Cordless Drill Reviews – Choosing the Best Cordless Drill For Your Home Or Business

Looking for the best cordless drill? New features, power and battery life are light years ahead of just a few years ago. Understanding the differences and knowing what to look for is key to choosing a new cordless drill for your next project.

Best Cordless DrillCordless Drill Reviews 2014
Every household and contractor needs a powerful cordless drill to get the job done. There are a number of features that separate the best cordless drills from some of the lower priced models including battery life, maximum rpm, and voltage.

If you’re going to use your drill for little projects around the house then any of the cordless drills priced below $100.00 will probably be all you need.

On the other hand, if you’re a contractor looking to do larger projects then one of the more heavy-duty cordless drills with extended battery life and a longer run time is what you’ll need. The truth is that all battery powered “power tools” will have their limitations in terms of power and run-time.

For the occasional do-it-yourselfer buying a contractor grade cordless drill may give you longer run times but you’ll also be trading a light, easy to handle power tool for one that’s heavier and more difficult to work with. With that in mind, there’s really no reason to buy more then what you’ll need.

The good news is that you don’t have to always pay more to get what you want if you know what to look for. We’ve put together cordless drill reviews for several of the newest and most popular cordless drills for 2014 along with a helpful buyer’s guide to help you compare features and links showing any currently available discounts.

Choosing the best cordless drill for your needs is a lot easier when you know what to look for. All of the models reviewed on this site are best sellers with good reviews  from both industry experts and real customers as well. Simply decide what type of work you’ll be doing with your new drill, determine how much you want to spend and check out the different models featured here.

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DEWALT DC970K-2 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit

DEWALT DC970K-2 18-Volt Drill Driver Kit

This lightweight drill comes in at 5.2 lbs but boasts 18 volts of power for a 380 unit watt performance. These ratings alone make it one of the best cordless drills we reviewed. The dual speed range motor can top out at either 450 or 1500 rpm so you have more fine-tuned control of your speed. The 2 batteries included have above average battery life and can be fully recharged in one hour so you’ll never be stuck without power.

Compact, lightweight and easy to use for extended periods. The ½-inch (the largest of the top 3) ratcheting, keyless chuck feature is excellent and provides a much better grip on the bit. This particular kit comes with a contractor bag for safe and easy storage and transport. DEWALT offers a 90-day money-back guarantee as well as a 3-year warranty.

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Black & Decker BDC120VA100 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Drill Kit

Black & Decker BDC120VA100 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Drill Kit with 100 Accessories

We can’t stress enough the value of this kit. It comes with 100 accessories, including all-purpose bits, masonry bits, screwdriving bits, sockets and more. Black & Decker even threw in 4 screws with anchors to get you started on your first project. (See the Accessories section of our buyer’s guide below for a full break-down of these accessories.)

The drill itself is powerful and compact despite being rated as a heavy duty drill. At 20 volts, this was the most powerful cordless drill we selected in our top 3. The battery is a lithium ion that takes about 3 hours to charge. However, the charge will hold in the battery for over a year, which is perfect for keeping the drill handy for unexpected repairs and other last minute projects.

The 3/8-inch keyless clutch has 24 positions to prevent stripping. The handle includes storage room for extra bits, which made changing out bits a lot faster and easier. Black & Decker offers a 2-year warranty on this drill. In addition, we know their battery pack can be swapped out with other Black & Decker cordless products, like their trimmers, chain saws, etc.

“This Cordless Drill is currently available on Amazon at over 28% off retail price!”
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Makita LCT209W 12V max Lithium-Ion Cordless 2-Piece Combo Kit

Makita LCT209W 12V max Lithium-Ion Cordless 2-Piece Combo Kit

This 2-piece compact drill kit is a real bargain among the products in our cordless drill reviews. You actually get two drills, two batteries (which charge in about 30 minutes), a charger and a sturdy metal case. One of the drills is designed as an impact drill, which makes it better for driving screws without pre-drilled holes.

The impact drill provides 800 in/lb of torque. The driver-drill functions as a normal cordless drill for creating holes and screwing in pre-drilled areas. The chucks have a 3/8-inch capacity. The impact drill has 2 speed settings, with a maximum of 2400 and 3000 rpm. The driver drill is also 2-speed and tops out at 350 and 1300 rpm.

The motors use 12 volts, which helps make them ultra-compact. Each drill weighs just over 2 pounds. Their compactness makes them easy to use in tight spaces, but they don’t compromise on power or quality. Makita offers a 3-year limited warranty on the drill itself. The batteries come with a one-year warranty.

“This Cordless Drill is currently available on Amazon at over 15% off retail price!”
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Features to look for when selecting the best cordless drill…

Light Duty
If you’re looking to do summer projects around the house or light renovation, you’re probably going to need a drill that can handle light to medium duty. These projects can include things like putting new handles on kitchen cabinets, drilling drywall to hang curtains or paintings, or assembling furniture. For these projects, you want to look for a drill with at least 7.2 volts. However, the more voltage you have available, the better. You never know when you’ll need to screw through plywood for a quick home repair. If you don’t already have a collection of drill and screw bits, you’ll also want to consider a kit that includes enough accessories to get you started.

Medium Duty
If you’re interested in heavier renovation, you need at least 12 volts of power. The kind of projects you can complete with this range including hanging drywall, drilling through hardwood and plywood, and installing or building cabinets. At this level of construction, you’ll probably want to look for a second battery to be included in your kit. You’ll also start adding some weight here with the motor and battery size. If you need to fit in small spaces or have limited movement in your hand, try to stick with compact medium duty drills.

Heavy Duty
If you’re a contractor or you’re looking to do a heavy-duty construction-based renovation the best cordless drill will need to be more powerful, typically in the 20-volt range. With this power, you’ll be able to install decks, drill into steel, and perform other tasks requiring high voltage power. You may also want to look for an impact drill to help drive the bits through using torque force. Of course, heavy duty drills will be the heaviest and the most expensive.

For the average household, the medium duty drill is the way to go. You have the voltage needed to perform more advanced repairs and renovations at a later date while still having a compact size and a light weight. The battery life is longer than typical light duty drills, but the battery charging time is significantly shorter than the heavy duty drills. The price of a medium drill is very close to a quality light duty drill, so you get more power for your dollar.

For these reasons, our top 3 cordless drill reviews include 2 medium duty drills and 1 lightweight but heavy duty-rated drill. However, all of the models reviewed here are top rated when compared to similar priced cordless drills. You can find additional information on features, actual customer reviews, available discounts and free shipping by clicking on any of the product links below or to the right. 

Remember that the best cordless drill will have at least 12 volts of power. You’ll also want to factor in torque, especially for impact drills. A good torque rating for a non-impact drill is around 150 inch/pounds, while an impact drill should have at least 700 inch/pounds. Some ratings will also tell you the output of the motor in “unit watts out” or UWO. If you know the voltage, you should be fine no matter what the UWO output is.

However, if you’re interested for comparison’s sake, the UWO measures the point at which the drill’s torque and speed are at its highest. The higher the UWO, the faster you will generally be able to get the job done. That being said, the difference between a 300 and 400 UWO will be negligible for most projects. This is just another power rating to describe the drill in advertising, and not all manufacturers even list a UWO rating.

The speed of your drill is best measured by the rpm (rotations per minute). Most of the best cordless drills have 2-speed settings. This is so you don’t accidentally pull the trigger too hard and strip the screw or damage the material into which you’re screwing. Essentially, the lower speed setting “caps” your rpm. So make sure you look to see if there are two rpm ratings, and judge the overall speed by the higher number. A high-performing medium duty cordless drill will deliver at least 1000 rpm. Most projects around the house can be completed with significantly less rpm.



Ergonomic Grip
Here we’re simply talking about comfort and usability. Some drills have extra padding for comfort. Other drills have a textured grip to make it easier to keep hold of the drill at awkward angles.

The clutch of a cordless drill works just like the clutch in a car. It disengages the motor when it detects high resistance. This is a feature to protect both the material you’re drilling or screwing into and the drill’s motor. Adjustable clutches let you raise or lower the level at which you want the drill to disengage to prevent screw stripping, material damage, and motor burnout.

Batteries & Chargers
There are 3 things you want to look at when it comes to the power source of your cordless drill. The voltage, which we went over at the beginning of this article, is one factor. The second important factor is battery life. If you only plan to use the drill once in a while to hang paintings or replace hardware on cabinet doors, you shouldn’t need too much battery life. However, if you’re considering undertaking a renovation or if you plan to use your drill for hobby building, you’ll want to look into length of time your battery should last.

Battery life can, in turn, be affected by a few secondary factors. One, your mAh rating will tell you the maximum power the battery can hold. The higher the mAh, the longer the battery will last. However, some batteries are prone to lose their maximum power over time. They are simply not able to recharge to the same level as when they were brand new. This usually only happens to NiCAD batteries. So keep in mind that you may need to get a bigger battery life rating to account for this gradual loss of maximum power, or you will need to get a second battery to compensate.

The third important factor is your charging speed. A battery that dies at a slow rate may take 3 or more hours to charge to 100 percent. In contrast, a medium-length battery life may charge in as little as half an hour. As such, battery life by the hour is not the whole story. Make sure to check the speed of the charger, too.


Chuck Jaw Capacity
The chuck jaw capacity tells you how large of a bit the drill can hold. Many models of cordless drills hold at most a 3/8” bit. The DEWALT cordless drill holds a ½” bit. For most projects, the 3/8” bit will get the job done.

Keyless Chuck
A keyless chuck is pretty much standard on all cordless drills nowadays. It simply means you can use your hand to rotate the housing over the chuck to remove, add or tighten the jaws around your bit.

One of the reasons the Black & Decker drill made our top 3 cordless drill reviews was its extensive accessory kit. This is a great start to a new household’s tool collection, but it’s also a simple way to start over to replace missing or rusted bits with sharp and well-organized bits. Black & Decker set the standard with this collection. You can compare other models’ accessory add-ons to this list, but you’d be hard-pressed to find all of these bits for the same value.

Black & Decker BDC120VA100 Accessory List


(10) General Purpose drill bits, from 1/16” to ¼”


(5) Brad Point Drill Bits, from 1/8” to ¼”


(5) Masonry Drill Bits, from 1/8” to ¼”


(32) 1-inch Screwdriving Bits, including 4 styles (Philips, Slotted, Torx and Square)


(14) 2-inch Screwdriving Bits, including 4 styles (Philips, Slotted, Torx and Square)


(7) 3.5-inch Screwdriving Bits, including 2 styles (Philips and Square)


(5) ¼-inch Sockets, from 4 mm to 12 mm


(10) Nutdrivers, from 3/16” to ½”


(1) Socket adaptor


(1) Magnetic Bit Tip Holder


(1) Drill Bit Gauge

Weight and Size
Last but not least, you’ll want to look at the dimensions of your cordless drill. Most of these specifications can be found on any of the cordless drill reviews we’ve published. Some weigh as little as 2 pounds, while others weigh upwards of 9 pounds. Think about how much weight you can comfortably hold, but make sure to factor in the power trade-off. If you need more power, you’ll likely have to handle more weight.

Determining the best cordless drill will depend on a number factors including power, battery life and weight. Most medium duty drills, like the Makita 12 volt model are a good compromise for homeowners and do-it-yourselfers.The size and weight are also important, depending on what projects you expect to tackle.

A smaller drill can obviously get into smaller spaces, like underneath a sink, but you’re again likely to face a power trade-off. A larger drill may be less maneuverable, but it will have great power for carpentry work and other similar uses. Learn more by checking out our cordless drill reviews, video tutorials, and resource links.


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