Best Cordless Drills
If you're looking to make light work of drilling, building furniture, and basic DIY, you'll want one of these cordless drills.
If you’re looking to make light work of drilling, building furniture, and basic DIY, you’ll want one of these cordless drills
No home toolbox would be complete without a cordless drill which is an endlessly useful tool, capable of doing anything from assembling new furniture to fixing damage from everyday wear and tear around the house – a drill is an essential addition to your DIY arsenal.
Most people have a mains-powered drill tucked away somewhere at home – but a cordless drill is infinitely more convenient. They let you move about freely, and will enable you to reach all those tricky nooks and crannies without worrying about finding a nearby plug socket – or tripping over the cord for that matter.
There’s a huge range of cordless drills on the market (and drill drivers, hammer drills, and SDS drills, which we’ll talk about shortly) and they come with an equally sizable range of features to handle all the DIY tasks you could possibly need them for.
If you want some tips on where to start and what to look out for, check out our buying guide below. If you already know what you’re looking for, skip ahead to our roundup of the best cordless drills below.
How to choose the best cordless drill for you
What type of drill should I buy?
There are quite a few different types of drill out there, most of which look pretty similar to the untrained eye. Below, you’ll find a quick summary of the main types and how they differ from each other.
Drill Driver :
If you want a no-frills drill you can use for a variety of tasks around the home, consider a drill driver. The most common type of drill, can be used to drill holes in everything from walls to wood to masonry, and drive screws, too. They’re lighter than the more powerful drills below, which makes them more maneuverable for awkward-to-reach jobs. They will struggle with tougher jobs, however, as they don’t have the powerful motors or high-torque designs of the other tools below.
Impact Driver :
These might look like a standard drill, but impact drivers are specifically designed to drive screws, not drill holes – they use a combination of huge spinning torque and percussive blows against the back of the driver bits to power screws into the toughest surfaces. They’re traditionally much more compact than the other tools here, and since there’s no back-and-forth motion (unlike hammer and SDS drills), they’re also less hard on the wrists.
They normally use hex-shank driver bits, and while you can theoretically use specific impact-ready drill bits (standard drill bits may break due to the combination of rotation and concussive force), this isn’t what they’re designed for, and they’re not as suited to millimeter-precise jobs. Driving screws is their forte: where you might need to drill a guide hole for screws with a traditional drill and have to swap between drill and driver bits as a result, an impact driver will do the job on its own due to its extra power.
Combi Drill :
If you need to drill into tougher materials such as metal or concrete, and also drive screws, your first port of call is a combi drill. These cope with basic everyday drilling and screw driving tasks, but often offer improved torque for more demanding jobs and also add a basic hammer function that can break through harder materials. They’re pricier than standard drill drivers and not as powerful as a high-end hammer or SDS rotary hammers, though.
Hammer Drill :
These use a more powerful forwards and backward hammering action in combination with the spinning drill bit to strike through the toughest masonry or stone. That power results in a bigger, bulkier drill that’s more capable than combi drills, but they also tend to cost more than their basic counterparts. However, they’re generally not as powerful as the SDS drills below, are much noisier, and don’t often have the capability to be used in a hammer-only mode with chisel bits.
SDS Drill :
Also known as SDS rotary hammers, these are normally bulkier and heavier than standard hammer drills but are designed for more heavy-duty DIY jobs where power is paramount. The SDS-specific drill and driver bits have small indentations at the rear where they slot into the drill (no chuck key is required so this takes seconds), and ball bearings in the SDS chuck hold them securely in place while hammering the bit back and forth.
These drills come in three main types: two-mode, three-mode, and three-mode with an interchangeable chuck. Two-mode models only allow you to choose between rotary-only and combined rotary/hammer action, whereas three-mode models also add the option of hammer-only action, which makes it possible to use them with chisel-type attachments for demolition duties.
How long do the batteries last?
The disadvantage of using a cordless drill is that it needs to be charged before you can get to work. The good news is that most cordless drills now use lithium-ion batteries, which hold their charge well, even when not in use, and can be recharged at any time. Theoretically, the higher the battery capacity, the longer the battery will last – of course, that will depend entirely on what you use the drill for, as hammer action modes will drain power quicker than pure rotary modes. If battery life is a concern, many drills now come with changeable batteries so you can always have a spare to hand. For bigger jobs, it’s worth considering buying a spare.
The best cordless drills to buy
Okay, so with that said, here are our best cordless drills that will fit any budget!
The best multifunctional kit drill for under £100.00
For such a small tool, the Bosch PSB 1800 packs a lot of power into its lightweight frame. With a two-speed gearbox and 20 pre-selectable settings for torque, drill, and impact drill, you get a lot of machine for your money. It charges quickly and the battery lasts a long time, so you can count on it for ad hoc fixes and small DIY jobs.
Unlike most of the more versatile drills on the market, Bosch’s combi drill doesn’t over-deliver in one function at the expense of the others; this lightweight model performs just as well when it comes to impact drilling into the wood as it does with fitting light fixtures.
The best multifunctional kit drill for under £35.00
If you’re looking for a drill to throw in the toolbox and have on standby for when you need it, the Terratek 68-piece kit is worth a serious look. This multifunctional kit is versatile enough to tackle any routine DIY tasks you come up against, meaning you’ll be prepared for those everyday fixes that are sure to pop up.
Although it’s lightweight and well equipped for handling smaller tasks, the Terratek drill isn’t the most powerful on the market and would struggle with anything that requires more strength. It doesn’t use the more robust, long-lasting lithium-ion battery technology found in pricier models, either. That said, the versatility that comes with the selection of drill bits and the accessory kit included make up for the lack of power. Plus, with variable speed settings, it’s hard to find a better option at this price.
The best budget drill with variable speeds and two gear drill for under £37.00
Sometimes you want a good all-around product that can handle just a little bit more than you think it will need to. This is where the Black + Decker steps up, with variable speeds and two gear settings that allow you to prioritise either torque and control or speed.
The Black+Decker has an impressive battery life, with a lithium-ion battery that holds over 80% of its charge over 90 days. It’s also spring-loaded to make changing it as quick and easy as possible. Although this drill is more powerful than your average combi drill, it doesn’t have the power to tackle serious masonry work. For more regular use, a heavier-duty hammer drill will be a better choice.
The best combi / impact drill for under £75.00
This handy kit from Makita doesn’t come cheap, but it does come with both an impact driver and a combi drill, so you’ll have the tool you need for every situation you’re likely to come across. They’re not the most powerful drills on the market, but they’re more than you need for most household and DIY tasks, and great value for money. Unlike other drill sets, which compromise quality for quantity, the Makita set gives you both without cutting any corners.
Both tools are built solidly and come with an LED light to make them easy to work in the darkest and smallest corners. Aside from that, you won’t find any bells or whistles – but if you’re looking for a reliable set of drills to cover all bases, this Makita twin pack should give you everything you need.
The best all-round hammer drill for under £370.00
If you’re planning to work with metal, wood, or masonry, you’ll need a drill with enough torque to break through the toughest of surfaces. This DeWalt model is surprisingly powerful for its size: despite weighing in at just 3kg, it packs all the power of a corded SDS+ model into a lightweight, portable piece of kit.
If you’ll be using your new drill fairly regularly and are able to cough up a little more, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better tool than the DeWalt hammer drill. It isn’t one for the occasional DIY-er, but regular users will appreciate the drill’s low vibration levels, which will make long drilling sessions easier on the arm. It also comes with a handy hammer-only mode – a feature you won’t find on cheaper models.
The best impact driver under £75.00
It’s easy to head straight to the big names and overlook the lesser-known brands when you’re in the market for a new power tool, but Ryobi proves that shouldn’t always be the case. It may not be as well known as other drill manufacturers, but its One+ Impact Driver is hard to beat and offers some very stiff competition to the usual go-to models.
The Ryobi One+ isn’t the cheapest or prettiest of the bunch – making it easy to pass over – but this little machine is a lot more powerful than it looks. It’s so powerful, in fact, that you’ll need to buy good-quality impact-ready bits. It also comes with the kind of extras you probably didn’t realise you needed, including an ergonomic design, GripZone handles, and three LED lights to light up your work area.
So there you have it and we hope that you found our Cordless Drill Review helpful for those DIY jobs around the home or workspace!
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