Being a woodworker, I would say choosing the cordless drill has always been a daunting task for me, given that so much goes into it. I have been doing woodwork ever since and have some parameters that help me in choosing wisely, such as checking their torque efficiency practically and making sure it is comfortable and possesses a long battery life. So, if you are new and do not have any idea of how you should proceed with the buying option, don’t worry as I’m here.
Cordless drills are powered by battery setups, making them easy to travel with, without compromising on their power output and speed. I learned woodwork with them but currently, I am using them as a backup. Wondering how to test your cordless drill? Whether they are worth the money? How should you buy the right one? To answer all your queries, I have brought together this detailed best cordless drills for woodworking review and buying guide. So, dive right in for more.
1. DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill
This Dewalt cordless drill is my all-time favorite for entry-level or basic tasks. I have been using this one ever since and would say it is undoubtedly fast and user-friendly to use for casual woodwork projects. Moreover, I found it incredibly accurate and precise with both hard and soft wood which is always a plus.
First of all, I would like to appreciate its powerful motor setup that is specifically designed for different types of woods. So, this system was able to provide me with a high torque turn-around, without any compromise in accuracy. I have used this for pine wood and furniture projects throughout the years.
Another thing to appreciate about this model is its 2-speed transmission. Hence, with this function, I was able to adjust the speed as per the suitability of the type of wood I was working with. All in all, for hard sheets of quebracho, I was able to go in detail, with a high speed up to 2000 rpm, which is quite fast.
In the end, speaking of its user-friendly design, one thing I particularly liked while working for long hours is its LED light that lit the entire working area. The manufacturers have also added Lithium-ion batteries, so I was absolutely not worried about my safety. The fuel capacity is also fairly decent, given the money I was paying.
Final thoughts, I am starting my list of the best cordless drills for woodworking with this Dewalt one. This is because, in the initial days of working with wood, I wanted something comfortable yet functional. Similarly, its two different speed transmissions and high torque turn-around make it absolutely easy to work with.
2. SKIL PWR CORE 20 Hammer Drill
The runner-up here is this Skill Core 20, known for its ultimate power range and two transmission speeds. It is undoubtedly a powerful addition to this list to be used with hardwood if you want speed as well as accuracy. I would also appreciate the fact that its handle feels comfortable yet sturdy while drilling.
The first thing to note about this model is its brushless motor, which is particularly added to provide you with maximum torque output. Overall, it is done through a clutch setting of 17+1+1, which is quite flexible. So, given that it has high torque, this function will help the carpenter in adapting to the speed and voltage.
Likewise, when it comes to speed, the manufacturers have added two-speed transmissions. This feature assists you in adapting to the material you are working with. Similarly, its ability to go up to 1800 RPM makes it even more functional. While working with hardwood, I found this drill incredibly fast yet precise.
Lastly, you must be wondering whether it is easy to use. Well, as a professional, I found it quite convenient, considering the fact that it has a Li-ion battery and an LED light. The working area was quite bright, even at night and I also was not worried about the safety of the motor for the most part.
Wrapping up, if you are in search of something functional yet user-friendly for difficult jobs, this one is it. This drill is hugely popular for its ability to adapt the torque and speed to the material you are working with. Moreover, it has three different drilling modes, so you can choose the most appropriate one.
3. Metabo HPT Cordless Driver Drill Kit
Here comes yet another powerful alternative from Metabo to be used with hardwood. It is equipped with a reliable motor setup and variable speed that helps you in drilling through complicated materials precisely. In addition, I would say it is quite easy to operate, even if you are an entry-level woodworker.
Starting off, it comes with a brushless motor that is known for its ability to provide you with a high torque output. This is further accompanied by a 22+1+1 clutch setting that not only saves fuel but also offers a high turn-around. Hence, the setup was able to accurately drill through hardwood such as pine wood.
Here, another thing that gives it an edge over competitors is its ability to provide you with absolute control. For this purpose, the manufacturers have added two different speed transmissions. So, this setup helped me in adjusting the torque and speed to the material I was working with so that it remains true to the job.
Finally, when it comes to convenience, I really like the fact that this one drill comes with a keyless check. This allowed me to change the drill bits easily, while I was at work. Here, it is equally worth mentioning that this drill has a better fuel capacity and safety, all thanks to its lithium-ion battery system.
In essence, this Metabo HPT cordless drill is an all-rounder when it comes to working with different types of materials. I would say it is suitable for anyone who wants something powerful and with needed adaptability. On the whole, it remains accurate and precise, even while working with pine and hardwood.
4. Milwaukee M18 Brushless Cordless Drill
If you are still on the hunt for drills that can poke a hole through hardwoods, this M18 cordless model from Milwaukee might work well. The highlight of this model is its high power output that makes sure you have a precise and fast job. Moreover, the fact that it can adjust a number of attachments makes it valuable.
Firstly, this cordless drill is equipped with a brushless motor that can provide you with up to 500 inches/ pound. Hence, you will find this incredibly fast and precise, even while working with complicated materials. Here, the ratcheting chuck made sure you have all the drill bits secured together which is quite helpful.
Similarly, speaking of its two different transmission speed ranges, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that it is the best all-rounder you can find out there. Overall, this no-load speed allows you to adjust the torque as per the material you are working with. Yet, with this, you will not notice any issue with precision and accuracy.
Finally, when it comes to using this cordless drill, it has a small size that can easily fit spaces that are tight. So, even if you have a tight working space, you won’t feel difficulty in doing the job. Also, the Redlink Intelligence easily detects overheating and switches off the drill, so there are no potential accidents.
In essence, this Milwaukee M18 is another best cordless drill for woodworking, all thanks to its two different speed transmissions. It comes with a high torque output and variable speed that serve you well. Similarly, the fact that the Redlink Intelligence System prevents overheating makes it incredibly safe.
5. PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX* Cordless Drill
If you are looking for a versatile cordless drill yet are limited by budget, this Porter Cable one is a suitable alternative. It has a straightforward and simple design which is great for any carpenter, even with entry-level skills. Here, the keyless chuck makes it incredibly easy to hold different drill bits while working.
To start with, this drill comes with a fairly powerful brushless motor that can deliver up to 267 inches/ pound of torque. It is sufficient enough to drill through hard and softwood accurately. It is further accompanied by a ½ inches ratcheting chuck that makes the entire process comfortable and easy for you.
Similarly, when it comes to the speed range, it is undoubtedly worth the money, all credit to the two-speed transmissions. This setup helps you in adjusting it to the material, so you can achieve better precision and accuracy. I have been using this drill with different furniture renovation projects and the results are just amazing.
In the end, another thing to appreciate here is the Lithium-ion battery setup, so you don’t have to worry about safety. Here, it also has the ability to consume less than usual power which is always a plus while you are working with a cordless drill. All in all, it lasted me for long hours, making it a must-have.
Final thoughts, this Porter Cable cordless drill is specifically designed for anyone who likes to do woodwork projects of all sizes and budgets. It comes with a keyless chuck and a simple design that is easy to work with. Likewise, the fact that it is accurate and precise in its application makes it worth the money.
6. CRAFTSMAN V20* Cordless Drill/Driver Kit
Craftsman is a leading brand when it comes to drills and other related woodworking equipment. This one from the manufacturer is another quality alternative for basic to intermediate jobs. Moreover, I found the ergonomics design particularly helpful in facilitating drilling jobs, with stability and control ensured.
Starting off, the first thing to note about this model is its reliable 20V power source that is primarily responsible for providing you with high power output. This setup works under a clutch setting of 20+1, which is absolutely remarkable in adaptability. So, you don’t have to worry about the torque being compatible with the wood material.
In addition, speaking of the speed range, the manufacturers have included two different speed gearboxes. Hence, while working with different thicknesses of planks, I was able to adjust the speed as per the suitability of the material. I would like to mention here that the results were incredibly accurate and also didn’t find any issues with the stability.
Lastly, the drill is rigid and sturdy that feels durable and stable while working for the most part. It is further accompanied by a lithium-ion battery that regulates the temperature, making it a safe option. It also has the ability to reserve the fuel ideally and provide you with long working hours, making it a must-have.
In conclusion, this Craftsman V20 is undoubtedly a great choice for anyone who is in search of a convenient and functional woodworking drill. This is because this drill has a variable speed range and a large battery setup. Similarly, its simple and straightforward design makes the entire process easy for me.
7. Kobalt 24-Volt Max Cordless Brushless Drill
If you are primarily concerned with power, this one from Kobalt might work well. It is best known for its long battery life and fast application which is all that a professional wants in their drill. In addition, the fact that it has a well-put ergonomic design and an LED light makes it a user-friendly alternative out there.
To begin with, this one is powered by a brushless motor that is efficient enough to provide you with high power output. It is further accompanied by a regular voltage, so you won’t face any issues with overheating. Here, the clutch setting makes sure your torque is adapted to the material you are working with.
Speaking of its speed, given that it is designed for professional applications and hardwood, this one has a 2000 RPM value. So, you will find it fast with the application, however, it is important that you have the skill to handle this. All in all, I was able to drill through considerably thick planks of wood accurately.
At the end, when it comes to convenience, the manufacturers have added a rubber handlebar and an LED light that kept the process easy for me. I was also able to work at night time. Lastly, it comes with a 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery that is not only safe but provides you with long life, helping you with lengthy projects.
Wrapping up, this Kobalt cordless drill is a great way to facilitate tough woodworking projects. It is equipped with a powerful engine and high-speed range that provides you with a fast and accurate application. Overall, I really like the addition of LED light and rubber handlebar as it made the deal for me.
8. BLACK+DECKER Cordless Drill (BDCD8C)
If you are a hobbyist and need something budget-friendly yet convenient to do entry-level tasks, I would advise you to consider this one. It is equipped with all the basic functions that carry out a smooth drilling process. All in all, I found this drill specifically user-friendly for anyone who is in the initial stages of their craft.
Starting off, it comes with a basic engine setup that provides you with a fairly considerable power to drill through softwood. It further has an 8V amperage, which is great for anyone who has just begun with drills. Similarly, it weighs only 1.3 pounds and has rubber handlebars, making it absolutely comfortable for users.
Here, another thing I really like about this model is its ⅜ inches keyless chuck. This feature not only makes it easy for you to hold the attachments easily but keeps the drill stable throughout. Here, I particularly would like to appreciate the 400 RPM speed as it remains incredibly accurate in its application.
Last but not least, the manufacturers have added integrated batteries to this drill, so you don’t have to worry about replacing it again and again. It provides you with a fairly long life. All in all, it serves as a suitable substitute for daily tasks, whether it is drilling through softwood or removing screws from cabinets.
In conclusion, this Black +Decker is undoubtedly the best cordless for woodworking, if you are in search of something convenient and affordable. It comes with a safe power source and long battery life that serves you well. Moreover, it is equally worth mentioning that the outcome was quite precise and accurate.
9. KIMO Cordless Drill/Driver Kit
As a budget enthusiast, I wanted something that is convenient yet provided me with maximum utility. After a long time of research, I was able to find this Kimo driver kit. I absolutely loved the fact that it comes with a lot of accessories to help me with a variety of applications, from drilling through planks and removing screws.
First of all, I would like to mention that this drill is specifically designed for DIY and hobbyist tasks. For this purpose, I found the 12 V power source quite sufficient for the job. Hence, throughout the woodworking projects, I was able to drill precisely in no time, even with considerably thick planks.
Moreover, this entire setup works at a clutch setting of 20+1, which provides you with a torque output of 280 inches/ pound. Here, I would also like to appreciate its two-speed options, which proved quite helpful while working with different materials. So, while removing screws, the 1350 RPM speed was true assistance.
Finally, another thing I particularly liked about this kit is that it has a total of 48 accessories. So, whether it was drilling through complicated materials like pine wood or removing the screws from the kitchen cabinet, everything was quick and convenient. Here, the rubber grip further helped me in keeping the drill in my control.
Final thoughts, as a woodworker, I wanted something convenient yet functional to work with, for which this KIMO drill worked remarkably well. Its ergonomic design and variety of accessories helped me through the tasks. Similarly, I found the speed range quite helpful in working with a number of different materials.
10. BOSCH GSR 12 V-300B22 Brushless Drill
Last but not least on my list of the best cordless drills for woodworking with this Bosch GSR, all thanks to its powerful design. After using this for the longest time, I would say it is undoubtedly great at providing you with control and precision. Overall, it was incredibly easy to handle, which made it a yes for me.
The first thing I would like to appreciate about this model is the powerful brushless motor. All in all, it has the ability to deliver torque up to 300 inches/ pound torque output, which is quite remarkable for woodwork. Also, I have used this for pine wood and hard sheets and the results were absolutely worth consideration.
Similarly, given that it is set up at a 20+1+1 clutch setting, you don’t have to worry about control. This function makes sure the speed and torque are adapted to the material you are working with. I found the keyless chuck particularly helpful in changing the drilling attachment which can be a big pain while working.
Lastly, when it comes to working with this drill, I would say it is one of the most convenient alternatives you can find. All in all, the battery life was quite long and it lasted me for days which is absolutely worth the mention. The handlebar also provided me with an easy grip, making the process even more convenient for me.
Wrapping up, this Bosch drill is another of my favorites for basic work, owing to its well-put design. It comes with a 20+1+1 Clutch setting and a keyless chuck, which makes it easy for me to drill through hardwood with precision. Likewise, the two-speed transmissions also helped me with adaptability during tough jobs.
How Did I Test These Best Cordless Drills for Woodworking?
Well, I have been working with wood ever since, so it wouldn’t be wrong to say that I have the required experience to judge the related equipment. When it comes to drills, I have particularly used cordless ones as an emergency backup. Here are some ways I can check whether the drill model is suitable for me;
- First of all, I need to do the drilling test. For this, I would like to use it for both hard and softwood. While using them, make sure you are using the bits from 1/16 to ½ inches as they are the average ones we commonly use. If the results are accurate and precise, I would go for the specific model.
- Secondly, convenience is another thing I can never compromise on. So, while using it, I will check whether it is stable or does it tire me out easily. For the most part, you only need 15 to 20 minutes with a drill to check whether it is comfortable to use or not. If I have the budget, I would like to go for an LED light and rubber grip as they make the job much easier.
What are the Advantages of Using a Quality Cordless Drill for Woodworking?
There are a number of advantages when it comes to using cordless drills for woodworking, some of which are mentioned here;
- First of all, these do not have power cords, so you have incredible portability, allowing you to work around the room easily.
- They have long battery life that can last you for long working hours, so you don’t have to charge them repeatedly.
- The majority of these drills have a high torque output, so you can easily accommodate heavy tasks accurately.
- They are light and compact, so you will probably feel comfortable while using them. You can also carry them around, from one place to another.
Cordless Vs. Corded Drills for Woodworking, Which One is Better?
Well, it all depends on your individual requirements and the budget allocation. For instance, cordless drills are powered by batteries that are convenient for a number of places. I have particularly used these alternatives as a backup to my corded drills, specifically while dealing with professional jobs. They are also user-friendly and easy to transport, so using them while traveling makes complete sense.
However, if you want power and high torque output, it is ideal that you go for corded drills. This is because they are powered by heavy voltage sources that are primarily responsible for providing you with an incredible torque output. So, if you are working with hardwood planks, such as quebracho and oak, these might work well. However, they are a bit expensive and cannot be used otherwise. They also have limited power cord capacity, making them less portable. So, always keep this in mind while working.
How to Remove a Chuck from a Cordless Drill?
If you have overused the chuck to its limits and need to replace it, you might be wondering how to do it right. So, to help you with this, here are some simple steps you can follow;
- First of all, you will see a screw on the right side of the chuck. So, unscrew this in the sense that you are moving the screwdriver in a reverse direction.
- Once you are done, by using one hand, keep the chuck in its position and loosen the screws that are present in the chuck in the usual way. Here, you will have to exert extra force as these screws are really tight.
- Now, you are supposed to keep the drill to a lower gear setting. Also, set the clutch on the highest setting, so it is difficult for it to move.
- After this, take the large key from the clutch and put a shorter one in the chuck. Make sure you have tightened it properly, so there is no chance of it moving.
- To further make it secure, it is best that you have used a hammer and bang it for some time. Don’t worry that the drill will get damaged as it is quite sturdy and can take some hits easily.
- After some time, you will notice it getting removed from the chuck. Finally, all you need to do is unscrew it, and you are done.
What is the Recommended Torque for Drilling on Wood?
Well, to answer this question, it is important that you know different types of wood require distinct torque output. For instance, while working with hardwood like quebracho or even oak, it is ideal that you use a high output power source. In contrast, for pine wood or even cedar planks, it doesn’t matter so much. Hence, it is always significant that you do your research before venturing into buying one.
If you do not have many options yet you have to accommodate both hard and softwood, it is ideal to go for a high-power cordless drill that has high adaptability. Here, you need a maximum torque output with the desired clutch setting, so while you are working, it is changing the torque based on the material you are working with. For this, you can go from 250 inches/ pound to all the way up. Finally, I would recommend models like Skil Core 20 and Dewalt cordless drill.
Brushless Cordless Drills or Brushed Cordless Drills, Which One is Better?
Well, it all comes down to your budget allocation and individual requirements, yet I would prefer a brushless cordless drill anytime over its competitor. This is because brushed drills are a bit less expensive than the other. Similarly, they produce a lot of friction, so there are more chances of temperature irregulating and overheating. Hence, they will inevitably consume more fuel and will have shorter battery life.
On the contrary, when it comes to brushless motors, these are undoubtedly a great choice for cordless drills. This is because they are equipped with a proper heat sink management system where there are few chances of your drill getting overheated. So, while you will have no issues with irregular temperature and battery life, it will certainly provide you with maximum utility. I have been using them for quite some time and would say they are undoubtedly great for long hours of woodwork and other related jobs.
What to Look for While Buying the Best Cordless Drills for Woodworking: All You Need to Know
Choosing a cordless drill can be challenging, specifically if you don’t know your working requirements and the basics of these backups. A quality cordless drill is one that provides you with precise and accurate results, having safety, comfort, and long battery life. Hence, you need to consider everything, from power to torque, battery, speed, design, chuck size, and much more. To save your day, I have brought some things that can help you in choosing the best cordless drill for woodworking,
The first and foremost thing you need to look into while buying a cordless drill for woodwork is its torque output. In simple words, it determines the ability of your drill to go into depth. So, for this purpose, you first have to make sure what type of material you will be working with. For instance, hardwood would require a high-power output and vice versa.
Hence, when it comes to materials like hardwood planks, such as oak or quebracho, and masonry, you would need a high value of torque. Here, I would recommend you at least go above 250 inches/ pound in order to achieve an accurate and fast application. On the contrary, if you are just a hobbyist who likes to work with wood, any value of torque output, until it is precise, works well for you.
The second most important thing you would need for a quality cordless drill is a lithium-ion battery setup. This is because these have a low self-discharge, so you won’t have any issues with the fuel capacity. It is further enhanced by their ability to conserve more energy while utilizing less than usual power. Similarly, they work on a regular voltage, providing you with fewer chances of irregular temperature or overheating, making them safe for the most part.
Another thing you need to consider while choosing the right model of a cordless drill is its speed range. Given that you are a woodworker, you must be working with different types, sizes, and shapes of wood that require different levels of speed. For this purpose, I would advise you to go for something that has better adaptability, meaning that the drill can change its speed automatically according to the wood you are working with.
Here, my favorites are the drills that come with two-speed transmissions. These are set in a way that the first speed ranges from 0 to 500 RPM while the other second one ranges from 0 to 1500 RPM. Hence, when you are in search of more precision, control, and stability, the drill can shift to a lower speed setting and vice versa. However, if you do not have the budget, I would recommend you go between 1200 and 1500 RPM, as they cover most of the wood planks you are likely to work with.
Chuck Type and Size
Another thing that is significant to look into while you are choosing the right cordless drill is the chuck size. This is because it determines what attachments will work with your desired tool. In simple words, a chuck in your drill is responsible for holding the drill bits. So, the rule of thumb is that the more drill bits the chuck is capable of holding, the more versatile and functional it is.
If you are a professional who is most likely to work with different types of woods, I would always advise you to go for ½ inches keyless chuck, as they can hold more than usual drill bits. On the contrary, if you are a beginner, you can go for both the ½ as well as the 3/8 inches chuck to help you with the tasks. So, before choosing, make sure you have a clear idea of your individual requirements.
Does Your Drill have LED Light?
I would further advise you to go for an LED light as it will provide you with improved visibility. If you have a habit of doing work late at night or in dim lighting like me, this is a must-have for you. This is because it can be a simple nightmare for you when you don’t know what you are working with or how you are working. Here, an LED light can immediately illuminate the working space, providing you with better visibility and eventually a smooth process.
Comfort and Convenience
Last but not least, another thing you need to look for while buying any quality cordless drill is whether it is convenient or not. For this purpose, you would need an ergonomic design. Hence, I would advise you to make sure the drill has a rubber grip handlebar and it feels sturdy while you are working. This is because it makes sure that the drill has the ability to withstand vibrations so that it remains stable while working with different types of woods.
Similarly, weight is another thing that can influence your ability to work comfortably with the drill. Hence, it is important that the tool feels light in your hand, for which I would recommend you not to go above 7 pounds. This depends on your battery setup, so go for the one that is not overwhelming for you to control.
In the end, I hope you soon will be able to find the best cordless drill for woodworking, with the help of this buying guide.
In the end, being a woodworker, I would say choosing the cordless drill has always been a daunting task for me, given that so much goes into it. Hence, if you are wondering how you should buy one, I would advise you to look into each and everything, from power to speed, torque, construction, chuck size, and battery setup. Finally, here are some of my favorites from the list;
- SKIL PWR CORE 20 Hammer Drill is best known for its high torque output, better fuel efficiency, and extensive battery setup.
- BOSCH GSR 12 V-300B22 Brushless Drill is massively popular for its ergonomic design, high power output, and variable speed range.
- Metabo HPT Cordless Driver Drill Kit is famous for its two-speed transmission, long battery life, and straightforward design.
In conclusion, I hope you soon will be able to find the best cordless drill for woodworking, as per your individual requirements.