Right Angle Drill: What It Is and When Do You Use It?

A right angle drill isn’t a tool you’ll see in every kit, so you may be surprised to learn just how useful it can be. Right angle drills are a…

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A right angle drill isn’t a tool you’ll see in every kit, so you may be surprised to learn just how useful it can be. Right angle drills are lesser-known DIY essentials that can be a game-changer for anyone who regularly has to work in tight or confined spaces.

Read on for more info on what a right angle drill is and on which kinds of projects you’ll want to reach for one.

What Is a Right Angle Drill?

A right angle drill is basically an electric drill with a head set at a 90-degree angle to the grip.

The head on a right angle drill is typically much shorter than what you’d see in a traditional model, too, and the grip is usually designed to be comfortable when operated with one hand.

When Do You Use a Right Angle Drill?

The right angle drill is pretty versatile and can be useful in nearly any DIY project that gets you into tight spaces, such as plumbing and other construction projects.

For example, when drilling or screwing between floor joists, inside a cabinet, or anywhere the screws may be hard to reach with a typical drill. You can use a right angle drill in situations like this to avoid working with a screwdriver or other manual tool.

A right angle drill can also be a great fit if you have trouble drilling holes correctly or straight-on.

Choosing the Correct Right Angle Drill

Generally, right angle drills from major tool manufacturers, such as Milwaukee, DeWalt and Bosch, will be a safe, high-quality bet. However, certain features will ensure you’re buying a quality right angle drill.

Look for one that’s cordless and has a comfortable, ergonomic grip. It should be easy to hold and operate with one hand.

Many, but not all, right angle drills are built with three-speed motors that help you get the right amount of torque for a particular job. Check to see if the drill’s torque is adjustable before purchasing.

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Scott Huntington is a writer and blogger. He's writen for Business Insider, The Oxford University Press, the Chicago Tribune, and dozens of other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @SMHuntington.