When your task list includes both drilling and heavy-duty driving, then you probably need a drill and an impact driver to get your jobs done. A combo kit, which includes both tools along with batteries that fit in either one, offers a better deal than buying the tools separately.
The DeWalt DCK280C2 (Est. $200) includes bare-tool versions of the DeWalt DCD780C2 (Est. $180) cordless drill and the DeWalt DCF885C2 (Est $180) cordless impact driver, along with two lithium ion battery packs, a speedy smart charger, two belt hooks, and a carrying bag. It's a pretty terrific value considering that the drill and driver each cost $180 when sold separately.
The DeWalt DCD780C2 is our Best Reviewed cordless drill, with high marks from both professionals and users. Reviewers say it's powerful and easy to handle, with an array of useful features. The DeWalt DCF885C2 didn't make our recommendations for cordless impact drivers, mostly because it's not covered in as many sources. However, the one professional publication that reviews this DeWalt impact driver recommends it highly, saying it combines great power and handling with acceptable speed and battery life.
There are no professional reviews for the DeWalt DCK280C2 combo cordless tool kit, but users have provided plenty of feedback, and most of it is quite good. We found nearly 450 total reviews for it at Amazon.com and HomeDepot.com, with overall ratings of 4.7 stars out of 5 at each site. Owners describe both tools as well made and easy to handle. They say the drill is compact and has decent battery life, while the driver is powerful and ergonomic. However, as we noted in the section on cordless drills, there are complaints that the chuck on the drill is wobbly, and some people say their batteries wouldn't recharge after being fully discharged.
We also found good user reviews for the Milwaukee 2691-22 (Est. $180) . This combo kit includes the 18-volt Milwaukee 2606-20 cordless drill (Est. $100 for bare tool) and the 18-volt Milwaukee 2656-20 impact driver (Est. $100 for bare tool), along with two lithium-ion batteries, a 30-minute charger and a carrying case. The impact driver hasn't been included in any professional tests, and the drill is only a middle-of-the pack performer in tests at TheSweethome.com, with about half the endurance of the Bosch DDS181-02 (Est. $125), which is profiled in our discussion of the best cordless drills. However, the nearly 550 user reviews for the combo kit on Amazon.com are highly favorable, with an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. Owners say the drill and driver are both powerful, sturdy, and compact, with great battery life. They also appreciate features such as the battery life gauge, built-in LED lights on both tools, and 5-year warranty. The few complaints we saw are mostly about durability, with a couple of users reporting multiple breakdowns and poor customer service from Milwaukee.
If you're looking for something less expensive, the two-piece Ryobi P882 (Est. $100) is worth considering. The two tools it includes, the 18-volt Ryobi P271 cordless drill (Est. $30 for bare tool) and the 18-volt Ryobi P234G impact driver with bits (Est. $40 for bare tool), haven't been included in any professional tests. However, the combination of the two -- along with two batteries, charger, carrying bag, and socket adapter -- is the best-rated combo kit at HomeDepot.com, with 4.6 stars overall from more than 1,000 owners. It has fewer reviews at Amazon.com, but the feedback there is equally positive. The main comment we saw is that this kit is a great value, with two durable, lightweight tools and long battery life. Most owners say the impact driver has plenty of power, though some are less impressed with the drill. However, there's one complaint that comes up often: many users say the batteries stop working after a year or so of use. Although Ryobi backs these tools with a 3-year warranty, owners say they have had no luck getting the defective batteries replaced.