(Updated 6/7/2012)

Here are our choices for the best cordless drills in several different categories. We have analyzed all of these models by checking out their specs, viewing their real-world performance, and reading real user ratings and reviews. We give each unit an overall rating. We use that number along with specific criteria for each category (for more info on each group see explanation below) including the price of the item to make our top 3 recommendations in each category which are as follows:

Best 18v
1.Milwaukee 2603-22 - #1 Best 18v Cordless Drill

Milwaukee 2603-22

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2.Bosch DDH181-01 #2 Best 18v Cordless Drill

Bosch DDH181-01

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3.DeWalt DCD980L2 #3 Best 18v Cordless Drill

DeWalt DCD980L2

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Best 18v Compact
1.Bosch DDS181-02 #1 Best Compact 18v Cordless Drill

Bosch DDS181-02

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2.DeWalt DCD780C2 #2 Best Compact 18v Cordless Drill

DeWalt DCD780C2

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3.Makita LXFD01CW #3 Best Compact 18v Cordless Drill

Makita LXFD01CW

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Best 14.4v
1.Bosch 37614-01 Best 14.4v Cordless Drill

Bosch 37614-01

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2.Hitachi DS14DL Best 14.4v Cordless Drill

Hitachi DS14DL

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3.Panasonic EY7441LZ2S Best 14.4v Cordless Drill

Panasonic EY7441LZ2S

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Best 12v
1.Milwaukee 2410-22 Best 12v Cordless Drill

Milwaukee 2410-22

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2.DeWalt DCD910KX Best 12v Cordless Drill

DeWalt DCD910KX

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3.Ridgid R92008 Best 12v Cordless Drill

Ridgid R92008

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Best Professional
1.Milwaukee 2603-22 - #1 Best Professional Cordless Drill

Milwaukee 2603-22

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2.Bosch DDH181-01 #2 Best Professional Cordless Drill

Bosch DDH181-01

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3.DeWalt DCD980L2 #3 Best Professional Cordless Drill

DeWalt DCD980L2

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Best Home Owner / DIY
1.Milwaukee 2603-22CT - #1 Best Homeowner Cordless Drill

Milwaukee 2603-22CT

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2.Bosch DDS181-02 - #2 Best Homeowner 18v Cordless Drill

Bosch DDS181-02

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3.Ridgid R86008K - #3 Best Homeowner Cordless Drill

Ridgid R86008K

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Best Value For the Money
1.Hitachi DS18DSAL Best Value Cordless Drill

Hitachi DS18DSAL

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2.Bosch DDS181-02 - #2 Best Value Cordless Drill

Bosch DDS181-02

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3.Ridgid R86008K - #3 Best Value Cordless Drill

Ridgid R86008K

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Best Under $100 / Best Budget
1.Skil 2898LI-02 Best Cordless Drill Under $100

Skil 2898LI-02

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2.Hitachi DS14DVF3 Best Cordless Drill Under $100

Hitachi DS14DVF3

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3.Hitachi DS12DVF3 Best Cordless Drill Under $100

Hitachi DS12DVF3

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A little explanation of what determines how an item ranks high in each category of cordless drills. When considering the best 18 volt, we primarily focused on the top overall performance, but also kept in mind cost. Same for the best 12 volt and 14 volt. In the compact 18 volt class, we rated the smallest and lightest models which still work effectively favorably. As for the best professional model, we looked for high torque, best performance, and long lasting batteries so it could handle the toughest tasks on a jobsite, and with little emphasis on price. In regards to the best homeowner / do-it-yourself group, we ranked drills that provided a good value for occasional use including weight, size, and price as large factors. The best value for the money were the models we felt gave the best bang for your buck with the heaviest emphasis on price. The under $100 category is obviously the top rated units, no matter what voltage, under 100 dollars.

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