Cookies at Which? We use cookies to help improve our sites. If you continue, we'll assume that you're happy to accept our cookies. Find out more about cookies

Best electric and cordless drill brands

Best Buy cordless drills

Article 2 of 3

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Find out which models topped our last round of drills testing, with these Best Buy cordless drill recommendations.

A drill can make DIY tasks a lot easier, but only if you have one that works well. Our tests have revealed some models that struggle to complete tasks, and others which were a joy to use

Our most recent test of drills was in 2011, but many of the drills we tested then are still available in 2016, so you can still use our results to compare the cordless drills we've reviewed with each other.

Below we reveal the Best Buys that did well when challenged to drill and drive screws into a range of surfaces, including concrete, metal, sandstone and wood.

We also tested their batteries to see how much they can do on a full charge - the best drills we tested can drill more than 100 holes and 150 screws on a charged battery. The worst can manage only around 40 holes and 40 screws.

Which? members can log in now to unlock the top three Best Buy cordless drills in the table below, along with those which ones faired less well underneath.

If you're not already a Which? member, you can gain instant access with a Which? trial subscription.

Cordless drill Best Buys

Product Which? verdict Rotary drilling stone Screwdriving in metal Score
Drill locked out

This handy drill is great at drilling wood, sandstone and metal. On a full charge it drilled almost 70 30mm holes in sandstone, which is reasonable. 

It made light work out of screwdriving into metal and wood, too. On a full charge we whisked through more than 80 screws - not bad, but we've seen better. The hammer drill function - designed for concrete - isn't as brilliant, but still satisfactory. 

The lithium-ion battery didn't lose power after one month in storage and prolonged use didn't adversely affect the motor, either. However, a 'quick' charge of 15 minutes isn't very effective.

77%
Drill locked out

In our tests, this drill was excellent at drilling through sandstone, good on metal and wood, and impressed us on the screwdriver mode. It did take around four seconds to sink the largest screw into wood though.

It passed our endurance test with flying colours, but the battery life was only reasonable. We managed only to drill 58 holes in sandstone on a full charge and 24 holes after a 15-minute quick charge. 

If you charge your drill and leave it in the garage for a month, the battery will retain around 93% of the charge. Recharging a flat battery takes around 30 minutes.

77%

Click to expand the table and see full results

Cordless drill reviews

There are four cordless drills that didn't make the grade to be a Which? Best Buy - one scored just 44%. Find out which ones are worth avoiding, and which could be a great buy for a brilliant price.

Product Which? verdict Rotary drilling stone Screwdriving in metal Score
Drill locked out

This cordless drill driver is easy to use and has excellent battery life, but it was very disappointing in our drilling tests. When drilling in sandstone and wood, it took too long because it isn't powerful or speedy enough. It was better when drilling in metal.

Screwdriving was better, but it can't match the performance of Best Buy cordless drill drivers. 

Battery life is low - it managed to drill only 39 holes in sandstone on a full charge, while we've seen drills that can drill well over 100. And a 15-minute quick charge isn't very helpful. But it does retain its charge well - after a month on the garage shelf, the battery will only lose around 5% of its charge.

52%
Drill locked out

This drill was an all-round disappointment in our tests. It lacks power as it only has one gear, which delivers around 750rpm, so it can't quickly drill holes, particularly when drilling sandstone and metal. It was slightly better in wood.

Screwdriving is a bit of a letdown, too. Driving screws into wood isn't bad at all, but it failed to make much of an impression on metal.

The battery life isn't impressive either - we only managed to drill 43 holes in sandstone with a full charge. And it's poor when used after a quick 15-minute charge - we only managed to squeeze out a paltry two further holes. 

49%
Drill locked out

 

Rotary drilling results were a mixed bag, depending on the surface. It was great on wood, but poor on sandstone and average on metal. 

This drill is a fast and efficient screwdriver on wood and metal. But we were only able to drive home around 75 screws before the battery needed recharging. It also takes a long time to completely recharge and a quick 15-minute charge barely gives enough power to restart it - we managed a paltry two screws.

It failed to impress in our hammer drill test on concrete - it wasn't fast enough and didn't have enough power to make a significant impact. It's also one of the least easy to use we've tested. 

44%

Click to expand the table and see full results

How we tested cordless drills

When we tested these cordless drills in 2011, we challenged each one to a range of drilling and screwdriving tasks on a variety of surfaces.

Drilling

We used each drill to make holes in metal, wood and sandstone. We used 6mm diameter drill bits and recorded how quickly they drilled 5mm deep holes in steel, 30mm holes in sandstone and 40mm holes in beech.

Screwdriving

In our screwdriving tests, we drove three different-sized screws into wood and one size of screw into metal, and recorded the depths the drills reached and how long they took to get there.

Endurance test

To check how long each drill could endure hard work, we simulated 10 years of DIY use by running the drill through more than 2,000 cycles of drilling, resting and screwdriving.

We also measured how much drilling and screwdriving each drill could do before the battery power ran out, as well as whether a 15-minute recharge was effective. Lastly, we checked how much charge was left in the battery after one month of not being used.

Why doesn't Which? test drills anymore?

Our last lab test of drills was in 2011. Demand from our members for reviews of drills has been fairly low since then, so it has not been worthwhile for us to pay the high costs associated with testing these tools at the expense of other types of products with higher demand. However, more recently we have surveyed drill owners about their satisfaction brand of drill, enabling us to rate the best and worst drill brands.

For your reference, we've listed older Best Buy drills from our previous tests above. As of June 2016 these models are still available.

SHARE THIS PAGE