When your task list requires drilling and heavy-duty driving, then you probably need a drill and an impact driver to get your jobs done. Consider a combo kit: These pair both tools together, along with batteries that fit in either tool. Expect to pay about $300 for a contractor-grade combo kit -- a good option for professionals who need two tough cordless tools -- or about $150 for a kit that is best suited for the lighter-duty jobs of homeowners or woodworkers.
Reviewers say the 18-volt Milwaukee 2691-22 (*Est. $260) combo kit is a great bargain. It includes a cordless drill and impact driver, plus two Li-ion batteries, a 30-minute charger and a carrying case, all for about $25 more than if you buy the impact driver on its own.
The kit includes Milwaukee's 2601-20 drill (*Est. $75 for drill only) and 2650-20 impact driver (*Est. $85 for driver only). The impact driver is the bare-tool version of the Milwaukee 2650-22 (*Est. $280), a top performer in impact-driver shootouts at Tools of the Trade and Popular Mechanics (discussed in our section on cordless impact drivers).
Owners say these Milwaukee models are powerful tools: One owner leaving feedback at NorthernTool.com says he used this set over the course of 10 months "to build 906 bicycles, replace three head gaskets on cars and remodel my 80-year-old home." In fact, this kit maintains nearly perfect ratings after more than 100 reviews at NorthernTool.com and more than 270 at Amazon.com.
For a less expensive combo kit, Taunton's 2012 Tool Guide recommends the two-piece Porter-Cable PCL212IDC-2 (*Est. $120), which includes a 12-volt Li-ion cordless drill and impact driver as well as two batteries, smart charger (which won't ruin the batteries if you forget and leave it plugged in) and carrying bag. Based on objective tests by Taunton publications Fine Woodworking and Fine Homebuilding, the guide says the PCL212IDC-2 has "more than enough power for woodworking -- and all but the toughest carpentry tasks around the house."
About a dozen owners at Amazon.com rate this kit an overall 4.2 stars out of 5, saying it's great for around-the-house and garage use. These lightweight tools aren't built for heavy-duty use, though.