Drills & Drivers
The 9 Best Cordless Hammer Drills of 2020
A cordless hammer drill operates the same way a corded one does but uses battery power instead. This means that the functioning of cordless drills is not limited to the availability of mains electricity.
Even though cordless hammer drills use batteries, their motors produce enough power to rival some corded models.
And without having to worry about performance issues, you can focus on the benefits of having a lightweight, portable, and maneuverable tool for versatile drilling.
In our cordless hammer drill review, we help you choose a model that best suits your drilling projects’ demands.
9 Best Cordless Hammer Drills – Review
1. Makita XPH12R (Best Overall)
2. Porter-Cable PCC620B (Best Under $100)
3. Bosch HDS183-02 (Best Lightweight & Portable)
4. DeWalt DCD997B (Best Professional)
5. Makita XPH10R (Best for Tough Job Sites)
6. DeWalt DCD996B (Best for Masonry)
7. DeWalt DCD985B (Versatile)
8. Makita XPH07Z (Low-noise & Efficient)
9. Milwaukee 2706-20 M18 (Low-maintenance)
1. Makita XPH12R
2. Porter-Cable PCC620B
(Best Under $100)
3. Bosch HDS183-02
(Best Lightweight & Portable)
4. DeWalt DCD997B
5. Makita XPH10R
(Best for Tough Job Sites)
6. DeWalt DCD996B
(Best for Masonry)
7. DeWalt DCD985B
8. Makita XPH07Z
(Low-noise & Efficient)
9. Milwaukee 2706-20 M18
1. Makita XPH12R – Best Overall Cordless Hammer Drill
- Motor Power: 18 Volts
- Speed: 0-500/0-2,000 RPM
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
Coming in first is Makita XPH12R, our best overall cordless hammer drill. It is a high-performance drill with robust power settings, an efficient motor, and comes as a complete drill set with all the accessories you need to get started.
The drill is powered by Makita’s 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery, which is paired with an efficient brushless motor delivering over 50% more performance per charge than ordinary brushed motors. Even when the battery drains, it takes only 25 minutes to recharge fully.
Its variable 2-speed settings are top-of-the-range. It produces 0-500 and 0-2,000 RPM drill speeds, and 0-7,500 and 0-30,000 BPM hammer speeds to cater for a vast range of drilling and hammer applications.
2 built-in LEDs will help illuminate your work areas. This tool is also sold as a complete package with the tool, 2 18V Li-ion (2.0Ah) batteries, a rapid charger, and a tool case.
Switching to the hammer mode does, however, make the Makita XPH12R uncomfortably loud and this may prove inconvenient to some.
2. Porter-Cable PCC620B – Best Cordless Hammer Drill Under $100
- Motor Power: 20 Volts
- Speed: 0-400/0-1,600 RPM
- Weight: 3.25 pounds
If you’re on a tight budget but still desire a high-performance cordless hammer drill, grab the Porter-Cable PCC620B, which is the only model on our list going for less than $100.
When operating in hammer mode, this drill will deliver a staggering 27,200 BPM, which is one of the highest in its class. It combines well with the drills 2-speed gearbox, which manages 0-400, and 0-1600 of variable RPM for multi-application support.
The drill comes fitted with a 1/2-inch metal ratcheting chuck, which has been optimized to minimize bit slipping inside the chuck. Its 23-clutch settings help boost drilling precision while minimizing tool wear.
A neat addition to this tool is the battery gauge display, which shows you the remaining charge on the batter, allowing you to plan or adjust your work more productively.
You can consider getting this drill’s updated version, the Porter-Cable PCC621LB, which handles heavy-duty drilling better, and comes with the required batteries and charger, included.
The Porter-Cable PCC620B is sold a bare-tool item only, without the required battery, which needs to be bought separately.
3. Bosch HDS183-02 – Best Lightweight and Portable Cordless Hammer Drill
- Motor Power: 18 Volts
- Speed: 0-600/0-1,900 RPM
- Weight: 2.6 pounds
The lightweight and compact build of Bosch HDS183-02 makes it our most portable cordless hammer drill, for those outdoor projects in areas without power connectivity.
Besides portability, this tool is designed to reduce injury risks significantly using Bosch's KickBack Control system. This technology mitigates situations such as bit binding by using an integrated acceleration sensor to shut down the tool automatically during dangerous rotational torque reactions.
Also, you’re getting a very efficient motor from this tool. It EC brushless motor boasts of extended life, longer runtimes, and reduced maintenance while delivering 531-inch-pounds of torque.
You can count of the drill to deliver precision using its clutch of 21+1 setting that target overtightening reduction, accurate fastener driving, and reduced come out. Overall, this precision clutch will help reduce your tool’s wear and extend its life.
We did notice, however, that the side but holder is not very tough and you need to be cautious when storing the sharp bits to avoid contact with your body.
4. DeWalt DCD997B – Best Professional Cordless Hammer Drill
- Motor Power: 20 Volts, 460 Watts
- Speed: 0-2,000 RPM
- Weight: 4.6 pounds
The smart features connectivity and tool management features, powerful battery system, and low-maintenance demands of DeWalt DCD997B make it our best professional cordless hammer drill.
Using DeWalt’s Tool Connect™ Inventory Manager app, you can assign this tool to users and job sites to increase accountability and minimize losses. Also, by connecting the tool to your smartphone via Bluetooth, you can monitor tool locations using the Last Seen feature.
This drill is driven by a brushless motor, which delivers up to 70% more runtime compared to 18V NiCad brushed motors. It also uses the high-performance DeWalt 20V Max Li-ion battery, which outputs up to 820 watts of power for intensive drilling tasks.
You also get 3 programmable speed modes you can use to customize the speed and light brightness to accommodate different operating conditions.
And for user comfort, the drill has been fitted with an ergonomic comfort grip handle, which offers the ideal tool balance for hassle-free handling.
As is the case with many other DeWalt cordless hammer drills, the DCD997B also comes without the required DeWalt 20V Max* Battery and charger, which you need to buy separately.
5. Makita XPH10R – Best Cordless Hammer Drill for Tough Job Sites
- Motor Power: 18 Volts
- Speed: 0-600/0-1,900 RPM
- Weight: 3.4 pounds
In tough job sites that experience the extremes of harsh conditions such as moisture and sunlight, Makita XPH10R promises to deliver exceptional reliability and versatility.
It comes with Makita’s Extreme Protection Technology (XPT), which increases the drill’s resistance to water and dust so that it remains rugged and strong even in harsh operating conditions.
It uses Makita’s 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery that powers the drill to produce 480-inch-pounds of torque, which is enough strength for applications requiring a driver-drill or a hammer driver-drill. The tool thus excels in drilling wood, metal, and concrete.
You don’t have to worry about the battery running out because it has an incredibly fast charge time of 25 minutes, which means you can take a short break from work as the battery recharges.
Dual LED lights embedded in the tool will help illuminate your work area, and its rubberized soft grip will help maximize your operating comfort.
We were disappointed that Makita XPH10R’s motor is not brushless like that of its rival model, Makita XPH12R. Brushless motors tend to be more efficient.
6. DeWalt DCD996B – Best Cordless Hammer Drill for Masonry
- Motor Power: 20 Volts, 820 Watts
- Speed: 0-450/0-1,300/0-2,000 RPM
- Weight: 4.7 pounds
If your projects primarily involve intensive masonry drilling, DeWalt DCD996B is a wise choice of a cordless hammer drill. It is very powerful, offers robust speed options, and has a high BPM for masonry materials.
This tool is powered by a high-performance brushless motor, which produces 820 units watts out for super fast drilling speeds. It supports 3 robust speed options, 0-450, 0-1,300, and 0-2,000 RPM. It also has a superior BPM of 0-38,250 for the hammer mode, which you need for masonry materials and tasks.
The brushless motor is driven by DeWalt’s 20V Max* Lithium-Ion battery, which has high endurance. The motor promises up to 75% more runtime compared to 18V brushed motors.
And if you’ll be working in poorly-lit spaces such as ongoing construction sites, the tool simplifies drilling with its 3-mode LED light that also has a spotlight for superior illumination.
We recommend getting the renewed version, DeWalt DCD996BR, which offers the same performance, but at a bargain price.
You do, however, need to buy the required battery, DeWalt 20V Max XR, separately.
7. DeWalt DCD985B – Versatile Cordless Hammer Drill
- Motor Power: 20 Volts, 450 Watts
- Speed: 0-600/0-1,250/0-2,000 RPM
- Weight: 3.9 pounds
The 3-speed transmission capacity, powerful 20-volt battery system, and high-efficiency motor make DeWalt DCD985B a versatile, multi-application cordless hammer drill.
It features DeWalt’s patented 3-speed all-metal transmission system which allows you to choose between 0-600 RPM, 0-1,250 RPM, and 0-2,000 RPM speed options for varying drilling tasks. This transmission is especially advantageous for applications that demand high torques and low speeds.
This tool uses DeWalt’s 20V Max* Lithium-Ion batteries, which offer up to 35% more runtime than existing 18-volt li-ion battery technologies. It's high-efficiency more manages 535 watts of maximum power for superior drilling and fastening.
You’ll love its heavy-duty 1/2-inch metal ratcheting chuck, which features carbide inserts for added bit-gripping strength for reduced slippage and longer tool life.
The tool also adopts a slim handle, which enhances user comfort, especially during extended usage.
A disappointing aspect of DeWalt DCD985B is that the required DeWalt 20V Max* Battery is sold separately.
8. Makita XPH07Z – Low-noise and Efficient Cordless Hammer Drill
- Motor Power: 18 Volts
- Speed: 0-550/0-2,100 RPM
- Weight: 5.73 pounds
The efficiency of Makita XPH07Z’s brushless motor makes the cordless hammer drill a low-noise one, which makes for a very comfortable drilling experience.
It utilizes Makita’s 18V Lithium-Ion battery, which drives a powerful brushless motor delivering 1,090 inch-pounds of maximum torque. Combined with the tools 2-speed transmission of 0-550 and 0-2,100 RPM, this tool excels in a wide variety of intensive wood, masonry, and metal drilling applications.
Because of the efficient transfer of energy between the motor and the drill, the tool manages to produce consistent power, extending durability, and reducing discomforting noise. The drill’s lower speed stetting also helps enhance tool control.
This tool is comfortable to hold and very straightforward to use. It also offers you a 3-stage LED gauge, which shows the battery charge level to help you plan your work accordingly.
Although the Makita XPH07Z is not overly heavy, it is the heaviest of all the models we have reviewed, and with extended use, you may feel its bulk.
9. Milwaukee 2706-20 M18 – Low-maintenance Cordless Hammer Drill
- Motor Power: 18 Volts
- Speed: 0-550/0-2,000 RPM
- Weight: 4.73 pounds
Milwaukee 2706-20 M18 positions itself as a low-maintenance and powerful cordless hammer drill, which is loaded with some smart features for tool and battery protection.
This drill is powered by Milwaukee’s high-performance RedLithium XC5.0 Battery Pack, which delivers a lot of power per charge over its entire life. The battery system is protected by the Redlink Plus Intelligence system that protects against overload, over-discharge, and overheating, thus reducing the tool’s maintenance demands.
The power is sent to a brushless motor, which produces 1,200 inch-pounds of torque for very fast drilling speeds.
Surprising is the fact that the tool manages to pack all this power in a compact 7.75-inch body, which helps reduce operator fatigue, especially during extended tool usage.
Many will be disappointed by Milwaukee 2706-20 M18’s high cost, which makes this drill the most expensive on our list, and unappealing to budget buyers.
How to Buy the Best Cordless Hammer Drill
1. Brushless Motor
Thanks to the design of brushless motors, cordless hammer drills with these motors tend to bear several advantages over those with conventional brushed motors.
Brushless motors replace their brushes and commutator with electronic controllers. The controller is responsible for charge distribution.
Because of this design enhancement, brushless motors are more efficient than brushed ones. Also, the latter has a longer life because of reduced friction and heat.
However, brushless motors do increase the overall cost of your cordless hammer drill, because of the new technologies and added efficiency.
Hammer drills operate by driving drill bits at certain speeds to achieve the drilling action. The speed of your hammer drill is measured in RPM.
While, traditionally, higher-RPM tools are considered superior to low-RPM ones, it is not always the case with cordless (or even corded) hammer drills.
High speeds in the range of 0-3000 RPM are great for drilling on lighter material such as wood, but lower speeds in the range of 0-500 RPM are also advantageous, especially in high-torque applications, which demands more hammering power than speed.
When it comes to power tools, most users prefer lighter ones over heavier ones. In the case of cordless hammer drills, which are preferred for their portability and maneuverability, a light model should be your top consideration.
From our review, most of the cordless hammer drills you’ll find have manageable weight and none of them can be considered overly heavy.
However, if you want one that ultralight for maximum portability, consider getting Bosch HDS183-02, which is the only model on our list that weighs less than 3 pounds.
Since you’ll be operating your cordless hammer drill by gripping on the tool, often with both hands, operator comfort becomes critical.
Your drill is likely to vibrate to some degree, especially in hammer-drill mode. Thus, getting one with a soft rubber grip goes a long way in making the handling experience comfortable.
Also, comfort may be enhanced by the tool’s compactness and lightweight build, hence the need to consider the weight alongside other features such as grip and tool size.
5. Additional Feature
The more additional accessories your cordless hammer drill comes with, the more productive and convenient the tool is.
While most drill models are sold as tool-only, there are several that go the extra mile to include productivity features and accessories. A drill with LED light(s) comes in handy when working in poorly-lit areas. The light illuminates these spaces.
Also, accessories such as drill bit holders, and carry cases (whether plastic or fabric), do help with organizing and protecting your work tools.
Our cordless hammer review demonstrates the immense value these tools offer in metal, wood, and masonry drilling projects.
If you want the best cordless hammer drill, choose Makita XPH12R. It uses Makita’s high-performance 18V LXT Li-ion battery, and an efficient brushless motor. Also, you get a full drill kit with this model.
For those on a tight budget, Porter-Cable PCC620B offers a lot of value for less than $100.
And if you want a lightweight drill with superior portability and maneuverability, you can’t go wrong with Bosch HDS183-02, which weight only 2.6 pounds.
- 9 Best Cordless Hammer Drills – Review
- 1. Makita XPH12R – Best Overall Cordless Hammer Drill
- 2. Porter-Cable PCC620B – Best Cordless Hammer Drill Under $100
- 3. Bosch HDS183-02 – Best Lightweight and Portable Cordless Hammer Drill
- 4. DeWalt DCD997B – Best Professional Cordless Hammer Drill
- 5. Makita XPH10R – Best Cordless Hammer Drill for Tough Job Sites
- 6. DeWalt DCD996B – Best Cordless Hammer Drill for Masonry
- 7. DeWalt DCD985B – Versatile Cordless Hammer Drill
- 8. Makita XPH07Z – Low-noise and Efficient Cordless Hammer Drill
- 9. Milwaukee 2706-20 M18 – Low-maintenance Cordless Hammer Drill
- How to Buy the Best Cordless Hammer Drill