Drills are no longer simply tools used to drill holes. We now have a seemingly endless selection of driver bits and versatile attachments to fit any cordless drill. These can range from basic screwdriver bits of any shape or size, to grinding stones and so much more. I wouldn’t think any toolbox will be complete without a cordless drill.
For this review, we’ve researched the best selection of cordless drill drivers and hammer drills available in 2020. Models from top brands offer the ultimate in quality, usability, and power. These would obviously be the number one choice.
I know there are many of you who might not want to spend a small fortune on a cordless drill, when all you want is a good tool for basic tasks. There are hundreds of cheap cordless drills, some from totally unknown brands. I think buying a cheap cordless drill is the most challenging. If you’re prepared to pay a premium, it’s easy to decide between the top players, like DeWalt, Makita, or Milwaukee. When you’re on a budget, you may not always be too sure if you’re getting reasonable quality. It’s not always the best idea to go for the very cheapest. In this regard, we’ve selected a great lineup of easily affordable cordless drills. Whilst being affordable enough, these are not junk tools. We’d never do that. Even if you’re on a tight budget, no one wants to throw good money after bad rubbish.
Our Choice of the Best Cordless Drills
With so many options for both cordless drill drivers and hammer drills, we had to try keep things simple. I’ll come straight out and say it; my first choice has to be the DeWalt 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill (DCD996B). It also happens to be a best seller on Amazon, for very good reason. The biggest advantage to buying DeWalt 20V MAX cordless tools is the extensive range of more than 180 tools that all use the same 20V battery. Though each will have their own opinion as to which is the best cordless drill. For those want the very best, regardless of price, the more expensive Milwaukee M18 Fuel can easily be considered the undisputed champion of cordless hammer drills.
To make your search easier, we’ve arranged three lists. One for cordless drill drivers, one for cordless hammer drills, and a selection of the best cordless rotary hammer drills.
Best Cordless Drill Driver
DeWalt 20V MAX Cordless Drill Driver (DCD791B)
Opinions as to which which power tool brand is the best will vary. I, like many, rate DeWalt as one of the big players. High-quality tools at a reasonable price, for one of the top brands. The DeWalt 20V MAX XR cordless drill/driver has earned a reputation that is hard to beat, making it one of the best selling in its class.
The high-efficiency XR brushless DC motor offers incredible efficiency, maximizing battery working time whilst providing high power output as battery charge reduces. This is a comfortable tool to use, with a lightweight design and great grip.
The 3-mode ultra-bright LED, with spotlight mode, is a great bonus feature. A robust 2-speed transmission allows you to choose between maximum torque or greater rotation speed (RPM). The quality ½” ratcheting chuck is both tough and easy to use. The tool weighs only 3.4 LBS and measures 6.9” in length.
3-year warranty, 90-day money back guarantee, and 1-year free service plan.
Black & Decker 20V MAX Drill Driver (LDX120C)
For several decades, Black & Decker has become known as top brand for power tools and appliances. Homeowners everywhere have come to trust and respect the brand for delivering on quality, at a price t hat’s easy to afford.
The Black & Decker 20V MAX drill/driver has what it takes to compete with the big boys. Though their battery time doesn’t quite match the top options from brands like DeWalt and Makita. Arguably, the kings of cordless power tools.
The 11 position clutch provides wonderful torque control for every type of application. As one of the cheaper options, this is a great tool for drilling into plastic, wood, and metal ,as well as driving screws.
Craftsman V20 Cordless Drill/Driver Kit (CMCD700C1)
Like Black & Decker, Craftsman places quality products within reach of the DIYer who isn’t going to break the bank when buying power tools for everyday use.
The Craftsman V20 ½” cordless drill/driver is delightfully cheap yet delivers on quality and performance. High end features, like an LED light, make for superb value. It has a 2-speed gearbox, giving you the choice of torque vs speed, so you can maximize your battery usage. At only 4-pounds, with a great handle, this is an easy tool to use.
Makita 18V LXT Cordless Drill Driver (XFD10ZW)
Makita make some of the toughest cordless tools I’ve ever had the privilege of using. A good reason for anyone to consider the XFD10ZW cordless drill/driver. The 18V LXT batteries and chargers are also amongst the best you can get. Weighing barely more than 3-pounds, with a fantastic ergonomic design, this compact tool is a delight to use.
The Makita 4-pole digital motor is truly superb, delivering 480 inch-pounds of torque. Coupled with a great 2-speed gearbox, the Makita XFD10ZW offers excellent power and versatility. Durability is impeccable, thanks to Makita Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) which keeps dust and moisture from damaging critical components. This drill/driver has an LED light, which makes it even more pleasurable to use in poor light.
3-Year warranty and 30-day return or money back guarantee.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel ½” Drill Driver (2803-20)
Considered by many to be the ultimate tool brand, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless drill/driver is not cheap. But quality and reliability, from a brand with this type of reputation, is worth paying for.
Incomparable power (1,200 in-LBS torque), places the Milwaukee M18 Fuel ½” drill/driver in a league of its own. This has a lot to do with the POWERSTATE digital motor. More advanced technology comes in the form of Milwaukee REDLINK Plus intelligence which improves performance and protects the drill when pushed to the limits. An ideal tool for hardworking environments.
The metal ratcheting chuck is probably one of the best heavy-duty examples of its kind. Compact lightweight (3.2 LBS) design is another plus, and they include a side handle. Like any of the top drill/drivers, the Milwaukee has a powerful LED light.
Best Cordless Hammer Drill
DeWalt 20V MAX XR 3-Speed Hammer Drill (DCD996B)
Most contractors and DIY enthusiasts would probably agree, DeWalt offers outstanding value as a brand that delivers top quality, without being the most expensive. The DeWalt 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill is not cheap but, in the context of high-quality durable drills, it’s one of the more affordable options.
The ½” ratcheting chuck is about as tough as it gets. Made from nitro-carburized metal, it’s almost indestructible and the carbide inserts provide perfect grip at maximum torque. The DeWalt DCD996B has a three speed, ultra-durable gearbox for the best speed and torque for all requirements. It also has a 3-mode LED which is one of the brightest I’ve seen.
As with all 20V MAX DeWalt tools, the battery time is excellent and the digital XR motor is as efficient as it is tough. This hammer drill shares the same battery platform with over 180 DeWalt 20V MAX cordless power tools.
3-year warranty, 90-day money back guarantee, and 1-year free service plan.
Milwaukee M18 Fuel ½” Hammer Drill (2804-20)
Probably the most powerful cordless hammer drill, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel (2804-20) is also one of the most expensive. Then again, this is a Milwaukee tool, meaning top quality and technology, with the best warranty in the business.
The Milwaukee M18 Fuel ½” cordless hammer drill delivers an astonishing 1,200 in-LBS torque. This is achieved with maximum efficiency, thanks to the state of the art POWERSTATE digital motor with REDLINK PLUS technology, providing the ultimate in digital protection.
This is one tough hammer drill, yet it weighs only 3.2 pounds. It has a remarkable 2-speed gearbox and 14 clutch settings. As with the other top cordless drills, a powerful LED light is provided.
Makita 18V LXT ½” Hammer Drill (XPH11RB)
Known for extreme durability and perfect reliability, Makita is a brand to be reckoned with. Making the Makita 18V LXT Hammer drill a big hit with contractors and serious DIY enthusiasts, requiring a hardworking cordless drill with excellent performance.
Makita Extreme Protection Technology is now legendary. The motor, gearbox, and electronic components are perfectly protected from dust and moisture, improving both durability and long term performance. The 18V LXT battery platform is equally great, proven to be one of the best over many years. This means rapid battery charging, extended working times, and prolonged battery life.
This drill weighs only 2.9 pounds and is packed with high-end features and technology. The 2-speed gearbox and 20 clutch settings, provide ultimate control over torque and speed. Power is pretty impressive, 350 in-LBS, with a maximum 1,700 RPM and up to 25,000 BPM. A couple of things I really like about the Makita XPH11RB hammer drill are the bright dual LEDs, and an electric brake.
Makita is certainly one of the top dogs when it comes to cordless power drills. The 18V LXT cordless tool range has been around for years with a fantastic selection of power tools. This means the 18V LXT cordless hammer drill shares the same battery technology with a bunch of useful cordless tools.
3-Year warranty and 30-day money back guarantee.
Craftsman V20 Cordless Hammer Drill Kit (CMCD711C2)
The Craftsman brand is synonymous with affordable quality DIY tools. True to form, the Craftsman V20 cordless hammer drill is a cut above most of the cheaper options. Good quality plus high-end performance equals outstanding value for money. Craftsman offer any number of kit options, ranging from the CMCD11C2 cordless hammer drill with a 20V charger and 2 X 20V batteries, up to all-inclusive kits with accessories and a variety of additional V20 cordless tools included in the deal.
With no shortage of power, the 280 watt brushless motor delivers top-rated performance. No torque specs are provided, but I guess this would be in the normal 300+ in-LBS range for this size cordless hammer drill. Maximum speed is 1,500 RPM with maximum 25,500 BPM. It has a convenient ratcheting chuck, 2-speed gearbox, and handy LED light.
Affordable quality from a name you can trust, that’s the bottom line when it comes to Craftsman tools. The Craftsman V20 (CMCD711C2) cordless hammer drill is a powerful, versatile tool to have around the home and is more than capable of accomplishing any DIY task that requires a cordless hammer drill.
Best Cordless Rotary Hammer Drill
Milwaukee 1” SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill (2712-20)
We’ve come to expect great things from Milwaukee. So it should come as no surprise that the Milwaukee 1” SDS Plus is an extraordinary machine. Built tough, with copious power and long battery working time.
Designed to be both rugged and easy to use, the Milwaukee (2712-20) M18 Fuel cordless rotary hammer drill is compact and surprisingly lightweight for a heavy-duty cordless drill. It weighs only 7-pounds. This shouldn’t leave you thinking that M18 1” SDS Plus rotary hammer drill is an underperformer. Far from it. With 1.7 Ft-LBS impact power, 0 – 1,400 RPM, and 0 – 4,900 BPM, this machine can knock the socks off many corded rotary hammer drills.
The M18 REDLITHIUM-ION battery system is magnificent. Said by many in the know to be the best lithium ion batteries for power tools. You have a choice of 5 different battery sizes, ranging from 18V 2AH up to the mighty 18V 9AH version. Using the top 9AH battery, Milwaukee claim that you can work for a full day on a single battery. This seems a little ambitious. These batteries are great, and the POWERSTATE brushless motor is highly efficient. Even then, you would have to be using very little power to work for 8-hours on a single battery.
Regardless of what battery time you actually achieve, it will be amongst the top performers. Above all, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel is a mighty 1” rotary hammer drill with a reliable SDS PLUS chuck and some of the best, most durable technology in the world today.
DeWalt 20V MAX SDS Rotary Hammer Drill (DCH273B)
I would think that the name kind of says it all. This is a DeWalt 20V MAX tool, meaning top quality in every aspect of its design, manufacture, and the materials used. Probably one of the easiest and most comfortable tools of its kind to use, the DeWalt 20V MAX SDS PLUD 1” rotary hammer drill is the workman’s dream come true.
DeWalt engineers are experts at creating user-friendly tools that keep working hard for years. To this end, the robust DeWalt DCH273B is incredibly compact and weighs a mere 5.4-pounds (without the battery). User comfort is enhanced by a perfectly positioned handle, providing superb balance, and top-rated SHOCKS Active Vibration Control. With only 6.6M/S² vibration at the handle, this is one of the few rotary hammer drills that allows you to work for extended periods without your hands feeling like they’ve been through the wars.
This drill is certainly powerful enough to compete with any of the best. XR brushless motor technology has proven to be one of the best for delivering more power for longer, giving the DeWalt 20V MAX cordless hammer drill 2.7 Joules of energy. This translates to roughly 1.5 Ft-LBS of impact power, with a maximum 1,100 RPM and 4.600 BPM.
As for health and safety, DeWalt has done a mighty fine job. The DCH273B has a trustworthy clutch that disengages the drill when jammed, saving you from those excruciating twists of the wrist. It is compatible with the DeWalt D25303DH dust extraction system, helping contractors meet OSHA dust emission standards.
Certainly one of the top cordless rotary hammer drills, the DeWalt DCH273B offers the full package, reliability, performance, and ease of use. In addition to this, you have the assurance of highly reputed DeWalt service and customer care. About the best I’ve experienced.
3-Year warranty, 90-day money back guarantee, 1-year free service plan.
Makita LXT 18 X2 36V 1” SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
Immensely powerful, and exceptionally well-made, the Makita LXT 36V SDS cordless rotary hammer drill is, in my opinion, the best in this review. Every Makita tool I’ve owned has left me with the greatest respect for the brand. These tools are tough enough to take on the world and maintain top performance for year upon year.
The 36V battery setup, vs the standard 18V – 20V batteries used for most drills, has its advantages. Increasing the voltage doesn’t necessarily equate to more power, you can actually derive any amount of watts form any voltage. However, by doubling the voltage, using two LXT 18V batteries in series, Makita has improved battery and motor efficiency. Allowing for more power without excessive heat. The end result is one of the most powerful cordless rotary hammer drills that you can get. With 3 Joules (± 2.2 Ft-LBS) impact torque, the Makita 36V 1” SDS PLUS rotary hammer drill leaves the others in the dust. This power is amplified by an incredible 5,000 BPM.
I really appreciate that Makita has chosen to use 2 X 18V batteries, instead of developing a single 36V battery. This means that you have the higher efficiency of increased voltage without the need to use a separate battery system for this tool. By using the same battery platform as the tried and tested 18V LXT range, there’s no need to acquire additional batteries and chargers.
Apart from the additional power, the Makita stands out as one of the toughest there is. Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) has always been a hallmark of the Makita brand. Exceptional durability through eliminating the adverse effects of dust and moisture on the internal components.
An all-round winner, the Makita LXT 18V X 2 1” SDS Plus rotary hammer drill is a marvel of engineering. It has the wow factor in every department. Improved power, excellent efficiency, and great long term durability. All this makes for a win, win, win situation.
3-Year warranty 30-day money back guarantee.
Skil Pwcore 20V SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
Anyone familiar with the Skil brand will attest to the great industrial strength and quality that these tools offer. In this tradition, the Skil Pwcore 20V SDS Plus rotary hammer drill can rank proudly amongst the very best. I was surprised at the relatively low price tag. As a top brand, I would have expected to pay more for this product.
Many have commented on the delightfully compact design of this drill. It’s super easy to use with a wonderful power to weight ratio and excellent center of gravity. It weighs 7.75 pounds. Not exceptionally light, but the superb design and low vibration technology makes this drill pure pleasure to use.
While Skil don’t provide torque specs for this model, it seems to match up well to most of the top cordless rotary hammer drills. Not quite a competitor for the Makita drill (reviewed above), but quite capable of giving brands like DeWalt some stiff competition. Max rotation is 1,400 RPM with 4,500 BPM. It has the usual, drill, hammer drill, and drill only functions, with multiple chisel options.
One of the highlights of this drill is the amazing battery and charger system. Contractors will probably be enthralled by the long battery runtime and remarkable automatic PWR jump charger. You can do a quick boost charge and be back on the job within 5-minutes.
This is a great cordless rotary hammer drill, at an even better price. The brand offers an assurance of top quality and promises many years of trouble-free use. With a warranty to match that of Milwaukee, you can bet this is going to be one of the toughest tools in your arsenal.