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The 4 best power drills

By Marshall Bright

Power drills aren't just for serious DIYers. Even people who only occasionally do minor home repairs, installations, or put together Ikea furniture can find them handy and a great way to speed up the process. The best power drills allow you to easily tackle bigger jobs. If you want something for occasional use, there are plenty of options with a smaller price tag. You might sacrifice some power and capabilities, but you'll be all set to install wall decor and make minor fixes.

Most drills, especially the ones a non-professional would buy, are drill-driver combos. That means the power drill can drill holes at high speeds and drive in screws at lower speeds. And while some, but not all, come with one or two bits to get you started, it’s smart to buy an additional drill and screwdriver bit set for greater capabilities.

Power drills come in both corded and non-corded models. Today, with advances in battery technology making them lighter and longer-lasting than before, cordless drills are more popular with most people since they give more mobility and freedom. However, if you will be primarily using your drill at a workbench, corded models are generally lighter since they don’t require a battery. They can also be more powerful, though not always.

But no matter what your aspirations, there’s a power drill for you. Below, the best choices for every home and DIY skill level.

1. The best overall power drill for most people

Featuring a brushless motor, this Bosch 12-volt drill-driver can deliver more power than a typical brushed motor. It’s lightweight at just 2 pounds, and receives high praise from customers with a 4.5-star rating. It also comes with two lightweight lithium batteries, meaning you can charge one while using the other. A switch allows you to use it for both driving and drilling, and more than a dozen settings allow for precise torque. The short head length is ideal for fitting into small spaces and corners, and it features an LED light for illuminating jobs in dark spots as well as a fuel gauge to alert you when the battery is low. This drill/driver is also one of Consumer Reports’s top drill picks for everyday use.

Additional bundle options: 21-piece screwdriver bit set, 91-piece drill bit set

2. The best drill with a separate driver

Most drills are driver-drill combos. However, the convenience of having both tools in one means sacrificing some precision with driving in screws. Those who are looking at a lot of screwdriving in the future will likely appreciate the added precision of a purpose-built driver. And DeWalt’s drill and driver set gives you two tools for just a few dollars more than the cost of the top drill-driver combo tool.

Not only is DeWalt’s driver super precise, it is also lighter than a drill. Impact drivers like this one, while they weigh less and are more precise, are noisier, however. And, if you do not already have a project in mind that calls for a lot of screwdriving, it’s probably best to stick to a drill-driver like the top pick or the budget pick, below.

Additional bundle options: 14-piece drill bit set, 40-piece drill bit set, 100-piece drill bit set

3. The best power drill under $50

If you only anticipate doing a few smaller projects like installing a shelf, there is no need to spend more than $50. This Avid Power model is a budget-friendly cordless drill that comes with both drill and screw attachments for low-lift DIY installations. There are fewer fine-tuned torque settings for driving than the top pick, but 15 settings should be enough for everyday use. It is also the only drill on our list to come with a flexible shaft attachment for hard-to-reach areas. It is also just over 2 pounds, making it almost as lightweight as the top pick at half the price. Best yet, it comes with a 22-piece accessories set including driver and drill bits adding to the value. However, there are no easy bundles offered if you want more bits than that.

4. The best corded power drill (and it's less than $25)

The lowest-priced option on the list, this corded drill has the added benefit of never running out of power. Of course, you’ll have to sacrifice some mobility, and likely need an extension cord, but many reviewers praise the need to never worry about replacing batteries and have given this a 4.2 overall rating, and 4.7 stars for value, after more than 600 reviews. And while you’re sacrificing some ease of use by purchasing a corded model that weighs 3.5 pounds, you’re also getting a great value: At less than $25, it operates with the strength of a much more expensive cordless drill. Even all the bundle sets with dozens of bits are still under $50.

Additional bundle options: 42-piece bit set, 66-piece bit set, 102-piece bit set

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