Finding the best cordless drill is quite a task, considering how many cordless drills are on the market today. But don’t worry – we’re here to help you figure it out!
The Two Main Cordless Drills Explained
Most cordless drills fall into two categories, either combination drills or drill drivers. With pros and cons to both of them, it’s important to consider which one of these is the better option for your needs.
A combination drill, more commonly known as a combi drill, has a hammer-driving drill mechanism.
These combi drills are great for being used on various surfaces and will suit pretty much all of your DIY jobs. With these high-power drills, the hammer-action mechanism will ensure that your screw is secure, regardless of the material.
Due to the multiple functions of the drill, it is much heavier – this is because it needs a larger capacity to run with more power. Additionally, these hammer drills are more expensive and might not be what newbie DIY-ers are looking for in a cordless drill.
On the other hand, drill drivers are specifically designed for you to drill holes and drill screws into common materials such as wood and plaster.
Some consider this type of cordless drill to be the best drill for everyday household tasks – for this reason, it is extremely suitable for beginners. They are much cheaper than hammer drills as well.
These drills won’t get through tougher materials as the combi drill can. The smaller battery, which does make them lighter, does mean that the battery life is not as long.
Cordless Combi-drill vs drill-driver: Which one should you choose?
If you need a drill with more impact, the combi hammer drill will be the best cordless drill for you. However, if you need to put together some self-assembly furniture, then a drill driver’s compact and lightweight design might be better for you.
Types of Drill Bits and When to Use Them
For newbies to DIY, the different types of drill bits that are available might be quite intimidating. Not only are you getting used to this new power tool, but you also need to be sure that you’re using the right accessories for these cordless tools – that includes using the right drill bit.
These are the most common bit used for impact drilling small to medium-sized holes in materials such as wood, metal, and plastic. Smaller twist bits can be much more delicate, and you should be careful not to break these when drilling hard materials.
These can be used for drilling holes, but, as per their name, they are more suited to screw driving screws into said holes. When using these bits, it’s important to be careful and decrease the load speed a little so that your screw doesn’t go flying off somewhere else!
These bits are suitable for drilling into much harder materials and are usually used in combi drills, as they pair well with the hammer-action systems.
Spur point bits
These are also known as dowel bits and are ideal for drilling straight holes. The bits themselves have a central point, and two raised spurs help keep the bit secure in the direction it is being drilled in.
These are a unique type of bit and are designed for softer materials exclusively. It is used as a pre-drill tool to create the recess for countersunk screws to sit in properly. These are quite useful for trickier screws, and sometimes these bits are available with handles so that you can get a good purchase on them when pushing into the material.
An odd-looking bit, these are only intended for high-impact drills and are most commonly used with a hammer drill. With a centre point surrounded by flat steel on both sides, these are used to create flat bottomed holes and are used almost exclusively for wood surfaces and wood-based projects.
Countless other types of bits can be used, including but not limited to a hole saw, a Forstner bit, a Wood Auget bit, or even a tile bit. Respectively, these can create different shapes and sizes of holes, including those with a flat bottom or much larger fixed diameter holes as well.
Cordless Drill Features to Look Out For
Whether or not you do decide that a hammer drill or a drill driver is the right drill for you, there are definitely some specific features that you should be looking out for.
Most drills come with a lithium-ion battery and having a removable one can be really useful. A regular hammer drill will usually come with two of the Li-Ion batteries (lithium-ion batteries) so that you can charge one while you’re using the other.
When using power tools, you’re usually always using them for a pretty lengthy amount of time. You definitely want to get a lightweight drill so that you’re able to use it comfortably, without the risk of dropping the power tool and hurting yourself or damaging your project.
Integrated LED light
This is a very underrated feature and, for some, an essential feature on a drill. Being able to use an LED in darker conditions makes the drilling process a lot safer.
Variable speed settings
This can be useful, especially if you’re using different types of bits that need to be used at slower speeds but still need the stable speed for when you’re using the drill to screw things in.
Look for drills with a two-speed gearbox or a variable speed trigger to make sure you can use the drill comfortably for both needs.
Hammer drill feature
The hammer drill feature is most commonly found in the combi drill category, and if you’re looking to drill into tougher materials, this is definitely something you need to look out for. The impact driver ensures that you have enough power.
Most would argue that these are much more useful than the keyed chuck, as you can adjust the tightness and looseness a bit without using a key in between changing the torque settings.
Especially when you’re a newbie, having this option is great as you can reverse the direction of the drill. This allows you to unscrew just as quickly as you screw or back out of a drilled hole quickly.
Useful Cordless Drill Accessories
There are, in fact, some accessories that you can buy to make your drilling experience a little more optimised.
An angle adaptor can help you to drill under corners and edges much easier.
Why not use your drill for cleaning as well? With scrubbing pad attachments, you can even make household chores a whole lot easier.
These can be flexible sometimes too, which is great for an awkward job like under the sink, behind shelves, or anywhere that’s hard to reach with your drill.
Magnetic bit holder
This accessory can really stop you from needing to fumble around with bits in between changing them and helps to make sure you don’t lose any of those crucial screws!
Cordless Drill Battery Guide
Each drill has a different set of battery specifications, so make sure you know what you’re buying.
You want to have a drill that is at least 14V or 18V of battery so that you can use it comfortably for a good variety of household tasks. Otherwise, you may not have enough juice to power your projects.
A battery capacity of at least 4Ah should be more than sufficient for home and garden use. If you’re looking for cordless drills for industrial use, more capacity is essential.
You may also want to consider the weight of the battery; the heavier it is, the less time you’ll be able to hold it up in one go.
The Best Professional Cordless Drill Brands
There are plenty of professional brands to choose from when buying a cordless drill. Reviews of all of the following brands are usually very trustworthy and result in good quality outcomes.
Dewalt specialises in industrial-level power tools, so you can trust them to make a good impact driver drill. They also produce great brushless drills as well, though these may be a little bit pricey.
BLACK + DECKER
In line with Dewalt, this brand provides a lot of power and brings a lot of torque to any DIY project. If you’ve got a hard day of work ahead of you, a BLACK + DECKER drill will take the load off for sure.
Bosch has been a great household name for ages and specialises in drills that aren’t too difficult to get the hang of. Most households have a Bosch in the shed or a cupboard, as they’re so reliable for both home or garden use.
All their drills come with a great set of drill bits, too, so you’re prepared for any job.
Makita is the home of the best cordless hammer drill. With a high-quality impact motor and brushless motors for less friction, a Makita drill can take on all kinds of jobs.
A good balance between newbie and well-seasoned household DIY-er, this brand doesn’t have a brushless motor but comes in at a good price for a cordless impact driver. Additionally, the impact driver lasts a long time, with most of their batteries being rechargeable.
This brand provides all kinds of drills, from the cordless drill driver to the most reliable impact driver drills out there.
Whether a small job or a total home renovation, it’s important that you do your own research and make sure that you find the cordless drill that works for you and your needs!
The best cordless drill depends on your needs, so we’d definitely suggest that you do your research and see what works for you before committing to a purchase.
If you’ve just got some furniture to put together or some pictures to put up, a drill driver is the better choice for home use.
If you require an impact driver and you’re working with tougher materials, then yes – it’ll be much more efficient at getting the job done.