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Cordless Drill Performance

Users who post cordless drill reviews typically advise their fellow drill users to go to a store and take a good hard look at the tool before buying. Try the handle.

Try the trigger. Try pulling the battery out and putting it back in. Try the charger. Reviewers also advise that you try changing the bits and speeds and working the reverse mechanism. If you have any questions, ask someone before investing. The Internet hosts cordless drill reviews written by all manner of users, from sporadic to hobbyists to DIYers to professionals, who dish on the effectiveness of their cheap cordless drills. Even though the top-rated cordless drills occasionally prove to be lemons, the cordless drill reviews we found indicate that the vast majority of users are well-served by the best and good models on our list.

Overall Performance.

But for the odd home handyman or tradesman who nitpick the torque or grip of the chuck, users of all stripes seem perfectly content with several 12V drills that we researched. The Ryobi HJP002K drills and drives with gusto, say cordless drill reviews on Home Depot. Users report this cheap cordless drill is well-suited to assembling play forts and game tables, roughing-in residential construction, maintaining commercial aircraft, and tackling home repair tasks, although we did come across a few cordless drill reviews grumbling about slow speeds that limit the drill's usefulness to smaller screws and shorter nails. The speed and power of the Porter-Cable PCL120DDC-2 earn it an above-average grade from experts at Cordless Drill Reviews, who note that its performance in these two dimensions surpass most other 12V drills. Reviews on Amazon comment on the Porter-Cable PCL120DDC-2's impressive power, which drives four-inch screws into birch without a hitch; a review on Lowe's, however, says the drill stumbles when matched against metal and long screws. Reviews for the Skil 12V 2240-01 indicate this model is less versatile than our favorites. Commenting on Amazon, users say the Skil 2240-01 has enough power for small home projects that a novice would take on, but little else; a user posting on Epinions reports that he struggled to drive a screw into a stud when trying to mount a towel holder.

Despite acclaim for these cheap 12V cordless drills, many users still prefer more powerful 18V and 19.2V models. The Craftsman 17310 C3 is one strong drill, according to cordless drill reviews on Sears, with the right amount of torque and speed to manage jobs like hanging sheetrock, building a workbench, and upgrading computers. Although we noted a couple of comments about inadequate torque, there were several posts from mechanics who say this model stands up to those sold by specialty vendors. A maximum speed of 1600 rpm places the Ryobi P815 above average for 18V drills, according to Cordless Drill Reviews, even as its power lags the average by 25%. Some users assert this model could use a bit more oomph, but most cordless drill reviews on Home Depot say it's more than adequate for tasks like driving lag bolts into lumber, boring holes into rocky and ice-cold ground for spring bulbs, mounting bookshelves, and (with the appropriate attachments), detailing autos. Still, one user grouses that the speed can be inconsistent and very low speeds are hard to set, and another says the motor burned up after just a day of hard drilling. The PowerGlide 19.2V cordless drill irks users on a variety of counts, one of which concerns inadequate power, according to some cordless drill reviews on Ace Hardware. The occasional user might be pleased with this model, but units seem to burn out quickly when put to the test.

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Ease of Use.

Imagine holding a drill over your head for hours and you'll know why ergonomics are important to drill users. Almost across the board, users of these models report that they're easy to use, well-balanced, feel good in your hand, and don't tire your arm. Most manufacturers are now incorporating the lighter weight lithium-ion batteries in the best cordless drills; most of the cordless drills on our list weigh less than five pounds. About the only negative attributed to the Craftsman 17310 C3 is its hefty 6.1-pound weight (despite the lithium ion battery), although one user asserts it does a woman's tool box proud. The 18V Ryobi P815 also appeals to handy women, one of whom gives a shout-out in a cordless drill review on Home Depot to the yellow-green color and calls it a "life-changer." Another woman reports that male colleagues in a cabinet shop initially dismissed the 12V Ryobi HJP002K as a toy, then asked to borrow it, and then bought their own. On the other end of the spectrum, the Skil 2240-01 takes some heat in cordless drill reviews on Amazon for an uncomfortable trigger that controls the speed on this 12V cordless drill.

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