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Cordless drill reviews

We’ve tested 12 cordless drills priced from $78 to $249, including models from AEG, Bosch, Ryobi and Makita.
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01 .Introduction


We review 12 cordless drills priced from $78 to $249.

Through our rigorous testing we reveal which drills:

  • we rate as 'What to Buy'
  • have the best battery life, drilling performance and torque
  • are the easiest to use.

On this page, you'll find:

A cordless drill is a must-have tool for the dedicated DIYer or tradesperson. You’ll want one with lots of torque for drilling and screwdriving into a range of materials, a battery with plenty of juice, and useful features such as multiple gear and speed settings. 

CHOICE put 12 cordless drills through a tough set of tests to find out which ones are up to the job. We chose drill/driver models (not hammer/impact drills) with 18V to 24V batteries and 10mm to 13mm chucks (maximum drill bit diameter); these models can generally perform well at a good price for the typical DIYer.

Very cheap cordless drills have proven to be weak performers in previous tests and our results this time were similar. But one of the cheapest models did top the table, showing that you can find very good performers for less than $100.

For more about tools and other home maintenance necessities, see Backyard.

Brands tested

  • 909 Diciotto CD181
  • AEG BS18C LI-202C
  • Black & Decker Matrix BDCDMT180-XE
  • Bosch PSR 18 LI-2
  • Dewalt DCD771C2-XE
  • Hitachi DS18DSFL
  • Makita DDF456SYE
  • Ozito LCD-5000
  • Ryobi R18DD-LL99S
  • Taurus Titanium 44624 (Aldi)
  • Wesco WS218CDL
  • Worx WX166.1

How we test

Our tester, Peter Horvath, first conditions the drill batteries by charging and discharging them three times.

Battery life Based on how many 10-12 x 25mm TEK screws can be screwed in and out of three layers of MDF on one battery charge; the more screws, the higher the score.

Torque Based on screwing TEK screws of two different sizes (14G 50 mm and 14G 75mm, 25 of each) into and out of three layers of MDF. The more screws screwed in (fully flush with the wood), the higher the score.

Drilling Based on the time taken to drill 10 holes with a 13 mm spade bit through 45 mm hardwood (spotted gum). The faster the time, the better the score.

Ease of use The drills are assessed for weight/balance and grip comfort by a panel of a right-handed man, a left-handed man and a right-handed woman.

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