Last Updated on 2020-11-07 by Harry Masterton
Outside of the saw, your drill is going to be one of the most important (and most used) tools in the woodshop.
Without a good drill to make holes whether thats for jointing, fixing handles and other fittings woodworking would be a struggle. The other other primary function of a cordless power drill is to drive screws and fasteners into your project. Specialized bits can aid with other tasks, but boring holes and attaching fasteners are the tasks you will need the drill for most often.
Table Of Contents
- 1 The Best Cordless Power Drill
- 1.1 Cordless Drill or Corded?
- 1.2 DeWalt DCD791D2 1/2-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill
- 1.3 DeWalt DCD791D2 1/2-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill Video
- 1.4 DeWalt DCD771C2 1/2-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill
- 1.5 DeWalt DCD771C2 1/2-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill Video
- 1.6 Black & Decker LDX120C 3/8-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill
- 1.7 Black & Decker LDX120C 3/8-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill Video
- 1.8 Tacklife PCD06B 3/8-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill
- 1.9 What Is the Best Cordless Power Drill For Your Shop?
The Best Cordless Power Drill
Humans have been using rotary tools for thousands of years. Early versions of the drill consisted of holding a pointed rock and spinning it between both hands. Bow drills, bit and brace, as well as “eggbeater” hand drills, improved the power and pace of work.
In the last decade of the 19th century, electric powered drills increased performance even more. Cordless drills that are powered by battery packs entered the market in the second half of the last century. Improving battery performance and increasing motor power has led to the best cordless power drill models in today's market.
Battery technology has changed drastically since the first generation of Nickel-Cadmium packs popularized cordless power-tools with DIYers and hobbyists. The best cordless power drill for the money today uses Lithium-Ion battery packs, many of which are interchanged between a manufacturer's cordless tools.
Another area of improvement has been with cordless electric motors. The best cordless power drill for the money can generate consistent power over time, with minimal drops in performance as the battery drains.
The best cordless power drill for the money also provides chip control and protection.
Cordless Drill or Corded?
The best cordless power drill models perform favorably with today's corded power drills. To help you determine what product will meet your needs, let's look at similarities and differences between the types.
Cordless drill or corded: Similarities
Both product lines make use of a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch drill bit shank size. More powerful drills often use the 1/2-inch chucks as they have the power needed for larger bits. The 3/8-inch chuck is used on smaller models targeting lighter workloads and smaller projects.
You will find both keyless chucks as well as chucks that require a key to lock bits into place on both types of drills. A keyless chuck is used on the 3/8-inch designs and is prevalent with all sizes of cordless drills. Corded drills and 1/2-inch bit chucks use keys more often.
Both types of drills use circuit protection and chip controls for better performance and safety. Cordless products tend to incorporate more, however.
Cordless drill or corded: Differences
The main difference between these types is the power source. Corded drills require an outlet and extension cord. A battery pack provides you with mobility as you do not need an outlet or cord to run the drill.
Another consideration is consistency. Corded drills generate steady power output. The output of a cordless drill will drop as the battery drains during use.
It is worth noting that manufacturers appear to offer more features and models in the cordless range.
DeWalt DCD791D2 1/2-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill4.8 out of 5.0 stars
Our list of the best cordless power drill products begins with this professional-grade entry. This product uses high-quality hard plastics and metal components. It is designed for use at construction sites, making it durable enough for shop conditions.
DeWalt DCD791D2 features
The best cordless power drill for Jobsite use includes a brushless motor. That generates up to 57-percent more running time between charges. You will experience less downtime, especially when you add the battery platform.
This is also the best cordless power drill for Jobsite applications due to DeWalt's latest battery system. The 20V MAX is part of the XR Lithium-Ion series, a platform that offers 33-percent more capacity. Its increased runtime is noticeable, especially on projects where the drill will see lots of use.
Another element that stands out is the compact design. It is less than seven inches from the tip to back. That will allow you to drill in tight spaces when compared to many drills.
A 1/2-inch single sleeve ratcheting chuck allows you to make changeouts between bits. That sleeve also provides adequate holding power when it is engaged on the bit's shaft.
DeWalt DCD791D2 – Things We Like
- It is powered by the 20-Volt MAX battery system. This platform provides up to 20 volts with a full charge, allowing it to run longer and stronger than nominal 18-volt batteries.
- The brushless motor. A brushless motor has fewer parts to break down and operates more efficiently than standard motor designs.
- The drill includes an LED light for lowlight areas. It has three modes and an automatic shut-off.
DeWalt DCD791D2 – Not So Good
- Its battery betrays the compact design. A larger battery-pack footprint sticks out from the bottom of the drill.
- A wide trigger base. this is even more apparent when it is paired with the thin hand grip below the trigger.
DeWalt DCD791D2 1/2-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill Video
DeWalt DCD771C2 1/2-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill4.7 out of 5.0 stars
DeWalt's second entry on the best cordless power drill list is the DCD771C2. Woodworkers with limited shop funds will appreciate the ability to purchase a 20V MAX drill that includes the battery and charger. It is a good option for those buying their first DeWalt cordless product as well.
DeWalt DCD771C2 features
The best cordless drill under 100 bucks also provides you with a two-speed drill that will work for most shop applications. It saves you money by using a standard motor, which should not be an issue for most users.
Another feature of the best cordless drill under 100 dollars is the keyless chuck. It has ridges that provide more purchase for fingers as it is tightened, and that may be more popular than the texture of the single sleeve on the previous drill.
This cordless drill does not come with the hard case on the DCD791D2. It does have a carry bag. That will not be an issue if the tool will be used in the shop.
DeWalt DCD771C2 – Things We Like
- It has a smaller price tag than the previous DeWalt product. That can be important, especially for shops on a budget.
- This product is a kit and not a “tool only” buy. The battery and charger are included, something not often found under 100 dollars at the 20-volt range.
- A two-speed transmission provides versatility. This includes 0-450 RPMs and 1,500 RPMs.
DeWalt DCD771C2 – Not So Good
- Lacks the brushless motor found on the DCD791D2. That may not be a problem for small shop use, but it could be with lots of drilling.
- It weighs a little more than the DCD791D2. You would not notice this unless you work with it all day.
DeWalt DCD771C2 1/2-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill Video
Black & Decker LDX120C 3/8-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill4.6 out of 5.0 stars
This 3/8-inch drill entry on the best cordless power drill list is based on the drill's clutch. It offers users 11 settings, a decent range for a power tool at this price point. The lower range of torque makes it ideal for many around-the-house projects as well as lighter workloads in your shop.
Black & Decker LDX120C features
We find this to be the best cordless drill under 50 bucks for the ergonomics the handle provides. The handle has a textured grip that prevents slipping while in use. Its shape should be comfortable for most hands.
Another feature that makes this the best cordless drill under 50 would be its battery and charger. The pack can hold up to 20-volts with a full charge and will run the drill nominally at 18-volts. This battery pack can hold a charge for up to 18 months, which is great for DIYers and homeowners who only pull the drill out occasionally.
Black & Decker LDX120C – Things We Like
- It has an 11-speed clutch. This can provide maximum torque down to light twisting that will not strip fasteners.
- Battery provides 1.5 amp hours. This is a higher rating than the 1.3 on from the standard 20V MAX used on DeWalt's DCD771C2.
- It has indicator lights on the battery charger. These indicators provide instant status updates on the charge state of the battery connected to it.
Black & Decker LDX120C – Not So Good
- This drill has a lower RPM range. Its 650 RPMs is good for light workloads, but it will struggle in bigger shop applications.
- The teeth on the chuck can struggle to hold bits. You need to double-check the chuck once you tighten it so that bits do not slip.
Black & Decker LDX120C 3/8-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill Video
Tacklife PCD06B 3/8-Inch 20-Volt MAX Cordless Drill4.6 out of 5.0 stars
The best cordless power drill list finishes with this Tacklife drill kit. It would make a good first drill purchase for novice woodworkers, as it includes many drill and driver bits with the drill.
Tacklife PCD06B features
The accessories are what make this the best budget cordless drill in this review. It comes with nine bits for making smaller holes. You also get a driver bit and twenty tips for various fasteners.
Another stand out feature provided by the best budget cordless drill is the 19 + 1 clutch. This might be non-essential for casual users, but the multitude of settings will prevent you from breaking smaller bits or stripping fasteners.
It has a fast-charging battery time as well. You can have the battery pack charged and ready for use in an hour, which is one of the shorter charging times out there. The charger also has a small profile, allowing you to easily store it when it is not in use.
The keyless chuck is all metal in the interior. This prevents bits from becoming lodged in the back of the chuck after drilling.
Tacklife PCD06B – Things We Like
- The number of accessories that you get. Tacklife supplies 32 bits and drivers along with a belt clip and battery charger.
- It charges quickly. The charger can have the battery ready to go in one hour.
- It weighs only 5.8 pounds. That is light when the full-sized battery pack is considered.
Tacklife PCD06B – Not So Good
- The maximum torque is low. This bargain power-tool generates only 265 inch-pounds of torque at most.
- Its housing feels a bit flimsy. The overall price is kept low by using lower grade components and thinner plastic on the housing.
Looking for the best corded power drill reviews? Check our rundown of the top corded power drill reviews in every category.
The previous reviews of the best cordless power drill models offered a variety of features that will prove beneficial under certain circumstances.
The DeWalt DCD791D2 is a professional-grade drill designed for use on job sites. That makes it capable of handling anything you can throw at it in the woodshop. It uses a brushless motor that offers longevity and efficiency.
You can get nearly the same performance from the DeWalt DCD771C2 for less money. It does not use a brushless motor, but the drill does offer similar speed and torque. You will also get the same power from the battery pack, with the only difference that the capacity is a bit lower here.
A slightly smaller Black & Decker LDX120C offers 20-volt maximum power in a 3/8-inch chuck size. It has a nice 11-speed clutch that performs well on the lower end. You may appreciate the multi-light charge indicator, too.
If you are on a tight budget, then the Tacklife PCD06B will be something you should consider. It provides you with a basic drill and charger. You also get plenty of accessories to get you started with drilling and driving.
If you've enjoyed the best cordless power drill review then checkout our complete coverage (constantly updated) of the essential woodworking power tools for your shop with links to reviews for each category.
Remember, a good cordless drill will serve you well in and outside of your woodshop. Matching your needs with some of these features will save you time, money, and frustration in your hobby!