But the DeWalt 12-volt’s balance was so nice that, before we weighed the drills, we were convinced it was the lightest one we were testing. The truth is that the Bosch GSR12V-300B22 is almost half a pound lighter. For these tests, we set the drills to the faster of the two speeds and switched over to the slower speed (with higher torque) when a drill stopped being effective. With a drill in the lower gear, we were usually able to continue on for a bit until the battery was completely drained. For the drilling test, the 12-volt models usually could handle drilling only a few holes before we switched over to the lower gear with the higher torque needed for the difficult task.
We used standard drill bits and drilled holes in softwood and hardwood. We adjusted and tested their clutch settings and tested any additional functions. The DCD771C2 is another exceptional drill that gets the job done, even if it can’t quite match the overall performance of the dewalt impact drill top tools. We found that it offered an unparalleled amount of control and power when driving in screws, though we wish it had a bit longer battery life. This drill can handle almost every task you throw at it — though it might take a little longer than the top-tier tools.
Below, in alphabetical order, we highlight 10 of the best cordless drills we’ve tested, in both sizes. We did not test the Makita FD07R1 12V max CXT Lithium‑Ion Brushless Cordless 3/8″ dewalt impact drill Driver Drill Kit. It shares many characteristics with our main pick, the DeWalt 12-volt, but the light is positioned above the handle, so it doesn’t illuminate a work surface as well.
Even so, the Ridgid model is a very competent drill that many will find to be “just enough.” It has a really nice handle and the well-positioned LED (which comes on only when the trigger is pulled). DeWalt employs a “foot”-style battery, which slides into the base of the handle from the front of the tool. This drill is overall a larger tool, but it has a small platform to stand on. By contrast, competitors’ drills, like some we’ve tested from Milwaukee and Bosch, use a canister-style battery (which slides up into the handle). So not only are the handles bulky, but without a foot, the drills can rest only on their sides. Although both the Bosch and Milwaukee models we tested are appropriately padded, we prefer to place a drill upright, especially on delicate surfaces.
During the test, the 12-volt model often got bound up and had a much harder time, while the 20-volt just blew right through the wood. So although the 12-volt model is capable of tackling tougher jobs, that’s really not what the smaller tool is designed for. If that’s the kind of work you’re doing all day, you’ll appreciate the difference.
Be prepared for any task big or small by shopping the line of DeWalt tools at Ace Hardware online or in-store. From outdoor power equipment to power tool and hand tool staples, storage solutions and a wide selection of accessories, Ace carries the DeWalt products you need to transform your workspace. The DCD771C2 did redeem itself a bit by including two batteries, so you can at least always have one on the charger while you are working and by charging faster than average.