Best corded drill 2018: for when drilling gets serious

Plug-in drills, drivers and hammer drills. Made with electrical cords, the way your dad used to drill…

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Going cordless frees the humble DIY-er from awkward wires and dangerous trip hazards but battery-powered rivals typically can't cope with the power put out by their plug-in brethren.

Also, despite huge advances in battery technology, the cordless drills of this world will soon find their power source drained if drilling through particularly stubborn substances or ridding the extra large bathrooms of tiles.

If the job is heavy duty, it will typically require a drill that can be plugged into a constant and reliable source of electricity that comes from a standard 240V home power outlet. 

What are the best cordless drills?

It's a bit of a mouthful but the new DeWalt D25033K-LX SDS+ Hammer Drill is tough as old boots, can drill into concrete and masonry from 4-22mm in diameter and weighs less than 3kg. It's also not terribly pricey.

The DeWalt range is designed with professionals in mind, and can be used and abused every day of the week, should you be that obsessed with home improvement.

The best drills, in order

DeWalt D25033K-LX SDS+

1. DeWalt D25033K-LX SDS+

Best drill, pound for pound, with the best hammer action this side of Thor

Specifications
Wattage: 710 W
Weight: 2.50kg
Blows per minute: 5680bpm
Reasons to buy
+Seriously powerful+Reliable+Versatile
Reasons to avoid
-Uncompromisingly yellow

With three distinct drilling modes, this chunky hammer drill from professional-grade tool vendor DeWalt has the muscle to tackle even the toughest of home projects.

A Rotation Stop mode sees it miraculously transform into a powerful chiselling tool, Impact Stop Mode is superb for rotary only drilling of wood and metal, while a final full hammer mode is powerful enough to punch holes into concrete and masonry up to 22mm in diameter.

There are a number of additional touches that justify the lofty price tag, including the inclusion of a mechanical clutch that helps prevent any awkward jolting if the bit should snag. Air slots keep dust away your eyes, although if you're going this rowdy on a wall, you really should be wearing safety specs as well.

Ozito 900W SDS Rotary Hammer Drill RHD-4100U

2. Ozito 900W SDS Rotary Hammer Drill RHD-4100U

Best cheap drill

Specifications
Wattage: 900 W
Weight: 4.5kg
Blows per minute: 3000bpm
Reasons to buy
+Good value+Dos the job
Reasons to avoid
-Basic AF-Low BPM  

It's not a household name – except in my household – but Ozito turns out solid power tools that are surprisingly robust given their 'entry-level' price tag.  This industry standard, SDS+ chuck compatible rotary hammer drill can hammer, drill and chisel like its more expensive rivals and can make 40mm diameter holes in timber, 28mm in masonry and 13mm through steel.  

The only downside is that this drill will require lubrication to ensure its longevity and as such, even comes with a little pot of grease. This feels slightly disturbing in the 21st Century.  

Bosch Easyimpact 550 with Drill Assistant

3. Bosch Easyimpact 550 with Drill Assistant

Best drill for beginners

Specifications
Wattage: 550 W
Weight: 1.9kg
Blows per minute: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Handy assistant
Reasons to avoid
-Not terribly powerful

There are plenty of folk out there that would love to tackle a simple DIY drilling task at home but refrain through fear of punching a hole in a water pipe or accidentally felling the partition wall between the downstairs loo and the living room.   

For them, Bosch has created this extremely approachable Easyimpact compact drill. It's lightweight, easy to handle and comes kitted out with a handy assistant that sets the exact drilling depth and helps collect excess dust and debris in a small container.  

This is really designed with the less macho DIY-er in mind, so can only poke a 10mm diameter hole in concrete.

Einhell 900W 26mm SDS-Plus

4. Einhell 900W 26mm SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer

Serious power, non-serious price

Specifications
Wattage: 900 W
Weight: 3.9kg
Blows per minute: 4000bpm
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Powerful
Reasons to avoid
-Plastic handle feels flimsy

With a masonry-drilling diameter of 26mm, this absolute monster from Einhell is the chap you call upon when anchoring into concrete, creating massive holes in solid walls or chiselling away major renovation projects.  

It's big, it's heavy and it's very noisy but it costs less than £100 and comes complete with a two-year manufacturer warranty. It's a tough cookie.

Makita HR2630X7/1 SDS Plus

5. Makita HR2630X7/1 SDS Plus Rotary Hammer

Portable and powerful

Specifications
Wattage: 800W
Weight: 2.9kg
Blows per minute: 4600bpm
Reasons to buy
+Professional quality+Highly powerful
Reasons to avoid
-Noisy

For those wanting serious longevity and a professional finish to the job, it's difficult to ignore Makita and its line of high-performance power tools. 

 While this unit might look like the competition at first glance, it's actually compatible with some serious drill bits, such as a diamond core offering that means it can punch enormous 80mm holes in concrete.  

Of course, it's also more than happy to drill, drive and chisel, thanks to its numerous different modes, while an advanced torque limiter protects the engine and the user in case of locking and snagging.  It's also extremely lightweight for such a powerful unit, and while the price is a bit higher than the others here, you do get what you pay for.