Reviews by Brand

 

Bosch DDS181-02 Compact 18v Li-Ion Cordless DrillWe give the Bosch DDS181-02 18-Volt Compact Tough Cordless Drill Driver a 9.3 overall rating. It is our #1 choice for the best compact 18v drill you can buy. We also rated it as our #2 overall homeowner/DIY model and our #2 best value for the money.

The biggest reason we like this unit is its superior power to weight performance. It features 600 in-lbs of torque, which is more than most brands high performance full size models, while weighing in at just 3.4 pounds. To achieve this power it uses of a 4-pole open frame motor which provides more power in a smaller size.

The DDS181-02 includes 2 lithium-ion batteries with 1.5 Ah of life. These batteries perform in cold weather down to -4 deg temps and also include a fuel gauge. Other features include the durashield housing to withstand jobsite conditions, LED light, soft-grip handle for comfortable extended use, and Bosch’s Advanced Lithium-ion Technology which delivers optimized performance by keeping the battery cooler and protecting the motor in heavy duty applications.

We could only find a couple of minor complaints. The chuck housing is plastic as opposed to metal, but still feels beefy and up to the task.  There is also no bit holder on the drill. These are really minor inconveniences that don’t take away from the otherwise very impressive cordless tool.

The price is very attractive at approximately $189. It is also on sale quite often at Amazon for even cheaper. Overall we highly recommend this drill for anyone from a homeowner/DIYer through professionals especially if you want a lightweight model.

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Specs18v Class Average
Overall Rating9.3 
ManufacturerBosch 
ModelDDS181-02 
StyleCompact Cordless Drill 
Voltage18v 
Weight3.4 lbs4.5 lbs
Max Torque600 in-lbs490 in-lbs
Max Speed1700 RPM1600 RPM
Variable Speed2-SPEED 
ReversableYes 
Chuck Size1/2″ 
Chuck TypeKeyless, Ratcheting 
Battery TypeLi-Ion SlimPack 
Charge Rating1.5Ah1.8 Ah
Charge Time30 min45 min
Batteries Included2 
Work LightLED 
Extra HandleNo 
Fuel GuageYes 
Warranty3 years tool, 2 year battery2 years
PriceCheck Price$212.99
 
Bosch DDS181-02 Side View
 

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22 Cordless DrillThe 2603-22 is Milwaukee’s newest high performance Li-Ion 18v drill/driver in their M18 FUEL series of cordless tools. We love everything about this drill and give it a site best 9.6 overall rating.

Just like the related compact 18v 2603-22CT, this unit features the Powerstate brushless motor, RedLink Plus intelligence, and RedLithium battery pack. Those are trademarked terms for marketing purposes, but they all mean something important for this drill. The brushless motor provides more power, reduces noise, runs cooler, and requires less maintenance. More importantly it provides up to 10x longer motor life and up to 50% longer run time per charge. The RedLink Plus intelligence simply means that the tool, battery, and charger communicate with each other to keep the tool running at peak performance. It also provides overload protection so you won’t damage the drill. The RedLithium battery is Milwaukee’s most advanced Lithium-Ion technology. They are designed to perform in extreme jobsite conditions, even in 0°F weather. The two batteries that come in this kit are the XC version (extra capacity) which feature 3.0Ah of charge rating and also have an onboard fuel gauge so you know how much power you have left.

The best part of this cordless drill is the power. It provides best-in-class torque of 725 in-lbs which is more than enough to handle the toughest tasks on any jobsite. It has 2 speed ranges with a max RPM of 1850. It also has all the amenities you want for the serious professional like the auxiliary handle, bright LED light, all metal ratcheting chuck, and 3.0 Ah rated batteries.

At 4.9 pounds this unit is a bit on the heavy side. Although it is a lot lighter than earlier NiCd battery powered models and a little bit lighter than Milwaukee’s previous 18v Li-Ion cordless drill the 2610-24. It is about 1.5 lbs heavier than other brands compact 18v versions.

At about $280 it is priced from comparable to slightly higher than other manufacturer’s high performance models.

Due to it’s superior performance, we rated the Milwaukee 2603-22 as our #1 best 18v and best professional cordless drill and highly recommend it.

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Specs18v Class Average
Overall Rating9.6 
ManufacturerMilwaukee 
Model2603-22 
StyleHigh Performance Cordless Drill
Voltage18 
Weight4.9 lbs4.5 lbs
Max Torque725 in-lbs490 in-lbs
Max Speed18501600 RPM
Variable Speed2-SPEED 
ReversableYes 
Chuck Size1/2″ 
Chuck TypeKeyless, Ratcheting 
Battery TypeHigh Capacity REDLITHIUM Li-Ion
Charge Rating3.0Ah1.8 Ah
Charge Time60 min45 min
Batteries Included2 
Work LightLED 
Extra HandleYes 
Fuel GuageYes 
Warranty5 years tool, 3 years battery2 years
PriceCheck Price$212.99

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22 1

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22 2

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22 3

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22 4

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22 5

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22 6

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22 7

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22 8

 

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603 22CTThe 2603-22CT is Milwaukee’s 18v cordless compact  M18 FUEL™ 1/2″ Drill/Driver. The M18 FUEL lineup of cordless tools feature all of Milwaukee’s latest innovations for heavy duty contractor use, including the related 2603-22 cordless drill which is the high performance version. We are very impressed with this model and gave it a 9.3 overall rating.

This unit features the Powerstate brushless motor, RedLink Plus intelligence, and RedLithium battery pack. So what do those trademarked terms mean to you? Well for starters the brushless motor provides more power, reduces noise, runs cooler, and requires less maintenance. More importantly it provides up to 10x longer motor life and up to 50% longer run time per charge. The RedLink Plus intelligence uses hardware and software to communicate between tool, battery, and charger. It keeps the tool running at peak performance and will automatically shut it off if it overheats – providing you with protection against ruining your drill. The RedLithium battery is Milwaukee’s most advanced Lithium-Ion technology. They are designed to perform in extreme jobsite conditions, even in 0°F weather. The two batteries that come in this kit are the compact version which feature 1.5Ah of charge rating and also have an onboard fuel gauge so you know how much power you have left.

The 2603-22CT is listed as a compact version, although at 4.4 pounds it is about 1 pound heavier than other brand’s compact 18v models. It also has 650 in-lbs of torque which rates higher than many other brands high performance drills and much more that their compact tools. Therefore we almost don’t rate this one as a compact drill, but more of a hybrid between a true compact and a bigger high performance model.

The price point is very attractive at $229.00 for its performance. It is lower than high performance models, but higher than other compact 18v units.

The Milwaukee M18 FUEL 2603-22CT is a great compromise of power and weight, although keep in mind there are other models that are lighter if weight is a factor for you and other models that feature better power and battery life if performance is a more important factor. Overall we highly recommend this model for professionals and DIYers.

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Specs18v Class Average
Overall Rating9.3 
ManufacturerMilwaukee 
Model2603-22CT 
StyleCompact Cordless Drill 
Voltage18 
Weight4.4 lbs4.5 lbs
Max Torque650 in-lbs490 in-lbs
Max Speed18501600 RPM
Variable Speed2-SPEED 
ReversableYes 
Chuck Size1/2″ 
Chuck TypeKeyless, Ratcheting 
Battery TypeCompact REDLITHIUM Li-Ion
Charge Rating1.5Ah1.8 Ah
Charge Time30 min45 min
Batteries Included2 
Work LightLED 
Extra HandleNo 
Fuel GuageYes 
Warranty5 years tool, 2 year battery2 years
PriceCheck Price$212.99

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22CT 2

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22CT 1

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22CT 3

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22CT 4

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22CT 5

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22CT 6

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22CT 7

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2603-22CT 8

 

DeWalt DCD980L2 20v Max Cordless DrillWe rated the DeWalt DCD980L2 Drill/Driver as our 3rd best 18v and professional cordless drill with an overall rating of 9.3. This tool is DeWalt’s newest Li-Ion high performance 20v max drill. Even though it is listed as a 20v max, it has a nominal voltage of 18 and thus we consider it in the same class as other 18v models.

The overall performance of this model is very solid. It has 535 UWO of torque, which is above average. (Note that DeWalt uses Unit Watts Out to measure torque, whereas all other manufacturers use inch-pounds.) It is hard to compare UWO to in-lbs, but this drill has less torque than some of the other top high performance models offered by other brands.

One advantage of the DCD980L2 is its 3-speed all metal transmission with 22 clutch settings, which gives the user lots of adjustment for the optimum settings for drilling or driving tasks. It also features an all metal chuck with carbide inserts to provide more gripping power so your bits aren’t coming loose or slipping. Other handy features of this model include the 360° auxiliary handle and a LED light that stays lit for 20 seconds after you release the trigger.

It comes with two 3.0Ah batteries that provide plenty of battery life. The only problem is that there is no fuel gauge to determine how much battery life is left. The batteries don’t help this unit in the weight department as it is a bit heavier than average for a premium cordless drill at 5.2 lbs.

The weight and a lack of power compared to some other premium performance 18v drills are the only real negatives for this DeWalt. However, the good news is that it is priced at around $240 which is slightly cheaper than similar models from other brands.

We do recommend this model for professional and serious DIY use.

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Specs18v Class Average
Overall Rating9.3 
ManufacturerDeWalt 
ModelDCD980L2 
StyleHigh Performance Cordless Drill
Voltage20v max 
Weight5.2 lbs4.5 lbs
Max Torque535 UWO490 in-lbs
Max Speed2000 RPM1600 RPM
Variable Speed3-SPEED 
ReversableYes 
Chuck Size1/2″ 
Chuck TypeKeyless, Ratcheting 
Battery TypeLi-Ion 
Charge Rating3.0Ah1.8 Ah
Charge Time60 min45 min
Batteries Included2 
Work LightLED 
Extra HandleYes 
Fuel GuageNo 
Warranty3 years2 years
PriceCheck Price$212.99

DeWalt DCD980L2 20v Max Cordless Drill / Driver

DeWalt DCD980L2 20v Max Cordless Drill / Driver Kit

DeWalt DCD980L2 20v Max Cordless Drill / Driver

DeWalt DCD980L2 20v Max Cordless Drill / Driver

DeWalt DCD980L2 20v Max Cordless Drill / Driver

DeWalt DCD980L2 20v Max Cordless Drill / Driver

DeWalt DCD980L2 20v Max Cordless Drill / Driver

DeWalt DCD980L2 20v Max Cordless Drill / Driver

 

Milwaukee 2410-22 12v Cordless DrillThe Milwaukee 2410-22 is rated as our best 12v cordless drill with an overall rating of 9.0. The main reason for the high score is the fact that it has the best power to weight ratio of any 12v cordless models. It has 250 in-lbs of power and weighs in at just 2.5 lbs. Plus it has a compact size that is much smaller than other drills it its class. This makes it an ideal tool for someone that is doing lots of drilling or has to get into some tight spaces.

The 2410-22 utilizes the Milwaukee M12 series of Lithium-Ion batteries. These provide 1.4 Ah of run time, which is slightly below average. However these batteries only take 30 minutes to recharge, so since two batteries are included, you should always have one at full power.

The one common complaint from users of this power tool is the chuck. For several people no matter how much they tighten the chuck, it still comes loose during use and eventually the bit falls out. Despite this problem users on Amazon still give it an average 4.3 stars out of 5.

Overall we really like this drill. There is not a lot of options for Li-Ion batteries in a 12 volt model, which makes this one rare. The performance is outstanding for the weight and is light enough for anyone to use easily. The chuck coming loose is a concern for construction professionals, but for the average home user it is not as big of a deal for occasional use, therefore we recommend this drill.

Read more reviews on the Milwaukee 2410-22 12v Cordless Drill

Specs12v Class Average
Overall Rating9.0
ManufacturerMilwaukee
Model2410-22
StyleCompact Cordless Drill
Voltage12
Weight2.5 lbs3.4 lbs
Max Torque250 in-lbs245 in-lbs
Max Speed1500 RPM1285 RPM
Variable Speed2-SPEED
ReversableYes
Chuck Size3/8″
Chuck TypeKeyless, Ratcheting
Battery TypeLi-Ion
Charge Rating1.4Ah1.7 Ah
Charge Time30 min60 min
Batteries Included2
Work LightYes
Extra HandleNo
Fuel GuageYes
Warranty5 years2 years
PriceCheck Price$128.45

Milwaukee 2410-22 12v Compact Cordless Drill

 

* Milwaukee has released a newer version 18v Li-Ion cordless drill -  the  2603-22.

Milwaukee 2610-24 18v Cordless DrillWe give the Milwaukee 2610-24 18v cordless drill a 8.9 overall rating. The 2610-24 is part of Milwaukee’s M18 lineup of cordless tools and features XC high capacity Li-Ion batteries.  At the time of its release it had a class leading 650 in-lbs of torque and a max speed of 1800 RPM.

Unfortunately it is really expensive. This model is over $300, but for professionals it is worth it. It is also a little bit heavier than average at 5.3 pounds.

Overall we highly recommend the 2610-24 18v cordless drill.

See More Reviews on the Milwaukee 2610-24 Cordless Drill

Specs18v Class Average
Overall Rating8.9 
ManufacturerMilwaukee 
Model2610-24 
StyleHigh Performance Cordless Drill
Voltage18 
Weight5.3 lbs4.5 lbs
Max Torque650 in-lbs490 in-lbs
Max Speed1800 RPM1600 RPM
Variable Speed2-SPEED 
ReversableYes 
Chuck Size1/2″ 
Chuck TypeKeyless, Ratcheting 
Battery TypeLi-Ion 
Charge Rating2.8Ah1.8 Ah
Charge Time45 min45 min
Batteries Included2 
Work LightLED 
Extra HandleYes 
Fuel GuageYes 
Warranty5 years tool, 2 years battery2 years
PriceCheck Price$212.99

Milwaukee 2610-24

Milwaukee 2610-24

Milwaukee 2610-24

Milwaukee 2610-24

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