If you’ve looked around your local hardware store lately, you’ve likely noticed the explosion in tool brands. Back in the day, most folks just used Craftsman tools for everything. But today, many professionals and DIYers choose their tool brands based upon what they offer, rather than their name alone.
This is even true for power drills, which most major power tool brands today offer in one form or another. As such, you may be wondering which of the most popular drill brands today are the “best” overall.
To answer that inquiry, we’ve collected 7 of the best drill brands for professionals and homeowners right here. Better yet, we’ve reviewed each one briefly and highlighted some of their offerings.
4 Best Drill Brands for Professionals
Let’s start by taking a look at the four brands of drills that are worth looking at if you are a professional contractor, carpenter, or handyman.
Milwaukee is one of the most iconic names in professional-grade hand drills. That’s likely because they were the first to introduce a “portable, one-handed 1/4-inch capacity drill” onto the market way back in 1924.
Since then, Milwaukee has been an industry innovator when it comes to hand drills. To that end, they were the creators of the M12 and M18 cordless system that has become the model for cordless operation in other brand’s drills.
In their catalog today, Milwaukee offers some 70+ drills that run the gambit for size and style. Naturally, this includes a line of portable drill/drivers that utilize this brand’s protective REDLINK Intelligence system.
At the same time, Milwaukee also offers an assortment of hammer drills. These typically come standard with an auxiliary handle and utilize this brand’s ultra-reliable REDLITHIUM battery packs.
Milwaukee even offers professionals drill options that most other brands skip right over. One prime example is Milwaukee’s 2-speed hex power screwdriver. This unit is ergonomic and compact, allowing a user to quickly accomplish jobs that traditionally required hand tools.
This, and all of Milwaukee’s other tools, come with a limited warranty that does not need to be registered to become active.
Makita is another recognizable power tool brand in the American market today. That’s in part due to the unique aqua trade dress on all of their power tools.
The brand itself dates back to 1915 when it was founded by Mosaburo Makita in Nagoya, Japan. However, Makita made its mark on the industry in 1969 when they introduced the first-ever rechargeable power tool, a drill.
Since then, Makita has remained a battery-based innovator, including when it came to the advent of lithium-ion batteries recently.
As you’d expect, Makita’s legacy with creating great batteries continues to live on in their current lines of cordless drills. This includes their 1/2-inch and 3/8-inch cordless standard drill units, which are also noteworthy for their light weight and built-in LED lights.
These models, as well as many of Makita’s other portable drills (such as their brushless hammer drills) also utilize a unique ergonomic grip. Professionals in particular will appreciate this grip’s strain-reducing capabilities.
Generally speaking, all Makita power tools are covered by at least a one-year warranty. However, many of their cordless models (and their associated batteries) are covered under warranty for up to three years by this manufacturer.
This warranty allows users to obtain free repairs on their malfunctioning units after being inspected and reviewed at a Makita service center.
DeWalt has a storied history in the power tool market, starting with its invention of the radial arm saw back in 1923. From there, the brand mostly focused on woodworking equipment until 1960, when they were acquired by the Black & Decker tool brand.
Since then, DeWalt’s tool line – including its drills – has been upgraded through an operations merger with a one-time rival Porter-Cable. They’ve also started innovating with enhanced battery pack technology, as seen with their 2016 release of the FLEXVOLT system.
If you’re looking to make use of those innovative battery packs, then you can pick up one of DeWalt’s mainline drill drivers or hammer drills.
Both are built around a reliable brushless motor system that won’t burn up when it is used excessively on a professional jobsite. These types of drills can often reach top speeds of around 1,500 RPM, too, even after years of hard use in a construction setting.
DeWalt is also known today for their three-fold warranty on their power tools.
This warranty provides three years of replacement coverage to any original purchaser of their products. At the same time, that warranty provides one full year of free service coverage without question and even a 90-day money-back guarantee to users who are not fully satisfied.
As far as tool brands go, Bosch has one of the longest histories that covers almost every industrial field imaginable. That started back in 1886 when the company hit the market with a magneto engine system that had not been utilized before.
Up until around the year 2000, Bosch mainly focused on automotive industry needs. However, by 2003, they had begun to diversify their efforts, including their invention of the modern lithium-ion battery-powered screwdriver.
All things considered, Bosch’s offerings in the drill department are not that expansive.
Even so, their drill drivers are all built with exceptional durability. This is especially true of their Brute Tough line of drills, which all feature the specs of a corded drill in a cordless configuration.
Bosch also an assortment of right-angle drills, which utilize an elongated form factor to make it exceptionally easy to reach into tight spaces.
Bosch’s power tools all ship with a limited warranty that falls effectively in line with the industry standard.
3 Best Drill Brands for Homeowners
Next, let’s take a look at the drill brands you should consider if you are a homeowner or are generally looking for something on the lower end of the price spectrum.
1. Black & Decker
For many decades now, professionals and homeowners alike have trusted Black & Decker’s expansive line of power tools.
Much of that reputation as a brand started when they patented the first modern electric handheld drill in 1917. Their design utilized a pistol grip and a trigger switch, both of which went onto to become industry standards.
Even after merging with Stanley in 2010, the Black & Decker name is still one of the most pervasive in the power tool industry today.
As such, your local hardware store likely carries at least a few of this brand’s most recent power drill models. Without a doubt, your local hardware store will carry Black & Decker’s 12V standard cordless drill, which offers up to 550 RPM of speed to all DIY users.
At the store, you may also find a Black & Decker tool that utilizes the brand’s unique Matrix Quick Connection system. This system allows you to attach any number of interchangeable ends to the unit’s motorized base, including components for a drill or a reciprocating saw.
Black & Decker continues to offer a limited lifetime warranty on all of its products, including its power tools. This warranty allows users to return their product or exchange their product if they are unsatisfied with its performance.
However, a proof of purchase is required to file a warranty claim on a Black and Decker tool.
Ryobi does not have nearly as much brand recognition in the US tool market as they deserve.
That’s partially because Ryobi’s entry into the US market was under a different name – Craftsman. To be specific, Ryobi spent some time supplying tools to the Craftsman brand, allowing them to build up their North American business. Over time, Ryobi expanded their reach in the US by producing power tools geared at professionals and homeowners alike.
You’ll be able to spot a Ryobi drill on the shelf immediately due to its vibrant lime green trade dress. This might encourage you to pick up one of the brand’s 18-volt “starter drills” and see that it offers a reliable 2-speed gearbox.
These same drills, as well as many of Ryobi’s impact drivers, also make use of an ergonomic grip style that prevents slippage without creating pressure on the user’s hands.
Ryobi has also recently begun to offer a variety of specialized drills.
These include their pulse drivers and hammer drills. These and all of Ryobi’s other cordless drills come standard with a reliable three-year warranty. This warranty also includes a 90-day exchange policy that allows a user to obtain a power tool replacement if their first unit failed to meet workmanship standards.
Tacklife is a new kid on the block as far as power tools go.
However, they sell exclusively online at this time. As such, their numerous power drills are very affordable to homeowners. As such, if you are looking to take on a few DIY projects could pick up one of this brand’s cordless drills, oftentimes for less than $50.
Even their full drill/driver sets – which come with a carrying case and compatible bits – only costs about half of many similar sets of its competitors.
Currently, Tacklife also offers a line of hammer drills that some homeowners may find useful. These hammer drills feature a 20+1+1 torque setting system that can effectively prevent stripping, even at a 510 RPM top speed.
These drills all come with a 24-month warranty at no extra cost.
Which Brand of Drills Should You Pick?
When it comes time to pick a new drill brand, you should start by checking what you already have in your toolbox.
To that end, if you are already using one drill brand, you should likely stick with that brand. Doing so will allow you to keep using their compatible batteries, which will save you a lot of money in the long run. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a cheap upgrade option outright, Tacklife will have you covered.
If you’re looking for a trusted, long-standing drill brand, though, Black & Decker and DeWalt can both provide you with reliable products as well as solid warranties. Meanwhile, if you’re a professional with a need for a bunch of specialized drills, Milwaukee should be your go-to brand.
They continue to provide an expansive drill catalog that has yet to be matched by any other brand.
Finding the right drill brand to meet your personal or professional needs can take some time.
After all, most folks like to try out their tools before committing to them for the long-term. But this guide should start you down that path without further delay. Be sure to keep all of these great brands in mind while you pick out your next workhorse power drill.