Best Dewalt Cordless Drills (Top 5 Picks & Reviews 2021)

dewalt drills

If you’re of a DIY mindset, or if you work in woodworking or construction, you’ve probably heard of DeWalt. They make some of the best tools around, and their cordless drills in particular are great at helping you get your work done. We have done quite a bit of research and have come up with 5 cordless drills that we feel represent the best of what DeWalt has to offer.

We also recommend that you check out our buying guide. People that are new to the world of cordless drills would find a lot of useful information there that can help them learn more about what goes into our decision-making process. Experienced cordless drill buyers can also benefit from our buying guide as it gives a fresh perspective on what makes these tools so great. Take a look at the FAQs we have answered as well.

Top 5 DeWalt Cordless Drills

1. DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill (DCD777C2)

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This is not exactly the most premium DeWalt drill out there, but it deserves the top spot because of the value for money it provides. This cordless drill proves that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get something amazing. You get some pretty great features here, not the least of which is the LED light which turns off with a 20 second delay after you have let go of the clutch.

Speaking of the clutch, it has 16 settings so you have plenty of control over how powerful the drill is. This kind of precision is part of what makes DeWalt such a great company. However, we do think that the plastic chuck is a bit of a disappointment. Still, given that this is such an affordable drill and that the plastic in the chuck is pretty durable, we’re willing to give DeWalt a pass just this once.

Pros

  • Balanced and ergonomic handle
  • LED light stays on
  • Not overly expensive
  • Clutch has sixteen settings
  • Powerful yet precise

Cons

  • Plastic chuck
  1. DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill (DCD791D2)

A major reason why we love this cordless drill so much has to do with the batteries. It has XR lithium ion batteries which last about one third longer than your average li-ion cells, giving you plenty of time to finish all of your projects. The handle will also help out in this regard thanks to its comfortable, ergonomic design, and another thing about this drill that would save you a lot of is the chuck. The chuck is made of metal so it’s pretty durable and it’s easy to remove as well at a moment’s notice.

Now, while the motor is certainly very powerful, the lowest clutch setting tends to be a bit much. The lowest setting should ideally be light enough for small scale housework, so that’s a little inconvenient as is the fact that the drill doesn’t come with a bit holder. Also, the clutch is a bit stiff so keep that in mind.

Pros

  • Very long lasting battery
  • Handle built for comfort
  • Excellent chuck
  • Powerful brushless motor

Cons

  • Stiff clutch, lowest setting too powerful
  • Doesn’t come with bit holder
  1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR (DCD791B)

The first thing that you would notice about this cordless drill from DeWalt is that it has three separate light modes. These control the LED light and allow you to keep the brightness at your desired levels. LED control is a bit of a bonus feature, though. What we really like about this drill is the high torque that you get, as well as the dual speed settings. The slower setting is still powerful enough to get a lot of tasks done, and the faster setting can work for more heavy duty tasks. We also liked the eco friendly charger, it’s a nice touch given the climate crisis we’re all facing.

However, the chuck is very tight and inconvenient. This can be a problem for people that need to work fast. What’s more is that the fitting is a little strange, with parts not quite aligning with each other. Although this doesn’t affect the performance of the drill, it does impact how it looks.

Pros

  • 3 LED light modes
  • High torque
  • Dual speed settings, slower setting extremely powerful
  • Eco-friendly charger

Cons

  • Extremely tight chuck
  • Fitting leaves a bit to be desired
  1. DEWALT 20V MAX Right Angle Cordless Drill (DCD740C1)

This is a slightly more unusual cordless drill in that it’s made to work at right angles. It’s quite a light drill, weighing in at just under 4 pounds, and it’s pretty compact as well. It’s great for getting drilling done in awkward spaces and angles, and since the drill provides up to 600 RPM on the slower setting and 2000 RPM on the faster setting you wouldn’t have to compromise on drill power.

That said, we do thing that the LED light should have been optimized a bit. Everyone could use a bright LED but the light in this cordless drill is so bright that it actually reduces visibility. Such a thing can be quite dangerous when you are operating heavy equipment. This cordless drill is also somewhat fragile, so you should be careful while using it for multiple reasons.

Pros

  • Facilitates drilling at awkward angles
  • Up to 2000 RPM
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • LED light excessively bright
  • Not very durable
  1. DEWALT XTREME 12V MAX Cordless Drill (DCD701F2)

This is a nice, compact cordless drill for light use around the house. It has plenty of clutch settings so you can control the speed of your drill, but the limited power supply prevents this tool from being truly versatile. The LED light is quite nice though. It’s bright without being blinding and the color is neutral so it mimics daylight instead of casting strange shadows that could limit visibility which is the case with many drills out there unfortunately.

Limited power is to be expected with a 12 volt drill, as is the other downside: the chuck size. Coming in at 3/8ths of an inch, the chuck can only be used with very specific drill bits since most require a half inch chuck.

Pros

  • Handy LED light
  • Compact and portable
  • Multiple clutch settings

Cons

  • Low power
  • Inconveniently sized chuck

Buying Guide

  1. Avoid Overly Heavy Drills

It can be tempting to buy a really heavy drill, but at the end of the day what truly matters is how long you can use the drill for. Excessively heavy cordless drills can be a real nuisance and they can prevent you from getting the actual advantages that such drills are supposed to provide. The whole point of cordless drills is that they offer a fair amount of portability. Too much weight would mean that your arm would probably get tired before you can finish the job.

One easy way to check if a cordless drill is too heavy is lifting it above your head for a minute or so. You might think that this is not a very common usage for a drill, but the truth is that plenty of items require you to hold the drill like this such as installing a smoke alarm. If your drill is too heavy to comfortably hold over your head, it’s probably too heavy to buy as well.

  1. Flat Battery Bases Are More Convenient

Some cordless drills offer a pistol grip which would have the battery encased within it. This can be useful for lightweight and portable operation but it comes with a few downsides. One downside in particular is that the battery base won’t be flat, which means that you wouldn’t be able to rest the drill on the handle. It’s inconvenient to have to put the drill down on its side whenever you need a break. You need to be able to pick it up quickly, and only a flat battery base would facilitate this kind of convenient operation.

  1. Opt for General Use Instead of Light Use

Many people buy cordless drills for simple tasks that they need to get done around the house. Most of these tasks don’t require a very heavy drill, which leads to a lot of people buying light drills. While these would get certain basic tasks done, they are very limited in their operations. There is a middle ground that you could opt for instead, namely buying a general use drill. These are a bit lighter than heavy drills but are a lot more versatile than light drills. You never know when you would need to get something heavier done, and being forced to use a light drill in such a situation can be immensely frustrating.

  1. Ask About the Power Score

A combination of torque and RPM is used to calculate the total power score of a cordless drill. The higher the torque and RPM capacities, the more powerful your drill would be. Ask about these features before buying a cordless drill. They will impact the kinds of jobs you can complete using the drill. They also affect how durable your drill will be, something that could determine the length of time during which your cordless drill would remain fully operational before requiring repairs.

FAQ

Q. How can I replace the user manual for my cordless drill?

A. User manuals are an important aspect of taking advantage of your cordless drill. They tell you the right methods that you implement while using the drill, methods that would prevent any sort of damage being incurred to your tool. That said it’s pretty common for people to lose their user manuals. They’re just sheets of paper after all, plenty of people end up misplacing them even if they’re really careful. What you might be worried about is whether or not you can get a new user manual, and the simple answer is that getting a replacement is pretty easy. Most manufacturers have online versions of their user manuals which you can print out. Alternatively you could go to the store that you bought your drill from. Chances are that they would have a few spare manuals they  can give you.

Q. Should I repair my drill or buy a new one?

A. At some point or another, even if you bought the most premium, cutting edge product on the market, your cordless drill would stop working properly. When this happens, deciding between repairs and replacement is quite important. It all has to do with the warranty. If your warranty is still valid, you should ask the manufacturer to take care of repairs. Otherwise buying a new tool might be more feasible, as repairs tend to cost a lot anyway if they’re not covered by warranty.

Q. How long should a cordless drill last?

A. This depends on the life expectancy of your cordless drill’s battery. The components of the drill itself are meant to last for a very long time, but the battery generally lasts five years at most. If you get five years out of your cordless drill, you can consider your money well spent. Even three years of usage from a cordless drill is reasonable. Any less than three years of usage means that your drill likely had some kind of factory defect that decreased its lifespan. Try to get the drill checked out by an expert to see what went wrong.

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