Cordless drills have evolved into invaluable tools essential for hammering, drilling or driving screws but you have to match the right drill to the right job. There is every reason to get a cordless drill for your home or cabin.
Being able to handle simple tasks like assembling your appliances, fixing simple screw driving tasks to heavy duty tasks of drilling concrete walls and wood. The benefits of having your own cordless drill at home are enormous but it is necessary to narrow down to something that can really meet your needs without breaking the bank.
Choosing one perfect cordless drill is quite a task in itself considering the large number of brands and thousands of misleading reviews online. Cordless drills can be classified into heavy duty, general use drills and light task drills.
The Chuck size is the determinant of the power of the torque the drill can deliver. There are many technical details around drills but they all come down to three main factors: power, balance and control and this guide has all you need to achieve all these.
We created this guide to narrow down your search to a few recommendations agreed on after thorough examination and observation of thousands of customer reviews. The guide is simplified with cordless drills for both heavy duty construction work and general-purpose home use. It is your simple bridge to the best seller cordless drills. Below the recommendations, we have included the tips you can use to score your own top pick from the recommendations.
How to Choose a Cordless Drill
Top 5 Best Cordless Drill under 100 Reviews
1. Black Decker LDX120C 20v Cordless Drill
This is a famous black Decker model designed for any general tasks around your house and cabin. At 3/8-inch chuck with a two-sided bit, this cordless drill is versatile enough to drill up any wall, wood or metal plastic.
Its greatest deal breaker for most customers we asked is the light weight and a compact design that allows you to work with it in narrow spaces without getting fatigued. It weighs just 3.5lbs, you can lift it above your head for as long as you need to work.
Its ergonomic handle further compliments the light body giving allowing you to drill or drive comfortably. It has an 11-point clutch that gives you full control of the drill or drive depth. It has a speed of 650RPM which is also suitable for regular tasks at home such as assembling your home appliances. With the pistol handle design, this drill is comfortable in your arm and easy to use. Its performance in both drilling and countersinking is excellent with the dual variable speed settings that make screwdriving and recovery easier.
Its 20v Ion Lithium battery offers long term service and charges within 15 minutes. Its LED work light allows you to continue working in the dark and also track your available battery power for scheduling your tasks. Its sturdy but allows you to set up any tool of choice and get to work.
This is a versatile heavy-duty drill with drill, drive and hammer function designed for working in the harshest environments. It features the Makita extreme protection technology designed to protect all inside components from water and dust which makes it very durable. It also features an ergonomic handle padded with soft rubber that enhances your grip and allows you to work for long without fatigue.
This drill uses the 18v Lion battery that is light and designed to chare quickly and store power for long. It has a 4 pole mortar that can deliver speeds of 600RPM for drill and drive as well as 1900RPM for hammering which is why this drill is still suitable for heavy construction duties.
To meet these versatile needs, This cordless drill has an ½ inch bit that can withstand its strong torque up to 480lbs to drill into wood, metal plastic and concrete. This Makita model also has dual LED lighting that allows you to work in the dark. Its clutch also gives you control as you work.
The expanding batteries need frequent replacements
3. Craftsman C3 19.2V Cordless Drill
This is an exceptionally light drill weighing just 2.8lbs with a compact design easy to handle and suitable for drilling and driving in narrow spaces. It also features the Craftsman ergonomic handle that gives you a strong grip even at maximum speed. These features combine in bringing both a powerful torque up to 300lbs as well as high speed operations. Furthermore, this cordless drill has a keyless chuck that allows you to hand-tighten your tools for a sturdy grip.
This drill has a variable speed gearbox that delivers 0-350 RPM and 0-1300RPM suitable for heavy duty drill and drive operations. Its heavy-duty drills are also regulated by a 21point clutch that gives you control over a wide range of drive depths.
These easy to use features make this cordless drill a great choice for handling your regular home tasks. It is designed for use under low light conditions as well using LED light that also shows you the battery power level. This cordless drill is compatible with all craftsman 19.3v batteries which allows you to switch batteries between your home appliances rather than buy new ones.
The battery life is shorter when high speed mode is deployed
4. Milwaukee 2407-22 3/8inch Drill/drive kit
Milwaukee is a famous for their high-quality tools and this kit is a collection of all items you need for your light drill and drive tasks. The pack also includes a charger and a carrying case that allows you to move around with everything you need and charge your batteries on site. It has 3/8 inch ratchetting metal chuck that offers the strongest grip on your bit allowing you to work nonstop.
The LED light interface is bright enough to light up a dark drilling space. It also features a power gauge that tells you the exact runtime remaining allowing you to schedule each task. The most attractive feature however is the light compact design applied on this drill. The drill weighs 1.4lbs featuring an ergonomic handle with a rubberized grip that allows you to work with it for long without fatigue.
The drill is made of a strong metallic chuck that gives a sturdy grip on the bit guaranteeing great performance and durability. It still allows variable speeds of 0-4000RPM and 0-1500RPM for drill, drive and counter drive. This drill is also powerful providing a stronger torque up to 275lbs with its 3/8-inch chuck which allows it to drill through wood, plastic and concrete comfortably.
It is very light and compact with an ergonomic handle
Battery gauge displays available runtime
It allows variable speed settings
It is not suitable for heavy duty drilling
5. Bosch 12v 3/8inch Power drills Kit
This is another complete drill/drive pack designed for light duty drilling. Unlike other drills that require you to purchase a battery, Bosch delivers a complete pack with two batteries that allow you to continue working while recharging your batteries. It is a ready to go package including 2 screwdriver bits and a professional carrying bag that can store all your gear for comfortable travel. It is a great drill for professional construction workers because of the high-quality premium metal material that can withstand long hours of drilling despite being a low-tier drill.
For convenient overhead drilling, this drill features a 7-inch head and weights about 3lbs including the battery with a short ergonomic grip. It can deliver a strong torque up to 265lbs which is highly rated considering its 12v power rating. It is also slow on the battery giving you more runtime before you have to stop and change your battery.
It also features variable speed settings from 0 to 350RPM in high torque settings as and o to 1300 RPM in high speed settings which allows you to drill, drive and recover screws in wood, dry concrete and even metallic surfaces. Furthermore, Its inbuilt fuel gauge is conveniently located on the side for tracking your available runtime to schedule recharging especially for high speed tasks.
Strong metallic Chuck with a strong grip on the bit
It has variable speeds for both drilling and driving tasks
It has a longer battery life
The grip on the battery is too tight
Factors to consider when buying a cordless Drill
Considering the wide range of safety sensitive tasks, a cordless drill is used for, it is important to choose one that ensures the best performance whether you use it for professional or personal jobs.
It is hard to go around all the technical details but once you understand the speed and torque strength your tasks need; it is easy to settle on a reliable drill. Other features that allow you to work comfortable in narrow spaces and dark rooms are also important which is why we put all these into account when selecting our top 5 cordless drill recommendations.
Variable Speed triggers
Lately, most cordless drills have integrated this feature. It is important to note that the speed you need for drilling is higher than that needed for driving screws which is why you need that switch that allows you to choose your best suited speed.
Professional recommended 0-300RPM speeds as the best for drive and counter drive applications while 1200 RPM speeds are suitable for drilling. We took this into consideration while selecting both light task, general use and heavy-duty drills in this recommendation.
Battery life and Voltage
This factor ultimately determines how long you can work between charges and the strength of torque your drill will deliver. Cordless drills range from 12v to 36v. The higher the voltage, the more power your drill can deliver with 12v drills being suitable for light tasks on wooden and plastic appliances while 18-20v drills are suitable for concrete and light metallic surfaces.
The battery life is denoted on the drill in terms of Ampere per hour (AH). All our recommended cordless drills have a minimum of 2.5AH which gives you enough time to drill when handling professional or your own domestic construction tasks.
The Chuck size and design
This is what will determine the size of the bit your chuck can handle and whether you will have to stop every now and then to tighten it. The recommended chuck for this guide is a regular 13mm chuck that allows you to use may tools for large and medium sized holes. Whichever chip you choose, you have to ensure that your bits don`t wobble.
Keyless chucks have the best grip although you have to tighten the bits manually. They are more expensive compared to their keyed counterparts which tend to chip over time. Hex chucks have the strongest grips. They are the most common chip for 12v drills for drilling smaller holes.
This is the feature that allows you to select the level of torque you need for your drill and drive operations. The wider the range, the better the drill. For regular and heavy-duty tasks. The clutch allows you to select the torque that prevents overdrive and also protects the screws from snapping.
While the resistance detector on the mortar also helps, the clutch allows you to customize your torque more accurately. 11-point clutches are enough if you are handling light tasks on wooden material. Higher ranges up to 21 points as maintained in our recommendations allow you to make customized drills on plastic, concrete and metallic surfaces.
Size and weight
When handling professional tasks, you may be forced to use your cordless drill in confined spaces. Most drill and drive tasks also involve carrying the cordless drill above your head for many hour which is why light drills are more attractive. Powerful mortars and batteries however tend to be heavier which is why you may have to forego a little comfort for better performance.
Our recommendations include the exact weight of the drill and the type of tasks in can handle. We basically stuck to 3lbs or less to give you the required balance and grip comfort for long hours of drilling.
Why use a Cordless drill?
While the market has a wide range of power tools, the other options for your drilling tasks are impact drivers or corded drills (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2us4pV79_qo). Cordless drills are however the most popular choice in the market because of this wide range of benefits.
Cordless drill can be used freely without distance and space limits allowing you to take the drill with you to wherever the work needs to be done.
Modern improved batteries have a longer power life giving you long runtimes and allowing you to work when there is no power.
Cordless drills are light and compact easy to carry around.
They are cheaper in the long run as each individual part can be replaced.
Corded drills are designed to give you easy and better control over the torque size and other drill settings.
Are Cordless Drills powerful enough?
This is a major concern especially for professional purposes because traditional power drills tend to deliver far weaker torques compared to their corded counterparts. Metallic surfaces and granite are the hardest materials you may want to drill into and also the main standard of our examination for the recommended cordless drills.
A low tier 12v drill cannot handle the heavy-duty drill tasks of the traditional corded drill but as you go up the ladder 18-20v drills this change dramatically. High voltage cordless drills can deliver up to 7inch diameters in granite and concrete making them almost equal to any corded drill. The only disadvantage is that you have to stop every now and then to swap batteries and recharge.
A cordless drill is invaluable for any do-it-yourselfer or professional electrician, plumber or construction worker. While these powerful tools have improved over the years to deliver better performance, choosing one specific drill that narrows down to your individual task without costing a fortune can be very difficult. We created this guide with a budget buyer in mind focusing on all factors you need in your regular drill and drive tasks both at home and on site for professionals. With these 5 best cordless drills, you are assured of the strongest grip on your bit, a powerful torque and speed for the money and a long-lasting service.