Best Cordless Drills and Drivers for 2022
Looking to buy a new cordless drill? We've rounded up some of the best options for you to consider.
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Buying a Cordless Drill
Whether you’re shopping for your first cordless drill or looking to upgrade an older model, here are some factors to keep in mind before purchasing:
- Function. Drills don’t just put holes in things. Most DIYers are better off with a drill/driver with an adjustable clutch so it can drive screws as well as drill holes.
- Price. Many DIYers are surprised to find cordless drills have become quite affordable. Most general-purpose cordless drills fall in the $30 to $150 range.
- Chuck size. A chuck is the piece that clamps drill bits in place. The chuck size determines the largest bit size that tool can use. Almost all cordless drills are keyless, meaning the chuck can be tightened by hand, rather than with a specialized chuck key.
- Variable speed. This allows you to increase the drill’s revolutions per minute (RPM) as you add pressure to the trigger.
- Motor style. Electric motors are brushed or brushless. Here’s a thorough discussion of the differences between brushed and brushless motors. Simply stated, brushed motors feature a physical contact that brushless motors don’t. That means brushed motors generate more heat and require the occasional brush replacement. Other motor considerations include whether the gear housing is metal or plastic.
Best Cordless Drill for Home and Light DIY Use
Offering a balance between price and performance, the DeWalt 20V Max DCD77C2 drill/driver delivers enough power for home and DIY use for less than $100. The 1/2-in. chuck allows you to use larger bits, and it comes with two batteries and a charger.
That two-battery package is a massive time-saver, because you can charge one battery while the other powers the drill. The cordless drill and batteries are covered by a three-year warranty.
Take careful note of the DCD77C2 model number. Don’t confuse it with the DeWalt DCD771C2, which comes with a brushed motor. Luckily, the DCD77C2 has “Brushless” printed on the side of the drill.
Best Cordless Drill for Intermediate DIYers
The Milwaukee M18 Compact/Drill with a 1/2-in. chuck steps things up in power and performance. It features a brushless motor and weighs less than 3-1/2-lbs. with the M18 battery installed.
To help control all that power, the Milwaukee M18 comes with an 18-step clutch, variable-speed trigger and two-tier speed switch. It delivers only as much force as you need for the task at hand.
Best Cordless Drill for Advanced DIYers and Pros
If you’re ready to take your drill/driver game to a professional level, take a look at the DeWalt 20V Max XR DCD791P1.
DeWalt’s 20V Max XR line costs about twice as much as similar DeWalt 20V Max models, but it comes with upgrades in quality and performance. The XR has a brushless motor, giving it a long run time and lifespan to get you though projects for years to come.
It’s significantly more compact than the 20V Max drill we showed you earlier, allowing you to get into tighter spaces. A three-level LED light shines on your workspace even when you’re not pulling the trigger.
If you only need a drill to occasionally hang shelves or set a few screws, stick with the more affordable DeWalt 20V Max. But for longer work or a long-term investment, step up to the DeWalt 20V Max XR.
Best Cordless Impact Driver
An impact driver adds extra bursts of force to the rotation of the drill chuck. This makes them terrific at setting screws or bolts, but not as effective at drilling holes.
One of our favorite impact drivers is the Milwaukee M18 1/4-in. Impact Driver. At a little more than five inches, it’s compact even for an impact driver, and the brushless motor delivers power when you need it most. Milwaukee touts this model as “the industry’s fastest 18-volt compact impact solution.” Once you use it, it’s hard to argue with them.
Best Cordless Hammer Drill
A hammer drill adds extra force to the front of the drill, rather than the rotary motion. It’s a powerful thrust that speeds up drilling through tough material like stone or concrete.
Our pick is the DeWalt XR 1/2-in. hammer drill. It comes with a brushless motor, three speeds and all-metal gear casing. It ships with a side handle, an accessory many less expensive cordless hammer drills skip. We do wish that it came with a depth gauge as well.
If you already own a DeWalt 20V battery and charger, they’re compatible with this drill, saving you money.
Best Cordless Electric Screwdriver
An electric screwdriver combines the convenience of a cordless drill with the minimal weight and ease of use of a screwdriver. The lithium-ion powered Metabo HPT DB3DL2 weighs less than a pound but offers amazing versatility.
The handle pivots, allowing for straight or pistol-grip use. A 21-step clutch lets you find the right amount of torque to set screws without stripping them. We also like its drill setting (you’ll need a hex-bolt shank drill bit) and LED light.
Best Value Cordless Drill/Driver
A relatively new player on the cordless tool scene, Walmart’s Hart line is aimed at price-conscious DIYers. The brushed motor Hart 20V Cordless Drill/Driver with a 3/8-in. chuck should appeal to new homeowners or those who want a spare drill on hand.
It comes bundled with a battery, charger and tool bag. The drill is compatible with the rest of the Hart 20V line, so it’s a good choice if you already own one or more of those tools.
Best Value Drill/Impact Driver Combo Kit
If you want a drill/driver and an impact driver, the 18V One+ Combo Kit from Ryobi is an excellent budget-friendly option. The kit features a variable-speed drill/driver, an impact driver, charger and two 18-volt batteries. It’s all covered by Ryobi’s three-year warranty.
Note: Pros who need to set long screws use both the drill/driver and the impact driver. Bore a pilot hole with the drill, then use the impact driver to set the fastener. It’s easy to switch from drill to driver, and the reduced strain makes both tools go farther on a single charge.
Best Value Drill/Impact Driver Combo Kit II
For a step up in quality, check out the DeWalt Atomic 20V Max DCK278C2 Compact Drill and Impact Driver Combo.
We’ve already talked about differences between the 20V Max and 20V Max XR drills, and DeWalt is apparently trying to differentiate the Atomic 20V Max line by its compact size. Also notable: Most of these Atomic versions have brushless motors.
The drill/driver features a 1/2-in. chuck and LED footlight. Both tools offer integrated tool belt hooks and rubberized handles. The combo kit comes with drill/driver, impact driver, two batteries, charger and a tool bag.