Drills & Drivers
The 10 Best 18V Cordless Drills of 2020
18V cordless drills are very popular because they hit the right spot when it comes to power and practicality.
Their 12-volt counterparts are small and lightweight but are not very powerful. On the other hand, 20-volt drills are very powerful, but are usually heavier, causing arm fatigue much faster.
This leaves 18-volt units as the best compromise because they produce enough torque for more intense drilling and are relatively lightweight for easier handling.
That said, if you want such a tool, this review covers ten of the best 18V cordless drills to consider buying.
10 Best 18V Cordless Drills – Review
1. Ryobi P208 One+ (Has Magnetic Tray)
2. Makita XFD10Z (Dust & Water Resistant)
3. Bosch DDB181-02 (Complete Kit)
4. Pink Power PP182 (Best for Women)
5. Black & Decker GCO18SFB (Has Stud Finder)
6. Makita XFD11ZB (Lightweight)
7. Makita XFD12Z (High-Speed)
8. Black & Decker GCO1800 (Affordable)
9. Milwaukee 2606-20 (With Overload Protection)
10. Genesis GCD18BK (With Electric Brakes)
1. Ryobi P208 One+
(Has Magnetic Tray)
2. Makita XFD10Z
(Dust & Water Resistant)
3. Bosch DDB181-02
4. Pink Power PP182
(Best For Women)
5. Black & Decker GCO18SFB
(Has Stud Finder)
6. Makita XFD11ZB
7. Makita XFD12Z
8. Black & Decker GCO1800
9. Milwaukee 2606-20
(With Overload Protection)
10. Genesis GCD18BK
(With Electric Brakes)
1. Ryobi P208 One+ – 18V Cordless Drill with a Magnetic Tray
- Top Speed: 1600 RPM
- Weight: 2.7 pounds
Ryobi’s P208 is a very practical drill because it features an on-board magnetic storage tray, which allows you to carry extra bits or fasteners as you go up the ladder. As such, you get the convenience of having these pieces within close reach.
That said, the unit features a tool-free bit changing mechanism for easy use, while LED lights illuminate your work area for improved visibility.
The tool also has a 2-speed gearbox (0-440 and 0-1600 RPM) and a 24-position clutch for adjusting to different drilling applications.
Other features include a bubble level for precision drilling guidance and a rubber over-mold grip handle for comfortable anti-slip use. Combined, these features make this the top-rated 18V cordless drill in this review.
However, the drill comes as a tool only with no battery, charger or drilling bit in the kit.
2. Makita XFD10Z – Dust and Water Resistant 18V Cordless Drill
- Torque: 480 inch-pounds
- Top Speed: 1900 RPM
- Weight: 3.3 pounds
This cordless drill is specifically engineered for harsh working conditions because of its Extreme Protection Technology (XPT), which provides dust and water resistance.
The unit is also equipped with star protection computer controls, which communicate with the attached battery so as to protect it from damages resulting from overloading, overheating and over-discharging. This helps to ensure battery longevity while in use.
Other features include a powerful 4-pole motor that gives a maximum of 480 inch-pounds of torque while a mechanical 2-speed transmission gives you 0-600 and 0-1900 RPM options for different drilling applications.
On the downside, this piece comes as a tool only without a battery or charger and lacks a built-in storage tray. However, you get a belt clip for convenient hanging within close reach, an ergonomic soft-grip rubber handle and 2 work area LED lights.
3. Bosch DDB181-02 – Complete 18V Cordless Drill Kit
- Torque: 350 inch-pounds
- Top Speed: 1300 RPM
- Weight: 3 pounds
Bosch’s DDB181-02 is sold as a complete kit containing the drill, two 1.5 Ah batteries, a charger, a screwdriver bit and a contractor bag. Essentially, this ensures you won’t have to buy anything extra before getting down to work.
That said, the drill is compatible with a wide range of batteries, such as 1.3, 2.6, 3 and 4Ah options, which you can buy as extras or replacements later on. Once installed, an electronic cell protection feature keeps the power unit safe from overloading and overheating for durable use.
A 1/2-inch auto-lock chuck is installed at the front for easy and convenient use while 20 clutch settings and 2 speeds give you variable speeds and torque for different drilling applications.
More features include an anti-slip soft-grip handle, work area LED lighting and motor brakes for slowing down the spinning after releasing the trigger. However, no storage tray is built-in for keeping extra drill bits and there’s no bubble level for maintaining accuracy.
4. Pink Power PP182 – Best 18V Cordless Drill for Women
- Top Speed: 550 RPM
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
With its pink-colored theme, Pink Power’s PP182 is designed with women’s preference in mind. The product actually comes as a complete set with a pink tool case, 2 batteries and a charger with pink accents, a pink drill, and a 13-piece drill bit set. This gives you value for money.
Other than that, the drill is very practical, featuring a bubble level for maintaining accuracy as you drill and a magnetic base for holding screws and bits conveniently within close reach.
The tool also has a trigger-activated LED light for illuminating the work area while a 3/8-inch keyless chuck makes it very easy to switch drill bits for different types of screws or different drilling tasks.
More features include a comfortable soft-grip handle and 16 torque settings for adjusting to different application requirements. However, with a top speed of 550 RPM, the unit is not relatively slow and therefore, will drill at a slower rate.
5. Black & Decker GCO18SFB – 18V Cordless Drill with a Stud Finder
- Top Speed: 750 RPM
- Weight: 4.7 pounds
This cordless drill from Black & Decker is quite unique because it comes with a stud finder, which helps to locate studs through materials at a depth of up to 3/4 of an inch. The result is quick project completion and neat work when doing wall mounting projects.
Apart from the stud finder, the tool also comes with an 18-volt battery, a DC plug charger and a storage bag for keeping all these components safe after use.
Other features include a 24-position clutch for adjusting the torque to different uses, easy bit changes on the keyless chuck and a soft-grip handle for comfortable use.
On the downside, this piece is relatively heavy (4.7 pounds), which means it may cause hand fatigue, and it has a relatively low top speed of 750 RPM, which implies slower drilling.
6. Makita XFD11ZB – Lightweight 18V Cordless Drill
- Torque: 350 inch-pounds
- Top Speed: 1700 RPM
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
Coming in at only 2.8 pounds, Makita’s XFD11ZB has the main advantage of being very lightweight, which means it is easy to handle and rarely causes arm fatigue even with long periods of use.
That said, this unit packs in a lot of features such as a durable and efficient brushless motor, which produces up to 350 inch-pounds of torque.
The output from this motor is controlled via a 2-speed mechanical transmission, and this gives you 0-500 and 0-1700 RPM options for working on different driving and drilling applications.
Other features include a compact 6-3/8-inch design that fits easily in tight spaces, 2 LED lights for illuminating the work area and an ergonomically designed soft-grip handle for comfortable use.
However, this product is very expensive and it comes as a tool only with no battery or charger.
7. Makita XFD12Z – High-Speed 18V Cordless Drill
- Torque: 530 inch-pounds
- Top Speed: 2000 RPM
- Weight: 3.9 pounds
Makita’s XFD12Z is also quite expensive but it has a very powerful brushless motor that delivers up to 530 inch-pounds of torque and a top speed of 2000 RPM, which is very fast. This ensures quick and easy driving/drilling.
You also get a 2-speed transmission with 0-500 and 0-2000 RPM options for different drilling and driving applications.
Other features include dual LED lights for illuminating the work area, a soft-grip rubber handle for comfortable use and Extreme Protection Technology for dust and water resistance, which enhances the drill’s durability.
On the downside, the XFD12Z is sold as a tool only with no battery, charger, bits or carrying case.
8. Black & Decker GCO1800 – Affordable 18V Cordless Drill
- Torque: 115 inch-pounds
- Top Speed: 750 RPM
- Weight: 2.95 pounds
If you are on a tight budget, Black & Decker’s GCO1800 is an affordable 18V cordless drill to consider buying. The tool is also relatively lightweight (weighs 2.95 pounds), which makes it very easy to handle when in use.
A mid-handle design balances out this weight for more comfortable handling while soft-grips give a non-slip performance for more accurate drilling.
You also get a convenient storage tray for keeping an extra bit/fastener, a 3/8-inch keyless chuck, 750 max RPM with a reverse trigger and a 24-position clutch for adjusting the torque to suit different applications.
However, the drill does not have a bubble level for helping to maintain accuracy and also lacks LED lights for illuminating the work area.
9. Milwaukee 2606-20 – 18V Cordless Drill with Overload Protection
- Torque: 500 inch-pounds
- Top Speed: 1800 RPM
- Weight: 2.9 pounds
Milwaukee’s 2606-20 is equipped with the brand’s Redlink Intelligence, which provides advanced overloading and overheating protection so as to safeguard the tool and battery from damages for maximum durability.
Power is provided using a 4-pole frameless motor, producing a top speed of 1800 RPM and 500 inch-pounds of torque, which makes the drill very strong.
Other features include a tough all-metal housing and chuck for impact and shock resistance, a lightweight 2.9-pound design and LED lighting for illuminating the work area.
On the downside, this piece comes without a battery or charger, and it does not feature a magnetic storage tray for holding extra bits.
10. Genesis GCD18BK – 18V Cordless Drill with Electric Brakes
- Top Speed: 550 RPM
- Weight: 4 pounds
Rounding up the review is Genesis’ GCD18BK, which is fitted with electric brakes for slowing down the spinning after you release the trigger. This is an important safety feature that prevents injuries that arise from making contact with a sharp spinning bit.
Other than that, the drill comes as a complete set with a hard-shell carrying case, 13 assorted drill and driver bits, a battery and a charger, thereby giving you value for money.
Included in the tool is a magnetic tray, which is a convenient feature that lets you keep extra bits within close reach while a rubber anti-slip gives comfortable handling.
More features include a bubble level for accurate drilling, a 16-position clutch for adjusting the torque to different drilling/fastening applications, work area LED lighting and a tool-free 3/8-inch chuck.
However, the unit has a relatively low speed of 550 RPM, which translates to slow drilling or fastening.
How to Buy the Best 18V Cordless Drill
With regard to batteries, some of these drills are sold as complete sets while others come as tools only. Complete sets with batteries and chargers give you value for money and therefore, should be highly considered.
That said, if you want to buy an additional battery, the most important factor to consider is the charge capacity, which is measured in Ah (Ampere-hours). The higher this value is, the better.
Note: For battery durability, it is recommended to get a tool with protective features such as overloading, overheating and over-discharging protection.
Torque is more important to consider as compared to speed. It is a measure of the rotational force that is exerted on the bit to either drill or fasten your screws and the higher it is, the better.
Measured in inch-pounds, a higher torque implies the tool can easily power through hard surfaces so that you can get the work done in no time.
Given in revolutions per minute (RPM), high speed is also good to consider because it means quick drilling and fastening. However, for the best performance, ensure you get one with high speed and torque.
The best battery powered 18-volt drill should also incorporate multiple speed and clutch settings so that you can adjust the RPM and torque to suit different drilling and fastening applications.
Comfort is a very important factor to consider and with this, you need to check the weight and ergonomics. A lightweight drill is recommended because it reduces the chances of experiencing arm fatigue, especially with long periods of use.
With ergonomics, the tool should have a well-padded rubberized handle that is slip-resistant for firm holding as it vibrates when in use.
The design of these drills is mostly defined by their sizes. With that in mind, short, compact cordless drills are advantageous than lengthy ones because they can fit easily in tight spots. This makes them very practical. Ideally, a length of below 7 inches is good enough.
Another design factor to check is the chuck. Keyless chucks are best because of their ease of use when changing bits.
As stated earlier, some of these drills are sold as tools only while others come as complete sets. While complete sets give you more value for your money, it is important to consider the features you want in the drill first.
This will help you to shortlist the ones that meet your specifications, from which you can pick the most affordable one.
As you can see, 18-volt cordless drills do pack a punch in terms of power, while still maintaining a manageable weight. That said, having gone through the buying guide above, the next step is to pick your best 18V cordless drill from the ones listed above.
- 10 Best 18V Cordless Drills – Review
- 1. Ryobi P208 One+ – 18V Cordless Drill with a Magnetic Tray
- 2. Makita XFD10Z – Dust and Water Resistant 18V Cordless Drill
- 3. Bosch DDB181-02 – Complete 18V Cordless Drill Kit
- 4. Pink Power PP182 – Best 18V Cordless Drill for Women
- 5. Black & Decker GCO18SFB – 18V Cordless Drill with a Stud Finder
- 6. Makita XFD11ZB – Lightweight 18V Cordless Drill
- 7. Makita XFD12Z – High-Speed 18V Cordless Drill
- 8. Black & Decker GCO1800 – Affordable 18V Cordless Drill
- 9. Milwaukee 2606-20 – 18V Cordless Drill with Overload Protection
- 10. Genesis GCD18BK – 18V Cordless Drill with Electric Brakes
- How to Buy the Best 18V Cordless Drill