It is once again time to tackle a question so many readers and power tool users are asking: I’m looking for a new cordless drill, what do you recommend? In the past couple of Best Cordless Drills roundups, Milwaukee took was the top pick in multiple categories. As with the other recommendations posts, these are based on my preferences and what I feel are the best cordless drills and drivers from among those I have tested and used. Since cordless drills and hammer drills often share most of the same parts and features, most if not all of these recommendations could apply to hammer drills as well. Since many of my recommendations are for brushless models, be sure to check out my post on the benefits of brushless power tool motors to help bring you up to speed. This is one of my favorite drills, and is perhaps the most recommendable for anyone looking for top-notch performance.
If you want the latest and greatest, check out Bosch’s brushless drill and driver lineup. When you need to drill large holes, and many of them, and you want to do it safely, you might want to step up to the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel Hole Hawg, which is said to deliver corded-like performance. The DCD790 grew on me, and there’s new competition in the compact high performance drill arena.
This model offers good performance and runtime, but it lacks some of the premium features of Milwaukee’s Fuel drills. Compared to Milwaukee’s M18 brushed motor drill (2606), the 2701 delivers comparable torque (500 in-lbs) in a smaller package. Last holiday season, many retailers were selling the DDB181-02 (2) battery kit for just $99, which was an incredibly bargain. In a head-to-head between the Dewalt 20V Max DCD990 and Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603, I prefer the Milwaukee. Ingersoll Rand’s 12V cordless tools made it into my top 5 favorite new tools of 2013 list because they are great performers and meticulously designed. IR’s new drill, as well as their other cordless tools, are powerful and specially designed for automotive users. As with the D1130, I would go so far to say the D5140 could also be an excellent model for industrial settings. The PS31 continues to be a great value, and it is sometimes available as part of discounted Bosch L-Boxx tool box bundles around Father’s Day and winter holiday shopping seasons.
The 2407 is a solid performer and also serves as inexpensive entry into Milwaukee’s M12 cordless power tool lineup. If both Bosch and Milwaukee’s 12V-class brushed motor compact drill driver kits were priced at $99, my recommendation would be for the Milwaukee.
Ryobi and Craftsman both continue to offer decent cordless drills, but you have to be careful as to which one you buy. I considered doing that, but it gets murky when you differentiate tools like that, not to mention longer.
Makita isn’t on this list, and if Metabo is comparable to Makita then why should Metabo be on this list? Anyways, I thought it would be an interesting consideration because the Metabo came out on top of the latest shootout performed by Oz Tool Talk, and maybe because I just bought one too and need to feel good about my purchase.
If I could only have access to two cordless drills, I would pick the IR 12V and Bosch 18V with anti-kickback tech. I was watching AusToolTalk on youtube and they recommended the Metabo As the best of the brushless drill and the Makita as the second best.
Also, I totally agree that the safety of the Bosch that cuts power when it binds should be an important factor in choosing a powerful drill. The XPH07 has potential as an extreme torque model, as already mentioned in the post, but it also has a very awkwardly sized auxiliary handle.
Maybe I’ll try again to get my hands on one for the 2016 revision, to see if a couple hours of use could change my mind.
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Simply put, brushless tools typically offer a balance of more power and longer runtime compared to tools with brushed motors.
When you’d done checking out the recommendations below, also take a look at out our recent Best Cordless Drills Under $100 Guide! A Super Hole Hawg, designed for plumber’s needs and for boring larger holes, is in the works for this year.
1090 in-lbs is wrist-wrenching torque, but the Makita drill lacks any sort of protection device aside from an awkwardly long auxiliary handle. That way, the tool stops before the drill could counter-rotate enough to create a dangerous situation. The Hole Hawg provides a more controllable geometry, but the DDH181X also serves as a driver for fastening applications. The test sample was late, and I also didn’t think the roundup needed another category for best compact cordless drill. This is a solid performing model that has all the makings of a great drill – a comfortable and ergonomic grip and a great power-to-size (and weight) ratio.
Both are very capable cordless drills, but I favor the Dewalt’s ergonomics a hair better.
The grip just isn’t as contoured as I have grown accustomed to, but it does taper a little from the gearbox towards the battery.
Its price is higher now, but maybe it will drop back down for Father’s Day and the next winter holiday season. At the least, I find Milwaukee’s overall ergonomics to be much better, especially when the auxiliary handle has to be attached. Even the 20V D5140 cordless drill kit’s hardshell case is tailored for automotive professionals. One of the hinges has a spring-loaded pin that allows the entire lid to be removed so that you could put the whole shebang right into a toolbox or cabinet drawer!
Yes, it’s larger than many cordless drills designed for the construction tool industry. Although Bosch has been expanding their 12V tool lineup, Milwaukee’s is far stronger.
I personally love that Bosch holds so many places here, I’ve been a big Bosch fan for a long time. Some are popular because they’re the cool tool to have, others because they are simply top performers. They have some interesting innovations going on, but it took a lot of effort for anyone at Metabo to answer my questions.
If you don’t include at least the makita a big player (metabo is less mainstream in non-Europen markets) then the test though still usefull, is giving a very incomplete picture.


Testing of torque and battery life puts their latest products, which I don’t have (yet), at or near the top of the list.
Would you prefer if I pandered to you and lauded the XPH07 over other drills just because it can deliver more torque according to on-paper specs? Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail packaging, such as an unprinted box or plastic bag. Contact the seller- opens in a new window or tab and request a shipping method to your location.
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It has variable speeds that allows you to countersink without damaging the material you are drilling into.
It comes with a two year warranty and provides enough torque of 100 inch pounds to handle many types of tasks from light to heavy. The D25113K has a powerful 780W motor and new hammer mechanism for consistent power delivery when working with the hardest of materials. Their M18 and M12 Fuel brushless cordless tools are still simply the best offerings from among the major professional-grade brands. There are also no motor brushes to replace down the road, which means lower maintenance needs. Despite these things, the DDS181 is what I use for drilling holes and driving fasteners, at least when I’m not testing out another model.
I have never been a fan of Dewalt’s premium 3-speed drills, because they have traditionally been big, bulky, and heavy.
While Milwaukee focused on power and premium features for their M12 Fuel drill, Bosch focused on size and seemingly runtime. Their brushless drill is lighter still, about a pound lighter than the M18 Fuel, with more torque and way more features like the removable chuck, electronic clutch, impulse mode, accelerometer based light, right angle adapter, etc etc. Someone buying into Makita’s 18V platform will find plenty of good options, but if you’re looking for a new drill and aren’t married to any one platform, other brands’ drills are more compelling.
I used a new, out of the box Bosch and broke the anti-wrist-braking technology on the first trigger pull. I would much rather provide practical recommendations than tell you and brands what they want to hear. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable.
There is a dual tipped phillipsdriver bit and a strap that goes around the shoulder to help you carry the tool. It’s very lightweight at about 5 pounds and is ideal for fastening applications on a large variety of materials. It stays charged for up to an hour before having to be recharged or switched to another battery. It comes with an on board bubble level, 13 piece drill bit set, electric brake, a battery, and a charger.
There’s a magnetic tray for screws and bits and a two year limited warranty at time of purchase. Milwaukee’s cordless drills have impressed me less and the batteries on my drill lose all their charge fast when the drill binds. Its motor provides 460 inch pounds of torque and there is a variable speed trigger that sets the speed from 0 to 350 or 0 to 1,500 rpm.



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