Milwaukee M12 FUEL Drill Driver Kit 2403-22


A good quality cordless drill is arguably the most essential component of a guy’s tool box.  We love them because they are fantastically versatile – capable of drilling holes and driving screws – and because they offer cordless freedom and light weight.  The latest lithium-ion battery technology allows them many hours of use, while offering a very quick recharge.  A great cordless drill should offer the right combination of power, torque, durability, battery life, ergonomics and light weight, among other features.  Cordless drills are one of the ultimate gifts for a man, making them the perfect gift idea for just about any occasion.  For best power and torque delivery choose a drill that uses a brushless motor.  And for the toughest jobs choose an 18 volt or better version hammer drill – each of the models below comes in a higher-power hammer drill version.  This is Guydster’s list of our favorite 12 volt cordless compact drills.

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Milwaukee M12 FUEL 1/2″ Drill/Driver Kit (2403-22)

This Milwaukee is truly one of the best available drills/drivers today, offering the company’s best 12 volt motor life, power and runtime.  The POWERSTATE Brushless Motor claims to outperform competitors with constant power output, and runs cooler and quieter with no wearable components. Its REDLINK PLUS feature ensures optimized performance and protects the drill from overload, overheating and over-discharge. It comes with a REDLITHIUM 2.0 compact battery pack and a 4.0 extended capacity battery.  A on-board fuel gauge lets you monitor the battery charge at a glance, while an LED light pointed at the work area allows you to see clearly what you’re doing.  This 2-speed drill/driver features an all-metal ratcheting locking chuck that offers maximum grip, bit retention and durability. The kit includes 1 compact battery pack, 1 extended capacity battery pack, a charger, a belt clip and a carry case.  Peak torque: 350 in-lbs.  Speed: 0-450/0-1,700 RPM.  Warranty: 5 years (drill), 2 years (battery).  $179.

Bosch 12V Max EC Brushless Lithium Ion 3/8” Drill/Driver (PS32-02)

Bosch 12V Max EC Brushless Lithium Ion Drill Driver PS32-02

This 12 volt Bosch drill/driver offers the shortest head length (just 6.5″) of any 3/8″ chuck model in the market, making it the ideal tool for the often encountered tight situations.  Its light weight of only 2 pounds also makes it a great choice for extended periods of over-the-head work.  Thanks to the brushless 2-speed motor, improved gearbox and electronics, this drill/driver offers twice the tool life of the company’s previous generation.  In combination with a 2ah battery, this model also provides an increased runtime.  20+1 clutch settings will let you find the perfect torque adjustment for any job – tough or delicate.  A built-in LED light illuminates the work area.  A new 4x bit holder (that attaches to the back of the drill) and belt clip give it great portability and versatility.  The kit comes with 2 lithium-ion batteries, a 4-bit set and a carrying case.  Peak torque: 265 in-lbs.  Speed: 0-400/0-1,300 RPM.  Warranty: 1 year (drill and battery).  $159.

Makita 12V max Lithium-Ion Cordless 3/8″ Driver-Drill Kit (FD02W)

Makita 12V max Lithium-Ion Cordless Driver-Drill Kit (FD02W)

Makita is another drill/driver brand respected by Guydster.  This drill may not offer a brushless motor and hence the same power and torque as the models above, but nevertheless it packs a great punch in a compact design – and it does so at a lower price point.  It weighs just 2.2 lbs and is powered by Makita’s 12-Volt max Lithium-Ion battery, which offers a longer run time and lower self-discharge compared to standard batteries.  A built-in LED light helps to illuminate the work area, while its ergonomic shape fits in your hand like a glove.   The kit includes 2 batteries, a charger, tool case, tool holster and a #2 double ended Philips bit.  If you desire a brushless Makita drill, look at the company’s 18V range of products.  Peak torque: 200 in-lbs.  Speed: 0-350/0-1,300 RPM.  Warranty: 3 year (drill) and 1 year (battery). $99.

DeWalt 12V MAX 3/8″ Drill Driver Kit (DCD710S2)

DeWalt 12V MAX Drill Driver Kit (DCD710S2)

Like the Makita drill above, this 12V DeWalt does not offer a brushless motor – although the company does offer this tech in its higher powered drills.  However DeWalt has long been a well respected power tool brand and hence its top 12V compact drill made our list.  Its two speed transmission and 15 torque settings make it the right tool for just about any drilling or driving project.  Its 12V MAX lithium ion battery provides plenty of power, torque and a quick recharge.  A built-in LED light offers great visibility in dark work areas.  The kit includes two 12V MAX lithium ion battery packs, a charger, a belt hook and a contractor bag.  Peak torque: not specified by manufacturer.  Speed: 0-400/0-1,500 RPM.  Warranty: 3 years (drill and battery).  $140.

Ridgid FUEGO 12V 3/8″ Drill/Driver Kit with LED Light (R92009)

Ridgid FUEGO 12V Drill Driver Kit with LED Light (R92009)

Our love for Ridgid power tools stems from the time we began using the company’s 12V JobMax Multi-Tool, which we talked about in our Tool Guide: 5 Essential Power Tools article.  This 2-speed drill offers a  clutch with 18 torque settings that’s right for all kinds of jobs, while the 12V lithium ion provides great power, torque and runtime.  Its 300 in-lbs of torque make it the most powerful, non brushless model on this list.  An on-board LED light illuminates dark work areas.  Better still, the kit comes with a separate 12V LED flash light.  The complete kit includes 2 batteries, drill, flash light, charger and carrying bag.  Peak torque: 300 in-lbs.  Speed: 0-350/0-1,500 RPM.  Warranty: 3 years (drill and battery).  $140.



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