Compact 18-volt Cordless Drills
As small as old 14-volt models, this is the new go-to drill for woodworkers
Synopsis: Thanks to lithium-ion batteries and smaller bodies, this new class of compact, 18v cordless drills is easier to handle yet just as powerful as its larger relatives. Given the improvements in these drills, we’re now calling them the new “go-to” drill for woodworkers. Tom Begnal put 10 of these drills through their paces, testing them for power, battery life, and control. Models tested include the Bosch 36618-02, Craftsman 11910, DeWalt DCD760KL, Hitachi DS18DSAL, Makita BDF452HW, Milwaukee 2601-22, Porter-Cable PCL180DK-2, Ridgid R86007, Ryobi P815, and Skil 2895LI-02.
From Fine Woodworking #207
Cordless drills and salad dressing have something in common. When you go shopping for them, the choices seem endless. Indeed, you can find more than 100 cordless-drill models on the market, and while some are me-too products, many have a unique place in the food chain.
With a host of features and power levels to consider, it’s challenging to find the single category of drill best suited not only for your workshop/furniture-making needs, but also for the many other miscellaneous home-improvement projects that every woodworker does. The ideal do-it-all drill would be compact, so it’s easier to get inside small cabinets and other tight spots. It would be relatively lightweight, to be easy on the hands and arms, while allowing the control you need to drive the smallest of screws. But it would also have the power for all those odd jobs that require more muscle, such as building a shed, deck, or picket fence.
Compact 18-volt drills do it all: So I set about looking for cordless drills that were compact, light, and powerful. I hit that trifecta with a relatively new class of drills— compact 18-volt models powered by lithium-ion batteries. These are lighter and smaller than other 18-volt drills past and present,…