The best cordless drill is powerful, versatile & built to last. Choose the right model and you will be able to handle countless tasks, quickly and easily. Whether you’re decking the garden, remodelling a kitchen or simply hanging a shelf or picture, the best cordless drill is the essential power tool for all your 2021 projects & fixes.
Choosing the right model can be confusing. A good drill will make light work of most tasks but the wrong type or model will only lead to frustration.
What is the best cordless drill?
The best cordless drill is versatile and easy to use. It should be a combination (combi) drill & therefore capable of making precise holes in all materials, including masonry. In addition to this, there are six principle criteria for choosing the right model 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 & control are 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 use a 10mm or 13mm chuck size. A 10mm chuck is ok for smaller tasks, but should you plan to use larger drill-bits, opt for a 13mm chuck.
- All the recommendations below use a battery which also works 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, deliver superior torque, control and deliver longer battery life. However, they cost a few quid more.
- Power tool weight is largely set by the battery. Bigger batteries last longer but weigh more.
TOP TIP: For most DIY two small batteries are better than single large. A small battery makes the device lighter & easier to use. Plus, you can use one, while the other is charging. For trade, owning multiple large batteries is the standard.
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…
1. Black & Decker BCD700S1K
GREAT FOR OCCASIONAL DIY
This combi-drill is perfect for occasional DIY. The detail & specification 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 handle most materials and also works as a screwdriver – it’s a good choice for most households.
Best Combi-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 model has a hammer function, essential for drilling into masonry. For drilling into brick or concrete, a standard drill-driver will only frustrate. However, using thousands of blows per minute (BPM) to supplement the turning action, masonry becomes doable.
Avoid the duds
There are numerous cheap options on the market – most don’t have an effective hammer function. Many of these, so-called 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, this Black & Decker does everything well. It has the necessary functions, a good specification and it’s highly rated by owners.
SPECIFICATION | WEIGHT 1.3kg + battery | MAX TORQUE 38Nm | MAX SPEED 1400rpm | BPM 21000 | CHUCK SIZE 10mm | BATTERY SIZE 18v x 1500mAh | WARRANTY 2 years
Black & Decker Combi-Drill | Verdict price £50 | View best price on Amazon
Includes: Drill + 1.5Ah Battery + Charger + Case
2. Bosch PSB1800 Li-2
A MATCH FOR YOUR DIY PROJECTS
This Bosch cordless drill is perfect for DIY. It effectively matches the excellent Black & Decker specification (above) and comes with two batteries. The batteries fit a variety of Bosch consumer devices & this may well be the extra or bonus reason to choose the Bosch PSB1800 Li-2.
Bosch Cordless DIY Drill with Two Batteries & Charger
Cordless devices are becoming the norm in British homes. Power tools to vacuums, there’s a welcome convenience in cutting the cord. However, Lithium batteries are expensive and any device with a flat battery is useless.
What makes sense is using the same battery for multiple devices. Bosch has released an impressive range of DIY & garden tools that all use the same Lithium batteries.
Buy via the link below & you’ll get a couple of batteries & charger. Next time you’re buying a Bosch power tool, you can opt for the basic device (without batteries & charger) – you will save £££s.
Big batteries last longer but are more expensive & add to the weight. Especially with a drill, the best solution is to choose a device with two small batteries. You can use one while the other is charging. This can make a significant difference to any job that’s bigger than hanging a picture.
What is a Good Torque for a Cordless Drill?
40Nm maximum torque is good for most jobs. And with 20 settings, you’re sure to find the right setting for the task in hand. This functionality makes this Bosch cordless drill good for drilling into wood, metal or masonry. Plus, you can use it as a screwdriver.
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 part way through the job.
SPECIFICATION | WEIGHT 1.3kg + battery | MAX TORQUE 40Nm | MAX SPEED 1400rpm | BPM 20250 | GEARS x2 | CHUCK SIZE 10mm | BATTERY SIZE 18v x 1500mAh | WARRANTY 2 years
Bosch Combi-Drill | Verdict price £105 | View best price on Amazon
Includes: Drill + 1.5Ah Batteries x2 + Charger
3. Ryobi R18PD3-215GZ 18v
BEST CORDLESS DRILL UNDER £100
This Ryobi cordless combi drill does everything, brilliantly. It’s powerful, has a large chuck, two speeds, multiple torque settings & comes with two batteries & a charger.
Are Ryobi cordless drills any good?
Ryobi makes great power tools. Perhaps not a UK household name, but Ryobi has a strong reputation with professionals and trade across the world. Plus, this Ryobi cordless drill comes with a 3 year manufacturer warranty – effectively, guaranteeing the build quality.
Powerful Cordless Drill
Power, speed & flexibility make this a versatile combi-drill capable of handling DIY & trade tasks alike. With 50Nm of torque, two gears & numerous settings it will make tough jobs easy. For masonry you have a ‘best in class’ 23,400 bpm hammer setting, making drilling into brick and masonry, a doddle.
Masonry, metal, wood, plastic, plasterboard, tiles & ceramic – the Ryobi will do it all. Plus, with 20 torque settings, it’s also the perfect powered screwdriver.
Cordless Drill with 13mm Chuck
There are plenty of jobs that require larger drill-bits. For these tasks, you need power & a larger 13mm chuck. A 10mm chuck can be very frustrating. For clarity, a 13mm chuck works perfectly with small & large drill-bits alike.
This Ryobi drill ticks all the boxes. DIY or trade, it will handle a wide range of tasks & materials – big & small. Plus, with two batteries and a charger included, it’s also a great deal.
SPECIFICATION | WEIGHT 1.3kg (+battery) | MAX TORQUE 50Nm | MAX SPEED 1800rpm | BPM 23400 | GEARS x2 | CHUCK SIZE 13mm | BATTERY SIZE 18v x 1500mAh | WARRANTY 3 years
Ryobi R18PD3 Combi-Drill | Verdict price £75 | View best price on Amazon
Includes: Drill + 1.5Ah Batteries x2 + Charger
4. Bosch Professional GSB 18V-55 Combi-Drill
BRUSHLESS BOSCH DRILL – THE COMPLETE KIT
Designed for trade, the Bosch BSB-55 is a pro level combi-drill. It’s a great choice for regular site work and an awesome power tool for serious DIY. With decent torque and a robust specification, this is a good choice for anyone who appreciates top-end kit.
Built to Last – Brushless Motor
The brushless motor gives longevity, good control and superior battery life. It delivers 55Nm of torque, which is a match for most jobs. Also important is the 13mm chuck. Good for bigger drill bits and equally suited to finer tasks, right down to 1.5mm.
Excellent Range of Power Tools
This set comes with a case, drill bits, charger and two batteries – it’s a great entry point to the excellent Bosch Pro range. Alternatively, if you already own Bosch Pro power tools, buying the BSB 18V-55 is an easy choice. It’s worth noting that the Bosch consumer (green) range uses different battery technology.
Designed for trade, this combi-drill kit is a match for any task. The complete kit is the perfect entry point for anyone considering pro-level Bosch power tools.
SPECIFICATION | WEIGHT 1.4kg | MAX TORQUE 55Nm | MAX SPEED 1800rpm | BPM 27000 | GEARS x2 | CHUCK SIZE 13mm | BATTERY 2 x 18v x 1.5Ah | WARRANTY 1 year
Bosch Pro Combi-Drill | Verdict price £155 | View best price on Amazon
Includes: Drill + 1.5Ah Batteries x2 + Charger + Case + Drill & Driver Bits
5. Dewalt DCD796 Combi-Drill
BEST PROFESSIONAL COMBI-DRILL
The Dewalt DCD796 is the best cordless drill for trade & serious DIY. Compared to cheaper models, 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 one for you.
Brushless Motor & 13mm Chuck
The brushless motor delivers 70Nm of torque – Double that of cheaper options. This huge turning force and a top speed of 2000rpm means it 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 an M10 coach bolt meaning an 11mm hole. This is easy for the Dewalt, but simply not possible with smaller drills/chucks.
Another benefit is the super bright LED which is useful in normal conditions but essential when working in a dark confined space.
Pro Choice 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.
For trade or serious DIY, the Dewalt DCD796 is definitely worth the investment.
SPECIFICATION | 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 Combi-Drill | Verdict price £185 | View best price on Amazon
Includes: Drill + 5Ah Battery + Charger + Case
What Type of Cordless Drill Should I Buy?
The majority of cordless drills are either drill-drivers or combination (combi) drills. Drill-drivers are limited to holes in timber & turning 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 (think hanging a shelf or picture?) and for this, you need a (combi) 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. Great as a secondary device to use alongside a decent combi drill.
Can I use cordless drill for concrete?
Drilling into masonry can be tough. A hammer or impact function is essential. A drills ability to do this is measured in BPM (blows per minute). Budget models deliver around 20,000 BPM while the recommended Dewalt delivers 34000 BPM. This translates to easier and quicker drilling into brick, concrete and alike.
Are brushless drills worth the money?
A brushless motor will last longer than the standard design – much longer. Brushless technology means fewer moving parts, less heat, lower wear & superior battery life. 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.
Buy a Cordless Combi-Drill
Choose a combination (combi) drill over a standard drill-driver, every time. With cordless convenience & three functions, it’s the right choice for most households. A combi-drill is good wood, plastic & steel & masonry. Plus, it’s the perfect power screwdriver.
Combi-Drill – Best Buys
BEST BUDGET BUY – DIY
Black & Decker BCD700S1K | Verdict price £50
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BEST BUY – DIY
Ryobi R18PD3 | Verdict Price £75
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BEST BUY – PROFESSIONAL
Dewalt DCD796 | Verdict price £185
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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.
If you’re planning big projects, spend more, for extra power, batteries & a bigger chuck. The Ryobi hits a real sweet spot here.
For trade or regular use, do consider a brushless motor. The Dewalt & Bosch Pro recommendations will last longer than a conventional drill and the additional torque will make a noticeable difference to bigger jobs.