The Best Cordless Drills
Ryobi 12-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver Kit
- Weight: 3.48 pounds.
- What it comes with: A 26-piece accessories set, two batteries, a charger, a stud finder, and a plastic storage case. But it's what comes on this drill that makes it the best value: A built-in level lets you know your screw will go straight into the wall, and a small magnetic tray in the handle stores loose screws and bits, so you won't lose them or need to store them between your teeth as you work.
- How it works: It's light enough not to tire your arm out on big projects, like installing a shelving system, yet it has staying power: It drove in more than 250 screws on one battery charge.
- To buy: $81, amazon.com.
Best for Big Jobs
Skil X-Drive 18-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver
- Weight: 6 pounds.
- What it comes with: A Phillips/flat-head double-ended tip (drill-bit kits sold separately), two batteries, a charger, and a plastic storage case. There are a few standout features on this drill: a stud finder, a drill-bit size indicator, forward-reverse indicator lights (to tell you which direction you're going in), and a light that goes on when you pull the trigger to help you see where you're drilling.
- How it works: Perfect for heavy-duty jobs, like repairing a deck, the Skil drilled a hole through a ¾-inch-thick piece of plywood twice as quickly as the other winners, and its batteries recharged in only an hour. The weight is well-balanced, so your arm won't tire as fast as with most 18-volt drills.
- To buy: $120, doitbest.com.
Best for Beginners
Black & Decker 6-Volt Pivot Plus Driver
Weight: 2 pounds.
What it comes with: A Phillips/flat-head double-ended screw tip (drill-bit kits sold separately), a cell phone-style charger that plugs into the end of the handle (easier than removing the batteries), a light to help you see what you're doing, and a tape measure you can use while it's attached to the drill or on its own.
How it works: The training bra of drills, this one will not intimidate even the most power tool-phobic. The two gears are marked drill holes and drive screws, and a button adjusts the handle so you can work straight on or at an angle. It's a great choice for putting together ready-to-assemble furniture and toys because it's so light and easy to maneuver in tight spaces.
To buy: $54, amazon.com.