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The 9 best cordless drills 2024: Tried, tested and reviewed

A selection of the best cordless drills against a blue background

From daily DIY to bigger projects, I’ve tested the best cordless drill drivers, hammer drills, impact drivers and SDS drills for every job

Cordless drills are endlessly useful for a wide range of DIY tasks. Whether you’re assembling furniture, making repairs, mounting a TV or putting up new curtains, the best cordless drills will get to places where bigger mains-powered drills won’t fit. There’s no need to worry about the cable or finding a nearby plug socket.

However, choosing the best cordless drill for the job isn’t easy. With five different drill types to pick from, they each have their own strengths, weaknesses and uses – not to mention that the various models can differ hugely in both power and battery life as well. I’ve tested loads of cordless drills for Expert Reviews over the past seven years and the most important piece of advice I can give is that the right tool for the job makes all the difference.

So if, like me, you’ve struggled to drill holes into concrete lintels to put up blinds, or persevered with a cheap drill bit only for it to shear off in use, then it’s likely the right time to pick up a new cordless drill for your household DIY projects. These are my tried and tested recommendations.

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Best cordless drill 2024: At a glance

Best drill for most DIY tasksBosch UniversalImpact 18V (~£96)Check price at Amazon
Best budget drillTerratek 13 Piece 18V Cordless Drill Kit (~£35)Check price at Amazon
Best combi drill for big DIY projectsMakita DHP458Z (~£99)Check price at Alan Wadkins Tool Store
Best all-in-one drill setMakita CLX228AJ (~£175)Check price at Amazon

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How we test cordless drills

I test electric drills by fitting them with various bits and then using them to drill different-sized holes in softwood planks and posts, brickwork, and hard concrete slabs. This gives me an idea of how well the drills will cope with common household and garden tasks.

Testing cordless drills

I check how easy it is to insert and remove the bits, and how easy it is to switch between reverse and forward gears. I also check any hammer and screwdriver modes to see what difference they make – I drive a 5 x 50mm screw directly into softwood to test a drill’s screwdriving ability. Finally, I test the bundled battery and charger to see how long it takes to get a full recharge from flat.

The best cordless drills you can buy in 2024

1. Bosch UniversalImpact 18V: Best combi drill for most DIY tasks

Price when reviewed: £96 (with battery) | Check price at Tooled-Up
Green Bosch UniversaIImpact 18V drill set against blue backgroundIf you only want to buy one do-it-all drill, then the Bosch UniversalImpact is the model to get. With its two-speed gearbox, 20 torque settings and impact mode, I found it could take on practically anything, from driving screws straight into softwood timber to putting Rawlplug holes in brick. The only area where it struggled in my tests was tough concrete – and even there it did the job eventually.

It’s easy to use, and I particularly liked the clever keyless chuck design that gives you a good lock on your screwdriver or drill bit. The settings ring and pressure-sensitive trigger also provide plenty of control.

The UniversalImpact uses Bosch’s standard 18V Power-4-All batteries, and they took roughly an hour to charge – and even half an hour will get you up and running for a simple job. While it’s a little heavier than some lightweight combi drills, it’s got the power to tackle a wider range of tasks. Widely available for less than £100, it’s an unbeatable all-rounder for the price.

Key specs – Weight: 1.3kg; Batteries: 1 x 18V li-ion, 1.5Ah; Maximum speed: 1,450rpm; Torque settings: 20; Maximum torque: 34Nm; Maximum drilling capacity (wood, brick, steel): 30mm, 10mm, 10mm

Check price at Tooled-Up

2. Terratek 13 Piece 18V Cordless Drill Driver: Best budget drill

Price when reviewed: £35 (with battery) | Check price at Amazon
Orange Terratek 13 Piece 18V Cordless Drill Driver set against blue backgroundIf you’re looking for a cheap drill to throw into the toolbox and have on standby for a quick DIY project or your next flat-pack furniture assembly task, this low-cost Terratek option is a terrific choice. It comes with a generous six drill bits, six screwdriver bits and a bit adaptor, so you’re ready to go right out of the box, and I found that the accessories did a great job at tackling basic household needs and light repairs.

Of course, there are areas where the Terratek falls down next to the pricier models. It’s not powerful enough to do much work in metal or brickwork, and its speeds are more those of a decent electric screwdriver than those of a serious combi drill. Most importantly, the lithium-ion battery took between three and five hours to charge – and with an 800mAh capacity, it didn’t last as long either. Still, it’s lightweight and versatile, so for this price, it’s really hard to grumble.

Key specs – Weight: 1kg; Batteries: 1 x 18V li-ion, 800mAh; Maximum speed: 650rpm; Torque settings: 16; Maximum torque: Not stated; Maximum drilling capacity (wood, brick, steel): 20mm, 8mm, 8mm

3. Bosch UniversalDrill 18V: Best entry-level drill

Price when reviewed: £82 (with battery) | Check price at Amazon
Green Bosch UniversalDrill 18V set against blue backgroundBosch’s basic UniversalDrill is a reliable all-rounder, tackling most projects with little fuss or undue noise. In fact, I measured the sound output when drilling into concrete at a very reasonable 72dB, which is much quieter than other models on this list.

The two-speed planetary gearbox combined with 20 torque settings provided plenty of control when drilling into softwood, brick or plastic. You can use the lower gear for screws and larger bits, too, and the second gear is useful for speedy drilling at smaller diameters.

It’s comfortable to hold, with minimal vibration, and though it wasn’t the lightest or smallest drill I tested, it’s well-balanced for use one-handed. It uses the same Power For All batteries as most of Bosch’s DIY power tools and garden implements and took around 90 minutes to charge the 1.5Ah battery using the basic charger in the kit.

The UniversalDrill 18V passed most of my trials with ease, but struggled when it came to drilling through solid concrete or driving thicker screws straight into timber; that’s where you’ll need to reach for a beefier hammer or impact drill. As long as that isn’t a problem, the only reason not to get this drill is that the Bosch UniversalImpact (see above) often sells at roughly the same price point, and adds a little versatility through its built-in impact driver.

Key specs – Weight: 1.2kg; Batteries supplied: 1 x 18V Power For All, 1.5Ah; Maximum speed: 1,450rpm; Torque settings: 40Nm; Maximum torque: 40Nm; Maximum drilling capacity (wood, brick, steel): 30mm, 10mm, 10mm

4. Makita CLX228AJ: Best all-in-one drill set

Price when reviewed: £175 (with batteries) | Check price at Amazon
Blue Makita CLX228AJ all-in-one drill set, toolbox and battery charger set against blue backgroundThis value-packed kit from Makita gives you an impact driver, combi drill, batteries and a charger in a single case, making sure you have the tool you need for most DIY projects, unless you need to bore large holes through brick or concrete walls. The HP333D combi drill isn’t the most powerful on this list, but in my tests, it drilled through wood and concrete without a problem, though not without an ear-splitting racket.

Meanwhile, the T110D Impact Driver makes short work of driving chunky 5mm and even 8mm screws into softwood. Where other drill sets compromise quality for quantity, the Makita set gives you both without cutting any corners.

Both tools are built solidly and come with an LED light to make them easy to work in the darkest and smallest corners. Aside from that, you won’t find any extra bells or whistles – but if you’re looking for a reliable set of drills to cover all bases, this Makita twin pack gives you everything you need.

Key specs (HP333D Combi Drill) – Weight: 1kg; Batteries supplied: 1 x 12V Max Li-ion, 2Ah; Maximum speed: 1,700rpm; Torque settings: 20; Maximum torque: 30Nm; Maximum drilling capacity (wood, brick, steel): 21mm, 8mm, 10mm

Key specs (T110D Impact Driver) – Weight: 1kg; Batteries supplied: 1 x 12V Max Li-ion, 2Ah; Maximum speed: 2,600rpm; Maximum torque: 110Nm

5. Makita DHP458Z: Best combi drill for bigger DIY projects

Price when reviewed: £99 (tool only) | Check price at Alan Wadkins Tool Store
Blue Makita DHP458Z combi drill set against blue backgroundThe Makita DHP458Z gives you more power and some pro-level features at a price that’s still reasonable. I didn’t have any complaints about the results, either, with the Makita speeding through softwood and hardwood and working through brick in seconds, and even our top challenge – concrete – didn’t hold it off for long. Just make sure you’ve got some earplugs or defenders as it did get pretty loud.

There are screwdriver, drill and hammer settings to choose from, along with an extra grip that slides onto the tool and clamps into place in four different positions, providing extra hold when the hammer action is doing its work. What’s more, there’s a rod that slides into the grip that can be set to prevent you from drilling in too far. The keyless chuck is extremely efficient at holding even slender bits, with a firm locking option that grips them tight, and while this is a relatively heavy tool, I found it to be well-balanced and felt incredibly robust. Busy with a major project? This drill’s ready to take on anything you’ve got.

Key specs – Weight: 2kg; Batteries: 1 x18V li-ion, 2Ah (not supplied); Maximum speed: 2,000rpm; Torque settings: 21; Maximum torque: 88Nm; Maximum drilling capacity (wood, brick, steel): 76mm, 16mm, 13mm

Check price at Alan Wadkins Tool Store

6. Black + Decker 18 V Cordless 2-Gear Combi Hammer Drill: Best budget hammer drill

Price when reviewed: £48 (with battery) | Check price at Amazon
Orange Black + Decker 18V combi hammer drill set against blue backgroundThe Black + Decker 18V combi drill is a terrific all-rounder for tackling a variety of household jobs and is also tough enough to handle light masonry and metalwork, thanks to a high 21,000BPM hammer drilling speed. For the most heavy-duty tasks, however, I would still recommend the DeWalt rotary hammer drill below.

The lightweight drill has ten different torque settings and a two-gear variable speed (max 1,400rpm), which helped me to prioritise either control and precision or speed depending on the job. The 18V lithium-ion battery is interchangeable with the brand’s range of other 18V tools and can hold 80% of its charge over 90 days.

Key specs – Weight: 1.2kg; Batteries: 1 x 18V li-ion, 1.5Ah; Maximum speed: 1,400rpm; Torque settings: 10; Maximum torque: 40Nm; Maximum drilling capacity (wood, brick, steel): 25mm, 10mm, 10mm

7. Worx WX354 SlammerDrill: Best combi drill for masonry and more

Price when reviewed: £120 (tool only) | Check price at Worx
Orange/black Worx WX354 SlammerDrill set against blue backgroundI love a power tool with a tough name, and the Worx SlammerDrill lives up to its billing. While it hasn’t got the size or heft of the DeWalt (below) or the Makita DHP458Z (above), it punches above its weight with a hammer action that easily puts holes into brick or concrete. Used on wood, the action is effortless and there’s enough grunt to drive in chunky screws without any pilot holes if you’re not too fussed about a super-neat result. I found that there’s a lot of power on offer, but also plenty of control.

And while it seems a little on the pricey side, it comes bundled with two 20V batteries and a charger. In my tests, it charged the battery within an hour, or close to 75% in half an hour. You can also share your batteries with other tools in the Worx range. If you’re looking for a combi drill with a little extra firepower, this is an excellent choice.

Key specs – Weight: 1.7kg; Batteries supplied: 2 x 10V li-ion, 2Ah; Maximum speed: 2,000rpm; Torque settings: 18; Maximum torque: 60Nm; Maximum drilling capacity (wood, brick, steel): 40mm, 16mm, 13mm

Check price at Worx

8. DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion SDS: Best SDS rotary hammer around £200

Price when reviewed: £200 (tool only) | Check price at Toolstation
Yellow DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion SDS drill set against blue backgroundIf you’re planning to work with metal, wood or masonry, you’ll need a drill with enough torque to break through the toughest of surfaces. This DeWalt model is surprisingly powerful for its size: despite weighing in at just 3kg, it packs all the power of a corded SDS+ model into a lightweight, portable piece of kit.

If you’ll be using your new drill fairly regularly and can cough up a little more, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better tool than this. It isn’t one for the occasional DIY-er, but I appreciated the drill’s low vibration levels, which made long drilling sessions easier on the arm. The handy hammer-only mode was also incredibly useful and is a feature you won’t find on cheaper models.

Key specs – Weight: 3.1kg; Batteries supplied: 18V li-ion, 4Ah not supplied; Maximum speed: 4,500rpm; Torque settings: N/A; Maximum torque: N/A; Maximum drilling capacity (wood, brick, steel): 26mm, 24mm, 13mm

Check price at Toolstation

9. Ryobi One+ R18IDBL: Best cordless impact driver

Price when reviewed: £120 (with battery) | Check price at Ryobi
Green Ryobi One+ R18IDBL impact driver set against blue backgroundRyobi’s brushless impact driver delivers huge amounts of torque – up to 270Nm – which meant that it could drive a screw through decking with barely any effort and loosen the most troublesome stuck bolts. The variable speed trigger and three power levels gave me plenty of control, too. It even has a specialised DeckDrive mode that slows down the speed as the screw head gets level with the surface of the timber, avoiding any nasty splits. If you’ve got a big garden landscaping project to complete, this tool will save you time and work.

The one downside with all this power is that, once fitted with a 2.5mAh, 18V battery, you’re looking at a total weight of 1.54kg, so it will be tougher on an outstretched arm than the lighter combi drills or Makita’s T110D above. Just bear in mind, too, that you’ll need to budget for a battery and charger if you haven’t already invested in Ryobi’s One+ system – otherwise, you only need to pay around £80. The R18IDBL is more of a specialist than the other cordless drills on test, but it’s streets ahead for driving screws.

Key specs – Weight: 1.54kg; Batteries supplied: 18V li-ion, 2.5mAh not supplied; Maximum speed: 3,000rpm; Torque settings: N/A; Maximum torque: 270Nm; Maximum drilling capacity (wood, brick, steel): N/A

Check price at Ryobi

How to choose the best cordless drill for you

What type of drill do I need?

There are five different types of drill, most of which look similar to the untrained eye. Below you’ll find a quick summary of the main types and what they are best used for.

The no-frills drill for a variety of tasks around the home.
Best for: Drilling holes and driving screws into thin walls, wood and masonry. Typically lighter than more powerful drills.
Drawbacks: Motors may not be as powerful, with less torque.

Impact driver
These might look like a standard drill, but impact drivers are specifically designed to drive screws.

Best for: Powering screws into tougher surfaces. Traditionally more compact.
Drawbacks: Not designed to drill holes.

Combi drill
For everyday drilling and screwdriving, with a basic hammer function.
Best for: Great all-round option often offering improved torque for more demanding DIY jobs.
Drawbacks: Often pricier than standard drill drivers, though not always by much. Not as powerful as high-end hammers or SDS rotary hammers.

Hammer drill
Powerful forwards and backwards hammering action, working in combination with a spinning drill bit.
Best for: Striking through tough masonry or stone.
Drawbacks: Tend to cost more than their basic combi counterparts. Not as powerful as SDS drills (below) and are generally much noisier.

SDS drill
Also known as SDS rotary hammers, these are designed for more heavy-duty DIY jobs where power is paramount.
Best for: Drilling through the toughest materials such as concrete and steel.
Drawbacks: Bulkier and heavier than standard hammer drills. Pricier than other models.

How much do I need to spend?

The cheapest cordless drill I recommend is the Terratek 13 Piece 18V Cordless Drill Kit, which will set you back as little as £30. However you should expect to pay more for combi drills with more features, as well as drills designed to tackle heavy-duty DIY jobs. As such, the most expensive option I recommend is the DeWalt 18V Rotary Hammer Drill (£180), but if your needs are more modest you can easily get away with spending between £80 and £100. This includes the best drill for most DIY tasks, the Bosch UniversalImpact 18V.

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