Last updated: September 3, 2021

Our method

16Products analysed

19Hours spent

5Evaluated articles

56User reviews

If you are a true DIY aficionado and need a new tool for your projects, you couldn't have come to a better place. No handyman can go without an electric drill. Our comprehensive comparative guide has been designed to help you choose between the best electric drills available on the market.

Electric drills are essential elements for any DIY enthusiast. These affordable and very functional tools are ideal for any kind of construction work or remodelling, be they professional or at home. The evolution of technologies has led modern drills to offer additional functions such as screwing.

Key Facts

  • Several types of drills are available: cable drills, battery-powered drills, drill presses and manual drills. Cable drills offer the greatest power, but they must be connected to an electrical outlet. On the other hand, battery drills give you greater freedom of movement, but they are less powerful.
  • More recent drill models may include additional functions, such as percussion and screwing. The percussion function is particularly useful to drill into hard surfaces such as stone or concrete.
  • Most modern drills come in a case filled with different parts. Your new electric drill will be completely useless if you don't have drill bits, so always check whether they are included or not before making your purchase. Certain models may also offer extra batteries or a handle to improve grip.

Our selection: The best drills

We have gathered the best electric drills on the market in the following section, in the hope that it will help you find the most suitable for your specific needs. You will also know how to choose the type of bit and discover the special functions of each model.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about electric drills

Many types of electric drills are available on the market, and you have to know the features of the different models before making your purchase. After all, you never buy a tool without knowing everything about it. The following section will answer some frequently asked questions from users to help you make the right decision.

Apprentice Engineer Using Milling Machine

Many different types of drills are available, each offering specific uses. (Source: Yeulet: 31009624/

What is an electric drill exactly?

These very versatile tools are usually pistol-shaped and feature a trigger switch that turns the device on and off. Their protective case, usually made of reinforced plastic, shields the motor and the frame of the device. The part that holds the bit at the end of your drill is called a mandrel.

Standard electric drills are designed for manual use, while larger models, called drill presses, are column-shaped and cannot be easily moved. Mostly found in workshops, the latter are professional tools. The power will greatly vary depending on the model, ranging from 12 watts for battery-powered drills to 1,200 watts for drill presses. You can expect an average power of 600 watts for your model of choice.

How do electric drills work?

These tools work with electricity, either via a socket or a battery. The movement generated by the electricity in the motor bearings creates a rotation of the mandrel and the drill bit. This rotation then allows the drill bit to bore into the material. You can control the speed of your drill, generating more or less power depending on the surface you are working on.

What are the differences between cable and battery-powered drills?

One of the key questions all drill users ask themselves is this: are cable or battery-powered drills better? And the answer is that the kind of use you'll make of it will be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing between the two types of electric drills. Here is a list of the pros and cons for each model.

Cable electric drill

  • Greater power
  • Professional use
  • Suitable for hard materials
  • Reduced freedom of movement
  • Tend to heat up
  • Require an electrical outlet

Battery-powered electric drill

  • Freedom of movement
  • Compact
  • Light
  • Easy to handle
  • More functions
  • Less power
  • The battery can run out
  • Difficulty working with hard surfaces

What is the difference between an electric drill and a hammer drill?

As we explain earlier, traditional electric drills work via rotation, the motor bearings transferring the movement to the drill bill which will in turn penetrate the material. This form of drilling works on materials such as wood and metal, but it is not powerful enough for harder surfaces like concrete or stone.

The major difference is that a hammer drill also acts as a hammer, hence its name. This repeated front-to-back percussion hits the material for greater perforation. The movement is generated by two grooved discs that rotate in contact with each other, from which the impacts are transmitted to the drill bit.

What are the safety measures to avoid accidents when using an electric drill?

Electric drills are very powerful tools, and you should always be careful when using one to avoid any unwanted accident or injury. Drill bits are sharp and very dangerous: misuse of an electric drill can cause severe injuries. The following section introduces the safety measures you should follow before using this tool.

  • Safety goggles: Pieces of metal or stone can break off when drilling and perforating. Certain drill models also feature internal brushes that can generate sparks. Protecting your eyes from sparks and splinters is absolutely essential.
  • Gloves: The use of gloves with electric drills is actually not recommended. They are often loose and the fabric could get caught in the drill bit. These injuries are unfortunately common in workshops and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Do not press too hard: This may sound strange, but the drill knows its power. The bit penetrates the material at its own pace, and you should never have to force or push on the tool. In some cases, the drill may simply not have sufficient power to penetrate. Never force things: a drill bit could break and hurt someone.
  • Overheating: This is very similar to our previous safety measure. Each drill provides a certain amount of power and should not be pushed beyond its limits. This could lead to overheating and the engine may start burning. This is a very dangerous fire hazard, as well as potentially causing damage to nearby electrical installation.
  • Materials: This may be obvious, but never use your electric drill on materials for which it is not suitable. Don't use it on stone if it does not include the hammering function.
  • Fastening: The drill chuck must be securely fastened at all times. A loose and wobbly drill bit can break and cause severe injuries.

Shopping Criteria

Following certain criteria to choose the best electric drill for you will truly make your purchase easier. This is why we have designed this section to show you what aspects you should take into account before deciding on a model. Use this mini guide to help you get the best bang for your buck.

You should pay attention to the following criteria:


For your DIY projects, you can opt for a standard cable drill with a power ranging between 500 W and 850 W. Anything beyond that will be too powerful for the small tasks you want to perform at home and will be tailored for professional use only. On the other hand, wireless models are usually identified by their battery voltage.

Drills with 18 V batteries offer greater motor power. The equivalence in watts is usually inferior to 500 W.

You will have to scale up your budget and look at professional models if you need more power. In spite of its lower power, the only real limitation of this type of drill is when working with hard materials such as concrete.

Auto-stop function

This feature is certainly the most important when it comes to user safety. Also called automatic brake, it causes the drill to automatically and instantly stop rotating the moment you release the trigger. The sleeve will continue to rotate until it stops on its own if your model does not include this function. While this is a standard feature for wireless drills, it is much less common in cable drills.

cordless power tools, isolated on a white background

We recommend that you opt for a comfortable and lightweight handle. (Source: Kostiuchenko: 10262531/

Handle and accessories

Two types of designs are available for drills: T-shaped and pistol-shaped. You will also find angle drills and drill presses. The former are particularly useful for working in hard-to-reach places. These are very specific models and this is why we have not included them in our guide. In the end, the most important thing is that the design is ergonomic and comfortable for you to work with.

Certain drills will also include an additional handle, which can be a very useful addition. You may thank that extra little bit of comfort: some drills can weigh over two kilos. This is particularly handy when working on jobs that require drilling for a long time, as it helps alleviate pressure on your body. Depth-stop is another interesting feature that may come with your electric drill.


As mentioned earlier, powerful cable hammer drills can work with virtually any surface, including concrete. Their spur gears activate when the rotation becomes more difficult, and they start launching impacts onto the material to facilitate drilling.

Whether you opt for a hammer drill with cable or battery-powered, make sure it is powerful enough for hard surfaces such as concrete. Note that most wireless drills simply won't have the strength to deal with this kind of materials. The drawback is that cable models are more expensive.


The best cable drills for DIYers and professionals have mechanical speeds or "gears" that allow you to control the speed and power of your tool. For example, the "first" gear is the most appropriate when working on concrete because it delivers greater power and the hammering will finish the job for you, despite the fact that the rotation speed is actually lower.

In addition to controlling the engine speed, a selector located right before the chuck will offer 10 to 30 positions depending on the model. Certain models will also include another selector with the following functions: screwing, drilling or hammer drilling.

Did you know that wireless drills always have two mechanical speeds?


Battery-powered drills almost always offer less power. The great inconvenience is that you have to stop working and wait for it to recharge when the battery runs out. Certain models offer a spare battery for greater autonomy, but this is not very common. The quick charging function present in some batteries allows you to have it fully charged in less than an hour.

Most wireless electric drills comes with lithium-ion batteries. These modern models are lightweight and tend to last longer. The fact that they are not affected by the dreaded memory effect means they will always last the same amount of time. Cheaper cell batteries won't last as long, they will need more time to fully charge and do have a memory effect.


You'll always be making the right decision by buying an electric drill, which will help you carry out any DIY project you may have. This tool is also helpful for all types of repair and remodelling work, which you'll be able to do effortlessly in less time. All you have to do beforehand is evaluate your needs and think about the materials you want to work with.

The criteria we discussed in the the last section are very important and you should always take them into account when buying your electric drill. Materials, spare parts or safety are key elements, just like the quality of the battery and the value for money of the model. Make sure to consider all factors!

(Source of featured image: Badnarek: 40493976/