Top 6 Best Compact Cordless Drill for Homeowner in 2018 – The Experts Selection

best compact cordless drill

As a homeowner there are always new projects to take care of around the house. Many of them require making holes or installing screws to get the task done right. That’s where finding the best compact cordless drill can save the day.

It’s no surprise that cordless drills have become such a popular tool to own. They offer a variety of uses, save time and make it easier to update your home. Knowing this, we decided to take a look at the best drills out there to help others find the right tool for their needs.

Compariosn of Top Compact Cordless Drill 2018

Product Name

Max RPM

Weight

Price

Dewalt DCD771C2 20V Cordless Compact Drill 

1,500

3.64 lbs 

BLACK+DECKER LDX120C Cordless Drill

650

3.4 lbs 

Makita XPH102 18V Cordless Driver-Drill Kit

1,900

3.9 lbs 

DEWALT DCD777C2 Brushless Compact Drill [Editor's Choice]

1,750

2.6 lbs 

Tacklife PCD04B 20V Cordless Drill Driver

1,600

3.64 lbs 

WORX WX178L 20V Compact Drill

800

3.5 lbs 

Recommend 6 Best Compact Cordless Drill Reviews in 2018

1. Dewalt DCD771C2 20V Cordless Compact Drill Driver Kit

Dewalt has been well known since 1923 for providing excellent tools to the market, and their current compact drills remain true to that reputation. The DCD771C2 is an entry in the 20 volt class of cordless drills. That voltage, provided by the long lasting lithium ion battery means that the drill will stay strong for long periods of time before needing recharged.

The 3.6 pound drill is lightweight enough to be used for the length of the battery without being overly burdensome to hold. This drill is packaged with two batteries though, so you can keep working almost indefinitely by swapping the batteries in and out of the charger as soon as one is drained.

The two speed transmission delivers control up to 450 rpm or 1,500 rpm. This ensures the right speed is always capable of being achieved to drill or screw into what you need accurately. This drill also has a ½ inch chuck ratcheting chuck. It will hold the most of the largest bits available as tightly as you could ever need.

While this isn’t the strongest drill on the market, it delivers plenty of torque (370 inch pounds) for most home and DIY projects. For someone that needs a stronger drill for more difficult surfaces, or is using the drill on a professional basis, it may be slightly lacking. For everyone else that just needs a reliable and durable drill for home projects, this is a tough product to beat.

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Three year warranty
  • Includes two batteries
  • Keyless ratcheting chuck
  • Built in LED light

Cons:

  • Not as powerful as other models

2. BLACK+DECKER LDX120C Cordless Drill/Driver

In 1910, Black and Decker was founded as a machine shop, and over the years became a household name in tool production. In 2010 the company merged with Stanley Works to become Stanley Black and Decker. Stanley also owns Dewalt, making Black and Decker their sister company.

The LDX120C is a two speed drill, having a low speed high torque setting and a higher speed setting to more swiftly drill through softer materials. This drill works great in wood, plastic and metal surfaces to drill holes or insert screws.

The keyless chuck makes it easy to change out bits swiftly without hassle. Being able to change bits quickly can make any project easier to complete. The drill also has 11 different torque settings to better match the needs you have for your project.

The handle is made with an ergonomic design, and fitted with rubber grips so that it’s easier to hold. The drill is fairly lightweight as well, being only 3.4 pounds. Making use of a 20V lithium battery gives long lasting power as well, keeping the drill operational at full strength for extensive periods of time.

The biggest shortcoming for this drill is that even on the high speed setting it’s rather slow compared to other products. Clocking in at only 650 rpm makes this the slowest drill we reviewed. Another point of contention we had was that drill seems less durable than others.

Pros:

  • Budget friendly
  • Two year warranty
  • Two speed transmission with 11 clutch settings

Cons:

  • Weakest drill reviewed
  • Materials not as durable as desired

3. Makita XPH102 18V Cordless Driver-Drill Kit

Makita has its origins in Japan starting in 1915 as an electric motor manufacturing company. As times changed, so did the focus of the company, as in 1958 the company began making its first line of power tools. Since then Makita has been a strong contender in the industry.

The XPH102 is a nice, compact drill. It weighs 3.9 pounds, making it the heaviest drill we reviewed, but with none of them weighing over four pounds, that really isn’t much of a detraction.

One of the aspects of this drill that is different from some of the others, is that it also has a hammer driver setting.

That means that as the drill rotates, it can also make a vibrating impact into the surface as well. This impact pushes the drill harder into the surface to make drilling holes faster and more efficient.

With a top speed of 1,900 rpm this drill was clearly the fastest out those that we reviewed. That speed and the added strength of being a hammer driver makes this the most powerful drill on this list. The way that this drill achieves that amount of power has to do with the design of the motor. Classic drills are made with a motor that has copper brushes within that conduct the electricity across the motor to turn it. Brushless motors are built so that they don’t need the brushes, making them more efficient and powerful at the same time.

Pros:

  • Built with durability in mind, has moisture and dust protection
  • Hammer driver setting along with standard drill driver setting
  • Brushless motor
  • Strongest drill reviewed
  • Three year warranty

Cons:

  • Utilizes 18V batteries, weaker than others
  • Heaviest drill we reviewed

4. DEWALT DCD777C2 20V Best Compact Drill Driver

This is Dewalt’s brushless motor entry in this category. It’s also the lightest compact drill that we reviewed, making it one of the most powerful tools to come in a small package that we’ve encountered. This truly proves that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that makes all the difference.

As with the DCD771 model we reviewed, this drill is built with a keyless ratcheting chuck to ensure a tight grip on bits, while still being easy and quick to change out. Along with that are many of the other aspects you’ve come to expect from a Dewalt tool, such as the built in LED light, dust and moisture protection for durability and multi-speed transmission.

The power of this drill was only outshined by one other entry that we reviewed, coming in with 1,750 rpm at max speed. The 20V lithium batteries last much longer than previous version nickel-cadmium batteries, and this product comes with two batteries in one package. Also because this is a brushless motor driven drill, the efficiency keeps the battery lasting nearly a third longer than DCD771.

It was difficult to find anything to criticize about this drill, but we did come across a bit of wobble in the chuck while we were using it. It took some extra tightening of the chuck here at the outset when changing bits, but once in operation it worked exactly as expected.

Pros:

  • ½ inch keyless ratcheting chuck
  • Brushless motor
  • Lightest drill reviewed
  • Durable with long lasting batteries
  • Three year warranty

Cons:

  • Chuck may wobble if not adjusted properly at outset

5. Tacklife PCD04B 20V Cordless Drill Driver Set with Hammer Function

Continuing our review of the best cordless drill for homeowner on the market we encountered this entry from Tacklife. Tacklife is a fairly recently registered brand, only appearing on the market in 2015, and the tools they make don’t have much history to base much opinion on, so as we looked at this product it was our first experience with one of their products.

This drill also has a hammer drive setting, which is an additional option not seen in most of those that we reviewed. Having the hammer drive option in such a compact drill adds value as it really does make work faster when being used on dense materials. Along with that, the drill has a two speed transmission with 16 variable clutch settings. This makes sure the right power, torque and speed are set for every individual project.

Along with the drill, there is an expansive set of accessories included, 43 pieces to be exact. Drill bits, driver bits, a flexible hex drill shaft, carrying bag and more all came in the package with this drill.

The biggest issue we had with this product is that the battery is stamped 18V and the manual also says 18V, but the product information we were given claimed it was a 20V battery. While we aren’t certain what impact this may have on your decision, the battery life did seem to be shorter than what we expected due to the reduced voltage. However the power described did feel accurate, as it did achieve the speeds we thought it should during test runs.

Another issue we felt needed to be mentioned is that the quality of the materials used are a bit on the cheap side, making us question the longevity and durability of the drill.

Pros:

  • Hammer driver setting
  • 43 pieces of accessories
  • ½ inch keyless chuck
  • Built in LED light

Cons:

  • Product info states 20V battery but delivered with battery and manual stating 18V
  • Questionable durability

6.WORX WX178L 20V Compact Cordless LED Ai Drill

Worx is a Chinese manufacturer, with a headquarters for North America based in North Carolina, that started up in 2004. The drill we reviewed here likewise hasn’t been on the market for very long and not many people have weighed in on their experiences with the drill yet.

The big features for this tool are the artificial inteligence (Ai, as the company refers to it) assistance for the clutch, an automatic screw stop and a pulsing impact function.

  • The Ai function is a computerized selection that removes the selectable clutch that is a part of the other drills we reviewed. This is to take out the guesswork of choosing the right setting for a job, by having the drill do it automatically for you.
  • The automatic screw stop is also a computer driven aspect that stops the drill from continuing to drive when it identifies that the head of the screw is flush with the material it’s being driven into.
  • The pulsing impact function acts as an impact driver, adding rotational pulsing to help drill into harder materials. This is not a hammer drive function, it does not force the bit towards the material, it adds a rotational impact in the direction the bit is spinning.

While these functions performed well, there was definitely a feel that as a user, we lost some of the control we are used to with the drills. When testing the performance, the tasks were completed admirably, but the drill is lacking in power compared to what we would have liked. There is no variation in the transmission, it’s a one speed drill that only musters about 800 rpm.

Pros:

  • Many innovations built into one tool - Ai, Auto Screw Stop and Pulse Assist impact
  • Three year warranty
  • Bitlock keyless chuck
  • 20V battery is usable with other Worx power tools

Cons:

  • Less user control than was preferable
  • Not very powerful
compact cordless drill

Buying Guide: What to Look Before Choosing the Best Cordless Drill for Homeowner?

While the information above is a good starting point to use in beginning to select a new drill, there are some things that you should consider to make certain you get the right tool for what you need.

  • Power and Weight: Before these compact drills started being manufactured, it was fairly common to encounter drills that weighed up to 10 pounds with their battery. Advancements in battery and motor technology have reduced that weight by leaps and bounds, getting drills like these down to under four pounds without losing any of the strength. Be sure you’re getting as much power as you need for the projects you’ll be using the drill for, otherwise you’ll be heading back to the hardware store for an upgrade before the battery of the drill you first chose has been drained once.
  • Chuck Capacity: The next thing to be sure you’ve checked out is what the chuck can hold, and how it holds it. While all of the above models are keyless chucks, you may prefer the tighter grasp of a keyed chuck to ensure your bits don’t come loose. It’s also very important to know if the bits you intend to use will fit, as drills with less than a ½ inch chuck may not be able to hold what you need.
  • Clutch: The clutch in a cordless drill is usually set by the selector wheel behind the chuck. When the clutch is set higher, it will allow the use of more torque before it disengages the chuck from spinning. This is to prevent the drill from stripping screw heads or breaking smaller bits while drilling. The lower the setting, the sooner it will disengage, so knowing what to expect for resistance from the material you’re drilling into is the key to knowing what level to set the clutch at to prevent issues with screws or bits.
  • Speed: The better the drill is, the more variation it will have when it comes to speed. If you plan on using the drill for installing screws, then you want to have a lower speed. This is another way to help prevent damage to the screw as it’s drilled in. When you’re using bits to drill holes, you want more rpm for a faster speed to clear material out more easily. This is why having multiple speed transmissions is so common, as this provides one drill to effectively handle a broader range of work.

Once you know for sure what projects you’ll most likely be using the drill for, along with matching the areas above with what you need to look for, then just a quick glance through the specifications of the drills in your budget and performance range will get you the right tool for your needs.

Final Verdict:

For the best compact drill when it comes to all around performance from what we reviewed, take a long look at the Dewalt DCD777C2. This modern, top of the line product had all of the things we look for first in a drill, and it performed all the tests we ran it through with no issues.

While it was the best all around tool, the others performed admirably for the tasks they are most suited for, so it’s best to check them all out for yourself to see what would best finish your next project.

About the Author Allen A

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