Best Lightweight and Compact Cordless Drills 2024


Since we got our start back in 2008, we’ve tested and reviewed a heck of a lot of drills. I’m going to walk you through my top-rated picks for the best lightweight and compact cordless drills in this article. We’ll look at models that are a good fit for heavy-duty professional work, can fit into tight spaces, are perfect to have around the house for your DIY projects, and more. I’ll also share the key information I look for when I’m comparing drills and hammer drills along with our experience using these drills.


Our Top Picks

Also In This Article

Best Lightweight and Compact Drill for Heavy-Duty Professional Use

Milwaukee Gen 4 M18 Fuel Drill Driver 2903 (Hammer Drill 2904)

Best Lightweight Drill for Heavy-Duty Professional Use - Milwaukee M18 Fuel Gen 4 Hammer Drill

Lightweight and compact might not be the first thing you think of when you’re shopping for a heavy-duty professional drill, but nothing beats the Milwaukee 2903 and 2904 in that class. Boasting top-tier performance, it’s smaller and lighter than competitors from DeWalt and Flex.

Makita’s GPH01 is pretty close with a length that’s just 0.2 inches greater. However, it’s 0.4 pounds heavier. In our head-to-head testing, Milwaukee produced higher torque and faster drilling in concrete. Makita had the advantage in medium and heavy-duty drilling speed. The final kicker is that Milwaukee is significantly less expensive.

As a fourth-generation drill, there’s not a lot of size and weight difference compared to the third-generation. However, this version now includes kickback control—something you’ll find on just one of my other picks.

Something else that’s not obvious on the surface is that Milwaukee specifically geared this drill to run 2 9/16-inch self-feed bits through SPF at high speed to make your rough-in chores faster.

So, if you’re a Pro who wants a combination of high-performance and advanced features in a lightweight, compact package, Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel drill and hammer drill are what you need.

Pros

  • Lightest and most compact of flagship professional drills we’ve tested
  • Legit high-end performance
  • Pro-grade build
  • Brushless motor
  • Kickback control
  • Extensive number of other tools that run on the same battery
  • Also available with One-Key (models 2905 and 2906)

Cons

  • Heavier than you may be looking for, especially with the recommended 5.0Ah battery
  • Longer than may be looking for
  • Pricey if you’re looking for a DIY/weekend project drill

Key Decision Factors

2903 Drill Driver 2904 Hammer Drill
Speed 0 – 500/2100 RPM 0 – 500/2100 RPM
Max Torque 1400 in-lbs 1400 in-lbs
Hammer Rate NA 0 – 33,000 BPM
Head Length 6.9 inches 6.9 inches
Bare Weight 3.3 pounds 3.3 pounds
Weight w/ 5.0Ah Battery 4.9 pounds 4.9 pounds

Drill Driver Price: $289 with two 5.0Ah batteries and charger

Hammer Drill Price: $199.00 bare, $299.00 with two 5.0Ah batteries and a charger

Best Lightweight and Compact Drill for Light to Medium-Duty Professional Use

Metabo HPT 18V Brushless Compact Drill Driver DS18VDEX (Hammer Drill DV18DEX)

Best Lightweight and Compact Drill for Light to Medium-Duty Professional Use

Metabo HPT 18V Brushless Compact Drill Driver DS18VDEX (Hammer Drill DV18DEX)Best Lightweight and Compact Drill for Light to Medium-Duty Professional Use

Metabo HPT 18V Brushless Compact Drill Driver DS18VDEX (Hammer Drill DV18DEX)

Most quality cordless tool brands now have compact and sub-compact versions of their core tools, such as drills. Among them is Metabo HPT, and I knew they came up with something special the first time I used it.

Genuinely compact and lightweight, the performance is higher than anything else I’ve tested in the compact class. I’m not just talking about 12V tools, it even readily outpaces its 18V/20V max competitors in both working speed and torque.

Those numbers on their own are enough to earn our recommendation. However, Metabo HPT solidifies it by adding kickback control. That’s something other drills in the compact class typically don’t have.

What seals the deal is that the price of this kit rates a high-value ranking in my book. Plus, the tool is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Outstanding performance in the professional compact class
  • Pro-grade build
  • Brushless motor
  • Kickback control
  • Excellent value
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not as light and compact as you could go in the professional compact class

Key Decision Factors

DS18DEX Drill Driver DV18DEX Hammer Drill
Speed 0 – 550/2000 RPM 0 – 550/2000 RPM
Max Torque 620 in-lbs 620 in-lbs
Hammer Rate NA 0 – 30,000 BPM
Head Length 6.1 inches 6.3 inches
Bare Weight 2.6 pounds 2.6 pounds
Weight w/ 2.0Ah Battery 3.5 pounds 3.5 pounds

Drill Driver Price: $119 with two 2.0Ah batteries and charger

Hammer Drill Price: $179.00 with two 2.0Ah batteries and a charger

Best 12V Lightweight and Compact Drill

Bosch 12V FlexiClick 5-in-1 Drill Driver GSR12V-300FCB22

Best 12V Lightweight and Compact Drill

Bosch 12V FlexiClick 5-in-1 Drill Driver GSR12V-300FCB22Best 12V Lightweight and Compact Drill

Bosch 12V FlexiClick 5-in-1 Drill Driver GSR12V-300FCB22

To step down to the lightest and most compact drills, I move into the 12V class. Not only are the tools smaller and lighter, but the batteries are as well. You trade off performance and runtime, but the 12V class makes a lot of sense for Pros and in some cases, DIYers.

When it comes to brands, Pros have well-developed lines from Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, and Makita. Hiliti and Metabo also have a handful of 12V tools each. DIYers should look to Skil for the best 12V line.

Milwaukee, DeWalt, and Bosch both have models that have interchangeable heads that provide greater versatility than traditional designs (Bosch has an 18V version as well). You won’t go wrong with any of them, but Bosch gets the nod from me thanks to higher top speed and a more compact package.

This is Bosch’s second-generation 12V FlexiClick, adding both speed and power over the original. With no attachment in its most compact form, it has a 1/4-inch hex magnetic bit holder that’s great for driving and light drilling in the tightest spots. From there, you can add a 1/4-inch hex locking bit holder, 3/8-inch keyless chuck, right-angle attachment, or offset attachment to work in spots other drills can’t.

Built for professional remodelers and installation tasks, this is also very handy to have around the house for a variety of projects.

Pros

  • Brushless motor
  • Extremely compact and lightweight
  • 5-in-1 design works in spaces other drills can’t
  • Easy attachment changes
  • Everything fits in one vase

Cons

  • Not as powerful as some dedicated 12V drills
  • No hammer drilling option

Key Decision Factors

FlexiClick 5-in-1
Speed 0 – 450/1750 RPM
Max Torque 300 in-lbs
Hammer Rate NA
Head Length 4.5 inches*
Bare Weight 1.3 pounds*
Weight w/ 2.0Ah Battery 1.7 pounds*
* size and weight without any of the attachments

Price: $229 with two 2.0Ah batteries and charger

Best Lightweight and Compact Drill for DIY Home Use

Skil PWRCore 20 Brushless Compact Drill Driver DL6293B-10 (Hammer Drill HD6294B-10)

Skil 20V Cordless Compact Drll and Hammer Drill ReviewSkil 20V Cordless Compact Drll and Hammer Drill Review

The best lightweight and compact drill to keep around your home for weekend projects and repairs comes from Skil’s PWRCore 20 line. Now in its second generation, both the drill driver and hammer drill version dropped in size while increasing in performance compared to the first-generation models.

Against, it compact competition from Ryobi and Craftsman, I like the higher performance level you get, which is even more compelling when you compare prices.

There is an argument to make for Skil’s PWRCore 12 compact drill driver if you want to shave even more weight. However, it’s not enough to overcome the higher performance and deeper line of compatible tools that the PWRcore 20 system offers.

Pros

  • Excellent performance for a compact drill
  • Lighter than its competition
  • 2-Speed brushless motor
  • Built-in USB charging port on the battery
  • PWRJump charger gets battery from 0% – 25% in 5 minutes
  • Excellent value
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

DL6293B-10
Drill Driver
HD6294B-10
Hammer Drill
Speed 0 – 500/1800 RPM 0 – 500/1800 RPM
Max Torque 450 in-lbs 450 in-lbs
Hammer Rate NA 0 – 27,000 BPM
Head Length 6.1 inches 6.6 inches
Bare Weight 1.9 pounds 2.0 pounds
Weight w/ 2.0Ah Battery 3.0 pounds 3.1 pounds

Drill Driver Price: $69 with 2.0Ah battery and charger

Hammer Drill Price: $129.00 with a 2.0Ah battery and PWRJump charger

Best Lightweight and Compact Drill Recommendations From Other Brands

Even though every brand doesn’t earn one of our accolades above, there are plenty of really good options available. If you’re already using a quality brand’s cordless platform, here are our best lightweight and compact drill picks for other brands that we use and trust.

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Compact Hammer Drill DCD799

DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Compact Hammer Drill DCD799DeWalt Atomic 20V Max Compact Hammer Drill DCD799
Hammer Drill
Speed 1650 RPM
Max Power 552 UWO
Hammer Rate 28,050 BPM
Head Length 6.49 inches
Bare Weight 2.5 pounds
Weight w/ 3.0Ah Battery ~5 pounds

Price: $129 – $368

Flex 24V Compact Brushless Drill Driver FX1131-1A (Hammer Drill FX1231-1A)

Flex 24V Compact Brushless Drill Driver FX1131-1AFlex 24V Compact Brushless Drill Driver FX1131-1A
Drill Driver Hammer Drill
Speed 0 – 500/1800 RPM 0 – 500/1800 RPM
Max Torque 650 in-lbs 650 in-lbs
Hammer Rate NA 0-8000/28,800 BPM
Head Length 5.75 inches 6.5 inches
Bare Weight 2.5 pounds 2.7 pounds
Weight w/ 2.5Ah Battery 3.9 pounds 4.1 pounds

Drill Driver Price: $149.99

Hammer Drill Price: $169

Greenworks 24V Brushless Hammer Drill DDG402

Greenworks 24V Brushless Hammer Drill DDG402Greenworks 24V Brushless Hammer Drill DDG402
Hammer Drill
Speed 0 – 450/1700 RPM
Max Torque 530 in-lbs
Hammer Rate Not Listed
Head Length Not Listed
Bare Weight 3.1 pounds
Weight w/ 4.0Ah Battery 4.9 pounds

Price: $129.99 bare

Masterforce 20V Brushless Ultra Compact Drill 2410381 (Hammer Drill 2410383)

best lightweight and compact cordless drills

Masterforce 20V Brushless Ultra Compact Drill 2410381best lightweight and compact cordless drills

Masterforce 20V Brushless Ultra Compact Drill 2410381
Drill Driver Hammer Drill
Speed 0 – 500/1850 RPM 0 – 500/1850 RPM
Max Torque 525 in-lbs 525 in-lbs
Hammer Rate NA 27,700 BPM
Head Length 5.8 inches 5.8 inches
Bare Weight 2.2 pounds 2.2 pounds
Weight w/ 2.0Ah Battery 3.3 pounds 3.3 pounds

Drill Driver Price: $98.99

Hammer Drill Price: $133.49

Ridgid 18V SubCompact Drill Driver R87012 (Hammer Drill R87112)

Ridgid R87012Ridgid R87012
Drill Driver Hammer Drill
Speed 0 – 450/1750 RPM 0 – 450/1750 RPM
Max Torque 500 in-lbs 425 in-lbs
Hammer Rate NA 26,000 BPM
Head Length 6.1 inches 6.5 inches
Bare Weight 2.0 pounds 2.16 pounds
Weight w/ 2.0Ah Battery Not Listed Not Listed

Drill Driver Price: $149 with two 2.0Ah batteries and charger

Hammer Drill Price: $159 with two 2.0Ah batteries and charger

Ryobi HP Brushless Compact Drill Driver PSBDD01 (Hammer Drill PSBHM01)

Ryobi HP PSBDD01Ryobi HP PSBDD01
Drill Driver Hammer Drill
Speed 0 – 450 / 0 – 1700 RPM 0 – 450 / 0 – 1700 RPM
Max Torque 400 in-lbs 400 in-lbs
Hammer Rate NA 27,200 BPM
Head Length 5 inches 7 inches
Bare Weight 1 pounds 2.5 pounds
Weight w/ 2.0Ah Battery Not Listed Not Listed

Drill Driver Price: $129 with two 1.5Ah batteries and charger

Hammer Drill Price: $99 – $212.87

Performance: Speed, blow rate, and torque give you an idea of how fast and strong a drill or hammer drill will perform. They’re helpful when you’re comparing data during research, and typically the higher the battery, but it’s the motor’s ability to keep the RPMs high under load that separates them. Ideally, we want a brushless motor because of its higher performance, runtime, and service life.

Size and Weight: Size and weight tend to go hand-in-hand, with larger drills weighing more. Ideally, we want the lightest and most compact tool that still does the job effectively. That keeps the fatigue to a minimum while maximizing access.

Ergonomics: Beyond the size and weight, how the weight is balanced and how the grip feels in your hands brings the ergonomics full circle. As you narrow down your choices, there’s something to be said for a tool that feels right in your hands.

Features: As you move up from entry-level cordless drills, you should expect more features that make working more convenient than just performance boosts alone. Here’s what to look for:

  • Multiple speeds: 2 speeds are a must, more is generally better
  • Kickback control: stops the motor if the bit binds up
  • Side handle: absolutely necessary on drills with higher torque
  • Smart controls: helps with inventory management and tracking, some offer customizable controls
  • Interchangeable chucks: switching to a specialized chuck can get you out of a sticky situation
  • All-metal chuck: better durability
  • LED light: nearly every drill has one, but our favorites put the light(s) around the chuck
  • Belt hook: usually reversible, they’re super-helpful when you have materials to carry or you’re climbing a ladder

Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews to Recommend the Best Lightweight and Compact Drills

The are a whole lot of publications and authors out there trying to convince you that they know what the best lightweight drill is. Let’s give credit where credit is due—they use good SEO writers and may have even used some of the top sellers in the process.

But do they have more than a decade of experience using drills and hammer drills, understand the key features to look for, and have they experienced the differences in quality in the field? Have they been around to see advances in brushless motor development, the injury reduction of kickback control, and how smart connectivity is changing the way Pros work?

We have. We’ve been testing and reviewing drills since we started back in 2008, and they’re a core part of the construction process. They’re also an essential part of a homeowner’s tool kit once they move in and are enjoying their home.

So, you can take the advice of whatever Big Media company decides to offer product reviews designed first and foremost to rank for Google, written by someone who may or may not understand the difference between what Pros and DIYers need. (And, while you’re there, don’t forget to check up on breaking news and weather updates, and maybe even play a few games.

Or, you can trust Pro Tool Reviews because tools are what we do. When I recommend a drill for you, it’s because it’s the one I would buy. My primary motivation is to recommend what I genuinely believe is the best in each category based on more than a decade of experience and being involved in the power tool industry every day. And if you choose to buy something I recommend, I hope that it works exactly the way you expect on your next project.

That’s how I hope to earn your trust. Not because I work for a high-profile media company with massive name recognition. But because I’m like you, and when I choose to make a purchase, I see the dollars come out of my bank account. I expect those products to work when I need them. I want authentic recommendations when I’m shopping, and I’m committed to offering you the best of my experience and knowledge when you see my name as the author.


Northoftheriverstore.com
Logo
Shopping cart