The Best Cordless Drills in 2018 Are Better Than Ever

Choosing a quality cordless drill is not as cut-and-dry as simply selecting the model with the biggest battery. Drills of different voltages may prove more useful in certain situations, and brushless motors tend to run longer than their counterparts on the same battery. The best cordless drill for one person may feature quick-charge ability while size or torque are higher priorities for another.

Despite the superior power of an impact driver, cordless drill drivers are better-suited for those who don’t want to carry around multiple power tools. The following three drills have earned their place in any garage or contractor’s toolkit and we believe are the best bang for the buck.

TOP PICK:

DeWalt DCD777C2 20v Max Lithium-Ion Brushless Drill Driver

DeWalt is a staple in homes and workshops, boasting a high standard of quality for affordable prices. The DCD777C2 is an excellent example of this.

Sporting a powerful 20v lithium-ion battery, this lightweight model is arguably the best brushless drill currently on the market, offering as much as 30 percent longer run times than a brushed motor drill. This power is controlled through two different speed settings, allowing for more precise work.

The ergonomic handle and compact design make it ideal for working in cramped spaces, while the 20-second trigger release delayed LED adds extra visibility. With 340 unit watts out (UWO) of power and a no-load speed of 0-500, this drill can tackle just about any job.

Related: Is a Brushless Drill Worth the Extra Money?

There are a lot of perks to this drill, according to its owners. One of the major comments is how long the battery lasts before needing to be recharged, as well as a relatively quick recharge cycle. This allows most users to swap between two batteries throughout an entire project without requiring a break.

The compact design is also appreciated by many who regularly work in small spaces or have smaller hands. Finally, the drill has a lot of power for its size, making it possible for consumers to use it on a wide variety of projects and materials.

The single biggest complaint with the DCD777C2 is a recurring issue in the chuck on some drivers. While many of those purchasing this drill have had no issues, others have complained that their drill has a loose chuck upon arrival. It is unknown whether this is a production defect which got through during a run, or if it’s a randomly occurring flaw.

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RUNNERS UP:

Milwaukee 2606-20 M18 1/2-Inch Drill Driver

This 18v drill is small but powerful, and designed with durability in mind. It is cross-compatible with other Milwaukee 18v power tools, allowing you to swap out batteries as-needed without purchasing spares.

While not as efficient as a brushless model, this drill can cut through aluminum with ease and holds up to moderate use without draining the battery too fast. Changing drill bits is as easy as it gets.

Consumers have been very happy with the amount of power and battery life this drill provides, even against some brushless models. While designed more for workshop use, it is also highly effective in harsher work environments. Another aspect that owners of this drill appreciate is the excellent warranty coverage provided by Milwaukee.

While the drill was built to last, it is always good to have coverage in case of an unforeseen problem that leads to the drill being damaged. Finally, the high torque on this drill has impressed users who didn’t expect such a small drill to be able to handle large bits or thick materials efficiently.

Refurbished drills are a common concern when purchasing the 2606-20 M18. When not purchasing from a certified outlet, you may find the model you receive is damaged or under-powered almost like a cordless screwdriver. In some cases, Milwaukee will be able to assist in replacement, but it is always best to know who you’re buying from. Almost all complaints about this drill have come from those who have purchased refurbished units intentionally or by accident.

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Makita FD07R1 12v MAX CXT Brushless Cordless Driver-Drill

While this drill has the smallest voltage on the list, it is by no means an underdog. The FD07R1 is designed to be as compact and efficient as possible, while still providing 280 inch-pounds of torque.

The electronically controlled brushless motor is capable of delivering up to 50 percent longer run-time per charge, which can be monitored via on-board LED charge level indicator. Finally, it has an automatic braking feature which stops the bit as soon as you let go of the trigger.

There is a lot to love about the FD07R1, and consumers are quick to list them. Despite having a 12v battery, the drill has a lot of power and multiple speed settings. The small size and long battery life means users have been able to work for several hours on a project before they or the battery are spent. Finally, owners appreciate the inclusion of a belt clip, making this a perfect tool for contractors on the go.

There are two minor complaints revolving around this item, both of which are design issues which have proven to be small annoyances to some customers. The drill’s braking feature, while useful, is slightly overpowered and may cause the chuck to loosen its grip on the bit during heavy use. This may be solved by checking the tightness occasionally, although users have commented that the feature could have been made less powerful to eliminate this issue.

The second complaint is in regards to the LED light, which rests in the housing at a place that leaves it slightly obstructed. It will still shine plenty of light into the work area, but may not properly highlight the target. While this isn’t an issue for most jobs, it may prove frustrating when working in extremely small spaces.

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2 thoughts on “The Best Cordless Drills in 2018 Are Better Than Ever

  1. I have the Dewalt and I also have the Ryobi and prefer the Ryobi over the Dewalt! The Ryobi battery charge lasts longer and the batteries are cheaper!

    • Interesting. I’ve never been a big fan of Ryobi drills for the exact reason… the poor run time I got from their batteries. I’ve also had a battery completely fail within 3 months and had to exchange it. To me they’re fine for occasional use but wouldn’t want to do a big project with. I’m a big fan of Ryobi nail guns though. Go figure.

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