Posted on March 14, 2019
After several hours of research, I finally made my selection of the 7 best drills among more than forty models available at the moment.
My favorite is the Bosch GSR 18V-21, an entry-level model that is suitable for the most common jobs, and whose coals can be easily replaced. With all the same special mention for the Dewalt DCD796D2, more suited to the needs of seasoned DIYers.
You will also find at the end of this article a buying guide to help you find the model most in line with your profile and your needs.
The best drills
The entry-level models are drill-drivers that will allow you to easily carry out your small jobs. Light and compact, most of them display a power of 18V.
They are therefore very suitable for beginners or occasional do-it-yourselfers, who wish to be able to do the most common jobs: to hang a frame or to assemble a piece of furniture quickly and easily. We will take care of the quality of the grip in order to work comfortably.
Tacklife PCD05B: the best price step
Tacklife offers a very wide range of DIY products at low prices. Its catalog includes a range of hand tools and a fairly complete selection of power tools. If you are looking for a low priced drill for your small crafts, the PCD05B model should give you complete satisfaction.
The drill PCD05B comes with 2 batteries 2.0Ah. And this is the first strong point of this model.
Charged in less than an hour, these batteries enjoy excellent autonomy, even in case of intensive use. Small plus very practical: they are equipped with a control system that allows you to know the level of load. And they are compatible with several other 18V tools offered by TACKlife.
The drill provides a torque of 30 Nm. Offering 2 speeds of rotation (0 – 350 rpm or 0 – 1300 rpm), this model is equipped with a 19-position clutch, which allows a precise control of the screwing and drilling on different materials: wood, metal or plastic, with a maximum drilling capacity of 20 mm for wood and 10 mm for metal.
The PCD05B drill and driver can be used to make the most common small things. It is particularly practical for work at height, since it is compact and light (less than 1.3 kg).
Sn soft grip coating and its ergonomic shape offer a good grip and excellent comfort of use. It also has a carabiner that allows to hang on the belt.
This drill is equipped with practical LED lighting to work in a poorly lit space or on a dark material. It comes with a set of 43 accessories, including a flexible mandrel extension, 9 drill holes and 32 screwdrivers. We appreciate the forest holder / bits that allows easy storage accessories in a standard toolbox.
The PCD05B drill and driver is not the most powerful on the market. But given its mini price, it undeniably one of the best quality / price ratio on the market.
This ergonomic model, compact and delivered with the basic accessories makes it easy to make the most common little things.
Black & Decker BDCDC18KB: a model that does the job without convincing
Good model for beginners
No storage for accessories
Black & Decker is no longer present, since the American company is one of the heavyweights of DIY and garden tool manufacturers. Since its creation in 1910, the manufacturer has had ample time to build a solid reputation internationally.
Alas, the brand is far from being systematically up to the task. And with its screwdriver BDCDC18KB-QW, Black & Decker is definitely not up to it.
This model displays a silhouette with a neat design and ergonomic enough to ensure a good grip. The BDCDC18KB-QW is delivered in a case that contains the drill, two batteries, its charger and many accessories … almost in bulk! Without any storage, the case is therefore quite useless to store everything cleanly.
In terms of performance, that said, the BDCDC18KB-QW is doing its job. The drill and accessories are of good quality. This lightweight model offers a torque of 30 Nm, a 10-position torque control and a speed of 650 rpm. It is also equipped with an efficient lighting system for dark or complicated areas.
For experienced DIYers, the drill driver BDCDC18KB-QW will quickly show its limits. But without being exceptional, this model makes it possible to carry out basic handicrafts: framing, assembling furniture …
This is a fairly good choice for people living in apartment and wishing to have basic equipment, or for neophytes wishing to have a simple model and easy to use.
If this model does its job for the small jobs, we expected better from Black & Decker. The case, in particular, is quite calamiteuse, since it does not offer any compartment, and that it is necessary to drill drill, accessories, batteries and loaders in bulk.
The most embarrassing is the many accessories, delivered in a plastic bag that is not designed to last long. Not to mention the difficulties to find a specific tip …
This is all the more frustrating as the drill and the accessories prove to be robust enough of good quality for the price.
The best midrange drills
Mid-range models are equipped with good quality batteries, which ensure a constant charge (which is not necessarily the case on first-price models). If they remain manageable and within the reach of beginners, they prove to be powerful enough to carry out most of the work.
In this price range, we begin to find percussion models, which allow to drill more easily.
Bosch GSR 18V-21: the best midrange
Rather obscure instructions for use
Bosch is one of the leading manufacturers of power tools (among others!) And its reputation is undoubtedly better. Without offering superior equipment, the German group produces powerful and robust devices.
Bosch also has a well-stocked catalog, in which it is always better to sort to find the right price / quality ratio. In the drills-drivers category, we find the GSB 18 V-21, a very good percussion model.
This model is delivered with 2 batteries and a charger, and accompanied by a set of 40 accessories distributed in 3 boxes of storage: a box of forests with wood, a box of forests with metal and a box of screwdrivers. However, we regret the lack of forests to fix an ankle in a wall.
Another small flaw: the storage case is not exceptional. No complaints for storage, but its contents quickly move during transport.
As is often the case with Bosch, the battery is interchangeable: it can therefore be used with the other tools of the brand belonging to the same category.
This percussion drill-driver is equipped with carbons designed to be easily replaced. This model makes it possible to hope for an excellent lifetime. It displays a reasonable weight – 1.6 kg – and it has an ergonomic handle that ensures a good comfort of use.
The GSB 18 V-21 is of course equipped with LED lighting, which makes it possible to work effectively in dark areas. The LED also provides a visual alarm function, since it lights up automatically in the event of overload or overheating.
Equipped with an automatic chuck (13 mm), this model offers good performance while remaining easy to use. It offers a torque of 55 Nm and offers two speeds:
0 – 480 rpm and 0 – 1800 rpm. It has of course a command to reverse the direction of rotation left / right, which allows both screwing and unscrewing.
Certainly, we stayed on a relatively standard model, and not on a war machine. But the GSB 18 V-21 ensures. In use, it is reactive and well balanced, and it offers excellent handling.
It is a small model that is easy to handle, which is extremely good, and which you should be able to count on for many years.
Bosch GSR 12V-15: a good basic for casual do-it-yourselfers
Lightweight, ultra-compact design
Set of 39 accessories included
Integrated lighting system
Medium quality chuck
The Bosch Professional range of course includes different models. It includes the drill-driver GSR 12V-15, a model that is far from perfect, but will be quite suitable for occasional crafts.
The GSR 12V-15 is therefore a 12V: we will not expect performance comparable to the Bosch GSR 18V-21. It comes with a set of 2 batteries, a charger and a set of accessories consisting of 25 screwdrivers, 7 wood forests and 7 metal forests.
This small compact and lightweight model (950g with battery!) Has almost everything great …
On paper !
It is true that this drill-driver has two speeds and a torque of 15 Nm. It is equipped with LED lighting which ensures good visibility in dark areas and is equipped with an alarm system in case of overheating. or overload.
This small model offers a pleasant grip and robustness side, no complaints: it's solid! With 2 speeds (0-400 rpm and 0-1 300 rpm), it allows a maximum hole of 19 mm in the wood and 10 mm in the metal.
The GSR 12V-15 is a lightweight, pleasant to work at height, and given its small size, it is very easy to store after use. However, it is noteworthy that its case is flexible, which offers less protection than the robust cases that Bosch offers for its larger sizes.
Its battery is compatible with other Bosch devices 10.8 V and 12 V. Note in passing that Bosch seems to have opted for a reorientation marketing, now displaying systematically 12 V instead of 10.8 V (which does not change anything In practice !).
Although it is a model without percussion, the GSR 12V-15 does pretty well its job, even if we must not fool ourselves: it is especially to screw it ensures … when it is the question of breaking through, it is more difficult to convince. It suffers especially from a relatively troublesome defect all the same: a mandrel (10 mm) of rather poor quality.
If you're looking for a small, practical, lightweight, compact, ergonomic and powerful model for casual DIY, the GSR 12V-15 is just right. If you do regular DIY sessions, however, better go your way: the chuck will eventually betray you!
Makita DHP453RYLJ: a percussion model that does the job
MAC PAK easy to stack box
2 speeds, 16 torque settings
Makita is a Japanese brand well known to DIY enthusiasts (and gardening, for that matter!), Since it is one of the specialists in power tools for individuals. The company, founded in the 1910's, has established its reputation by offering reliable and robust devices, enjoying excellent value for money.
With the hammer drill driver DHP453RYLJ, it is hard to convince. This model does its job … no more.
The DHP453RYLJ is delivered in a typical Makita storage box: the MAC PAK box. This rather neat storage is especially robust and easy to fit in a garage or a workbench.
The drill-driver is accompanied by 2 batteries (note that they load quickly and hold the load), the charger, and a set of accessories (forests and screw bits). It is also delivered with an LED lamp.
This 18V model, equipped with a 13mm self-locking chuck, offers two speeds (0-400 rpm and 0-13000 rpm) and 16 predefined torque settings. Benefiting from a Soft Grip handle, it offers a good grip: a good thing considering the weight of the drill (1.7 kg!).
It will be understood: if the DHP453RYLJ is doing its job, it is not really a featherweight. Suffice to say that this is not necessarily the best choice for working at height and / or for prolonged use. We especially regret that it is not equipped with an integrated lighting system, but that it is accompanied by an independent lamp.
In short! The DHP453RYLJ is robust, reliable and powerful. Despite certain qualities, with its weight and bulky size (and without built-in lighting system!), It seems yet out of a range of tools "vintage". This model is certainly a good basic, which will always be very good job, but deserves to be dusted …
The best high-end drills
The top models are percussion drills. Without pretending to compete with a perforator, they are already able to pierce hard materials, such as concrete.
They also have engines without coal, which facilitates their maintenance and extends their life. The high-end drills are finally equipped with high-performance Lithium-ion battery. More sophisticated and more powerful, they lend themselves to frequent and intensive use.
Dewalt DCD796D2: the best high-end
Stackable storage case
2 speeds, 15 torque settings
Dewalt is one of the brands with a solid reputation over the years. It is true that it was founded in 1924 by the American Raymond E. Dewalt, inventor of the radial saw. Over the decades, it has established itself thanks to its reliability and the quality of its products.
Today, Dewalt is a subsidiary of the Black & Decker Group. It still has good products in its catalog, starting with the drill DCD796D2-QW.
The DCD796D2-QW is delivered in a sturdy and well thought out storage case, quite typical of Dewalt. Attention: the set consists of the drill itself, a charger and two batteries. In contrast, the tips are not included.
This model benefits from the XR technology dear to Dewalt: a coal-free engine coupled with a battery of last generation which benefits from a greater autonomy. In practice, the drill heats significantly less, including during prolonged use. Besides, we also appreciate not having to worry about coal to replace!
If the DCD796D2-QW remains quite compact, it is not strictly speaking a featherweight, since it weighs 1.6 kg. A template largely overtaken by its excellent grip and balance, which ensure a good grip. And that is justified by very good performances …
This hammer drill has 2 speeds (0-550 rpm and 0-2000 rpm) and 15 torque settings. It is equipped with a self-locking 13 mm all-metal chuck. Small more interesting: the integrated LED lighting offers 3 levels of intensity.
You also have a belt clip, especially for working on a ladder. Finally, the battery equipped with a light makes it easy to check its level.
The main strength of this model is its percussion mode, which is really the job when it comes to attacking hard materials. It will be a little slow on concrete, but given its size, we can forgive this small weakness.
It will be understood: with the DCD796D2-QW, we are already on the beefy, which allows experienced do-it-yourselfers to easily perform their work. Certainly, she can not pretend to replace a puncher.
But this handy model – and already very versatile – is already doing a great job. It's definitely a safe bet!
Hitachi DV18DBFL2: a serious competitor
2 speeds, 22 torque settings
High quality batteries
Power of typing: 0-27000 cp / min
Medium lighting system
Hitachi is a Japanese group as old as Makita. Originally, the manufacturer was producing engines, but over the decades, it has expanded its catalog by tackling image and sound as well as home appliances or power tools.
And in the latter area, the manufacturer knows what he does, especially in the drill-driver. The DV18DBFL2 / JM percussion model is quite convincing.
This percussion drill-driver offers characteristics quite close to the Dewalt DCD796D2: powerful torque (70 Nm), mandrel 13 mm, motor that runs without coal, two speeds (0-400 rpm and 0-1800 rpm) and 22 torque settings. This model is slightly heavier (1.8 kg) and offers only one punching power (0-27000 cp / min).
These differences being underlined, the DV18DBFL2 / JM is nonetheless a powerful and relatively ergonomic model. It should be noted that on some works, its balance may leave something to be desired, and it is regrettable that there is no handle at the chuck.
We particularly appreciate the quality of its batteries, which allow it to operate at full speed, even when the energy level is weakening. Note that this percussion drill driver comes with both batteries and charger, and has a hooking system to carry it to the belt. His suitcase is particularly robust.
This model is delivered without accessories, which is quite common on this type of template. More disappointing: the lighting system, which is not extraordinary. Given the price of the DV18DBFL2 / JM, we were entitled to hope better!
The DV18DBFL2 / JM percussion drill driver is not flawless, and it has small gaps that it is inevitably more difficult to forgive a model at such a high price. But in use, it is powerful and versatile enough to satisfy the seasoned handymen.
The products of my selection on offer at the moment
The drill-driver is a basic power tool, essential to any handyman.
It also ranks high on the list of basic people who do not tinker itself, but who still has to deal with minor work: who does not have at least one piece of furniture kit at the House ?
Drill-driver or percussion drill-driver
They are suitable for small DIY – type framing or furniture assembly in simple kit. These 12 or 18 V devices are very efficient for screwing or unscrewing.
On the other hand, when it comes to piercing, their performances are limited: they will be mainly reserved for wood and steel, for one-off use.
They are suitable for regular to intensive use. Versatile enough, they ensure both screwing and unscrewing to pierce wood, steel, plaster, but also hard materials – stone and concrete, among others.
Wired model or wireless model
There are different types of drill-drivers on the market. Wired models remain widespread, as they offer higher power than wireless models. The difference is mainly felt in the percussion function, since a wired model can display 50,000 strokes / minute.
The cordless drill-driver is certainly a little less powerful. But it has the advantage of being lighter, more compact and more manageable.
It is common for seasoned handymen to have a wired model and a wireless model, which are complementary. A simple wireless model is more than enough for neophytes or to do some basic DIY at home.
The quality of the battery
The quality of the battery is a crucial criterion for choosing a wireless model. It is important to check different points: the voltage – which determines the power (from 10.8 V to 36 V), as well as the intensity – which determines the autonomy (1 to 2.2 Ah for the models most currents, and from 3 to 5 Ah for a high-end model such as the Hitachi DV18DBFL2).
It's good to keep in mind that the more powerful a battery is, the heavier it is: it can affect the comfort of using your drill-driver.
The battery component
Do not neglect the component!
Ni-cd (nickel cadmium)
It tends to be exceeded, since the battery is heavy and slow to charge. In addition, the charge is not constant, and the performance of your device will decline as you use it.
It provides fast charging time and a consistent charge, so your device's performance remains stable regardless of the device's charge level. Lithium-ion batteries are more compact but also slightly more expensive.
They therefore equip mid-range and high-end devices, mainly.
The speed of rotation
The rotation speed is indicated in revolutions / minutes. If you want to have a really versatile device, it is recommended to choose a model with 2 speeds, a slow (intended to screw) and a fast (for drilling).
Entry and mid-range drill presses are commonly sold with a set of accessories usually consisting of different sets: flat or propeller bits for soft materials; forests for metal; for percussion models, concrete forests for hard materials, and screw bits.
It is obviously possible to opt for more specific additional accessories, such as recess cutters or metal rasps. It is rare, however, that they are included in the accessories offered with the drill-driver.
The quality of these accessories can vary radically from one manufacturer to another. In addition, it is a relatively standard choice of accessories (which is sufficient for most small routine work). If you opt for a more upscale model, it is likely that you have to purchase the accessories separately.
The chuck is the part of the drill-driver that receives wick, forest or screwdriver bit. Some models require the use of a tool (the chuck key) to change accessories.
To save time, you can opt for a model self tightening (or self-locking). Pay attention to the size of the chuck (10 or 13 mm), as it will condition the type of accessories that you can use.
The tightening torque
The tightening torque is expressed in Newton per meter (Nm). It tells you the tightening force of your drill-driver: the higher the torque, the easier it will be to drill.
High-end models can have a torque of 65 to 70 Nm. The tightening torque must be adjusted to the work you do to preserve accessories and reduce the risk of incidents. Drill-drivers usually offer 10 to 20 predefined settings.
The comfort of use
To work comfortably, your drill-driver must be ergonomic, with a non-slip handle and well balanced.
Among the criteria to check, we pay particular attention to weight. A compact and lightweight model, such as the Bosch GSR 12V-15, will be particularly pleasant to work in height, or in small spaces. If you are looking for power, know that percussion models are heavier (1.5 to 2 kg).
Because it is often necessary to work in dark areas, think of the LED function. More and more models are equipped with them, and some even offer different intensities to make your work easier.
Another plus is the ability to attach your drill-driver to the belt, which allows you to easily have free hands, especially when working on a ladder.
We distinguish mainly 3 types of storage.
The flexible suitcase
Lightweight, it avoids adding extra weight to the weight of your equipment. On the other hand, the protection is not exceptional.
The hard case
If it weighs its weight, it provides effective protection for your equipment.
If it is impractical to carry your equipment, it offers effective protection and maximizes space by stacking your power tools.
Do not neglect the internal organization: straps or compartment systems allow better storage of your equipment, and avoid shocks.
In conclusion, which drill to choose?
The choice of a drill depends primarily on you! If you just want to do occasional work, you do not need to spend a big budget: an entry or mid-range model will do the trick.
A 12V cordless drill / driver is moreover sufficient. Having lived in an apartment without cellar or garage, I have a soft spot for compact models like the Bosch GSR 12V-15 (even give him another storage that the original!).
Novice handymen – or cautious temperamentists who want to be prepared for anything – will opt for a standard 18V device, which can be used for both screwing and drilling, like the Bosch GSR 18V-21. High-end models such as the Dewalt DCD796D2 will be more reserved for experienced do-it-yourselfers. They constitute a relevant investment for frequent and intensive use.
In all cases, do not neglect the comfort of use. Beginner or handyman confirmed, for occasional or regular use, it is important to choose a model that offers you a good grip!
Dewalt DCD771C2: this model unfortunately suffers from its battery set 1.3 Ah, which greatly limit its performance because the battery does not take much charge. Pity !
Makita HP457DWE10: an interesting accessory game, even if the case is not necessarily at the top. We will probably regret its lack of power and the fact that this model is a bit noisy.
Milwaukee M18: still few returns on this model, which seems very promising. This percussion drill driver stands out from the crowd with a torque of 135 Nm and excellent rotational speed. We note that it is connected, and that it becomes possible to geolocate it with ONE-KEY technology. It is especially possible to make its own settings and keep them in memory quite easily. A model to follow, therefore!
Ryobi RCD18022L: Ryobi has been used to power tools rather interesting for the budget and novice DIYers. This model offers a range of accessories and interesting promises for its price. Returns on this model are still rare, but it deserves to be kept in the eye!