Which cordless drill and driver is the best?
Do you need a punch function?
What do the different voltages such as 10.8V and 18V mean?
In this review, we’ve hand picked the best cordless drill drivers and hammer drills from Bosch, Worx, Dewalt, and Einhell.
If you don’t want to laboriously screw in and out with a classic screwdriver, then a cordless drill and driver is the way to go. Such devices will relieve you from the manual work and thus help you to economize your strength, especially with more complex DIY projects with many screws and holes.
The price of a cordless drill and driver ranges from around $50 for a simple wireless screwdriver for occasional household use to several hundreds of dollars for a professional hammer drill set including accessories.
The best wireless screwdrivers: At a glance
|Price/performance tip||Test winner drill/driver||Test winner hammer drill||Entry-level device|
|product||Bosch Professional GSR 12V-15 FC||Worx WX175||Dewalt DCD796 D2-QW||Einhell Expert TE-CD 12 Li|
|Pros||handy + good performance||very good screw performance||very strong, also convincing as a drill||low price + sufficient screw performance|
|Cons||Average battery life||Instruction manual could be better||Average battery life||Weaknesses in drilling|
- Compact and handy
- Good screw performance
- Battery life only average
The best in terms of price/performance on our list is the Bosch Professional GSR 12V-15 FC. Its main advantage in addition to its handiness is its good result when screwing and a solid cutting when drilling.
The Bosch Professional GSR 12V-15 FC cordless drill and driver is available in different configurations – we recommend the 39-piece set with a second battery.
Accessory set (25x screwdriver bits, 7x wood drills, 7x metal drills).
- Very good at screwing
- Drills well
- Particularly long-lasting battery
- Replacement battery included
- Instructions for use only satisfactory
Although this model does not have a hammer mechanism, it does have a powerful and long-lasting 18 volt battery. With one battery charge, it can handle over 160 screwdriving and drilling operations.
A replacement battery is also included in the set so that your work doesn’t get interrupted by a low battery. During our test, the Worx WX175 was able to demark itself through its very very good screwing and drilling abilities.
The device is not only versatile, but also handy and user-friendly. The instruction manual was only rated as average – most competitors do better.
Test winner hammer drill
- Versatile: screws and drills excellently
- Good instructions for use
- Battery life could be a little better
If you want to use your cordless drill driver not only for screwdriving, but also often for drilling through harder material, you should use a device with a hammer mechanism such as Dewalt DCD796 D2-QW. This is due to its good performance in screwdriving, drilling and hammer drilling, a very high level of versatility, a solid battery and very good durability. There is almost no reason for criticism.
The Dewalt DCD796 D2-QW has also been in constant use for months in the private household of our editors. Both the screws on the Ikea shelf and dowel holes that have to be in the masonry: the yellow hammer drill does everything and in many cases can even replace a wired drill.
Depending on the type of use, the battery may go down earlier than planned, so you should definitely buy a spare. Also, the device is a little heavy in the hand with a weight of around 1.7 kg.
All in all: clear buy recommendation!
- Attractively priced
- Sufficient power for screwing
- User friendly
- Weaknesses in drilling
If you want to buy a new cordless screwdriver on a tight budget, you will find it at Einhell. The Expert TE-CD 12 Li is relatively cheap and one of the best models according to several reviews. Nevertheless, it offers an overall acceptable performance and in the end comes to a rating of 3.7 (“sufficient”).
You shouldn’t expect professional performance here, but for little money there is at least a solid entry-level cordless screwdriver that is also handy and user-friendly. Unfortunately, the device is only equipped with a small battery with 10.8 volts, but after 15 minutes of quick charging, it is ready for many screwing operations.
The best wireless screwdrivers: This is how we chose
In our recommendations, we refer, among other things, to the results of the cordless screwdriver test by Stiftung Warentest (edition 02/2019 and 02/2021). The renowned test institute has carefully examined numerous cordless screwdrivers and put them through their paces. The test procedure used by Stiftung Warentest is explained on the corresponding website; the most important criteria were “function” and “handling”.
The results are divided into different device classes, which we will go into in more detail below. Further selection criteria were personal experience and customer ratings from online shops.
Buying a wireless screwdriver
What types of cordless screwdrivers are there?
The first difference there is with cordless screwdrivers: Can you also drill or just screw? The simplest types of device are pure cordless screwdrivers that cannot drill and are sometimes also called “mini screwdrivers”. They are equipped with a magnetic bit holder with a hexagonal socket into which the bits are inserted.
These devices are sufficient for households in which only a few screws have to be screwed in occasionally. The battery is usually permanently installed and can only be charged on the device. On the other hand, the devices are particularly compact and light, which makes working less difficult and is also practical for difficult-to-reach bottlenecks.
On the other hand, there are cordless drills. With these devices, not only can screws be screwed in and out, but holes can also be drilled. Since, thanks to the drill chuck, they can take bits as well as bits for screwing, they replace a drill to a certain extent, even if they ultimately have even more power.
Cordless drills usually offer two gears – a slow one for screwing and a faster one for drilling. In addition, the torque can often be adjusted. In the case of cordless drills, a distinction is also made between models with and without hammer mechanism. The models without impact can easily drill into softer material such as plasterboard or aerated concrete.
For harder surfaces such as masonry, concrete, granite and the like, however, a cordless screwdriver with an impact function is the right choice.
Another classification can be made based on the battery voltage. We will go into this in more detail below.
What do I have to look out for when buying?
The following criteria are important when buying a new cordless screwdriver.
- Performance data: The stronger the cordless screwdriver, the easier it is to tighten even stubborn screws or drill holes. The decisive performance data are the battery voltage (more information below), the idling speed and the maximum torque.
- Battery life: the longer you can work with a battery in one go, the better. In an emergency, however, a replacement battery can also be used, which is already included in the scope of delivery of many high-quality sets.
- Weight and handiness: the heavier a cordless screwdriver is, the more strenuous it is to work with it for longer periods of time. The more compact the device, the more versatile it can be used in confined areas.
- Supplied accessories: In addition to the already discussed replacement battery, a set of bits is usually included in the scope of delivery. The decisive factor here is how many different essays are included. Cordless drills often come with a couple of drills. More information about the accessories can be found further down on this page.
What do the specified voltages relate to (e.g. 3.6 V / 10.8 V / 18 V) and what do they do?
Manufacturers such as Bosch and Makita usually offer different battery systems with different voltages. The batteries of a system can then usually be switched back and forth between different devices, i.e. they can also be used for other tools. In addition to the design, the voltage of the battery is decisive.
The stronger the battery of a cordless screwdriver, the more power it has at work, i.e. it can also screw in or loosen harder-moving screws and drill into harder materials. In addition, the devices with a “large” 18 volt battery also have more stamina. This means that you can do more work before you have to put the battery back on the charger. This is particularly useful when there are many screws and holes in a row.
However, many cordless screwdrivers also have an exchangeable battery in the scope of delivery. Alternatively, these can be purchased separately. Theoretically, working hours can also be extended indefinitely by simply purchasing several batteries to change.
The following voltages are common for cordless screwdriver models:
- 3.6 to 9.6 volts for light screwing work
- 9.6 to 14.4 volts are all-rounders for screwing and drilling, suitable for do-it-yourselfers
- 18 volts and more are durable and powerful devices that are also suitable for professionals
What is the punch function and do I need it?
A cordless screwdriver with an impact function is comparable to a small drill. With these devices, the hole is not only drilled by the rotating movement of the drill, but also by a back and forth movement of the hammer mechanism. This is particularly advantageous on hard surfaces such as concrete, stone and other materials. This is where cordless screwdrivers with drilling function, but without impact, quickly reach their limits. However, even the cordless drills with impact function usually cannot replace large and powerful drills or even a professional-grade rotary hammer. When the going gets tough, these devices offer even more power in the end.
Accessories for the cordless screwdriver: What is necessary and useful?
Many manufacturers already include a number of accessories with the devices. If necessary, additional accessories can also be purchased separately. In the following, we will go into which accessories make sense and which additional purchases can perhaps be saved.
Do I need an assortment of drill chucks / bits?
A bit assortment is essential for working with a drill / driver. This should either be included in the scope of delivery of the selected model or purchased separately – unless one already exists in the household. Common bits include slotted and cross attachments in different sizes so that the common screws can be screwed in and out. Also, Torx (star-shaped bits) and other variants are quite practical, especially if the device is to be versatile. If these are not part of the basic equipment, they can easily be purchased later as accessories:
A drill chuck and drill should also be supplied with a cordless drill or purchased separately. The exception is if the device is not to be used for drilling. But then a cheaper cordless screwdriver without a drilling function might be sufficient.
Do I need replacement batteries?
Whether a replacement battery is required depends on the planned use of the device. Who z. For example, if you want to build a wooden garden house with countless screws in one piece, even the most enduring devices will usually not get by on one battery charge. In this case, a compulsory pause for charging the battery is preprogrammed if there is no replacement battery available.
If you only rarely need the cordless screwdriver and charge the battery regularly, you will usually get there with a battery. This is especially true for high-quality devices with a high-performance battery that can easily hold the charge over a longer period of time. If necessary, you can buy another battery later if one should not be enough.