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Top 5 Best Right Angle Drills in 2018 | Expert’s Guide and Reviews

Best Right Angle Drills

Every handyman, around the house or on the job, knows the adage about using the right tool for the job. This is especially the case in unique situations including tight spaces between studs, beams, or joists. In this type of tight space the right tool for the job is a right angle drill.

These drills are especially designed to give you the maximum access, alignment, and torque you need to get the job done right in tight places. Below are some of the best right angle drills on the market.

A Quick List of 5 Best Right Angle Drills 2018 - Comparison and Editor's Choice

Product Name

Torque

Weight

Voltage 

Price

DEWALT DCD740C1 Compact Right Angle Drill

0-2000 RPM

3.9 lbs 

20-Volt Max

Milwaukee 2615-20 Cordless M18 Right Angle Drill

0-1500 RPM

3 lbs 

18-Volt Max

Makita AD02W Cordless 3/8" Right Angle Drill (Editor's Choice)

0-800 RPM

2.5 lbs 

12-Volt Max

DEWALT DCD740B Right Angle Drill

0-2000 RPM

3.25 lbs 

20-Volt Max

Bare-Tool Milwaukee 2415-20 M12 Cordless Right Angle Drill

0-800 RPM

2.2 lbs 

12-Volt Max

2018 Recommended Best Right Angle Drills Reviewed

#1. DEWALT DCD740C1 Compact Right Angle Drill

This ⅜” right angle drill has all the latest design features and a very compact drill length.

The 4-inch front-to-back length give you extra space to fit your bit into the space. The deep hex pocket also allows the bit fit all the way to the chuck for extra room. This compressed profile is a key feature of this right angle drill.

One key to performance for this unit is the long-lasting 20 volt lithium ion batteries. You can expect to drill for 3 hours between charges, depending on the type of holes you are drilling. The light weight of the drill allows you to carry it around effortless and use it with less strain.

The drill’s ergonomic design and 30-minute fast charger will keep you drilling all day long.

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While the torque isn’t listed in the product documentation, reviews indicate it has substantial torque sufficient for drilling holes or driving bolts. The grip and short drive of the drill also helps contain twisting from torque during use.

The standard package comes with the drill, one battery, the 30-minute fast charger, a belt hook, and a plastic carrying case. As with any cordless tool, it is a good idea to buy an extra battery that can be charged while the other is in use. This allows for uninterrupted use throughout the work day.

Pros:

  • Short Front-to-back distance for tight spaces
  • Deep hex chuck allows bit to fit deeper for more room
  • Long-lasting charge and fast rechargeVariable speeds
  • Strong torque
  • Ergonomics yield great control
  • ⅜ inch quick release chuck

Cons:

  • Drill has an instant stop feature that causes the chuck to loosen a bit when drilling at high speeds
  • A little more wobble at high speeds due to the short front-to-back distance

#2.Milwaukee 2615-20 Cordless M18 Right Angle Drill, Tool only

The M-18 has a shorter front-to-back distance compared to other right angle drills at 3 ¾ inches. It combines with a ⅜-inch ratcheting chuck to allow additional space for a variety of bits and quick change outs.

At 3 lbs the drill is very light and is easy to use. The variable torque settings allow the user to control the inevitable twisting of the unit during use. This variable torque is achieved with an electronic clutch unique to the Milwaukee drills.

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The drill also comes with a built-in LED light to help the user see what they are doing in tight spaces. The 18V REDLITHIUM™ batteries last for several hours, depending on torque settings and use. The drill comes with a charge indicator that gives a reading of the charge on the battery during use.

The button on this drill is a reverse trigger depresses easily and is long enough that your grip can be changed to balance it during use.

The drill is sold “tool only”, so you will have to buy a battery for operation. You will also need to buy any other bits, cases, or chargers separately.

As with all Milwaukee tools, the drill has a durable casing and construction designed to last for year. Coupled with the long-lasting battery pack, you could be using this drill for years to come.

Pros:

  • Shortest front-to-back profile in right angle drills when combined with hex chuck depth
  • Long-lasting Lithium-ion batteriesBuilt-in LED light
  • ⅜ inch drive with ratcheting chuck for quick bit changes
  • Electronic clutch with variable torque settings
  • Gauge for monitoring battery life during use
  • Durable construction with good torque
  • LED stays on for a bit after releasing trigger

Cons:

  • Sold tool only, no battery or charger
  • Reported pinching by the chuck (between housing and chuck) when tightening or loosening bits
  • Sensitive trigger
  • Some find it lacks power

#3. Makita AD02W 3/8" Best Cordless Right Angle Drill

The Makita AD02W is a ⅜” right angle drill has a compact 3 ½ inch front-to-back depth. The paddle trigger and grip allow for great control at any angle.

The reduced front-to-back length give you extra space to fit your bit into tight spaces between joists and beams. With variable speed settings from 0-800 RPM and 100 in-lbs of torque, this drill works well for spinning screws or drilling holes.

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The 12-volt lithium ion batteries are USEPA and DOE Energy Star® rated and certified. These batteries last 2 to 3 hours in use and have a low drain/self-discharge. The rapid Optimum charger recharges batteries within 60 minutes and has a built-in chip to optimize battery life. The chip controls the current and monitors voltage and temperature to proven overcharging and stress. Using a second battery as a backup charge will keep you in continuous operation.

The ergonomic, paddle type handle of the drill also helps contain twisting from torque during use. The keyless chuck makes changing out bits fast and easy.

The standard package comes with the drill, two (2) 12V lithium ion battery, and the 60-minute fast charger. The long life of the battery and quick charge time can avoid using a second battery, but it is still best to use both batteries in charge/use rotations. This allows for uninterrupted use throughout the work day.

Pros:

  • Compact 3 ½ inch front-to-back depth
  • Ergonomic and easy paddle switch,with reverse and speed control
  • Good torque and control
  • Comes with TWO batteries, standard
  • 60-minute rapid charge with metering to preserve battery life
  • Durable construction

Cons:

  • Thin front-to-back profile, but a little long and wide for some mechanical areas

#4. DEWALT DCD740B Right Angle Drill

At 3 ¼  pounds, this ⅜” right angle drill is a robust right angle drill with variable speeds and good torque.

Compact, with a 4-inch front-to-back depth on the drive head, this drill can get into tight spaces while providing the torque needed to drill through studs. Like the DEWALT DCD740C1 reviews above, this drill has a deep hex pocket that allows the bit fit all the way to the chuck for extra room. This deep set allows the bit extra space to fit in tight spaces with the drill.

This unit has the same long-lasting 20 volt lithium ion batteries common to DEWALT tools. Each battery will allow you to drill for 3 hours between charges, as always depending on the torque and speed of your work.

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This drill is a little heavier than other models, but this is compensated by its robust performance and high-speed transmission. The drill’s ergonomic design and DEWALT 30-minute fast charger keeps your alternate batteries charged for uninterrupted work.

While the torque isn’t listed in the product documentation, product reviews indicate this drill has substantial torque in a variety of uses. The multi-grip trigger allows the user to balance the drill on difficult angles to resist twisting.

The standard package comes with the drill, one battery, a belt hook, and a Phillips bit. This means you will need to buy batteries and a charger to use the tool. As stated, it is a good idea to buy an extra battery that can be charged while the other is in use with the drill. This allows for uninterrupted use throughout the work day.

Pros:

  • Short Front-to-back distance for tight spaces
  • Deep hex chuck allows bit to fit deeper for more room
  • Long-lasting charge and fast rechargeVariable speeds
  • Strong torque
  • Ergonomics yield great control
  • ⅜ inch quick keyless ratcheting chuck

Cons:

  • Batteries not included
  • Charge dissipates quickly during use
  • Charger not included
  • Plastic chuck

#5. Bare-Tool Milwaukee 2415-20 M12 Cordless Right Angle Drill

The Milwaukee M-12 is very light at 2.2 pounds. This can’t be overstated when working at arms-length or overhead during a workday. Like the M-18 above, the M-12 has a short front-to-back distance at 3 ¾ inches.

While some profiles are shorter, the ⅜-inch spindle lock chuck allows additional space for a variety of bits, this drill fits into places others won’t.

The 11 variable torque settings allow the user to control the inevitable twisting of the unit during use. This variable torque is achieved with an electronic clutch unique to the Milwaukee drills.

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The 18V REDLITHIUM™ batteries, common to Milwaukee tools, last for several hours during use depending on torque settings and use. The drill comes with a charge indicator that gives a reading of the charge on the battery during use.

The button on this drill has a variable speed trigger that allows for maximum control during use. The drill also comes with a built-in LED light to help the user see what they are doing in tight spaces.

The drill is sold “tool only”, so you will have to buy a battery for operation. You will also need to buy any other bits, cases, or chargers separately.

As with all Milwaukee tools, the drill has a durable casing and construction designed to last for year. Combined with the long-lasting battery pack and quick charger, you could be using this drill for years to come.

Pros:

  • Very light at just 2.2 pounds
  • Shortest front-to-back profile in right angle drills when combined with hex chuck depth
  • Long-lasting Lithium-ion batteries
  • Built-in LED light
  • ⅜ inch drive with ratcheting chuck for quick bit changes
  • Electronic clutch with variable torque settings
  • Gauge for monitoring battery life during use
  • Durable construction with good torque
  • LED stays on for a bit after releasing trigger

Cons:

  • Reverse trigger is difficult to use
  • Variable speed setting do not smoothly transition
  • Top speed is not quite high enough
  • LED does not fade properly
  • Insufficient balance
  • Little too wide and long, despite the depth, for mechanical spaces
  • Clutch isn’t automatic - required monitoring and changes by user
Right Angle Drills

Choosing the Perfect Right Angle Drill : The Ultimate Buying Guide

Now that we’ve gone through the features and specifications of these top of market right angle drills, let’s look at some criteria to help decide which one is the best one to choose. Remember that some evaluations are subjective, so it is also a good idea to maybe rent one or two choices and try them out before you buy. The feel of the particular tools in your hand when you use them, and how well they work for you, are the ultimate deciding factors.

Front-to-Back Depth

This was a common criterion for all of the models discussed. After all, you are buying a right angle drill to fit between studs and other tight places so the ultimate criteria is that it fits! This not only includes the tool, though. It must include the bit you want to use. So, the depth of the chuck adds to, or subtracts from, the overall depth of the tool. A deep chuck will allow the bit to sink in deeper and work with the front-to-back depth to fit into tighter spaces.

Torque and Speed

Torque and speed are critically important in a drill, especially if you intend to use it to drive screws or bolts as well as drill holes. The higher the speed, the greater the torque available. A variable speed drill allows you to adjust to the type of work you are doing, while variable torque allows you to increase power for tough drilling.

This is also where a great deal of wear can come on your drill. A cheap transmission or clutch can wear out quickly if you are using your tool in high torque uses. The 3-speed motors on these drills offer plenty of torque and allow for slow, powerful drilling. This means the motor will last longer and be less likely to burn out from heavy use.

Weight and Ergonomics

When working with these drills, you are primarily using them with one hand. Often you are at arms-length or holding the drill above your head to reach areas at awkward angles. So, a pound or half a pound of weight over the course of a day makes a huge difference. The same with the ergonomics of the grip, handle, and button.

You want these to give you a solid feeling of control with easy access to buttons and controls. This is also important to resist the twisting of the drill if it snags at a high torque and can prevent wrist or other injuries from the drill.

Batteries

Battery life is a huge consideration as they represent a major portion of the expense of each drill. Batteries with a long service life are critical, even more so than the charge life. You can always use a couple of batteries to extend your usage during the day. If the battery stops accepting a charge and you have to replace it, that is relatively expensive.


So, rapid chargers that meter the recharge on the lithium ion batteries are a huge benefit. Also, units that are sold with batteries included as opposed to those that don’t is a significant cost consideration.

Drive and Chuck Size

All of these drills come with a ⅜ drive and chuck. The chuck accepts the bit and controls how large a bit you can use. If you use a larger bit, it increases the torque necessary to drive the bit. The ⅜ inch drive and 3-speed motor should deliver all the power and torque you need for most jobs.

This can also make a difference relative to your existing set of tools. If you have to buy new bits and extensions to fit the tool, that is a consideration. It can cost significant money to not only have a specialty power tool but all new extensions too!

Ancillary Equipment

These are the extra bells and whistles on various models. How much they mean to you is a matter of your own preferences. Whether it be LED lights, the electronic clutch, cases, extra batteries, or fast charging, these are the little niceties than can tip the scale if two drills are close in power, speed, and performance.

The Verdict

I have worked with and known professional carpenters, plumbers, and electricians for years. All of these products are in our tool boxes. Personal preference has a lot to do with which brand they like. They will all do the job and drill a hole or drive a screw at a right angle.

But the final winner in our comparison, based on the criteria above, is the Makita AD02W Cordless 3/8" Right Angle Drill. It has the same size chuck, drive and motor, with comparable speed, torque and durability. The deciding factors actually come down to price and the inclusion of two batteries in the standard kit with the rapid recharge capabilities of the charger.

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