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How To Choose The Best Combi Drill & Our Best Picks
Combi-drills are alleged in light of the fact that they consolidate the functions of screwdriver, hammer drill drill and screwdriving drill by providing speed, torque, hammering action and power settings appropriate to each job. This adaptability, which is a piece of their fascination, is accomplished through variable gear boxes and, in advanced tools, by an inherent hammer-action that conveys percussive pressure to push the drill bit through masonry such as stone and brick.
If you want the ability to drill into tougher materials including concrete and metal, as well as drive screws, then a combi drill is a worthy investment. It will cope with everyday drilling and screw driving, but usually offer higher torque for extra demanding tasks. These tools used to be plug-in electric drills but with the evolution of new lithium-ion batteries, cordless combi drills have become very popular with home owners, DIY enthusiast and professionals alike..
There are several choices on the market with a variety of features and accessories. Take a walk through our buyer’s guide where we outline the important features to look for in the best combi drill. We’ve also selected some of the best models on the market which you’ll learn about in our cordless combi drill reviews.
Below is our best pick the Bosch PSB 18 LI-2 Cordless Combi Drill which after hours of intensive research, we came to the conclusion was the best combi drill for most people both.
The Best Combi Drills which are included in our review are listed below:
Combi Drill Buyers Guide
Our guide will take you through the combi drill functionality and features that you need to consider when choosing one of these handy tools and what to look out for.
Combi drill functionality
Combi drills come with various modes that makes them more functional and versatile for a range of screwing and drilling jobs.
- Hammer / Impact mode - this allows you to drill into tough materials such as concrete, brick and stone. Rotary drilling is supplemented by a hammer activity, which lets the drill bit to strike the material hundreds of times a moment and puncture amazingly hard and thick surfaces. When hammer drilling, make use of tungsten carbide-tipped drill bits.
- Rotary drilling mode - rotary drills is perfect for essential DIY jobs, for instance, drilling holes to wood and metal. It relies on fast rotation – about 3,000 rpm – so it’s best for drilling holes into softer materials such as wood, plastic but can also drill metal.
- Screwdriver mode - this one provides more twisting force with lower speeds and torque setting.
Important drill features
- Size and weight - these two can vary to a great extent. Some of the large drills weigh more than 5kg and most people can struggle to manage this weight for sustained drilling. When it comes to size, small, compact drills can be more comfortable and easier to use even in confined spaces than the bigger models. Most models are still much smaller than hammer and SDS drills
- Drill bits - Most combi drills take the standard run of the mill drill bits and use a chuckless key to make inserting and changing drill buts much easier and faster. Make sure you buy the correct drill bits for the correct materials. We have a extension guide of choose the right drill bits here.
- Drill chuck - this is the section that holds the drill bits – a metal shaft that makes a hole. Modern drills feature keyless chucks for seemingly easy bit changing, unlike conventional tools that you have to worry about a lost key at a crucial time. Most combi drills can accept bits with diameters of around 0.5mm up to 13mm.
- Gears - a decent model comes with 2 gears. One of the gears grants slow speeds and greater twisting force for screwdriving, whilst the other delivers higher speeds for rotary drilling. A drill with only one gear is unlikely to be very effective at both screwdriving and drilling.
- Torque - the best cordless combi drill offers variable torque settings, allowing you to choose the correct level of twisting force for the different gears. This is handy for screwdriving tasks since it prevents over-tightening screws or even worse, screw damage.
Higher torque is ideal for driving larger screws and if you are not sure which level you need for what screws, start low and then increase in bits. Most drills have a torque range of 6 to 31. Although you’re unlikely to use 31, it’s important that you have plenty of choices. Generally, the torque setting depends on the hardness of the surface you’re driving screws into or drilling.
- Ergonomic handle - drills usually have a t-shaped handle which helps centre their weight for proper balance. This design also gives you better control of the tool. Our 'Best Pick' is unique as it has two handles for better control as you can use two hands easily, one of the great features which helped it win our best pick award.
- Wattage - this is a crucial factor to consider when buying a cordless drill. Generally, a higher wattage guarantees fast job completion, more power and long running of the drill without needing recharging or overheating. Still, the drill must convert power efficiently. An 18V or higher combi-drill will be great for tougher drill jobs, which can rather drain a smaller battery quickly. With a cordless combi drill, look for batteries with a high Ah rating for a longer run time. They start at 2.5Ah and go upto around 5Ah.
- Recharging - modern drills recharge within an hour, some in as little as 45 minutes, yet some can take up to five hours. Fortunately, most combi-drills come with an extra battery pack, so one recharges whilst the other one is in use. It’s advisable to buy a model that comes with two batteries which our best pick does. If the one you have only have one, consider buying a spare battery, so you’ll never run out of charge in the midst of a crucial project. You can can also but most drills as bare tools without the battery which means you can use other compatible tools from your other tools if you have models from the same range which use the same batteries which is common and known as energy sharing.
The best cordless combi drill can drill over 100 holes in sandstone on one charge. Lower range models can manage only about 30 holes. If you don’t plan to use the tool quite often, a mains drill might just turn out to be a good option. Lithium Ion (Li-ion) batteries are the most common and offer the best energy storage for cordless drills over older nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries.
Having looked at those features, we are pleased to present our top models in the following cordless combi drill reviews which we have carefully picked our many hours of research.
TOP 5 CORDLESS COMBI DRILL REVIEWS
Bosch PSB 18 LI-2 Ergonomic Cordless Combi Drill Review
OUR BEST PICK
The PS 18 Li-2 Ergonomic from Bosch is a handy Cordless Combi drill that is compact and lightweight designed. We really like the closed dual handle that ensures optimum power transfer and reduces strain when your using it, specially when using the impact action when drilling in hard materials like brick and concrete and makes the Bosch PSB 18 model tool very enjoyable to work with.
What really separates this model from most lower cost models is the brushless motor wicht are far more superior to brushed motors, brushless motors which are usually fitted into higher cost models are exposed to minimal wear and has an impressive high degree of efficiency compared to the brushed motors and it also gives the PSB 18 Li-2 Ergonomic Cordless Combi drill an exceptionally long life.
If you are dealing with complex projects and have a need for longer run times, then you don’t have to worry about this tool since its battery offers more run time per battery charge. As with most of the Bosch tools it also has what Bosch refer to as the intelligent Syneon chip which controls the perfect interaction between lithium-ion battery, powerful motor and robust gearbox for greater control and performance.
This Combi drill tool is built in brushless motor technology and innovative “Kickback Control” technology, which assists in detecting sudden jamming of the tool and shuts down on spot, ensuring safe operation. Other features on this tool includes; a 20 torque settings, 13mm keyless chuck, drill setting, 2 gears with innovative forward/reverse switch for screwdriving/drilling, and an impact function that can be switched on separately.
The PSB 18 LI-2 Ergonomic is powered by a modern lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 2.5 Ah, which puts an end to memory effect. Usually we would advise you use larger capacity batteries but this drill does come with 2 batteries and can be charged in only 45 minutes which makes up for the lack of capacity we usually look for.
As with all combi drills, this is a universal tool for a wide range of screwdriving and drilling applications in metal, wood and even concrete and brick. Combined with many functions, it has an impact drilling function with a fast impact rate for powerful drilling which we usually refer to as a hammer drill.
Thanks to the 18v battery capacity, the clever intelligent electronic control system and the innovative Syneon chip to control power effectively, this Cordless Combi drill is capable of driving in hundreds of screws with one battery charge making it the idea tools for larger jobs. In terms of spec's this tool has an impact rate of 22500 bpm that makes it perfect for drilling into concrete walls and a torque of 28/32 Nm is perfect for driving in even the lost screws.
This Combi drill has drilling diameter of 13mm in steel, 38mm in wood and 11mm in masonry but we do think it could do more but this could put the drill under more stress then is really advised.
Finally as with most Bosch tools it comes with a standard 2 year warranty but you can extend this to 3 years by simply registering the drill online which is well worth doing to get that extra years warranty.
- Voltage: 18V
- It has a Load speed in 1st gear of 0-430rpm and 0-1400rpm in second gear.
- Drilling diameter of 13mm in steel, 38mm in wood and 11mm in masonry
- The weight when fitted with battery is 1.25Kg
- Includes 2 x 2.5Ah Batteries which can be charged in only 45 minutes to 80%
- Perfect for the home user and professionals if not worked to hard.
- Very easy to handles thanks to its compact and light weight design.
- Very durability making it a robust drill for heavier work.
- High torque for driving in long screws as well a more agile small screws.
- Very reliable thanks to the brushless motor usually found with more expensive drills.
- Highly versatile drill for a range of drilling and screwing jobs
- Not the best choice for heavy duty professional use.
- Would be better with high capacity batteries for longer use.
We were that impressed with the Bosch PSB 18 LI-2 Ergonomic Cordless Combi Drill that it takes its top spot as our best cordless combi drill pick for most people both home user, DIY enthuseast and professionals but for lighter work.
If you are looking for a tool that gives you the ability to drill and drive screws into tight spots, this combi-drill is a great choice because of its handy design and you’ll find it paying huge dividends. Other features we really like include the double handled design, the two speed setting and adjustable torque.
Overall this is simply a fantastic drill and Bosch have done an amazing job with the design, the only real downside is the 2Ah battery capacity as we like to have at least 4Ah when recommending batteries. However the model we reviewed does come with 2 batteries so you can charge one while using the other and they can be charged in only 45 minutes which is amazingly quick.
If your a home user or DIY enthusiast this is the obvious best choice as it offers excellent features, not forgetting the brushless motor and comes with 3 years warranty but don't forget to register online to get the extra years warranty, its very easy to do online.
If your looking for a more affordable alternative then the Bosch PSB 1800 LI is a good alternative but if your after a more heavy duty professional combi drill we recommend is the DeWalt 18v XR also reviewed further down.
Bosch PSB 1800 LI-2 Cordless Combi Drill Review
The Bosch PSB 1800 cordless combi drill is mainly used for jobs around the home, jobs in the garden and by the DIY enthusiast. Like most Bosch tools It has been manufactured from quality materials and to a very high standard; making it powerful enough to be able to do normal tasks around the home and do more damaging jobs in the garden. It will tackle any type of heavy drilling jobs such as building a deck as you use it to drive in long decking screws which cheaper drills with less power and less torque struggle with.
Just like our 'best pick' it also comes with a second battery which effectively doubles the run time for the drill with both 18V batteries being rated at 1.5Ah, the drill itself feels sturdy and comfortable and well balanced and seems good enough to be handle the daily bumps and knocks it picks while in use. It also integrates a worklight which is extremely useful when drilling in low light areas such as under stairs and inside cupboards etc.
This Bosch Combi drill weighs less than 1.3Kg, making it one of the lightest drills available. This model also features a 2-sleeve 10mm keyless chuck so you can change bits easly and quickly using no tools. It also features 2 gears for low and high speed working making it very versatile for a range of jobs and the variable speed gives much better control.
This model also has 20 torque settings which make it perfect for driving in screws as you can adjust the torque for the job and screw size to avoid over-screwing,
The combi drill can drill up to 30mm in wood and 10mm in steel and masonry using the hammer drill function.
It comes with a fast charger which can charge the batteries in around 45 minutes and includes two 1.5Ah batteries that can also be used in a range of other Bosch power-tools i.e. hedge trimmers and saws.
- Max torque of 38 Nm
- No load speed in 1st gear 0-400rpm
- No load speed in 2nd gear - 1350rmp
- 20 torque setting
- 30mm Drilling diameter in wood and 10mm in steel and masonry
- Weight including battery 1.3kg
- Perfect for home use and DIY enthiseast
- 2 speed gearbox.
- 20 torque setting.
- Perfect for screwdriving, drilling and impact drilling into hard materials.
- Softgrip handle and comfortable to use.
- Lightweight and compact design.
- 3 years warranty when you register online.
- Not suitable for professionals
- Lacks the longer run times due to lower capacity batteries.
The Bosch PSB 1800 cordless combi drill is packed with plenty of great features that ensure that you get the best value for your money and can tackle a range of jobs from building flat pack furniture to drilling into brickwork.
We think this is one of the best versatile cordless drills on the market and probably the best choice for home users as it offers excellent value for money when you consider that it comes with 2 batteries and a fast charger and comes with 3 years warranty.
Overall its a brilliant little drill and its easy to see why it one of the best selling drills on Amazon.co.uk with over 3000 reviews.
If you're a DIY enthusiast or professional tradesmen, we recommend investing the extra and going for our 'Best Pick' as it will handle heavier work loads but if your just after a good multi-purpose drill? for home use this is a fantastic choice and still comes with 3 years warranty.
Ryobi ONE+ Cordless Combi Drill Review
The Ryobi ONE+ Cordless Combi drill is an exceptionally easy to use and was actually awarded our 'Best Pick' for the best cordless hammer drill review we recently did. The Ryobi One+ is a premium drill that is full of useful features and as you would expect for Ryobi has been made to the highest standards.
This model of tool is of its own class since it is a two-speed drill which is versatile and excellent. The two-speed setting allows the tool to be very flexible, hence enabling it to be an ideal combi drill for both lightweight applications as well as tougher tasks which makes it ideal for the DIY enthusiast as well as the professional tradesmen. It brilliant for drilling into a range of materials including wood, plastic, masonry using the hammer action as well as driving in screws. All this makes it the most reliable cordless drill that can handle any task thrown at it and makes it the ideal drill for nearly every job.
It also features a 13mm keyless chuck with an automatic spindle lock which allows you to change the drill and driver bits with just one hand and allows drilling of a variety of hole sizes thus giving more choices compared to the standard 10mm chuck. Also, it features an advanced planetary gearbox which reduces the weight of the device as well as increasing reliability when under load and the magnetic drill bit holder and an LED (Light Emitting Diode) work light are also featured to increase ease of use and better visibility in dimly lit areas.
Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the tool is always ready for use with no self-discharge and no memory effect which basically means it want lose it charge if not used for a longer periods of time. Having a long run time, a fast charge time of only 45 minutes and improved durability, the drill is also very reliable and designed to get he job done.
Ryobi ONE+ Cordless Combi drill features a fast 45 minute charger as we have all ready mentioned above as part of the kit and the drill has 24 different torque settings with a maximum torque output of 50Nm which is more than any of the two Bosch models.
The batteries of this tool are compatible with 35 other Ryobi devices such as the cordless garden tools and other powertools. Larger capacity batteries are also available for extended drilling applications so you all ways have the option to upgrade the batteries for better run times if needed.
The other important feature of this model is the electronic variable speed and brake for total control of the device when using it. The tool can drill up to 38mm in wood, 13mm in steel and masonry which is similar to that of our 'Best Pick'.
- Gear 1 speed: 0 - 350 rpm
- Gear 2 speed: 0 - 1300 rpm
- Electronic speed contol
- Electric brake
- 24 torque setting
- Maximum torque output of 50Nm
- Perfect for DIY professionals for light and medium work.
- Very well made and very versatile making it idea for drilling and screwdriving.
- Highly effective for drilling into a range of materials.
- Very reliable from a very trusted brand.
- Lightweight and compact design.
- Work light for better visibility in dimly lit areas.
- Includes 2 x 1.3Ah batteries and a 45 minute fast charger
- 3 year warranty for full peace of mind.
- Not suitable for heavy duty use,
The Ryobi ONE+ cordless combi drill is the ideal choice for the those looking for a reliable combi drill for lighter and medium type work such as a kitchen fitter and is probably on par with our 'Best Pick', to be honest it was very hard to decide whether to award this Ryobi combi drill or the Bosch PSB 18 LI the 'Best Pick' award but the Bosch got the spot because of its higher capacity batteries.
Overall this is an excellent choice and the 200+ reviews on Amazon do further confirm our finding. If your looking for a quality drill then the Ryobi is one of the top models and worth considering and with 3 years warranty it offers excellent value for money.
Dewalt 18V XR Brushless Compact Lithium-Ion Combi Drill Review
The DCD795M1 Brushless Cordless Combi Drill by Dewalt is a high performance brushless and cordless combi drill which is designed with professional and trade use in mind. It uses brushless motor technology for excellent efficiency and it is built to deliver a high-powered performance. The brushless motor delivers up to 57% extra run time when compared to the brushed ones and as such is very reliable. In reality brushless motors are far more Superior to brushed models which is why you need to budget the extra cost but this is something that is worth the extra investment for professional tradesmen as it pays dividends over time.
This Combi drill model is ultra-compact and lightweight at only 1.6kg and is designed to be used in confined spaces. It also features a bright LED worklight which enables you to see the working surface when working in confined sections in dimly lit areas.
Built with trusted and reliable Dewalt technology we ave come to both trust and love, this model has 14 adjustable torque control setting making it perfect for screwdriving into a variety of materials with different screw sizes which helps overscrewing or damaging screw-heads etc, the compact 13mm single sleeve keyless chuck with automatic spindle lock ensures quick and easy one handed bit changing and the improved ergonomic design and rubber grip ensures it comfortable to use even over longer periods of times of at awkward angles in tight spaces.
We really like the intelligent trigger design that allows you total control when drilling as it enables you to start of slow and increase the speed as needed. That is, if you are driving screws into wood, a gentle squeeze of the trigger allows the screw the chance to grip into the wood. Once that has happened, then you squeeze the trigger and drive it in which is very effective when driving in long screws.
It also comes with a multi voltage charger for use with 18V, 14.4V and 10.8V XR Li-Ion battery packs, a steel belt hook and magnetic bit holder ensures strong storage methods thus making your life a great deal easier, and part of the intelligent XR Li-Ion series is designed for efficiency and making applications faster.
This model comes with a 4Ah capacity battery which is the highest capacity of any of the batteries in our review and also comes with a charger that can deliver a full charge in 30 minutes which is also fast than any other model, this means you don’t have to worry about your drill running out of power. Also, this particular model from Dewalt uses all metal transmission. This simply implies that the drill is made of durable materials and is certain to last a long time but we would expect no less from a brand such as DeWalt.
- Speed: 2000 rpm
- 4.0Ah Li-Ion battery
- 14 adjustable torque setting
- 13mm single sleeve keyless chuck with automatic spindle lock
- Two speed all metal transmission
- ?Perfect for professional use and fitted with a brushless motor.
- Small compact drill drill with plenty of power for intensive professional use.
- Very light weight at only 1.6kg.
- Large 4Ah capacity battery and 30 minute fast charger,
- Very high quality product which is designed to last.
- Highly reliable
- 3 years warranty when you register online.
- Expensive to buy.
If you are looking for a high quality combi drill for all-purpose use including professional trade use under the most demanding situations, then the Dewalt 18V XR brushless compact combi drill is by far the best combi drill for professionals.
Honestly, you will own a nice piece of very high quality kit if you invest in this DeWalt combi drill and it is about as good as combi drills get, it exceptionally well made, fitted with the best brushless motor and is just simply an amazing piece of kit.
It more expensive than most other models but its also far superior, all in all if you after a good professional tool this is a worthy investment and comes with 3 years warranty but you need to register online to take advantage of the full 3 years as it comes with only 1 year if you do not register your product. It would be nice to see DeWalt change there warranty to be 3 years standard without registering online.
There is also a slightly cheaper version of the drill with the same name but it has a different model number which is DCD785M1, this model does not have a brushless motor so just be a aware of this when comparing prices.
Makita HP457D 18 V Cordless Li-Ion Combi Drill Kit Review
The Makita HP457D 18V cordless Li-ion Combi drill kit also comes with an accessory kit and is perfect for both DIY home use as well as trade use. It is compact and lightweight model that is designed for ease of use and for small to medium type jobs and is suitable for drilling into wood, metal, plastic and even masonry using the hammer function.
It has an all metal gear build for enhanced durability and an ergonomic design that features rubberized grip handles for maximum comfort and control. Its also fitted with a single sleeve keyless chuck which allows simple and fast bit installation and removal so you can change your drill or screwdriver bits easily without the need of a chuck.
The Makita combi drill we reviewed also came with the Makita 98C263 accessory kit which includes 101 pieces of various drill bits and driving bits, thus giving you every necessary tool to tackle any kind of task.
For convenience and longer run times it also comes complete with two 1.3Ah Li-Ion batteries which can be recharged in only 1 hour and includes a canvas bag for storing everything in one place making it a great complete kit with everything you need.
Built with 16 pre-selectable torque setting which can be set between 24 and 42 Nm and capable of producing 1400 RPM, this power drill is a great tool suitable for any home improvement project or professional jobs.
When registered with Makita online, the Combi drill kit qualifies for 3 year manufacturer’s warranty so don't forget to register online to take advantage of the full 3 years.
- Speed: 0-400 rpm in low and 0-1400 in high
- 2 x 1.4Ah Li-Ion battery
- 16 adjustable torque setting
- Two speed all metal transmission
- Variable speed trigger
- Electric brake
- Keyless chuck
- ?Designed as part of Makita professional series of tools.
- Designed to drill, screwdriving and hammer drilling in hard materials such as concrete and brick.
- High quality and very reliable.
- Includes 2 x 1.3Ah batteries and a 101 piece set and carry bag.
- Good value for money.
- 3 years warranty when you register online.
- No problems found but if you going to do lots of intensive jobs its worth considering the DeWalt model.
The Makita HP457D Combi drill kit is probably one of the most popular cordless power tools in the market today and is a great choice for the home DIY'er looking for a exellent job for tackling a range of jobs.
As a trusted manufacturer of power tools, Makita products are well known for their reliability and durability. This Combo drill kit is built with a lot of great features that promotes productivity and efficiency along with the accessory kit this package offers excellent value for money. Therefore, this is an excellent product to purchase and help you do your professional and DIY tasks and with 3 years warranty of the reliability of Makita, this is an excellent choice.
As much as we really like this combi drill and it being an excellent choice for the DIY enthusiast, we would still recommend the DeWalt model for anyone who is looking to tackle some heavy duty tasks, specially on a daily basis in a professional enviroment where you will get the added benefits of the brushless motor and extra power needed.
Our Final Conclusion
The best combi drill can do a lot around the workshop or at home. All the above combi drills are, in our opinion, the best models on the market today depending on what jobs you have in mind.
We would recommend that you buy the best combi drill that would last you many years, rather than buying a novice product then advance through the levels as time goes by – it will costly in the long run.
The combi drill will drive almost every screw and drill through pretty much any material with ease. We hope you find the right combi drill for your project and hope you have found our reviews helpful
Below is a quick summary of some of our best recommended models.
Our Best Pick
From the cordless combi drill reviews above, the Bosch PSB 18 LI-2 Ergonomic Cordless Combi Drill with Two 18 V Lithium-Ion Battery is undoubtedly the best model, in our opinion for most people both for home use and professionals.
At first glance, it looks unique and quite practical with a double handle design that enhances ultimate control of the tool as well as allowing you to perform your tasks comfortably.
With the ability to drive up to 700 screws from a single charge and an impressive impact rate of 22,500 bpm, this is the kind of tool suited for those tough demanding jobs.
Its brushless motor offers valuable benefits including extended lifetime, greater endurance, lower weight and no sparking faults. It is powered by a Li-ion battery with a decent capacity of 2.5Ah and features Bosch Electronic Cell Protection (ECP). The Bosch PSB 15 LI-2 is such a serious tool that carpentry and masonry professionals can rely on to complete a wide range of projects.
Last updated on February 28th, 2020