Best Cordless Drill for Small Jobs & Tasks in the Home

Thanks for taking your time to read our information on the best cordless drill for small jobs around the home. The good news is, that an inexpensive drill is all you really need, to be able to do about 80% of all drilling and screw driving tasks.

By owning a cordless drill, there is no electrical lead, and that means that you can use it anywhere, even areas where there are no electrical sockets handy. That is the main reason they are so popular.

There are a lot of people in the UK who are not into DIY. They do however want to be able to do some smaller jobs around the home, rather than have to pay someone to get pretty basic jobs done.

Small jobs around the home include tasks such as putting up curtain rails, building flat pack furniture, hanging pictures etc. These are the simple jobs where you only need a very basic cordless drill/driver to get the job done quickly.

Now you will notice that we keep mentioning the term cordless drill/driver. All cordless drills can drill and they cam also be used as a screwdriver to drive in and remove screws.

The drill function has a setting, and if it is a hammer drill, it will have an additional setting for that hammer function. It will then have a range of torque settings that are used for driving in and removing screws.

Before deciding on which one to buy, we are going to give you the most important things to look out for, as that will help you make the best choice. We hope that you find that buying information useful and hepful.

This article gets into a lot of detail. So, if you are in a hurry, and don't have time to read all of this, then the best cordless drill for small jobs around the home is the Bosch Cordless Hammer Drill UniversalImpact, available at Amazon UK

It has sold a lot, is affordable and gets excellent online buyer reviews.

- Geoff Magee


cordless drill for small jobs around the home

Cordless Drill vs Cordless Hammer Drill

Before you spend any money, it is really important to understand the difference between a cordless drill and a cordless hammer drill.

If you plan on drilling walls, ceilings, bathroom tiles or any type of concrete then you need to buy a cordless hammer drill.

Cordless Drill

A basic cordless drill rotates - that means the drill spins around and is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). It does this very quickly, and along with the correct drill bit, you can make a hole in wood, plastic and metal.

Cordless Hammer Drill

A cordless hammer drill can perform the basic drilling function explained above. In addition to that it can also drill through harder materials such as concrete, brick, tiles marble and stone.

A hammer drill does two things:

  1. Rotates - the drill spins around and is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm)
  2. Hammers - the drill also hammers very quickly in and out and is measured in bumps per minute (bpm) - some refer to this as blows per minute.
  • So in summary a basic cordless drill has a rotational function that is suitable for drilling wood, plastic and metal and the hammer function should never be used for drilling through those materials. 
  • You only ever use the hammer function for drilling through tougher materials such as brick, cement, mortar, granite, stone etc.

So, before you spend any money, take a few minutes to figure out which type of drill you really need.

One word of advice we would suggest, is that a cordless hammer drill is really not that much more expensive than a cordless drill, so much better to buy a cordless drill with the hammer feature.

Small Jobs such as Flat Pack, Curtain Rails etc

  • For light drilling into wood or plastic, then any cordless drill with a multi-purpose drill bit will do the job quickly. You don't need an expensive drill to do these tasks.
  • For assembling flat pack furniture, replacing door handles, you can use the driver option on any cordless drill for much faster assembly.

A cordless drill/driver is ideal for any type of light to medium screwdriving jobs. For heavier work such as building a deck, putting up a fence, or driving in really long screws then you need a powerful cordless drill.

In manay cases you are actually better off with a cordless impact driver, as it produces a great deal more torque.

Drilling Walls and Ceilings

There are many types of homes in the UK, and the most common include apartments, bedsits terrace houses, semi-detached, detached, cottages and bungalows. 

Homes are constructed in a multitude of different ways. In the building industry there are two general classifications which are traditional construction and non-traditional construction.

  • Traditional construction, which is the vast majority of homes, are made from brick or block.
  • Non traditional include metal framed, timber framed, pre-cast concrete and in-situ concrete.

Before attempting to drill through any wall or ceiling, it is important to know what they are made of, and how they are constructed. We have explained this just below.

What Type of External Walls?

The vast majority of UK homes will have a traditional build. For the vast majority of home owners, the exterior is constructed using two walls with a gap in between these two walls known as a cavity.

This can be two walls of brick, and more commonly it is one row of brick and a row of cement block, with a gap in between.

That helps alleviate damp and most homes built after 1920 will have this type of construction. Houses built before 1920 are more likely to have solid walls. A solid wall has no cavity; each wall is a single solid wall, usually made of brick or stone.

Solid Wall vs Cavity Wall

The easiest way to figure out which type of walls you have is to look on the outside of the wall at the brick work. 

  • If your home has cavity walls, the bricks will usually have an even pattern with all the bricks laid lengthways.
  • If your home has solid walls, the bricks will have an alternating pattern, with some bricks laid across the wall so you will be able to see the smaller ends from the outside.
  • For the non-traditional house builds, we recommend talking with a builder to determine what type of build you have.

Drilling External Walls

Most home owners will want their choice of cordless drill to be able to drill through walls and these are usually made from brick or block. A cordless drill with a hammer function is exactly what you need to do that job. (Along with a masonry bit of course)

What Type of Internal Walls?

Internal walls, also called partition walls can be constructed in two main ways.

  • In most cases these will be made from brick or blockwork.
  • However they can also be a framed wall also referred to as stud walls. Stud walls are mainly made with a timber frame and covered with plasterboard.

In some cases stud walls may be made using steel or aluminium frames, and covered with timber, metal or fibreboard.

Typicall these walls will also be plastered to give them a smooth finish.

Drilling Internal Walls

Most home owners will want their choice of cordless drill to be able to drill throughinternal walls If these are made from brick or block, then you will need a cordless drill with a hammer function.(Along with a masonry bit of course)

If it is a stud wall then any cordless drill with a general purpose drill bit can be used to drill the wall.

What Type of Ceilings

Ceilings are made of uniform boards of gypsum known as plasterboard. The sheets of plasterboard are nailed to wooden joists. The ceiling is usually plastered as well to give them a smooth finish.

Drilling Ceilings

Any cordless drill with a general purpose drill bit can be used to drill a ceiling

Our Recommendation for the Best Cordless Drill for Small Jobs

Bosch Cordless Hammer Drill UniversalImpact

  • We would recommend this model from the Bosch brand as it has 2 batteries and a charger, and most importantly a reliable hammer action
  • This is a versatile and strong drill ideal for bigger and tougher projects such as drilling masonry
  • Online buyers rate this very highly with a big 92% online satisfaction
  • We also think this model is great value for money

Just below we have included the pros and cons of what real life buyers had to say..

Pros

  • Buyers said this is a top quality tool even at this price
  • Buyers said that this was a joy to use and drilling through concrete was easy
  • Buyers said this drill was versatile and could be used for nearly any job
  • Buyers said this had a great battery that lasted really well
  • Buyers loved that you got 2 batteries so it was always ready to go

Cons

  • 3% of all buyers gave this a poor rating and we have listed their complaints below
  • Some buyers did seem to receive a faulty drill
  • Other than that there were no other complaints

Conclusion:

We picked this Bosch model because of the value for money aspect, and the fact that it will so an excellent job when drilling masonry. There are more expensive options available with more features, but we know this will be able to drill any type of masonry really well.

The Runner Up

Dewalt 18V Cordless Combi Drill

  • It is actually unfair to call this the runner up as it is an excellent choice if you are willing to pay just a little bit more
  • It comes with one battery and a 1 hour charger.
  • So although this one is a slightly more powerful drill, the Bosch one offers better value we believe
  • That is not to knock this Dewalt model as it has a 96% buyer satisfaction and packed with features

Just below we have included the pros and cons of what real life buyers had to say..

Pros

  • Buyers said this drill was not too heavy but very powerful
  • Buyers said that this drill was expensive but well worth the price
  • Buyers said this drill held the charge really well
  • Buyers said this worked as well as a screw driver and even better as a hammer style drill
  • Buyers just knew that the drill was top quality and loved to use it

Cons

  • 5% of all buyers gave this a poor rating and we have listed their complaints below
  • Like our first choice a few buyers did receive a faulty drill

Conclusion:

Dewalt make some of the best cordless drills on the market. If you have ever used any Dewalt branded tool you will know what we mean. They look great and when you use them you know they are high quality.

This model deals with masonry drilling with the ultimate ease.

The Cheapest Alternative

BLACK+DECKER 18 V Cordless 2-Gear Combi Drill

  • You can normally find this Black & Decker model for around £50-60 and it comes with a battery, charger and case which represents great value
  • A lot of UK online buyers opt for this model as it has a high 92% buyer satisfaction and a great and affordable price point
  • The hammer action on this cordless drill/driver is very good according to buyers

Just below we have included the pros and cons of what real life buyers had to say..

Pros

  • Buyers said this drill was very good value for money
  • Buyers said that this was a joy to use as it was light and compact
  • Buyers said the battery was powerful and lasted well
  • It worked well for drilling through brick and walls

Cons

  • 4% of all buyers gave this a poor rating
  • A few buyers said the battery life was not long enough

Conclusion:

The Black & Decker brand sit at the lower price point in the British market. Many buyers trust the brand and really like their tools. They are reliable and they have a very solid customer service.

More Helpful Information

So as you can see there is a cordless drill/driver available at a range of price points. They all have a hammer action which is what you need for getting through masonry of all types.

Torque Settings vs Drill Settings

symbols on a cordless drill

When you purchase a cordless drill/driver that also has a hammer feature, then on the selection you will have 3 main settings.

Torque Settings

The torque settings will be numbered from 1-15 (or whatever number of torque settings your drill/driver has) These are only used for driving in screws. You adjust this setting depending on the size of screw and the type of wood that you are screwing into. For example a higher torque setting is required for a longer screw, or for a harder wood.

Drill Setting

The drill setting is separate to the torque settings.This usually looks like a drill bit symbol and that is used for normal drilling through wood, plastic and metal.

Hammer Drilling

The symbol is usually a small hammer and that is for drilling through masonry or tiles etc

The actual setting marks will differ from brand to brand.

Summary of Cordless Drills for Small Jobs

Hopefully we have provided you with enough information on what to look for when buying a cordless drill/driver for smaller jobs and tasks around the home.

You will always have to consider how much you can afford, or are willing to pay. The cordless drill/drivers that we have mentioned above are all very good quality, and they will be able to do any small job around the home.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments