Best domestic power drills for 2017

We call them power drills but that is a hangover from grandad’s day when hand cranked drills were still in common use. Some people (woodworkers mostly) still use those little hand powered drills for fine quality work, but to those artisans I say, “thanks for keeping the old ways going  but personally, I think I will stick with my electric model.”

So if were thinking just about Power drills we can at least split them up into mains powered or battery powered. Mains power or ‘corded’ drills have the advantage of constant high power drilling that will theoretically never stop whereas battery-powered (cordless) drills; although less impressive in terms of speed, torque and how long you can use them for without recharging; have the advantages of ease of use and no cable for you to worry about.

So in this review I am going to first of all look at the big boys; the mains powered corded drills and then separately in part two we can take a look at battery-powered cordless drills. By the end we should come to a conclusion as to which of each of the current best of breed.

In both cases we will  weigh up cost, build quality and power as well as functionality, attachments and ease of use. Admit it, you are as excited as I am.

We are going to look at Corded drills first. Although nowadays they are far less popular than cordless drills in terms of sales, than their are battery-powered counterparts.

Let’s start with…

Bosch psb650 re

Firstly the manufacturers have held an enviable reputation for four almost half a century. The famous German reputation for engineering quality extends from car making through to tool making and Bosch are known for top quality reliable power tools. It must be said that after working with 650 I feel that reputation has survived intact.

The body is a solid plastic that has no movement when manhandled. It feels stable, rugged and reassuringly but reasonably weighty in your hands. A depth gauge comes as standard on the side of the drill and the housing for this was definitely well engineered. I have accidentally broken depth gauges whilst mucking about on two separate occasions but it doesn’t feel as if I would do the same again with the 650 RE.

Oh, yeah, lets talk power. Well the 650 refers to the output wattage of this beast. This is plenty powerful enough for any home or professional situation. The R refers to it being reversible and of course there is a hammer action for making short work of drilling through masonry.

While the trigger is variable speed which is a good idea, my only slight concern is that the little wheel for presenting the max speed being placed on the trigger itself feels like the one part of the drill that might fail earlier than the rest. The chuck, like all Bosh drills these days is keyless which is infinitely better than the older style. I remember leaving the key in the chuck, starting my drill (back in the 1990s ) which caused the key to fly out and instantly smash the kitchen window. The world has definitely moved on for the better.

As for cost, well for what you get, the cost is really good value, but we suspect they have been scraping down to wafer thin margins just to keep  within the same ballpark as modern Chinese imports.


The closest competitor to the Bosch is actually a little less  powerful at 600w which is still plenty to be playing with in all but the most demanding situations. Black and Decker manage to offer their power drill for a couple of pounds cheaper than their German rival and have made it almost half the weight. The lack of weight is actually a bit of a worry. Small light weight motors just don’t have the torque strength of heavier variants. That said, if you have a whole day of drilling ahead of you you might come to be grateful for the lighter build of the Black and Decker.

VonHaus 710W 87pc Corded Impact Drill Driver and Drill Bit Accessory Set with Hammer function

The third corded drill I am looking at today is the Von Haus 710. It is not a brand I have encountered before and so I have to be careful not to judge harshly just because I am unfamiliar with this drill’s makers.

Firstly, we can see that the wattage is the highest of the three. The basic shape of the drill is very similar to the other two but as soon as you get your hands on it you can tell that something is a bit different. I’m afraid it’s the build quality. The one on I’ve got my hands on just felt a little less solid than the other two power drills. That being said, when I actually tried it out I found no problems at all. It was able to drill all of my test pieces to the same accuracy depth and ease as its competitors had done. The real advantage of this drill is in it ridiculously low price. If you are looking to save money and yet still be able to do the DIY jobs around the home that you need to do this and that he will be the choice for you.  It comes in time plastic case which keeps the dust out. There are also a few drillbits provided gratis with the drill and once more a keyless chuck is standard.

Part two… coming soon

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About the author

Loves to learn new things and make stuff...properly. Born and living in the Thames Valley west of London, England. I have an office job during the day, but evenings and weekends are all about making.