Best 18V Cordless Drill of 2020 Complete Reviews with Comparisons

By Tool Scout | Cordless Drill Reviews

Best 18V Cordless Drill

No one’s denying that corded drills can produce impressive torque and drill through just about anything you put in front of them. On the other hand, you won’t feel nearly as comfortable as using the best 18V cordless drill once you've ditched the cord and gone cordless.

Cordless drills and impact drivers, in general, are the preferred tool by most homeowners and DIY hobbyists. They can handle most heavy-duty jobs, provided the specific battery drill you're using has enough torque. Check out the following reviews and pick your favorite or best cordless drill for your level of experience or project requirements.

Best Overall Cordless Drill
Makita XFD061 18V Compact Cordless Drill
  • High-quality durable body structure that is ideal for heavy-duty construction works.
  • Mechanical switch 2-speed transmission that allows speeds between 400 - 1550 RPM.
  • Superb Makita BL Brushless motor that punches out over 530-inch pounds of torque.
  • High-tech motor efficiency control which automatically adjusts both torque & speed under load.
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Comparison Chart

BLACK+DECKER 18V Cordless Drill/Driver Variable Speed (GCO18SFB)

Makita XFD061 18V LXT Lithium-Ion COMPACT Brushless Cordless 1/2″ Driver-Drill Kit (3.0Ah)

Ridgid R860052K 18 Volt Hyper Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill Driver Kit

Metabo HPT 18V Brushless Cordless Driver Drill Kit

Bosch Power Tools Drill Kit DDB181-02 – 18V Cordless Drill/Driver Tool Set

Best 18V Cordless Drill Reviews

Black+Decker GCO18SFB 18V Cordless Drill

Black+Decker typically seem to manufacture power tools for those who might be regarded as frugal or at least fiscally conscious, as they consistently deliver drills or any tool for that matter, at exceptionally low prices.

Now, if you're cash-strapped and still determined to conduct your project work yourself, Black+Decker might just have a solution for you depending on the extremity of the work you'll be conducting.

The Black+Decker GCO18SFB is one of the most affordable and versatile compact 18V cordless drills on the market. It can be used for a wide range of applications, and it comes with essential accessories that let you work in every corner of the house.

But is it the best 18V cordless drill? Let's break it down and find out...

Review

One of the most important accessories is the stud finder. This handy tool is an electronic device that will let you locate studs and wiring under up to 3/4" of wall. That way, you can be sure that you won’t be drilling in the wrong spot.

The GCO18FSB also comes with an HPB18 18V battery and a DC charger. The battery is a NiCad battery that delivers consistent power but will take longer to charge. Also helpful is that the use of NiCad over Li-Ion lowers the cost of the GCO18SFB, thus making it accessible for more types of users.

Among other extra perks, you will find a storage bag that can double as a carry bag. Twenty-four clutch positions are available. This should enable you to tackle a lot of repair and remodeling jobs around the house. Also notable is the maximum speed of 750 RPM.

One more thing that’s worth mentioning is that the GCO18SFB drill doesn’t strip screws. This will allow you to reuse them and perhaps save you a few bucks in the long run. While not particularly ideal for jobs involving concrete and cement as the GCO18SFB does not have a hammer drill feature.

Although if the work you'll be attempting is of a less rigorous nature, this 18V cordless drill has enough torque to drill and drive through damp wood or drywall.

PROS

  • Reliable performance
  • Durable build
  • Magnetic bit holder
  • Lightweight
  • Compact design

CONS

  • Slow charging time

Makita XFD061 18V LXT Li-Ion Cordless Drill

Makita Tools can seem to do no wrong when it comes to producing power tools, and the Makita XFD061 drill is one more notch in their belt with this remarkable achievement in the tool department. 

The Makita XFD061 comes in three different kit options, each one offering more accessories than the other. When it comes down to performance, Makita drills, and power tools in general, are known to make short work of any task you throw in front of them.

Review

A serious contender for the best 18V cordless drill, the XFD061 is a cordless drill with a 2-speed transmission. On the low end, it can reach up to 400 RPM, which is more than enough for jobs requiring screwing and fastening. On the top end, the XFD061 boasts an impressive 1,550 RPM which will help you drill through thick materials with ease.

The brushless motor can put out up to 530 in-lbs. of torque. This gives the drill plenty of power to handle tougher jobs for professional contractors and will make household repair works or automotive repair work a complete and utter breeze given the power the XFD061 possesses.

However, you will have to take extra care when adjusting the clutch positions as the XFD061 might just be too strong for some of the simpler tasks.

The 1/2" chuck size also allows for thicker drill bits. Apart from the obvious high torque and variable speed, the XFD061 is also notable for its superior battery runtime. Also cool is the fast charging feature of the Makita 18V LXT battery and its dedicated charger.

Using this drill may require some experience, but only because it’s a powerful tool. In terms of ergonomics, the design is on point. The build is light at 3.8 lbs., and that’s largely because of the high-end battery.

The dual LED lights make things even easier when dealing with poor lighting conditions. Keep in mind that most cordless drills may only come with a single beam LED light.

PROS

  • Durable body and motor
  • High-end Li-Ion battery
  • 530 in-lbs. of torque
  • Can handle heavy-duty jobs
  • Fast-charging battery

CONS

  • Not the best for small delicate jobs

Ridgid R860052K 18 Volt Hyper Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill Driver Kit

One thing that is super impressive about Ridgid Tools as a company that has been manufacturing tools for over 80-years, is that they offer free parts and service for life with the registration of your purchase. If you regularly put your tools to the test and are worried about wear & tear, this definitely something you should ponder when purchasing any tool.

Ridgid makes cordless drills for every budget and type of application. One of the manufacturer’s best-selling 18V cordless drills comes in the form of the R860052K drill driver kit. It is a robust 18V cordless drill with variable speed control and enough torque to handle most light- to heavy-duty jobs.

Review

The Ridgid R860052K drill driver offers impressive performance. Although this 18V compact drill could be considered a slightly more expensive power tool for homeowners, this 18V compact 1/2" cordless drill kit provides plenty of value to justify the price it demands.

With a 24-position clutch ring, the Ridgid R860052K drill driver offers excellent accuracy for drilling with either hardwood or dense metal materials. The two-speed settings allow for up to 1,500 RPM on the top end and up to 450 RPM in the low end of the scale. With these kinds of metrics, you can imagine you won't have too much trouble drilling or fastening with this compact drill driver. 

When adjusting the speed settings to a lower set point, you’ll also get more torque for those tougher tasks. Speaking of which, the maximum torque of the R860052K is 500 in-lbs. You'll also be able to take projects of larger size as the drill has a 1/2” single sleeve ratcheting chuck to ensure that you can drill and drive quickly through tough materials.

Along with the standard bits and accessories and the built-in LED work light, Ridgid also offers two of its high-end Hyper Lithium-Ion 1.5 AH 18V Batteries and an 18V fast charger. The storage bag is a branded Ridgid lightweight bag and the kit also includes; a double-ended bit, operator’s manual, and a 3-year limited warranty. 

PROS

  • Easy to see display power charge
  • Variable speed control
  • 500 in-lbs. of torque
  • Good run time with 30mins to full charge
  • 21 clutch positions

CONS

  • Bulky design

Metabo HPT 18V Brushless Cordless Driver Drill Kit 

If you’re interested in a highly reliable 18V cordless drill, but you don’t want to spend too much, then Metabo Tools might have the solution. Since Hitachi and Metabo's merger they have rolled out a bunch of new power tools like the Metabo HPT 18V Brushless Cordless Driver Drill.

You might have also noticed that their new range of tools seems to have dropped in price, which is a good for consumers as it's common knowledge that both brands have history of delivering quality products. 

Metabo HPT 18V Brushless Cordless Driver Drill is one of their best heavy-duty cordless drills and is reasonably affordable, lightweight, super powerful, and is incredibly beastly looking in all black.

Review

This Metabo HPT 18V Brushless Cordless Driver Drill Kit comes runs on one 1. 5Ah lithium-ion battery, Metabo's HPT 18V fast charger and two Philips bits which are included in the kit. The battery with this impressive cordless drill provides enough power so that the motor can deliver up to 620 in-lbs. of torque. 

You can also easily adjust the torque for better accuracy, as the drill also has 22 +1 clutch positions with a 1/2-inch high quality-grade keyless metal chuck. 

The variable speed design allows users to adjust the RPM for either drilling or driving. For driving, you can use lower speeds of up to 350 RPM while on the top end, you can get up to 1800 RPM max speed for drilling into wood or steel plates.

An LED work light is also included. The handle is hard but rubber-coated, which still offers a comfortable ergonomic grip for prolonged use with minimal stress to your joints under full load.

Another thing that grabbed our attention about this cool looking cordless drill apart from its robust build quality and design, is that the drill weighs just 3. 5 lbs with the battery connected.

Typically when a cordless 18V drill driver like this one punches out the kind of torque that it does, they tend to be bulky and heavy, but not this one, the Metabo HPT 18V Brushless Cordless Driver Drill really does tick all the boxes. 

PROS

  • Affordable, great starter drill
  • Batteries guaranteed for 1000 charges
  • Variable speed design, MAX at 1350 RPM
  • Brilliant bright LED work light

CONS

  • Runs a bit warm while on hammer drill

Bosch Power Tools Drill Kit DDB181-02 - 18V Cordless Drill

The Bosch Power Tools Drill Kit DDB181-02 - 18V Cordless Drill has a had a lasting reputation among DIY'ers as one of the best cordless drills for those on a budget that are still looking for a quality drill from a trusted brand like Bosch Power Tools.

The DDB181-02 comes with a wide range of accessories and enough torque for light- to medium-duty jobs. It has a reliable battery and a fast charger too, which should make it an attractive choice for homeowners looking for a legit drill. 

Review

The manufacturer lists the torque at 18Nm which translates to 141 inch-lbs. This is common for many compact drills used in woodworking and basic drill driving repair work.

Its 1.0Ah NiMh battery has a long runtime, at least compared to most Ni-Cad batteries of the same voltage. It should last for up to 5 hours in most cases.

The 18V drill is also affordable. This makes the list of accessories all the more impressive. The 30-piece set contains masonry drill bits, interchangeable screwdriver bits, high-speed spring steel bits, and Brad Point drill bits for woodworking. Nineteen bits are drill bits, while the other 11 are driver bits.

The drill offers a lot of control over the torque too. It comes with 17 clutch positions and a slip control ring. This latter component is responsible for preventing over-tightening, stripping, and over-drilling.

In terms of speed, the Hi-Spec 18V Pro has variable speed control, but it doesn’t have a 2-speed design. This means that it can only be used at speeds between 0 and 550 RPM. This isn’t bad given the good torque control, but it might make it slightly difficult to drill into certain hard or thick materials while at work. 

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Variable speed control
  • Torque adjustment
  • 30 drill bits and driver bits
  • LED work light

CONS

  • Limited torque

Is 18v Drill Good?

18 volt cordless drills are brilliant for many reasons. They are powerful and possess impressive speeds in action, they're relatively compact, lightweight and superbly balanced, and they're affordable as they're typically in that sweet price point too. Although, whether they are good enough for the work you'll be conducting on a daily or even weekend basis is another thing entirely.

The saying, "a tradesman is only as good as his tools" is both true and somewhat incoherent rambling too, at least in this case. For a lot of tasks you'll be conducting, you could either go with a 12V, 18V or 20V cordless drill. How intensive the task at hand will determine the tool you require and that very much goes for cordless drills too.

While most people will go straight for the 20V cordless drill and ignore both the 12V and 18V, don't be like most people. Think about whether or not that additional battery capacity and power are actually necessary, and consider if you'd be more comfortable drilling and driving for a significant amount of time with something that weighs 3 lbs or 6 lbs?

Is 18v Better than 20v?

The one thing that could be deemed better about an 18V cordless drills compared to a 20V cordless drills is the reduction in weight with 18V drills. The majority of the additional weight attached to 20V cordless drills comes with the 20V battery fitted to the drill.

Sure, there are some drills that utilize more powerful motors to assist with say; a hammer drill feature or even with a more beefed up brushless motor, but typically, the added weight comes with the larger battery size.

Another thing that might be seen as advantageous to some tool owners is how compact 18V drills are vs 20V drills. This really boils down to both the drills application and personal preferences. Although, a lot of the new 20V cordless drills currently being produced are still rather compact even when compared to the 18V drills.

So if one of the determining factors for you when purchasing a cordless drill is weight, an 18V cordless drill might be a better option for you.

Outside of that, 20V drills are generally considered the flagship models and offer one clear advantage or 18V cordless drills, and that is battery life.

This really is a conundrum for most people when trying to decide between an 18V vs 20V cordless drill. You can either comprise valuable battery life and go with a lightweight 18V cordless drill, or go balls to the wall and grab a 20V cordless drill that will offer more power and better battery life.

What is the Best Cordless Drill to Buy?

Whether we're talking about the best 18V cordless drill or the best cordless drill in general, the best cordless drill is all most always manufactured by the best power tool companies.

Why's that you say?

Because any power tool you purchase should be considered an investment and you want to invest your money in products from companies that produce quality. There nothing worse than spending a rather significant amount of money on a tool like a cordless drill, only to find in 6 months time that the motor is faulty and having to haggle with non-responsive customer support.

For that reason alone, you really want to consider purchasing any tool from a company that long-standing reputation and stellar customer support. Think about it, would you rather be dealing with the likes of Dewalt or Makita when submitting a warranty claim or some flash in the pan brand that had a great "deal" at the time?

All that said, if you want our opinion on what is the best 18V cordless drill, scroll no further as our final verdict has now arrived. 

FINAL VERDICT

If you’re ready to purchase your next 18V cordless drill, it would be good to pick the best 18V cordless drill for your line of work or remodeling projects. The 18V Cordless Drill is the ideal tool in many situations and the Makita XFD061 is simply one of the best 18V cordless drills available.

If you’re a professional contractor or have a decent DIY project planned and you need to make short work of both light- and heavy-duty tasks, then perhaps the Makita XFD061 18V Cordless Drill is the best option for your future project work.  

This brushless drill one of the best cordless drills for many reasons, but to highlight them again, the Makita XFD061 can give you up to 530 inch-pound of torque, high speeds on the low end and top end, and comes with the award-winning Makita MXT lithium-ion battery.

Apart from the excellent battery, variable speed control, an affordable price tag, the drill also comes with a very handy stud finder that should be super helpful when you’re doing work in and around the house.

In Conclusion 

When you buy any power tool, you want a tool that is both reliable and durable. Even though technical specs in regards to speed, power, and torque are the attributes that are generally delivered during the sexy elevator sales pitch, you'll often find that they're the least applicable when purchasing most cordless tools. 

As you can see from our review of the best 18V cordless drill of 2020, there is a bunch of different factors that ultimately determine which tool takes the cake. Whether it's power drills, cordless drills, impact drivers or even a hammer drill, one of the best ways to help solidify the decision-making process is to consider the task at hand and not just the impressive bench-tested statics. 

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