Best 18V Cordless Drill Reviews 2018

best 18v cordless drill

If you are searching for the best 18V cordless drill, then you will find this article very helpful. I have assembled the top 5 18V cordless drills, and completed a detailed review on each.

As you can imagine there are plenty to pick from and when I checked there were over 3,000 models of this type of cordless 18 volt drill available.

However as I am sure you can imagine some are just a great deal better than others. So I weeded out all those that were either really bad value for money, and then I got rid of those that got poor reviews.

That brought this list down to about 25 and at that stage I knew that the ones that were remaining, were all good quality drills.

It was then about applying pure value for money and what kit you were actually getting when you bought your cordless drill. They are such a handy tool to have around the house, and if you work in the various trades, then they are a necessity.

So after some hefty research and applying some value for money criteria, here are my top 5 18V cordless drills.

Best Buyer Rated 18v Cordless Drills

  1. Number One – DEWALT DC970K-2 18-Volt Drill/Driver Kit
  2. Number Two – Bosch DDS181-02 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/2-Inch Compact Tough Drill/Driver Kit with 2 High Capacity Batteries, Charger
  3. Number Three – Black & Decker GCO18SFB 18-Volt Ni-Cad 3/8-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver with Storage Bag and Stud Sensor
  4. Number Four – Hitachi DS18DSAL 18-Volt 1/2-Inch Drill/Driver
  5. Number Five – Genesis GCD18BK 18v Cordless Drill/Driver Kit

Now, to be honest I could have included 5 DEWALT drills in my top 5 but I have included only one, and it is their best one. The reason that I didn’t do that is simply based on price.

DEWALT tools are by far the most superior tools on the market as any professional will tell you, but they are not cheap, so they would not suit everyone’s budget.

To give you an example, the DEWALT on my top 5 list of 18V cordless drivers is three times more expensive than the Genesis drill at number five. The Genesis drill is still a very good drill and you get plenty of extras, but it is not anywhere near the quality of how the DEWALT drill is actually made.

Still, for light users and people doing odd jobs around the house the Genesis is perfectly adequate.

Let’s have a look at each drill in turn and see why they are on my list and which one suits you best.

No 1 18V Cordless Drill – DEWALT DC970K-2 18-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver Kit Review

This would be the choice of the professionals and I have used one of these for a very long time. At just under $90 I think it is great value for money.

It is compact and lightweight with a pretty amazing 380 watts of output power.

It operates off a NICAD battery and two of these batteries are supplied. The battery charger is also supplied. You get all of this supplied in a contractor bag.

This drill is really good for working in tight or confined spaces and is just the best 18V cordless drill on the market right now. If you buy this one, then you can rest assured you will never need to buy another one.

In fact I would go as far as to say if you have never used a DEWALT before, you might end up changing out all of your power tools to DEWALT, as they are that good.

This one has over thousand actual online buyer reviews who rate this one at an amazing 92% buyer satisfaction. That should tell you just how good this one really is. For me it is by quite a long way, the best drill available at this voltage of 18 Volts.


I own this drill and still use it most days as it is simply a great all round drill to own and use. If you would like to read a more detailed review on this particular Dewalt 18V cordless drill, then please click here.

No 2 18V Cordless Drill – Bosch DDS181-02 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/2-Inch Compact Tough Drill/Driver Kit

I like Bosch and in particular I like their garden tools and equipment. I am not an enormous fan of most of their power tools to be honest, but this one is the exception to the rule. I have used this one and it is very good at what it does.

The big problem I have with it though is that it costs almost $220 (RRP). So why you may ask is it at number two on my list?


Well this is a proper tough drill and reviews by other buyers say that they love this as a drill. I have a friend in the trade and he swears by this one. He allowed me to give it a test drive and I agree it is a great drill. Would I swap it for the DEWALT that I have above? Not in a million years.

This drill comes with two 18V lithium-ion batteries, a charger, carrying case and some bits. There is little question that this is a good quality drill, and buyers love it, BUT, almost $220?

As of February 2018 this one has been discontinued by the manufacturer, but you may still see it available online.

You can read a more detailed review on this Bosch drill by clicking here.

No 3 18V Cordless Drill – Black & Decker GCO18SFB 18-Volt Ni-Cad 3/8-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver

For a long time Black & Decker was the standard choice for many home improvement enthusiasts. In fact I still have a set of the first screw drivers they produced. Some people still love this brand and other people have moved away from it.

At a price of around $50, I have included this one because it is genuinely good value for money, in my opinion.

For your money you get the drill, an 18V battery pack, a stud finder, charger and a carry storage bag.


There is a 24-point clutch on this one and that is a great feature do have as you can get the right speed that stops you from stripping screw heads. This drill is also well reviewed and scores pretty highly. This is a good starter drill for someone and there is a good life span in the battery.

It costs just under $50 depending on where you buy it and it is a good enough product for the money. Online buyers have given this one an overall buyer satisfaction rate of 84%. That of course means that this one sells really well, is certainly affordable and gets good ratings.

That does make it a very popular choice and is one of the better low budget 18V cordless drills.

 

You can read a more detailed review on the Black & Decker GCO18SFB 18-Volt drill by clicking here.

No 4 18V Cordless Drill – Hitachi DS18DSAL 18-Volt 1/2-Inch Drill/Driver

This is the only cordless drill that comes with a lifetime warranty and at a price of around $110-140 you are getting really good value for money. This one gets exceptional reviews and is truly lightweight at just 3.3 pounds. Online buyers rate this product at around 88% buyer satisfaction.

It is also a very strong drill delivering 460 inch pounds of torque, is variable speed, and 22 clutch positions.

If you have a lot of heavy duty work to do, then this should be your choice for sure. This is a very tough drill with amazing power.

This drill also includes a flashlight, and it is probably one of the best on the market. So in the box you will get the drill, two 1.5 Ah lithium-ion batteries, charger, dual tipped Phillips driver bit and a carrying case.


There are over 500 online buyer reviews so you know this product is selling really well. It is at the higher end of the price point though, and I would still prefer the Dewalt to this option.

No 5 18V Cordless Drill – Genesis GCD18BK 18v Cordless Drill/Driver Kit

If you are looking for something that is affordable in the 18 volt cordless range then check out the Genesis at around $35-40, depending on where you make your purchase.

For those on a tight budget then this one is as good as it gets. There are almost 1,000 online buyer reviews who give this an overall buyer satisfaction rating of 78%

This is not a top of the range drill but it will do almost any job around the home. It is a good general purpose drill that will be able to handle around 90% of all jobs around the home and garden.

It is the drill I would pick if my budget was limited because I have used this and it is really much better than I thought it would be.

You get the drill, a battery, a charger, a 13-piece drill/driver bit set and a case. So all of that for under $40 is pretty impressive. Genesis also cover this drill with a 2-year limited warranty.


This one remains a popular choice and there are plenty of buyers who have taken the time to leave a review on this one. Overall they rated this one at an 82% buyer satisfaction rate. That is good in terms of an overall rating, but it is the low price point that makes this one a very good seller.

 

VERDICT

So there you have my top 5 list of the best 18V cordless drills. DEWALT in my opinion is at the top for a very good reason. It is almost always the choice of professionals like myself because of the quality and the sheer power. This is my work horse cordless drill and I have dropped it, kicked it and it still keeps on going.

I have also done a top ten list of the best cordless drills. You can click on that link if you want to view those but they are mixed voltages, whereas those reviewed here are all 18V cordless drills. These 18V drills are starting to be replaced with the bigger 20V cordless drills. That said the 18V remain the firm favourite with many people.

18 Volt vs 20 Volt Cordless Drills?

A question that we get asked quite a lot is which is better, an 18V or a 20V cordless drill? The 18 Volt option still remains the most popular choice. Most tool manufacturers have now made and manufactured the 20 Volt option. Now clearly there will be a slight increase in power from the increased voltage.

Our recommendation would be that if you are planning on buying a new drill, then go for that 20 Volt option. You will of course need a suitable charger for that as well.

If on the other hand you own an 18 Volt drill that needs replacing, and you already have batteries and charger, then we would recommend sticking with an 18 Volt drill. The extra couple of volts increase in power really does not make a huge difference.

In terms of pricing the 20 Volt are slightly more expensive but not a huge difference. That will eventually fall in price anyway, and price is not something that would make a huge difference to your choice, especially if you are just buying a new drill.

We would also advise that most of the manufacturers making 20 Volt drills are also taking that opportunity to use a brushless motor. That is much more important a consideration than the bigger battery size. These new type of motors are so much better for a longer life for your drill.

On the older style motors drills burned out after a lot of use. The drill is usually working OK but the brushes on the motor have simply worn out. If you know what you are doing these are easy enough to change. However replacement brushes can be quite difficult to track down.

If you don’t know how to do that, then finding someone who can, can also be really hard. Even when you do find someone the cost of replacement will not be cheap. Nine times out of ten it is usually cheaper and wiser to just buy a new drill anyway.

Enda McLarnon
 

Enda McLarnon is now retired and is now enjoying writing about his love of power tools. All types of these tools are now available and they make working on projects and DIY jobs around the home a great deal of fun