Drills are a nice-to-have when you want to drill through the wood when doing your DIY projects. They give you the power and precision you require at a faster pace.
When you want to make a hole through a board or wall, there are several ways to do it. You could choose to use a hammer and pound in the nail. This requires a lot of force which relies on energy and accidents are prone. Also, you can control the hole’s depth. You want to get over with this task in a fast and efficient manner while minimizing any risks. A power drill is all it takes; it has the speed, power, and precision and offers you the versatility of creating holes with varying sizes while keeping your thumb out of danger.
This is not all; they can also do other functions like driving or retracting screws quickly, and stirring mortars. This is great for any DIY project or a large-scale one for that matter.
Best drill for woodworking – A Comparison Table
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Makita XPH07Z 18V Hammer Driver-Drill
Best overall drill for woodworking
BLACK+DECKER GCO1200C 12V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver
Most budget-friendly drill
Bosch Power PS31-2A - 12V Tools Drill Kit
Most compact drill
Makita DS4011 Drill
Best corded drill
PORTER-CABLE PCCK600LB 20V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver
Best 20V drill
Makita XPH07Z 18V Hammer Driver-Drill – Best overall drill for woodworking
The Makita XPH07Z 18V Hammer Driver-Drill is a great asset to have for woodworking as well as other tasks as it checks a lot of boxes when it comes to a great power drill. It is cordless and is made of high-carbon steel, uses an 18-volt lithium-ion battery, weighs slightly above 5 pounds, and offers two speeds of 550 and 2100 RPM for a wide range of uses. It’s 8-⅛ inches long and has a maximum torque of 1090 inches/pounds at very reasonable pricing. It has an ergonomic design thanks to the rubber grip that is comfortable to hold and use when working. It also comes with a 1/2 inch chuck metal for gripping strength and durability and a 3-stage LED gauge to show you the battery charge level before you run out of charge. It doesn’t come with a battery but includes a side handle and a side clip. Although a bit heavier, this drill runs more efficiently and has a long lifespan thanks to the brushless motor.
- It’s powerful with excellent performance
- It’s durable
- It’s well-balanced considering its weight and size
- It comes with an LED gauge for battery-level indication
- It’s huge and heavy
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BLACK+DECKER GCO1200C 12V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver – Most budget-friendly drill
At such a low price and its performance, it’s arguably the most budget-friendly drill for wood. It may not be as powerful but can handle those simple tasks which make it a good value for money drill if you’re a beginner. It is cordless, has a top speed of 750 RPM available in both front and reverse, a torque of 150 inches/pounds powered by a 12-volt battery that nicely it’s into the drill’s base and can also be easily removed making it lightweight at 1 pound. It comes with a 24-position clutch to help your screws from stripping and a keyless chuck for simple bit changes. Its battery has an average span of 13.2 hours. It includes one drill/driver, one charger, and one double-ended bit. Besides its pricing, it’s very ideal for anyone working above their height because of its small weight.
- It’s lightweight
- It’s very cheap
- It comes with a battery and charger
- The battery has a good lifespan
- It cannot handle heavy-duty tasks due to its limited power
- The chuck may not hold the bits tightly
- Its durability is questionable
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Bosch Power PS31-2A – 12V Tools Drill Kit – Most compact drill
This drill from Bosch is another 12V drill on the list. Its small size might make you doubt its drilling power but rest assured it will deliver when it comes to woodworking. It delivers 2-speed settings of 350 and 1,300 RPM and a torque of 265 inches/pounds that allows it to drill through wood, drywall, and even metal. Its small size and lightweight of slightly over 2lbs combined with its battery that fits inside the drill’s handle makes it compact enough to work in tight spaces. It comes with a 20+1 clutch setting that allows you to precisely adjust the torque for increased accuracy when drilling/screw driving. It’s cordless and has integrated LED lights that boost your visibility when working anywhere. It also comes with 2 lithium-ion batteries, 2 screwdriver bits, a charger, and a crying bag.
- It’s powerful
- It’s lightweight
- It has a compact design to fit comfortably in tight spaces
- It has an LED light for use in dark or not-so-well lit areas
- Battery life is better
- The chuck may not be tight enough to hold all the bits
- It doesn’t have enough power for heavy-load work
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Makita DS4011 Drill – Best corded drill
This drill from Makita is ideal for you if you don’t mind the cord that limits its portability and enjoy its power and versatility. Though cordless drills are the popular option nowadays, for some a corded drill does the job. It’s well-balanced with a weight of 6.3 pounds to minimize fatigue and has a maximum drilling speed of 600 RPM and runs quietly. It offers a powerful 8.5 amp motor for drilling and mixing. The 360-degree D-handle at the back offers a nice level of comfort with 24 positive stops for multi-position operation. For increased comfort, it has a rubberized grip. This drill is not only great for boring holes but also for mixing drywall mud, mortar, and grout for tiling and is ideal if you mostly work in a workshop because its cord will fit nicely.
- The D-handle offers comfort
- It’s very powerful
- It good for mixing grout/mud
- It’s quieter than most drills
- The cord limits its portability
- It has a maximum speed of 600 RPM only
- It’s expensive
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PORTER-CABLE PCCK600LB 20V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver – Best 20V drill
This drill/driver from PORTER-CABLE with a 20-volt battery will do nearly any job with reasonable pricing if you have a budget for it. With 2 maximum speed settings of 400 and 1600 RPM, this drill is powerful enough for types of jobs despite its small size of 4 inches. Despite the 6.9 pound weight, this drill is lighter and more compact than you imagine making it comfortable to use while reducing fatigue. It has chucks that reduce bit slipping and a battery fuel gauge to display the remaining charge. It also has an LED light that improves visibility by illuminating the surrounding areas. It has rubber bumper guards around it that protect it from bumps when you work in tight spaces. Its ½-inch drill size means it is compatible with any shank diameter size of up to ½ an inch.
- Its construction is sturdy as it has bumper guards
- It offers good performance with its 20V battery
- Its lightweight compared to most 20v power drills
- It’s relatively cheaper compared to other 20-volt power drills
- It has a lower speed compared to most 20v drills
- The chuck may not hold the bits as tightly
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What to consider when buying a drill
Type of drill
Drills come in two forms, corded and cordless drill. Corded drills are mostly old-school and guarantee you power supply throughout since they’re plugged into the power outlet and don’t use batteries. Cordless power drills are more popular because of their portability. They use rechargeable batteries that fit in the drill giving it a balance on your hand. This allows you to work from anywhere anytime without having to worry about a power outlet. Corded drills are ideal if you need more battery for a long time and can work in a workshop while cordless is for mostly outdoor or tasks that don’t require much battery power.
If you go for a cordless power drill, choose one that comes with a battery and a charger. Also, consider it if it provides you with a bag for portability. You can also purchase an additional battery to boost your capacity.
It’s good to consider the drill’s chuck size. Each drill is compatible with a certain maximum diameter of the drill bit shank. This ranges from ¼ to ½ inches with ⅜ inches being in between. A ¼-inch size will most likely not give you the desired power and is not ideal for light-duty work. The ⅜ and ½-inch sizes are the most common sizes.
Power drills come with different speeds measured in RPM and also different speed-settings like single, dual, and three-way settings. A lower speed is good for driving screws while a higher one is ideal for drilling holes into materials. This can be controlled by a toggle switch. Choose a drill that offers you a range and more options to choose from. That way, it offers versatility to cover a wide range of applications.
This applies to cordless power drills that use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. They provide enough power for numerous uses and depending on the application, they can be drained faster. Some drills come with these batteries and their chargers, while others will require you to purchase them separately. Look out for a drill that includes both and get an additional battery if necessary depending on the nature of your work. Also, look for a battery with a shorter recharge span.
Amp is the basic way of measuring drilling power for a corded power drill while for a cordless one its volts. This figure varies from one power drill to the next. A corded drill with a rating of 6 to 8 amps is enough for home use while a higher amp might be needed for heavier tasks.
This is a measure of drilling power for cordless drills. The higher the voltage rating, the better a cordless drill is at driving screws quickly or penetrating through a material. They range with 12-18 volts being ideal for home use while for heavy-duty ones, 20-24 volts will do it.
A cordless power drill usually uses a spinnable handle that allows you to loosen or tighten the drill area that holds the drill bits when removing a bit or when you want to secure it before use. A drill with a tight chuck will hold your bits in place during drilling or screwing. Some older corded drills use a key to unlock and loosen the chuck or tighten the drill bits.
Lights are important considering that you might be working in dark or poorly lit places. You may also find yourself working into the night especially outdoors using a cordless drill, and a good lighting system comes in handy. Some drills come with an LED light mostly near the chuck that illuminates the surrounding areas for you, allowing you to see and increase your precision when working.
All power drills come with a switch for driving a screw or drilling through a material. Some come with a reverse switch that allows you to switch between a forward spin and a reverse spin of the drill’s head.
Which one is better, a corded or cordless drill?
Both drills perform the same task; the difference is how and where they source their power from. A corded drill will need to be connected to a power outlet at all times when in use while a cordless one uses a rechargeable battery. This means that you can use a cordless drill anywhere as they aren’t bound by a cord. This however comes with a downside of cordless drills not being able to supply power constantly over a long period and they have to be recharged again. Corded drills don’t suffer from this since they have a constant power supply. Despite all this, choose a power drill that meets your needs regardless.
Can I use my cordless drill when it’s charging?
It depends. The drill battery needs to be taken off to be recharged. However, if your drill has a battery charger connector in it, it may be possible but it’ll depend on how much power the drill needs to work. Some manufacturers’ advice against this as it may burn your charger since it’s only rated for charging. Before attempting anything, check with your user manual first.
You can now pick an affordable power drill from our list for your DIY project or workshop to help you drill holes into that wood.