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Compared with most tools that haven't changed in decades (drill presses for instance) cordless tools have seen huge leap in technology in past years. Main area of improvement are doubtless the batteries, batteries voltage has doubled in past years. Not that long ago only high end models featured 12V batteries, now even entry models like Black & Decker LDX120C have 20V batteries.

18V VS 20V

Almost all major cordless drill manufacturers have switched from 7,2V or 12V to 18V or 20V batteries. While there is huge difference between 12V and 18V there seems to be no noticeable difference between 18V and 20V. However this is not the case for compact size Cordless drills as they mostly future 12V. Another huge leap in technology are new Li-ion batteries that almost completely replaced old Ni-Cd batteries.

As with everything in this world, you get what you pay for, cordless drills are no exception. However due to fast fast changing battery technology best cordless drills have some important futures regardless its price range.



The most important things to look after are:

1. battery type: Li-ion batteries are best.
2. battery voltage: 18V or 20V for full size and 12V for compact ones.
3. battery capacity: 1.5Ah battery will last 1/2 time compared with 3Ah.


Full size VS compact size Cordless drills

Most manufacturers offer cordless drills in two sizes full size and compact. Full size drill is meant to be a general purpose tool for either contractors as well DIYers, unless your primary drill is meant for fine work. Compact cordless dills are meant to supplement full size cordless drills as their reduced weight causes less fatigue. 4 lbs vs 2.2 lbs for Makita for example. As said before when buying a new drill you should look for 18V or 20V and 12V for compact ones.


Best Cordless Drills For The Money

1. Makita XPH012 18V LXT
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Specs:
Voltage:18 volts
Battery capacity: 1x3.0 Amp-hrs
Weight: 4.0 lbs.
Chuck material: polymer
Max Torque: 480 in.lbs.
Warranty: tool 3-year; battery 1-year
Hammer option: Yes

Pros:
Battery! Makita XPH012 18V LXT comes with 3.0 Amp-hrs battery which is the biggest battery capacity in its price range. Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX comes with two 1.3 Amp-hrs batteries which combined still have less power capacity compared to Makita. There is always the dilemma two smaller batteries or one big. But lets face the reality! If you need a cordless drill for moderate contractor use both one 3.0 Amp-hrs battery and two 1.3 Amp-hrs batteries may not have enough capacity. With Makita you can buy another 3.0 Amp-hrs battery which is more than you can wish for! However if you upgrade Dewalt battery capacity you will be stuck with tool case full of batteries.

Hammer drill option! Ok if you need to drill 100s of holes in concrete you are better off with corded hammer drill, but its an option that its always nice to have in case you need to drill a few holes.

Cons:
It doesn't have charge indicator in the tool or battery. Which is common in this price range.

2. Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX
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Specs:
Voltage:20 volts
Battery capacity: 2x1.3 Amp-hrs
Weight: 3.6 lbs.
Chuck material: polymer
Max Torque: not specified
Warranty: limited warranty 3-year; free service 1-year
Hammer option: No

Pros:
This drill fits in the same price range as Makita XPH012. The performance is almost the same however Dewalt doesn't have hammer option but it does make up with lighter weight. 0.4 lbs. may not sound much but after several hours of use you may tell the difference

Cons:
Like Makita XPH012 it doesn't have charge indicator in the tool or battery. Which is common in this price range.

3. Milwaukee 2606-22CT M18 18V
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Specs:
Voltage:18 volts
Battery capacity: 2x1.5 Amp-hrs
Weight: 2.9 lbs.
Chuck material: metal
Max Torque: 500 in-lbs
Warranty: tool 5-year; battery 2-year
Hammer option: No

Pros:
Compared with Makita XPH012 and Dewalt DCD771C2, Milwaukee 2606-22CT M18 18V does have some nice additions like charge indicator in the battery and many more parts made out of metal instead of plastic. Another advantage is its light weight. However it does costs about 40$ more compared with Dewalt DCD771C2 and Makita XPH012, considering its additions (charge indicator and metal parts) we consider its higher price to be justified.

Cons:
It does not come with a belt clip, belt clip is optional.


Our conclusions:
Makita XPH012 18V LXT
- Best cordless drill overall
- Best battery

Dewalt DCD771C2 20V MAX
Great package overall but it doesn't stand out at anything from the rest.

Milwaukee 2606-22CT M18 18V
- Best warranty conditions
- Nice additions like charge indicator in the battery and many more parts made out of metal instead of plastic, but costs about 40$ more


Best High End Cordless Drills

1. Metabo BS18 LTX BL 18V

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Specs:
Voltage:18 volts
Battery capacity: 2x5.5 Amp-hrs
Weight: 4.2 lbs.
Chuck material: metal
Max Torque: 797 in-lbs
Warranty: tool 3-year; battery 3-year
Hammer option: No

Pros:
797 in-lbs of max torque, 5.5 Amp-hrs batteries and it weights only 4.2 lbs.! This is the best cordless drill money can buy. However you have to pay attention, it doesn't have hammer option which translates in light weight.

Cons:
Price! It is well worth the money but Makita XPH07TB is also an excellent drill and it costs about 50$ less.


2. Milwaukee 0726-22 28V
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Specs:
Voltage:28 volts
Battery capacity: 2x3.0 Amp-hrs
Weight: 6.7 lbs.
Chuck material: metal
Max Torque: 750 in-lbs
Warranty: tool 5-year; battery 2-year
Hammer option: Yes

Pros:
This drill has two main advantages first is the price and second is warranty 5-year for drill and 2-year for battery which beats the competition hands down.
Milwaukee 0726-22 28V does operate on 28V! However we haven't seen any particular benefits from this high voltage. The drill does make 750 in-lbs of max torque, which is a lot, but well within the line with competition. For comparison Makita XPH07TB LXT 18V does make 1090 in.lbs. and Metabo BS18 LTX BL 18V 797 in-lbs of max torque.

Cons:
The drill comes with two 3.0 Amp-hrs batteries which is more than enough but its competitors have batteries with more capacity.


3. Makita XPH07TB LXT 18V
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Specs:
Voltage:18 volts
Battery capacity: 2x5.0 Amp-hrs
Weight: 5.9 lbs.
Chuck material: metal
Max Torque: 1090 in.lbs.
Warranty: tool 3-year; battery 1-year
Hammer option: Yes

Pros:
With 1090 in.lbs. of max torque this is the most powerful cordless drill we have reviewed. The combination of massive torque and hammer option makes this drill best cordless drill for concrete.

Cons:
1-year battery warranty.


Our conclusions:
Metabo BS18 LTX BL 18V
- Best cordless drill overall
- NO hammer option
- Pricey

Milwaukee 0726-22 28V
- Great price
- Best warranty conditions

Makita XPH07TB LXT 18V
- Most powerful
- With 1090 in.lbs. of max torque and hammer option this is the best cordless drill for concrete drilling