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December 18, 2017

Compact 18-volt Cordless Drills

Bosch 33618-02 18-volt Cordless DrillOf all the power tools available, cordless drills are about the most common. Not everyone feels the needs for a table saw or a router, but pretty well everyone needs a cordless drill at some time or another. And the choice is enormous.

Choosing a cordless drill used to be much easier than it is these days. In the good (or bad) old days you had to make a basic first choice to set you off down one of two main routes – big and powerful or small and less powerful – and then you could go about looking at all the other features you might want.

In a perfect world you would want the best of both worlds and there are a number of features that you would look for

  • Compact – so that you can use it in tight spaces where larger drills won’t fit
  • Lightweight – so that you can use it all day long or overhead without straining
  • Variable speed – so that you have more control
  • Long battery life – so that you can keep on going
  • Maximum power – so that you can take on any project

Well, everyone remembers how big and unwieldy cell phones used to be compared to today, and it’s the same with cordless drills, and for the same reason – the batteries. The introduction of lithium-ion batteries means that you can have that ideal combination of size and power with the new breed of compact 18-volt cordless drills.

These drills have pretty much the same power as the older, larger 18-volt drills but are smaller and weigh much less, and in fact weigh less than some 14.4-volt drills. As well as the advantage of being much lighter, lithium-ion batteries have a number of additional benefits

  • faster charging
  • you can recharge them time after time without losing power capacity
  • will not lose charge when stored so they are perfect for occasional users

These compact 18-volt drills now give you everything you would want in a cordless drill, and we’ve reviewed two of the best, the Bosch 36618-02 and the DEWALT DCD760KL. Both of these are excellent all-round drills that will handle pretty much anything you might want to do.