The value of every drill lies in the speed and most importantly the torque. The torque is nothing strange, just the force a drill can deliver into the bit as the chuck turns, regularly expressed in inch pounds or newton meters. Some people argue that high torque doesn`t necessarily mean you have the best drill which is true but you will find that the best drills in the market match both the highest torque and the highest speed. The trick lies in getting that powerful drill that can deliver a powerful torque while retaining the control of your drilling/driving to get the most from your power tool.
Getting a great high torque drill saves you a lot of money and time as you don’t have to invest in an impact driver for common screw driving tasks. You, however, need to consider your small screws and delicate drilling jobs which cannot stand a drill that overdrives and snaps everything in its way and that is where this guide comes in. Narrowing down to a drill that matches high torque effectively to the speed while retaining control can be a daunting task because manufacturers only dangle the readings without explaining the performance.
Store owners will also not allow you to test each power tool on their shelf to match it to your needs. This is why we employ the help of professionals and DIY enthusiasts to try out the tools and match performance to customer reviews.
Table of Contents:
- Top 5 high torque cordless drill reviews
- Key features to look for in a high torque drill
Top 5 high torque cordless drill reviews
This is a go-to drill package that matches money to power with a user-friendly design that keeps you in full operational control. It is a powerful drill suitable for any heavy-duty drilling and driving tasks featuring a tough exterior case designed to withstand the conditions of outdoor and construction sites. It is very compact and light weighing just 2.7lbs despite its premium metallic parts. It also has a narrow chuck head that allows you to drill into narrow spaces.
Its slim rubberized handle gives you full control of the variable speed trigger for more precision. It clicks in a whole 480lbs in high torque mode at 450RPM high speeds which can drive 3-inch screws into tough material with ease. Its greatest deal breaker is the quick drill mode delivering 0-1700RPM with a powerful force behind the bit which is why it is a great drill for hardwood, masonry, and steel.
The package includes 2 1.5ah batteries able to store enough juice for all day drilling and driving. Its LED light is also strategically located at the base lighting up a wider area for a brighter workspace. Moreover, you get the Bosch contractor’s bag to store all your gear.
- A rugged design with a tough external cover for durability
- It is very light and compact
- It comes with 2 long life batteries
- Powerful torque with a regulated speed for better control
- It has 20+1 chuck settings for accurate torque placement
- The Long head (7.8 inches) has poor balance
This cordless drill with a 6.9-inch head suited for the narrowest of spaces. It has one of the best size-to-power ratios in the market with premium steel materials for durability. It also features a metallic chuck with a powerful grip on your bits allowing you to focus on drilling rather than adjusting bits every now and then. It also features a full Flashlight mode on its LED light, able to light up your whole working space.
Its performance is also top-notch clicking in at 0-550RPM in high torque mode with 480lb torque, strong enough to drive large screws into any wood, concrete or steel. Its Drilling mode has enough speed for any hard surface as well delivering up to 2000RPM in speed. DeWalt retains high control and comfortable grip in their slim rugged handles for high precision in all your projects.
It comes with 2 ah batteries giving you enough run time for standard drilling. You, however, need to get 4ah batteries if you need to accomplish tougher projects or drill for more hours.
- A tough rugged design to withstand tough working conditions
- It is compact with a very small head for narrow space drilling.
- a powerful LED light with flashlight mode for brighter workspaces
- It comes with a 3-year warranty
- Universal DeWalt battery connectivity
- The packed batteries don`t last long when handling heavy tasks
This is another 2.64lb drill with one of the highest torque levels of 20V drill in the market. Like most Black+Decker This tool has a forward drill focus that reduces noise and vibration for smooth cutting and driving. Its balance is also greatly improved by its slim T shaped head and an ergonomic handle that maintains grip even if wet conditions. It comes at a friendlier price than most of its counterpart making this one of the best ways to go for a high torque drill on a budget.
It has a powerful LED light just behind the chuck tip giving you a clear detail view of your drill area. It runs high speed near 2000RPM in drill mode and over 500RPM in drive mode delivering over 400lbs. These are heavy duty design features that allow you to drill through the hardest surfaces with ease.
It has a quick response variable speed trigger and an 11-point chuck that allows you to apply the right torque preventing snapped screws and overdriving. It comes with 20V batteries with more runtime.
- It has a pocket-friendly price compared to most 20 volters
- It has a streamlined head design for fitting into narrow spaces
- It has a serrated ergonomic handle with a strong grip and easy control
- Easy access variable speed trigger and forward/Reverse buttons
- Its lowest chuck setting is still too high
This is an all-out power drill designed for applications on metal and hardwood surfaces with high torque and control. 600lbs is powerful enough to drive and fasten large screws, sawing, hammering and heavy-duty drilling. This drill is still compact design light enough to keep you in control and reduce fatigue.
It has a large head measuring 7.8 inches but the chuck head is slim and suitable for drilling into narrow spaces. It also features a bright LED light for dark spaces. Its greatest deal breaker, however, is the revolutionary motor all steel and durable to handle the toughest tasks. It runs slightly slower drill mode speeds at 1600RPMs which is still good for control.
The package comes with 2 1.5ah batteries strong enough to store all juice needed in all day drilling. Its ratcheting chuck is also metallic and strong with great bit retention. Its 23 point chuck selection allows you to set accurate torques to accommodate both delicate and large screws.
- The regulated speed with 23 chuck settings for high precision drilling
- A strong steel chuck with proper bit retention
- It has a slim rugged handle with easy one arm operation
- The package includes 2 1.5ah batteries for longer run time
- It weighs 3.5lbs, likely to cause fatigue in prolonged overhead drilling
5. Hitachi DS18DGL 18V cordless drill
This is one of the smallest high torque drills in the market which makes its powerful features almost unbelievable. It features the new Hitachi easy grip handle, slim and rubberized for more comfort. It has a metallic ratcheting chuck with 22 settings for accurate torque selection and a strong grip on both round and hex bits. The tough XPT exterior protection by Hitachi also protects the motor and all moving parts from the elements extending the drill`s life significantly.
It cranks out a 400lb torque able to drive and tighten screws on any surface. Its 1250 high-speed mode also keeps you in control for high precision drilling. Its quick charger with long life batteries also give you more runtime. These features make this one of the best drill choices for contractors as well as heavy-duty DIY projects.
The drill has a bright upward facing LED light located at the base to brighten up your space with no shadows to block your view. It features quick release lock on both the battery and the chuck for easy and quick change over.
- Premium XPT protection for durability
- The drill comes with the Hitachi lifetime tool warranty
- It has a slim rubberized handle for comfort.
- It has a very small head perfect for working in narrow spaces
- It only comes with one battery, Hitachi replacement and backup batteries are pricy
Key features to look for in a high torque drill
Variable speed trigger
High torque without sufficient control can prove to be a disaster, especially when assembling delicate structures or using small delicate screws. A variable speed trigger keeps you in control of all the torque that flows through reducing the vibration on your arm and overdrive at the screw. Stripped screws can be impossible to recover while overdrive can ruin surfaces totally which is why you need a quick response variable trigger. All the drills in this guide have high precision control design with a clutch that keeps the bits off anything higher than your set torque.
This is a major concern for both contractors and DIY enthusiasts as you have to drill overhead most of the time and ever extra pound in the weight increases fatigue levels. Heavy drills may be so because of a powerful motor or sometimes, just a poor design which is why a test run is necessary before you can justify the weight. We settled for the lowest weight to power ratio drills to ensure you can accomplish as many projects as possible with any of the tools without fatigue.
The modern keyless ratcheting chucks are easier to manage but the grip on round bits can be a concern for most of them. We insisted on the strongest chuck grip that reduces the need for regular stoppages to adjust your bits. High precision chuck settings are also a major factor to consider especially when handling delicate screws. 18 points and higher allow you to narrow down to more accurate torque levels.
The greatest limitation to a high torque drill is a weak battery. 400lb drills can drill 10 by 3-inch screws into hardwood and steel surfaces but you need batteries that keep up to the task. Most packed batteries are either 1.5ah or 2ah which may not deliver s standard torque for tough jobs. It is best to get a package that includes a backup to give you more run time. 4ah batteries are the best package for 20 volters keeping high and stable amperage for longer than 1.5ah and 2ah counterparts.
How do I change the torque level on my drill?
All cordless drills come with a ratcheting chuck that allows you to select a chuck position which matches a torque. Here is a video that will help you set the right torque for your projects.
How do I prevent overdriving and stripping my screws?
The variable speed trigger and the clutch are the two tools that will ensure you use the correct torque all the time. The best way to avoid stripping your screws is by starting low if you are using the screw or the material for the first time. Once the screw gives resistance higher than your setting, the clutch will disengage then you can move on to higher torque settings until you hit the right drive for your screw. You should not continue with the same setting if it strips screws or overdrives because it may mess the surface.
Can I take my Drill on a plane?
Power tools are all accepted in the cabin but there are exceptions regarding batteries and bits. You have to place your batteries and the bits in your checked luggage because they are seen as a potential hazard, especially on international flights. Most local flights will allow you to travel with your bits in the cabin provided they are wrapped safely.
Are cordless drills as powerful as impact drivers?
Many people wonder whether a high torque drill/driver is an alternative to an impact driver. Impact drivers run in with torques higher than 1000lbs which can drive the largest screws in no time but they are not as versatile. The cordless drill allows you to make holes, drive and recover screws and fasten easily up with high torques up to 600lbs but you may have to invest in an impact driver if you are doing commercial grade projects with excessively high torque requirements. The drills in this guide are more than able to handle most DIY drill/drive projects.
The quality of a drill is largely determined by the size of torque the drill can load which is why you are very right to comb the market for a high torque drill. There are however many technical details and confusing guides to go past which can really compromise your ability to land a great drill worth the money in the market. This is why we created this detailed guide with a group of 5 recommendations voted for by our pool of experts and DIYers.