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Last updated: 25 November 2016

A cordless drill is a must for any DIYer or tradie. But how do you know which ones can really perform? We put them to the test, drilling hundred of screws and holes in soft and hard timber, to find the ones that have the best drilling performance, torque and battery life. Here's how we test, and see our buying guide for tips on what to look for when buying a cordless drill.

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Our expert review will help you find the drills that:

  • have the best drilling and screw-driving performance
  • have batteries that last longer
  • are easy and comfortable to use and have the features to suit your needs.

Our Recommended list makes it easy to see at a glance which products our experts think are the best of the bunch.

This review includes some models now discontinued; select the filter under Related products to see those models. Note that the Bosch PSR 18 LI-2 and Dewalt DCD771C2-XE are from our 2014 test; they're still available, but battery performance has generally improved since then so their scores aren't directly comparable to other current models.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

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Recommended or typical retail.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 66 and 529

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Battery voltage (V)

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Generally, higher voltage batteries tend to deliver more drilling power and torque.

Battery capacity (Ah)

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Generally, higher capacity batteries will deliver longer running time. Smaller capacity batteries are usually fine for the occasional handyperson.

Performance score

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This is the average of the battery life, torque test and drilling test scores. Before testing, we first condition the drill batteries by charging and discharging them three times.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Ease of use score

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

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Specifications

Chuck capacity (mm)

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The maximum diameter drill bit the chuck can take. 10mm is enough for most basic drilling jobs but 13mm naturally allows for larger bits. All tested models have keyless chucks (the chuck can be loosened and tightened by hand).

Number of batteries supplied

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A second battery is handy to make sure you don't run out of juice mid-job.

Weight (kg)

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Weight of the drill with battery installed.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1.2 and 2.3

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  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Performance score
  • Battery life score
  • Torque test score
  • Drilling score
  • Ease of use score
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Availability
  • Light
  • Driver bit storage slots
  • Carry case
  • Number of batteries supplied
  • Gear ranges
  • Speeds
  • Torque settings
  • Belt clip
  • Battery voltage (V)
  • Battery capacity (Ah)
  • Claimed recharge time (min)
  • Chuck capacity (mm)
  • Weight (kg)
  • Warranty (years)
  • Origin
  • Contact
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