Compact drills are a power tool that pretty much no DIYer or professional trades person can do without. Drilling holes in walls, wood or even metal is such a common task that you really should never be without. Full size hammer drills are ideal for all types of jobs.
But sometimes, that size and power can be quite an inconvenience. Imagine being stuck in a tight space behind a drywall or some bathroom fitting. Or maybe you have a load of holes to drill overhead where your arms are would be raised for a long time.
Full-size power drills and drivers will just be too bulky or heavy in many situations like that. So, what are you going to do? The simple answer is that there are a lot of compact drills that will do the job perfectly well. They aren’t the most powerful. And the batteries won’t last for hours. But with the right research, you can find exactly what you need for those tricky jobs.
On this page, you’ll find 5 of the best compact drill review choices currently available. We have done all the research to show you the main features. All you need to do is pick your budget and see what specs will best suit your needs.
Our 5 Best Compact Drill Recommendations
1 – Bosch 12-Volt 2-Speed Drill/Driver: Top Of The Range German Engineering
Bosch is a leading manufacturer of all types of power tools and construction equipment. With German engineering, you will end up getting a very reliable product, and this option will be the perfect addition to your tool box.
The compact driver drill has multiple speed settings that you can easily switch between. This allows you to make incredibly precise work when you can’t just go ahead and drill full-speed holes.
It will easily run up to 1300 RPM and provide 265 pounds of torque. For drilling holes that is pretty impressive from such a small device. But as a driver, you’ll probably find the torque lacking a little.
There are LED lights built into the front so that you can better see what you’re doing in those tight and dark places. That frees up a hand that you’d otherwise have to hold a torch with.
At just 2 pounds weight, including a battery, this is exceptionally light. Of all the options on this list, it stands out as the best compact cordless drill. And with 2 batteries included, you won’t run out of power too soon either.
On the negative side, it would have been nice to have a bit holder included, but you can easily add one to your order.
- Multiple speed settings for much better precision work
- Up to 1300 RPM and 265 pounds of torque
- LED lights built in for excellent visibility
- 2 batteries included for extended run time
- Exceptionally light at 2 pounds makes it easy to handle
- No bit holder included
- Won’t stand up to heavy knocks at a job site
2 – DEWALT Brushless Compact Drill: Brushless Motor For Longer Lifespan
This DeWalt compact impact drill really is a premium product that you would happily pay a premium price for. The company make some of the very best power tools on the market, and they have done a great job with this one.
First of all, you will get a brushless motor which is very good for this price. These types of motors will run for a lot longer and tend to use a lot less energy as well. As a result, you’ll have less downtime for battery changes. And it won’t break down too soon either.
The 2-speed motor settings are ideal for different types of precision jobs. You can quickly switch between them and get a total of 1700 RPM at full speed. That is fast enough for the majority of normal jobs.
This model also includes LED lights at the front which help light up the exact space where you’re working. If you find yourself in a tight dark spot, then that will make a huge difference.
The handle and rubber material is very comfortable to hold. With some of these compact tools, the handles are a bit too small and you end up gripping them too hard. That’s not the case with the DeWalt option.
It is a bit heavier than the Bosh one above, but not that significantly. Annoyingly there is also no bit holder included, which some of the cheaper options below do have.
- Premium product with brushless motor is longer lasting
- 2-speed motor runs up to 1700 RPM
- Excellent built-in LED lights for more visibility in dark corners
- A very comfortable handle helps reduce fatigue
- Battery, charger, and kit bag included
- Weighs just 2.5 pounds for easy handling
- Not the lightest option
- No bit holder included so make sure you add one at check out
3 – Ryobi P208 One+: Superb Battery Compatibility
The Ryobi P208 is one of the best compact drills on this list, but it still falls into this category. If you’re regularly in extremely tight spaces, then this might not be the best choice for you. Otherwise, you’ll be getting an exceptionally good tool at a price that cannot be beaten.
First of all, it is fully compatible with all Ryobi One+ batteries. That means, if you already have some other tools with the same connection and backup batteries, then you can save yourself some money. It also means you don’t have to get loads of different chargers and figure out which battery belongs to which tool.
The motor will provide 1500 RPM which is plenty for the majority of jobs you might be doing. And with a 24-position clutch system, you will have excellent control over the speed. This allows you to make very precise power adjustments.
There is also a two-speed gearbox so you can easily switch between slower and faster RPMs. Some high-precision work will require that you can gradually increase to a slow speed. Rather than going full speed all the time.
Unlike some of the above options, you will get a bit holder built-in, which is such a simple but convenient touch. Chances are when you start a job you only need 2 or 3 different bits. This way you can have them safely at hand if you need them.
- Fully compatible with all Ryobi One+ batteries
- The motor provides up to 1500 RPM
- Excellent 24-position clutch for high precision work
- Bit storage built into the lower handle
- 2-speed gearbox gives you more precise control
- Battery and charger not included
4 – KIMO Cordless Drill: Cheap And Effective
If you really have a limited budget and just need something for occasional use then this KIMO compact drill set is your go-to option. At this price tag, you simply won’t get a better product that gets the job done.
Despite the low price, you’ll get a motor that provides 1350 RPM, which is enough for most jobs. And with a 2-speed gearbox, you can easily adjust from precision control to full speed. No matter what your project is, you’ll find the right speed.
There are also LED bulbs built into the front of the tool. This really helps you be more flexible in dark work spaces. KIMO cordless drill kit offers a great battery life along with less time charging than most of the other cordless drills at 2.5 hours. KIMO has great power going through the toughest kind of wood.
At 2.2 pounds, you’ll hardly notice it when you’re working. That makes it ideal especially for overhead jobs where weight can become extremely tiring.
- Dual speed settings up to 1350 RPM
- Very comfortable handle design
- LED lights help you see better in dark places
- Ultra Lightweight at 2lbs
- Very reasonable price
- Torque is a bit low
5 – Milwaukee M18 Cordless Drill/Driver Set
If you’re looking for an option that has a few extras included and doesn’t break the bank, then this Milwaukee M18 cordless kit is going to be just right. First of all, the motor has two gears to give you a lot more control over the speed. You don’t go from slow to full speed in an instant.
There is also a bit holder included so you have a lot easier access to those that you need on a given job. This simple addition really can save a ton of time searching for what you need.
The built-in LED lights are also a great touch and will help in those dark and difficult-to-reach places. And to help you not get caught out by a suddenly drained battery, there is a power indicator built-in as well. This allows you to switch out batteries at more convenient times.
You also get a small selection of drill and driver bits,. Also, this compact drill is power-efficient and offers a great battery that lasts long enough to be used for large projects.
- The motor has 2 gears for more precise job execution
- LED lights included for better work in the dark
- A soft rubber handle reduces fatigue
- ultra lightweight with compact size
- Can not tighten drill onto bits
What do you use a compact drill for?
When it comes to finding the best compact drill, there are a couple of features that you really need to focus on. Marketing language from different companies will refer to the same functionality in different ways, which makes it all a bit more challenging. In this section, we’ll tell you exactly what to focus on so that you make the right choice for your needs.
Drills and drivers will usually refer to two distinct values. Revs per minute and torque. For a drill, the RPM is the more important one as it will tell you how fast the bit will spin. The faster this is the quicker you’ll get a job done.
For driver functionality, you want to focus on torque, as this tells you how powerful it can apply a twist on a screw or a bolt. Most compact devices will be quite low on torque so only suitable for smaller jobs.
Here you want to look for ideally a brushless motor. These tend to last a lot longer because they create a lot less friction. However, they are more expensive, so you might need to up your budget.
Also, check for the number of clutch positions. This will indicate how smoothly it will function through the different speeds. And finally, pay close attention to how many gears it has. A 2-speed gearbox will allow you to be a lot more precise in your work, especially at low revs.
These are usually built into the front of the drill and should be designed to shine towards the drill bit end. This is a great feature to look out for. If you’re in a small dark place, then trying to battle with a drill and torch can be a huge pain.
At this stage, you should have all the info you need to find a great compact hammer drill. For those overhead or tight space jobs that you encounter, you will be very thankful that you have one of these. And with the above list, you get options in every price range.
Check out the buttons on Amazon to see what the latest offers are. You can pick up your best compact drill at a very cheap price, as long as you fully understand what features you’re getting. And don’t forget to check out the features section above before you make a final choice. It will really make sure you know what you’re getting.
- Read more: 5 Best Drill Bit Set Options