The best cordless drill is powerful, versatile & convenient. Choose the right model and you can handle countless home improvements, quickly and easily. Whether you’re decking the garden, remodelling a kitchen or simply hanging a shelf or picture, a decent cordless drill is essential.
Choosing the right cordless drill can be confusing. A good drill will make light work of most tasks but the wrong type or model only leads to frustration.
What Type of Cordless Drill Should I Buy?
The majority of cordless drills are either drill-drivers or combination (combi) drills. Drill-drivers are designed to drill holes & turn screws. They’re fine for assembling furniture or drilling into wood. However, they struggle with masonry. This is a major shortcoming. Sooner or later, you’ll need to drill into a wall and for this, you need a combination drill.
A combination drill works in the same way as a drill-driver, in that it’s designed to drill holes & turn screws, but what’s important is that it will also handle masonry. This means you can drill into walls, brick & concrete. Essential for numerous bigger jobs but also a ‘must-have’ for smaller tasks, such as hanging a picture. This extra feature on a combination drill is often referred to as a hammer action. This additional setting means that the drill-bit not only turns but also vibrates.
You may also see advertisements for impact drivers. These are high-torque devices designed specifically to turn screws & bolts. Good for mechanics & useful as a secondary device for professional builders to use alongside a decent combi drill.
Buy a Cordless Combi-Drill
Choose a combination (combi) drill over a standard drill-driver, every time. They’re the right choice for drilling into all materials (including masonry) and turning screws & bolts. All the recommendations below are combination drills.
What is the best cordless drill?
The best cordless drill is versatile and easy to use. It must be a combination drill & therefore capable of drilling into all materials. In addition to this, there are six principle criteria in choosing the right cordless drill for you…
- The higher the maximum torque (turning force), the better. A low torque device will struggle with tougher materials & won’t budge tight screws.
- Torque range is also important. As an example, too much torque on the wrong screw will burr the head or shear it completely. Too little & it simply won’t turn.
- Most drills have a 10mm or 13mm chuck size. A 10mm chuck is ok for most tasks, but should you plan to use larger drill-bits, opt for a 13mm chuck.
- All the drill recommendations below use a battery which can also be used with other power tools, from the same manufacturer. Great if you’re thinking of a future purchase. 18v Lithium-ion batteries are a must. Avoid lower voltages & older Ni-Cd batteries.
- The more expensive options use brushless motors. These last much longer and deliver superior torque. However, they cost a few quid more.
- The weight of a drill is to some degree, defined by its battery. Bigger batteries last longer but weigh more.
TOP TIP: Two small batteries are better than one. A small battery (rather than a single large unit) means the drill is lighter & easier to use. Plus, you can use one, while the other is charging.
Verum has compared 100s of models to recommend the top combination drills you can buy, right now. We have scrutinised specifications and consumed real-world feedback to shortlist & detail the best models available – saving you time & money.
Read on to see which model is right for you…
Best Budget Cordless Drill
Black & Decker BCD700S1K
This combi-drill is perfect for occasional DIY. The details & specifications add up to a well-balanced device, making it perfect for all those DIY jobs. This Black and Decker model is reasonably light, designed to drill into most materials and also works as a screwdriver – it’s a good choice for most households.
Best Combination Drill under £50
Having two gears, the speed and torque are controllable meaning it can handle a variety of jobs. Turning a screw requires less speed and usually less torque. Although, cranking up the torque for shifting those stubborn stuck screws is much easier than struggling with a conventional screwdriver.
The 1400rpm speed is perfect for making neat holes in wood. Plus, this cordless drill has a hammer function, essential for drilling into masonry. For drilling into brick or concrete, a standard drill-driver will only frustrate. However, using a hammer action, thousands of BMP (blows per minute) supplement the turning action to drill accurate holes quickly and with minimum fuss.
Avoid the duds
There are numerous cheap drills on the market that don’t have a hammer function. Many of these ‘bargain’ options also lack torque. These drills won’t work on a masonry wall & will struggle to tighten screws and generally frustrate – they may be cheap but definitely worth avoiding!
For around £50, the Black & Decker cordless drill does everything well. It has the necessary functions, a good specification and is highly rated by owners.
BLACK & DECKER BCD700S1K | WEIGHT 1.3kg | MAX TORQUE 38Nm | MAX SPEED 1400rpm | BPM 21000 | CHUCK SIZE 10mm | BATTERY SIZE 18v x 1500mAh | WARRANTY 2 years |
Black & Decker | Verdict price £50 | View best price on Amazon
Best Cordless Drill under £100
Bosch PSB1800 Li-2
This Bosch drill is perfect for big DIY projects. It matches the excellent Black & Decker specification (above) and (for a few quid more) comes with two batteries. Bosch batteries fit a variety of devices. This may not sound very exciting, but it can make all the difference.
DIY Drill with Two Batteries & Charger
Whether you’re constructing furniture, fixing shelves or building patio decking, a cordless drill with a flat battery is useless and incredibly frustrating. Halfway through the job, having to wait for a battery to recharge never feels like a good use of time.
Bigger batteries last longer but add to the weight. The best solution is to buy a cordless drill with two batteries. While one is on charge you can use the other. Simple, but it makes a significant difference to any job that’s bigger than hanging a single picture. Plus, owning a few batteries that fit your drill, grass trimmer & cordless vacuum has many advantages. Sticking with one brand means you can buy a few batteries to fit multiple devices.
What is a good torque for cordless drill?
The 40Nm maximum torque is perfect for most jobs. And with 20 settings, you’re sure to find the perfect setting for the task in hand. This functionality makes this Bosch cordless drill perfect for drilling into wood, metal, masonry or using as a screwdriver. You may see advertisements for a new version of this drill. However, we recommend the Bosch PSB1800 (link below) & not the new model, which has a lower torque.
This Bosch cordless drill will get the job done. Backing up the excellent specification, owners have much praise for this drill. Plus, the second battery means no frustration, partway through the job.
Bosch PSB1800 Li-2 | WEIGHT 1.3kg | MAX TORQUE 40Nm | MAX SPEED 1400rpm | BPM 20250 | GEARS x2 | CHUCK SIZE 10mm | BATTERY SIZE 18v x 1500mAh | WARRANTY 2 years
Bosch drill + 2 batteries | Verdict price £99 | View best price on Amazon
Best Professional Cordless Drill
This Dewalt drill is perfect for serious DIY and trade. Compared to cheaper drills, it’s more powerful and will keep going when lesser drills fail. Dewalt is a brand associated with trade, but if you’re planning big DIY projects or just want a device that will last for years, then the Dewalt DCD796 is the drill for you.
Best Cordless Drill with Brushless Motor
The brushless motor powering this drill can deliver 70Nm of torque – Double that of cheaper options. This huge turning force and a top speed of 2000rpm means this drill will cope with almost anything. Also of significance is the 13mm chuck size, which means it can handle bigger drill-bits and therefore make bigger holes. As an example, for decking and alike, you may need a M10 coach bolt meaning an 11mm hole. This is easy for the Dewalt, but simply not possible with smaller drills/chucks.
Another benefit of this drill is the super bright LED which is useful in normal conditions but makes a huge difference when working in a dark confined space.
Can I use cordless drill for concrete?
Drilling into masonry can be tough and requires a hammer or impact function. A drills ability to do this is measured in BPM (blows per minute). The Dewalt delivers 34000 BPM which compared to around 20000 of the cheaper drills translates to easier and quicker drilling into brick, concrete and alike.
Are brushless drills worth the money?
This Dewalt drill has a brushless motor. This type of motor will last longer than the standard design – much longer. Brushless technology means fewer moving parts, less heat and lower wear. This translates to more power, longer run time and a drill that will keep going. Also, brushless motors deliver more torque, especially at lower speeds.
The Best Brushless Combi Drill
The Dewalt DCD796 cordless drill makes every job look easy. The brushless motor, bigger chuck and significantly higher torque make all the difference and justify the higher price. Yes, it’s a better drill and yes, it will keep going for years.
If you’re planning on more than occasional DIY, this Dewalt drill is definitely worth the investment.
Dewalt DCD796 | WEIGHT 1.2kg (+ battery) | MAX TORQUE 70Nm | MAX SPEED 2000rpm | BPM 34000 | GEARS x2 | CHUCK SIZE 13mm | BATTERY SIZE 18v x 5Ah | WARRANTY 1 year |
Dewalt drill | Verdict price £170 | View best price on Amazon
(includes charger & 5Ah battery)
Why spend more?
Spending more means more torque, longer run times and a drill that will last longer. However, if you want a drill for an occasional job around the house, the Black & Decker drill is perfect. The cheaper recommendations above will do everything that you need. Alternatively consider a decent cordless screwdriver.
If you’re planning big projects, spend more, for extra power & batteries. Plus, if the budget allows a brushless motor. The Dewalt recommendation will last longer than a conventional drill and the additional torque will make a noticeable difference to most jobs. Plus, for bigger projects requiring big holes, you will need the bigger Dewalt 13mm chuck.
The Top 3 Cordless Drills
Good budget drill
Black & Decker BCD700S1K | Verdict price £50
See price on Amazon
Perfect for most projects + two batteries
Bosch PSB1800 Li-2 | Verdict Price £99
See price on Amazon
Power and durability for serious DIY and trade
Dewalt DCD796 | Verdict price £170
See price on Amazon
Avoid the Duds
There are plenty of cheap drills on the market. However, if you need a cordless drill for DIY around the home, choose a recommended combination drill. This allows you to drill into walls. Essential for hanging pictures, fixing shelves and beyond. Also, check there’s enough controllable torque (minimum 38Nm) to turn drill bits and screws.
All the drills recommended above match or exceed these specifications.