A cordless drill is one of the home handyman’s best friends. You’re not going to get any serious work done without one and if you’re building your toolset it should be one of your first priorities. It can be a pain to decide, however, since there’s a ton of them on the market and there’s bound to be some duds in there.
We’ve done the research for you in order to bring you five of the best on the market, and then we’ll help you pick the perfect drill to get your projects done no matter what.
Our Top Five Cordless Drills
Any of the following are likely to serve you well when it comes time to get the job done, but each has their own advantages and disadvantages.
|Name||Top Speed||Charge Time||Battery Coltage|
|Milwaukee 2606-22CT||1800rpm||30 minutes||18V|
|DEWALT DCD777C2 20V||1500rpm||60 minutes||20V|
|Makita XPH102 18V||1900rpm||22 minutes||18V|
|Hitachi DS18DGL 18-Volt||250rpm||40 minutes||18V|
|Black & Decker LDX220SBFC||1400rpm||35 minutes||20V|
What is a Cordless Power Drill?
- Our Top Five Cordless Drills
- What is a Cordless Power Drill?
- What Should I Look for in a Cordless Drill?
Cordless power drills are comprised of a basic motor, a battery, and a “chuck” which a bit of many sizes can fit into. Essentially, they’re just a regular drill with a mobile power source.
They range from ridiculously cheap products that could barely put a razor sharp bit through a piece of paper to high amperage models that are made to run for a shorter time while allowing for a tremendous amount of power.
The ones that we have selected to show you are of the general type, middling in power but having batteries which will last for a long time.
What Are the Advantages of a Cordless Drill?
Cordless drills make a trade-off in power and longevity to allow for the maximum amount of maneuverability possible. There’s a reason that every professional tradesman has at least one in their truck or on their tool belt, and its convenience.
Unlike some tools which run for extended periods of time, drills are generally used in short bursts. Infrequent usage means that the batteries last for an exceptional amount of time unless you’re doing something hardcore with them.
By using a cordless instead of a standard power drill you save yourself a lot of time. You won’t have to find a power socket, for one, or deal with a cord.
The early models garnered a bad reputation for power, but as time has worn on and more and more powerful and long-lasting power sources have been developed for them they’ve cemented their place in the trades and in the homes of many people.
What Types of Cordless Drill Are Available?
There aren’t too many types hanging around the shelves.
For the most part, you have the different battery types to pick from and whether or not you’re going to go with a different kind of tool.
Impact drivers are sometimes considered drills, but usually feature a quick-release that holds only hex sized bits instead of a chuck which can bite down on a drill bit.
Cordless drills are sometimes called screwguns, but they aren’t. Screwguns operate in a similar fashion, but usually have a clip which allows you to load multiple screws at once in order to hang drywall or other applications where screws are needed in a hurry.
Corded drills still have their place, particularly when it comes to working with thicker metal. By drawing wall voltage instead of a battery, they can pull an insane amount of amperage through the motor and drive with a force that simply won’t be equaled by a battery-operated drill.
As far as the batteries go there is absolutely no reason not to use a lithium battery. They’re better than any other type, it’s that simple.
What Should I Look for in a Cordless Drill?
There’s quite a bit to keep in mind when you’re picking out a cordless drill. The first thing is to figure out what kind of application you intend to use the drill for, someone who wants to hang plywood has different needs than someone who’s planning on framing with 2x4s for instance.
Power is extremely important, but it’s not a linear matter. Due to the penetration required by a drill, torque is one of the primary operating forces that you need. Higher torque can push a lower RPM bit through tougher materials.
If you were planning on just grabbing the highest RPM available, thinking it was the most powerful, you’d have made a big mistake. High RPMs can actually be a detriment when it comes to cutting through some materials, since the faster a bit moves the more both the motor and the bit heat up.
Torque is the pushing power of the drill.
As a general rule of thumb high rpms and lower torque is wanted for soft materials while high torque and low rpms are what you want for cutting the hard stuff.
For the most part, your main concern here is going to be the recharge time. This is less important for the DIY inclined than it is in the field. As long as you go with lithium batteries you’re probably not going to have anything to worry about.
Run time is hard to estimate for a drill, since they’re not in continuous use during a project. For the most part, a single charge will get you through a day of working on a project that isn’t just repetitively drilling holes.
If recharge times get over around forty minutes and you have a backup, there’s a chance that you might burn out the secondary battery before the first is charged, but it’ll be a rare occasion where this is any kind of concern. Just go with lithium batteries, whatever you do.
The size of the clutch is important, but for most people ½” is the right choice. Any bigger and you’ll be getting into specialized applications which are rarely fulfilled by a cordless drill, and any smaller will have you missing out on a lot of power.
If you decide to go above that, keep in mind that larger clutches are generally on heavier drills, but the motors powering them will inevitably supply you with more torque.
Size and Weight
This one isn’t considered by a lot of people, especially those who aren’t used to using a cordless drill. Lighter and smaller tools are easier to maneuver and work with for extended periods.
If you’re planning on using the drill extensively, then you’ll want to make sure that you can hold it for a long period of time. Compact guns are great for working in small areas as well, such as zipping up the top of a wall board.
Really, these should be one of the first things you look for unless you’re primarily planning on using your drill for metal which will require higher torque and a bigger motor.
The all-important cost factor comes in big for those of us with the DIY bug. Cheaper tools can be fine for occasional use, but if you want to complete a lot of big projects it’s a good idea to make a serious investment.
Your cordless drill is going to see frequent use in most projects. Everything from repairs to construction will require you to use it, so don’t go cheap unless you’re only planning on using your drill once or twice a month.
You’re now equipped with the knowledge to make an educated purchase of one of the most important tools in your arsenal. Use it well and you’ll have an essential piece of kit that’s going to provide you with faithful service for years to come.
Avoid overcomplicating things if you’re unsure, any good cordless drill will serve most people but if you know what you’re getting into right now then getting a specialized drill is undoubtedly the right option. Good luck, and happy projects!