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.
6 Best Compact Cordless Drill - Comparisons
Dewalt DCD771C2 20V Cordless Compact Drill
BLACK+DECKER LDX120C Cordless Drill
Makita XFD131 18V Driver-Drill Kit
DEWALT DCD777C2 Brushless Compact Drill [Editor's Choice]
Avid Power 20V MAX Lithium Ion Cordless Drill
WORX WX178L 20V Compact Drill
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.
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.
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 XFD131is 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.
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.
Continuing our review of the best cordless drill for homeowner on the market we encountered this entry from Avid Power. Avid Power is a fairly recently registered brand, only appearing on the market in 2018, 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 20V and the manual also says 20V, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Allen A. Jones is a specialized technician of electronic appliances. He has been working with Bestbuy since 2015 and helped thousands of customers to choose the right electronic gadgets offline. Now he is doing the exact same thing online. To know more about him, get in touch with him on Allen[at]Drillez.com
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