Best Cordless Drills for Woodworking | 2021 Guide

Last Updated on January 5, 2021 by John Smith

Finding the best cordless drills for woodworking is a constant struggle. I mean, woodworkers are constantly bombarded with drills that:

  • Do not output the torque and voltage necessary to drill on dense woods
  • Don’t have the battery autonomy needed to drill on wood all day long
  • Are heavy and bulky as manufacturers usually cheap out on components
  • Are made of terrible materials that substantially reduce their lifespans

Given these issues (and many more that go unmentioned) I thought it was a good idea to research and test various cordless drills to find the best ones for woodworking applications.

List of The Best Cordless Drills for Woodworking

This is the list of the best cordless drills for woodworking applications I arrived at after extensive research:

1. DEWALT 20V MAX DCD791D2 Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: Max. torque is 619 lb-in soft is 238 lb-in
  • Speed: Two speed settings (0 to 550 RPM / 0-2,000 RPM)
  • Chuck: Metal 1/2″ ratcheting chuck

Power is essential for woodworkers used to working on big projects. This is why I listed this DEWALT cordless drill as one of the best for woodworking applications.

I mean, it comes with impressive features such as its reliable motor that delivers up to 619 lb-in of max torque making it the perfect tool for drilling on hardwoods like oak.

Also, it comes with a 2-speed transmission (0 to 550 RPM / 0-2,000 RPM) which offers woodworkers the chance to adapt the drilling speed to any type of woods, both hard (like quebracho) and soft (like pinewood).

A good cordless drill must be convenient too. This drill performs great in that department too as it has attributes such as:

  • LED light which properly illuminates the surface being drilled
  • Li-ion batteries which hold a charge for longer
  • Soft grip handles that make the experience of drilling for longer periods of time much more enjoyable

Pros

  • XR Li-Ion batteries with fuel gauge offer more battery capacity than competitors
  • Compact design and 3.4lb of weight makes this drill easy to use for long hours
  • Soft grip handles
  • LED light makes it easy to drill on woodworking shops with bad lighting
  • 70nm max torque and 27nm soft torque
  • 2 speed settings (0-550 RPM/0-2,000 RPM) for maximum drilling flexibility

Cons

  • It might be a bit pricey for some

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 1,551 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.8 out of 5 rating, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

2. SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless HD529402 Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: Max. torque 150 ft-lb
  • Speed: 0-480 RPM /0-1800 RPM no-load speed
  • Chuck: 1/2″ Keyless metal ratcheting chuck

Getting an underpowered cordless drill for woodworking can lead to a world of frustration. This is why I always make sure to get a drill with a strong motor.

I like this SKIL cordless drill as it has a brushless motor that outputs a max. torque of 150 ft-lbs that covers most drilling needs woodworkers have. Also, the tool’s power is properly managed by the 17+1+1 clutch settings which let woodworkers adapt the torque levels easily.

The drilling flexibility is further improved by the 2-speed transmission that gives woodworkers the chance of adapting the drilling speed to the wood type being drilled on.

No woodworker wants to spend various minutes every time they have to change a drill bit, right?

To solve that issue this DEWALT cordless drill comes with a 1/2″ metal ratcheting chuck which allows the use of most drill bits needed for woodworking. Besides, this chuck is keyless which makes the process of changing bits very smooth and fast.

Finally, the drill comes with two features that made my life much easier during the testing period, such as its:

  • Lithium battery that conveniently provides a longer battery life than other types
  • Led light that makes the process drilling on dark places something very easy

Pros

  • 1/2″ keyless metal ratcheting chuck allows using most drill bits necessary for woodworking applications
  • 17+1+1 clutch settings provide perfect torque control
  • Led light solves the issue of drilling on dark woodwork shops
  • 2-variable-speeds setting (0-480 RPM / 0-1800 RPM) offers woodworkers the drilling flexibility needed for a wide variety of woodworking applications
  • 2.0Ah lithium battery provides longer drilling autonomy
  • 3-modes: hammer drill, regular drill, and screwdriver
  • Brushless motor outputs a max. torque of 150 ft-lb

Cons

  • It can get a bit loud when using at max torque

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 283 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.6 out of 5 rating, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

3. Bosch Power Tools Drill PS31-2A Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: 265 in-lbs (max torque)
  • Speed: Two setting-speeds at 0-350 RPM and 0-1,300 RPM
  • Chuck: 3/8-inch three-jaw chuck

Rather than cheaping out and getting a weak cordless drill that’s cheaper I prefer making a well-thought investment.

In that sense, this Bosch cordless drill comes with serious power-attributes such as:

  • Max. torque output of 265 in-lbs which is more than enough for covering any woodworking application you might think of
  • 2-speed transmission that allows woodworkers to adapt the drilling speed to the density of the wood being drilled

Additionally, this drill comes with 20+1 clutch settings which give maximum control on torque output. This attribute is perfect for woodworkers used to drilling on both soft and hard types of woods.

Nobody wants to waste hundreds of dollars on a cordless drill that’s a nightmare to use. To my surprise, the compact design (of only 7 inches in length) and led light that comes with this Bosch drill achieved the exact opposite: an almost perfect user-experience. Drilling in tight spaces with bad lighting isn’t an issue anymore!

Pros

  • 265 in-lbs of max torque makes this drill a powerhouse for woodworking applications
  • Only 7 inches in length (very compact)
  • 2-speed settings (0-350 RPM and 0-1,300 RPM) allows this drill to cover most drilling necessities for woodworkers
  • 20+1 clutch settings grant superior torque control
  • 3/8-inch three-jaw chuck securely grips most drill bits necessary for woodworking applications
  • Integrated led light allows superior visibility when drilling in low-light conditions

Cons

  • The integrated led-light comes on a bit later after starting to drill which can be annoying. Not a big issue though

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 1,204 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.8 out of 5 rating, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

4. Metabo HPT 18V DS18DGL Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: max. torque 400 in-lbs (above average)
  • Speed: 0-450 RPM/ 0-1,250 RPM
  • Chuck: 1/2 In. keyless chuck

Getting a cordless drill with a powerful motors is the best way to make sure the drilling needs of a woodworker are covered.

This is why the engineers at Metablo added powerful attributes to this cordless drill such as its sturdy motor that conveys up to 400 in-lbs of torque. This level of torque stands above average and is enough for a woodworker.

Moreover, the drill comes with two features that provide total control on speed and torque:

  • Two-speed transmission (0-450 RPM/ 0-1,250 RPM) with a variable speed trigger which allows easy adaptation of speed to the type of wood being drilled
  • 22+1 stage clutch settings provide woodworkers maximum torque control which saves battery and guarantees drilling precision

In terms of convenience, this Metabo cordless drill comes with a keyless chuck that makes changing drill bits a seamless process and a lithium-ion battery that delivers a longer battery runtime than other batteries.

Pros

  • Motor outputs up to 400 in-lbs of max. torque which is enough for most woodworkers
  • two-speed settings of 0-450 RPM/ 0-1,250 RPM with variable speed trigger gives superior drilling flexibility
  • 22+1 stage clutch allows for granular torque control
  • Led light gives woodworkers the chance of drilling with precision when working in dark places
  • Keyless 1/2 inch chuck allows seamless drill bit change
  • Lithium-ion battery reduces tool weight and maximizes drilling autonomy (35 minute-charge)

Cons

  • You might smell burnt plastic when using it for the first few times. Not a big deal though.

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 370 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.6 out of 5 rating, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

5. Milwaukee 2801-21P M18 Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: 500 in-lbs
  • Speed: 2-speed settings (0-500 RPM /0-1800 RPM)
  • Chuck: 1/2 in. metal ratcheting chuck

Drilling on hardwoods is a frequent hassle for woodworkers, espcially if they don’t have powerfull drills at hand.

This is why I got surprised when I learned this Milwaukee cordless drill comes with serious attributes such as:

  • Brushless motor that provides up to 500 in-lbs of maximum torque 
  • 1/2 inch chuck that securely holds a wide range of drill bits necessary both in small and big woodworking projects

When it comes to convenience, this cordless drill also surpasses expectations. I mean, it comes with a compact design that allows woodworkers to drill in tight spaces without issues.

Moreover, it offers 2 speeds (slow: 0-500 RPM / fast: 0-1800 RPM) which simplifies the adaptation of the drilling speed to the existing wood types.

Pros

  • Brushless motor outputs a maximum torque of 500 in-lbs (above average)
  • Compact design allows drilling in tight spaces
  • 1/2 inch chuck securely holds drill bits of a wide variety of sizes
  • Temperature monitoring and overload protection thanks to “REDLINK Intelligence System”
  • 2-speed settings: 0-500 RPM /0-1800 RPM, allows maximum adaptability to different woodworking applications
  • REDLITHIUM Battery provides a higher battery autonomy than the others

Cons

  • Some people complain about the battery. It worked perfectly for me though.

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 108 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.7 out of 5 rating, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

6. PORTER-CABLE 20V PCCK607LB Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: 267 inch-pounds of max. torque
  • Speed: 0-450 RPM/0-1800 RPM (2-speed settings)
  • Chuck: 1/2″ ratcheting chuck

If you want to avoid the frustration of buying an expensive cordless drill that’s not powerful enough for your woodworking projects, then you better get one with a reliable motor.

A perfect solution to this issue is this Porter cable cordless drill as it comes with a brushless motor that outputs up to 267 in-pounds of torque. In my experience, this level of drilling power is enough for any woodworker.

Moreover, the drill has:

  • A 2-speed transmission that offers great drilling adaptability
  • A 1/2″ chuck that holds most drill bits used daily at a wood workshop

In terms of comfort, this cordless drill does not lack behind either.

I mean, it comes with a keyless chuck which makes changing drill bits a very simple procedure. Also, it has a compact design of only 7.4 inches in length which allows woodworkers to easily drill in tight spaces.

Pros

  • Brushless motor allows for a better battery autonomy and outputs 267 inch-pounds of torque which is sufficient for woodworking projects
  • 2-speed settings lead to more precision in the finished drilling job
  • 1/2″ ratcheting chuck securely holds drill bits during drilling
  • Chuck is keyless which makes changing drill bits a process very easy
  • 7.4 inch design permits drilling in tight places

Cons

  • I’d like cordless drills a bit more powerful, but its torque is large enough for woodworking applications

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 277 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.8 out of 5 rating, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

7. Bosch GSR12V-300B22 12V Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: 300 in-lbs
  • Speed: 0-460 RPM /  0-1,750 RPM (2 speed setting)
  • Chuck: 3/8″ Keyless Chuck

There’s no better way to make sure that the hard earned money of a woodworker is properly spent in a cordless drill than by getting one that offers sufficient drilling power.

This is why I’ve decided to list this Bosch 12V cordless drill as one the best cordless drills for woodworking. Mainly, it’s its brushless motor that delivers up to 300 in-lbs of max. torque what lead me to the decision. I mean, there’s no way a woodworker needs more drilling power than that.

Moreover, features such as its:

  • 20+1 clutch settings that allow greater torque control for different hardness of woods
  • and its 3/8″ keyless chuck that makes the process of interchanging the drill bits simple

is what guided me to select this drill as one of the best for woodworking applications.

Finally, this drill doesn’t let woodworkers down in terms of convenience either. In fact, it comes with a led light that substantially improves the process of drilling in tight and dark places.

Pros

  • Brushless motor delivers 300 in-lbs of max drilling torque which is perfect for most woodworking needs
  • Compact housing weighs only 1.6lbs and has a length of 6.0 inches
  • Great drilling flexibility thanks to a two-speed transmission (0-460 RPM /  0-1,750 RPM)
  • 20+1 clutch settings allows for great drilling accuracy
  • three-jaw 3/8″ keyless chuck holds most drill bits tightly and allows for quick drill bit changes
  • Led light makes drilling in dark areas something much more bearable

Cons

  • Plastic bit holder instead of a magnetic one

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 830 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.8 out of 5 rating, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

8. Makita XPH12T 18V Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: 530 in-lbs. (Max torque)
  • Speed: (2-speed setting) 0-500 RPM & 0-2,000 RPM
  • Chuck: 1/2″ chuck

What if I told you it’s not neccessary to get pissed about the weakness of your cordless drill anymore? It’d be nice, right?

Well, that’s exactly what this Makita cordless drill brings to the table thanks to features such as:

  • A brushless motor that outputs an incredible max. torque of 530 in-lbs! I mean, no way you’ll need more drilling torque for woodworking projects
  • A 2-speed variable transmission that simplifies the process of adapting the drilling speed to the different wood types

No woodworker wants to spend more than a hundred bucks on a cordless drill that’s a pain in the you-know-what to operate, right? Luckily for us, this drill comes with attributes that prevent users from suffering from this.

I mean, the drill only weighs 4 pounds! I couldn’t believe it the first time I held it, to be honest.

Besides, the tool has soft grips and dual led lights for successfully illuminating the surfaces being drilled. These are all little details that make a world of difference to carpenters.

Pros

  • Variable 2-speed transmission
  • Brushless motor outputs up to 530 in-lbs of max torque allows woodworkers to tackle big projects while saving battery life
  • Dust and water-resistant
  • It weighs only 4 pounds
  • Dual led lights are perfect for woodwork shops with bad lightning
  • Soft grips make drilling for a long with this tool something really easy

Cons

  • It makes a grinding noise from time to time. Nothing too inconvenient though.

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 443 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.6 out of 5 rating, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

9. BLACK+DECKER 20V BDCDMT120C Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: 122 in-lbs
  • Speed: 0-800 RPM
  • Chuck: 3/8 in. chuck

Drilling on hardwoods without issues is a must-have feature for the best cordless drills for woodworking applications.

This is why I’m listing this BLACK+DECKER cordless drill as it comes with a powerful motor that outputs 122 in-lbs of max torque. I mean, it’s not the most powerful motor you could imagine, but it covers all the drilling needs one might come across at a woodworking shop.

Moreover, the drill has 10 clutch settings and a speed range of 0-800 RPM which gives woodworkers sufficient drilling flexibility.

Last but not least, the tool has a lithium-ion battery which is recommended in all cordless drills thanks to the longer battery runtime and better durability offered.

Pros

  • Lithium-ion battery substantially reduces tool weight and improves battery performance
  • 3/8-inch chuck size holds most drill bits needed for woodworking projects
  • 10 clutch settings allow greater torque control which refines the finished project
  • 122 in-lbs max. torque and 0-800 RPM outputs sufficient drilling power for the needs of a woodworker

Cons

  • It only has one speed

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 2,258 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.7 out of 5 rating, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

10. PORTER-CABLE 20V PCC606LA Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

Features

  • Torque: 330 in-lbs
  • Speed: (2 Speed settings) 0-400 RPM/0-1,600 RPM
  • Chuck: 1/2″ keyless metal ratcheting chuck

This Porter Cable 20V cordless drill is a tool most woodworkers should take into consideration when it comes to adding a powerful drill to their tool box.

I mean, it surpassed my initial expectations thanks to features such as:

  • 330 in-lbs of max torque
  • 1/2″ keyless metal ratcheting chuck that securely clutches sizeable drill bits while in use
  • 2-transmission gearbox that lets woodworkers either choose the “fast” or “slow” speeds depending on the kind of wood being drilled

The 40-minute runtime is another feature I love about this tool as it gives carpenters enough battery autonomy to do their drilling jobs comfortably.

At last, the 23 clutch settings appear as a great resource for woodworkers that like to have a greater level of torque control when it comes to drilling.

Pros

  • 2-transmissions gearbox (0-400 RPM/0-1,600 RPM) provides woodworkers the possibility to adapt the drilling power to the application at hand
  • 40-minute charge-time is plenty of drilling autonomy for a woodworker
  • 330 in-lbs of max torque provides sufficient drilling power
  • LED light provides luminosity when drilling in dark areas
  • 1/2″ keyless metal ratcheting chuck allows for speedy drill bit changes
  • Lithium-ion battery with gauge delivers sufficient drilling autonomy for woodworkers
  • 23 clutch settings provide superior torque control for woodworking applications

Cons

  • The magnetic bit holder is not powerful enough for larger drill bits

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are a bit more than 740 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it, on average, a 4.6 out of 5 ratings, approximately. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

What Is The Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking Overall?

Bosch GSR12V-300B22 12V Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

This cordless drill comes with great features for woodworking applications, such as:

  • Motor that delivers up to 300 in-lbs of maximum torque
  • 3/8″ keyless chuck that makes changing drill bits a very easy procedure
  • 2-speed transmission (0-460 RPM /  0-1,750 RPM) gives woodworkers the freedom to adapt the drilling power to the task at hand

Given these attributes, I decided to choose this Bosch cordless drill as the best cordless drill for woodworking overall. If you’d like to read the complete review, please click the button below.

Review

What Is The Best Cheap Cordless Drill for Woodworking?

BLACK+DECKER 20V BDCDMT120C Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

With great features, such as:

  • Max. torque of 122 in-lbs offers enough drilling power for most woodworking projects
  • A 0-800 RPM speed range
  • 3/8 in. chuck that’s big enough to securely grip to drill bits necessary for drilling on all types of woods

I chose this Black+Decker cordless drill as the best cheap option for woodworking applications. If you wanna learn a bit more about my reasoning (besides its affordability), click the button down below and check the entire review!

Review

Quick Comparison Table

NameTorqueSpeed RangeChuck

DEWALT 20V MAX DCD791D2 Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

70 nm (max. torque) - 27 nm (soft torque)0 to 550 RPM / 0-2,000 RPM
(Two speeds)
1/2" Metal ratcheting chuck

SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless HD529402 Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

150 ft-lb (Max. torque)0-480 RPM / 0-1800 RPM
(Two speeds)
1/2" Keyless metal ratcheting chuck

Bosch Power Tools Drill PS31-2A Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

265 in-lbs (max. torque) 0-350 RPM / 0-1,300 RPM (Two speeds)3/8-inch three-jaw chuck

Metabo HPT 18V DS18DGL Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

400 in-lbs (max. torque)0-450 RPM/ 0-1,250 RPM (Two speeds)1/2" keyless chuck

Milwaukee 2801-21P M18 Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

500 in-lbs (max. torque)0-500 RPM /0-1800 RPM (2-speed settings)1/2" metal ratcheting chuck

PORTER-CABLE 20V PCCK607LB Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

267 inch-pounds of max. torque0-450 RPM / 0-1800 RPM (2 speed settings)1/2″ ratcheting chuck

Bosch GSR12V-300B22 12V Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

300 in-lbs (max. torque)0-460 RPM / 0-1,750 RPM (2 speeds)3/8″ Keyless Chuck

Makita XPH12T 18V Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

530 in-lbs. (Max torque)0-500 RPM / 0-2,000 RPM (2-speed setting)1/2″ chuck

BLACK+DECKER 20V BDCDMT120C Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

122 in-lbs max. torque0-800 RPM3/8 in. chuck

PORTER-CABLE 20V PCC606LA Best Cordless Drill for Woodworking

330 in-lbs (max. torque)0-400 RPM / 0-1,600 RPM (2 Speed settings)1/2″ keyless metal ratcheting chuck

How Did I Test The Best Cordless Drills for Woodworking?

This is the exact process I followed to test dozens of cordless drills to finally arrive at the list of the best performers for woodworking applications:

Drilling Test

I made sure to use each cordless drill on a wide range of woods (both soft and hard). I used drill bits from 1/16 inch to 1/2 inch to drill the holes, as in my experience they are the most used by woodworkers.

If the tool performed well, showing superior drilling power and accuracy, I would select it for further testing.

Comfort & Convenience Test

For this test, I would drill for 15 to 20 minutes with very little breaks to see whether the cordless drill being tested had:

  • An ergonomic design that made holding the tool for long periods of time something bearable
  • A lightweight structure
  • A compact design that made drilling in tight spaces possible

If those three key-points were hit, then I’d continue with more tests and then write the tool’s review.

Must-Have Features of The Best Cordless Drills for Woodworking

These are the features I think must be present in all cordless drills if they’ll be destined to use in woodworking projects:

Solid Max. Torque

Wood is not the highest density material you can drill on. There are other much denser materials, such as concrete, masonry, etc. However, certain wood types require a solid drilling torque to be properly drilled on.

This is why I recommend woodworkers to get cordless drills with a maximum torque output of at least 250 in-lbs. This torque level is perfect to drill on dense woods such as oak, quebracho, etc. That way, you’ll be happy knowing that you invested your hard-earned money in a cordless drill capable of drilling on all wood types.

Lithium-Ion Battery

The best cordless drills should have top-quality lithium-Ion batteries as these are known for having:

  • Lower self-discharge rates
  • Higher energy density
  • More voltage capacity

Given this, the combination of these features makes them the best rechargeable batteries you could find to power a cordless drill.

Speed Range

Woodworkers work on different projects based on a wide range of wood types, both dense and soft. Given this, they need drill bits of all sizes and a certain speed range to adapt the drilling speed to the density of the wood being drilled.

This is why I recommend getting cordless drills with two-speed transmissions, one is the lower speed (usually 0 to 450 RPM) and the other one is the higher speed (usually 0 to 1,500 RPM). The lower-speed offers more control and torque and is used for drilling on dense woods and the higher-speed setting is intended for drilling on softer wood types.

Moreover, it’s my recommendation to select a cordless drill with a maximum speed of at least 1,200 RPM as it covers most woodworking applications. However, most of these projects can be tackled with a max. speed of around 1,000 RPM.

Chuck Size

Rather than selecting a cheap cordless drill with a weak chuck, I recommend woodworkers getting cordless drills with a solid chuck that’s around 1/2 inches.

The reasoning behind this recommendation is that this chuck securely holds most drill bits needed for woodworking projects. Moreover, if you choose a keyless chuck, you’ll be able to change drill bits more quickly than with a keyed chuck, which is very convenient of course.

Led Light

Have you ever worked at a wood workshop with bad lighting? It’s the worst. You can’t see where you’re drilling and the precision of the finished projects usually gets compromised.

Thus, I recommend getting cordless drills with powerful LED lights. A LED light will properly illuminate the surface being drilled which, in turn, will substantially improve the quality of the drilling job.

Ergonomic Design & Light Weight

Drilling is something that woodworkers do daily, especially when working on big projects. And, if you are stuck with a heavy cordless drill that’s uncomfortable to operate then your workday turns into a nightmare very quickly.

That’s why I tell woodworkers to get light cordless drills manufactured with an ergonomic design that’s easy on the hands. I mean, you’re gonna use this tool for most of your workdays, you might as well be comfortable, right?

Frequently Asked Questions

More than frequently, I receive lots of questions about the best cordless drills for woodworking projects. This is my attempt to answer most of them:

The advantages of using a good-quality cordless drill for woodworking?

Many advantages come with using a good-quality cordless drill, for instance:

  • Drilling without a cable that is constantly pulling you back
  • Long battery runtime lets one drill without recharging the battery every 10 minutes
  • Strong drilling torque allows woodworkers to confidently work on big projects
  • Lightweight component and compact designs make drilling in tight spaces very easy

Cordless vs corded drills which one is better for woodworking?

There are marked differences between corded and cordless drills.

For once, cordless drills are pricier while their cordless counterparts are known for being cheaper.

Also, cordless drills rely on batteries which might make them inconvenient in certain circumstances. I mean, if you happen to have the battery uncharged and you don’t have a backup, you’re screwed. With a corded drill, you only have to plug it into the power outlet and that’s that, you have unlimited drilling for as long as you want. This can easily be solved by getting an additional battery backup which I always recommend other woodworkers to do.

However, not everything is great with corded drills. In fact, there are many disadvantages to them.

For instance, corded drills can be very inconvenient when drilling from different positions or when drilling a bit far from a power outlet, as they have cables that constantly pull them back to the power outlet. In that sense, cordless drills win the fight.

Besides, not every corded drill is manufactured with great materials. I mean, if you happen to break the drill’s cable, you’re done. You’ll have to either buy a whole new drill or pay someone to fix it.

In conclusion, there are advantages and disadvantages to both versions of drills. My recommendation is to look at both pros and cons and select the one you think is better for your specific woodworking needs.

What kinds of wood can a cordless drill be used on?

The answer relies on how good is your cordless drill. I’m gonna answer as if you had picked any of the best cordless drills depicted in this article.

With a great cordless drill, you’ll be able to drill on all types of woods, both hard and soft. It doesn’t matter if you drill on oak (hardwood) or if your woodworking project uses softer woods like white cedar or pine, you’ll be set for either one.

My only tips for drilling on both hard and soft woods are the following:

  • Make sure to choose a cordless drill with a max. torque of at least 250 in-lbs as it’ll guarantee you’ll have enough drilling power
  • To drill on softwoods use the higher speed setting and lower torque gear and do the exact opposite for drilling on hardwoods. By doing this, you’ll achieve great precision and efficiency in your finished woodworking projects

How to clean a cordless drill?

The process of drilling a cordless drill is very simple:

  • First, take a clean cloth and spray it with WD-40
  • Use the cloth to clean off the dust and wood shavings build-up from the tool. Repeat this step as many times as needed to remove all the dirt.
  • Done! Your drill will look as good as new.

DISCLAIMER: Do not use water to clean the cordless drill. None of the reviewed drills are waterproofed and if water slips inside the tool’s housing it could generate a short-circuit putting it and yourself in danger.

How to remove a chuck from a cordless drill?

Sometimes you just have to change your cordless drill’s chuck. It could be busted from heavy use or you might want to use drill bits your current chuck doesn’t properly grip.

Luckily, the process of removing a chuck is the same for all drills, both in their corded and cordless versions. Let me share it with you:

  1. In the chuck’s inside, right at the end, you’ll see a screw. That screw is what’s called a reverse thread screw. These fasteners are engineered in a way that to unscrew them you’ll have to use the screwdriver in the opposite direction you’re used to
  2. Hold the chuck in a fixed position with one hand and, with the other one, unscrew said internal screw going counter-clockwise with the screwdriver. Make sure to use proper force as these fasteners are very tight
  3. Once the screw is out, set the cordless drill to a low gear and put the clutch in the highest setting so the chuck doesn’t slip when you’re taking it out
  4. Take the biggest hex key you have at your disposal and put the shorter part inside the chuck. Then, secure the chuck to the hex key as tight as you can
  5. Grab a hammer and give the hex key a good wacking in a downwards motion. Don’t be afraid, you’re not gonna break the drill, I’ve done it hundreds of times
  6. After a few blows, you’ll see how the chuck breaks loose. Unscrew it from the drill and put it aside
  7. Done!

Are the batteries in cordless drills interchangeable?

Yes, batteries are interchangeable for cordless drills, but only between units of the same brand. That means if you have a DeWalt cordless drill and you want to install a Milwaukee or a Makita battery pack you’ve got around you won’t be able to do it. You’ll only be able to install a DeWalt battery pack for that drill.

The goal here is for brands to “catch” the customer and “put him in a prison” where he’ll only be able to buy products of the same brand if they don’t want to buy a whole new set of tools.

It’s very inconvenient but, sadly, it’s how things work nowadays with these manufacturers.

What’s the recommended torque for drilling on wood?

There are woods of all types in the world. I mean you’ve got hardwoods like quebracho and oak and you’ve got softer woods like cedar and pine.

In this context, the best decision for woodworkers is getting a cordless drill with enough maximum torque to drill on both types of woods. This is why I think cordless drills with motors that output at least 250 in-lbs of max. torque are a great option for woodworkers as they cover the drilling needs of most woodworking projects.

Brushless cordless drills or brushed cordless drills?

The quick answer is brushless cordless drills, but let me explain why.

Even though brushed motors might be cheaper, they generate a lot of friction when in use. This friction generates heat which, when transferred to the rest of the internal components, puts the lifespan of the tool in jeopardy. Additionally, brushed motors are known for being inefficient, mainly because:

  • they consume more battery
  • they don’t adapt the energy spent on different levels of torque which brushless motors do

On the opposite, a brushless motor works without the need for brushes, which avoids said problem.

For this, I think it’s clear that brushless cordless drills are better than their brushed counterparts.

Can I use a cordless drill in the rain?

That’s an easy one: no, cordless drills are not supposed to be used in the rain.

None of the best cordless drills for woodworking are waterproof rated. Thus, if you happen to drill under the rain, there’s a high probability water is gonna slip through the tool’s housing and generate an internal short-circuit. Plus, you could get injured.

So, if you happen to drill outdoors make sure that it won’t rain. Otherwise, leave the drilling for later.

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