10 Best Cordless Drills

One of the first products we reviewed on RelevantRankings.com was cordless drills. In just the last few years we have seen major improvements including new brushless motors and better batteries that have pushed the newest models to unprecedented levels of power and runtime found in a cordless drill.

Buyers should be aware that most power tool companies, such as DeWalt, Milwaukee, Bosch and Makita, each normally have two versions of 18v cordless drills that they release. They have full-size or high performance models and compact versions that are lighter and smaller mainly due to the battery pack, but they also have less power. We tend to recommend the high performance models for professionals who need the maximum amount of torque and the compact cordless drills for home owners and DIY people.

We took a look at the newest models and the ones that we have ranked previously then compared, reviewed, and re-graded each one to see which model would come out on top. Below you will find our reviews of the top 10 best cordless drills. Even though some companies have many models still available for sell, we tried to only include the newest 18v versions from each brand for our rankings.

Do you need some more buying advice or tips? Then check out our Cordless Drill Buying Guide.


Milwaukee 2705-22 M18 FUEL Drill/Driver with One Key

The Milwaukee 2705-22 is our pick for the best cordless drill for professionals. It is by far the most powerful cordless drill we ranked with an unheard of max torque of 1200 in-lbs, however all that power comes at a price since it is the most expensive model on our list at $329. This M18 Fuel drill features a brushless motor and 5.0Ah XC RedLithium batteries which combined with Milwaukee’s RedLink Plus intelligence system ensures super long runtime, maximum performance, and protection from overheating or overload. It is a bit heavy at 4.8 lbs, but pretty compact at just 7.2 inches long.

The biggest innovation on the 2705-22 is the One-Key system. This feature is brand new and lets you control the settings on the tool from an app on your smart phone. They have predetermined settings for specific fasteners or materials, plus you can customize the settings to control power and speed to ensure the best performance regardless of the task you are doing. You can save 4 custom profiles to memory and select each one with a button, eliminating the need to communicate with your phone once they are set up. We feel there are both pros and cons with this technology, but once you get used to it you will probably like it.

Despite being a truly awesome cordless drill, all that power is unnecessary for many tasks including most jobs around the home. Therefore unless you will really use the Milwaukee 2705-22 for jobs that demand that much torque then you would be wise to at least consider cheaper options.

Visit the Official Site for the Milwaukee 2705-22.


Makita XFD07MB 18V LXT BL Drill/Driver

The brand new $299 Makita XFD07MB came in second in max torque with an astonishing 1090 in-lbs which can handle the most demanding jobs. This 18V LXT drill/driver features a brushless motor which combined with 4.0Ah li-ion batteries provide up to 50% longer runtime per charge over previous models. The included charger can recharge each 4.0Ah battery in just 40 minutes which is the best among professional models.

The main drawback of the Makita XFD07MB is the weight. At 5.8 lbs it is the heaviest drill on our list and can get tiresome with constant lifting. However, that bulk also makes the tool feel more stable and transfers less vibration into your hands.

Overall the Makita XFD07MD is another great choice for professionals to throw in their toolbox. For homeowners or DIYers we recommend you look for a cheaper, lighter model due to the weight and price of this unit.

Visit the Official Site for the Makita XFD07MB.


DeWalt DCD990M2 20V Max XR Lithium Ion Brushless Premium 3-Speed Drill/Driver Kit

DeWalt’s DCD990M2 is their heavy-duty brushless 20v Max cordless drill. Available for $279, this thing has everything you can ask for in a model that weighs in at 4.6 pounds. Although it doesn’t quite compete with the newest Milwaukee or Makita models in power, it has plenty torque with 650 UWO (or approximately 708 in-lbs) and 3 speeds with a max RPM of 2000. Perhaps what we like best though is the super long run time from the combined brushless motor and the 4.0 Ah XR li-ion battery pack.

Overall the DCD990M2 is a bit cheaper and lighter than the top two professional drills, but lacks the power of those two. We also would recommend this DeWalt drill, however, if you don’t use your tools for a living you might to look into a cheaper, more compact model.

Visit the Official Site for the DeWalt DCD990M2.


DEWALT DCD791D2 20V Max XR Brushless Compact Drill/Driver

Dewalt’s newest compact 20V max cordless drill is the $199 DCD791D2 which ranks as the best small 18v cordless drill, just 6.9 inches from front to back, and the best cordless drill under $200. The main highlight of the DCD791D2 is that it has the best power to weight ratio of all the compacts available – it weighs just 3.4 pounds while it puts out 460 UWO (or approximately 530 in-lbs) of torque. The DeWalt brushless motor provides up to 57% more run time compared to previous brushed motor designs.

Other features include the 2.0Ah XR Li-Ion battery packs which recharge in just 35 minutes and a 3-mode LED light. The LED light also has a 20 minute shutoff function for work in dark areas.

There really is not any main weakness with the DeWalt DCD791D2. The only slight negative is that the torque and lack of a second handle may make if more difficult to do certain jobs like if you will be using large spade bits, hole-saws, augers, or driving lag bolts.

Overall we highly recommend the DeWalt DCD791D2 for homeowner, DIYers, and even most professionals.

Visit the Official Site for the DeWalt DCD791D2.


Milwaukee 2701-22CT Compact Brushless Drill/Driver

The $199 Milwaukee 2701-22CT is Milwaukee’s compact brushless 18v cordless drill in their M18 lineup of cordless tools. The listed specs are just a bit below the DeWalt DCD791D2. The 2701-22CT weighs in a 3.7 pounds while providing 500 in-lbs of torque. It uses Milwaukee’s M18 RedLithium 2.0Ah batteries which recharge in just 30 minutes.

Overall we would recommend the Milwaukee 2701-22CT for homeowners and DIYers, especially if you use or want to use other Milwaukee tools that use the same batteries.

Visit the Official Site for the Milwaukee 2701-22CT.


Bosch DDH181X-01 18V Brute Tough Drill Driver w/ Active Response Technology

The Bosch DDH181X-01 is built strong to handle the toughest worksite conditions. This $260 model features a durashield housing, all metal gearbox, and advanced motor and battery protection systems to prevent overloading and overheating. It also has Bosch’s brand new Active Response Technology which reduces dangerous torque reactions by detecting sudden movements and cutting off the motor. Weighing in at 4.75 lbs this unit has 708 in-lbs of torque with a max speed of 1700 RPM. It also comes with 2 4.0 Ah li-ion batteries for longer run times.

The lack of a brushless motor takes the Bosch DDH181X-01 down a few notches, but overall this is still a solid model for any professional to add to their toolbox.

Visit the Official Site for the Bosch DDH181X-01.


Makita XFD10R 18V Compact Drill/Driver

The $169 Makita XFD10R is the lightest cordless drill on our list at just 3.3 pounds. It is designed with Extreme Protection Technology which means it has improved water and dust resistance for more protection on harsh jobsites. The power is decent, but not outstanding with 480 in-lbs of torque. It comes with 2.0Ah li-ion batteries with a fuel gauge on them which was lacking in the previous compact Makita offering. The charger can charge up those batteries in just 25 minutes so you never have to worry about running out of power as long as one is charging.

One negative is that the XFD10R does not have a brushless motor like some of the other newer models.

Overall the price and weight make the Makita XFD10R an attractive choice for everyone from casual users up to professionals.

Visit the Official Site for the Makita XFD10R.


Bosch DDS182-02 18V EC Brushless Compact Tough 1/2-inch Drill/Driver Kit

One of the best values and a great compromise between price and performance is the Bosch DDS182-02 priced at $179. This brushless 18v cordless drill is lightweight at just 3.5 pounds and provides long run-time on its 2.0 Ah li-ion batteries that recharge in 35 minutes. It doesn’t have the most torque at just 442 in-lbs, but it is still enough to tackle almost any job.

Buyers should be aware that some users have complained about trigger issues on the DDS182-02, which causes us some concern.

Other than some trigger issues, users really seem to love this model and we would recommend it for homeowners and DIYers.

Visit the Official Site for the Bosch DDS182-02. It is also available at Amazon.com.


Hitachi DS18DBL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Brushless Driver Drill

The DS18DL is Hitachi’s first 18v cordless drill with a brushless motor. It is pretty lightweight, weighing 4.4 pounds, for having 3.0Ah batteries as opposed to the slimmer 1.5Ah or 2.0Ah batteries found on compact models. It has 593 in-lbs of torque and features Hitachi’s lifetime warranty on the tool itself (but not the batteries which have a 2 year warranty).

There really are not too many negatives with this tool. Although at $299 it is expensive and offers less power then other similar priced models.

Visit the Official Site for the Hitachi DS18DBL.


RIDGID R86008K Fuego 18-Volt Compact Drill/Driver

The Ridgid R86008K Fuego actually surprised us with its performance. Ridgid really stepped up their game to take on the more well-known manufacturers. It features a solid, but unspectacular, 535 in-lbs of torque. It feels really comfortable in your hand and scored high grades from users at the Home Depot who give it 4.4 out of 5 stars. The R86008K also has the best warranty of any cordless drill on this list – a full lifetime guarantee provided that you register your specific Ridgid product.

It is listed as a compact drill with 1.5 Ah li-ion batteries, but it comes in a little bit heavier compared to other brands comparable models at 4.3 lbs.

With the solid warranty and the fact that it is the cheapest cordless drill on our list at $149, overall we feel that this one would make a fine choice for home owners and DIYers or even for professionals as well.

Visit the Official Site for the Ridgid R86008K.

Top 10 Best Cordless Drills Comparison Chart

Model Rating Price Brushless
Max Speed
Milwaukee 2705-22 9.6 $329 Yes 4.8 1200 2000 Li-Ion 5 60 min LED Yes Yes 5 years tool, 3 years battery
Makita XFD07MB 9.4 $299 Yes 5.8 1090 2100 Li-Ion 4 40 min 2 LED Yes Yes 3 years
DeWalt DCD990M2 9.3 $279 Yes 4.6 708 2000 Li-Ion 4 45 min LED Yes Yes 3 years
DeWalt DCD791D2 9.3 $199 Yes 3.4 530 2000 Li-Ion 2 35 min 3-Mode LED No Yes 3 years
Milwaukee 2701-22CT 9.2 $199 Yes 3.7 500 1800 Li-Ion 2 30 min LED No Yes 5 years tool, 2 years battery
Bosch DDH181X-01 9.2 $259.99 No 4.75 708 1700 Li-Ion 4 45 min LED Yes Yes 3 years tool, 2 year battery
Makita XFD10R 9.1 $169 No 3.3 480 1900 Li-Ion 2 25 min 2 LED No Yes 3 years
Bosch DDS182-02 8.9 $179 Yes 3.5 442 1700 Li-Ion 2 35 min LED No Yes 3 years tool, 2 year battery
Hitachi DS18DBL 8.8 $299.99 Yes 4.4 593 1800 Li-Ion 3 45 min LED No Yes Lifetime Tool, 2 year battery
Ridgid R86008K 8.6 $159 No 4.3 535 1650 Li-Ion 1.5 25 min Yes Yes Yes Lifetime if registered

Cordless Drill Buying Guide / Advice / Tips

Cordless drills can be used on a wide variety of tasks from hanging pictures to building decks. It is important to know what projects you want your tool to be able to handle. Are you mainly going to be doing basic household tasks or do you plan on tackling serious construction? While keeping this in mind, when shopping for cordless drills there the three main factors you should consider are battery, torque and weight.


The battery is the most important criteria since it supplies the power for the tool. Cordless drills come in different voltages ranging from 7.2v up to as much as 36 volts. The most popular is 18v and is a good compromise for homeowners and people who use their power tools for a living. The best battery composition is lithium-ion, or Li-Ion for short. Stay away from older NiCd or NiMH battery technology since they take longer to charge and won’t last as long through many recharging cycles.

The amount of run-time is measured in amp-hours, or Ah. On full-size or heavy duty models you will normally see either 3.0Ah or 4.0Ah battery packs which are longer lasting but bulkier, while on compact models you will usually find 1.5Ah or 2.0Ah packs which don’t last as long but are more compact. Most models you buy come with two batteries and a charger so one can be charging while you are using the other one.


Torque is simply the measure of the amount of twisting force the drill applies in inch-pounds. The higher the torque, the better the drill can handle tough tasks such as driving lag screws or drilling large diameter holes through wood or metal. Other factors related to torque are the number of clutch settings and the speed in RPM’s. The clutch setting along with the different speed settings allow you to control the drilling / driving at the correct pace. Many companies now feature computer controlled technology to help apply the correct amount of torque without damaging the tool.


One factor that many people overlook, but is very important is weight. It’s important because you want something that is easy to use and these things can get heavy through constant use or if you are holding it above your head. Generally a lighter model is also smaller in size which makes it easier to get into tougher spots. Manufacturers usually offer a standard or heavy-duty model which is heavier, but has the most torque and larger Ah batteries and a compact model which is smaller and lighter, but has less torque and less Ah batteries.

Other Features

Some other features you might want to look for include a fuel gauge, work light, an auxiliary handle, belt clip, and warranty length of both tool and batteries. Also remember that many brands now offer kits with multiple cordless tools that all use the same batteries. So if you use your tools for a living you might want to find a brand that offers all the cordless power tools you need so you can switch your batteries between them.

In summary we recommend an 18v Li-Ion model. You have to decide how much the other factors matter to accomplish the tasks you need to do.

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