After trial and error 3 new drills in late 2020, we’ve included two new also-great picks in the compact 18/20-volt category.

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December 8, 2020


Cordless drills are even more effective than they’ve ever before been, yet they’ve additionally acquired so compact and also lightweight that you can probably handle one also if you’ve never before picked up a drill in your life. Manufacturers prefer to market them to pros, however don’t be put off: Anyone going past the most rudimentary residence advancement tasks—whether hanging a baby gate or mounting shelving—will certainly discover that a drill makes the job-related much faster, simpler, more enjoyable, and also even more most likely to attain solid, professional-looking results than hand tools alone. After drilling around 600 holes and also sinking at least 50 pounds of screws in drill tests dating earlier to 2013, we’ve uncovered the DeWalt DCD701F2 Xtreme 12V Max Brushmuch less 3/8 in. Drill/Driver Kit to be the ideal one yet.


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DeWalt DCD701F2 Xtreme 12V Max Brushmuch less 3/8 in. Drill/Driver Kit

Small, controllable, and also plenty of power

The DeWalt is the a lot of comfortable drill we’ve ever organized, and also it’s loaded through convenience functions. It has sufficient toughness and strength to easily take care of widespread house tasks.


The DeWalt DCD701F2 12-volt drill combines power, comfort, and convenience in a method that namong the various other tested drills execute. In our tests, it bored 30 1-inch holes through a 2-by-10 on a single battery charge—results that show it can handle simply around anypoint within the 4 walls of a house, and also even the occasional foray into more aggressive work-related such as a small decking repair. The DeWalt 12-volt’s power is on a par via that of some of the various other drills we looked at, however it particularly excels in ergonomics and convenience features. The molded manage seems to account for eextremely curve and bulge of the hand, making this drill the the majority of comfortable we’ve ever before held. The battery is designed so that the drill have the right to stand upbest as soon as not in usage (other drills, choose the runner-up Bosch, need to be inserted on their side), and also the LED is positioned such that it illuminates the drill front much better than many. The DCD701F2 also comes with a nice belt hook, and also the battery gauge is on each battery fairly than on the tool, so you can examine batteries without having to insert them into the drill.


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Bosch PS31-2A 12V Max 3/8 In. Drill/Driver Kit

Powerful however not as nice to hold

The Bosch has similar power but is clunkier to organize, and also the little touches, such as the LED, aren’t as nice as the DeWalt’s.


Buying Options
$100* from Lowe's

*At the moment of publishing, the price was $130.


If the DeWalt 12-volt is overpriced or uneasily accessible, we likewise choose the Bosch PS31-2A 12V Max 3/8 In. Drill/Driver Kit. This 12-volt Bosch couldn’t drill as many type of 1-inch holes on a single charge as the DeWalt in our tests, however it still has actually more than enough power for basic house tasks. In our own dimensions, we discovered it to be around 5 ounces lighter than the DeWalt 12-volt, however it feels heavier bereason the balance isn’t as good. The Bosch battery slides up into the handle, making the grip fatter and also not as contoured as the DeWalt’s. The LED additionally doesn’t illuminate too. This drill was our pick for years, and also it has actually always been a solid performer. We were willing to overlook its minor inconveniences before, however the even more newly released DeWalt solves practically all of them.


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DeWalt DCD791D2 20V Max XR Li-Ion Brushless Compact Drill/Driver Kit

For faster occupational on tougher jobs

The DeWalt 20-volt handles demanding work much better than the smaller, 12-volt drills, yet it retains the excellent ergonomics and other features that set DeWalt’s 12-volt apart.


Buying Options
$190 from Amazon
$200 from Lowe's

If you take on jobs that call for drilling numerous holes and sinking long screws, we recommend stepping approximately the DeWalt DCD791D2 20V Max XR Li-Ion Brushless Compact Drill/Driver Kit. This is a larger, 20-volt drill, yet it shares every one of the most vital features of the smaller, 12-volt DeWalt: It’s exceptionally powerful and also incredibly comfortable to organize and usage, and also the bit convenience features, such as the belt hook and the case, are spot-on. Contrasted via our 12-volt pick, this larger drill completes tougher work a lot faster, doing the same work in less than fifty percent the moment, with a battery that lasts longer. The well-positioned LED can also be switched on separately of the drill, a distinct feature that makes it a rudimentary flashlight, which might come in handy in almost any type of crawl space. For around-the-home jobs, the included rate and power are regularly unimportant. But for more production-oriented work-related, such as putting down decking or structure a garden shed, they make a noticeable distinction.


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Milwaukee 2801-22CT M18 1/2 in. Compact Brushless Drill/Driver Kit

Another powerful, bigger option

Nat an early stage identical to the 20-volt DeWalt (with minor compromises), this version is recommfinished if you watch it at a lower price, or if you already usage Milwaukee’s cordmuch less devices.


If the DeWalt 20-volt drill is not accessible, we additionally favor the 18-volt Milwaukee 2801-22CT M18 1/2 in. Compact Brushless Drill/Driver Kit. It’s incredibly comparable to the DeWalt DCD791D2 in power, ergonomics, and as a whole design (18- and also 20-volt tools are the same—the distinction is just marketing). The negatives: It has actually only a single-establishing light that turns on and off through the drill, and also the instance has actually hardly any kind of room for drill or driver bits. Those are minor points at best, but, so if you’re already invested in Milwaukee’s cordmuch less tools, or if you uncover this drill at a reduced price than the DeWalt, go for it.


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DeWalt DCD708C2 Atomic 20V Max Li-ion Brushless Compact Drill/Driver Kit

A excellent middle ground

The small 20-volt DeWalt Atomic uses more power than the 12-volt, yet not as much as the bigger 20-volt. It’s an excellent choice for a DIYer to buy into DeWalt’s expansive 20-volt line.


We think that the majority of world will be happy through the power and also dimension of the DeWalt 12-volt, however if you’re looking for a small even more, yet you’re unconvinced around the dimension and also weight of the bigger 20-volt DeWalt, we recommfinish the DeWalt DCD708C2 Atomic 20V Max Li-ion Brushmuch less Compact Drill/Driver Kit, which splits the difference between the two. This is a reasonably new category of tool, normally described as subcompacts (although DeWalt refers to theirs as sindicate “compact”), that is closer to the size of a 12-volt, yet it supplies the 20-volt batteries. Integrated, this provides it power and dimension ideal in between the two classes: The tool has enough power for even more considerable DIY tasks such as light framing, yet it’s not as systematized and also easy to use as the 12-volt. We check out it as a great drill for someone beginning out on the DIY road that might not want to deal with the weight and also bulk of the bigger drills. Alengthy the same lines, the Atomic is part of DeWalt’s exceptionally huge 20-volt line of tools, all via compatible batteries, so it’s a nice location to begin if you mean to grow your arsenal of cordmuch less devices later on.


Ridgid R8701K 18-volt Brushmuch less SubCompact Cordmuch less Drill Driver Kit

Another nice subcompact

The Ridgid is similar to the DeWalt Atomic (via a bulkier battery) and have the right to be a good entry allude into Ridgid’s big line of 18-volt tools.


The Ridgid R8701K 18-volt Brushmuch less SubCompact Cordmuch less Drill Driver Kit is one more subcompact that performed about the very same as the DeWalt Atomic. Like the DeWalt, it’s not the best tool for heavy-duty work, however it uses a solid combination of power, dimension, and also price for basic DIY work. It’s additionally a great entry allude right into the huge Ridgid line of 18-volt devices. Between the 2, we prefer the DeWalt—the DeWalt has an extra streamlined battery setup, and also the Ridgid equipment selector toggle is a little tiny and also difficult to see, yet these are minor differences.

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A bit set to go via the drill

Everything we recommend


Our pick

DeWalt DCD701F2 Xtreme 12V Max Brushless 3/8 in. Drill/Driver Kit

Small, controllable, and plenty of power

The DeWalt is the many comfortable drill we’ve ever before held, and also it’s loaded through convenience functions. It has sufficient stamina and strength to quickly manage widespread house jobs.