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.
Our expert review will help you find the drills that:
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.
List of brands we tested in this review.
Recommended or typical retail.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 66 and 529
We recommend drills that score 70% or more overall and at least 80% for performance, and exclude any models that score poorly for ease of use (45% or less).
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Generally, higher voltage batteries tend to deliver more drilling power and torque.
Generally, higher capacity batteries will deliver longer running time. Smaller capacity batteries are usually fine for the occasional handyperson.
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
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.
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).
A second battery is handy to make sure you don't run out of juice mid-job.
Weight of the drill with battery installed.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1.2 and 2.3
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.