, heavier model. Black + Decker includes an extra 20-volt lithium-ion battery and charger in the package, so it is a perfect match for those who tend to forget to put the drill on the charger after a task is complete. The 10-piece bit set gives you versatility for a wide range of jobs around the house, and reviewers love the ergonomic handle and lightweight design. It's also affordable enough to make a great addition to any DIYers tool kit.
If you want a cordless drill that packs as much power as possible into a small package, check out the Bosch PS31-2A. Like the Black + Decker, this is a 12-volt model, but it’s speedier (high speed is 1,300 RPM) and more powerful, with 265 inch-pounds of torque. It also weighs just over 2 pounds and has a 7-inch head, making it super-easy to take anywhere you need it.
There are features galore on this Bosch drill, including a 21-stage clutch, variable speed trigger, 3/8-inch chuck, soft-grip handle, integrated LED work light, and side-mounted battery gauge that helps users figure out how much more work they can get done before a recharge. It comes with two batteries and a soft-sided carrying case. Testers with The Sweethome say battery life is phenomenal, outperforming even much larger 18-volt drills, though they do grouse about the lack of a belt hook and wish the LED were better-placed. Warranty is three years for the drill and two years for the batteries.
If you need a cordless drill with the added convenience of a few extra tools, check out the DeWalt DCK590L2 Five-Tool Combo Kit. It includes a powerful cordless hammer drill, reciprocating saw, impact driver, circular saw, and LED work light. All of the tools are 20-volt models that run on the same rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Two batteries and a carrying case are also included.
The three-speed cordless drill in this set packs a powerful punch, with a top speed of 2,000 RPM. It has a ½-inch chuck and an all-metal transmission. The impact driver with a ¼-inch hex chuck is even faster, at 2,800 RPM, and it doesn’t have as much kickback as the drill. The lightweight saws add a ton of versatility to this kit, users say, praising the overall solid build of the tools. They also say all the tools have enough power for practically any home-based task, even though some users were initially skeptical of going battery-operated. The kit’s tools are covered by a three-year warranty.
If you’re willing to pay a little more for a professional-grade cordless drill that can handle heavy-duty demands like drilling thicker wood, steel, brick and even concrete, take a look at the DeWalt DCD950KX cordless drill/driver and hammer drill. This 18-volt drill will go 2,000 RPM on high and has 500 inch-pounds of torque. It is a bit heavier than other drills at more than 6 pounds, but that’s to be expected for a drill with this kind of power.
Features on the DeWalt are many and include a 22-stage clutch, all-metal transmission, ½-inch self-tightening chuck, a 360-degree side handle, a hard carrying case and an integrated LED work light. DeWalt’s XRP batteries are designed to provide more runtime than normal rechargeables, and two come with the drill. Users say there’s little this drill can’t handle, though a few do note that it’s a little heavy and could be overkill for smaller household tasks. It’s backed by a three-year warranty.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best corded drills.
For a versatile and powerful corded drill, we recommend the Hitachi 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Compact Pro Driver Drill (view at Amazon). This 18-volt model is available with either a brushed motor or a slightly pricier brushless motor. If you’re looking for a more compact model to use for projects around the house, though, go with the Black+Decker LDX120C 20-Volt Max Cordless Drill (view at Amazon).