Drills that pack a punch.
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Not everyone is gifted when it comes to DIY. And hey, that’s totally fine. Some people are naturally skilled odd-jobbers. Others don’t know a tool box from an Xbox. It could mean hours of tutorial videos before you even consider getting your hands dirty. Even then there’s no guarantee that things will work out.
DIY is one of those things that gets easier with time and experience, but everyone has got to start somewhere. The best thing a total beginner can do is invest in top quality equipment. That’s always your best chance for success.
First and foremost for your toolbox is a cordless drill — the centrepiece of any tool collection. As with all tools, we recommend spending a little extra to get the best, as these tools will pass the test of time. But there are decent options at a budget level — it’s a matter of checking the reviews.
If you’re a DIY newbie, or just need some pointers, we’ve gone ahead and done the hard work of reading reviews and drilling down into available options.
What is a cordless drill?Unlike your wired drill, which connects to the mains, a cordless drill is powered by a rechargeable battery. And be warned while shopping online — some cordless drills are “body only”, which means the battery is sold separately. Cordless drills are all about convenience and portability. These devices don’t have the power or torque of a wired electric drill. Most cordless drills are easily powerful enough for jobs around the house.
What is a cordless drill used for?Cordless drills are mostly used as faster, quicker alternatives to a screwdriver, though it’s also used to drill holes into a variety of materials – wood, metal, plastics, or stone. Cordless drills will be compatible with multiple drill bits (they may even come with the drill), each of which has its own purpose. Some have more power or specialist uses. A hammer drill, for instance, packs extra force behind the drill bit, allowing you to drill into harder materials such as concrete.
What is drill torque?Torque essentially means the amount of rotating force, measured in Newton Metres (Nm). Cordless drills will tend to have a range of torque settings — from 1 to 20 — which you select before you begin drilling.
Which is best, cordless or corded drills?When it comes to cordless drills, convenience and portability are the big selling points. They’re easy to pack away in a carry case and put to work whenever and wherever you need them. They may also have various features, making them more of an all-in-one drill and screwdriver tool.
Corded drills, however, offer consistent power and higher torque. And you’re not limited by a battery — which can run out, of course — though you do need to be near a mains to use a corded drill. The kind of power and handling you get with a corded drill might suit a professional workman, while cordless drills are well suited to everyday, casual DIY.
What is the best cordless drill?We’ve done all the hard work for you and researched features, specifications, and customer reviews of the leading cordless drills. The result is this roundup of your best options, including drills from popular brands like DeWalt and Bosch.
These are the best cordless drills in 2023.
The Bosch PSB 1800 LI-2 cordless drill is a great option for screwdriving, drilling, and impact drilling into wood, metal, and masonry. A two-speed gearbox helps get the job done efficiently.
It has 20 pre-selectable torque, drill and impact drill settings, with an integrated LED for illuminating dark work areas. A powerful lithium-ion battery is ready to go in one hour, so no excuses for not starting work.
The real game-changer is the Bosch Syneon Chip, which sets this drill apart from the competition. The chip intelligently manages the interaction between the battery, motor, and gearbox, providing optimum power and maximum endurance throughout each work project.
The Makita DHP484RTJ cordless drill is small but packed with features, including 21 different torque settings, hammer action, and bright twin LED joblights for precise working in dark conditions.
It has an all-metal gearbox and a soft grip handle — ideal for drilling into concrete, metal, wood, and plastic. With the variable two-speed transmission, you can use high speed mode for fast drilling in light duty applications and low speed mode for heavy duty applications requiring high torque.
With a relatively swift charge time of 22 minutes, running out of power isn’t a problem. A quick battery boost and you’ll be back to work in no time.
The Dewalt DCD796P1-GB XR is a 18V XR Li-Ion compact hammer drill driver featuring DeWalt’s powerful 5.0Ah li-ion battery technology.
The compact and lightweight design allows for use in confined spaces, and the two-speed all metal transmission provides increased runtime and longer tool life. It also has a drill driver and hammer feature for multiple applications.
You get 15 stages of adjustable torque control for consistent screw driving into a variety of materials, and the intelligent trigger design allows for total control. The improved ergonomic design with rubber grip also helps with comfort.
The Black & Decker BCD700S1K-GB is a compact two-gear combi drill for screwdriving, drilling, and hammer drilling into wood, metal, and masonry.
The all-metal motor and gearbox delivers 21,000bpm for hammer drilling in masonry applications and 0-1,400rpm variable speed for drilling and screw driving applications. You also get the choice of 10 torque settings, which means options for precise screwdriving action into various materials.
The keyless chuck is great for fast and easy bit changes with a double ended screwdriver bit included so you can start your projects right away. The 18V Lithium-Ion battery is interchangeable with all 18V power and garden tools, meaning you can build your collection of tools by purchasing bare units.
The WORX WX352 cordless drill uses active impact technology that delivers huge amounts of power, allowing users to drill through all materials including reinforced concrete. It handles pretty much every task around the house.
It’s compact and lightweight, with brushless motor technology delivering longer runtime and motor life. The 13mm chuck with safety lock and all-metal gears also increases durability.
The variable two-speed design covers a wide range of drilling, fastening, and hammer drilling applications, and the LED lights help with working in dark conditions. It has “22+1+1” torque settings, which means 22 torques for screwdriving and an additional two options for drilling.
The Mylek Compakt is an affordable alternative that gives you almost all the benefits of a high-end combi drill. In fact, it’s the only drill on this list that comes with an selection of drill-bit accessories — a 13-piece kit that will service most of your drill and screwdriving needs.
Other standard features include an LED light for working in dark spaces, a battery life indicator, anti-shock moulding, and 18+1 torque options.
The only real downside is also its biggest plus point: The comparatively cheap price. If you’re a DIY expert, chances are you’ll feel its budget quality in your hand. But for casual use, this is a solid choice.
The Ryobi One+ cordless drill is a high-powered impact driver ideal for screwing and loosening larger bolts.
It comes with three LED lights that illuminate the work area to improve visibility, with a keyless hex drive for easy bit changes. You also get a socket adaptor for use on applications more suitable with an impact wrench.
The motor delivers 220Nm of torque so you can easily drive long screws and nuts. The die-cast aluminium front gear housing protects components for improved durability. This drill should last for years to come.
This is the drill body only, which means it has no battery (Ryobi One+ tools all use a universal battery system), but you can buy an all-in-one starter drill set.
Joseph joined Mashable as the UK Shopping Editor in 2018. He worked for a number of print publications before making the switch to the glittery world of digital media, and now writes about everything from coffee machines to VPNs.
Matt Ford is a freelance contributor to Mashable.