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Cordless Drills : Ratings of Sources

By: Amy Livingston on June 07, 2018

Cordless Drills: Ratings of Sources

Kenny Koehler, Dec. 26, 2016

Pro Tool Reviews subjects eleven 18-volt cordless impact drivers to a series of tests. Testers measure performance by driving a series of different types of screws into plywood. They also measure how much heat each tool builds up during testing to gauge its reliability. Each tool receives an overall ranking, plus separate rankings for performance, temperature control, ergonomics, and value. You can also find numerous other single-tool reviews and multi-tool roundups at this site.

Doug Mahoney, Nov. 9, 2017

Doug Mahoney, a former carpenter and seasoned tool reviewer, tests 12-volt and 18-volt cordless drills for DIY use. After searching reviews to find the best-rated tools priced between $75 and $200, he spends two days testing the top 16 drills, sinking over 1,660 3-inch drywall screws and drilling 345 1-inch holes. He considers performance and handling, along with how much they can do on a charge, to name his top picks for both general use and tougher jobs.

Roy Berendsohn and Timothy Dahl, Sep. 20, 2017

Testers at Popular Mechanics subject seven 18-volt cordless drills to a triathlon test designed to measure real-world performance. They bore 24 holes with a 1-inch spade bit, drive 12 2-inch lag screws into pilot holes in a pressure-treated beam, and finish by driving 3-inch drywall screws until the battery gives out. The write-up gives pros and cons for each drill, based on performance, features, and ease of use. One of the winners is discontinued.

Editors of Consumer Reports, Not dated

ConsumerReports.org tests, rates and ranks 33 cordless drills, including models for heavy, general, and light use. Testers use a dynamometer to measure each drill's torque and RPM under a variety of loads. They also measure its run time, charge time, and noise level. Finally, they drive screws and drill holes to measure the drills' handling. Each drill gets an overall rating based on speed, power, run time, charging time, handling, and noise.

Roy Berendsohn, Aug. 18, 2014

Popular Mechanics tests nine 12-volt impact drivers by driving lag screws into a 4 x 4 board until the power gives out -- a good test of both battery life and total power. Each model gets a rating from one to five stars and a summary of what the testers liked and disliked about it, including power, handling, features, and ease of use. Though this test is a little older, the information is still helpful.

Kenny Koehler, Jan. 4, 2016

Pro Tool Reviews puts eight 18-volt cordless drills – all outfitted with identical bits – through a series of drilling and driving tests. Each tool must drill 12 ¼-inch pilot holes in plywood on top speed, drive 12 lag bolts, bore 12 1-inch holes with a spade bit, and cut eight holes with a 30-inch hole saw. After ranking the drills' overall performance, testers factor in ergonomics, build quality, and value to name their top picks.

Richard Romanski, Feb. 9, 2017

This review from Popular Mechanics evaluates five cordless impact drivers. Although the editors have clearly tested these models hands-on, they don't give any details about their testing methods. Instead, they just briefly sum up pros and cons for each model and give it a rating on a five-star scale.

Kenny Koehler, Dec. 26, 2017

Pro Tool Reviews names its picks for the best cordless drill and impact driver kits, based on its single-product tests for the drills and drivers they contain. Only kits with 18-volt drills and drivers are considered. The roundup includes a best overall kit, a runner-up, a budget pick, the kit with the best battery platform, the kit with the best lightweight and compact tools, and a pick for "prosumers."

Kenny Koehler, Apr. 26, 2017

This roundup features the top cordless drills that cost $150 or less – a price that Koehler says can get you "entry-level Pro performance" and essential professional-quality features. All the drills are rated at 18 volts or better, and some offer brushless motors and hammer drill mode. The article compares pros, cons, and specs, but there's not much detail about testing methods. However, there are links to longer reviews for two of the drills. One pick is discontinued.

Thomas Gaige, Oct. 31, 2013

In another older but still relevant review, Pro Tool Reviews puts nine 12-volt cordless impact drivers through a battery of tests. Testers measure runtime and torque by driving a series of screws into plywood. Then they check cold-weather performance by checking the tools after 14 hours in a freezer. The site names a top performer and a runner-up, as well as listing pros and cons for each pick.

Contributors to Lowe's, As of May 2018

Lowe's sells about 55 cordless drills and 25 cordless impact drivers online, from popular brands like Worx, Hitachi, DeWalt, and Porter-Cable. It's easy to sort the reviews to find top-rated products, but difficult to identify them, since the site doesn't list model numbers on the main page. Many of the individual reviews are picked up from the manufacturers' sites.

Contributors to Home Depot, As of May 2018

Home Depot sells roughly 125 cordless drills on its website, and separate pages offer more than 125 cordless impact drivers and nearly 150 combo kits with both tools. Across all the pages, we found several products with strong overall feedback from 250 users or more. Most of the individual reviews are quite short, but they include ratings for quality and value along with an overall star rating. As at Lowe's, some reviews come from the manufacturers' web sites.

Contributors to Amazon, As of May 2018

Amazon.com sells cordless drills, impact drivers, and combo kits from several major brands, and some top models have hundreds of reviews from users. We found three drills with high overall ratings from 500 users or more. Cordless screwdrivers, impact drivers, and combo kits are covered on separate pages; we found eight highly rated models with over 500 reviews. All reviews appear to be unique to the site.

Contributors to Sears, As of May 2018

We found four cordless drills, one cordless impact driver, and two combo kits with ratings of at least 4.5 stars overall from 150 users or more at the Sears site, and most of them are Craftsman products. Sears also sells many other national brands, including Bosch, DeWalt, and Makita, but they don't get as many reviews.

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