While most folks will look to impact drivers when it comes to torque, there are a number of drill drivers on the market that punch out some impressive numbers.
If we’re talking about torque output from cordless drills, the only three brands worth considering are Makita, Hilti, and Milwaukee.
If you want to cut to the chase and check out the highest-rated cordless drill available, we’ve highlighted the exact model from Milwaukee for you to review below.
And for those of you who are interested in the broader subject of torque and cordless drills in general, keep reading to further expand your horizons.
What Is The Highest Torque Cordless Drill?
The Makita XPH14Z is the obvious choice here and apart from the staggering amount of power this drill produces, it’s a fantastic drill driver option for DIYers.
The Makita XPH14Z delivers a massive amount of torque at 1,250 inch-pounds and also has an upper limit speed benchmark of 2,100 rpm.
It is the type of tool that you can trust even on extremely tough projects like drilling masonry. Punching through masonry to run cabling or even drilling through hardwood will be a cakewalk with this brute.
- Heavy-duty 1/2-inch drill driver with hammer dill feature that produces 1,250 in.lbs. of Max Torque for drilling through the toughest materials.
- Two-speed selection ranging between 0-550 & 0-2,100 RPM with a 21-position chuck to assist with various applications.
- Includes an auxiliary handle and depth stop feature for tackling dense materials while maintaining a good degree of accuracy.
- On hammer drill mode you generate up to 31,500 BPM for increased speed when hammer drilling into masonry.
The Next Best High Torque Drill Driver
The next best option for those that aren’t fans of Makita, is Milwaukee 2804-20 which boasts 1,200 inch-pounds of torque.
This is typically the kind of high torque you’d expect to see in an impact driver or impact wrench. It also offers 2,000 RPM of drilling speed as a maximum.
Although, all this power and torque do come with one disadvantage, the weight.
This cordless drill, in particular, weighs a little over 5 pounds with the 18V lithium battery fitted. A little on the heavy side, but that’s the trade-off.
- Fitted with a burly brushless motor that boasts 60% more power than other cordless drills in its competitive class.
- Generates more than 1,200 in-lbs of torque which is more than any other cordless drill on the market.
- Drill weighs a mere 4.5 lbs so you can easily maneuver this powerful drill in confined and tight spaces.
- Equipped with a hammer drill feature and a 1/2-inch chuck so you can tackle a multitude of jobs without the need for a corded drill.
WHAT IS TORQUE IN A DRILL?
The torque of a drill is the amount of force that it is capable of applying. The higher the torque, the easier it will be able to carry out even the toughest jobs.
You will typically see this force classed in terms of inch-pounds. The most powerful cordless drills can give you measurements of up to 1,000, which is a huge amount of force.
It is worth remembering that you simply can’t use the amount of torque to decide which drill is best. One that has a relatively low level of torque may still be faster or perform better than a high-torque drill if the rest of the specifications are better.
Having said that, it makes sense to understand the effect that the torque has.
Torque vs Horsepower When Drilling
To understand the difference between these two driving forces, you need to comprehend this basic rule. Torque is simply the measurement of how much rotational force a spindle drive electric motor can generate.
On the other hand, Horsepower is a unit of power that denotes the rate at which work is done. In simple terms, Torque (measured in Nm) is responsible for driving the drill bit, while Horsepower (hp) is a measure of the speed at which the work is completed.
The formula to calculate Torque is Torque = Force x Distance. Torque is measured in Newton Meters (Nm) and is the amount of force required to turn an object. To calculate horsepower, you use the following equation: Horsepower = Torque x Speed / 5252.
Now that you know the difference between torque and horsepower, it’s time to put it to good use. When you’re drilling, you need to consider what is more important: the speed at which the work is completed or the amount of force required to get the job done?
If you need to drill through tough material, then you’ll want to focus on Torque. But if you’re drilling through soft material, Horsepower will be your best friend.
How Much Torque Does a Cordless Drill Have?
You might ask whether cordless drills have lower levels of torque than corded models. Certainly, in the past, it was common to hear that cordless drills may lack the power for some jobs.
Thankfully, advances in technology mean that the majority of good cordless drills can handle most tasks. While corded drills tend to have more torque, there is no longer the big difference between them that once existed.
So, unless you are going to be carrying out extremely tough tasks, you shouldn’t need to worry too much about the lack of torque is an issue. And if torque is your only concern for fastening screws, an impact driver is the better tool of choice you should be looking for.
Note, cordless drills delivering high levels of torque have not only a larger lithium-ion power source, but also incorporate brushless motors as opposed to brushed motors.
Does the Torque Really Matter?
By this stage, you may wonder how important a high level of torque should be to you. The first point to consider is what kind of material you are going to be drilling into.
If you are mainly going to be working with wood, torque isn’t going to be a big issue. Even the drills with the lowest levels of torque won’t struggle too much to deal with drilling into wood.
On the other hand, if you are going to be working with tougher materials, torque will play a bigger part in your decision-making process.
It isn’t the only issue to consider, but you will feel more comfortable about taking on a big job when you have a powerful cordless drill you can rely on.
Remember, Torque is about force and horsepower is about speed. Use this knowledge to your advantage the next time you’re drilling.
Can You Have Too Much Torque?
Might a drill that has more torque than you really need to be dangerous if you are unable to control it? Or is it simply like a sports car that doesn’t get to use its full capacity on city streets, in that it is a waste of its full potential?
The more powerful a drill is, the most difficult it can be to handle. Once you are talking about 1,000 inch-pounds or more, these are hugely powerful tools that need to be treated with respect.
It is fair to say that you could injure yourself if you aren’t careful when using a drill with high levels of torque. If you aren’t experienced with power tools then a machine with less power will certainly be a lot easier for you to handle.
By all means, take the amount of torque into account when choosing a new drill. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is the only issue you need to be aware of.
Most DIY projects won’t require an enormous amount of power or torque for you to successfully tasks around the home. The majority of the quality cordless power drills from established brands come with variable speed settings, a bright LED light, and a hammer drill function.
While power, speed, and torque are the sexy metrics that everybody wants to prioritize when buying the best cordless drill. The fact is, the most powerful cordless drill isn’t always the best tool for you. Buy the tool that is best for you, not what’s deemed the best statistically.