For big household construction jobs such as building a deck or shed, the 18-volt DeWalt DCD760KL gets the most consistently high marks from both owners and professional testers. It's among the fastest, most powerful drills in its class in tests, and reviews say it's very comfortable to handle. Its two lithium-ion batteries (one to use and one spare) charge in 30 minutes and hold their charge well, although a few other top-performing drills in this class -- such as the Ridgid R86008K (*Est. $180) -- can run for a bit longer on a single charge. If you'll mostly use your drill for light-duty tasks, experts say you'll probably prefer a lighter, less expensive 12-volt drill like the top-rated Milwaukee 2410-22 (*Est. $150) or the budget-priced Porter-Cable PCL120DDC-2 (*Est. $90).
ConsumerReports.org and Fine Woodworking both comparison-test the DeWalt DCD760KL against other cordless drills, judging not only performance but also handling, battery life and charge time. This drill gets consistently high ratings from dozens of owners at Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com and Northern Tool and Equipment.
Experts here test 67 cordless drills, including the DeWalt DCD760KL. They rate each drill's speed, power and more before ranking the models from best to worst.
Review: Cordless Drill Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
2. Fine Woodworking
The DeWalt DCD760KL is one of 10 18-volt drills tested here. Tester Tom Begnal uses each drill to drive 3/8-inch lag bolts into hard maple and to bore 1.5-inch holes in inch-thick red oak. He also rates each tool's battery life and comfort.
Review: Compact 18-volt Cordless Drills, Tom Begnal, November 2009
Averaging 4.5 stars with more than 70 owner reviews posted, the DeWalt DCD760KL is one of the top-rated cordless drills at Amazon.com. A couple of owners say the batteries on theirs took hours to charge, rather than the advertised 30 minutes.
Review: DeWalt DCD760KL 18-Volt 1/2-Inch Cordless Compact Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver Kit, Contributors to Amazon.com
Two dozen owners have reviewed the DeWalt DCD760KL here, and all say they'd recommend it. The drill averages 4.8 stars out of 5; although HomeDepot.com users post negative reviews, comments about this particular drill are overwhelmingly positive.
Review: DeWalt DCD760KL 1/2 in. 18 Volt Cordless Compact Drill/Driver Kit, Contributors to HomeDepot.com
5. Northern Tool and Equipment
Here's another retail website with about two dozen owner reviews for the DeWalt DCD760KL, giving it a 4.8-star average rating. One nice touch is that reviewers list their level of technical knowledge, from "home handyman" to "professional."
Review: DeWalt Compact Cordless Drill/Driver Kit -- 18 Volt, 1/2in., Model# DCD760KL, Contributors to Northern Tool and Equipment