After recently testing more than 50 cord and impact drills to find the best cordless drills among dozens of brands, DeWalt stood out. In fact, we've found the best DeWalt bits for almost any application. If you're here, you'll obviously love the yellow and black branding—so we'll break down our favorite models for any application.
Remember – these careful choices are the result of hours of torque testing, runtime testing and real world use. We know the best DeWalt drill bits may not be the same for everyone. Rather than recommending one tool for everyone, we recommend several different models that offer the perfect combination of performance, features, ergonomics, and value for different types of users.
From DIYer to Pro, this list should help you decide and choose the right DEWALT cordless drill.
Editor's note: You think you know it all? Our how to drill article might still be able to show you a thing or two.
The best DeWalt cordless drills
DCD998 20V maximum power detection
After testing dozens of DeWalt drill bits, the absolute best DeWalt drill bit has to be the DeWalt DCD998 20V Power Detect Hammer Drill. The DeWalt DCD999 60V FlexVolt Advantage Hammer Drill measures almost as well. We prefer the DCD998 because you don't need to use a lot of FlexVolt batteries. If you want the absolute best performance, the 20V 8Ah battery pack has you covered…and powers your existing 20V DeWalt hammers, circular saws and more. Don't have an 8Ah battery pack? 5Ah will do a good job and give you pretty much the same power – just different run times.
Editor's note on "20V Max": 18V is just the nominal voltage for 20V Max, so comparing 20V Max to 18V tools doesn't make sense. The voltage is exactly the same – just marketed differently. the same cells. same voltage.
When talking about raw power, the DeWalt DCD998 produces over 1000 inch-pounds of torque. It beat out the DeWalt DCD997 impact drill in our tests, securing its place at the top of the DeWalt food chain.
Also the best DeWalt hammer drill
Because of the impact mechanism it includes, the DCD998 is also the best DeWalt hammer drill we've ever tested. The DeWalt completed our hammer drill test track in less than 2.5 minutes—beating the former DeWalt flagship. It's not the fastest drill of all brands, but it's close enough. It's certainly at the top of the lineup of the best DeWalt impact drills. It even beats out the DeWalt FlexVolt Advantage hammer drill.
The key feature for drilling speed is related to the DeWalt DCD998 and its tri-mode transmission. With it, you can prioritize speed, power, or a combination of both. It's the second gear that really puts it above a lot of other tools that have to use the slowest gear.
DeWalt has also managed to make it one of the lighter tools in our line of Super-Duty drills. In fact, it earned or held its own in nearly every category we tested. From Pros who want maximum power to DeWalt fans who want a rugged DIY tool, the $299 DCD998 kit should fit the bill.
Best DeWalt 12V Li-ion Cordless Drill
DeWalt DCC701 12V Cordless Drill
In the past, even the best DeWalt 12V Li-Ion drill the company has to offer has left us feeling "meh." Other manufacturers seem to greatly outperform their line of 12V cordless drills. Many newer models use brushless motors. Now, however, the latest DeWalt 12V Lithium-Ion Brushless Drill features an improved brushless motor, putting the company back in the game.
The DeWalt DCC701 12V Brushless Cordless Drill is a more compact 6-in. That's far less than the earlier brushed models. It's even lighter—only 2.4 lbs with the 12V 2.0 Ah battery installed. That's 5 ounces less than the previous brushed model.
Most importantly, however, the new DeWalt DCC701 12V Drill Bit will cut through wood and steel faster than any previous DeWalt 12V Lithium-Ion Drill. It has 32 percent more power and torque. In a head-to-head match with the Milwaukee M12 fuel drill, the 12V DeWalt drilled slightly faster and used a 1-3/8" Bosch Daredevil spade bit through untreated 2x pine.
You can also get this drill and its accompanying 12V impact driver for $199 or less, complete with a pair of 2.0 Ah batteries, charger, and tool case.
Best Dewalt Drill Bits for Home Use
DeWalt DCD797 Hammer Drill
The best DeWalt home drill has to be their DCD797 Hammer Drill. This drill holds the #2 spot in our compact drill category. Overall, it has enough power, capability, ergonomics, features and value to put all but one in the rearview mirror.
The DCD797 quickly became the fastest tool in the compact drilling category. Secondly, it has the highest efficiency and can maintain high drilling speed even under heavy load. It also demonstrated the second-highest torque of a compact drill we've run through a multi-stage test.
Finally, the DCD797 includes tool connections for customizing controls, running diagnostics, and tracking your rig when it's borrowed by a neighbor!
Using a 3/4" auger bit, the DCD797 demonstrated a fast 1,948 RPM. Incredibly, this number represents 98% of its no-load speed!
In Low, with a 1-1/4" self-feed drill, we measured 512 RPM – 97% of its no-load speed. No other drill rig can match the speed and efficiency of the DeWalt when drilling and traveling.
Drilling 3" deep in concrete with a 1/4" Bosch multi-purpose bit, the DeWalt DCD797 smoked above every other hammer drill in the 18V Compact department. This impact drill averages just 5.92 seconds, more than 1 second per hole faster than the next fastest drill! For $179 bare-bones, this DeWalt drill can really work.
You can't use a drill without a drill. Making recommendations for the best DeWalt drill bits depends largely on your desired application. For example, do you want a general purpose drill or a cobalt drill designed for hard metals? Because this guide assumes general application across multiple areas of expertise, we'll cover some of our favorites.
For the absolute best DeWalt drill bits, we recommend their Cobalt Drill Bit Set with Pilot Point. You can find them in many online toolkits. DeWalt Cobalt drill bits are engineered for maximum speed and life. You want to keep these bits for a long time, and maybe even sharpen them when they eventually get dull. They are designed with a pilot point and a split tip so they don't "walk" or drift when you start drilling. Pull these bits out when you want to drill into hard metal.
Our next recommendation is for the average user — whether a Pro or a serious DIYer. We recommend the DeWalt Titanium Bit Set as a great all-around drill set. You can buy a set of 21 for less than $30. It comes in a nice box and we found it easy to remove and replace the bits. These bits also use a hex shank, so in a pinch, you can clip them into an impact driver.
Best DeWalt Rotary Hammer Reviews
DeWalt DCH263R2DH 20V SDS Plus Rotary Hammer
Recommend a related tool, electric hammer is more difficult. Rotary hammers use a different mechanism than hammer drills to drill holes in concrete more quickly. DeWalt makes many different rotary hammers – in a wide range of sizes. We can only truly recommend the best DeWalt hammers that our team has reviewed.
That has to be a DeWalt 20V SDS Plus Rotary Hammer with Dust Extractor. For starters, this tool uses a 20V Max battery, so it will work with all your other DeWalt tools. Second, it lets you meet OSHA Table 1 requirements with replaceable HEPA filters.
The DeWalt DCH263R2DH has plenty of power and 3 joules of impact energy. We like the dust collector and how it fits right on the tool and provides an easy way to empty the contents. Integrated SHOCKS Active Vibration Control reduces the fatigue inherent in prolonged hammer use.
Finally, the tool weighs less than 6 pounds without batteries. DeWalt makes other tools, but we think this is by far the best DeWalt rotary hammer we've reviewed for the average user. At $629, you can't go wrong with this kit.
Best prices on DeWalt drill bits
DeWalt DCD708C2 Compact Atomic Drill
Without a doubt, we call the DCD708C2 the best priced DeWalt drill. We've seen kits with two batteries, a charger, and a tool case for as low as $129 (regular price is about $159). In terms of value, this compact cordless drill definitely reigns supreme.
The DeWalt Atomic 20V Cordless Drill is a leader in compact cordless drills that replaces the need for 12V tools. In fact, the DCD708 drill has the same compact profile. You get a smaller footprint and lighter weight while getting better performance than DeWalt's 12V cordless drills.
We've seen other companies like Makita release ultra-small tools as well, which makes sense. We think the Atomic DCD708B is the best priced DeWalt drill because of its perfect blend of power and size. It really hits the sweet spot.
Also, if you need to drill holes in concrete, DeWalt offers a hammer drill version in the DCD709. Expect to pay more for the feature.
Best DeWalt Mixing Drills
DeWalt DCD130 60V Cordless Drill Mixer
When our reviewer Dan Elms "mixed" the DeWalt DCD130 FlexVolt cordless mixer for weeks, he got a lot done. The DeWalt Cordless Drill Mixer isn't your dad's mud mixer: It's a protein shake, powerlifting, 60V FlexVolt beast that can mix multiple buckets of concrete on a single charge.
You can buy the tool for $269 and the kit for $100 more. Mud, thin rock formations, cement… nothing stands a chance with this dedicated drill.
Best DeWalt Drill Bits Buying Guide / What We Look For
Speed test under load
We want to see how quickly the exercise gets the job done. It is also important to understand how these tools perform under increasing load. There are several ways to do this efficiently. You can make the drill do harder and harder tasks by using bigger and bigger bits. You can even measure the RPM at specific points in your test to see how fast it's drilling under full load.
The more RPM the drill maintains while it is working, the faster the drill will move through the material. On the other hand, the closer a drill is to its no-load speed, the more efficiently it will work and the less stress it will put on the motor. A good balance between the two will give you the best performance and motor life.
For most of our testing, we use a multi-ply bonded OSB (oriented strand board) subfloor. While not perfect, OSB definitely gives us better consistency than 2X dimensional wood.
For the concrete tests we used fully cured 4000 PSI concrete and focused on the speed at which the hole was drilled to a specific depth.
Match accessories to power tools
Each type of Dewalt diamond has a different number of muscles. You shouldn't expect a compact DeWalt 12V drill to do the job of a heavy-duty 20V Max tool. We use various accessories to match applications and tools. For heavy-duty drills, this includes everything from 1/2″ Milwaukee Shockwave Titanium auger bits to 1″ Bosch Daredevil high-speed auger bits and 2-9/16″ Milwaukee SwitchBlade self-feed bits.
No matter which brand you prefer, check out our best drill bits article. Over time, these should help your favorite drill work more efficiently and get the best performance and uptime.
For the smaller 18V compact drills and DIY Prosumer drills, we used smaller spade drills and self-feeding drills for testing. When testing 12V drills, we tend to forgo self-contained drills altogether.
For power, we try to match the tool with a suitable battery. The DeWalt PowerStack battery seems to offer the best performance in a smaller package – at least compared to their 2.0Ah compact battery pack. For heavy duty applications we still use their 5Ah battery pack.
One thing we've always wondered about is how much torque a drill has when it's actually doing the work. We use a variety of real world tests in our 2X materials and even use the Skidmore-Wilhelm test rig for scientific testing. Between the two, we can identify the sturdiest bits and those that perform well with traditional accessories like larger self-feed bits.
We focus on the type of work a drill can do and how quickly it can be done. Combined, we can quickly identify authoritative tools.
Weight and Footprint
Weight matters – especially when using tools overhead. If a super-powerful tool narrowly beats the competition, it could lose the top spot if it weighs a full pound less than the next-best tool. We highly value someone with a small footprint but a great performance!
Using a digital scale, we can get to the heart of the matter and see which tools perform well while keeping weight down. It also helps to know how different batteries affect the weight of the tool.
To determine the size, we took a digital caliper and measured the head length and height. Both are important, though we value the former more than the latter for its access to crowded spaces.
Since the comfort of the drill to hold depends on the size, we don't let it affect the score. Still, we hold and use each tool we review with our bare hands to check for any uncomfortable seams or other oddities that could affect every user, regardless of preference.
Overall, here are the features we're looking for in each drill:
- Brushless or brushed motor
- Standard Mode Number
- intelligent control
- Smart Tracking/Inventory
- clutch design
- Selection design of electric drill/screwdriver/electric hammer
- LED light design
- Chuck Size/Type
- belt hook
- unique features
Available Tools and Value
We're not inclined to recommend "one-off". Tools need a solid foundation and series so you can get other products as needed without buying multiple battery systems. For this reason, tools with a large number of included products tend to rank higher on our list.
When we talk about value, we don't just mean the price of the tool. Value takes into account the full picture of what you get for the price you pay. This includes performance, feature set, ergonomics, warranty, bare metal price and kit price.
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