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Best cordless drills 2021: Cordless and power drills for DIY

Best cordless drills 2021: Cordless and power drills for DIY
(Image credit: Getty)

The best cordless drills will make DIY a breeze, and right here you can find the very best power drills from brands including Makita, DeWalt, and more. We’ve also included cheaper drills for every day DIY jobs that don’t require quite as much power. 

What sets the best cordless drills apart from the pack? Power should be one of the first things you consider. Most of the best cordless drills will offer you at least 20 volts, which is ample for most jobs. If you’re boring holes or need some serious power though, you may need to switch to a corded hammer drill. 

Multiple clutch settings also make the best cordless drills. An adjustable clutch means you shouldn’t end up with stripped screws, as it gives you more control. Some of the best cordless drills in this guide have as many as 24 clutch settings. 

The spin speed that each drill has will also make a difference to the kind of jobs you will be able to use it for. A slower spin speed is ideal for drilling screws but for tougher tasks, you’ll need a higher speed, this is measured in RPM. The Milwaukee 0726-22 M28 in our guide is the best cordless drill for spin speed. 

If you’re drilling into really tough materials though, you’re better off paying that bit extra for a hammer drill. This will not only make your task easier, but it’ll save you a lot of time too. 

For other DIY tools, head to our guide on the best circular saws

1. DeWalt DCD991P2: Best cordless drill overall  

DeWalt DCD991P2 review

(Image credit: Amazon)

DeWalt DCD991P2

The DeWalt DCD991P2 is a powerful cordless drill that is suitable for most DIY jobs.

Brushless motor: Yes | Spin speeds: Three | Max spin speed: 2000 RPM | Best for: DIY jobs around the home

Three speed settings

The DeWalt DCD991P2 is the best cordless drill overall due to its power, three speeds, and it has a brushless motor. This cordless drill isn’t the cheapest but for what you pay, you get a drill that can reach an impressive 2000 RPM, and the three speed settings mean you can still manage finer jobs that require a slower speed too. 

An LED torch will illuminate where you’re working and because this DeWalt cordless drill’s motor doesn’t have brushes, you can expect the motor to last longer as well. For its price, you’ll get two batteries and a charger and when it comes to heavy-duty drills, this DeWalt model really is one of the very best around. 

It doesn’t have a hammer mode though, and with power comes weight, so this is not the drill for you if you need something super lightweight. But, features such as the all-metal chuck which is resistant to rust, will also give you a longer-lasting drill. What seems like an initially expensive purchase, may actually last longer and saving you having to re-buy. For added peace of mind, there’s also a three-year warranty on this DeWalt cordless drill. 

2. Milwaukee 0726-22 M28: Best cordless hammer drill  

Milwaukee 0726-22 M28 Hammer Drill review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Milwaukee 0726-22 M28 Hammer Drill

If you need a powerhouse cordless drill hammer, the Milwaukee 0726-22 M28 is the one for you.

Brushless motor: Yes | Spin speeds: Two | Max spin speed: 1800 RPM | Best for: Drilling masonry

Hammer mode

Power is something the Milwaukee 0726-22 M28 Hammer Drill certainly isn’t short of. This cordless drill hammer packs a punch with 28 volts of power and a brushless motor that gives you 750-in-lbs of torque. 

Where this cordless drill really impresses is its hammer mode that goes up to 480 impacts a second, which is great for taking on masonry, providing you use the correct drill bit. This kind of hammer drill has been designed to make light work of bricks, mortar, and concrete and its drill speed ranges up to 1800 RPM. 

You have the option to buy the drill alone, or you can buy it with batteries too but with the batteries, this drill is one of the most expensive we reviewed and it can’t be used as a corded model. It’s also pretty heavy weighing 6.2-lbs but that’s to be expected with the amount of power it comes with. Since you’ll be forking out quite a bit for this hammer drill, the five-year warranty is a benefit and is the longest we came across for any complete cordless drill.

3. Kobalt KDD 1424A-03: Best value cordless drill  

Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 cordless drill review

(Image credit: Lowe's)

Kobalt KDD 1424A-03

The Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 is an underdog in the world of cordless drills and it’s great value for money too.

Brushless motor: Yes | Spin speeds: Two | Max spin speed: 2000 RPM | Best for: General DIY drilling tasks

Value for money 
Impressive drill sped 
Only one battery 
Doesn’t have three speeds 

The Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 cordless drill is the best value drill we reviewed. Why? Well, this cordless drill is more affordable than most of the models we looked at and it also rivals some of the biggest brands, but without charging the same amount. 

The 24-volt battery and two speed settings mean this cordless drill is ideal for pretty much any DIY job, excluding heavy-duty masonry drilling. Included with this drill are 24 clutch settings, something you’d expect from the most premium cordless drills around. 

The motor is built to last, is brushless, and you can also benefit from a drill speed of up to 2000 RPM - the same we saw with a drill three times as expensive as this one. When you buy this Kobalt cordless drill, you will also get a double-ended driver bit, a charger, a storage bag, and a belt clip. 

The Kobalt KDD 1424A-03 does only have one battery so you’ll have to buy an additional one if you want a back up. 

4.  Makita XPH11RB: Best lightweight cordless drill  

Makita XPH11RB cordless drill review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Makita XPH11RB

If you don’t want a cordless that will make your arm ache while you use it, the Makita XPH11RB is your best bet.

Brushless motor: Yes | Spin speeds: Two | Max spin speed: 1700 RPM | Best for: General and heavy-duty drilling

Power drill 
Doesn’t have three speed settings 
Not the fattest drill speed 

Brushless motor: Yes | Spin speeds: Two | Max spin speed: 1700 RPM | Best for: General and heavy-duty drilling

A real winner if you’re looking for a super lightweight cordless drill, the Makita XPH11RB weighs just 2.9 lbs and comes from one of the leading drill brands around. 

This cordless drill has been designed so that it can reach in tricky areas and an LED will light up what you’re working on. However, it still has an 18-volt battery so you won’t be lacking in power either. Another feature that’s been well thought out is the comfortable padded rubber handle which makes it easier to grip too. 

Reaching a decent 1700 RPM drill speed, the Makita XPH11RB is also geared towards metal to metal fastening and the hammer drill element of this model makes it suitable for more serious projects. Another aspect that makes this cordless drill a real winner is its speedy charging times. The battery charges in just 25 minutes - much quicker than some of the leading models on the market. 

5.  Black + Decker LDX120C: Best cheap cordless drill  

Black + Decker LDX120C review

(Image credit: Amazon)

Black + Decker LDX120C

A bestseller, the Black + Decker LDX120C is a solid cheap and cheerful option.

Brushless motor: No | Spin speeds: One | Max spin speed: 1500 RPM | Best for: Light DIY jobs

Cheaper than other models 
Easy to use 
One speed setting  
Takes a while to charge the batteries 

The Black + Decker LDX120C is one of Amazon’s best selling cordless drills and it’s available for an impressive low price too. But what do you get for your money? This Black + Decker cordless drill is light and easy to handle, weighing just 2.8 lbs. 

It’s normally available for around $50, so compared to others we’ve reviewed, this is by far the cheapest. For what you pay, you’ll get a two-year warranty and a 20-volt battery. The spin speed on this cordless drill can reach up to 1500 RPM.

The Black + Decker LDX120C does only have one spin speed and this cordless drill is also fitted with a motor that has brushes that aren’t as efficient as brushless drill motors. Aside from that though, if you just want a cordless drill for everyday drill tasks, then the Black + Decker LDX120C offers a great cheap option. 

Are Brushless Drills Better?

Nearly all of the drills in our comparison are brushless and this type is much more common in the current market, but you can find plenty of drills with brushes. The main difference is that brushless motors adjust to the task, based on resistance, whereas drills with brushes don't. Unlike some standard motors, brushless drills do not have a voltage drop, which means their motors should last longer. We think brushless models are worth it, even for occasional use, because they operate more efficiently, more quietly, and longer than brushed models do.

However, if you need the most budget-friendly option, you may want to consider a traditional motor. The brushed motor drills we looked at were about $20 cheaper than brushless models. However, you may still pay more in the long run, as the brushes will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.