Okay, let’s clear up any confusion you may have that drills are different from drill/drivers. They’re not. The correct name for a drill is drill/driver. They get this name because they are used to drill and drive screws and fixings.
If you have the occasional need for a drill, why spend big bucks. The best cheap drills are excellent value for money. We show you 5 of the best budget drills available so that you can make an informed choice.
How Much Should I Spend on a Drill?
The amount you spend on a drill depends on the task at hand and the frequency with which you use it. Budget and value are two different considerations. A professional sees the value in a high-quality drill even though it costs a fortune, but to the occasional DIY’er, they wouldn’t dream of spending so much money.
If you are taking on a major project and envisage using the drill every day, then the amount you spend on a drill will differ from the occasional DIY’er. You will also have a separate set of wants and needs. You might want a brushless drill that is more reliable and more efficient. You might want increased torque and power. If that’s the case, you will be spending more money.
For light duties like driving screws and drilling through softwood, the type of drill/driver you need varies again. You don’t need extreme power or a high-voltage motor. Congratulations, you have just saved money.
Look at certain manufacturers for budget drills. Brands like Black and Decker and TackLife have drill price ranges that start quite low for the basic corded models. Certain drill manufacturers make better quality products designed for specific tasks and aimed at a different audience.
You are unlikely to get hold of a budget DeWALT, Bosch or Makita drill unless it was an entry-level model.
How Do I Choose a Budget Drill?
Many factors make up your perfect drill choice, but there are some things you should look for more than others.
Cordless Vs. Corded
It’s a fact that cordless drills generally cost more. The technology is better, because more often the motors are brushless, and you can take them anywhere. That said, cordless drills are falling in price as they become more common.
Also, technology is continually improving, making today’s drills outdated very quickly. That said, if you are buying a budget cordless drill, expect the batteries to be weaker and the overall performance to lack the capacity of the more expensive models.
If all you want is a drill to hang pictures, a corded drill will suffice. These are, by far, the cheapest models available.
The size of the drill may not be everyone’s main consideration, but for home use, try and get a drill/driver that is compact. It will have better uses around the house, and it will be easier to store away.
Drills can be heavy, which increases your chances of hand and wrist fatigue. Choose a lightweight option so that it doesn’t feel like a chore when you drag it out of the box to perform your annual DIY tasks.
Corded drills are generally lighter than cordless models because you don’t have the added weight of the battery to consider.
Ease of Use
If your drill/driver sees the light of day a handful of times a year, you want it to be easy to use. You don’t need hammer action, or clutches. You just want a drill that you can pull out of the box and start working from the get-go.
Similarly, if you want convenience, you should consider a keyless chuck as an option. It means you don’t have to worry about losing the key and you can get started on your tasks immediately.
The whole point of a budget drill is that it is cheap. The money-conscious among you will have this as a major consideration, long before you look at what the drill can do.
Frequency of Use
We have already touched on the number of times you use your drill and this will dictate the type of drill you buy. Frequent users will likely think more about power, battery life, torque and weight.
The Best Budget Drills of 2020
We singled out these 5 budget options to help you find that perfect cut-price drill. From brushless to cordless, there is a drill here to suit all tastes and budgets.
1. Bosch PS31-2A Drill/Driver
This Bosch compact drill/driver is the perfect tool for working in confined spaces around the home. It is only a 12-volt drill, but Bosch claims that it has a premium power to size ratio, generating a maximum of 1,300 RPM and 265 inch-pound-force of torque.
It’s lightweight too, weighing just 1.8 pounds. So you won’t find it uncomfortable to use over prolonged periods. This drill has an LED and comes with a carry bag and the battery and charger. It measures 7 inches, and even though it’s lightweight, it still has an ergonomic soft-grip handle.
Why We Love It
This drill/driver is easy to handle and easy to store away after use. It is the perfect compact companion when you need a tool to complete that task around the home.
20+1 Torque Adjustments
You will always have the correct torque setting, no matter what material or job you are undertaking.
The fuel gauge light on the side of the drill tells you the current state of charge of your battery. It helps to stop over-discharging and damaging the cells in the battery.
Keep In Mind
This drill is less powerful than other similarly priced models. At just 12 volts, you are restricted to the types of jobs you can do. Drilling robust materials may prove to be difficult.
Getting the battery off this drill requires dexterity and an iron grip. The battery is extremely difficult to remove.
|Dimensions (inches)||7 x 2.5|
|Accessories||Charger and battery|
2. KIMO 20V Cordless Drill/Driver
KIMO may not be a household name like Bosch and DeWALT, but it should be at this price and performance. This cordless drill has a maximum of 1,350 RPM, and generates 330 in-lbf of torque, making it a tough cookie.
It comes with a 20V battery and a fast charger, as well as a 33-piece driving set, an array of drill bits and a carry-case. This is the perfect cordless drill for beginners because it caters to so many tasks.
Why We Love It
This is a cordless drill, so you can take it anywhere. It makes it an ideal tool when you need to take your DIY skills on the road.
The accessory set that you get with this drill is incredible, considering the relatively small asking price of the drill.
1,000 Battery Charge Cycles
The battery delivers 1,000 charge cycles before it needs to be replaced. This ensures that you get years of hassle-free drilling.
Keep In Mind
It may be a cordless drill, but unfortunately the motor is not brushless, so you are likely to need to recharge the batteries more often.
Despite claims to the contrary, this is not a heavy-duty drill. Buyers have reported that the motor sparks when the drill is put under any form of pressure.
|Dimensions (inches)||7 x 5 x 7|
|Accessories||46-piece set including battery and charger|
3. Porter-Cable Corded 6-Amp Drill
This corded drill has a 6.5-amp motor that generates 2,500 RPM. This drill also has a high-torque gear mechanism that makes it ideal for robust materials like metal and hardwood. And because it is corded, you don’t need to fret about the loss of power.
While this isn’t the smallest drill to feature, it does pack a punch, which is great if you are starting a project with metal. The price is another attractive thing about this drill, retailing at less than the Bosch.
Why We Love It
For such a powerful tool, this drill is competitively priced. It retails for less than the Bosch, and while it isn’t the cheapest to make the list, it might be the best value for money.
Keyless chucks are so convenient. They also speed up the time it takes to change bits and attachments. It also means you never run the risk of losing a chuck key.
The motor is powerful enough to deliver 2,500 RPM and coiled with the variable speed trigger, that speed can be put to best use.
Keep In Mind
The cord restricts you to where you work. Unless you get an extension cord, you are going to be confined to working indoors.
It is quite a bulky drill when you compare it to others on the list. It is going to give you hand or wrist fatigue after prolonged use.
|Dimensions (inches)||10.9 x 3.19 x 10.9|
4. Black and Decker 20V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver
What can we say about Black and Decker that hasn’t already been said? They are the inventors of the modern hand-held drill, so it is only fitting that we feature one of their models in this review.
This is their 20V cordless drill/driver. It generates 750 RPM, so it isn’t the most powerful drill in the world, but it is ideal for around the house duties. It has 24 clutch positions, and a lithium-ion battery that will hold a charge for up to 18 months.
This Black and Decker drill also comes with a 30-piece accessory set to get you started.
Why We Love It
Value for Money
Given that this drill comes with a heap of accessories, you might expect to pay a lot more for this tool. It is excellent value for money.
This is a go-anywhere tool, making it the ideal drill to tackle all those repairs and DIY jobs in every corner of the house.
The lithium-ion battery holds its charge for up to 18 months. And when you are done drilling, the battery is interchangeable with a host of other Black and Decker cordless power tools.
Keep In Mind
It is not a powerful drill/driver, generating a mere 750 RPM, which falls way short of other drills included in this review. It is a general-purpose drill for lighter tasks around the home.
Many buyers have reported that the battery life during actual drilling is limited. The company doesn’t publish the details on how many amp-hours the batteries are, but they can only be 1 or 1.5 Ah at the most.
|Dimensions (inches)||8.94 x 4 x 7.75|
5. SKIL PWRCore 12 Brushless Drill/Driver
Brushless motors are more efficient and deliver a longer battery run time. They also require less maintenance because you don’t have to replace the brushes. It comes with a 2 Ah lithium-ion battery that charges from empty to 25 percent in just 5 minutes, and to full in 45 minutes.
The drill generates 1,700 RPM and 350 in-lbf of torque. And like the Black and Decker battery, this SKIL has an interchangeable power pack that fits the entire range of cordless SKIL power tools.
Why We Love It
Brushless motors are more efficient and increase the run time of the battery. This drill’s motor increases the run time by 25 percent.
To get from zero to 25 percent charged in 5 minutes is incredible. To get to 100 percent charged in 45 minutes is also some feat. It means you can keep working and never run out of juice.
This drill creates 350 in-lbf of torque. That’s more than enough for the toughest tasks.
The battery fits the entire range of SKIL cordless power tools. It means that once you are done drilling, you can start another project using the same battery.
Keep In Mind
This is a 12-volt drill rather than the more common 20V varieties. The voltage is how your drill is judged for power, and while this drill generates 350 in-lbf of torque, it uses a lot of battery power to do so.
Build Quality Issues
It seems there are a range of issues affecting this drill. The chuck doesn’t grip, the motor burns out easily and the quality of the parts feel cheap. SKIL has sacrificed some of the quality to save on costs.
|Dimensions (inches)||7.76 x 2.64 x 7.09|
|Accessories||Battery and charger|
|Bosch PS31-2A Drill/Driver||Compact||2 lbs||7 x 2.5″||265 in-lbf||12V||3-year|
|KIMO 20V Cordless Drill/Driver||Cordless||5 lbs||7 x 5 x 7″||330 in-lbf||20V||2-year|
|Porter-Cable Corded 6-Amp Drill||Metalworking||4 lbs||10.9 x 3.19 x 10.9″||140 in-lbf||6.5A||3-year limited|
|Black and Decker 20V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver||Home Use||4 lbs||8.94 x 4 x 7.75″||300 in-lbf||20V||2-year|
|SKIL PWRCore 12 Brushless Drill||Brushless||4 lbs||7.76 x 2.64 x 7.09″||350 in-lbf||12V||5-year limited|
How Can You Tell How Strong a Drill Is?
There are a few ways of telling how strong a drill is. The first is to look at the chuck size. A chuck that takes a larger bit indicates that it is more robust and better suited to tougher tasks. The second way is to look at the voltage. Cordless drills are judged by the voltage, so 12 volts is weaker than 20 volts.
The final way is to look at amps. This is how corded drills are generally judged for power.
How Many Volts Do I Need in a Drill?
For cordless drills, the voltage varies. This also affects the price you pay. Most cordless drills are either 18V or 20V. 18V is the nominal measurement while 20V is the maximum that the drill will perform at.
Smaller drills are available, such as 12V, but these are generally cheaper and used for lighter duties.
Are Brushless Drills Worth the Money?
It all comes back to what you want the drill for. There is no doubt that brushless motors are more efficient and last longer. They also require less maintenance. However, does the increased cost outweigh the value for money element?
If you are getting a drill for light duties, then a brushless drill will probably not be worth the expense. If you are buying a drill to help you complete a major project, or envisage using the drill frequently, a brushless motor is worth the investment.
Best Budget Buys
Budget drills are a good entry-level tool when you start your DIY journey. They may lack some of the finesse and features of more expensive models, but they get the job done and, for the most part, are reliable and great value for money.
Choose the drill to match the task and frequency of use. If you think you will be using the drill for more demanding activities, choose a more expensive drill. Budget drills are excellent for performing general-purpose tasks around the home.