In the last year or so all of the major tool companies have begun to release updated versions of a right angle drill. These drills are the big brothers to there 12 Volt counterparts, and provide more torque and a longer battery life for tougher jobs, but are still compact and able to fit in tight spaces. At first glance a right angle drill or commonly known as a 90 degree drill may seem unnecessary, and I had that same mindset before a friend of mine convinced me to purchase one. After having one for only a few weeks I realized how invaluable of a tool it really is. There really is no other tool that lets you fit into tight awkward spaces like a 90 degree drill, and these 20 volt versions allow them to be used in situations where lots of torque are needed. These types of situations pop up for me quite often when I am making rustic furniture from rough cut lumber. A 90 degree drill makes putting a screw into a tight corner a breeze. Today I wanted to compare the top 3 90 degree drills in the 18-20 volt range. If you are looking for the smaller right angle drills check out my post on the 12 volt versions Here. The best right angle drills on the market today are made by Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee. Lets start with a brief overview of each one.
Dewalt DCD740C1 Compact Right Angle Drill
Dewalt’s 90 degree drill is the DCD740C1. I have previously reviewed this drill in depth in a previous post which you can find Here. I will cover the highlights from that post in this comparison. This drill was highly recommended to me by a friend, and it was my first 90 degree drill that I ever tried. Overall, I was extremely impressed with this drill, and how useful it was in so many different situations. It has a great feel to it, and it is light weighing in at only 3.9 lbs. It has tacky rubber on the handle and up the sides which make it easy to hold onto even in hot humid weather like we have here in the south.The 20 volt max 1.5 amp-hour battery lasted roughly 1.5-2 hours of heavy to moderate use. This drill is also compatible with all other Dewalt 20v Li-ion batteries so it’s easy to extend its running time with a 3 or even 4 amp hour battery. The deep pocket chuck allows for bits to be inserted up to 2’’ deep into the chuck, which is great if you need to drill a hole in a particularly tight spot. The long trigger allows for easy operation of the drill even at awkward angles and with thick gloves. This drill is reasonably priced and includes two 1.5 amp hour batteries and a charger. It is also backed by Dewalt’s excellent warranty which includes a one year free service contract and a three year limited warranty as well as a 90 day money back guarantee. Overall this drill is a strong contender for the best right angle drill of 2017. Click on this link to check the current price on Amazon.
Makita XAD02Z LXT Cordless Angle Drill
Next up is Makita’s XAD02Z LXT Cordless Angle Drill, compared to the Dewalt, Makita’s 90 degree drill has a slimmer handle which makes the tool easier to handle. Another major advantage of the Makita is the removable handle. It simply screws in and out and can be placed on both sides of the drill. This handle makes all the difference in being able to get enough leverage to put in or remove tough screws. This feature alone puts the Makita above both of its competitors. The Makita also features a robust all metal 90 degree head which can take loads of abuse. This drill offers 121 in-lbs of torque which is slightly lower than the Dewalt, but the handle allows you to use all of the available torque. Another great feature of this 90 degree drill is the small width of the head, coming in at only 3.5’’ puts it a half inch smaller than the Dewalt. The handle on the Makita is shorter than the Dewalt, but still plenty long enough to easily operate even with gloves. The chuck can be operated with a single hand by holding it and then using the trigger to tighten the chuck, but due to the small size of the head it is fairly easy to pinch a finger if you are not careful. The downfall to this drill is the higher price which does not include batteries. However this drill is compatible with any of Makita’s other 18 volt lithium-ion batteries, so this might not be a problem if you already own other Makita tools. This drill comes with Makita’s standard 3 year warranty so you can have peace of mind knowing that if it breaks, they will fix or replace it. Click on the link above to check the current price on Amazon.
Milwaukee 2615-21CT M18 Cordless Right Angle Drill
The final drill in today’s comparison is the Milwaukee 2615-21CT M18 Cordless Right Angle Drill. With a head width of 3.75’’ it is slightly smaller than the Dewalt but larger than the Makita. It boasts 125 in-lbs of torque which also places it in second behind the Dewalt. The feature that this drill has that really sets it apart from the others, is the fully electronic clutch which has a total of 11 different speed settings. The electronic clutch limits the amount of torque applied which comes in handy on smaller more delicate screws. This drill is compatible with other Milwaukee M18 batteries and with the included 1.5 amp-hour battery I was able to get 1.5-2 hours of moderate to heavy use similar to the Dewalt. I had no problem using a ½’’ spade bit and drilling holes through studs to run some Ethernet cable in my house. This drill is the most costly, but it can occasionally be found on sale. It comes with a single 1.5 amp-hour 18 volt lithium-ion battery. Another great benefit of this tool is the 5 year warranty provided by Milwaukee which is much longer than the warranties that Dewalt and Makita offer. Click on this link to check the current price on Amazon.
Overall all three of these drills are all great tools and you cannot go wrong purchasing any of them, but if I had to choose one I would go with the Makita XAD02Z LXT Cordless Angle Drill as the best right angle drill. This is because out of the three it has the smallest head size coming in at only 3.5’’, and most importantly it has the removable handle which I found to be incredibly useful in many different scenarios. It does have the lowest torque rating, but they are all so close that in reality you cannot tell a difference. You can purchase the Makita Here at Amazon and it is prime eligible, so you can get it shipped to your house in no time.