A cordless hammer drill is one of the most useful tools you can own. Enabling you to drill holes and drive screws into wood, brick and masonry, hammer drills are essential for many garden and household DIY tasks.
Cordless hammer drills with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are lightweight, portable and convenient, allowing you to drill in any location, even if there’s no power source nearby. They’re also safer than corded designs, as they reduce the risk of you tripping over a cable, or of it getting in your way whilst you work.
The drawback to cordless drills is they’re not as powerful as mains-powered tools, and their power isn’t limitless; they will eventually run flat and have to be recharged. For these reasons, they probably won’t be suitable for construction workers – but for domestic users conducting DIY jobs such as assembling flat-pack furniture, they can often be the perfect choice.
To help you find the best cordless hammer drill for you, we’ve put together this list of 5 of the best options on the market, based on factors such as torque, the number of settings, accessories included, how easy it is to change the drill bit, and value for money.
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And don’t worry, there’s no skimping here – we’ve really ‘drilled’ into each one (sorry!)
Our best cordless hammer drill has a high max. torque, and comes from one of the most reputable tool brands
Topping our selection of the best cordless hammer drills is this 18V tool from Black + Decker. Being from a well-known, reputable brand, you can rest assured that this drill offers high quality and durability.
With an impressive maximum torque of 40Nm, it’s powerful enough to hammer drill concrete and masonry, as well as softer materials such as wood and plastic. The manufacturer advises that it can drill 25mm into wood, 10mm into steel, and 10mm into masonry.
There are 2 gears and 10 torque settings, allowing you full control over the turning force the drill delivers, and you can also set it to forward or reverse drilling.
The drill has a 10mm chuck which can be unscrewed without the use of a key, making it quick and easy to change drill bits. Unfortunately, no drill bits are included, and the drill is also lacking some features that are common to other designs, including a built-in light and safety lock.
It comes with one rechargeable battery, a kit box and a charger, which is part of Black + Decker’s 18V system, and compatible with any of their other household tools. Issues with these drills are rare, but if you do experience a problem, you’re covered by a 2-year warranty.
While it might not stand up to tasks on a professional building yard, this is a powerful cordless drill, capable of performing the vast majority of household and DIY tasks, and we think it’s the best all-rounder on the market.
- Powerful 18V lithium-ion battery-powered drill, suitable for drilling masonry.
- 21000 BPM and high max. torque of 40Nm provides effective hammer drilling.
- 2 gears and 10 torque settings give you full control.
- Includes forward and reverse drilling functions.
- Keyless chuck enables quick and easy bit changes.
- Compact and portable, with included kit box.
- No drill bits included.
- No built-in light, as found on similar tools.
- No safety lock to prevent accidental trigger activation when changing drill bits.
All things considered, we believe this 18V drill offers you the best possible value for money
This 18V Compakt drill by Mylek is one of the lowest-priced tools on our list. Despite the considerably more affordable price tag, it comes with many handy features that are missing from the Black + Decker model, including a safety lock on the trigger, and an integrated LED work light.
It also has a built-in LED battery indicator, so you know exactly how much drilling time you have left – particularly useful on longer jobs. The battery life itself is decent, lasting around 5 hours on a single charge.
Other notable features include forward and reverse drilling settings, and a keyless chuck, for quick and easy changing of the drill bit (although admittedly, these are common features to all of our drills).
Speaking of drill bits, you’ll find a total of 13 accessories and bits included with this drill, as well as 19 torque settings. This allows you full control over the power your drill exhibits and enables you to modify it for different materials.
It has to be said though that we wouldn’t recommend this tool for anything more than light work – the included drill bits feel flimsy, it doesn’t have a specific hammer function, and the maximum torque that can be applied is only 20Nm (half that of the Black + Decker).
Overall, this drill definitely has its limitations, and it’s not designed for heavy-duty or masonry work – but if you’re looking for a versatile and user-friendly option for light DIY, that won’t break the bank, this might just be the drill for you.
- Affordable 18V lithium-ion drill.
- Impressive 19 torque settings.
- Includes 13 accessories and drill bits.
- Keyless chuck for easy changing of bits.
- Forward and reverse drilling functions.
- Trigger switch lock for improved safety.
- Built-in LED work light and LED battery indicator.
- No hammer drilling setting.
- Comparatively low max. torque of 20Nm.
- Only suitable for light work – drill bits feel a little flimsy.
Our priciest drill – but for that, you get a second battery, high torque, 20 power settings and a household name
This PSB 18V Combi Drill has a maximum torque of 39Nm, to rival the Black + Decker 18V drill, and is suitable for a variety of drilling, driving and impacting/hammering tasks. It comes from Bosch, another well-known and highly respected name in the field of household tools.
One feature of this drill that’s unique to Bosch is their built-in Syneon Chip technology, which intelligently controls the amount of energy in your drill, to deliver optimum power and endurance for your tasks (we don’t really understand how this works either, but it sounds good!)
The PSB has a 2-speed gearbox and an impressive 20 pre-selectable settings, allowing you full control of the drilling torque. It’s lightweight and compact, and comes with a built-in light and carry case, for easy storage and portability.
It also comes with 2 x 18V batteries and a charger, which is compatible with all tools in Bosch’s 18V system. Charging time is fast – you can expect the battery to be fully juiced up in within an hour.
The second battery is one of the best things about this drill, as it effectively means you can use it almost continuously, by always having one battery on charge, ready to be swapped in as soon as the current one goes flat. This makes it a great option for longer DIY tasks.
This powerful drill copes easily with drilling wood, plasterboard and brick, although can struggle with more heavy-duty stone and masonry tasks (make sure you’re using an appropriate drill bit to give you the best possible chance of success).
That being said, this is still one of the most heavy-duty cordless drills available, and if you have a lot of DIY work to do, it might just be worth the slightly higher investment.
- 18V cordless drill with a powerful max torque of 39Nm.
- Includes 2 x lithium-ion batteries, for longer running time.
- Features the Bosch Syneon Chip, for optimum energy control.
- 2-speed gearbox, 20 torque and drill settings for full flexibility –suitable for a wide variety of uses and materials.
- Keyless chuck with Bosch auto-lock ensures quick bit changes.
- Includes carry case, charger and double screwdriver bit.
- Integrated LED light.
- Changing drill bits can be fiddly.
- Our priciest option.
- Still not suitable for heavy-duty masonry drilling.
An additional battery and 29 accessories go a long way to make up for this drill’s lower voltage and little-known brand name
Cost: Price not available
This TECCPO Cordless Drill Driver is another option which includes 2 batteries, allowing you to drill for longer and with fewer interruptions. Batteries charge in an hour, and there’s a battery life indicator so you can see where you’re at.
However, this is our first and only drill with a 12V battery, instead of 18V, meaning it offers you significantly less power. The maximum torque is 30Nm, so it’s by no means gutless, but it’s only going to be suitable for drilling plastic and wood, not brick or masonry.
To make up for the lower power, the drill comes with an impressive 20 torque settings, and 29 accessories – including drill bits, end caps, and a carry bag that’s big enough to store and transport everything.
It features an ergonomic design with a soft-grip handle for comfortable operation and a keyless chuck for easy changing of drill bits. There’s also a built-in LED light, which is surprisingly useful for making sure you’re drilling in the correct spot.
Again, this isn’t a particularly well-known brand – but if you can get past that, there’s no reason not to give this drill set a chance. Plus, it comes with a 24-month guarantee, so there’s the peace of mind that if you do run into any problems, you should be able to get it sorted.
- Includes 2 x 12V lithium-ion batteries and built-in battery life indicator – never run out of power.
- 20 adjustable torque settings for ultimate control over drilling force.
- Keyless, self-clamping chuck – change accessories with one hand.
- Comes with 29 accessories, including 7 x drill bits, 1 x 60mm bit holder, 5 x 50mm end caps, 15 x 25mm end caps, socket gasket, belt clip and carry bag.
- Integrated LED working light.
- Not a well-known brand.
- 12V batteries and 30Nm max torque make it one of the least powerful options on our list.
Our most affordable cordless drill – and it’s worth every penny
Wrapping up our list of the best cordless drills for DIY jobs is this Terratek 18V Drill, which also happens to be the most affordable tool on our list. It’s a decent drill for the money, although there are a few issues which cause it to narrowly miss out on the title of best value pick.
This drill has 16 torque settings, and comes with an impressive 13 accessories, including 6 x drill bits and 2 x Phillips screwdriver attachments – but it has to be said that these don’t feel like they’re of the best quality. The chuck of the drill also struggles to accommodate 10mm drill bits, so it’s worth bearing this in mind.
Terratek claims its tool can drill wood of up to 20mm and steel up to 5mm, and for light tasks, such as assembling flat-pack and putting up shelves, it should manage just fine. However, there is no hammer setting, and the drill should definitely not be used for drilling brick or masonry.
It’s prone to issues with the battery losing its charge, with several users expressing frustration that their battery is dead, despite the indicator light being green. It also doesn’t come with a second battery – although if you want a drill with two batteries, a spare is available to purchase separately.
On the plus side, it’s lightweight, compact and ergonomic, and suitable for users of all ages and abilities. Considering it comes with a 24-month warranty, and a pretty much unbeatable price tag, if you want a drill for light tasks and no masonry, you can’t go too far wrong with this one.
- Ultra-affordable 18V cordless drill.
- 16 torque settings for full control over drilling force.
- Comes with 13 accessories, including 6 x drill bits and 2 x Phillips screwdriver attachments.
- Forward and reverse drill settings.
- Built-in LED light.
- No hammer drill setting – not suitable for drilling brick or masonry.
- Prone to issues with the battery holding charge.
- Chuck does not cope well with 10mm drill bits.
- Not a well-known brand.
Which Voltage Cordless Drill Should You Buy?
Typically, cordless drills come in voltages ranging from 4V to 24V. The voltage you should choose really depends on what tasks you’re going to be doing, and what materials you need to drill. The higher the voltage, the more powerful the drill will be, so it will be suitable for more heavy-duty jobs.
However, higher voltage drills will also generally be more expensive, so if you’re only using the tool for light, occasional use, it may not be worth the extra cost. A higher voltage also means a larger battery, which will make the drill heavier and bulkier.
As a general rule, if you’re purchasing a cordless drill for light home and garden maintenance, furniture assembly and DIY, and will be drilling into materials such as wood and plasterboard, a 12 or 18V drill should be more than sufficient.
How To Use A Cordless Drill
The first step in using a cordless drill is to set it up correctly. This means choosing and loading the correct size drill bit. Do this by unscrewing the chuck (the clamp which holds the bit in place) in a counter-clockwise direction (some drills may require a key to do this). Push the bit into the drill, and then re-tighten the chuck.
Next, make sure your drill is set to the correct speed (assuming it has more than one option). You’ll likely need a slower speed for drilling metal, and a faster speed for timber – although you should always keep the speed as low as possible, to reduce friction.
Similarly, ensure the drill is set to the correct mode, depending on whether you are drilling, driving or hammering. Drilling makes a hole, whilst driving inserts and secures screws. Hammering is the setting most suitable for drilling masonry.
If your drill has a manual clutch, adjust this to set the torque (the force the drill will apply). Set the torque lower when drilling softer materials such as plastic and plasterboard, and higher for harder ones, such as wood or brick. Finally, make sure the drill is set to forward (not reverse) if you want to drill screws in.
Once your cordless drill is set up, prepare yourself by putting on safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris, a dust mask if the job is likely to create dust, and ear protection if you are going to be drilling for an extended period of time.
Make sure the surface you are drilling into is securely clamped, to avoid it slipping and causing injury. It can be a good idea to mark where you want the hole to be, and to drill a shallow pilot hole using a smaller drill bit first. This will hold the drill in place, and make it easier to create your final hole.
You’re now ready to drill your hole! Do so by holding the cordless drill steady, at a right angle to the surface, applying light pressure, and squeezing the trigger.
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.