Top 10 best Cordless Drill of 2016

A Brief History

Ever since Black&Decker introduced the first cordless drill in 1961, these convenient, portable tools have been a toolbox staple for professional contractors and homegrown handy-persons alike.  While early models were often bulky and could function only for a few minutes at a time, the portability, maneuverability, and independence they offered immediately captured the imagination of the workforce.  A little more than half a century later, these drills continue to impress.

Product ImageProduct NameBrandRatingPowerSpeedChuck SizeRead Review
Milwaukee 2691-22Milwaukee5 Star Rating18 Volts1,8001/4-inchvisit-siteread review
Hitachi DS18DSALHitachi4.5 Star Rating18 Volts1,5001/2-inchvisit-siteread review
Ryobi-P882Ryobi4.5 Star Rating18 Volts1,6001/2-inchvisit-siteread review
Rockwell RK2515K2Rockwell4 Star Rating12 Volts2,2001/4-inchvisit-siteread review
Makita LXFD01CWMakita3.5 Star Rating18 Volts1,5001/2-inchvisit-siteread review
Dewalt DCD771C2Dewalt3.5 Star Rating20 Volts1,5001/2-inchvisit-siteread review
Black & Decker BDCDMT120-2Black & Decker3.5 Star Rating20 Volts8003/8-inchvisit-siteread review
Bosch DDB180-02Bosch3 Star Rating18 Volts1,300 / 4003/8-Inchvisit-siteread review
Porter-Cable PCCK600LBPorter-Cable3 Star Rating20 Volts1,6007-3/4-Inchvisit-siteread review
Panasonic EY6432NQKWPanasonic2.5 Star Rating15.5 Volts1,4501/2-Inchvisit-siteread review

The New Generation

Like Millennials and Baby Boomers, today’s drills are as far removed from their progenitors as Black & Decker’s archetype was from the corded option that preceded it. Aided by heavy-duty, durable plastic encasements, aluminum motor parts, and the very latest battery technology, the power drills of this latest generation are lightweight yet sturdy, and able to run for hours without experiencing any significant loss of power.

Years of experience in a profoundly dynamic market have led tool manufacturers to one industry-changing innovation after another, and the results have been positive for the consumer.

best cordless drill

Which is the Best Cordless Drill?

With so many unique models out there, each with its set of pros and cons, as well as brand specific features, deciding which cordless drill is right for you can be a difficult task. Luckily, we have taken the time to put together this cordless drill review, where we have compiled the specs, examined the features, and investigated the warranties to assist you. So, without any further gilding of the lily, let’s meet the contestants for the best cordless drill.

10. Panasonic EY6432NQKW

The Panasonic is the only drill on this list that does not utilize Lithium Ion technology. Instead, this model relies on a NiMH battery to provide its 15.6 volts for operation. Still, despite the heavier batteries, the unit manages to come under five pounds and does deliver 390 in-lbs of torque and a max speed of 1,450 RPMs.

The motor is laser-welded and fan-cooled and equipped with an 18-stage clutch for precision fastening. Your money will buy you: two batteries, a charger, a plastic case, and a one-year parts and labor warranty.

  • Power: Above Average
  • Features: Below Average (The battery technology is dated, and the unit lacks the bells and whistles of its competitors)
  • Price: Below Average (Meaning, you get less for more in this case)
  • Warranty: Average
  • Grade: C+

09. Porter-Cable PCCK600LB

Porter-Cable equipped their model with a metal ratcheting chuck to minimize bit slippage, as well as that tremendously helpful battery fuel gauge that helps you avoid sudden power failure. There is also an LED light for the dark spots that its compact 7-3/4″, 3.5lb frame will allow you to reach.

A two-speed control tops out at 1,600 RPMs and 330UWO’s (again, how that compares directly to torque ratings for other drills on this list is anyone’s guess). Here you get the drill/driver with two batteries and Porter-Cable’s standard one-year warranty that covers all of their power tools.

  • Power: Above Average
  • Features: Average
  • Price: Average
  • Warranty: Average
  • Grade: B-

08. Bosch DDB180-02

Bosch’s version of an 18-volt drill/driver operates at 1,300RPMs while delivering 400 in-lbs of torque. The DDB180-02 also has a 15-position clutch, LED light, and weighs a measly 3lbs.

The body of this cordless drill is covered with a Durashield, ABS/Nylon composite housing designed to make the tool flexible enough to withstand drops of 10 feet without cracking. This kit comes with the drill/driver, two batteries, a charger, a hard carrying case, and the confidence of a 30-day money back guarantee, and a one year warranty on their tool.

  • Power: Above Average
  • Features: Average
  • Price: Average
  • Warranty: Average
  • Grade: B-

07. Black & Decker BDCDMT120-2

With a 3/8″ chuck and rotating at a max of only 800 RPMs, the Black&Decker is the least powerful option making an appearance on this list. However, this model does not pretend at being a professional grade power drill but is instead marketed at the individual homeowner looking to get maximum return on his/her investment. This tool features Black&Decker’s revolutionary Modular MATRIX System, which allows for the drill end to be removed and replaced by a multitude of attachments.

While one drill and an extra battery seem like a little less bang for your buck, consider that the MATRIX compatibility makes this more than just a drill. Just as it does with any of its other tools, Black & Decker provides a two-year limited warranty, against defects in the material and workmanship.

  • Power: Below Average
  • Features: Superior
  • Price: Average
  • Warranty: Average
  • Grade: B

06. Dewalt DCD771C2

Powered by the latest Lithium-Ion technology, this 20-volt power drill can hit 1,500 RPMs while generating 300UWO (Alas, manufacturers who use the UWO rating do not release the torque ratings of their tools, and these companies also state that there is no way to draw a direct comparison between power and torque).

Though not quite a professional grade, the Dewalt DCD771C2 is powerful enough to handle most home improvement projects. This bundle includes the Drill/Driver, two batteries, a charger, and a canvas tool bag, Dewalt’s option is affordable and targeted at the cost conscious DIYer. For consumer protection, Dewalt offers a three-year limited warranty, 90-day money back guarantee, as well as a one-year free service contract.

  • Power: Above Average
  • Features: Average
  • Price: Above Average (But in a good way)
  • Warranty: Above Average
  • Grade: B

05. Makita LXFD01CW

Makita’s 18-volt version of the cordless drill comes with a 4-pole motor that can deliver 480 in-lbs of torque (again, how this compares to the 300UWO of the Dewalt is anybody’s guess). It can turn at a maximum 1,500 RPMs. A remarkable aspect of the Lithium-Ion batteries offered with this drill is that, according to the manufacturer, they charge a full-cycle in only 15 minutes.

Makita also claims that the 16 firm-holding contact terminals on the battery allow it to transfer higher power at a more consistent rate. At only 3.3lbs, this power drill is only half the weight of the Dewalt DCD771C2, and is also more compact, thereby reducing fatigue and enabling it to fit into those hard to reach spaces. Were it not for several Amazon customer complaints regarding a wobbly chuck, the grade for this drill would be higher. The Makita LXFD01CW, a hard carrying case, a charger, an extra battery, and a three-year limited warranty for each piece (excluding the case).

  • Power: Above Average
  • Features: Above Average
  • Price: Average
  • Warranty: Above Average
  • Grade: B

04. Rockwell RK2515K2 3Rill

The Rockwell RK2515K2 sports the most distinctive design of the lot. Like the Black & Decker before it, this model is more than just a cordless drill, it’s a 3rill. For the uninitiated (yours truly was one of these until recently), the 3rill is a 3-in-1 Impact Driver Cordless Drill Combo that can switch between drilling, driving, and impacting with the greatest of ease. At 12 volts and only 2.5lbs, Rockwell intends to bridge the gap between DIY use and professional application.

Recognizing how it offers 800 in-lbs of torque, the strongest of any drill on this list (though not any impact driver, since Rockwell is blurring the lines here), it takes a hefty swing at that goal. The 3Rill comes with two 12-volt Lithium-Ion batteries, a charger, a case, a brand-specific driving bit, enrollment in the lifetime replacement battery program, a 90-day money back guarantee, and a two-year limited warranty.

  • Power: Superior (Thanks to its built-in impact driver)
  • Features: Superior (It’s 3-in-1!)
  • Price: Below Average (Meaning, it’s kind of up there)
  • Warranty: Average
  • Grade: A-

03. Ryobi-P882

The P882 comes equipped with a 1/2″ heavy-duty single sleeve, keyless chuck, and a 24 position clutch. Ryobi’s variable speed drill also offers an attached magnetic tray and on-board bit storage so that you don’t have to wonder always, where you left the thing. This power drill is capable of hitting 1,600RPMs while the impact driver can provide up to 1,500 in-lbs of torque.

Included in this kit are the drill, impact driver, two Lithium Ion batteries, a charger, and a soft carrying case. All Ryobi tools purchased after January 1, 2009, are covered by a three-year warranty and, if you register your product with Ryobi within 30 days of purchase, they will extend the warranty period by two years.

  • Power: Superior (If you take into consideration the impact driver.)
  • Features: Above Average
  • Price: Superior
  • Warranty: Above Average (If you register your product and extend the warranty)
  • Grade: A

02. Hitachi DS18DSAL

Like the Makita, this Hitachi 18-volt cordless drill offers a keyless 1/2″ chuck, and can reach 1,500 RPMS. Regarding torque, this one delivers slightly less than the Makita (460 in-lbs) and is also the heaviest drill on this list. It does, however, comes with a belt hook, when you tire of toting around these 12.2lbs.

This giant features a 22+1 Stage Clutch that accounts for precision as well as power, When purchasing this kit, the customer can expect to walk away with a hard carrying case, quick charger, two batteries, dual-tipped Phillips driver bit, the drill, and a Lithium Ion powered flashlight. The strongest selling point of the Hitachi DS18DSAL is that it is backed by a ten-year Lithium Ion tool warranty, as well as a two-year Lithium Ion battery warranty.

  • Power: Above Average
  • Features: Above Average
  • Price: Above Average (In a good way)
  • Warranty: Superior
  • Grade: A

01. Milwaukee 2691-22

Capable of rotating at 1,800RPMs and delivering 500 in-lbs of torque, the Milwaukee 2691-22 is one of the most powerful drills on this list. This particular model offers a 4-pole frameless motor, built-in LED lights to illuminate light challenged workspaces, battery fuel gauges that alert you when you are nearing the end of a charge, as well as a variable speed trigger.

With this combo, the consumer will receive the drill/driver, an impact driver, two batteries, a charger, and a canvas carrying case. A five-year warranty further fluffs this competitive package for the drill, impact driver and charger, while the batteries are covered for two years.

  • Power: Superior
  • Features: Above Average
  • Price: Above Average (In a Good Way)
  • Warranty: Above Average
  • Grade: A

Method Behind the Madness

We have left no stone unturned to find the best cordless drills on the market. Rather than just selecting those with the highest power rating or the cheapest price, we looked for power drills that came loaded with features, provided robust power ratings (though the torque/UWO dichotomy muddied the waters), embraced innovation and technology, and manufacturers who stood by their products through warranty or guarantees.

On most occasions, customer reviews on Amazon were consulted, if not cited. Some of these products embodied a little bit of everything, while others contained a lot of one, but not much of another. Since what appeals to one user may not appeal to another, the purpose of compiling the list this way was to provide a comprehensive guide of quality drills wherein each person could find a cordless drill that would satisfy their needs. We remain convinced that, whatever your needs are, there is a drill on this list, which is right for you.

Why Buy a Cordless Drill?

But why go through the hassle of reading the cordless drill reviews, evaluating the differences in products? Why not just purchase a good old fashioned corded drill and not have to worry about keeping up with all the extra batteries, charging them, storing them, wondering if there is still some juice left in one after six months of shelf time?

That is an option. If you live in a magical realm where you are never more than a few feet away from a power source, you might not notice any difference. Even if you don’t live in a place where there is an outlet every two feet, extension cords are always available, and maybe you enjoy the constant routine of winding and unwinding, of untying knots and detangling heavy duty cord.

Still, you may one day find that you are going to have to hold the drill above your head for an extended period. When that happens, and you feel the weight and lack of balance of a traditional drill, you may begin to wish for a cordless 5lb version that spreads the weight out evenly on either side of the handle.

Sarcasm aside, if you are worried about keeping up the batteries, charger, and other accessories involved with a cordless drill, consider that most of the options presented here include an incredible choice of cases that eliminates the burden of managing all these accessories. Simply put, the versatility offered by cordless drills saves you time and energy.

Evaluating the Drill, You Need

When attempting to select the drill that is right for you, ask yourself these questions:

What are your needs?

If you need to drill through tough materials, look for a drill on the higher end of the RPM/UWO and torque scale.

If you are assembling furniture or dealing with “soft” materials, you may be looking for something with more finesse, and clutch settings that allow you to select a specific amount of force to reach that precise depth.

Do you want more than just a drill?

Many of the drill/driver options listed here come packed with features that increase functionality. There are options such as LED lights, bit-holders, fast chargers, attachment interfaces, impact driving tools, and clutch settings.

What is your budget?

If you are after the absolute best drill money can buy, then you’ll probably want to go straight into power comparisons. If, however, you are looking to maximize the bang for your buck, look for the kit that includes the most items, has the best warranty, and possesses the most functionality.

How long, on average, will you be using this drill?

If you are likely to be using it all day, every day, then ergonomic design, comfort, and weight become major players in your decision.

Is Quality Assurance Important to you?

Each manufacturer offers its exclusive warranty. Usually, they offer two separate warranties- one for the tool, and another for the battery. Sometimes these warranties cover the complete tool, and other times they include only the motor or the case. It’s up to you to decide, which warranty adds value to the cost, and what risks you are willing to take.

Do you need support?

All of the manufacturers offer support of some kind, but again, it is up to you to determine how important customer support is, and which brand best meets your needs. Are you looking for email and telephone support? Do you need an online user manual? Would an online FAQ section be helpful? A quick search can tell you which of these a manufacturer offers, as well as which they don’t.

The Results

Of the ten cordless drills presented here, you would be hard pressed to find one that would not work for you. While each one possesses its exclusive set of strengths and weaknesses- its highs and low- they remain some of the best cordless drills on the market. As previously stated, what makes one right for one person may make it wrong for another.

So when picking a drill:

  • Keep in mind what is most important to you.
  • Evaluate each drill on the list.
  • Take the time to read the customer reviews here.
  • Select the drill that best fits your mold.

With that being said, let’s take another look at the drills that stood out.

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