If you are in the market for a cordless drill, then essentially you have two decisions to make. You can get one that has a Lithium-Ion battery, or one that has a Nicad battery. Once you have decided, which battery you prefer, then it is a matter of deciding on which size, and which brand you prefer.
Of course your available budget is also the one thing that will then limit your choice. NiCad style battery powered drills are normally cheaper than a Li-Ion battery drill.
Why Should You Pick A Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill?
Over the last 10 years, the only choice of battery was the NiCad. The big problem with those was that they suffered from an issue known as, “memory effect.”
In simple terms, this means that the battery remembers the point at which it was re-charged, and when the battery was then used, it remembered that same charging point and started to discharge quickly.
It may sound a little complex but the bottom line is with a Lithium-Ion (Li) battery, you will not have a problem. When first released the Li batteries were much more expensive, but they are mostly on a par with the older style of batteries, in terms of price these days..
How To Pick Out the Ideal Cordless Drill For Your Needs?
Assuming that you want to get a drill with one of these batteries, how do you know which is the best one for your own specific needs? In the main this decision should be based on two main decisions:
- How often are you going to be using it?
- What type of tasks will you be using it for?
Frequency of Use
The frequency of use is always a key deciding factor in our opinion. If it is only going to be a couple of times a month, so in other words, not that frequent of a use, then there is no need to go crazy and buy an expensive cordless drill.
On the other hand, if this is going to be used daily or even weekly, then splash out some cash, and get a really good brand, with all the added features and a good strong warranty.
If you have the cash, then it is nice to treat yourself to a better brand, but if using it for daily or weekly work, then I would just make that higher investment as well.
Type of Work
This is the second deciding factor for me. If the main purpose of the drill is for using on something like woodworking or carpentry, then you need a powerful drill. Certainly you need something that will last in terms of battery life, and be able to drill through the hardest of woods. A good quality 18 volt drill is more than good enough.
If the work type also involves more industrial type work such as drilling walls, or drilling metal, then you probably need the maximum power available, and typically this is a 20 volt drill.
Those are the two main things to consider in our opinion when deciding which size of drill you need. Whichever type of drill you come up with, here is one thing that I would absolutely do – get TWO batteries.
There is nothing more frustrating than starting a job, and then having to recharge a battery in mid flow. That used to drive me quite nuts!
Just so as you know, there are a few 12 volt versions of these as well, but to be honest, any testing that we have done with them has been less than satisfactory. Smaller ones like this are ok if you only need a drill/driver a few times a year.
The Survey Results
Here at the Tool and Go website, we ran a survey to find out what lithium-ion drill, our readers rate the best, and I have captured the results in the picture below. We asked them “if they used an LI-ion drill, which was their preference?” In total, we received 92 replies, which are captured below.
Please note only 77 replies are shown as 15 of the replies were using older drills which are no longer made, so we didn’t think that would be of much help, in terms of making a decision in today’s market.
The first figure on the chart below is the number of people, and this is followed by the percentage share of the total vote.
As you can see, the best one was the Bosch DDB180-02 which received 22 first votes and this represented 29% of the total vote. We were surprised ourselves that Black & Decker had two drills in the top five, and believe in the main, that is due to their very competitive pricing.
|Product Name||No of Reviews||Our Rating||RRP Price Guide||%of Users Vote|
|Bosch DDB180-02 18-Volt Lithium-Ion||286||92%||$100||29%|
|Black & Decker LDX120C 20-Volt||3,652||90%||$55||23%|
|Black & Decker HPD18AK-2||412||90%||$80||19%|
We took the number of reviews and the average rating from Amazon as an alternative way, of seeing how these matched up. Clearly in our opinion, the best one is at number two, and is the Black & Decker LDX120C.
There is little to choose between that one and the Bosch, but it is around $15 cheaper. For the person who will be using their drill for household jobs or projects, this one is perfect. Not only that, but is a 20V lithium-ion drill, whereas the one below is an 18V. This one for us represents the best value for your money.
If you are a professional, then we would always recommend the DEWALT DC970K-2 which is an 18-Volt 1/2-Inch Cordless Compact Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver Kit, as those drills are built to last, and you will see them in every construction site in the country.
Just bear in mind though, that the Dewalt above is about double the price of the Black and Decker that we would recommend.
That’s important to remember, and we would only spend the money on this one, if we were a professional, a contractor or you are lucky enough to be able to afford it. In most cases your choice will come down to just how much you can afford.