Portable drills are easily the most indispensable tool in many householders’ tool box. If you are wanting to purchase a drill to complete your arsenal of power tools, you now need to decide whether you want the corded or cordless type.
If you have used a corded drill, you may experienced many inconveniences when you want to use it. Firstly, you have to look for a free power outlet around your work place.
The power outlet has to be of the same pin type. Then you may find that the cord you have is not long enough and require more extension cords.
Then, you may find that that power outlet has its fuse blown. Tough day!
All such problems vanish with some of the best cordless drills under $100 you can find in the marked today. You are free to work independently in any spaces including in places far from the house.
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Additionally with modern batteries, cordless drills can still be lightweight, versatile and easy to handle. They are said to be almost as powerful as the corded ones. They can be considered safer than the corded types as they operate at lower battery voltages.
For an average DIY enthusiast with a wide variety of household projects, you are generally on the right track with a cordless drill.
There are many brands and sizes to choose from. It is also likely that a cordless drill under $100 will satisfy most of your needs. Here are some cordless drills you can consider.
1. DeWalt 20V MAX Cordless drill 3/8 inch (DCD771C2)
As a brand name owned by the Black + Decker company, it enjoys good reputation of a long history and large array of power tools products.
DEWALT by itself is also a well-known brand for power tools and this cordless drill is no different.
It comes with a high speed transmission which can be used for a range of different drilling purposes.
Why buy the DEWALT drill
- Wonderful attractive yellowish body with black chuck.
- Comes with an ergonomic handle that gives you better control when drilling.
- Ratcheting chuck provided gives a strong gripping strength.
- Compact and lightweight, making it more portable and gives less fatigue when using it.
- Some buyers seemed to have issues with the second battery not charging properly.
- Complaints of poor service from service center.
2. Black + Decker 20V MAX
Black + Decker has been associated with the electric drill since it invented the electric drill in 1917. With such a long history, B+D drills are usually a good choice.
This drill is good value for the price paid for this drill. This drill is also one of the lightest around in the market. It should be particularly suitable for small house projects and for women handlers. This is a top seller within the niche market.
It has a smaller handle which makes it more suitable for a woman hobbyist.
Although relatively light, drill makes it suitable for most handyman jobs.
Apart from that, it also comes with an 11 position clutch. This helps to give you precise control when drilling into different materials.
Why buy the Black + Decker drill
- Suitable for all kinds of drilling purposes despite being lightweight.
- Comes with an 11 position clutch.
- It also has variable speed which makes it suitable for varying drilling projects.
- Battery takes 4 hours to charge up (too long for some people). Need to have second battery as standby if your job takes a long time.
3. Bosch DDB181-02 (18V) Cordless Drill/Driver
Bosch is a renowned German manufacture of long standing. It is said to manufacture its products mostly in its own factories distributed around the world. According to them, their products are better regulated and made.
Like most good cordless drills, this one also has a variable speed, which can be customized for either heavy duty work or some light household work.
One good feature is that it comes with LED light, and it’s particularly useful when you’re working in a dark or badly lit place.
Advantages of this Bosch cordless drill
- Lightweight, compact and powerful.
- Has LED light to illuminate the work-piece.
- Shorter warranty (1 year) offered compared with some other brands.
- Should provide a switch for LED light to switch it off when required.
4. Makita XFD131 (18V)
Makita is a Japanese brand that has a long history in the power tools industry.
Even though it’s not as well known as Black + Decker, Makita is no pushover. Its products are slowly gaining trust among buyers.
This cordless drill also comes with a 2 speed transmission like other drills in this list. It allows the drill to be used for varying applications.
It is also pretty efficient as it uses a brushless motor that can reduce battery use, making it handy for longer uses.
Why buy the Makita cordless drill
- Compact and comes with a high torque.
- Efficient brushless motor.
- Many satisfied buyers who are happy with this buy.
- Fwd / rev knob is too accessibly placed that it may accidentally be pressed.
5. TECCPO Brushless Drill
Although a relative newcomer, TECCPO Drills are said to be robust and well made. One good feature if compared to a DEWALT is that the charging is extremely fast. It only takes 30 minutes to complete the process of charging.
It is also equipped with a brushless motor, which means it increases efficiency to about 50% more if compared to a brush motor. This also helps to extend the lifespan of the cordless drill.
TECCPO’s cordless drill is also equipped with a 2-speed gearbox like other drills here, as they’re useful for usage on a variety of materials.
Why buy the TECCPO drill
- Extra battery is convenient. Adequate for most of the jobs about the house.
- Fast charging – only 30 minutes.
- Their price point on the low side makes them a good buy.
- Compact and sufficient power to do the normal household projects.
- Drill bits that came with the set are said to be quite poor.
- Plastic case for holding accessories appeared to be not of best quality.
- Some buyers find the drill quite heavy.
6. KIMO Cordless Drill Driver Kit
KIMO may not be as well known but it has been around for over 25 years. KIMO claims to have batteries that are able to last for at least a thousand cycles, making it very long lasting.
They also use copper motors and are apparently more stable and efficient when compared to the usual aluminum motor drivers.
Like the cordless drill from Bosch, this one also comes with a built-in LED which is suitable when working in dark and badly lit areas.
Why buy the KIMO cordless drill
- Comes with a 1-hour fast charge.
- Suitable for most household projects.
- Comes with LED light.
- Has a rev / fwd control.
- Variable speed making it suitable for different applications.
- Also functions as a cordless hammer drill.
- Questionable review kickbacks (get a free battery for writing a review).
- Not as functional as a regular hammer drill.
Buying guide for the best cordless drills
Drills will generally do the following tasks. Firstly, you will use it to drill holes in various work pieces including metal, wood, plastics and also masonry.
Secondly, this drill can be used for fastening or unfastening screws.
Most drills nowadays share most standard working features. Guess this is the impact of competition within this crowded part of the power tool industry. Only the fittest survive.
These basic features include “fwd and reverse” rotation , keyless chucking of drill bits, torque selection for fastening, 2-speed (high or low speed) or variable speed selection and detachable battery which come with fast or normal speed charger. Let’s have a look at some of these working features.
“Fwd / Reverse” selection
This selection enables you to change the direction of rotation of the chuck. Most of the time the drill is put on “Fwd” mode.
This allows you to drill holes and fasten screws. However, when you need to unfasten a screw head, you need to select “Reverse” in order to turn the screw out.
High-low or variable speed selector
The high /low speed selection is usually built into the trigger wherein when you press the trigger midway you get low speed. Further pressing of the trigger delivers the high speed.
Some drills come with variable speed control. When you press the trigger slightly, this drills rotates slowly. The more the trigger is pressed, the higher the speed.
The ‘low speed’ is generally selected if you want to do fastening work or when you need to drill harder materials. You can drill holes in wood or softer materials using the “high speed” mode.
Torque setting for fastening
You can use the torque selector (if provided on the drill) to help you to fasten screws without fracturing them. Normally there is a scale from 1 to 20 which indicates the torque setting you want.
The higher the number, the higher the torque before the clutch slips.
This is an example on wood. You need to set a higher number if the wood is thick or if you are using a longer screw. If the torque setting number is too low, you may not be able to turn the screw into the wood. If the torque setting number is too high, then the screw head may become embedded into the wood.
Keyless chucks or chucks with keys
Unlike earlier drills which come with chucks with keys, most drills nowadays utilize the keyless chuck. The keyless chuck is a major advancement.
However, you need to familiarize yourself with how this chuck works. There have been numerous complaints about this keyless chuck not being tight. In the keyless chuck, you only need to insert the drill bit into the chuck and tighten the chuck by turning the chuck collar by hand while holding steady the chuck body.
Make sure that when you insert the drill bit, it is in the center of the three jaws before you tighten the collar of the chuck. If not, the drill bit may become loose and this could be the cause of many of the complaints associated with the keyless chucks.
This new innovation allows the user the convenience of operating without a key. The keyless chuck is a major advantage to users since keys are always being misplaced.
When you need the key to tighten the chuck, it sometimes mysteriously vanish. This could be frustrating if you could not find the key.
Max size of drill bit diameter
Most drills have chucks that are able to handle 3/8 inch drill bit. This size of drill bit is adequate for many home projects. However some drills have chucks that can handle 1/2 inch drill bit.
This will increase the range of drills that your drill can handle. This is to be preferred as the larger the drill bit it can handle, the better.
Drill / Hammer/ Clutch function
If you need to drill some holes in wood or softer metals or plastics then you should turn the selector to “Drill” or the drill icon.
When you need to do drill through masonry, then you need to select “Hammer” and use a masonry drill bit. This will ensure a smooth job.
When you need to fasten screws, then you need to select “clutch” or “screw’. You then need to select the torque setting number you need for your screw.
However, some drills do not offer the “clutch” mode and in which case you need to take care not to overturn the screw and submerge the screw head below the wood surface. Or worse, to break the screw.
Work piece illumination LED light
The drill may incorporate a LED light at the base of the drill which the spot where you intend to drill.
This feature is very handy especially if the work piece is in a dark space. It obviates the use of other light devices.
The light will come on when the drill’s trigger is pressed. Some users find it more convenient when a switch to turn off the LED light is provided.
Number of batteries and type of battery charger
Where only 1 battery is provided, you may want to have a second battery especially when you use the drill quite frequently. This allows one battery to be charged while the other is being used.
Battery technology has also improved tremendously to enable batteries to work for long time without need to be charged. Lithium ion batteries are now the norm.
These Lithium batteries store large amounts of energy, are efficient and can be charged easily and rapidly without damaged.
Some users found that the normal speed chargers are not convenient. They found 4 hours to be too long. They prefer high speed chargers which can charge the battery within minutes.
Drill accessories you may need
Depending on the marketing package offered by the Amazon and other stores, some drills come complete with drill bits or other accessories in a complete package.
If these are not offered as a package, You need to buy drill bits separately as you need them for drilling. You need to buy screw bits for fastening.
Also for masonry drilling, you need to purchase masonry drill bits.
Which drill should you purchase?
Most makers of drills have become very competitive in their product offerings. Most portable drills on the market are usually compact, sturdy and long lasting.
There are usually no revolutionary differentiation from one drill to the next. Most drills have the same basic working features.
So the one with the features and looks which appeals to you and also has the right price is probably the right one for you. Good luck!