A drill is among the most handy and useful tools in your toolbox. From digging holes in your walls, driving screws, latching up your newly made kitchen cabinets or doors, a power drill is a very versatile tool to have at home. Most modern drills are easy to use and are sufficient enough for almost all DIY purposes and thus are a must have, even if your impact wrench packs up and you want to use your power drill for car tires, the right one will get the job done.
Power drills are majorly of two types- corded and cordless. All modern ones are cordless and have come a long way since they were first introduced. They are high on power, compact and some are light enough to be used by first timers. Most home and DIY purposes will need a 12V drill. For more serious work a more powerful, robust 20V drill works better.
Drills are also classified on the basis of shank diameters. Common sizes are 1/2″ and 3/8″.
There are several brands to choose from with Dewalt, Makita, Bosch and Black & Decker among the popular ones.
Here, we will look at some of the best drills available in the market, look at their pros and cons and some detailed information about each of them. At the end, there are answers to FAQs on best drills for home use.
Best Cordless Drills for 2020
Looking through over 40 cordless drills over several brands, we have chosen the top six. Whether you are looking for power, compactness, speed or cost, you will get it here. We have recommended all the models on the basis of performance, ergonomics and feel and cost.
From all the drills we have seen and tested for real-life applications, we found DeWalt’s DCD701F2 Xtreme Max 12V Cordless 3/8″ Drill Driver kit to be the best overall and best 12V drill.
Top 20V drill: DeWalt DCD791D2 20V MAX Cordless Brushless 1/2″ Drill Alternate option: PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, 1/2-Inch (PCCK607LB)
Most Value for money drill: Ridgid Fuego R86008 18V Lithium Ion 1650 RPM Cordless Compact Drill
Most Compact Drill: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories (LD120VA)
Best overall: DeWalt DCD701F2 Xtreme Max 3/8″ Cordless Drill
This DeWalt is an ideal combination of power, ergonomics and performance. A perfect drill for all common DIY purposes, it comes with DCB122 2 Ah batteries, which produce enough power for drilling at home. The best feature is although its ergonomics; very compact (length of 6″) and lightweight (1.9 lbs) making this very convenient. The handle design perfectly and molds your palm and fingers well, reducing operator fatigue.
Performance wise, it gets a 12V brushless motor and a 3/8″ keyless ratcheting chuck. The 2-speed transmission has 15 clutch settings and max speeds of 425/1500 rpm, enough for most DIY jobs. Maximum power output stands at 250 UWO. A LED light positioned right on top of the battery illuminates sufficiently. Another nice addition is that the battery comes with battery gauges on them, instead of the tool.
The whole kit comes with the tool, battery pack, charger and belt hook as accessories on Amazon.
Runner-up: Bosch PS31-2A 12V Cordless 3/8″ Drill
The reason, this is not the best despite being a preferred choice over the years is its ergonomics, an area where the DeWalt excels. Overall, it is lighter in weight but a thicker and softer grip on the handle makes it a tad bit more tiring to hold for long hours. The contouring could have been better. Size wise, it is compact with a length of 7 inches.
Performance figures are nearly similar, 12V motor and 3/8″ chuck. The 2-speed transmission works brilliantly and has max speeds of 350/1300 rpm. The maximum power output is higher than the DeWalt at 300 UWO but the battery performance and LED light are slightly weaker. High precision and variety of usage is a given due to its light weight and 20+1 clutch settings.
The whole kit includes the tool, 2 Li-ion batteries, a 12V charger, a soft bag and screwdriver bits. All of this comes at a lesser price on Amazon.
Best 20V drill: DeWalt DCD791D2 20V MAX Cordless Brushless 1/2″ Drill
A more powerful, torquey and faster drill, this is made for professional work like carpentry and even masonry. The amount of power this brushless drill packs is amazing, 460 UWO and weighs at 3.4 lbs. This is a larger, 20V drill but still is compact (7″ length) and very comfortable to hold and use. The brushless motor increases running time by 57% while the XR Li-ion batteries have 33% more charge duration.
The transmission is supreme; 2-speed with max speeds of 550/2000 rpm and can generates 600 inch lbs of torque, and although an impact driver is the better option if you only want to do that, this is also the perfect power drill for car tires. Performance of the motor is really strong, as we can see and the 1/2″ ratcheting chuck adds lots of bit grip strength, easily transforming this into a power drill to remove lug nuts if you need to, so very handy to keep in your garage. It is equipped with a 3-mode LED which is very bright and also gets a spotlight mode setting.
This tool packs a lot more power than required for DIY purposes and can be used as a dual-purpose drill, and a drill for removing lug nuts. The kit only includes the drill, which retails on Amazon at around $190, then includes a DeWalt drill battery.
Runner up: PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver Kit, 1/2-Inch (PCCK607LB)
Packed with a brushless motor, 15 Ah Li-ion batteries and a 20V motor, this is a drill for beginner pros. And all of that, in just a length of 7.4″ and 3.3 lbs of weight. This latest model, has become much more compact and lightweight.
The drill has some strong performance stats, although lesser than the DeWalt’s DCD791D2. A 2-speed transmission, max speeds of 450/1800 rpm and 370 UWO of max power are some impressive numbers. The torque figure of 270 inch lbs is good enough too. The 1/2 inch chuck is reliable and has offers good bit grip, fitting bits upto 1/2 inches. Furthermore, it comes with a battery charge indicator and LED light for working in dark places.
Although, similarly priced with other medium-power 20V drills, it is a steal against the more powerful Dewalt. The whole kit including, a charger, batteries and the drill retails at $130 in Amazon and comes with a 3-year warranty.
Most Value for money: Ridgid Fuego R86008 18V Lithium Ion 1650 RPM Cordless Compact Drill
An 18V powerful cordless drill, generating 535 inch lbs of torque and max speeds of 1650 rpm is a really strong performer for household and DIY needs. All of this, just 3.3 lbs !
This Fuego also packs in a bit more; it gets a bright LED light and ergonomically comfortable, micro-texture grip to hold. To make work easier during heavy-duty tasks, Ridgid provides a rubber horizontal handle to hold onto. The drill is usable on a lot of surfaces like wood, concrete and even steel, thanks to the 24-position clutch setting to use all that 535 inch lbs of torque.
Now, guess the price of this. The Ridgid Fuego R86008 costs just $45, a third of all the other drills. It is worth every penny, if you are looking for a great product in a tight budget, by far the best cordless drill 100 dollars.
Most Compact Drill: BLACK&DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver
Of all the drills we took a look at, this little one from Black & Decker was the most compact of them. Measuring at just, 7.75″ in height, this was smaller than even a few 12V drills.
The tool is decently capable, with a max speed of 750 rpm and 24 position clutch settings. That is enough for most DIY drillings. Generating around 300 inch lbs of torque and 3/8″ inch chuck, this is up for some heavy duty work too.
Above everything, it is a great value for money choice. The whole kit, including a charger, 20V Li-ion battery, screw driving and drill bits comes with a price tag of $50 and a 2-year warranty on Amazon.
Best High Power Drills for 2020
Small, low-power drill drivers might be good for your household purposes, but they do not sustain more hardcore tasks. For heavy-duty tasks like deep holes in wooden furniture or drilling in concrete and brick walls, you need more power and more torque.
In this list, we have a mix of drill drivers along with drill drivers and hammer drills. It is because the latter ones are generally more powerful and have more torque. Hammer drills have 2-in-1 functions and can be interchangeably used with normal drill drivers.
Several brands are there which offer really great options in high-power heavy duty drills and good prices. The most popular ones include Hilti, Milwaukee, Makita and of course, DeWalt.
Our recommended drills are:
Best Overall hi-power brushed hammer drill: Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC Drill
Most powerful cordless drill driver: DEWALT (DCD991B) 20V MAX XR Brushless 3-speed Drill/Driver
Most powerful cordless hammer drill: Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill
Smoothest brushless high -power hammer drill: Makita XPH07Z 18V LXT Lithium-ion Brushless Cordless 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill
Best 18V heavy duty hammer drill: Ridgid R86116 18V Brushless 1/2″ Hammer Drill
1.Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC Drill
Hilti’s product are premium and generally more expensive than others. The 10W-A22 shows pure muscle and has some good speed too. It just stands out in the heavy-duty class of drills.
With its brushed motor, this Hilti cranks out 677 inch lbs of torque, more than any other drill. An incredible tool for the pros, it features a 4-speed transmission, 15 clutch settings, a metal keyless chuck and a bright LED light for good visibility and an Active Torque Control system.The 4-speed transmission is geared low for lots of torque and the ATC comes as very necessary for such a powerful tool, to prevent accidents or injuries. It is heavy at 5.6 lbs when paired with a 4.0 Ah battery.
This is a heavy duty tool and is expensive. Hilti sells this as a single tool on Amazon. There is no kit.
2. DEWALT (DCD991B) 20V MAX XR Brushless 3-speed Drill/Driver
This a seriously powerful drill/driver and is meant for the professionals. The DCC991B comes with a brushless motor that delivers 820 UWO, making it really fast and 57% more long-lasting than a brushed motor.
Among prominent features, the motor packs in a 3-speed metal transmission with a max speed of 2000 rpm, runs on XR Li-ion batteries and has a very bright 3-mode LED and a side handle.
Coming to its performance, the high-speed transmission produces nearly 600 inch lbs of torque. The heavy-duty 1/2 inch metal chuck is nitro-carburized and has carbide inserts for better bit gripping strength.
The DeWalt DCD991B MAX XR is a top-quality drill. It comes only as the tool on Amazon for $140, if you need a DeWalt drill battery too, get the full kit. A full kit with 5 Ah batteries and a charger costs $230.
3. Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill
The M18 is just a powerhouse! With an 18V brushless motor, the hammer drill pumps out 1200 inch lbs of torque. The 2-speed transmission sometimes feels lacking in channelizing the aggressive power delivery. This amount of torque is good to hammer through everything, wood, bricks, concrete and even steel.
With its 5.0Ah Red Lithium battery pack, it does more work than its direct competitors. The drill is so powerful, it gets a performance optimization system, which is useful to protect it from overloading. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel is only available as a tool and retails for $145 on Amazon.
4. Makita XPH07Z 18V LXT Lithium-ion Brushless Cordless 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill
It was once the most powerful drill, before the Milwaukee M18 came. Equipped with a 18V brushless motor and pumping out 1090 inch lbs of torque, the Makita XPH07Z 18V LXT hammer drill is perfect for the most demanding drilling jobs in masonry and hard core carpentry. Smoothness is its forte; the drill has the cleanest motor sound with the least vibrations.
Not the lightest at 5.9 lbs, it still has very comfortable ergonomics and is easy to hold. But always use the side handle or you will be thrown off by the power. The 2-speed transmission gets a max speed setting of 550 rpm on the lower gear and 2100 rpm for the second gear, making it applicable for a wide number of tasks.
The Makita XPH07Z 18V LXT Li-ion cordless brushless hammer driver drill retails both, as a bare tool and a full kit with 4.0 Ah Li-ion batteries on Amazon.
5. RIDGID R86116 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Brushless Compact 1/2″ Hammer Drill
Although, 18V and 20V are same essentially, if you want the most powerful hammer drill with the “18V” sticker, this is the one for you.
Being a heavy-duty 18V drill making 1300 inch lbs of torque, it comes in a decent size weighing just 4.3 lbs. The high-performance, brushless motor gives 65% more power than its predecessor and gives some great output for heavy duty applications.
Some features of the drill are very likeable, like the grippy compact handle and the LED light around the chuck. It works on any RIDGID 18V battery but offers the most durability with OCTANE series of cells.
The Ridgid R86116 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Brushless Compact 1/2 ” Hammer Drill retails at $129.99 as a tool on Amazon.
6. Meterk 1/2 inch Corded Drill 7.5Amp
The only corded drill in the list, this is a dual purpose drill with both impact and hammer functions, according to task. The drill is powered by a 90-120V AC copper motor which generates 950 W of power and revolves at a max speed of 2800 rpm. This is perfect for any heavy duty drilling on wood, concrete and steel. And all of this, in just 4 lbs.
This is a pretty feature loaded drill. It has a 2-in-1 function between hammer and drill, which is switchable. There are 17 speed settings with a lock-speed feature, 1/2” keyed chuck, depth gauges, a 360 degree rotating side handle and 17 accessory items.
Despite being well-loaded, this tool comes cheaper than all of the above. The whole kit of Meterk 1/2 ” Corded 950W hammer and electric drill with 12 drill bits and storage case costs just $56 on Amazon.
Best Cordless Drivers for 2021
Cordless impact drivers are smaller than drill drivers. They are specifically for driving in screws but can also work with bolts if attached with an impact-rated socket. They have a quick release chuck that accepts 1/4 ” shank driver bits specifically made for impact.
These provide more torque and drive in more power through the fastener than a drill, while being compact and lightweight. This small size also makes them a better tool in tight spots.
We have compiled the best cordless impact drivers for 2020 from all the popular brands.
Best for contractors and pro-use: DEWALT 20V MAX XR DCF887B Impact Driver, Brushless, 3-Speed, 1/4-Inch
Most compact impact driver: Milwaukee Electric Tools M12 Fuel 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver
Best-in-class torque 18V impact driver: Hitachi/Metabo WH18DBDL2P4 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion Brushless Triple Hammer Impact Driver
Best impact driver in a budget: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit
Best cheap impact for home-based DIY projects: Avid Power Impact Driver Kit, 1590 in-lbs 20V MAX Cordless 1/4″ Hex Impact Drill
Impact driver with most advanced features: Makita XDT16Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver
1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR DCF887B Impact Driver, Brushless, 3-Speed, 1/4-Inch
DeWalt’s DCF887B 20V MAX XR is a pro-quality tool, built for contractors but can be used as for DIY too. A powerful, hi-performance brushless motor that puts out 1825 inch lbs of torque, second only to the Metabo impact driver, the ideal cordless impact wrench to remove lug nuts.
A simple power toggle switch called the Precision Drive Control helps you to adjust the speed settings and apply different levels of power through the 3-speed metal transmission. The max speeds of each are 550/2800/3250 rpm.
Other handy features include a 3 bright LEDs for great visibility and the quick change 1/4 inch chuck. The tool itself is pretty cost effective coming at just under $100 on Amazon. DeWalt also offers several kit combinations with this impact driver, which includes 5.0 Ah Li-ion DeWalt drill battery and drill bits.
2. Milwaukee Electric Tools M12 Fuel 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver
Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel is the most compact impact driver you will get. With a length of just 5.1 inches and a weight of just 2lbs, it can go in very tight spaces with ease.
Although small, it is not small on power. The POWERSTATE brushless motor generates 1300 inch lbs of torque and a max speed of 3300 rpm. Both are benchmark-defining numbers for a 12V tool. This makes the tool as capable as any 18 or 20V although with certainly less work rate. A very likeable feature is mode selector, which sets the three mode speeds according to application. Above all, it is a very easy-to-use product.
Milwaukee retails this “little monster” at a great price on Amazon, which makes it an even better deal for DIY purposes.
3. Hitachi/Metabo WH18DBDL2P4 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion Brushless Triple Hammer Impact Driver
If you are just looking for lots of torque, this triple hammer impact driver from Metabo, formerly Hitachi Power tools is just a level above the rest. It is pure contractor-grade quality.
The tool uses three anvil for a higher IPM, torque and speed, while reducing vibrations. Numbers? A max speed of 2900 rpm and 1832 inch lbs of torque!
The brushless motor is very smooth and has an improved running time. For better control during uses, there is a 4-stage electronic speed switch to operate at different speeds. A very good touch is its IP56 water resistant certification.
4. BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit (BDCI20C)
Black+Decker’s 20V Max Impact is one of the best budget impact drivers, suitable for any occasional DIY job around your home. Despite not being pro-grade, it is not short on performance at all.
A powerful brushed motor and hi-performance transmission produces 1375 inch lbs of torque, enough for all DIY jobs. 41/2 inch lag bolts or bolts torqued to 40 ft lbs might take some time, but anything below that is easy job.
Among features, it is very compact at 7 inches in length, gets a1/4 ” quick release hex bit change and has a max speed of 3000 rpm. It misses out on an LED light, although.
The shortcomings in performance are justified by the very affordable price on Amazon.
5. Avid Power Impact Driver Kit 20V MAX Cordless 1/4″ Hex Impact Drill
This impact drill kit from Avid Power is just supremely fast. With its powerful motor pumping out 1590 inch lbs of max torque, this will push and drill screws through anything with astonishing speed.
The feature list is pretty rich too. It runs on 20V 1500mAh Li-ion batteries, gets 3 LED lights for better visibility and a special chuck 1/4 inch for easy bit removal. Despite being so heavy duty, it just weighs 3 lbs and is very compact for use.
The full kit is available on Amazon and includes the impact driver, 20V Li-ion batteries with charge indicator, 24 pieces of sockets and bits, a tool bag and user manual.
6. Makita XDT16Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Quick-Shift Mode 4-Speed Impact Driver
Makita electric tools are one of the best and most refined tools in the market. They are expensive but they are top performers.
This 18V Quick-Shift impact driver looks compact and premium. The motor is brushless and as soon as you switch it on, the sound is so smooth! It definitely does not compromise on performance with a max speed of 3600 rpm and 1600 inch lbs of torque. A professional tool in every way!
It’s best features are the 4-speed power selection options for different applications, Quick-shift and Tightening modes. The former uses electronic controls to find the best balance of speed and torque, while the latter assist in faster tightening of self drilling screws. Another great addition is the reverse rotation auto stop, which stops the rotation, if the screw or bolt loosens.
Makita recommends to use 18V LXT Makita batteries along with this for the best-in-class charging times and Makita LXT Rapid charger.
It is available as a tool only and a full kit, with Li-ion batteries and rapid chargers on Amazon.
Common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
People are always having some common questions before they go out to buy their first drill. Choosing the right type of tool is crucial as they are built for specific purposes, have varying performance levels and differ a lot in their features.
There is absolutely no point of buying a heavy-duty, hi-torque drill for hanging pictures on your wall at home, ain’t it?
1. Corded or Cordless?
Most drills manufactured today are cordless. Cordless drills are rarely made and are a thing of the past. They were popular even during the early years of cordless options, thanks to their higher power as they are connected to an electrical point and run on AC. They also could be used for longer hours as you did not need to charge them.
But today, battery-operated cordless drills are as powerful and make comparable amounts of torque. Bigger batteries, better technology like brushless motors, Li-ion cells and rapid chargers have all led cordless to be the choice of majority today. They also have a more uniform torque delivery than corded drills, which helps in precise work.
2. Brushed or Brushless?
Battery-powered DC motors are of two types. Brushed motors are the older type and use a copper coil armature configuration to act as a two-way electromagnet. The current changes direction twice in one cycle, which facilitates current flow through the armature coil.
Brushless motors, on the other hand use a permanent magnet as a rotor, along with three phase driving coils and sensors to track the rotor position. When the position is detected, the controller in the motor turns the coils in a structured way.
Today brushless motors are very common and almost every drill or driver, even some of the basic ones get a brushless motor. A few brands like Hilti, who focus on super heavy duty tools and high torque outputs use brushed motors. Brushed motors do not stop under extreme working conditions, while brushless ones will stop under continuous high load operations.
Brushless motors have many pros:
- Less maintenance
- Reduced size
- Reduced heat dissipation
- Operates effectively at all speeds
- Higher speed range
Some cons of them:
- Higher costs
- They will stop on overheating or overload in extreme conditions, unlike a brushed motor
3. Drill or Driver?
Now that is a very important topic to discuss. We already discussed how are impact drivers different from drills. They are specifically made for fastening screws and bolts. They are lighter, smaller and have more power and torque than a regular drill. Moreover, they also need impact specific drill bits to work better.
A regular drill will be the first thing you buy, as it can do anything, from drilling holes to fastening screws and even masonry, for the heavy duty ones. They are also cost effective compared to impact drivers which are more specialized tools.
If you are an occasional DIYer who will only use drills for weekend work or fasten the occasional loose screw, a regular drill is enough for you. But, if you do regular work, DIY projects and need to fasten a lot of screws and bolts, an impact driver always comes in handy.
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