Top Pick: DeWalt MAX Brushless | $113 | Amazon
When people have spare time, some turn to the kitchen or the airport while others turn to home improvement projects, which often require a cordless drill. If you haven’t invested in one yet, you might be just a little overwhelmed with the options out there. So, we’ve compiled the recommendations of some DIY experts, who offered their thoughts.
But before you start shopping for a cordless drill, it is wise to consider your plans for it. Will you be using it just to hang pictures, or will you be building furniture or hanging drywall? If you’re focused on smaller jobs, a budget-friendly drill with fewer fancy features might be exactly what you need. On the other hand, if you’re taking on a more heavy-duty project, one that’s tricked out and a little harder on the wallet is probably in order.
Once you know this piece of information, you can effectively sort through your options and decide which one will be best for your needs.
Best 20V: DeWalt MAX Brushless
“I refurbish old furniture bringing it new life with modern flare suitable to the taste of those living a city life. Often the refurbishing of pieces includes an element of repair which I’ve learned is most commonly remedied by a drill. I use the DeWalt 20V MAX Brushless. A drill I treated myself to about two years ago. It’s lightweight and charges faster than my cell phone does! I can’t imagine there exists a trade up from the DeWalt 20v MAX Brushless. It’s perfect and reliable.” - Jessica Russell, Furniture Upcycler at Local Laundry
Best 18V: Makita XFD131 LXT Driver Drill Kit
“This is the first compact drill/driver that I purchased. I am so impressed, but also disappointed that I didn’t buy it sooner. I have to repair a privacy fence frequently because of one of my dogs, and I was having to string an extension cord or two where the damage was so I could make repairs. Hooking up the power drill and putting it away takes about 15 minutes. NO MORE! This sucker can to everything that the power drill did and in 1/4 of the time. It has power to spare. It is so nice to grab the bag and go.” - Thorjr, Amazon Contributor
Best Budget: Milwaukee M12
“My favorite cordless drill is the Milwaukee M12. It is a 12 volt, but don’t let that fool you, this little drill has some power! I actually first bought it about 5 years ago when I was having trouble fitting my larger drill into tight spaces working on a bathroom remodel project. I found it online and decided to give it a shot, and I am glad I did. It is lighter weight, [and] it just really feels really good to hold in your hand. The chuck on it is really smooth and solidifies it as a premium tool. I have used this drill in everything from little projects like building storage for my garage, to large remodeling projects over the years and it hasn’t let me down.” - Kevin Bazazzadeh, Owner of Brilliant Day Homes
Best With Batteries: Bosch PS31-2A
“I decided on this drill because I own other Bosch products and I have only had good experiences with them. Bosch is a brand that has a great reputation. I also was looking for a drill that was on the smaller side. The smaller size allows you to get into tighter spaces if needed and for certain DIY projects that is a huge plus. Finally, the price was right. Not the most expensive, not the least expensive, it was the middle of the road. I’ve had this drill for a couple of years now and I love it. I have used it to create numerous DIYS including a headboard, outdoor bar, DIY fireplace, and many many more!” - Cate Griffing, DIY Blogger at West Magnolia Charm
Whether you’re doing a bathroom remodel, refurbishing old furniture, or just hanging up a few picture frames, a cordless drill is a necessity. However, it’s important to know which specific tasks that drill will be used for. Otherwise, you could burn out a more lightweight drill by using it on more heavy-duty projects.
Also, take note of whether or not your drill requires batteries or additional apparatuses to be operational and if they are included in the set.
This story was originally published by Chaya M. Milchstein on 12/02/2020 and updated with new information by Juliana Clark on 01/22/2021.