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Cordless drills have all but replaced typical power drills. It’s much more convenient to be rid of cables, especially when performing DIY or professional work. However, where cordless drills weren’t readily available a few decades back, nowadays there are many to choose from. This buyer’s guide presents you with some of the best cordless drills on the market.
Take into account what you need and make your choice wisely.
Best Cordless Drill Reviews
Black and Decker GCO1200C
This 12V drill packs all the features you need for tackling your regular household tasks. It’s a comfortable drill with a very good grip.
When it comes to this kind of equipment, Black and Decker is as reputable a brand as there is. The GCO1200C features over molds and is built of high-quality material. You should always be on the lookout for tools from reputable names that come with low price tags. The GCO1200C is a prime example of this kind of tool.
The GCO1200C’s clutch comes with 24 positions, which is excellent for screw preservation. With so many positions, your screws won’t strip. With a slide pack battery, your drilling experience with this Black and Decker model is going to be uninterrupted and smooth. The GCO1200C features a keyless chuck, making it easy to change bits. Oh, and it has a variety of speeds and reverse speeds.
Although the GCO1200C is very cheap for all the features that it brings to the table, it may present issues with heavy lifting. After all, it’s still a 12V drill and there are many Black and Decker models that are more powerful. However, they’re also significantly more costly. For at home drilling, however, the GCO1200C will probably satisfy your needs.
- 24 positions
- Slide pack battery
- Keyless chuck
- Variety of speeds
Not as powerful as some other drills
Makita XT273R is a power tool kit that features the XPH01Z hammer driver drill and the XDT04Z impact driver drill.
Makita is definitely one of the world’s most popular power tool manufacturers. Their XT273R hammer-impact combo is among the best cordless drill deals around. This kit brings a ton of flexibility to the table, making drilling, driving, as well as fastening, easy. A rather encouraging thing here is the fact that it’s aimed at professionals. With this price tag, every home improver or DIYer will be more than happy.
The Makita XT273R combo works great for electricians, construction workers, even pro contractors. Both the hammer driver and the impact driver are very lightweight and compact. The XT273R package actually features a comfy carry-on bag, so you don’t have to worry about having to get an extra one. Both power tools come with brushless motors, which makes every drilling experience much more seamless.
Unfortunately, the XT273R package comes with the wobbly chuck syndrome. It’s nothing too horrible and it shouldn’t deter you from getting this awesome deal, but you should know that the chuck may wobble occasionally. The two power tools are also not the quietest models on the market. When you go to higher speeds, the noise will become noticeable. It’s nothing that’ll drive you crazy, though.
- Comfy carry-on bag
- Great pro tool for DIYers
- Chuck may wobble
- Will generate noise at high speeds
Pink Power PP182
Pink Power PP182 is an 18V cordless power drill that’s excellent for any woman (or man) that wants to take on a DIY project. Don’t be fooled by its color – it packs quite a punch.
Yes, the PP182 was built with women in mind. Whether or not you find the color and the implication offensive, the PP182 will fit most hands, no matter how big or small. Of course, men will also be able to use this power tool. At the end of the day, a drill is a drill, regardless of gender. It features an automatic LED light that gives you information about the tool’s operative status.
Another cool feature found on the PP182 is a built-in bubble level that can be of tremendous help with DIY projects that require precision. It also comes with a magnetic base for holding loosing screws/bits.
With a 0-550 RPM motor power, the PP182 deals great strength and precision. The built-in bubble level allows you to perform drilling tasks with precision, without having to use a standalone bubble level. Other cool perks and additions such as the magnetic base, the keyless chuck, and the LED work light make for an excellent drilling experience.
Unfortunately, the PP182 doesn’t come with in-depth instructions. This means that many laymen will disregard certain great features that this model packs. The battery is also less than great. It has been known for certain issues.
- 0-550 RPM
- Built-in bubble level
- Magnetic base
- Keyless chuck
- Great precision
- No in-depth instructions
- Battery issues
Compactness is the name of the game when it comes to Tacklife PCD2B. It’s a very convenient and versatile tool, ideal for DIY projects and repairs.
The PCD02B may be small, but this doesn’t mean that it’s anything but excellent. Don’t let this drill’s size fool you. This cordless drill comes with a 19-position torque setting and clutch. It can handle as much as 220”/lbs. of torque.
Considering its size, the maximum of 1,400 RPM is quite staggering. And all powered by a 12V battery. Speaking of battery, it can charge to full power in less than an hour. This product may be intended for people who need to tackle simple household projects and tasks, but it can work wonders in the hands of a professional. Plus, it handles awkward angles much better than big, professional drills. This is why you may find the PCD02B in a pro’s toolkit.
For its size, Tacklife PCD02B can handle a lot of torque. Certainly, 1,400 RPM isn’t something you’d expect from a drill as tiny as this one. The 19-position torque setting and clutch performs admirably in a variety of tasks. The fact that the battery can fully charge within an hour is a very neat perk.
Although some pros may carry the PCD02B in their toolkits, they won’t be using it regularly. One of the bigger downsides of the PCD02BB is that it won’t handle years of hard use. This means that this one is best used as an addition to a power drill. For instance, if your power drill isn’t cordless, and there’s a hard-to-reach spot, the PCD02B will do an excellent job.
- 1,400 RPM is a lot considering the size
- Can handle 220”/lbs. of torque
- Charges quickly
Not for rugged use
If you’re looking for an affordable drill for small DIY projects, Hi-Spec 8V may be a great idea. This is a cordless drill for people who aren’t looking for a powerful, professional tool.
In addition to being portable, Hi-Spec 8V is very versatile. It can take on most drilling and screwing jobs, whether you’re at home or at work. It’s intended for simple projects, such as shelf hanging, framing pictures, installing curtain rods, assembling furniture, DIY repairs, etc. Taking its size into account, the 550 maximum RPM isn’t what you’d call amazing. However, for home-bound tasks, it does more than a good job.
One of the most excellent things about Hi-Spec 8V is the amazing lithium-ion technology. On a single charge, this cordless drill is capable of running for hours on end. You also get a LED charge indicator, which helps the user plan their drilling time accordingly. Another great feature is the front LED light, which illuminates the work area in front of you. Anyone who has ever had to hold a flashlight in their teeth while drilling knows how useful this is.
Even though it packs a bunch of features, even more than most professional models, Hi-Spec 8V is still far from a professional drill. At 550 RPM, it doesn’t do a too impressive job. Another downside would be the questionable reliability of the brand. Hi-Spec isn’t Black and Decker or Makita. Still, this is all in accordance with the price range. Hi-Spec 8V knows that it isn’t a hugely famous brand and it’s not trying to act like one.
- Excellent lithium-ion technology
- LED charge indicator
- LED front light
- Works for hours on a single charge
550 RPM isn’t impressive, given the size
Knowing what makes a good cordless drill is just as important as knowing what you need out of one. You could give hundreds, even thousands of dollars for the world’s best and most professional drill. However, you need to know what you actually require. Here are some key features regarding cordless power drills to help you make your choice.
When it comes of drills in general, there are two main types: drill/drivers and hammer drills.
Drivers are used for everyday drilling tasks. These include drilling holes into metal, timber, or plastic. This goes for driving screws, as well. Every drill on the list above can perform these tasks.
Hammer drills, on the other hand, can drill into brick, concrete, and stone. Hammer drills tend to come with driver settings, but also hammer settings, for more heavy-duty workloads.
You’ll also see impact drivers, which are specifically designed for driving loosening bolts or screws.
Rotary hammers are essentially a more heavy-duty iteration of hammer drills. These are professional power tools, mostly used by professionals.
There are two main cordless drill types when it comes to power options: Li-ion (lithium-ion batteries) and NiCad (nickel-cadmium batteries). The former is much better than the latter.
As a rule of thumb, if a drill doesn’t have “Li-ion” in its list of features, it probably works using a NiCad battery. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case, so make sure to read the features list carefully.
This isn’t the only power-related factor to take into account when choosing a drill. Battery capacity is very important, as well. The capacity is measured in ampere hours (Ah). The larger the number before “Ah,” the better.
If you don’t know, and haven’t figured out what the “chuck jaw” is, it’s the part where the drill ends. Yep, the pointy-end of the tool, where the actual drill bit goes. Chuck jaws are usually fairly strong and durable on most drill models. What varies in this department, though, is how large the jaws are. In other words, how large a drill bit they can support.
For example, as a rule of thumb, a 13mm chuck will accommodate sizable drill bits. Smaller drills come with 10mm chucks, which are good for certain drill bit sizes, but won’t be able to support larger bits.
There isn’t a rule of thumb when it comes to the weight aspect of choosing a cordless drill. It’s all about the weight-balance relationship. A drill can be super-light and still very uncomfortable to use. It may ruin your level focus and drill much larger holes than necessary. On the other hand, a drill that’s too weighty, will cause you to get tired quicker, making you rush the job.
In the end, it’s all about balance and personal preference. If a drill feels good in your hand, it’s probably good, weight-wise. When buying, feel free to try out horizontal and vertical drilling positions. See how comfortable it is. Weight can make or break a drill.
You’ll often see a drill’s voltage, right next to its name. This is because voltage is one of the most important factors for choosing a perfect drill. Essentially, the higher the voltage, the better the torque-spinning strength. This is at the very core of power drills – they need more torque to overcome resistance. About a decade ago, 9.6V drills were considered high-end. Nowadays, most high-end, pro drills feature 18V.
The trade-off for power, however, is weight. The 18V models can weigh as much as 10Ibs. And, as mentioned above, weight can make or break a drill.
Black and Decker and Makita are definitely among the best power tool brands in the world. Although a good brand like one of these two will land you with a cutting-edge, durable drill, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right choice for you. It all depends on what you’re looking for. DIY tasks like adding a shelf or two to your wall don’t warrant buying a high-end, top-of-the-line drill.
This goes for beginner tool enthusiasts, as well. If you’ve never held a drill before, getting a cheaper one, from a lesser-known brand is a good idea.
On the other hand, if you’re into tinkering with power tools, you’re much better off cashing out for a reliable brand than buying a drill that will end up breaking down after some heavy-duty use.
Again, it all depends on what you need from a drill.
Cordless Drills FAQ
How do you charge a cordless drill without the charger?
Most cordless drills come with a battery charger. This is how it works with cordless drills – the battery runs out, you take it out, stick it in the charger, and wait until it’s ready to use again.
But what happens when you don’t have a functioning charger? What if it has broken down? What if you’ve left it at home? Well, there are ways to charge a cordless drill battery without a charger.
First of all, in theory, there is a way to hook a cordless drill to a main power source. However, there are too many dangers involved.
Every battery can be recharged using a power source. Ideally, this power source should be another battery. If you know the basics of recharging the battery, you can give it a go. Keep in mind that you should always err on the side of caution. If you have no experience in charging batteries, it’s best that you leave it to the professionals. Contact your drill’s manufacturer and resolve the charger issue with them.
What is a brushless cordless drill?
Basically, brushed motors work using small metal brushes that operate with magnets. They keep the shaft spinning. Brushless models use an electronic circuit board and sensor to achieve the same thing. Brushless motors are more responsive, more energy-efficient, easier to maintain, can deliver more torque, power, and speed, etc. The brushless cordless drill has been around for a while, though, and nearly half of all cordless drill models are now brushless.
As brushless models are moving to replace the brushed models, the prices are evening out. If you’re trying to choose between two drills, keep the brushless factor in mind – although you’ll pay more, you won’t have to pay for replacement brushes down the line.
How do you test a cordless drill battery charger
One of the major pitfalls with cordless drills, but also with most other battery-based tools, is that either the battery or the charger will give out at some point. These aren’t built to last forever. Your battery will start running down too quickly or won’t be able to hold a charge altogether. In this case, you’ll want to test your battery charger before spending money on a replacement battery.
To test your battery charger, you’ll need either a voltmeter, a multimeter, or both. A voltmeter will measure the amount of volts inside a circuit. This means that it will check whether everything is fine with your charger’s voltage.
However, with a multimeter you’ll be able to measure both volts and amps. There are cases where a battery charger will be perfectly fine, voltage-wise, but may suffer from an ampere problem.
To get started, set your multimeter to the voltage rating of your charger. Then, plug the charger into an outlet. Now, use the black negative probe on your multimeter and touch it against the metal terminal on the base of the charger. Use the red probe and touch the metal contacts, found at the base of the charger. The multimeter should display a voltage and amp reading.
How do you change a drill bit on a cordless drill?
Changing a drill bit on a cordless drill works pretty much the same as on the regular power drill. It’s best that you follow the instructions provided in every cordless drill manual. As a rule of thumb, it’s all about loosening the drill’s jaws until the bit can be effortlessly removed. Then, try putting in the new bit. If it doesn’t fit, unscrew the jaws a bit more.
It’s very important that you don’t try and use force here while pulling the bits out. This may damage the bit or the drill’s jaws. Slowly unscrew it and don’t use too much force.
Note that some drills have specific ways in which their jaws work. Follow the drill’s manual, just to be safe. For example, some drills require using a chuck key to loosen them up. Others don’t.
How do you change drill bit without a chuck key?
If your cordless drill happens to require a chuck key in order to replace your bits, and you’ve lost it, there is a workaround. You’re going to need a slotted screwdriver and a cross slot screwdriver.
First, make sure that the cross slot screwdriver fits the drill’s chuck. If it does, put it in the chuck. Then, put the slotted screwdriver in the slots and move the jaws. This will help you loosen the jaws. Bear in mind, however, that finding your chuck key or buying a replacement will save you a lot of headache.
The Makita XT273R definitely takes the cake here, despite the fact that there are many cordless drills on this list that make for fantastic choices. This drill is well-rounded. It will satisfy your drilling/driving needs, whatever they may be.
In fact, in the XT273R set, you get two tools, a hammer-impact combo that’s excellent for the vast majority of drilling/driving occasions. Additionally, the tools are lightweight, versatile and come with a neat carry-on bag.
The Black and Decker 12V is a much cheaper alternative, that’s just as durable and features an equal amount of quality. However, the XT273R is definitely a better purchase, whether you’re a pro or someone who’s working on a DIY project.