Most Powerfull Drills

Hitachi DV18DBL2 1/2" Drill vs Dewalt DCD996 vs Milwaukee 2704-20 | Brushless Drill BattleWhen looking for a new battery operated 1/2″ drill, is power all that one should be concerned with?  The obvious answer is No, right?  Power is a key component of a good drill, but that also includes safety features, like a side handle, comfort, battery life and thermal protection.  Our testing in our YouTube video shows that the Milwaukee M18 2704-20, Dewalt 20-volt Max DCD996, and Hitachi 18-volt DV18DBL2 all have good power.  More importantly, they all seem to accel in different areas.  One of these drills might fit your needs better than the other.

Our testing was designed to find out exactly what drill works best and give you the testing of power to help you choose the right package for you.  In the early tests, some of the drills are performing better than others in speed, but in the middle area, one drill, in particular, jumped ahead of the pack.  This is most likely the motor and gearing for this sweet spot.  As we moved on to drill bits that are way too large for normal use, other drills came forward.  Does this tell us that the software monitoring the motor and battery temperatures are more relaxed?  Either way, we took the drills through all this testing and it is clear that each is very good at a certain set of tasks, but also that each drill can get the same job done, just many not as fast as each other.

Chuck Twins

All of the drills tested had a keyless 1/2″ metal chuck.  All of the drill chucks worked well, but two were very similar.  The Dewalt and Hitachi share the exact same chuck.  The big difference is that the Hitachi chuck sticks out a bit farther than the Dewalt allowing for easier tightening with larger bits that ride close to the jaws.  The chuck on the Milwaukee seems to be equal in quality to the Dewalt and Hitachi.

Side Handles

Hitachi DV18DBL2 1/2" Drill vs Dewalt DCD996 vs Milwaukee 2704-20 | Brushless Drill BattleIf there is one item that was different on all three drills, it was the side handles.  None of them connected to the drill the same and none were the same length.  First, the Hitachi had the longest handle that screwed into the aluminum motor housing.  The longer handle was very comfortable but might have been slightly long for the drill.  Milwaukee had the second longest handle that clamps on the top of the drill.  If you watched our video comparing the Bosch 36-volt drill to the Dewalt and Milwaukee, you would have seen that connection fail on us taking that drill out of the game.  That side handle failing is not the norm, but it does bring to light that any connection to a cast material can fail.  The Hitachi also screws into cast aluminum.  The Dewalt had the shortest of handles and it shows that the handle makes it harder to use in some situations.  That handle clamps around the drill just behind the clutch and seems to be the most reliable.  We have had that handle slid a bit on us, but never fail.


The grip on tools can be a touchy subject.  Everyone likes something slightly different.  In this case, the Milwaukee seemed to have the largest barrel in the grip, followed by Dewalt and then HitachiHitachi has the most contoured grip, followed by Dewalt and them Milwaukee.  All of them have a solid rubber over-mold and whatever one you like will be for your own reasons as they are all solid.

Triggers, gearing and direction changes were all very similar.  The only thing that stuck out in the test was that the Hitachi and Milwaukee are a 2-speed drill where the Dewalt is a 3-speed drill.


Overall, one could easily make an argument that any one of these drills were the winner depending on the way they might be used.  That would depend on the person.  The Milwaukee was the most consistent up until we started testing very large bits.  The Dewalt seemed to be the fastest but would cut out in the middle sized area more than others but powered through the toughest of tests.  The Hitachi had the best battery life and provided similar power tot he Dewalt, but did thermal overload on a larger cut.  The hammer test also produced a clear winner as would a test of drilling different metals.  The YouTube video will walk you through it all and allow you to see it for yourself!