Top Cordless Drill Drivers for 2020
A cordless drill is one of the tools you'll grab the most. Use this guide help you find the one that's best for you.
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It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 40 years since cordless drills transformed the tool market. An electric drill has long been a handyman’s necessity, but the cordless variety led to a whole range of competent cord-free tools. For years, limited battery technology held cordless drills back. Now almost every type of drill can effectively run untethered from the closest electrical outlet. Of all the tools in your toolbox, this is the one you absolutely need to get right. So we sought out the best available in the most popular categories.
Best On A Budget: Hart 20-Volt
Walmart jumped into the cordless tool market this year, rebranding the respected Hart line of tools. For a homeowner who needs a reliable tool, this is one of the best choices, with many of the same features you would find on drills twice the cost. The kit comes with a soft case, charger and one battery. Hart is rapidly expanding its 20V tool line, so this drill is a perfect starting point to establish a complete cordless tool system for your home.
Best Power Screwdriver: Hitachi Metabo HPT Kit
For those who enjoy the size and convenience of a screwdriver, this is a great cordless alternative. The handle will pivot from straight to a pistol grip. It has 21 clutch settings for driving screws and one drill specific setting. This kit comes with a case, charger and two batteries. There’s plenty of power in this small package to capably handle most chores around the house.
Best Compact: Milwaukee M12 Fuel
The Milwaukee M12 is one of the most powerful drill drivers in its 12 volt class. Lightweight and compact, it features an all metal 3/8 locking chuck plus an onboard LED light and fuel gauge. The kit includes two M12 lithium batteries, a 30 minute charger and carrying case. Small and strong, this compact drill boldly takes on most chores reserved for a full-sized drill.
Most for Money: Makita 18V LXT
Makita introduced cordless drills back in 1978. In 2004 it developed the first brushless motor to extend battery life for cordless tools. This drill advances Makita’s legacy. It has a superior power-to-weight ratio, delivering 440 in. lbs. of torque with its efficient brushless motor. Its all-metal gears and gear housing will give you insured durability. Other features include dual LED lights and a compact ergo design that feels good in your hand.
Most Innovative: WORX Switchdriver
A tool that offers so much often leaves little room for innovation. The Worx’s Switchdriver debunks that notion. Its rotating dual 3/8 in. chucks let you switch between drills and bits quickly. With torque control and variable two-speed gearing, it handles all common drilling & driving functions capably. Its battery is part of Worx’s 20V Power Share platform of DIY yard and power tools. Yes, it’s good to switch things up once in a while.
Best Impact Driver: The Milwaukee M18 FUEL
This impact driver is compact and powerful. At only 4-1/2 in. long, it will drive just about any fastener, even in the tightest of spaces. Milwaukee’s exclusive sensing technology provides protection from overloads, and a self-tapping screw mode reduces the stripping of fasteners. If you have a lot of screws to drive home, put this M18 Fuel in your toolbox.
Best Impact Wrench: Ingersoll Rand 20V Impactool
If you do a lot of automotive work, you’ll need a dedicated impact tool that’s not tied to a compressor hose. Ingersoll Rand’s Impactool offers 1100 ft-lbs. of torque in cordless format. This is a durable tool with a rare earth magnet motor, variable speed trigger and all-metal drive train. Its 20V lithium-ion battery has a power management system that provides power-level and current control for optimum efficiency. If there’s a tough lug nut to crack, this tool will crush it.
Best 1/2 in. Hammer Drill: DeWalt DCD996 20V Max
This DeWalt Hammer drill is ideal for concrete drilling and light demo hammer applications. Its high power brushless motor connects to a heavy-duty 1/2 in. metal chuck with carbide inserts that will securely hold any bit. DeWalt integrated an ingenious three-mode LED work light and an LED fuel gauge to see how much power you have left. Hammer drills can suck the life out of any battery so this kit comes with 2-5.0Ah batteries. The efficiency of this drill with setting fasteners in concrete is as good as money in the bank.
Best Combo Kit: Makita LXT Combo Kit
You can have the best of both worlds in this kit. Both the impact driver and the 1/2 in. hammer drill are engineered to provide increased dust and water resistance in harsh job site conditions. Makita has developed systems within these tools that protect against overloading and match motor speed and torque depending on the tools application. Both tools have built in LED lights and Makita’s three-year warranty. Makita has an impressive catalogue of blue tools that run on these same 18-volt LXT batteries. This kit is a great starting point to build your collection of trustworthy blue tools.
Best of the Best: DeWalt 20 V Max XR
Of all the drills out there, this may be the one most sought out by pros. It has a smart compact design, just about 7 in. front to back, and is lightweight at just under 3-1/2 lbs. The brushless motor drives a two-speed transmission that maxes out at 2000 RPM. There’s a three-mode LED light with a spotlight mode that runs for 20 minutes before shutoff. DeWalt doesn’t mess around, they are constantly innovating and improving their cordless tools to make them the most competent and reliable available. As DeWalt says, this cordless drill is “guaranteed tough.”