Right-angle drills are loved by professionals and amateurs alike because they are quicker to work with and excel when working in tight spaces and other awkward locations. They are also much safer and easier to use than a right-angle power drill attachments.
You can use a right-angle drill for drilling holes or driving screws in small and difficult to reach areas such as between studs and joists. This specialized power tool also lets you drill holes through roofs and floors.
I completely understand how difficult finding the most suitable right power tool can be when it comes to specs, requirements, and budget. That is why I decided to do the research for you. I’ve compared all available brands and devised a list of the top 8 right-angle drills to help you pick the best right angle drill.
At the same time, you may have an immediate need for one, so I’m going to stick my neck out and recommend the DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Right Angle Drill Kit. If it’s not for you, here’s a quick rundown of my picks for the best right angle drill on the market in 2021:
- Top Pick – DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Right Angle Drill/Driver Kit (DCD740C1)
- Top Value Pick – Ryobi P241 One+ 18 Volt Lithium-Ion Right Angle Drill
- Milwaukee 2811-20 M18 FUEL 18-Volt Right Angle Drill
- Milwaukee 2615-20 M18 Cordless Right Angle Drill
- DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Right Angle Drill (DCD460T2)
- Makita DA3010F 4 Amp 3/8-Inch Right Angle Drill
- Makita XAD02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3/8″ Angle Drill
- Metabo HPT DN18DSLQ4M 18V Li-Ion 3/8 in. Angle Drill
Contents (Jump to Topic)
- 1 Our Top Picks for the Best Right Angle Drills 2021
- 1.1 Top Pick – DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Right Angle Drill/Driver Kit (DCD740C1)
- 1.2 Top Value Pick – Ryobi P241 One+ 18 Volt Lithium-Ion Right Angle Drill
- 1.3 Top Heavy Duty Pick – Milwaukee 2811-20 M18 FUEL 18-Volt Right Angle Drill
- 1.4 Milwaukee M18 2615-20 Cordless Right Angle Drill
- 1.5 DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Right Angle Drill (DCD460T2)
- 1.6 Makita DA3010F 4 Amp 3/8-Inch Right Angle Drill
- 1.7 Makita XAD02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3/8″ Angle Drill
- 1.8 Metabo HPT DN18DSLQ4M 18V Li-Ion 3/8 in. Angle Drill
- 2 Do I Need a Right Angle Drill?
- 3 What to Look for When Choosing the Best Right Angle Drill
- 4 Conclusion
Our Top Picks for the Best Right Angle Drills 2021
To compile this list, I considered things such as type of motor, RPM, torque, battery, comfort, ergonomics, and several other features. Here is my list of the top 8 best right-angle drills currently on the market.
Top Pick – DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Right Angle Drill/Driver Kit (DCD740C1)
The dimensions of this Dewalt right-angled drill mean you can use it in the tightest of spaces. There’s even a powerful light to illuminate where you’re working.
It weighs just a little under four pounds which makes it easier and more comfortable to use. Other comfort features include a secure grip, additional rubber over-mold, and multi-grip trigger.
Included in the package is a quick charger that has a dual voltage capacity.
It’s possible to adjust the drill’s speed according to the job you’re using it for. The RPMs range from 0-650 on the lowest speed and 0-2,000 on the highest speed. There is better torque control with the low RPM settings, whereas the highest RPM setting means less control.
The 3/8” ratcheting chuck is keyless, so you don’t have to worry about carrying another tool around just to change the drill bit.
For those of you concerned about your impact on the environment, the drill uses a charger that is Energy Star-qualified.
The only downside is the lightweight battery isn’t up to the job of drilling lots of holes. If you’ve got other Dewalt cordless power tools, you can use other 20V batteries in this drill.
|Max. Speeds||650-2000 RPM|
|Check Size||3/8 inch|
|Item Weight||3.8 lbs|
- Compact size.
- Variable speed settings.
- Keyless ratcheting chuck.
- Fairly short battery life.
There are lots of great features included in this purchase. Comfort is a given thanks to the soft grip, lightweight design, small battery, and multi-grip trigger. The dual-speed feature allows for greater flexibility, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. Included in the set is a 1.5 Ah battery, charger, and canvas bag to store it all in.
Top Value Pick – Ryobi P241 One+ 18 Volt Lithium-Ion Right Angle Drill
This battery-powered right-angle drill has a very affordable price tag, and its wide range of features makes it great value for money. The battery system is 18V which results in a torque rating of 130 lbs-in of torque. The motor speed is 1,100 RPM and the battery lasts a decent length of time.
The chuck size is 3/8”, one of the most common sizes, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a range of drill bits to use with it.
To help you work in darker areas, this right angle drill features inbuilt LED lights, and there’s an onboard magnetic tray you can use for holding fasteners and bits and keep both hands free to operate the power tool.
I would have hoped for a little more motor speed, but they have sacrificed this to keep the price low. Nevertheless, it has numerous other features and is more than adequate for most tasks around the house.
|Max. Speeds||1100 RPM|
|Chuck Size||3/8 inch|
|Item Weight||2.9 lbs|
- Decent enough battery life.
- Inbuilt lights and magnetic tray.
- 3/8” chuck size.
- Affordable price.
- Lacking in power for heavy-duty jobs.
This value-for-money right angle drill is something you can make good use of around the house. It’ll easily tackle lots of different installation jobs. Its design includes a long neck for reaching those awkward places, lights to illuminate your workspace, and a tray so you can use both your hands on the tool.
Top Heavy Duty Pick – Milwaukee 2811-20 M18 FUEL 18-Volt Right Angle Drill
If you’re looking for a right-angle drill with a little more oomph, this beaut won’t disappoint. It’s got a tremendous amount of power and can easily drill 5” holes if you want it to. It may be cordless, but it still packs a mighty punch.
You can use this right angle cordless drill for a range of different jobs, from electrical installations and plumbing to building decks and a range of other heavy-duty tasks. It has two speeds and a reverse mode, which makes it very versatile.
The power tool is compatible with M18 batteries, but you can also extend your work time by using a bigger 12Ah battery instead.
Drill bit changes are swift and easy. You just click the bits in place using the Quik-Lok Bare system.
You do have to purchase the battery and charger separately, but if you’ve already got another battery-powered tool from Milwaukee, the batteries are interchangeable.
|Max. Speeds||1550 RPM|
|Item Weight||14.4 lbs|
- Powerful tool.
- Compatible with M18 or 12Ah batteries.
- Click system for changing drill bits.
- Cuts through a wide range of materials.
- Costs extra for the battery and charger.
This right-angle drill is powerful, heavy-duty, and well-built. It also packs a punch that’s comparable with many corded models. You can use this right angle drill to make holes big enough for pipes or conduits, which is very handy if you’re installing plumbing or HVAC systems.
Milwaukee M18 2615-20 Cordless Right Angle Drill
With this power tool, you’ll be able to tackle a range of different drilling tasks. Features include a groundbreaking electronic clutch and a motor able to deliver a massive 1,500 RPM.
The motor uses technology from REDLINK which allows it to achieve 125 lbs-in of torque together with 1,500 RPM. REDLINK Intelligence optimizes the performance of the drill and at the same time protects against overload.
The ergonomics are well thought out in that it is well-balanced, has a rubber overmold grip, and is lightweight enough for you to use over long periods. There’s also a built-in LED lights that illuminate your work area.
A feature that is useful when working in tight spaces is the paddle switch. It’s longer than average and works whatever spot on the switch you press.
This tool’s build quality is excellent, but even so, this model comes with a five-year warranty that is better than many other brands.
There’s one niggling downside to purchasing this right angle drill. You’ll have to dig a little deeper into your pocket because the battery and charger come separately.
|Max. Speeds||1500 RPM|
|Chuck Size||3/8 inch|
|Item Weight||4.25 lbs|
- Easy to use.
- Eleven different settings.
- Long warranty.
- Ergonomic design.
- Battery costs are extra.
This may be a battery-powered right-angle drill, but it delivers a lot of power because of its innovative electronic clutch. You might have to purchase the battery separately, but once you’ve got one, you can expect it to last much longer because it uses REDLITHIUM™ battery technology.
DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Right Angle Drill (DCD460T2)
Would you prefer a cordless drill that seems to go on forever, or at least until you’ve finished work for the day? The FLEXVOLT 60V MAX package comes with two batteries that should contain enough power between them to work for an entire day.
You can use the batteries in any 20V Dewalt tools you already own because they change voltage automatically when you use them in another tool.
The brushless motor also means it’s very powerful, and you can use it with 6” hole saws, no problem. It features two drill speeds that are variable, from 0-300 RPM and 0-1,250 RPM, allowing you to adjust the speed to correspond with your project.
For the safety of the user, this right angle drill features E-Clutch. This is what is known as a “Perform and Protect” feature. It works by detecting reactionary torque that a stall or bind-up may have caused. When this happens, the speed of the drill is automatically reduced until you’ve regained control.
Other features include dual handles for ease of use. One handle is a bail handle you can adjust, while the other is a side handle with two positions.
One element you may find difficult to deal with is that it’s bulky, heavy, and awkward to use for long periods. The obvious answer to this issue is only to use it for short periods and use both hands whenever possible.
|Max. Speeds||300 - 1250RPM|
|Chuck Size||1/2 inch|
|Item Weight||11 lbs|
- Perform and Protect feature.
- Comes with a charger, two batteries, and a carry bag.
- Variable speeds.
- Two handles.
- Heavy and bulky to use.
You get everything you need in one simple purchase with this right-angle drill. It’s a powerful tool, but you can adjust the power depending on the application. For added control and leverage, this drill has two handles, which also help to reduce fatigue. If you’ve already got some 20V Dewalt power tools, you’ll be able to swap out the battery and use the 60V one instead.
Makita DA3010F 4 Amp 3/8-Inch Right Angle Drill
The design of this tool makes it perfect if you find yourself drilling in cramped spaces. It is relatively lightweight at just a little over three pounds and is only 2 5/8” high. If the tight spaces happen to be dimly lit, the built-in LED light makes the job much easier.
The power delivery is excellent, with the 4 amp motor achieving a maximum no-load speed of 2,400 RPM. You can vary the speed for more controlled drilling and to suit the application.
Smooth operation is accrued by the ball-bearing construction of the motor, which also means the tool has a much longer lifespan.
Another exciting feature is the built-in clutch that automatically disengages the gears should a bit get bent.
Along with the drill, you get the following accessories: a chuck key and holder and a grip for ease of handling.
A little disappointingly, there’s only a one-year warranty with the tool. The paddle trigger is also on the sensitive side, so you need to be careful when using it.
|Chuck Size||3/8 inch|
|Item Weight||3.5 lbs|
- Excellent tool for working in tight spots.
- Clutch helps to prevent gear damage.
- Built-in LED light.
- Variable speed.
- Short warranty period.
- Sensitive paddle trigger
If you often find yourself in awkward spaces, this right-angle drill won’t let you down. It’s the right size and has enough power to work inside cabinets and between framing studs. The clutch and ball-bearing construction improve the durability of the tool and prevent costly damage.
Makita XAD02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3/8″ Angle Drill
This tool is very versatile, and you can use it for steel framing, electrical, woodworking, garage door installation, assembly, and any other drilling or driving applications. It’s powered by an 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery which promises faster charging times and a better energy star rating.
It weighs just four pounds with the battery, so there’s less chance of user fatigue. The soft grip and well-placed paddle switch also help to make this tool more comfortable to use.
The XAD02Z can churn out an impressive 121 lbs-in, and the variable four-pole motor is capable of delivering a maximum of 1,800 RPM.
The 18V battery has to be purchased separately, but the batteries are interchangeable if you’ve already got an 18V Makita tool.
If you haven’t already got one, a fantastic feature of the 18V LXT battery is that you can fully charge it in just thirty minutes. It can also communicate with the tools protection computer control to reduce the risk of overheating, over-discharging, and overloading. Sadly, the battery and charger aren’t included in the price.
|Chuck Size||3/8 inch|
|Item Weight||4 lbs|
- Four-pole motor.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Suitable for drilling and driving metal and wood.
- Quick charging.
- Battery and charger not included in the price.
This compact right-angle drill is well-designed and versatile. It’s easy to use in tight spaces and won’t lead to user fatigue. You can adjust the speed to suit the application, and it can handle many types of construction and hard repairing processes.
Metabo HPT DN18DSLQ4M 18V Li-Ion 3/8 in. Angle Drill
What makes this right-angle drill stand out is its lifetime warranty. It also comes equipped with a range of handy features, including an LED light, a side handle for improved control, and a belt hook so you can keep it near and handy.
This tool is compatible with other Metabo HPT Lithium-Ion 18V batteries, which means you won’t have to purchase one if you already own other Metabo 18V tools. A useful low battery indicator means you’re not going to be caught out, and it will reduce any downtime.
It weighs less than four pounds making it easier to use in tight spaces and at awkward angles. Equipped with a paddle switch and adjustable speed, you’ll be able to achieve precise control when you use it.
The only downside with this tool is that you have to spend extra to get the charger and battery. This disadvantage is mitigated if you’ve already got Metabo or Hitachi 18V power tools in your toolbox.
|Chuck Size||3/8 inch|
|Item Weight||3.7 lbs|
|Warranty||Lifetime Lithium Ion Tool Body|
- Lifetime warranty.
- Range of useful features.
- Compatible with other 18V Metabo/Hitachi batteries.
- Comfortable to use.
- Charger and battery cost extra.
This right-angle drill comes as just the tool body, but it is compatible with other Lithium-Ion 18V slide batteries from the same brand. You’ll be able to drive and drill in the tightest of spaces and enjoy the power of the 1,800 RPM motor. The belt hook, LED light, battery indicator, side handle, and keyless chuck all combine to make this a valuable tool to have around.
Do I Need a Right Angle Drill?
A right-angle drill works in much the same way as a standard drill, but the head is set at 90 degrees to the grip. Some standard drills have a moveable head, which allows you to set it at different angles.
The benefit of a right-angle drill is that it tends to be smaller and lighter. These characteristics mean you can use them in tight spaces, for example, in a car engine bay, between studs and joists, and inside cabinets where a standard drill wouldn’t fit. When space is limited, or your workpiece is difficult to reach, this is when right-angle drills shine.
Ideally, you would use this tool for projects that include woodwork or metalwork, but you can also use them to drill tiles, as long as you use the right bits.
There is always the option of purchasing a right-angle attachment for a drill you’ve already got. This might be a good idea if you’re not going to make good use of a standalone drill because its main limitation is that it’s a very specialist tool.
All that aside, if you do lots of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and similar tasks, you’ll be able to make the most of a right-angle drill.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Right Angle Drill
If you think you’d like to add a right-angle drill to your toolbox, it’s a good idea to weigh up various factors before you reach for your checkbook. Right-angle drills have a specific purpose, so it’s important to consider features that will improve how it performs and make the tool easier and more comfortable to use.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most essential ones.
The motors in these power tools can be either brushless or non-brushless, both of which have their pros and cons.
A brushless tool is more powerful, and there are fewer problems associated with breakdowns and overheating. Brushless motors are much lighter and more compact than brushed motors, which improves the tool’s portability and reduces noise and vibration.
Brushless technology is more expensive, which will increase the overall price of the tool.
Brushed motors tend to be less expensive, more reliable, and have higher inertia or torque ratio. The components do wear out over time, however, and require regular cleaning and maintenance. You’ll also have to replace the brushes if you want to extend the life of the tool.
Watch this video for a detailed explanation of the difference between these two types of motor.
How frustrated would you be if you purchased a right-angle drill only to get it home and find it’s not up to the task? You want a tool that has sufficient power for the jobs you want it for. More powerful models tend to be the tool of choice for professionals. On the other hand, the average DIYer should be able to manage with a less powerful model.
Your drill’s motor speed is usually given in rotations per minute or RPM. This figure is a good indicator of the power of the drill. In other words, a higher motor speed results in higher performance.
Most modern right-angle drills include variable-speed triggers. These allow you to adjust the speed of the motor according to the application.
Torque is a term commonly used to describe a machine’s turning force or twisting power. It’s another good indicator of a tool’s performance. The higher the torque, the better suited it will be for heavy-duty applications. In contrast, a drill that has lower torque is better suited for smaller and less demanding tasks.
BPM is a specification reserved for power tools such as impact drivers and hammer drills. It stands for blows per minute. In the case of right-angle drills, this specification doesn’t apply.
When you’re shopping for any kind of cordless power tool, make sure you check whether you’re buying the basic tool without the battery pack or the charger.
You might think you’ve found a bargain until you realize you’ve got to pay extra. If you haven’t already got a compatible charger and battery in your arsenal, make sure you look for a drill with everything you need.
Something else to research is battery life and power. Most modern batteries are 18V, but some manufacturers offer 20V and even 60V batteries. An 18V battery is decent enough for most occasions. A spare battery is another valuable addition, so you don’t have to stress about downtime.
How quickly you can change the drill bit in your tool affects the time it takes to finish a job. A critical feature to look for is something that allows for a quick change. Many drills require a tool to change the bit, but this isn’t always the case.
Keyed vs. Keyless
You might not need a key to open and close the jaws of a keyless chuck, but is that the only advantage?
A keyless chuck drill tends to cost more than a keyed chuck because the mechanism is harder to make. Both types last about the same length of time before you need to replace them.
One advantage of a keyed chuck is that you will get a better grip on any bit you use. However, keyless means you haven’t got to worry about losing the key.
If you don’t want to end up with arms and hands that ache or cramp up, look for a tool that’s lightweight and comfortable to hold for long periods.
Comfort and Ergonomics
If you plan to use this tool for any length of time, comfort is an essential factor to consider. Check the grip and trigger function are comfortable and easy to use. A side handle that provides extra control is another helpful addition. You’re going to be using the drill in tight and difficult to reach spaces, so it has to be ergonomic to use.
When you use a right-angle drill, you don’t flex your wrist in the same way you would if you were using a traditional drill. You hold the drill with a straight wrist. This is inherently more comfortable and gives you better control with less strain.
The warranty a manufacturer offers on their tool varies considerably. Ideally, you should look for a tool with the longest possible warranty as this is the best protection for your investment.
It also tends to give you a good indication of the product quality. I like to think of it as a measure of the manufactures confidence in their workmanship.
One helpful feature to look out for is a reverse switch. It lets you change the direction of rotation by simply pushing a button. If you often find yourself switching between screwing and drilling, this switch allows you to do it without using another tool.
An LED light makes using the tool much safer, and it’s beneficial if you’re working in tight spots or enclosed spaces.
A battery indicator will quickly show you how much life is left in the battery, rather than you having to guess. Knowing the battery is about to run out means you’re not going to run out of power midway through a job.
If the drill has a magnetic onboard tray, you’ll be able to keep all your screws and bits close at all times.
The best right-angle drill you can buy depends on your needs. Choosing a model with enough power for your needs and is comfortable to use are equally important factors.
All right-angle drills function in the same way, but subtle differences and additional features can make specific models or brands stand out.
I would be happy to recommend any of the drills on my list, but if you want me to highlight one in particular, it would be the DEWALT 20V MAX Right Angle Cordless Drill/Driver Kit (DCD740C1).
It’s got lots of excellent features, is comfortable to use, flexible, and you get a lot of tool for your money.