Drills and by extension, cordless drills, are a versatile tool that should be a part of every tool collection or kit. Naturally, getting the right drill is paramount for many and this means getting a good quality cordless drill. Getting the right cordless drill can make the difference between accomplishing a project smoothly or with a degree of frustration.
Cordless drills as a whole are portable and convenient tools to use when tackling all types of applications, including overhead applications. Consumer reports runs a variety of consumer products through a battery of tests to determine their performance.
Cordless drills have been a part of the Consumer Reports tests for many years and this year the drills presented here have shown to be the ones of the highest caliber.
Anatomy of a Cordless Drill
There are several key elements of a cordless drill. The most obvious is the battery, which supplies power to the drill motor. Secondly, there is the electric motor. This is followed by the gear box or transmission which transfer the energy from the motor to the drill bit. Finally there is the drill bit itself which is attached to the transmission via a chuck and clutch.
The primary focus of any tests are concerning the parts with the exception of the drill bit, as it is technically a separate component.
Consumer Reports, undertook tests which determined how well these cordless drills performed under a range of circumstances. Each of the cordless drills presented here received high marks in all aspects of the tests.
The test further seemed to indicate that the cordless drills, presented here, showed qualities that were superior to many of their companions.
Of course, no test will cover for any situation where a lack of quality control might let a bad one slip by on the assembly line. However, these tools are all considered well built, quality cordless drills and as such they would be an excellent addition to any tool kit.
Five Consumer Reports Ranked Cordless Drills
Top Affordable Cordless Drill/Driver Kit
This 12 Volt NiCd drill – Hitachi Model #DS12DVF3 Cordless Drill offers 230 inches/foot pounds of torque and it has a multiple position, 22 stage clutch to get the torque just right for the job.
The trigger controls the variable speeds within two speed ranges with the top speed being over 1,000 RPMs.
This is a very lightweight drill and it has a key less bit changing system for fast and easy bit changes. This is a great drill for both residential or commercial use.
Best High End Cordless Hammer Drill/Driver Kit
Using a 14.4 Volt NiCd battery system, this drill – PORTER-CABLE Model #9977 Cordless Drill produces up to 430 inches/foot pound of torque to power through difficult jobs.
It has forward and reverse speed directions, as well as a dual speed mode with the top speed being over 1,200 RPMs. The multiple position chuck delivers the right torque for the job and the chuck is key less for fast and easy bit changes.
The handle is interchangeable to get the right grip. This is a lightweight drill that has the power to perform. Overall, a great drill for home or on the job site.
Best Drill/Driver Kit under $150
This drill – Craftsman Model #16496 Cordless Drill uses a fast charger to quickly charge the 20 Volt battery to full charge in 30 minutes. This drill has a eleven position clutch to get the right torque for the right application.
The metal chuck is key less for fast and easy bit changes. This drill uses the bolt on system, where the bit drive can be changed out for another drive, essentially creating another tool.
The lithium ion battery holds a charge longer than NiCd systems and there is no loss of power until the charge is depleted. This is an excellent drill for the work shop, garage or anywhere a drill is needed.
Best Rated Drill/Driver Kit on Sale
DeWalt is the leading manufacturer of quality power tools and this cordless drill – DEWALT Model #DCD920KX Cordless Drill is a top performer. Using only 14.4 Volts, this drill pumps out over 325 unit watts of power out.
The three speed metal gear box offers versatility and reliability. This drill has a multiple position clutch to get the torque right per the application and the chuck is key less for easy and quick bit changes.
The handle is ergonomic to reduce operator fatigue. This is a powerful, cordless drill that can handle just about any drilling or fastening task.
Best Cordless Drill Kit for the Money
More powerful than the 920, this drill – DEWALT Model #DCD940KX Cordless Drill uses an 18 Volt system to deliver more power and performance with up to 450 unit watts of power output.
The multiple position clutch translates this power to the right torque to prevent stripping screws or applying too much or too little force for the job.
The chuck is key less for easy and quick bit changes and the drill is lightweight and ergonomic to help reduce operator fatigue. Anyone who needs or wants a powerful but portable drill, should consider this one among the top of the list.
All power tools are different and therefore it is important, when purchasing a new tool, to read and follow the operator’s manual. Additionally, be sure to always wear the appropriate safety gear when working with power tools of any time. Safety is important and always be aware of your surroundings, while working, for your safety and that of others.