When there’s a need for a cordless drill, close by is the need for an impact driver. The two tools are the proverbial salt and pepper shakers on the carpenter’s table. The drill and impact driver are quintessential tools to fasten materials and drill holes. Without them, you’ll be stuck spending extra time and energy on tasks that would otherwise take an instant to complete.
Before purchasing your set of cordless drills, consider these questions:
- How often will I use my drills?
- Do I plan at any point to fasten together heavy objects and drill into dense/hard materials?
- Do I plan to use my drills on projects that require me to wear them on/in a tool belt?
Spending the time answering these simple questions will demystify the answer as to the extent of the quality, strength, and weight of the drill(s) you require.
However, simply put, invest in a quality set if you plan to use your drills frequently. For heavy building adventures get a set with brushless motors; they’ll last longer and keep their guts. If you plan to carry your drills while you work, e.g. ladder work, decking, framing with screws — get a lighter set.
Below are five cordless drill sets that I’ve had the pleasure to handle. All of them are quality devices that are trusted by the men and women in the building industry.
The Best Cordless Drill Combo Sets On Amazon
Milwaukee Fuel 2-Tool Combo Kit
Estimated Price: $320
This is the set of sets which includes the drill of drills and the driver of drivers. Both 18-volt drills are equipped with brushless motors. A brushless electric motor functions more precisely than a brush motor and will last longer because there are no brushes that will wear down and need replacing. Expect your drill to accomplish 1200 inch pounds of torque and wiz at 2000 rpm. Your impact driver will cap at 1800 in pounds of torque. That’s big push’n!
In the short-term and long-term, the batteries last for a long time. My brother uses them nearly every day and has had the same batteries for over two years. They still hold a charge the same as the day he bought them. They also have a push tab to see how much charge is left.
Additional features include trigger activated LED lights so you can see what you’re aiming for and a hard case for total protection. The Milwaukee Fuel set is arguably the best and most powerful.
DEWALT 20V Max XR
Estimated Price: $150
Here’s a 20-volt option from the Dewalt clan. This set is smaller and lighter than the Milwaukee set without compromising much force.
Lighter drills are handy for sustained ladder play or other jobs that require you to have your tools in your belt and ready.
This is a great set for the construction worker and the DIY person that requires strong and durable high-end equipment, which will last for multiple heavy projects.
Estimated Price: $190
So what if they’re not brushless! These drills are cheaper, lighter, and crazy efficient.
This 18-volt set comes with a 2-speed drill that adjusts between 0-500 rpm and 0-1700. The drill is also amazingly compact. As for the impact driver, it sends home 3 ½ and 4-inch screws and 6-inch lag screws with ease. Perhaps, this is partially due to the fact that this Bosch impact-driver is 27 percent faster than other drills in its class.
The batteries are slim but last six hours during general use. They also have great recharge value and remain optimal for two years.
I own this set and I use them on the regular for decks, cabinets, and many kinds of remodel applications. I’ve never been disappointed.
Makita 18v Lithium-Ion Cordless Combo Set
Estimated Price: $250
This set is aggressive and super light.
I’ve spoken with several builders who suffer from carpal tunnel and other hand/wrist issues who use these drills to limit the amount of weight they hold. One old-timer said to me, “They feel like toys but drive with the best of ‘em.” It’s true, they feel weightless in your hand but are as responsive and tough as any other professional-caliber drill/impact driver on the market.
The 2-speed 18-volt drill ranges from 0-400 rpm to 0-1500 rpm and has 480inch pounds max torque. The impact driver pushes at an impressive 1420 inch pounds max torque and weighs (with battery) only 2.8 pounds!
This is a great set for anyone, including the pro, but is especially useful for the DIY builder because it’s versatile, light, and the batteries are quick to charge for the odd quick fix.
Ridgid 18V Drill Driver and Impact Driver Combo Kit
Estimated Price: $180
It would be a disservice to call this set a starter kit. The Ridgid R9600 X4 Hyper 18-volt combo is anything but. The quality, versatility, and price tag make this combo perfect for the homeowner who will need a good, reliable set of drills for sporadic to common use.
I know people in the field that use these drills regularly and are more than happy with them. That said, the only question mark here is durability: long-lasting optimal performance in a daily heavy-duty work environment. In the field, you will likely get a good year out of these. For general and sporadic use, a couple of years depending on the drill’s project history.
They’re not the lightest, not the strongest, but they’re not toys either. They’re certainly good enough to build a deck, send home a few 6-inch lag screws, and fasten a seismic saddle to a load-bearing beam.
Sounds good enough to me!