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.
The DeWalt DCK280C2 (Est. $230) includes bare-tool versions of the DeWalt DCD780C2 (Est. $170) cordless drill driver and the DeWalt DCF885C2 (Est. $180) cordless impact driver, along with two lithium ion battery packs, a fast charger, two belt hooks and a contractor bag. It's a pretty terrific value considering what the drill and driver cost on their own. User feedback is strong, not a surprise considering the quality of the included tools.
The DeWalt DCD780C2 is a Best Reviewed selection among cordless drills and you can find more information regarding it in that section. Though we don't include the DeWalt DCF885C2 among the Best Reviewed cordless impact drivers, it's a very capable tool nonetheless. It gets a recommended rating in one independent expert review and enjoys strong user reviews at some retail sites, albeit with less feedback than some competing tools.
The DeWalt DCK280C2 combo cordless tool kit hasn't been professionally reviewed on its own, but users have had plenty to say, and most of it is good. The tool combo draws a rating of 4.6 stars at Amazon.com following nearly 120 reviews. At HomeDepot.com, the rating is identical and based on nearly the same amount of feedback. Around 95 percent say that they would recommend this DeWalt tool combo to a friend.
For a less expensive combo kit, the two-piece Porter-Cable PCL212IDC-2 (Est. $120) looks to be a great choice. It 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 a carrying bag. It's a past recommendation of the Fine Woodworking & Fine Homebuilding Tool guide (formerly the Taunton Tool Guide). Writing in Fine Woodworking, Asa Christiana notes that despite some initial misgivings over the usefulness of the tools given the price of the combo, it's an able performer. He adds that after subjecting the tools to "the nastiest tests I could cook up," the PCL212IDC-2 proved to have "more than enough power for woodworking -- and all but the toughest carpentry tasks around the house."
User reviews are excellent. Roughly 60 owners at Amazon.com rate this kit an overall 4.7 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.
We've also seen great feedback in the past for the 18-volt Milwaukee 2691-22 (Est. $200). It includes a cordless drill and impact driver, plus two Li-ion batteries, a 30-minute charger and a carrying case, all for less than than if you buy the impact driver and battery/charger on its own. The kit includes the Milwaukee 2601-20 drill (Est. $70 for drill only) and 2650-20 (Est. $60) impact driver, the bare-tool version of the Milwaukee 2650-22 (Est. $280), a top performer in impact-driver reviews.
Though the model number remains the same, and is the kit currently being sold at retail, the Milwaukee 2691-22 has been refreshed to include the latest versions of the above tools (which have been discontinued). According to the company, the key differences are an improved power system that protects the tools against overload in "abusive situations," and improved temperature management to prolong tool life. Updated model numbers are the Milwaukee 2606-20 1/2-inch drill driver and the 2656-20 1/4-inch hex impact driver. We have yet to see the latest version of the Milwaukee 2691-22 at retail, but we expect that to change in the not-too-distant future.
Elsewhere in this Report:
Best Reviewed cordless drills
Editors discuss the different types of cordless drills, and alternatives such as cordless screwdrivers and cordless impact drivers. Top performers and top values are named.
Pros and cons of cordless are discussed, and best-rated choices are listed.
Cordless Impact Drivers
Is an impact driver a better fit for your needs than a cordless drill? Editors look at the considerations and name the best models.
If a cordless drill or impact driver is overkill for your budget and your needs, consider a cordless screwdriver instead. We look into the details and make our recommendations.
Not sure what you need to consider before buying a cordless drill, impact driver or screwdriver? This guide will help make finding the right tool and model easier.
There are lots of expert and user reviews of cordless drills and similar tools. Editors used these to help identify the best choices. Reviewers are ranked by their helpfulness.