Cordless Drill Reviews & Impact Drivers

18V Cordless Drills

Speed Under Load
Torque
Feature Set
Weight
Footprint
Value
Final Thoughts

The compact Skil 20V brushless drill combines steady performance with a genuinely compact design. It's definitely a drill that gives you a ton of bang for your buck with a couple of features on the battery and charger that DIYers can really appreciate. Overall, it has the chops to get the job done for Pros with a final rating that puts it ahead of the other DIY/Prosumer brands.

Overall Score 4 Shootout Results

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Skil 20V Brushless Drill Review – PWRCore 20 Compact DL529302


Skil 20V Brushless Drill Puts DIY, Prosumer Competition in its Rearview Mirror

Skil markets itself as a brand that caters to the newest generation of DIYers but sells itself a good deal short in that respect. Every Skil brushless tool we’ve used since the relaunch has exceeded our expectations in quality and performance considering their prices. Our experience with the compact Skil 20V brushless drill has been very similar.

Subjectivity aside, it competed in the compact class of our epic 50+ drill shootout where it took 4th place against some stiff competition.

Shootout Results

The compact Skil 20V brushless drill combines steady performance with a genuinely compact design. It’s definitely a drill that gives you a ton of bang for your buck with a couple of features on the battery and charger that DIYers can really appreciate. Overall, it has the chops to get the job done for Pros with a final rating that puts it ahead of the other DIY/Prosumer brands.

Overall 18V Compact Drill Ranking: 4th Place

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Features

The Skil 20V Drill features a brushless motor and a high/low speed gearbox with a switch up top. An all-metal, keyless chuck accepts up to 1/2″ bits and helps out with quick bit changes. It also includes an LED light and a belt clip.

And all of that is all well and good, but perhaps one of the coolest things about the feature set revolves more the charger. The Skil DL529302 kit comes with a PWRJump charger, taking your 2.0Ah battery from 0-25% in just 5 minutes. It’s great when you’re you have just a little more to do at the end of the day and the battery dies. Take a 5-minute break and then wrap it up.

The 2.0Ah battery that comes in the kit we’re testing has a bonus—PWRAssist USB charging. Just grab the USB charging cord for any device that needs a boost and plug it into your battery to recharge it.

You can save $10 and go with a standard charger/non-USB battery with the Skil DL529303 kit.

Performance

We have much greater detail about our testing methods in our Best Drill Head to Head Review.

Torque Testing

We hooked up the Skil 20V brushless drill to our soft torque compression rig to see what kind of power the brushless motor can transfer. It wound up finishing 7th out of 15 by generating 160.4 in-lbs of torque.

Best Cordless Drill

Admittedly, this looks sort of mediocre, but bear in mind that this is a higher finish than Milwaukee, Makita, and Hilti models in the same class. It also needs some additional context. Metabo HPT’s compact drill drove away with nearly 100 in-lbs more torque in this test than anyone else. DeWalt was another high flyer at nearly 221 in-lbs. The other 13 drills range from 98.0 to 190.4 in-lbs.

Hilti SFC 22-A

 

Speed Testing

As far as speed under load goes, we started out with a 3/4″ Bosch Daredevil High-Speed Auger Bit and 5-ply OSB board, measuring the drill bits’ rotation while working. The Skil DL529301 finished in 10th place with an average speed of 1212 RPM, 68% of its tested no-load speed. It’s still spinning fast enough that you can go a little bigger than 3/4″ at high speed, depending on what bit you’re using.

Skil 20V Brushless Drill Review - PWRCore 20 Compact DL529302

When we swapped out to a 1-1/2″ self-feed bit, we saw an average speed of 358 RPM and 74% efficiency. It landed in 11th place this time. Again, the percent of no-load speed is high enough that we’re comfortable moving up to marginally larger bits.

Performance Takeaways

Skil has pretty much middle of the road specs for torque and speed. It’s a little lower in speed on its low gear than other models, so it’s no surprise that we see it slip a little further down in speed while gaining some efficiency. Check out how slower speeds can actually be a power benefit in this article.

For a tool being marketed toward the DIY sector, it actually produces steadier performance than we expect. When we look just at the Prosumer competitors (Skil, Ryobi, Craftsman, Hercules, Masterforce), Skil is on the slower side for speed and higher side for torque. Expect to work with a wider range of bits with this drill even though it’s going to drill a little slower.

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Size and Weight

Let’s also take size and weight into consideration. The compact Skil 20V brushless drill weighs in at 3.01 lbs with its 2.0Ah battery, making it the second lightest compact drill we tested. Only Makita’s sub-compact drill is lighter. That’s always a win and makes it a tool that’s easy for anyone on the job or in your home to use.

It also only measures in at 7.4″ tall without a battery and 7.1″ long. In case you’re wondering, that’s pretty small, even for a compact drill. When Skil’s design team set out to make a compact drill, they clearly took with the size and weight seriously.

Price

The Skil DL529302 kit, which includes the PWRJump charger and a 2.0 Ah battery with PWRAssist, will run you $129.99 on Amazon. Adding to that, Skil warranties this tool for 5 years, and the battery and charger for 2 years.

You have other options as well. The kit with standard charger/non-USB battery runs $119.99 along with a variety of combo kits.

The Bottom Line

The compact Skil 20V brushless drill combines steady performance with a genuinely compact design. It’s definitely a drill that gives you a ton of bang for your buck with a couple of features on the battery and charger that DIYers can really appreciate. Overall, it has the chops to get the job done for Pros with a final rating that puts it ahead of the other DIY/Prosumer brands.

Skil 20V Drill Specs

  • Model Number: Skil DL529302
  • Chuck Capacity: 1/2″
  • Chuck Type: Keyless
  • Clutch Settings: 17+1
  • LED Light: Yes, with pre-light and after-glow
  • Net Weight (without battery): 2.23 lbs
  • No-Load Speed: 0-480 / 0-1800 RPM
  • Variable Speed Switch: Yes
  • Warranty: 5-Year Warranty on Tool, 2-Year Warranty on Batteries and Charger
  • MSRP: $129.99

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