Best Cordless Drills for the Money 2024


With a wealth of experience as a dedicated DIY enthusiast and a deep appreciation for engaging in home improvement endeavors, I recognize the pivotal role that possessing the appropriate tools plays in achieving successful outcomes. Among the array of tools at my disposal, the cordless drill has emerged as an indispensable asset in my workshop. In the following thorough review, I am eager to divulge my encounters and profound insights into the most noteworthy cordless drills of 2024. By sharing my firsthand experiences, my goal is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make an informed and astute decision for your upcoming projects.

Best Cordless Drills for the Money

Our extensive testing of cordless drills has been so exhaustive that the sheer number of drills we’ve put through their paces has become a statistic we’ve lost track of. Whether it’s filling our workshop with 50 drills simultaneously or rigorously evaluating the latest models as they hit the market, we maintain a constant hands-on approach. The task of selecting the optimal cordless drill for your needs hinges on a multitude of factors such as performance, durability, price, value, weight, size, and beyond.

Even amid the plethora of drills subjected to our scrutiny (I’ve often wondered about the cumulative weight of all these tools), not every contender earns a place of distinction. To secure a spot on our final list, a drill must distinguish itself from its competitors. While there are other commendable models that we continue to recommend, they simply do not cut inclusion in this elite category that we have dubbed “the best.”

List of Best Cordless Drills for the Money:

1. Top Rated Cordless Drill

Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 Hammer Drill Gen 4

Technical Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 9″L x 5″W x 11″H
  • Item Weight: 3.2 Pounds (or 3.2 pounds, listed twice in the original)
  • Color: Red
  • Part Number: 2804-20
  • Maximum Rotational Speed: 2000 RPM
  • Amperage: 4.2 Amps
  • Maximum Chuck Size: 6.35 Millimeters
  • Maximum Power: 800 Watts

Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel hammer drill has secured our top recommendation for the best cordless drill overall, particularly due to notable enhancements introduced in its fourth-generation model. The advancements manifest across key performance metrics, with a substantial 200 in-lbs increase in torque, elevating the total to an impressive 1400 in-lbs. Moreover, the top rotational speed experiences a commendable boost of 100 RPM, now reaching 2100 RPM, while the hammer rate sees a significant uptick of 1000 BPM, totaling 33000 BPM.

A person holding a red Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 Hammer Drill Gen 4 in a workshop

The innovations don’t end there. The fourth-generation model introduces kickback control, a feature that enhances user safety. Remarkably, Milwaukee achieves these performance improvements while maintaining the drill’s compact 6.9-inch head length and incurring only a negligible weight increase. This model not only earns our endorsement as the best overall cordless drill but also secures the top spot as the best lightweight drill for heavy-duty applications.

A Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 Hammer Drill Gen 4 being used on a wooden surface

For those seeking even more advanced features, Milwaukee’s One-Key technology is integrated into the 2906 model, offering customized controls, tracking capabilities, inventory management, and security features. If the hammer drill function is not a requirement for your projects, an alternative to consider is the drill driver version, identified as model 2903.

Significant torque increase to 1400 in-lbsPremium pricing compared to some competitors
Higher top rotational speed (2100 RPM)The hammer drill function may be unnecessary for some
Increased hammer rate (33000 BPM)Relatively small increase in weight
Introduction of kickback control
Maintains compact 6.9-inch head length
One-Key technology for advanced features

2. Top Performing Cordless Drill

Flex 24V Max Hammer Drill Featuring Turbo

Technical Specifications

  • No-Load Speed: 0-550/0-2,000 RPM
  • TURBO Speed: 0-700/0-2,500 RPM
  • Impact Rate: 0-8,800/0-32,000 IPM
  • TURBO Impact Rate: 0-11,200/0-40,000 IPM
  • Max. Torque: 1,400 in-lbs, 158 Nm
  • Clutch Settings: 24+D+H
  • Chuck Capacity: 1/2 in, 1/2 po, 1/2 pu
  • Tool Length: 7.2 in, 182 mm
  • Tool Weight (without battery): 3.8 lbs, 1.7 kg

The Flex 24V Max Hammer Drill with Turbo Mode has consistently earned our top recommendation for two years running, a testament to its exceptional performance. Although it narrowly fell short of surpassing Milwaukee in the current year’s evaluation, it maintains its position as an unrivaled overall performer. This drill is characterized by its remarkable top speed of 2500 RPM and an impressive maximum torque of 1400 in-lbs, demonstrating its capacity to handle a diverse range of tasks, from lighter to more demanding applications, with unwavering confidence in real-world scenarios.

A person using a Flex 24V Max Hammer Drill with Turbo feature on a concrete surface

Despite its compact design, measuring only 7.1 inches in length, it’s important to highlight that its operational weight is relatively heavier compared to some of its counterparts. This balance between size and weight underscores the drill’s robust build and durability.

A person using a Flex 24V Max Hammer Drill with Turbo feature on a wooden board in a workshop

What truly distinguishes this drill is the comprehensive kit it comes with, offering exceptional value. In addition to the drill itself, the kit includes two batteries, a charger, and a durable hard case all bundled together at an attractive price point of $199.00

FunctionTwo tools in one: hammer drill and impact driverRequires two battery packs for simultaneous use
Battery System24V FLEX battery system compatible with other FLEX toolsBattery systems are not as widely available as some competitors
MotorBrushless motor for efficiency and long lifeBrushless motors can be more expensive to repair
TorqueUp to 1,400 in-lbs of torque for the hammer drill and 2,500 in-lbs for the impact driverMay be overkill for some tasks

3. Top Cordless Drill in the 18V/20V MAX Category

DEWALT 20V MAX Hammer Drill

Technical Specifications

  • Voltage: 20
  • Amperage: 8 Amps
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3″L x 8.7″W x 4.06″H
  • Number of Speeds: 3
  • Speed: 2800 RPM
  • Item Weight: 4.81 Pounds
  • Maximum Power: 300 Watts
  • Battery Capacity: 8 Amp Hours

Milwaukee and Flex have rightfully claimed the top spots in our rankings, but let’s shift our focus to another exceptional option that deserves recognition. DeWalt enters the spotlight with three major high-performance drills, each catering to different user preferences and battery choices. The decision on the best fit for you hinges on your work style and battery preferences.

A person using a DEWALT 20V MAX Hammer Drill to drill a hole in a wooden surface

For those dedicated to the 20V Max 5.0Ah battery for consistent, all-day use, the DCD996 emerges as the optimal choice. If a bit of extra weight is not a concern, the FlexVolt Advantage DCD999 elevates your performance, especially when paired with a FlexVolt battery, although it also seamlessly accommodates any 20V Max pack.

A person holding a DEWALT 20V MAX Hammer Drill

However, our preference leans toward the Power Detect DCD998. This drill exhibits excellent performance with a 5.0Ah battery, but it truly shines when paired with an 8.0Ah battery or higher. While it may not quite match the power levels of the FlexVolt Advantage, what sets it apart is its versatility. Unlike the FlexVolt, you don’t necessarily require DeWalt’s most advanced batteries to unleash its impressive capabilities, making it a compelling choice for users seeking a balance between power and flexibility in battery options.

Versatile performance with 5.0Ah battery; higher performance with 8.0Ah or higherMay not match the power levels of some competitors
Power Detect technology for enhanced performance with higher-capacity batteries
Compatible with various battery options, not limited to the most advanced batteries
Durable and reliable construction by DEWALTSlightly heavier compared to some counterparts
Flexibility in battery choices for user convenience
Suitable for a range of applications and work styles

4. Top Pick for Cordless Hammer Drill

Metabo 18V Cordless Hammer Drill SB 18 LTX-3 BL Q I

Metabo 18V Cordless Hammer Drill SB 18 LTX-3 BL Q I on white background

Technical Specifications

  • Brand: Metabo
  • Type: Rotary Hammer Drill
  • Chuck Size: 1/2 in
  • Chuck Type: Keyless
  • Voltage: 18 V
  • Battery Technology: Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
  • Battery Capacity: 10.4 Ah
  • Maximum Torque: 1062 in-lbs
  • Speed: 1850 RPM
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Motor Type: Brushless
  • Color: Green
  • Features: Auxiliary Handle

Let’s delve into the performance features, starting with the 1/2″ chuck. This chuck is noteworthy for being all-metal and keyless. What sets it apart is its versatility — you can effortlessly pull it from the drill body, revealing a spindle with a hex recess. This unique design enables seamless compatibility with driver bits without the need to manipulate the chuck.

Moreover, the removable chuck/hex spindle system, known as Metabo’s Quick Change System (indicated by the “Q” in their model number), brings additional value with swappable accessories. These include a right angle 1/4″ hex, 1/4″ offset (eccentric) drill, 1/4″ hex bit holder, and a torque multiplier called the PowerX3. The PowerX3 torque multiplier is a standout feature, boasting a hybrid 1/2″ square and 1/4″ hex drive, similar to the Bosch Freak impact driver. This innovative tool enhances torque by a factor of 3 while slowing down the speed by the same ratio.

Close up of a Metabo 18V Cordless Hammer Drill SB 18 LTX-3 BL Q I in use

Opting for the hybrid chuck introduces interesting possibilities. It allows for drilling and fastening with any 1/4″ hex bits and 1/2″ sockets, offering flexibility in tool usage. However, certain attachments like mixing paddles or 3/8″ hex bits may not be compatible, hinting at potential developments for a 1/2″ keyless chuck option in the future.

The handle design contributes to the drill’s adaptability. Constructed in multiple pieces, the handle is not merely a space-saving feature; it plays a crucial role in optimizing performance. When the PowerX3 is utilized on the Heavy-Duty Metabo Cordless 18V Drills at low speed, it delivers an impressive 3186 in-lbs (265.5 ft-lbs) of torque. For maximum torque, the longest handle configuration is recommended, while the smaller setup suffices when less torque is needed.

Close up of a Metabo 18V Cordless Hammer Drill SB 18 LTX-3 BL Q I in use

While these attachments are available as separate purchases, they offer unparalleled versatility. The Quick attachments are largely compatible with the 12V model, streamlining the accessory selection process. It’s worth noting that clamping-style accessories are the only exceptions to this compatibility.

All-metal and keyless 1/2″ chuckClamping-style accessories not compatible
Removable chuck/hex spindle system for versatilitySpecific attachments sold separately
Metabo’s Quick Change System (Q) for swappable accessoriesLimited compatibility with certain hex bits and paddles
PowerX3 torque multiplier for enhanced torquePotential need for a 1/2″ keyless chuck option in the future
Hybrid chuck design allows for 1/4″ hex bits and 1/2″ socketsSpecific attachments like mixing paddles not compatible
Multiple-handle configurations for optimal torque application
Space-saving handle design
Compatible with Quick attachments for 12V model

5. Top Value Cordless Drill

Skil PWR Core 20 Compact Brushless Drill Driver

Technical Specifications

  • Maximum Rotational Speed: 1800 RPM
  • Voltage: 20 Volts
  • Special Feature: Variable Speed
  • Product Dimensions: 8.07″L x 3.35″W x 8.46″H
  • Material: Blend
  • Maximum Torque: 450 Inch Pounds
  • Maximum Power: 850 Watts
  • Item Torque: 450 Inch Pounds
  • Drill Type: Hammer Drill
  • Item Weight: 2.63 pounds

In terms of performance, these drills boast powerful brushless motors with a capacity of 500 RPM in low gear and an impressive 1800 RPM in high gear. When operating in hammer mode, the hammer drill feature adds 7500 BPM at low and a substantial 27000 BPM at high. The torque reaches a maximum of 450 in-lbs. While the numerical improvements from previous versions might seem subtle, with a mere 20 RPM gain in low gear, it aligns with the intended focus on compact design.

A person using a Skil PWR Core 20 Compact Brushless Drill Driver on a wooden surface

The speed and torque remain in a similar range, demonstrating a thoughtful balance between size and performance. The capabilities afforded by this level of performance are noteworthy. These drills excel in handling standard twist bit drilling and screw-driving tasks effortlessly. Moreover, they demonstrate competence when tackling more demanding applications, such as using 1-inch spade bits or 2-inch hole saws.

A person using a Skil PWR Core 20 Compact Brushless Drill Driver on a wooden surface

The drills prove to be versatile companions for various home repairs and weekend projects. However, for tasks that require the highest performance, such as using a 2 9/16-inch self-feed bit for rough-ins, Skil’s heavy-duty model remains the optimal choice. This detailed performance overview underscores the drills’ suitability for a broad spectrum of applications, making them reliable tools for both routine and more specialized projects.

Compact and lightweight designLimited to the PWRCore 20 battery system
Powerful brushless motor for efficient performanceMay not provide as much torque as larger models
Two-speed settings for versatile use
Variable speed control for precision
LED light for improved visibility
PWRJump charging provides a quick charge in just 5 minutes
Compatible with a range of PWRCore 20 batteries
Ergonomic design for comfortable handling

6. Top Affordable Cordless Drill for Home Applications

Ryobi 18V One+ 3/8-Inch Drill Driver

Technical Specifications

  • Voltage: 18 Volts
  • Amperage: 1.5 Amps
  • Color: Clear
  • Included Components: Drill, Battery, Charger, Holster
  • Product Dimensions: 6″L x 3″W x 6″H
  • Battery Capacity: 1.5 Amp Hours
  • Item Weight: 3.89 pounds
  • Country of Origin: USA

In a market where quality cordless drills under $50 are scarce, Ryobi steps in as a budget-friendly hero with the PDD209K cordless drill. Priced just under $40 and equipped with a battery and charger, this offering defies the constraints of a tight budget. While it may not contend with pricier, high-end models, its performance is commendable for a range of light-duty household tasks. Boasting a rotation speed of 600 RPM and a torque of 135 in-lbs, the PDD209K proves more than sufficient for everyday applications like hanging pictures, assembling furniture, and fixing cabinets.

Ryobi 18V One+ 3/8-Inch Drill Driver being used on a car engine

Ryobi manages to strike a balance between affordability and functionality, making this cordless drill an attractive option for budget-conscious users seeking reliable performance for routine home projects. In terms of performance and build quality, the Ryobi PDD209K cordless drill offers a suitable solution for budget-conscious DIYers. The 600 RPM rotation speed ensures efficient drilling, and the 135 lbs of torque provides ample power for common household tasks.

A Ryobi 18V One+ 3/8-Inch Drill Driver being used on a car engine

The inclusion of a battery and charger at such an economical price further enhances its value proposition. While it may lack the advanced features and power of higher-end models, its reliability for light-duty projects is a standout feature. The compact design and lightweight construction make it easy to handle, contributing to its user-friendly appeal. Ryobi’s commitment to providing an affordable yet functional tool shines through in the PDD209K, offering a practical solution for those seeking a budget cordless drill without compromising essential performance metrics.

Affordable and budget-friendlyMay lack the power for heavy-duty applications
Versatile 3/8-inch chuck for various applicationsLimited to the Ryobi One+ battery system
Lightweight and compact design for easy handlingMay not include advanced features found in higher-end models
Variable speed control for precision
LED light for improved visibility
Compatible with the extensive Ryobi One+ tool system
Battery and charger compatibility with other Ryobi One+ tools
Suitable for a range of light to medium-duty tasks

Guide To Choosing a Cordless Drill – What We Consider

Performance Accuracy

When evaluating drills, our primary focus is on performance. A drill’s ability to fulfill its intended tasks is paramount; otherwise, it holds little value. We conduct rigorous tests across various materials, assessing how a drill’s performance evolves from lighter to heavier-duty applications. While we explore each drill’s practical limits, it’s essential to acknowledge that not every drill is equipped for every job—no 12V drill undergoes testing with a 2 9/16-inch self-feed bit, recognizing the specialized requirements of certain tasks.

Size and Weight

Generally, a more compact and lighter drill tends to be more advantageous. This characteristic facilitates work in confined spaces and minimizes user fatigue. The preference leans towards utilizing the smallest, lightest drill that remains effective for the job at hand, aligning with practicality and efficiency.


The tactile experience of a drill is crucial, emphasizing the significance of a tool that feels right in one’s hands. Weight distribution plays a role in achieving a balanced feel, yet personal comfort often hinges on the brand’s handle design. A visit to a home improvement store allows users to explore different drill options, discovering which one aligns best with their individual preferences.

Considered Features:

Numerous features warrant consideration when selecting a cordless drill. While not all of them are essential, they can significantly contribute to simplifying tasks, reducing fatigue, and enhancing safety. Here’s what we prioritize:

  • Multiple Speeds: 2 speeds are a must, more is generally better
  • Kickback Control: stops the motor if the bit binds up
  • Side Handle: necessary on drills with higher torque
  • Smart Controls: helps with inventory management and tracking, some offer customizable controls
  • Brushless Motor: longer runtime, better performance, and longer motor life
  • Interchangeable chucks: switching to a specialized chuck can get you out of a sticky situation
  • All-Metal Chuck: better durability
  • LED Light: nearly every drill has one, but our favorites put the light(s) around the chuck
  • Belt Hook: usually reversible, they’re super-helpful when you have materials to carry or your climbing a ladder

All in All Conclusion

In conclusion, choosing the right cordless drill involves a careful consideration of various factors. Performance stands as the foremost priority, with the drill’s ability to meet the demands of different tasks taking center stage in our evaluation. Size and weight play crucial roles, emphasizing the practicality of opting for a compact, lightweight drill that aligns with the specific job requirements. Ergonomics, often a subjective aspect, underscores the significance of selecting a drill that feels comfortable and balanced in one’s hands, with personal preferences influencing the choice. When delving into features, the multitude available demands discernment, with an emphasis on those that contribute to ease of use, reduced fatigue, and enhanced safety.

In essence, a well-rounded cordless drill should strike a balance between performance, size, ergonomic design, and advantageous features, providing users with a reliable and efficient tool for a spectrum of applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I determine the performance of a cordless drill?
    Performance is evaluated based on factors such as RPM (Rotations Per Minute), torque, and the drill’s capability in various materials. Our reviews provide detailed insights into each drill’s performance across different tasks.
  2. What makes a brushless motor superior in performance?
    Brushless motors offer longer runtime, improved efficiency, and extended motor life compared to brushed motors. They contribute to the overall superior performance of a cordless drill.
  3. Why is torque an essential consideration for performance?
    Torque is crucial as it determines the drill’s ability to handle different tasks. Higher torque is advantageous for demanding applications, making it an essential factor in assessing a drill’s overall performance.
  4. How does kickback control enhance performance and safety?
    Kickback control is a safety feature that stops the motor if the bit binds up, preventing accidents. It contributes to both safety and the overall performance of the cordless drill.
  5. Why is variable speed control important for performance?
    Variable speed control allows users to adjust the drill’s speed according to the task at hand. It enhances precision, control, and the drill’s adaptability to different materials.
  6. What role does the design and build quality play in performance?
    The design and build quality impact a drill’s durability and usability, influencing its overall performance. A well-constructed and ergonomic design contributes to efficient operation and longevity.
  7. How does a brushless motor contribute to the drill’s overall performance?
    Brushless motors reduce friction, heat, and wear, resulting in a more efficient and longer-lasting performance. They enhance the drill’s overall effectiveness across various tasks.
  8. Can cordless drills with interchangeable chucks perform better in specialized situations?
    Yes, cordless drills with interchangeable chucks provide versatility, allowing users to switch to specialized chucks for specific tasks. This versatility enhances the drill’s performance in a range of applications.
  9. What is the significance of multiple speeds in a cordless drill?
    Multiple speeds offer flexibility, allowing users to tailor the drill’s performance to different tasks. Having at least two speeds is essential, and more options generally provide better adaptability.
  10. How does the integration of smart controls impact the performance of a cordless drill?
    Smart controls contribute to inventory management, and tracking, and offer customizable features. While not essential for everyone, they can enhance the overall efficiency and ease of use for certain users and applications.

We’re eager to learn from your experiences! Feel free to share your insights and thoughts on the Best Performance Cordless Drills of 2024 in the comments section below. Your valuable input can play a significant role in assisting other users in making well-informed decisions about their next cordless drill purchase!

Edward Smith
Edward Smith
Forestry Author

Woodworking is about more than crafting; it's a harmonious connection with nature, mastering tools, and preserving our environment. I'm here to share my knowledge and experiences with you, forging a future where we can embrace wood's beauty and utility while safeguarding our forests' health and diversity.


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