Right Angle Drill and Its Uses

What is a Right-Angle Drill and What do you use it for?

While most people are familiar with the traditional drill, the right-angle drill has been gaining favor for specific types of work. This type of drill can best be described as a combination of a screwdriver and a mini-hand drill. Or perhaps a standard power drill that has been bent 90 degrees. Such right-angle devices are not unusual as many flashlights use the same design, but for drills there are specific reasons why you might choose this type of drill.
Right Angle Drill
As with traditional drills, the right-angle version comes in both cordless and corded varieties. The battery is stored in the handle much like a conventional drill. For larger job, such as found on construction sites, it is common to see corded right-angle drills that need considerable power to do the work.

Uses of Right Angle Drill

The right-angle drill should be seen as a compliment to the traditional drill. However, there have been drills designed to allow the head to be turned 90 degrees. This type of drill means it is possible to combine the standard and right-angle drill in one product. However, this type of dual-purpose drill tends to be smaller and designed for jobs around the home.

What follows are the different uses for the right-angle drill, so you have a better idea of what it can do in terms of construction, remodeling, woodworking, and more.

Tight Spaces

The right-angle drill is primarily designed to fit into tight spaces that a regular drill could not be applied.
Bosch Bare-Tool ADS181B 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/2-Inch Right Angle Drill
The angle allows for a smaller head and shorter extension of the handle, so that corners can be drilled from the inside. This is also true of any space that is not long enough to handle a traditional drill.

Small Projects

This type of drill is also perfect for smaller projects that do not require a great deal of power. Right-angle drills are easy to use and perfect for smaller jobs that require more precision. Because the handle is at a 90-degree angle, it allows for better maneuverability in lining up the screws for smaller areas.


Much like right-angle flashlights, the right-angle drill can be set down on its handle rather than laying down on its side like traditional drills. The difference is small but may be important as it takes up less space when being stored. Plus, it is easy to carry on a tool belt or carrying bag that makes this type of drill convenient.

Product Recommendations: Best Right Angle Drills

There are several exceptional right-angle drills on the market today. Finding the right one starts with setting a budget and how the drill will be used. In other words, there is a big difference between a drill that will be used daily and one that sits in your toolbox or cabinet most of the time. What follows are a couple of solid recommendations thanks to their power, versatility, and cost.

Bosch ADS181

Versatility is the prime attraction for this right-angle drill. It uses a ½” ratcheting chuck which means you can attach a wide range of extensions. Slim, portable, and sturdy, one neat feature is that an LED light has been added to the front of the drill that operates when it is in use.

Bosch ADS181B 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 1/2-Inch Right Angle Drill
Above: Bosch ADS181B 18-Volt Right Angle Drill – See Price Here

For tight areas that are not well lit, this is an excellent feature. The motor is solid, the battery life good, and it is relatively quiet for a drill. All these features make this right-angle drill one to consider.

DeWalt DCD740C1

This is one of the best in terms of portability and cost. The battery is the main attraction as it provides plenty of power to work most of the day. Toss in a fast recharging system that puts you back to work in a half-hour and you have a great deal on a cordless right-angle drill. At less than four pounds, it is lightweight and easy to control.

DEWALT Right Angle Cordless Drill/Driver Kit
Dewalt DCD740C1 20V Right Angle Drill/Driver Kit – Click to See Price

This is a great purchase for professionals and consumers thanks to the excellent design and relatively low cost.


Understanding the advantages that a right-angle drill has to offer will help you become more productive on the job site. The most obvious is the tight spaces where it can be used, but there are other options as well. Plus, for homeowners who are looking to do projects around the house, a right-angle drill may be a worthwhile investment even over a standard drill because of the benefits that it provides.

Better Torque

Another difference between right-angle and traditional drills is that most right-angle drills have three-speed motors built inside. This means that you have more torque options which can help when dealing with thicker or dense materials. By slowing down the drill while keeping the power, you have better control over the drill.

Durable Motor

Because of the three speed options, the motor will stay intact longer. That’s because it will be set to deliver the torque it needs and not be as prone to burning out. Heavier drills that only have one speed option tend to burn out faster because they are required to deliver more torque at times than they are designed to do.


Using a right-angle drill means that you are not having to flex your wrist as the case with a traditional drill. By holding the drill with the wrist straight, it is more comfortable to use and allows for finer control. This means you get more work accomplished with less strain on the wrist, hand, and fingers.

Extending the Range

If there is one issue that works against the right-angle drill, it is the very advantage that it has in working in tight spaces. The small size makes it more difficult to use when you need a longer reach. However, there are attachments where you can extend the range of the drill without putting too much torque on the motor. While you can also place extensions on a traditional power drill, the three-speed motor means that it is less likely to overheat when an extension is used. By extending the range, you can maintain the superior control that makes right-angle drill desirable.


Arguably the best advantage of the right-angle drill is how versatile it is with most projects. This is especially true if you purchase a drill where the head can be removed so an attachment can be added. It means that you have more options compared to a traditional drill, plus the ability to work in tighter spaces with no restrictions.

The advantages of the right-angle drill are considerable along with its uses. But there are other features that you should consider as well if you are thinking about purchasing this device.

Corded or Cordless

It depends on the amount of use that you will put the right-angle drill through each and every day. For those who work construction or carpentry, a corded right-angle drill is probably the best solution. This is because as long as you have power nearby, you can work the drill all day long. However, being corded means it is heavier and may be less desirable to use in certain situations.

For those who use the drill on occasion for engine maintenance or woodworking projects, then a battery powered drill is the answer. Most right-angle drills of this type come with a rechargeable battery that can be recharged fairly quickly. The advantage of a cordless drill is it weighs less and is less cumbersome to use compared to dragging around a cord. However, it also has a limited lifespan before the battery needs to be recharged.

Angle Drill Attachment

This is an attachment that you can add to your right-angle drill to help extend its reach into tight corners without extending the handle. This means that you can reach into even tighter spaces and with greater accuracy. The attachment works essentially as an extension and actually increases productivity if you keep it attached. That way, you do not have to switch out between jobs.
There is even attachment for hammer drills which you can use for drilling tiles and concrete.

Is the Right-Angle Drill Worth the Cost?

The answer is yes if you purchase a good quality product. Although you may find fewer instances of having to use a right-angle drill compared to what can be performed with a traditional drill, the opposite is true as well. This means that thanks to the 3-speed motor, you can use the right-angle drill in most situations.

For professionals, a right-angle drill is a must for construction and carpentry work. Having a portable, versatile drill can be quite handy since it saves time and allows you to get more accomplished. This will depend in large part on the quality of the drill you purchase, but that goes without saying.

If you need a drill for occasional work around the home, you may want to consider the flexible head version that allows to switch from traditional to right-angle. However, just purchasing a right-angle drill may be good enough for most uses around the home. If you are a professional and work regularly on job sites, you probably want to invest in a commercial-level right-angle drill that is corded to provide greater power all day long.