Who Makes a Better Cordless Drill? Explained

Cordless drills are one of the most versatile and useful tools for any DIY enthusiast or professional. They can drill holes, drive screws, and perform various other tasks without the hassle of cords and outlets. But with so many brands and models of cordless drills on the market, how do you know which one is the best for your needs? In this article, we will compare some of the top cordless drill brands and features, and help you decide who makes a better cordless drill.

What to Look for in a Cordless Drill

Before we dive into the comparison of different cordless drill brands, let’s first review some of the key factors that you should consider when choosing a cordless drill. These include:

Voltage: The voltage of a cordless drill indicates its power and performance. Higher voltage drills can handle tougher tasks, such as drilling through hardwood or metal, but they are also heavier and more expensive. Lower voltage drills are lighter and cheaper, but they may not be able to handle some of the more demanding jobs. The most common voltage ranges for cordless drills are 12V, 18V, and 20V, but there are also some models that offer higher or lower voltages.

Battery: The battery of a cordless drill determines its run time and charge time. You want a battery that can last long enough for your projects, and that can recharge quickly when needed. The most common type of battery for cordless drills is lithium-ion, which offers high energy density, low self-discharge, and no memory effect. However, there are also some models that use nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride batteries, which are cheaper but less efficient and eco-friendly. The capacity of a battery is measured in amp-hours (Ah), and the higher the Ah, the longer the run time. However, higher Ah batteries are also heavier and more expensive.

Motor: The motor of a cordless drill determines its speed and torque. Speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM), and it indicates how fast the drill can rotate. Torque is measured in inch-pounds (in-lbs), and it indicates how much force the drill can apply. You want a motor that can deliver enough speed and torque for your tasks, and that can adjust to different materials and situations. Some cordless drills have brushless motors, which are more efficient, durable, and powerful than brushed motors, but they are also more expensive.

Chuck: The chuck of a cordless drill is the part that holds the drill bit or driver bit. You want a chuck that can securely grip the bit, and that can accommodate different sizes and types of bits. The most common chuck size for cordless drills is 1/2 inch, which can fit most bits, but there are also some models that have 3/8 inch or 1/4 inch chucks, which are smaller and lighter. The most common type of chuck for cordless drills is keyless, which means you can tighten and loosen the chuck by hand, without the need for a key. However, there are also some models that have keyed chucks, which require a key to operate, but they may offer more stability and accuracy.

Clutch: The clutch of a cordless drill is the mechanism that controls the torque output of the motor. You want a clutch that can prevent the drill from overdriving or stripping the screws, and that can protect the motor from overheating or damaging. The most common type of clutch for cordless drills is adjustable, which means you can set the torque level according to the task and the material. However, there are also some models that have automatic or smart clutches, which can sense the resistance and adjust the torque accordingly, without the need for manual settings.

Features: Besides the basic components, cordless drills may also have some additional features that can enhance their functionality and convenience. Some of these features include:

LED light: A built-in LED light can illuminate the work area and improve visibility and accuracy.

Belt hook: A belt hook can allow you to hang the drill on your belt or tool belt, and free your hands when not in use.

Hammer function: A hammer function can enable the drill to deliver a percussive action, in addition to the rotary action, and help you drill through masonry, concrete, or brick.

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Impact function: An impact function can enable the drill to deliver a high-torque impact, in addition to the rotary action, and help you drive long or large screws or bolts.

Variable speed: A variable speed feature can allow you to adjust the speed of the drill according to the task and the material, and provide more control and precision.

Reverse function: A reverse function can allow you to switch the direction of the drill, and help you remove screws or bits that are stuck or stripped.

Comparison of Cordless Drill Brands

Now that we have covered some of the important factors that you should look for in a cordless drill, let’s compare some of the top cordless drill brands and see how they stack up against each other. We will focus on four popular brands: DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee, and Bosch. We will compare their cordless drill models based on their voltage, battery, motor, chuck, clutch, and features, and highlight their pros and cons.

DeWalt

DeWalt is one of the most well-known and trusted brands in the power tool industry, and it offers a wide range of cordless drill models for different purposes and budgets. Some of the most popular DeWalt cordless drill models are:

DeWalt Flexvolt Advantage 20V Cordless Drill: This is one of the most powerful and advanced cordless drills from DeWalt, and it features a brushless motor that can deliver up to 42% more power when paired with a Flexvolt battery. The Flexvolt battery is a unique innovation that can automatically change its voltage from 20V to 60V, depending on the tool and the task. The drill also has a 1/2 inch ratcheting metal chuck, a 15-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt hook. The drill weighs 3.6 lbs, and it comes with a 6Ah Flexvolt battery, a charger, and a bag. The drill is ideal for heavy-duty applications, such as drilling through metal or concrete, and it has a high performance and durability. However, the drill is also expensive, heavy, and bulky, and it may not be suitable for smaller or lighter tasks.

DeWalt 20V Max DCD805 Cordless Drill: This is a more affordable and compact cordless drill from DeWalt, and it features a brushed motor that can deliver up to 340 UWO (unit watts out) of power. The drill has a 1/2 inch ratcheting metal chuck, a 15-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt hook. The drill weighs 2.8 lbs, and it comes with a 1.3Ah lithium-ion battery, a charger, and a bag. The drill is suitable for general-purpose applications, such as drilling and driving in wood or drywall, and it has a good balance of power and portability. However, the drill may not be able to handle some of the more demanding tasks, and the battery may not last very long.

DeWalt 12V Max DCD701 Cordless Drill: This is a lightweight and ergonomic cordless drill from DeWalt, and it features a brushless motor that can deliver up to 250 UWO of power. The drill has a 3/8 inch ratcheting metal chuck, a 15-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt hook. The drill weighs 1.9 lbs, and it comes with a 2Ah lithium-ion battery, a charger, and a bag. The drill is ideal for light-duty applications, such as assembling furniture or hanging pictures, and it has a high efficiency and comfort. However, the drill may not have enough power or torque for some of the tougher tasks, and the chuck size may limit the bit options.

Pros:

  • High-quality and reliable products
  • Wide range of models and options
  • Innovative and powerful features
  • Good warranty and customer service

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to some competitors
  • Heavy and bulky for some models
  • Battery life and performance may vary

Makita

Makita is another leading brand in the power tool industry, and it claims to be the inventor of the cordless drill. Makita offers a variety of cordless drill models for different needs and preferences. Some of the most popular Makita cordless drill models are:

Makita XFD10Z 18V LXT Cordless Drill: This is a versatile and reliable cordless drill from Makita, and it features a four-pole motor that can deliver up to 480 in-lbs of torque. The drill has a 1/2 inch keyless metal chuck, a 16-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt clip. The drill weighs 3.3 lbs, and it is compatible with the 18V LXT lithium-ion battery system, which offers fast charging and long run time. The drill is suitable for a range of applications.

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Makita XFD131 18V LXT Cordless Drill: This is a compact and powerful cordless drill from Makita, and it features a brushless motor that can deliver up to 440 in-lbs of torque. The drill has a 1/2 inch keyless metal chuck, a 21-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt clip. The drill weighs 2.8 lbs, and it is compatible with the 18V LXT lithium-ion battery system, which offers fast charging and long run time. The drill is ideal for tight spaces and overhead applications, such as drilling and driving in cabinets or closets, and it has a high efficiency and durability. However, the drill may not have enough power or speed for some of the more demanding tasks, and the clutch settings may be too sensitive.

Makita FD05Z 12V Max CXT Cordless Drill: This is a lightweight and ergonomic cordless drill from Makita, and it features a two-pole motor that can deliver up to 200 in-lbs of torque. The drill has a 3/8 inch keyless metal chuck, a 18-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt clip. The drill weighs 2.1 lbs, and it is compatible with the 12V Max CXT lithium-ion battery system, which offers slide-style batteries and fast charging. The drill is perfect for light-duty applications, such as drilling and driving in soft materials, and it has a high comfort and maneuverability. However, the drill may not be able to handle some of the harder materials, and the battery capacity may be low.

Pros:

  • Innovative and efficient products
  • Variety of models and options
  • Long-lasting and fast-charging batteries
  • Good warranty and customer service

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to some competitors
  • Power and speed may vary
  • Clutch and chuck may be problematic

Milwaukee

Milwaukee is another reputable brand in the power tool industry, and it boasts to have the most advanced cordless drill technology. Milwaukee offers a range of cordless drill models for different levels and purposes. Some of the most popular Milwaukee cordless drill models are:

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2804-20 Cordless Drill: This is one of the most impressive and robust cordless drills from Milwaukee, and it features a brushless motor that can deliver up to 1200 in-lbs of torque. The drill has a 1/2 inch keyless metal chuck, a 14-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt clip. The drill weighs 3.2 lbs, and it is compatible with the M18 RedLithium battery system, which offers high-performance and long-lasting batteries. The drill is designed for extreme applications, such as drilling and driving in steel or concrete, and it has a superior power and performance. However, the drill is also very expensive, heavy, and loud, and it may not be necessary for smaller or simpler tasks.

Milwaukee M18 2606-20 Cordless Drill: This is a more affordable and versatile cordless drill from Milwaukee, and it features a four-pole motor that can deliver up to 500 in-lbs of torque. The drill has a 1/2 inch keyless metal chuck, a 24-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt clip. The drill weighs 3 lbs, and it is compatible with the M18 RedLithium battery system, which offers high-performance and long-lasting batteries. The drill is suitable for a variety of applications, such as drilling and driving in wood or metal, and it has a good balance of power and portability. However, the drill may not have enough torque or speed for some of the more challenging tasks, and the chuck may wobble or slip.

Milwaukee M12 2407-20 Cordless Drill: This is a compact and lightweight cordless drill from Milwaukee, and it features a two-pole motor that can deliver up to 275 in-lbs of torque. The drill has a 3/8 inch keyless metal chuck, a 18-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt clip. The drill weighs 2.1 lbs, and it is compatible with the M12 RedLithium battery system, which offers compact and long-lasting batteries. The drill is ideal for tight spaces and overhead applications, such as drilling and driving in cabinets or shelves, and it has a high comfort and maneuverability. However, the drill may not have enough power or durability for some of the harder tasks, and the battery life may be short.

Pros:

  • Advanced and powerful products
  • Range of models and options
  • High-performance and long-lasting batteries
  • Good warranty and customer service
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Cons:

  • Expensive compared to some competitors
  • Heavy and loud for some models
  • Chuck and clutch may be problematic

Bosch

Bosch is another well-established brand in the power tool industry, and it offers a selection of cordless drill models for different users and uses. Some of the most popular Bosch cordless drill models are:

Bosch GSR18V-755CN 18V EC Cordless Drill: This is a professional and premium cordless drill from Bosch, and it features a brushless motor that can deliver up to 755 in-lbs of torque. The drill has a 1/2 inch keyless metal chuck, a 25-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt clip. The drill weighs 3.5 lbs, and it is compatible with the 18V Core lithium-ion battery system, which offers high-capacity and fast-charging batteries. The drill is intended for heavy-duty applications, such as drilling and driving in hardwood or metal, and it has a high performance and quality. However, the drill is also very expensive, heavy, and bulky, and it may not be suitable for smaller or lighter tasks.

Bosch PS32-02 12V Max EC Cordless Drill: This is a compact and lightweight cordless drill from Bosch, and it features a brushless motor that can deliver up to 180 in-lbs of torque. The drill has a 3/8 inch keyless metal chuck, a 20-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt clip. The drill weighs 2 lbs, and it comes with two 2Ah lithium-ion batteries, a charger, and a case. The drill is perfect for light-duty applications, such as drilling and driving in soft materials, and it has a high efficiency and comfort. However, the drill may not have enough power or torque for some of the tougher tasks, and the chuck size may limit the bit options.

Bosch PS21-2A 12V Max Cordless Drill: This is a unique and handy cordless drill from Bosch, and it features a two-pole motor that can deliver up to 265 in-lbs of torque. The drill has a 1/4 inch hex quick-change chuck, a 21-position adjustable clutch, a two-speed transmission, a variable speed trigger, an LED light, and a belt clip. The drill weighs 1.8 lbs, and it comes with two 2Ah lithium-ion batteries, a charger, and a case. The drill is ideal for tight spaces and overhead applications, such as drilling and driving in cabinets or closets, and it has a high convenience and maneuverability. However, the drill may not have enough power or speed for some of the more demanding tasks, and the chuck type may restrict the bit options.

Pros:

  • Quality and reliable products
  • Selection of models and options
  • High-capacity and fast-charging batteries
  • Good warranty and customer service

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to some competitors
  • Power and torque may vary
  • Chuck and clutch may be problematic

Conclusion

As you can see, there is no definitive answer to the question of who makes a better cordless drill, as different brands and models have different strengths and weaknesses, and different users and uses have different preferences and requirements. However, based on our comparison of some of the top cordless drill brands and features, we can offer some general recommendations:

If you are looking for the most powerful and advanced cordless drill, and you don’t mind paying a premium price, you may want to consider the DeWalt Flexvolt Advantage 20V Cordless Drill or the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2804-20 Cordless Drill, as they offer the highest torque and performance, and the most innovative and powerful features.

If you are looking for a more affordable and versatile cordless drill, and you want a good balance of power and portability, you may want to consider the DeWalt 20V Max DCD805 Cordless Drill or the Milwaukee M18 2606-20 Cordless Drill, as they offer a decent torque and speed, and a good range of features and options.

If you are looking for a compact and lightweight cordless drill, and you only need it for light-duty applications, you may want to consider the Makita FD05Z 12V Max CXT Cordless Drill or the Bosch PS32-02 12V Max EC Cordless Drill, as they offer a low torque and weight, and a high efficiency and comfort.