Best Cordless Drills

The Winner

DeWalt DCD991 18v XR
DeWalt DCD991 18v XR

£247.00

approx. price

What is the recommended cordless drill based on the comparison?

Winner

Unrivalled

DeWalt DCD991 18v XR
DeWalt DCD991 18v XR
£247.00
approx. price
2nd Place

Best Value

DeWalt DCD796 18V XR
£199.95
approx. price
3rd Place

Great

makita dhp485 review
Makita DHP485 18V LXT
£115
approx. price

How to Choose a Cordless Drill?

One of the most important tools for any DIYer and professional is the cordless drill. The market is flooded with a broad variety of possibilities since the specifications for a cordless drill for construction differ significantly from those for homes. In the final selection, there are several parameters that one often understands very little about. When purchasing a cordless drill, it is important to consider several different parts, including the motor, chuck capacity, and hammer, in addition to the battery, which is essentially the product’s half-important component. Unfortunately, in current market, there isn’t a universal solution that would allow you to do all professional activities without spending an excessive amount of money on a new gadget.We must thus organise your priorities. We’ve provided you with descriptions of the key components of the device to help you pick a cordless drill by giving you a thorough understanding of your potential hand tools. It is also essential, depending on the use, to concentrate on reputable brands that provide some assurance that this instrument will endure longer than the guarantee time.

In recent years, thanks to new technologies, cordless drills have begun to move from hobby use to the suitcases of professionals. When comparing the best models, we paid attention not only to the battery voltage, but also, for example, to the motor technology. Among the 10 models compared, the DeWALT DCD996P3 seems to be the best. However, you should not forget the DeWALT DCD796 or the Makita DHP485 18V LXT.

How Do We Compare Cordless Drills?

In addition to parameters, user ratings also play an important role in the selection. However, we primarily focused on torque, the number of revolutions and the possibility of their regulation, as well as the modular system. Cordless drills with a modular system have the same battery as many other tools from the same manufacturer. We consider professional models especially those that use higher quality brushless motors. These are associated with lower noise, higher performance and, in particular, a longer service life. That’s why we gave them better marks in our benchmark, so you’ll usually find them at the top. We have looked at the following parameters in more detail:

  • Battery voltage, capacity and charging time
  • Torque and number of revolutions
  • Chuck capacity
  • Recommended maximum hole diameters when drilling
  • Impact function and speed control
  • Weight and dimensions

Drill Types

Several types of tools can be found for drilling. On the market we come across cordless screwdrivers, good screwing, but of course can also cordless drills (often the devices are also called cordless drill screwdrivers). On the other hand, there are powerful electric impact drills for drilling holes in hard materials.

It is best to start by quickly examining what each gadget can provide. Although a cordless drill and a cordless screwdriver may appear to differ only slightly at first look, the contrary is really true, and picking the appropriate tool for your needs is vitally essential. As a result, we provide you with a succinct description of each type’s characteristics to assist you get more familiar with the fundamental problem.

Drill Type Motor Purpose
Cordless Drill Brushless Drilling and screwing
Cordless Screwdriver Brushless, rotary Screwing
Impact Driver Brushless, wrench Tightening of nuts and bolts
Hammer Drill High torque motor Drilling holes into brick, concrete, and even rock

Cordless Drills

Cordless drills are particularly suitable for drilling in metal and wood. With more powerful models that have an impact function, it is also possible to drill into masonry. While even a cheaper cordless drill can drill a hole in brick masonry, only the most powerful equipment and only up to limited drill diameters can repeatedly handle drilling in concrete. Battery cells are usually not able to deliver as much power to a drill as they do with drills plugged directly into a socket, so drilling into a wall can be problematic. Similarly, cordless drills are also in terms of screwdriving, although they can be used for screwdriving purposes, their design, weight and other aspects suggest that if you are looking for a device directly for screwdriving, you will do better if you get a specialised cordless screwdriver.Due to their versatility, cordless drills are sometimes also referred to as cordless drill drivers. 

Electric Screwdrivers

Compared to cordless drills, stand-alone electric screwdrivers are less expensive and technologically advanced, but they are often more useful. A electric screwdriver will be your best option if you simply want to use the tool for driving screws, even if they lack the versatility of cordless drills. These screwdrivers are significantly more convenient to use than other varieties of drills because of their smaller size. Electric screwdrivers are ideal for the domestic setting, where they may be used, for instance, for quick furniture assembly, or for locations where several screws are tightened regularly. Cordless impact wrenches share characteristics with cordless screwdrivers. They lack a chuck and instead feature a hexagonal head for specialised attachments, making their application considerably more limited.Actually, they are simply intended to tighten or loosen screws. Their advantage comes from the fact that shocks or blows let them do this task noticeably more effectively. Compared to a similarly powered drill, it generates a lot more power. Even larger screws may be tightened with less effort, for instance when screwing metal. They will also assist you if you need to remove a screw whose head has been damaged.

Impact Drivers and Wrenches

A specific type of equipment are impact wrenches. These are usually (but not necessarily) structurally slightly smaller. Many users think that cordless drills or screwdrivers are comparable with impact wrenches. Without difficulty, you can also find a cordless screwdriver with a higher torque than an impact wrench on the market. But the essence is the way it works. While screwdrivers and drills have a classic rotary drive, in an impact wrench there is a hammer drive. When turning, it exerts shock literally by hitting the drive axis. What is the advantage of this drive? They won’t wriggle your hand. If you tried to tighten the cordless with an 80 Nm screwdriver, the pressure in the palm of your hand would be huge. On the other hand, the impact wrench does not strain the hand due to the specific way of operation.
 

Hammer Drills

Although some of the better models of cordless drills have an impact that makes it easier to drill in masonry, it is generally better to choose specialised electrical equipment for these purposes, which usually offer significantly greater performance and make drilling in masonry much more comfortable and faster. Impact drills are therefore not actually a separate type, but rather equipped with an impact mechanism, which is indispensable if you plan to use a drill for drilling in hard masonry.
 

Types of Motors

Although it is not the most important thing about this product, customers will be interested in the motor system of the cordless drill. It is true that the power of the engine is to some extent what gives this product its practical possibilities. You will come across two types of motors:
  •  brushed
  • brushless

 Brushed

A very widespread solution that includes magnets, both on the stator (permanent magnets) and on the rotor (power magnets). To create stress, carbons are needed, which gradually wear or burn over time. After all, this part represents an area more prone to various failures. In favour of conventional electric motors speaks mainly lower acquisition costs. On the other hand, however, there are also disadvantages. While we mentioned one above, the other is more significant energy loss, usually shorter battery life.
 

Brushless

The processing technology in this case is a little different. Permanent magnets are on the rotor and power magnets on the stator. You can also expect more electronic components that are involved in the control and operation of the cordless drill. It is true that you will pay extra for brushless motors, but in return you get modern processing, which is mainly associated with lower operating costs, respectively less consumption from the battery, which extends the overall battery life of the drill while maintaining the same performance. Another major advantage is the longer service life of the electric motor, which wears less when using this technology, as well as higher torque at higher revs. In other words, a brushless drill retains more power at high speed than a conventional one.

Battery

The battery is not only unmistakable in the battery drill, but also the most important part. After all, it is actually the heart of the device, without which the working tool would immediately cease to work. The battery has a relatively significant impact on the purchase cost of a cordless drill. Longer battery life usually means more expensive devices. When choosing a suitable cordless drill, you should pay attention to three parameters in connection with the battery:
  •  battery type
  • battery voltage
  • battery capacity

Battery Type

When browsing the product offerings of each manufacturer, you will encounter three different types of batteries, each of which has certain advantages and disadvantages.

  • Ni-Cd battery – older type, which you will find rather rarely in some cheaper cordless drills. The production and disposal of these types of batteries was a great environmental burden.
  • Ni-Mh battery – a newer type of battery, which was more environmentally friendly and had a larger capacity than the Ni-Cd battery. Even with this battery, there are some negatives in the form of low voltage. Nowadays, Ni-Mh batteries are very rare.
  • Li-ion battery – A new variety that successfully captured all the flies of earlier types. It is utilised in more pricey gadgets. This is because to the design’s low weight, great performance, enormous capacity, and lack of maintenance. If you don’t use Li-ion batteries frequently, you may be certain that you won’t need to worry about them. While certain types of batteries loose capacity when not in use, a situation like that will unquestionably not hurt them.
  • XR Li-ion battery – The most modern types, which is based on the design and materials used in Li-ion batteries. By changing the design arrangement of the battery cells and other modifications, a significantly higher battery life and especially higher output power were achieved. Due to its indisputable advantages, it also brings with it a higher price of the device.
 
Whatever type of battery you choose, keep in mind that at least two pieces are suitable for comfortable and continuous work. With one you drill and the other is still charging. The vast majority of cordless drills have a removable battery system. A battery is a consumer good and loses quality over time, so we warn against products that have it built-in. Replacement in such a model can be either impossible or quite challenging.
 

Battery Voltage

Another essential quantity of the battery, which is related to comfort and convenience when drilling or other work. The voltage is given in volts, bearing the abbreviation V. If you view the offer of available products, the voltage of the batteries of individual products will increase with the price increase. It is usually in the range of 3.6 to 36 V. For home use, a voltage of about 12 V will suffice. You can verify the strength of such a drill by not being able to stop the chuck by hand when drilling freely.
 
 To a certain extent, the power of the battery drill itself is related to the voltage. To run the most powerful cordless drills, you also need a higher voltage for trouble-free and correct operation of the electric motor. Beware of a common trick of sellers – some write the maximum voltage in the parameters and some average ones. The voltage value, like any other electrical quantity, fluctuates in the course of work. It may happen that a cordless drill with a voltage of 20 V will not be as powerful as, for example, the one with 18 V. It is good to verify the exact characteristics of this data.

Battery Capacity

The higher the capacity of the cell, the longer you will keep the drill running before you need to charge the battery. The unit of capacity is an ampere-hour, referred to under the abbreviation Ah. Batteries with a capacity of 1.5 Ah used for occasional household work are considered an absolute standard. If you buy a capacity of over 3 Ah, the cordless drill becomes your indispensable helper in professional activities.

Drill Speed and Torque Adjustment

When choosing a cordless drill, take into account the possibility of changing the speed of rotation and torque. These are parameters translating into comfortable, fast and accurate work. In terms of speed, three types of devices are usually offered.
  • 1-speed – drills with only one speed.
  • 2-speed – models where you can use the lower speed for screwdriving and the second speed with more turns for drilling.
  • Multi-speed – these drills are more relevant to professional tools. You can set the ideal speed for the situation as needed.

Torque

The maximum torque, or the greatest torque the device can exert, is another common name for it. An additional feature found on many cordless drills and screwdrivers is a hoop that may be used to change the torque. Most of this is situated above the chuck.
 
For torque, you usually have a choice of several stages. If you are looking for a more versatile device, choose a larger torque distribution to achieve first-class power control of the drill’s battery. For screwing, you only need a lower speed so that you do not tear off the thread or screw head unnecessarily. Too high a force can also break the screw. When drilling, the torque can be increased.

Reverse

An important feature that we find on the vast majority of cordless drills is also the possibility of choosing reverse. Normal operation is clockwise – the threads of drills, screws and screws are manufactured in such a way that drilling or tightening occurs in this direction of rotation. Sometimes, however, the opposite direction of rotation is also useful, thanks to which, on the contrary, you can easily unscrew the screws. Reverse is also essential for convenience when loosening the chuck.

Drill bit types

Of course, the equipment with a cordless drill also includes the appropriate set of drill bits. The most common drill bits are:
 
  •  Brad-point drill bit – Best for drilling into wood. The brad in the middle of a brad-point drill bit is the main part that helps keep the hole straight and clean. This brad holds the drill bit in place, and the extra-wide holes around the bit make it easy to get rid of chips and dust.
  • Twist drill bit – best for drilling into wood, plastic, and light metal. A set of twist drill bits is a common addition to the toolboxes of many do-it-yourselfers. Due to its intended application in a range of general purpose drilling jobs, twist drill bits are among the most popular drill bit kinds. Wood, plastic, and light metal may all be drilled through with the help of these bits.
  • Masonry drill bit – best for drilling into masonry materials – Masonry drill bits are designed to cut through difficult masonry materials like concrete, brick, and mortar, as their name suggests. These parts are typical for many experts that would need to bore through the brick outside of the property, such as plumbers or electricians.
  • Glass drill bit – best for drilling through non-tempered and ceramic glass. Drilling into glass can be tricks, but these special glass drills can help. These drill bits are mainly used for drilling in non-tempered and ceramic glass. Can also be used for drilling into tiles.
  • Drill saw bit – best for cutting holes in metal or wood. In most cases, jigsaw is used to drill various holes in wood, as well as iron. However, for a better and more regular round shape, we recommend this circular saw bit.
  • Spade drill bit – best for holes into wood. A tool for drilling a larger hole, it is not a classic straight shape, the drill has an extended flat body right after the tip, but it is suitable for drilling rather rough holes, where aesthetics are not involved (it is used at lower speeds and high force). It is used for drilling in wood.
  • Annular cutter drill bit – best for cutting circular holes through metal. Instead of being created for cutting into wood, annular cutter bits are made for cutting into metal. 
  • Adjustable wood drill bit – best for holes through wood. Without changing the bit, adjustable wood drill bits may be adjusted to drill holes of different diameters.
  • Step drill bit – best for drilling into wood. special conical drill bits in which the diameter increases from the tip.
  • Tile drill bit – best for holes into tiles. Drilling into tiles has never been easier. There are many tips on how to drill into tiles with conventional drill bits, but with this drill bit, drilling into tiles is easy and without the risk of breaking the tile.
  • Countersink drill bit – best for drilling countersink, and counterbore holes for screws. The purpose of this drill is mainly in the preparation of holes for embedding the screw heads so that they do not protrude from the material.
You should always think about which drill bit to choose before you start drilling. For drilling in non-ferrous metals such as zinc, brass, copper and the like, high-speed steel drills are suitable.
drill bit types

 FAQ

How to choose the right drill?

Keep a watchful eye on two crucial values: voltage and torque. Discover the ultimate truth: a higher voltage equals a mightier drill. Discover a range of cordless drills with varying voltage options, including 7.2V, 18V, and 20V.
 

Is 12V drill enough power?

It is unlikely that a skilled carpenter or handyman will use an 18-volt tool during the course of a day’s work because they can use a 12-volt tool continuously. These days, 12-volt drills and impact drivers have a lot of the same functionality as their 18-volt counterparts because to a technology called lithium-ion.  
 

 What does 13 mm drilling capacity mean?

As contrast to the actual capacity of the chuck, the term “drilling capacity” refers to the greatest size of the hole that can be produced in a certain material (according to what the manufacturer advises), rather than the capacity of the chuck itself. Your chuck, for instance, may have a capacity of 13 millimetres. Because their shanks are smaller than 13 millimetres in diameter, the majority of 35 mm bits will fit into your chuck.

Can a 12V drill go through concrete?

Yes, a 12V drill can make a hole into concrete, but the best and easier way how to drill a hole into concrete is to use a corded hammer drill.