Whether you’re assembling a new piece of furniture, sanding a vintage find or getting stuck into a more involved DIY project, using the right power tools will make things easier and quicker, and even more so if you go cordless. Cordless power tools take the faff of wires out of the equation and allow you to move around with greater ease. Battery-powered options offer great flexibility, as there’s no need to worry about being close to a plug socket or finding the right extension lead, so working out in the open air or moving from room to room is a lot simpler.
What are the best cordless power tools?
So you know you want a cordless power tool, but where is the best place to start looking? With so many varieties of power tools on the market, it can be hard to know which is the best cordless power tool to buy. Here, we've selected our top eight must-have cordless power tools, suitable for a range of budgets, that will see you through a variety of DIY projects, with no cables to hold you back. Just charge them up and get going!
1. Quick and easy: Ryobi 18V 16G nailer, £150, B&Q
- Lightweight and convenient
- Speedy with no compressors or cables
Swap your hammer and nails for a speedier cordless nail gun. With no need for compressors, cables or air cartridges, it’s a lightweight, convenient solution for fitting skirting boards, woodworking and assembling furniture. Ryobi’s 18v cordless nailer fires 16-gauge (1.6mm) nails from 19 to 65mm long, has two firing modes – one for precision, and one for speed – and a low-nail indicator so you’ll know when it’s time to reload.
2. Multi-purpose tool: Dremel 12V Cordless Multi-tool 1 battery 8220, £100, B&Q
- Use for a range of DIY tasks and projects
- Great for tricky to reach areas
- Includes an adjustable onboard LED light so you can clearly see everything that you're doing, even in dark areas
For detailed DIY jobs, a multi-tool like this one by Dremel is a great investment. A compact all-rounder with a powerful 12v Li-Ion battery with only 1.5 hours charging time, and variable speed. Grind, sand, sharpen, polish and clean with this nifty cordless power tool. It's ideal for working on small, tricky-to-reach surfaces and will be a real time-saver if you’ve got a variety of home projects on the go.
3. For upcycling projects: Ryobi R18ROS-0 Orbital Sander Bare Tool - 18V, £65, Argos
- Light and easy to control
- Great for revamping vintage furniture
Achieving a professional end result starts with the prep, so don’t skip sanding! It may not be everyone’s favourite task, but it’ll be finished in no time with a cordless sander to do the hard work for you. Ryobi’s Orbital sander is light and easy to control and has a 2.5mm orbital sanding motion for a smooth, swirl-free finish when moved in any direction – just the thing for revamping a vintage piece of furniture.
4. Great value set: Guild Fast Charge Screwdriver & 45 Piece Accessories - 3.6V, £25, Argos
- Integrated LED torch
- Adaptable to different working conditions
- Soft grip for a comfortable hold
Putting together a tool kit from scratch? This 45-piece set has all the necessary basics covered. Included is a powerful 3.6v li-Ion cordless screwdriver with just a one-hour charge time, seven torque settings and an integrated LED work light, plus a 300mm flexible shaft, magnetic bit holder and a 1/4" driver socket all included in a sturdy storage bag.
5. For the home and garden: Bosch ADVANCEDRECIP 18v Cordless Recipro Saw, £83.95, Tooled-Up
- For use on steel, plastic, chipboard, rubber and plasterboard
- Easy to handle and use
If you’re tackling jobs both inside the house and out in the garden, you’ll get plenty of use out of a reciprocating saw. Grab this versatile tool if you're looking to make deep cuts in wood, flush cuts next to walls, as well as slicing through steel, plastic, chipboard, rubber and plasterboard. Bosch’s AdvancedRecip 18 has a counterbalanced design for low vibrations and a well-designed ergonomic shape with multiple grip positions that make it easy to handle and use.
6. Two drill bundle: Black + Decker 18v combi drill and impact drill set, £99, AO
- Can drill into masonry and concrete
- Impact drill to tighten up nuts and screws
Every home needs a drill, but not every drill can handle all the jobs your home might throw at it. Having a couple of different types in your kit will make sure you’ve got every possibility covered, so this duo by Black + Decker will be a useful addition to your toolbox. The lightweight combi is able to drill into a variety of material types, including masonry and concrete, so is the one to reach for when putting up shelves and mirrors, while the impact drill can tighten up nuts and screws on flatpack furniture with ease.
7. Best for accurate angles: Ryobi 18v ONE+ cordless mitre saw, £279, Machine Mart
- Laser guide for accuracy
- Great for use on skirting boards and trims
Neat finishing touches such as skirting boards, beading and trims can make a real difference to the overall look of a room, so add a mitre saw to your tool collection if you’ll be DIYing these. Mitre saws can make quick, accurate crosscuts at selected angles, and cordless options are lightweight and easy to move around to use wherever you’re working. Ryobi’s includes a laser guide for maximum accuracy, and pre-select mitre angles from 0-45° and a 0-45° bevel to suit a variety of different tasks.
8. Best for cutting curves: Erbauer 18v cordless four-stage pendulum action jigsaw, £70, B&Q
- Great manoeuvrability and built-in blower function
- Make your own shelves and planters
Jigsaws are ideal for intricate cut-outs and curves, and a cordless one will give you even more manoeuvrability. These relatively small, nifty saws are most often used for cutting curves and shapes, so if you fancy getting creative with plywood and making your own shelves, planters and other Insta-worthy home projects, you’ll need one of these. Erbauer’s has advanced brushless motor technology for more power and higher torque, a variable speed for optimal performance, and a built-in blower function that will help to keep the cut line clear of sawdust while you work.
How to choose a cordless power toolFollow these expert tips from Craig Simpson, shop products category manager at Howarth Timber & Building Supplies, for choosing and using cordless tool:
Choose products from the same manufacturer If you plan on extending your range of cordless tools over time, choose a system from the same brand or manufacturer so you can share batteries between units and ensure good quality without compatibility issues. Some systems will include other useful items such as torches and radios as well.
Choose lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries Although lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries can cost twice as much or more than nickel-cadmium (NiCad) batteries do, they’re worth it. They’re small and lightweight, run at top power for longer, are good for two to three times more charge cycles than NiCads, and they can sit for months without losing charge.
Charge power tool batteries indoors and use them frequently You can make your Li-ion batteries last longer by charging them frequently – it’s best not to let them drop below around 20 per cent capacity – and at the right temperature (5-29°C is optimum). Charge them indoors or out of direct sunlight, and use your batteries frequently. The battery will degrade more rapidly if it’s not used at least every couple of months. If you have two batteries, be sure to use them both.
Use protective clothing Never underestimate a power tool – you can hurt yourself even with the smallest tool. Protect your eyes with safety glasses, minimise the damage to ears with earplugs, wear a mask to prevent inhaling harmful minute particles, and protect your body with the right clothing. Clothes that cover the entire body are best.
Prepare your work area before use Keep your work area clean and clear of clutter. Maintaining a clean environment will help to reduce the accumulation of dust, as these particles in the air can be ignited with a spark. Be sure to also keep flammable liquids away from your power tools.
Hopefully you know what you're after now, and if you enjoyed our round-up of the best cordless power tools, why not check out our other Buyer's Guides? We've got guides to the best garden furniture, best washing machines, best electric ovens, and many more household appliances.
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