Buy the best: Cordless Drill Reviews

dewalt dc970k cordless drillHi, I’m Jim and here to help you choose the best new electric drill! This isn’t the biggest website in the world, but as a builder I decided to concentrate on the tools that I know about: corded and cordless drills!

Whether you’re tackling a new DIY project, restoring your home or just need a new drill, I’ve written reviews and guides to a range of drills that I think are some of the best on the market. If you want the best cordless drill money can buy or a compact rechargeable combo driver/drill for odd-jobs, my reviews will help you choose the make and model that’s best for your requirements.

The main manufacturers trade under the DeWalt, Black & Decker, Hitachi, Bosch, Makita, Kawasaki and Genesis brands and have a wide product range with features that can be confusing – so I’ve written the best cordless drill reviews to help you choose the right one for you.

Since you’ve visited my site, you’re probably planning on buying a new drill or searching for the lowest price. To help you with your research, I’ve compiled my unique interactive chart of cordless drill reviews below. I’ve also written separate reviews of the main models available on the market to help you choose which is right for your tasks and needs.

Best Cordless Drill Comparison Guide

Max speed
Rating (out of 5.0)

DEWALT DC970K-2 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit

DeWalt18v1/2-inch1500 rpm$$$$$1894.6

Black & Decker LDX120C 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver

Black & Decker20vLi-Ion3/8-inch650 rpm$$$$1224.6

Black & Decker LDX112C 12-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver

Black & Decker12vLi-Ion3/8-inch600 rpm$$$894.3

Genesis GCD18BK 18v Cordless Drill/Driver Kit

Genesis18v3/8-inch550 rpm$$39.994.1

Included in the chart are:

  • Pictures of the Drills
  • Drill brand and model
  • Battery voltage (v) and speed (revolutions per minute, rpm) – key to the power of the electric motor in the unit (and so its ability to drill through tougher materials, such as concrete and steel).
  • Price – these are approximate prices on These often change based on special offers, promotions, availability and season. To help you, I’ve grouped the pricing on this matrix with $=under $50, $$=$50 to $100, $$$=$100 to $150, $$$$=$150+
  • Rating – the average user rating on which is another great way to see what other buyers think of the product

(Tip: to sort the grid by a particular column, just click on the heading of the column)

Drill Basics

So what’s the deal? A cordless drill combines a high-capacity, low-voltage battery back with a standard drill body and chuck. Inside the casing, an electric motor spins at a range of speeds and can tackle both drilling and driving (for screws).

The difference in price of different models is normally down to the power of the unit’s electric motor – stated in torque and generally in the 80 – 300 lbs/ft (also called ‘unit watt’) range – and the type of battery fitted (cheaper units use heavier, bigger and less efficient NiCad or NiMH batteries; premium drills are now incredibly compact thanks to the latest Li-Ion batteries). The more powerful the motor and the higher the voltage and amp rating of the battery, the more able the drill is to cope with difficult material such as concrete and steel.

Why use a cordless drill

Cordless drills use a rechargeable battery pack to give you the freedom to carry and use your drill without a trailing power lead. If you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional builder, regardless of whether you’re putting up a shelf or tackling a complete home renovation, you’ll find a cordless drill incredibly useful. They’re now one of the most popular power tools on the market – and it’s easy to see why: they’re convenient, well-priced and with no risk of tripping over cables as you work.

Drills are essential tools to your DIY home improvement projects and in recent years, cordless drills are fast gaining popularity because of they are easy to use and very convenient. Gone are the days when you have to trip over wires as you work. However, if you are looking for a high quality cordless driver, how do you begin searching for one and with so many choices, how do you decide on which is most ideal? The best way is to look up cordless drill reviews for the ideal tool for your project.

Five top buying tips

There are dozens of manufacturers of drills, and each has several models. With so much choice, it’s not easy to work out which is the best for your requirements. Here are my four key buying tips to help you identify the right model for you.

Physical size

One of the great advantages of cordless drills is there size: they’re normally smaller and lighter than a ‘traditional’ wired model, so are easy to carry around. If you’re comparing drills, a small model does not mean it’s less powerful – it’s more likely that it features the latest Li-Ion battery technology making it just as powerful as a bigger, older and cheaper model. If you a just plan to use your drill for screws and lightweight work, you might be better served with a compact driver instead of a drill.

Torque and Power

The power of a drill is normally measured in torque that is expressed as inch/lbs. A good general-purpose drill will have a power rating of around 320 inch/lbs and will be good enough for basic drilling and DIY tasks around your home. If you’re planning on tackling more demanding tasks, or need a drill that can cope with everything including drilling concrete or steel, then you should consider getting a drill with a more powerful motor.

Battery Power

Battery power is really important since it helps determines the speed of the drill, the torque (the power of the electric motor) and how long the drill will run for between charges. There are three main battery technologies, with lithium-ion the latest, lightest, charges quickly and is the most flexible battery technology available. The higher the voltage, generally the more power available to tackle tough materials. Take a look at 18v, 20v Try and go for a drill with a lithium-ion battery.


There are a couple of key factors that will help define the price of a drill. First is the battery technology: older, heavier battery science (NiCad and NiMH) are cheaper but have some disadvantages. The newer Li-Ion batteries are smaller, lighter and just as powerful – but more expensive. Secondly, there’s the power rating of the electric motor: a standard rating of 320 inch/lb is average for an entry-level drill, but higher torque motors demand more powerful batteries and so the price rockets.


Almost every drill has multiple speed settings – these are generally grouped into high-speed settings for drilling and lower-speed settings for dealing with screws. Make sure you choose a drill that has the flexibility to cope with the most common tasks you are likely to throw at it: so if you’re going to mostly be carrying out precision drilling and fitting screws, look for a flexible range of low-speed settings.

The Right Drill for the Job

Along with my comparison chart at the top of this page, if you follow the four basic guidelines that I’ve described above, then you should find it easy to choose the right cordless drill for your requirements. There are dozens of different models from the leading manufacturers – all will provide a good basic drill, but it’s worth spending a few minutes choosing the features that are important for you and your work to make sure that you have the best tool for the job.

Last updated: May 31, 2014 at 16:56 pm
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