Cordless drill reviews

These cordless drills are for the serious DIY enthusiast.
 
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  • Updated:17 Aug 2009
 

02.Results

The following models scored the best results in our test:

What to buy
Brand Price
Bosch Blue GSR 18V $369
AEG BSB 18 $459
Ryobi CLK18/2-001 (LDD1802) $299
Dewalt DC725KA-XE $459

 

Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below.

PRODUCT
PERFORMANCE
FEATURES
SPECIFICATIONS
Brand / model (in rank order)
Overall
score
(%)
Performance
score
(%)
Battery
score
(%)
Torque
score
(%)
Ease of
use score
(%)
Hammer Side handle Work light Weight
(kg)
Number
of gear
ranges
Maximum speed
in each range
(rpm)
Clutch
settings
Driver
bit
storage
slots
Battery
type
Battery
capacity
(Ah)
Price
($)
Bosch Blue GSR 18V (A)
www.bosch.com.au
79 76 72 80 85 2.2 2 450, 1450 20 1 Ni-Cd 2 369
AEG BSB 18
1300 361 505
78 82 69 95 70 3.1 2 450, 1600 24 1 Ni-Cd 2 459
Ryobi CLK18/2-001 (B)
www.ryobi.com.au
76 77 93 60 75 2.2 2 440, 1600 23 1 Li-ion 2.4 299
Dewalt DC725KA-XE
www.dewalt.com.au
75 71 53 88 85 2.3 2 500, 1700 17 1 Ni-Cd 459
Makita BHP452SHE
www.makita.com.au
68 60 32 87 85 1.6 2 400, 1500 16 0 Li-ion 1.5 510
65 54 46 61 90 1.7 2 400, 1200 22 2 Li-ion 1.5 349
60 53 43 62 75 2.4 2 350, 1300 23 0 Ni-Cd 1.5 229
Bosch Green PSR 18VE
www.bosch.com.au
55 47 36 58 75 2 2 400, 1250 25 1 Ni-Cd 1.5 229
Black & Decker FS188F4-XE Firestorm
www.blackanddecker.com.au
52 49 38 60 60 2.7 3 420, 1300, 2000 22 2 Ni-Cd 210
Ozito OZCD18V2A
www.ozito.com.au
43 33 26 40 65 1.9 2 350, 1100 19 2 Ni-Cd 1.3 89
 

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Using the table

Overall score is made up of:

  • Performance: 70%
  • Ease of use: 30%

Performance score consists of:

  • Battery life: 50%
  • Torque: 50%

Ease of use score consists of the following equally weighted components:

  • Comfort.
  • Balance. 
  • Operating the controls.
  • Price Recommended retail, as of July 2009. It pays to shop around; we paid much less than RRP for some models.

(A) Discontinued but may still be available in some shops. Replaced by GSR18V-LI model with Li-ion battery.

(B) Model number CLK18/2001 refers to the kit including drill, charger and torch; the drill’s model number is LDD1802. Replaced in August 2009 by new model LCD18022D with more compact battery pack (1.4Ah - the tested model's battery is 2.4Ah so battery life may not be the same).

ns Not stated.

How we test

Performance

Battery life First, our tester, Josh Giumelli of Kondinin Group, conditions each battery by fully charging and discharging it three times. He then fits each drill with a new 13mm spade bit and drills holes at slow speed through 50mm-thick dry jarrah timber, counting the number of holes achieved with one battery charge. Dry jarrah is very hard so this is a tough test. The best performer in this test was the AEG which managed 55 holes; the worst was the Makita, with just 8.5 holes. The battery is recharged and the test repeated at fast drilling speed. The best performer in this test was the Ryobi with 105.5 holes; the worst was again the Makita with 32.25. Then, after another recharge, he counts the number of 50mm tek screws (self-drilling screws that need no pilot hole) he can drive into 100mm dry jarrah. Again, the Ryobi was best in this test, managing 125 screws; the worst was the Ozito with 19.5.

Torque Each drill is mounted in a dynamometer to measure its stall torque. This is the rotational force at which the drill stops turning; the higher the torque the better. The AEG scored best with 40.46 Newton metres (Nm); the worst was the Ozito, with 17.05Nm.

Ease of use

The drills are assessed by four users, including a female left-hander, who rate them for comfort and balance while drilling holes and driving screws, both horizontally and vertically. They also assess the controls.