Best Cordless Drill [2019]

DEWALT-20V-MAX-XR-Brushless-Drill-Driver-DCD991B.jpg

Best Overall: Dewalt 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill/Driver (DCD991B)
Honestly, nothing else on our list came close to the power that the DCD991B offers. Even though it first came out in 2016, it has reigned without giving up its chair. DEWALT built a powerhouse when they built this one.

Budget Pick: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Drill/Driver (LDX120C)
For anyone on a budget, this is where you should start. It has plenty of power, plenty of features, and it comes in at less than $50. If you need a light-duty/medium-duty cordless drill, BLACK+DECKER has you covered.

Best All-In-One: DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill/Driver (DCD791D2)
While it is not as strong as its big brother (the DCD991B), it has more than enough power to out power anyone else on this list. Plus, you get a battery and all the other accessories to have the best all-in-one package on our list.

How We Picked

Cordless drills are one of the most used power tools in almost any environment. Whether you are at home or on the construction worksite, they play an integral part in many different jobs.

There are hundreds of cordless drills on the market right now. Some brands literally have more than ten different options to choose from. Knowing what separates each one can make it a little easier when trying to find the right one for you. And that is exactly what we are going to do today.

We have put together a list of the ten best cordless drills for 2019. Some of these will work great on a job site while others will work great for home/DIY projects. To give you an idea of what we look at, we have included a buyer’s guide which will help you narrow down your search too. We have also included some of the most commonly asked questions in the event that you had a few questions yourself. Ultimately, we hope that you find a cordless drill that is perfect for you.

So, are you ready to see the ten best cordless drills for 2019?

#1 DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill/Driver (DCD991B)

Specs:

  • Battery Included: No
  • Voltage: 20 Volts
  • Max Torque: 885in/lb
  • Weight: 4.0 Pounds

Dewalt has become one of the most renowned companies in the power tools industry. The bright yellow and deep black tools look right at home at any job site. In fact, it is almost impossible to pass by a worksite that does not have a few DEWALT products laying around. The reason for that is simple, they make some of the best power tools. And the DCD991B is a perfect example of their dedication to quality and performance.

The DCD991B has been around since 2016 but has maintained its top-tier status simply because of how well it was built. So, is it the strongest, fastest, longest-lasting – not at all. But it is beefy, weighing in at 4.6 pounds. It’s extremely durable with its high-impact ABS outer with rubber surrounds. And, it’s extremely powerful putting out a whopping 885in/lb of torque. Instead of being the best in ONE category, it’s great in MANY categories.

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill & Driver (DCD991B) and grip

The DCD991B has a brushless motor which is designed to be faster, more energy-efficient, and last longer. In fact, the DCD991B delivers a staggering 820 UWO (unit watts out) in comparison to its predecessor that managed a solid output of 650 UWO (still better than most other cordless drills). The 885in/lb torque rating is astronomical when compared to other cordless drills – the next closest on our list is 600in/lb and that’s another DEWALT product. While the chances of you needing 885in/lb of torque are unlikely, it’s there. You’ll never be wishing you had a little more power with the DCD991B.

Some other notable features of the DCD991B include a three-speed gearbox that gives you extremely precise control of your drill/driver; don’t strip the heads out from over-torque. It also has an ultra-bright, 3-mode, 60-lumen LED light that is great for night projects and for making it a little easier to see everything. Plus, the DCD991B works with all of the 20V MAX batteries in the DEWALT lineup, regardless of mAH rating.

What We Like

For us, there is not another drill that puts out the torque that this cordless drill can. At 885in/lb, there is a good chance that you will break the bolt/screw if it is stuck. But, we love having so much power in our hands.

Overall

DEWALT does not package the DCD991B with a battery; this is our biggest complaint. Otherwise, this is one of the most powerful, most durable, and trustworthy cordless drills on our list. It is a little heavy for some people, but it was built for the worksite. If this is too much for you, there are other compact/lighter options on our list too.

#2 DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill/Driver (DCD791D2)

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill & Driver (DCD791D2)

Specs:

  • Battery Included: Yes
  • Voltage: 20 Volts
  • Max Torque: 600in/lb
  • Weight: 3.4 Pounds

Next, we’re going to look at another DEWALT cordless product again. This time we are going to focus on the DCD791D2 which outpowers everyone else except for its big brother – the DCD991B.

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill & Driver (DCD791D2) and case

The DCD791D2 is the compact/little brother but it packs a serious punch. In fact, DEWALT managed to reduce the weight of this drill by 0.6 pounds. While that might not seem like much, wait until it’s hanging off your tool belt for a few hours and it’ll make a big difference. And while they were reducing the weight, they managed to turn if from a full-size drill into a compact drill, shortening the overall length by a full inch. Even so, they still manage to squeeze out 460 UWO and 600in/lb of torque. In fact, this compact option outperforms some of the other full-size drills on our list!

DEWALT 20V MAX XR (DCD791D2) on wood

It is still a beefed-up unit, weighing in at 3.4 pounds. Again, they’ve done a great job of making it durable by covering it in ABS plastic and rubber. But, one thing that the DCD791D2 does better than its big brother is that it comes with two batteries, a charger, and a carrying case. While we do like tool-only options, we love all-in-one setups like this. The MAX XR batteries come with a built-in fuel gauge so you know how much time/power you have left. Plus, they work with all of the other MAX XR cordless DEWALT products so you can use your other batteries too.

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Drill & Driver (DCD791D2) grip

DEWALT packed the DCD791D2 with plenty of other features too including a two-speed transmission, a brushless motor, built-in LED work light, and a metal half-inch ratcheting chuck. These are built so well that DEWALT gives them a standard three-year limited warranty too.

What We Like

Small, compact, and POWERFUL! Sure, it’s not ripping bolts in half, but it’s capable of putting down an impressive 600in/lb of torque. There aren’t many jobs where this will not be able to finish.

Overall

For those looking for a compact option that is powerful, this is it. Of course, this is one of the more expensive compact cordless drills on our list, but it’s a DEWALT. They stand behind their products and plenty of people stand behind DEWALT products on a worksite each day. You won’t regret buying the DCD791D2!

#3 Milwaukee 18V Brushless Drill/Driver (M18 2801-20)

Milwaukee 18V Brushless Drill & Driver (M18 2801-20)

Specs:

  • Battery Included: No
  • Voltage: 18 Volts
  • Max Torque: 500in/lb
  • Weight: 2.5 Pounds

Now, we’re going to look at something not DEWALT. Instead, we are going to look at the M18 2801-20 from Milwaukee. They’ve been around since 1924 and they are another established company with plenty of trusted products in the power tool industry.

Milwaukee 18V Brushless Drill & Driver (M18 2801-20) unboxed

The M18 2801-20 is a compact cordless drill with a length of 6.5 inches. It is extremely lightweight, barely registering the scale at 2.5 pounds without a battery. And even though it is so small and compact, it still manages to put out 500in/lb of torque from the brushless motor. To control the M18 2801-20, Milwaukee included a two-speed adjustable transmission. You control the RPM range from 0-500 and 0-1800, making it a lot easier to handle tough jobs when speed isn’t the most important requirement.

Milwaukee 18V Brushless Drill & Driver (M18 2801-20) on wood

Milwaukee makes sure this has plenty of power to work with, using their own 18V batteries that are equipped with REDLITHIUM (lithium-ion). They claim that it can outperform and outlast other comparable 18V batteries due to the REDLITHIUM technology. But that’s not the only REDtech they’ve included. They’ve also included REDLINK intelligence that monitors the motor and battery temperature to make sure that it doesn’t get overloaded/overheated.

Milwaukee 18V Brushless Drill & Driver (M18 2801-20) on metal

What We Like

With 500in/lb of torque, there is not much that can stand in your way. This is an extremely light and compact cordless drill that packs a serious punch. The included REDLINK intelligence helps to protect it from serious damage that other units would fail from.

Overall

The Milwaukee M18 2801-20 is a great, budget-friendly, compact cordless drill that can compete with the best. While it’s not the most powerful option on our list, it checks off some of the other important features of being lightweight and compact. While the brand isn’t nearly as notable (or visually recognized), this is not a cordless drill you will want to overlook.

#4 Bosch 12V MAX Brushless Drill/Driver (PS32-02)

Bosch 12V MAX Brushless Drill & Driver (PS32-02)

Specs:

  • Battery Included: Yes
  • Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Max Torque: 265in/lb
  • Weight: 2.0 Pounds

Let’s be real, how in the world did a 12-volt option even make it on this list? Bosch is well-known in the power tool market, but 12 volts is still kind of weak – right?

Bosch 12V MAX Brushless Drill & Driver (PS32-02) and accessories

So, we are pretty impressed with the PS32-02 from Bosch. It is a compact, brushless cordless drill that barely weighs anything coming in at only 2 pounds. It has a length of 6 1/2 inches which makes it perfect for getting into tight spaces. And yes, it only puts out a total of 265in/lb of torque, but it feels like it is more.

Bosch 12V MAX (PS32-02) used in a car

Feature-wise, the PS32-02 is loaded! It comes with an auto-lock chuck that produces an audible click when the bits are secured. It comes with an LED light in front of the variable speed trigger to light up what is in front of you. It comes with a fuel gauge to let you know how much power/battery life you have left. It comes with a variable speed trigger so you can control how fast or slow you want to go. It comes with a 20+1 clutch adjustment that controls how much torque you are applying. It comes with a two-speed gearbox so that you do not spin off any screw heads. It comes with a 2AH lithium-ion battery pack for plenty of juice between jobs. It comes with a bit tip holder that can hold up to four different bits at one time. Plus, it comes with a battery charger and carrying case making it a true all-in-one, portable option.

Bosch 12V MAX Brushless Drill & Driver (PS32-02) used by electrician

What We Like

Most 12-volt cordless drills are weak and slow. They get bogged down easily even on some simple projects or where down really fast due to weak batteries. The PS32-02 has a super-strong lithium-ion battery that just keeps going and going. The 265in/lb of torque is impressive, easily handling most of the jobs thrown at it.

Overall

It would be easy to overlook the Bosch PS32-02 as it is a 12-volt cordless drill. But, that would be a mistake. If you want something simple and lightweight, but packed with features, you can not skip over this one. It is an extremely well-balanced and customer-centric cordless drill designed for light-duty work.

#5 BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Drill/Driver (LDX120C)

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Drill & Driver (LDX120C) unboxed

Specs:

  • Battery Included: Yes
  • Voltage: 20 Volts
  • Max Torque: 115in/lb
  • Weight: 3.4 Pounds

BLACK+DECKER products can be found in a lot of local and online stores. They have proven themselves in the power tool/cordless industry, specifically in the home improvement section. While they are not worksite powerhouses, they have good light-duty/medium-duty tools.

The LDX120C from BLACK+DECKER weighs exactly the same as the DEWALT DCD791D2 mentioned earlier at 3.4 pounds. In fact, it is pretty close to the same size as well. But, there are some differences.

For starters, the LDX120C only puts out 115in/lb of torque. This is good for home projects and small DIY projects, but not so much for heavy-duty jobs that you would find on the worksite. Additionally, this is not a brushless motor so it is not nearly as power/energy-efficient as some of the others on our list. So, why did this make our list? This is a sub-$50 cordless drill that works well in many small to midsize projects.

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX battery

It still comes with plenty of features like an 11-position clutch for precise drilling control, and interchangeable 20-volt MAX battery pack that works with all of the other BLACK+DECKER cordless products, a variable speed trigger, and an included battery and charger.

Is it fair to compare the LDC120C to the DCD791D2? Absolutely not! They aren’t on the same level. DEWALT products are designed for the most brutal work environments in the world. BLACK+DECKER products are designed for homes and small workshops.

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Drill & Driver (LDX120C) box

What We Like

For the price, you get enough power to handle most jobs around the house. While you probably will not use this to drill lag bolts into your 4×4’s, you will easily be able to hang pictures and build that doghouse for Fido.

Overall

This is not built for medium-duty/heavy-duty use. It is small, compact, portable, and ready to work. At the home, this will handle most jobs without any hesitation. Plus, you can easily swap the batteries to your other BLACK+DECKER products. If you trust the BLACK+DECKER brand already, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t add this to your home arsenal.

#6 Makita 18V LXT Brushless Drill/Driver (XFD131)

Makita 18V LXT Brushless Drill & Driver (XFD131)

Specs:

  • Battery Included: Yes
  • Voltage: 18 Volts
  • Max Torque: 440in/lb
  • Weight: 3.8 Pounds

Makita is another well-known power tool brand, creating plenty of medium-duty/heavy-duty products that stand the test of time.

Makita 18V LXT Brushless Drill & Driver (XFD131) and accessories

The XFD131 is another compact, brushless cordless drill with plenty of power to boot. It weighs just under 4 pounds and manages to squeeze out a staggering 440in/lb of torque. It has plenty of protection from the thick ABS plastic with plenty of rubber wrapped around it for the occasional drops. It is powered by an LXT 18-volt battery that is interchangeable with more than 200 other LXT branded cordless tools from Makita.

Makita 18V LXT Brushless Drill & Driver (XFD131) with LED light

Now, it comes with several noteworthy features including a two-speed transmission (0-500 RPM + 0-1900 RPM), a built-in LED light with extended afterglow that helps you to see what you have done even after you let go the trigger, fully metalized here and gear housing for long life and durability, and it is well-balanced so you do not have to fight it like some of the other larger cordless drills on the market.

Makita 18V LXT Brushless Drill & Driver (XFD131) on wood

What We Like

While it is a little heavier than some of the other cordless options on the market right now, it still manages to put out 400+ in/lbs of torque. This can easily work in any environment from the home, the office, and even the worksite

Overall

Mikita products are built to last. All of their products are backed by a three-year limited warranty that covers the battery, the drill, and the charger. If you want a great mid-level cordless drill with plenty of power, then the XFD131 from Makita is perfect for you.

#7 WORX 20V Switchdriver 2-In-1 Drill/Driver (WX176L)

WORX 20V Switchdriver 2-In-1 Drill & Driver (WX176L)

Specs:

  • Battery Included: Yes
  • Voltage: 20 Volts
  • Max Torque: 265in/lb
  • Weight: 3.1 Pounds

Next, we are going to look at a brand that came to life from the “As Seen on TV” commercials. WORX has not been around for a long time, but they have managed to become a household name quickly due to the quality products that they create.

WORX 20V Switchdriver 2-In-1 Drill & Driver (WX176L) unboxed

The WX176L is a full-size cordless drill that looks a little bit different. Yes, it does look like a cordless drill, but they have added a few features that really separate it from everyone else (which is what WORX does).

WORX 20V Switchdriver bit change

Getting to the elephant in the room, the Switchdriver has a unique rotating bit driver system. You can switch from a drill to a bit driver in less than a second without having to stop and switch out bits. To do this, they have built a patented system that uses tool chucks. For some, this might be a little bit gimmicky, but it is very fast and efficient. Other brands have tried to do the same thing focusing more on the bit itself (i.e. think Craftsman and DEWALT).

WORX 20V Switchdriver vertical screw on door

And even though this is a full-sized cordless drill, it is one of the lightest it only 3.1 pounds. In fact, it still manages to put out over 265 in/lbs of torque making it comparable to some of the light-duty/medium-duty cordless drills on our list. It is powered by the 20-volt PowerShare battery system which is interchangeable with other cordless WORX products.

WORX 20V Switchdriver 2-In-1 Drill & Driver (WX176L) on wood

While we did focus on the ability to switch between bits, that is not all that the WX176L has to offer. In fact, it has a built-in LED light for increased visibility, a variable two-speed gear system for high/low-speed situations, 12 different torque control settings, and an electronic torque control to prevent stripped-down screws. And finally, the WX176L is covered by a three-year limited warranty through WORX.

What We Like

WORX has come a long way. In the beginning, there was no way we would consider them. Knowing this, they have consistently built better products. The Switchdriver addresses a big problem of having to switch out bits consistently when you are pre-drilling holes and then putting screws in. Using this, you will easily be able to reduce the amount of time on each job.