Whats The Best 20v Cordless Drill For Contractors and DIY projects

When it comes to tools, there’s two approaches you can take. One is to buy cheap tools, struggle with them for a while, ultimately dump it in lieu of another cheap tool, and then repeat.

The second approach is to find the right tools with a proven track record, buy the tool, and then enjoy it for a lifetime as money well spent.

I used to be a practitioner of the former method. I would buy tools that just barely got the job done if that, and then replace them almost annually.

When I threw away my third cordless drill in 2 years, I realized it was time to take my dad’s advice and start shopping for quality over price. In my search for the best 20v cordless drill, I learned a lot about the options available in that class, both good and bad.

Today, I’m going to share with you what I found to be the best 20v cordless drill available today.
Best 20v Cordless Drill 2018

Options in 20v Cordless Drills

In my search, I tried not to let price drive my decision, as it had in the past. It’s impossible and impractical to completely ignore price in consideration of things like power tools.

I decided to place a higher emphasis on the parameters of reliability, durability, availability, and power.

These parameters were considered in the same ranking in my analysis of the perfect cordless drill.

If you’re wondering why I ranked power last in my consideration, it’s because I am an average Joe with average Joe projects. You’ll find that when you are looking at power tools known for reliability and durability, power and performance are pretty much a given.
Related: Best Cordless Hammer 

The Best 20v Cordless Drill Review  (and two 18 volts that fit the bill)

While there are a few choices available in 20 volt cordless drills, the list of manufacturers with a reputation for quality is much shorter.

There are many well known, and some not so well known, brands producing drills that are both reliable and durable. Brands like Porter Cable, Bosch, and Hitachi are all known for producing high-quality, feature filled products with a reputation for high performance.

As good as these drills are, there’s just one problem; they are too exotic. Many of these brands are available in limited retailers along with service and replacement parts.

In some cases, such as with Snap-On products, you may have to search for an authorized seller to get new tools and parts. The availability of tools and components is a major factor because, as any handyman knows, things happen.

Having to drive an extra 20 minutes to find a store that sells compatible batteries or being able to walk into a store to buy a new chuck as opposed to ordering online can make or break a project. When adding the variable of availability, I was able to narrow down the list significantly, ultimately narrowing down to the top 3 20v cordless drills

  1. Dewalt Brushless 20v

  2. Milwaukee M18 Li-Ion

  3. Makita 18v Li-Ion Brushless

These brands have shown years of reliable, repeatable service to their owners and are all respected names in the tool industry. All three products are available at the major big box home improvement retailers and have a strong online presence. They are also all compact drills using brushless motor technology and lithium ion battery packs. Now for the differences.
Related: Best Brushless Impact Driver Reviews  



Dewalt Compact Brushless Cordless Drill

Best 20v Cordless Drill 2018The Dewalt 20 volt brushless drill is somewhat unique in this lineup as the only true 20volt unit. In the construction of lithium ion battery packs, cells are added typically in 2-volt increments.

The balance of weight and power has steered the drill industry to a few common output configurations; one of which is 18 volts. Dewalt decided to break from tradition in offering a unit with increased power with a negligible increase in weight.

It features some other cool features as well, such as a 3 speed transmission, variable torque with hammer feature for tough masonry and concrete, and a cool 2-way chuck with internal hex receiver for quick change hex drive drill bits and screw bits.

The 20 volt Dewalt definitely benefits from the extra 2 volts, blowing away the competition in terms of available torque. However, it is just a bit heavier than the others.

The value price of the Dewalt will keep enough “counterweight” in your wallet to balance things out. Be sure to opt for a combo kit, as you will need to replace your charger and batteries to 20volt units.
Related: Corded vs Cordless Circular Saws 



Milwaukee M18 Cordless Drill

best rated 20v cordless drill 2018Milwaukee is another company with excellent build quality and even better warranty policy. The M18 is the latest generation in a line that has been kicking but in the cordless drill market for quite some time.

Their increased availability in the past couple decades has brought them mainstream and homeowners are reaping the benefits.

The Milwaukee M18 is an 18volt powerhouse that doesn’t offer much more than the basics, but it offers them in a nearly flawless package. The M18 is powerful, lightweight, and has impressive battery life.

Features like worklight, adjustable torque, and keyless chuck are intuitive and work as expected, every time without a hitch. What it lacks in cool features it makes up for in easy to use simplicity.

The Milwaukee is the choice for those seeking the last drill they will ever need to buy.
Related: Best Mini Circular Saws This Year

Makita 18v Lithium Ion Cordless Drill

best value 20v cordless drillThe Makita 18V lithium Ion takes an import approach to powertools, offering precision manufacturing and smart design to offer a cordless drill that is robust and durable while also being nimble and precise.

The brushless motor of the Makita is smooth and strong, offering reliable performance.

The battery life is very impressive among the three units profiled, making this Makita the best suited option for extended or continuous use.

Makita also takes somewhat of a no-frills approach, only offering the standard features one would expect, but nothing really innovative.

However, the Makita does what you need it to, doing it better even than you might expect.

Batteries and accessories for the Makita can be a bit more expensive than the other drills reviewed, but you can be assured that you are getting a quality product.

Related: Top 7- Best Cordless Jigsaw Reviews Today

Closing Shop

I hope that this review helped you frame a decision on your next cordless drill.

While it’s hard to decisively choose the best 20v cordless drill, you can hopefully pick the best drill for you based on the features and details of each choice.

Take some time to feel the tools and try them out (most big box stores will be happy to let you drive a few bolts). It’s your money, spend it wisely.


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