DeWalt - DCD760KL (Rating: 5)

Our crews use a lot of different makes of cordless drills and when they need one from the shop they used to grab one of the Makitas but now their first choice is the DeWalt DCD970 drill. The DeWalt deliver a lot more power over a longer period of time. Part of this is their having the biggest (and heaviest) lithium ion battery and part of it is the 3 speed gearbox.

We use the Hole Pro adjustable hole cutters a lot and the low speed setting is perfect for good cutting speed and having enough power to cut 8-1/4" holes in TJI or plywood. The middle speed we have learned makes for smoother cutting with hole saws though we have switched to using Blue Boar TCT hole cutters 90% of the time. We can easily cut 6" holes in inch thick plywood with an 18 volt cordless and the very efficient Blue Boar hole cutters.

The DCD760 has only two speeds but a strong gearbox and an excellent chuck. The DeWalt drills are the only ones that never seem to loosen while drilling or hammering. The Makita and Hitachi are easily the worst chucks and we only use them to drive screws. Don't be mislead by either the power ratings or recharge times from the manufacturers' marketing departments. If you want to compare two DeWalt or two Makita or two Milwaukee against each other they are OK but the are worthless for comparing two drills from different companies.

Recharge times are also a bit of a con. Faster recharge times means hotter batteries and this is not good for the batteries. With lithium ion batteries they can even catch fire. Makita states a 15 minute recharge time but in the manual it also recommends at least a 30 minute cool down period before you take the battery off the charger. We have found that the bigger the battery and the more efficient the hole cutter or drill bit or screw fastener the longer the drill lasts on the job and the fewer spare batteries we need. Before we switched to the Blue Boar hole cutters we used to take 6 batteries to a job and now we only take two and often never use the second one.

The DCD760 is all the average home DIY guy or gal will likely ever need but for pro use the DCD970 is worth the extra cost and weight. You get a pro grade gearbox and clutch and very good batteries (but with half the warranty period of the yellow ones on the high end drills from DeWalt).

Other popular DeWalt Drill : DC720KA