The 7 Best Small Cordless Drills As Of August, 2019 (And 2 Other Models)

Alphachooser's list of the newest small cordless drills includes only drill drivers that obey to these criteria:

  • In our book, small drills must fit in tight places, which means they must be short, with an overall length of no more than roughly 7 1/2 inches (or 19cm)
  • A light weight is also a factor, so we limited this list to models weighing less than 52 ounces (or roughly 1.5Kg)
  • AlphaChooser currently only covers cordless drills, so all models shown here are cordless (but most small drills are cordless anyway)


The List:

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Alpha
Rank:
#1
Our
Score:
4.5
Confidence
Level:
High
Based on this small cordless drill's aggregated ranking of 92%, we believe that the Makita FD05R1 is currently Alphachooser's best small cordless drill 2019. Furthermore, we think that our sample of 49 reviews from our sources gives us a high confidence level (more on confidence levels) that pushes us to call it a "no-brainer best choice."

Makita FD05R1

  • Brushless Motor
  • 2 Speeds
  • Keyless Chuck
Alpha
Rank:
#2
Our
Score:
4.5
Confidence
Level:
Great
We checked 1791 reviews for the DDB181-02 and it got an adjusted score of 4.5 stars. The reviews were distributed among several online sources, although most of them came from the cordless drill's Amazon.com product page.

A closer look at the user reviews sheds light on why this 18V small cordless drill earned its rating . Most users that gave the drill 5-star reviews liked it for its compact design. Despite being one of the heavier drills in its category at around 1380.3 grams, the DDB181-02 is only 7.1 inches long. Another user also mentioned liking the LED lamp positioned just below the base instead of being positioned right above the trigger where it could cause the chuck to cast a shadow -- a common complaint about other models. Several reviewers also appreciated the two batteries and the charger included in the kit since they claimed the drill can still be used while one of the batteries is charging.

Some users are not entirely happy with the DDB181-02 despite many of them still giving the drill 5-star reviews. Some reviewers had their drills get stripped out and break down in a little over a year, just beyond its 1-year service warranty. Several others even complained that the drill they received was creating grinding noises when in use.

Although the DDB181-02 is not without its flaws, our system was still able to rank it as one of the best small cordless drills in our database.

Bosch DDB181-02

  • 2 Speeds
  • Keyless Chuck
Alpha
Rank:
#3
Our
Score:
4.5
Confidence
Level:
High

Makita XFD11RB

  • Brushless Motor
  • 2 Speeds
  • Keyless Chuck
Alpha
Rank:
#4
Our
Score:
4.5
Confidence
Level:
High

Makita XDT11R

  • Brushless Motor
  • Socket-Ready Chuck
  • Hammer-Drill Mode
Alpha
Rank:
#5
Our
Score:
4.5
Confidence
Level:
High
After taking a close look at 151 user reviews from 5 sources (although most of the reviews are from Amazon.com), the IDH182-02, with its adjusted score of 4.5 stars is clearly shaping up to be one small cordless drill that's definitely worth taking a closer look at.

What exactly made this small cordless drill attract praise? Some reviewers that gave the IDH182-02 5-stars say it's the impressive build quality of the unit, while others lauded its power -- with a peak torque rated at 1650 in-lbs. (the highest one among all similar products in our database the last time we checked) and a max rpm of 2800, the IDH182-02 is a small cordless drill that packs quite a big punch, or rather, a lot of small powerful punches -- up to 3200 per minute. One reviewer even said that he was able to use the drill to drive half-inch wood lags into treated lumber posts, which we assume is no easy task for your typical small cordless drills.

Another thing that people really liked about the IDH182-02 include the quick change 1/4((Q)) hex and 1/2((Q)) square drive chuck that allows users to switch between driving sockets and handling hex bits without the need for an adapter. If you're regularly performing tasks that require switching chucks, it could be a feature that can come in handy. Also, while the two 2000mAh lithium ion batteries that come with the drill are nothing to write home about since there are other options with batteries reaching as much as 5000mAh, the EC 18v brushless motor (which Bosch claims to be more efficient than its brushed counterparts), 1-hour charger, and the fact that users will always have a spare battery may have contributed to its high rankings.

Even users that gave the IDH182-02 a score of less than four stars didn't have much complaints against it. In fact, the user that gave it the lowest-scoring review of 3 stars mostly ranted about how the cardboard packaging from Amazon plus the carrying case that comes with it were a tad excessive for something so small and compact. There was another, 1-star reviewer, but considering they just said that it was a ((Q))very cool tool((Q)), we're just gonna write that off as a troll review. The only glaring issue mentioned by a user was that standard bits are not suitable for this drill as they have a chance of getting flung away while the drill is in use and that [so make sure you're using_] impact-rated bits were a better choice.

[_The IDH182-02 is, simply put, one mean, mini mix of power and portability. _]I[_i_]t managed to get into the top 7 of the rankings, beating out the majority of other options available in our database.

Bosch IDH182-02

  • Brushless Motor
  • Socket-Ready Chuck
  • Hammer-Drill Mode
  • 3 Speeds
Alpha
Rank:
#6
Our
Score:
4.5
Confidence
Level:
High
After taking a closer look at 182 reviews, our system gave the DCD790D2 an adjusted score of 4.5 stars.

The DCD790D2 garnered much praise from having a strong compact design. However, our database shows that this 20V small cordless drill's specs are fairly average compared to other cordless drills we had on record at the time of this writing, with a listed high no-load RPM of 2,000 and 15 clutch settings (Other cordless drills in the category can have as high as 19 settings). Based on user feedback, people who tagged the DCD790D2 as strong and compact see it as a powerhouse because of its ability to perform well when used for its intended purpose, which mostly consists of DIY home tasks.

Other things that users particularly liked about the DCD790D2 are its batteries and chuck. Since the drill comes in a kit (Other drills do too), with two 2000mAh lithium ion batteries and a charger, users can keep using it while the spare battery is being charged. Meanwhile, the all-metal chuck also seems to be a well-loved feature. The drill's built-in LED lamp also deserves a special mention. Because it is located at the base of the handle (instead of being right above the trigger), users claim that the light does not cast a shadow over the working area -- we have seen many reviewers complain about that problem on other drills.

The DCD790D2 has its fair share of negative feedback. Many users that gave it a low score complained about how the bits tend to get loosened (a relatively common drill problem) and wobble easily during use. According to another user, wobbling isn't exclusive to the drill bits, since the mechanism keeping the battery also feels loose .

Although the DCD790D2 was shy of reaching the number one spot, it still manages to find itself in the top 7 drills in its category

DeWALT DCD790D2

  • Brushless Motor
  • 2 Speeds
  • Keyless Chuck

More small cordless drills, sorted by the latest model first:

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