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5 Best Budget Drills of 2024

Updated
Get the most for your money with a budget drill.

Modern power drills are very versatile and an essential part of the tool collection of any professional contractor or DIYer. A good drill will be able to make holes and drive screws into various materials, transforming the way you work.

There are numerous excellent drills to choose from, made by some of the leading names in tools today. However, if you have a limited budget, there are also many drills that offer impressive power at affordable prices.

To help you find the right model, we have reviewed five of the best budget drills that are currently available. We chose these drills for their power, whether they are corded or cordless, weight, and ease of use.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Bosch PS31-2A Drill/Driver
Best Compact Drill
Bosch PS31-2A Drill/Driver
  • 12-volt battery
  • 20+1 torque settings
  • Fuel gauge
Product Image of the Kimo 20V Cordless Drill/Driver
Best Cordless Drill/Driver
Kimo 20V Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Cordless
  • 46-piece set
  • Battery lasts 1,000 charge cycles
Product Image of the Porter-Cable Corded 6-Amp Drill
Best for Metalworking
Porter-Cable Corded 6-Amp Drill
  • 2,500 RPM
  • Keyless chuck
  • 6.5-amp motor
Product Image of the Black + Decker MAX Cordless Drill
Best for Home Use
Black + Decker MAX Cordless Drill
  • 30-piece accessory set
  • 20V cordless drill
  • Lithium-ion battery
Product Image of the SKIL PWRCore 12 Brushless Drill
Best Brushless Drill
SKIL PWRCore 12 Brushless Drill
  • Brushless motor
  • 350 in-lbf torque
  • Interchangeable battery


The Best Budget Drills of 2024

There are countless power drills to choose from but it can be difficult to find the right balance of quality and affordability. To help you do that, we have reviewed five of the best budget drills you can buy today. These drills were chosen for their drilling power, whether they are corded or battery-powered, and how user-friendly they are.

Bosch PS31-2A Drill/Driver

Best Budget Compact Drill

This Bosch compact drill/driver is ideal for working in tight spaces around your home. It is only a 12-volt drill but Bosch emphasizes its power-to-size ratio, generating a maximum of 1,300 RPM and 265 inch-pound-force of torque.

It is also lightweight at just 1.8 pounds but still has an ergonomic soft-grip handle to ensure it is comfortable to use for prolonged periods. This drill includes a carry bag, battery, and charger, with a fuel gauge to let you see your current charge level.

What We Like

Compact

This tool is easy to handle and its small size means you won’t need much space to store it. It is ideal for quick DIY jobs around your home, or anywhere else you need to work.

20+1 Torque Adjustments

Despite being a budget-friendly drill, this model has a wide range of different torque settings. You should always be able to find the right mode for the task, whatever material or job you need to tackle.

Fuel Gauge

The fuel gauge light on the side of the drill displays the current charge level of its battery. This will ensure you don’t run out of energy but it will also protect the battery by helping you keep its charge at an appropriate level.

What We Don't Like

12 Volts

At just 12 volts, this drill is less powerful than some of its similarly priced competitors. This will restrict the jobs it can be used for, especially when working with tough materials.

Battery Removal

This drill’s battery is notoriously difficult to remove, requiring a strong grip. This could be a problem for some users with limited hand dexterity.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 1.8
Dimensions (inches) 7 x 2.5
Torque (in-lbf) 265
Accessories Charger and battery
Voltage/Amps 12 volts
Cost $$
Warranty 3-year

Our Ratings

Power
3.5 / 5
Design
4.5 / 5
Functionality
4 / 5
Value for Money
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

User Experience

My experience with this Bosch compact drill/driver has been nothing short of impressive. Despite its petite size and 12-volt power, it packs a punch, easily delivering up to 1,300 RPM and an impressive 265 inch-pound-force of torque. This drill is a breeze to handle, thanks to its lightweight design and comfortable soft-grip handle, making it ideal for extended use. The inclusion of a carry bag, battery, charger, and fuel gauge adds to its practicality, ensuring you're always aware of your current charge level. With its 20+1 torque adjustments, this compact drill provides an exceptional power-to-size ratio ideal for tight spaces around your home.

Kimo 20V Cordless Drill/Driver

Best Budget Cordless Drill/Driver

Kimo is not a household name on the level of Bosch and DeWALT but that doesn’t mean you should avoid the brand’s tools, which offer excellent value for money. This cordless drill provides a maximum of 1,350 RPM and generates 330 inch-pound-force of torque, so it is surprisingly powerful.

It is powered by a 20V battery, which is topped up by an included fast charger. You will also receive a 33-piece accessory set, various drill bits, and a carry-case. This is an ideal cordless drill for beginners because it can be adapted to so many different tasks.

What We Like

Cordless

This is a battery-powered drill, so you can take it anywhere. You won’t be restricted to your workshop or need to stay near an electrical outlet.

Accessories

The 33-piece accessory set and drill bits provide excellent value for money and greatly increase this product’s versatility. It is a great option if you are starting your tool collection.

1,000 Battery Charge Cycles

The battery can be fully charged about 1,000 times before it will need to be replaced. This means it will provide you with years of cordless drilling.

What We Don't Like

Not Brushless

Despite being a cordless drill, the motor is not brushless. This means it is less efficient than a brushless motor, so you will need to recharge it more frequently.

Not Heavy-Duty

This tool is impressively powerful for its price and weight but it is not a heavy-duty drill. There are customer reports that the motor sparks when the drill encounters any meaningful resistance.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 3
Dimensions (inches) 24 x 14 x 12
Torque (in-lbf) 330
Accessories 46-piece set including battery and charger
Voltage/Amps 20 volts
Cost $$
Warranty 2-year

Our Ratings

Power
4 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Functionality
4 / 5
Value for Money
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Personal Perspective

As an avid DIYer, I found this drill to be quite impressive, especially considering the price point. It handled a range of tasks, from grinding rust off my car's steel wheels to drilling through concrete, with surprising efficiency. The battery life was a pleasant surprise, outlasting my Milwaukee drives on high revolutions. However, I did encounter an issue with the chuck loosening occasionally. Despite this minor setback, this drill proved to be a reliable tool for both complex and basic home projects.

Porter-Cable Corded 6-Amp Drill

Best Budget Drill for Metalworking

This corded drill from Porter-Cable has a 6.5-amp motor that generates up to 2,500 RPM. It has a high-torque gear system that makes it ideal for tough materials such as metal and hardwood. As it needs to be plugged in, you won’t have to worry about losing power during an extended drilling job.

This isn’t the smallest drill we have looked at but it packs a serious punch, providing enough power to make holes in hard materials such as metals. It is also less expensive than the majority of battery-powered budget drills, giving you a lower entry point.

What We Like

Affordable

This drill is very competitively priced for such a powerful tool. It isn’t the cheapest we have looked at but offers excellent value for money, which is largely thanks to it being corded.

Keyless Chuck

Keyless chucks are very convenient and will allow you to switch your bits and attachments far more quickly than a traditional keyed chuck. They also mean you will never need to worry about losing a chuck key.

6.5-Amp Motor

The 6.5-amp motor generates enough power to deliver up to 2,500 RPM. When combined with the variable speed trigger, this means you will be able to adapt the drill’s speed to whichever task you are working on.

What We Don't Like

Corded

The drill’s power cord will restrict you in terms of where you can work. Unless you use an extension cord, you will be limited to drilling indoors.

Bulky

This is quite a bulky drill compared to others we have looked at. If you need to drill frequently throughout the day, it could end up placing a strain on your hand or wrist.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 4
Dimensions (inches) 10.9 x 3.19 x 10.9
Torque (in-lbf) 140
Accessories None
Voltage/Amps 6.5 amps
Cost $
Warranty 3-year limited

Our Ratings

Power
4.5 / 5
Design
3 / 5
Functionality
4 / 5
Value for Money
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Community Feedback

I'm a regular user of drills, owning a collection of different brands, but this drill has quickly become a favorite. It's perfect for light to medium jobs, like building furniture and hanging doors, and it drills through metal with ease. One feature I really love is the variable speed trigger - it's sensitive but helps with precise control, especially when drilling metal. Unfortunately, it's a bit noisy, sounding like a launching space shuttle, but despite that, the performance and price make it an excellent choice.

Black and Decker 20V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver

Best Budget Drill for Home Use

Black and Decker introduced the modern handheld drill, so no company has more experience in designing effective drills that won’t break the bank.

This is the brand’s 20-volt cordless drill/driver. It generates up to 750 RPM, so it is far from the most powerful handheld drill you can buy, but it is ideal for small jobs around your home. It offers 24 clutch positions and has a lithium-ion battery that can retain its charge for as long as 18 months.

This Black and Decker drill also includes a 30-piece accessory set that greatly increases its versatility.

What We Like

Value for Money

This drill is already affordable but its accessories mean it provides excellent value for money. It is a great option if you are starting your tool collection and don’t already have a set of bits.

Cordless

You can use this drill anywhere as it is battery-powered, so it is useful for tackling small repairs and DIY jobs in every corner of your home.

Lithium-Ion Battery

The drill’s lithium-ion battery can retain its charge for up to 18 months. When you are done drilling, the interchangeable battery can be used in various other cordless Black and Decker power tools.

What We Don't Like

Lacks Power

This is not a very powerful tool, generating just 750 RPM, which is slow for a modern power drill. It is a general-purpose drill for lighter tasks around the home.

Weak Battery

Although the battery can hold its charge for a long time, it won’t last very long when you start drilling. Black and Decker don’t specify how many amp-hours the batteries are, but based on customer reviews they are probably only 1 or 1.5 Ah at the most.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 4.25
Dimensions (inches) 8.94 x 4 x 7.75
Torque (in-lbf) 300
Accessories 30-piece
Voltage/Amps 20 volts
Cost $$
Warranty 2-year

Our Ratings

Power
3 / 5
Design
4 / 5
Functionality
4 / 5
Value for Money
4 / 5
Total Rating
3.75 / 5

First-Hand Impression

This Black & Decker drill has truly impressed me with its performance. From effortlessly assembling a plant stand to installing a metal roof, the battery life has been exceptional, often requiring just a single charge for multiple tasks. The included bit selection is sufficient, despite the lack of labels, and the lightweight design makes it easy to handle. Some may find the drill bits to be of lesser quality, as I had a minor issue with one getting stuck during a project. In spite of this, the drill's overall convenience, power, and extended battery life make it a reliable tool for both minor and major tasks.

SKIL PWRCore 12 Brushless Drill/Driver

Best Budget Brushless Drill

Brushless motors are more efficient, which makes their batteries last longer. They also require less maintenance because brushes are usually the first part of a motor to wear out.

This drill from SKIL has a 2 Ah lithium-ion battery that can be charged from empty to 25% of its capacity in just 5 minutes. It can be fully charged in 45 minutes.

The motor generates 1,700 RPM and 350 in-lbf of torque. It uses an interchangeable SKIL power pack that will fit any cordless SKIL power tool.

What We Like

Brushless Motor

The improved efficiency of brushless motors means they consume power less quickly. This drill’s motor extends its run time by as much as 25%.

Fast Charge

Charging the battery from empty to 25% in just 5 minutes is extremely fast. To charge fully in 45 minutes is also very impressive. This means far less downtime than most cordless power drills.

High Torque

This drill generates 350 in-lbf of torque, plenty for even tough drilling tasks.

Interchangeable Battery

The battery fits the entire range of SKIL cordless power tools. Once you are done drilling, you can continue using it with a different tool.

What We Don't Like

12 Volts

This is a 12-volt drill, so it is less powerful than a standard 20V drill. Voltage determines how much power a drill has to play with. Although this drill still generates 350 in-lbf of torque, it must use a lot of battery power to do so.

Build Quality Issues

Judging by customer reviews, there are some quality issues with this drill. The chuck doesn’t grip securely, the motor is prone to burning out, and the quality of the parts feels cheap. SKIL has made some compromises to keep costs down.

Product Specs

Weight (pounds) 4.23
Dimensions (inches) 7.76 x 2.64 x 7.09
Torque (in-lbf) 350
Accessories Battery and charger
Voltage/Amps 12 volts
Cost $$
Warranty 5-year limited

Our Ratings

Power
3.5 / 5
Design
3.5 / 5
Functionality
4.5 / 5
Value for Money
4 / 5
Total Rating
3.75 / 5

User Experience

If you're looking for a practical and reliable tool, this drill is quite the find. Its lightweight design combined with a long-lasting battery and a handy light makes it a dream to use around the house. With the added bonus of USB ports on the charger and battery, it adds utility in times of power outages. I was impressed by its capability to handle different materials, drilling through concrete, wood, and metal with ease. Its compact size, fast charging, and power make it a fantastic tool, although the light could be better placed.

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Weight Dimensions Torque in-lbf Volts/Amps Warranty
Bosch PS31-2A Drill/Driver Compact 2 lbs 7 x 2.5″ 265 in-lbf 12V 3-year
Kimo 20V Cordless Drill/Driver Cordless 3 lbs 24 x 14 x 12″ 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

Why Choose a Budget Drill?

Every person’s requirements are different. If you are a professional contractor or undertaking a major project and need to use a drill every day, it will be important to choose a high-quality power drill. This means choosing a brushless drill that is very reliable and efficient, which could be quite expensive.

However, for lighter tasks such as driving screws and drilling softwood, you won’t need as much power or a high-voltage motor. You will be able to save money by choosing a budget drill.

Some reputable power tool brands such as Black and Decker and TackLife offer very affordable corded power drills. On the other hand, you are unlikely to find a budget DeWALT or Makita drill unless it is an entry-level model.

How to Choose a Budget Drill

Even if you have a tight budget, you will have plenty of options to choose from. You might need to make compromises compared to high-end models, but there are some key features you should prioritize:

Cordless Vs. Corded

Cordless drills are usually more expensive due to the batteries that allow them to be taken anywhere. They also have more advanced technology with brushless motors, which are efficient and require less maintenance. However, cordless drills are becoming increasingly affordable as they become more widespread.

As technology constantly improves, older models also become less expensive. If you want to buy a budget cordless drill, don’t expect the same battery life and performance as a high-end model.

If you only want a tool for basic DIY tasks such as hanging pictures, a corded drill will be suitable. These are by far the cheapest models available.

Size

It isn’t essential to choose a small drill, especially if you are only using it around the home, but it will make it less of a burden and more user-friendly. This can be more of an issue with cordless models, which are heavier due to their batteries. A smaller drill will be less cumbersome, more versatile, and easier to store.

Weight

Drills can be heavy, especially cordless models, which can cause hand and wrist fatigue if you need to use them for prolonged periods. If you want a lightweight model and only expect to use it in your home or workshop, choose a corded model, which will also help you save money.

Keyless Chuck

To make your drill as user-friendly and convenient as possible, you should look for a model with a keyless chuck. This means you won’t need to worry about losing the key and it will be much quicker to replace your drill’s bit.


FAQs

How Can You Tell How Strong a Drill Is?

There are a few ways to tell how strong a drill is. The first is to look at its chuck size. A chuck that accommodates larger bits will usually be more robust and have extra drilling power for tougher tasks. If it is cordless, look at its voltage. The power of cordless drills is largely determined by the voltage of its battery, so 20 volts are greater than 12 volts. On the other hand, with corded drills, you should look at their amps.

How Many Volts Does a Drill Need?

For cordless drills, the voltage will affect their power and how much you need to pay to get one. Most cordless drills are listed as either 18V or 20V but these two numbers essentially mean the same thing. 18V is the nominal measurement while 20V is the maximum that the drill will perform at.

Smaller drills are also available with 12V batteries but these are usually cheaper and only suitable for lighter duties.

Are Brushless Drills Worth the Money?

Brushless drills are superior to brushed motors as they are more efficient and require less maintenance. However, they are also more expensive so you will need to decide whether or not they are worth the extra cost.

If you only need a drill for light tasks such as assembling furniture and hanging up pictures, you should be fine with a brushed drill. However, if you are working on a large-scale project or need to use your drill frequently, a brushless motor will be worth the extra cost.

How Much Torque is Good for a Budget Drill?

Determining how much torque is ideal for a budget drill depends on the task. For small jobs such as drilling pilot holes in wood or plastic, 4 to 15Nm will suffice.

Medium tasks, such as drilling into brick walls and metal plates, should use drill bits with 15 to 35Nm of torque.

When working on more significant projects, it is recommended to use a drill bit with 35Nm or more of torque – this will ensure you complete the job reliably and efficiently.

Which Budget Cordless Drill Is Best for Home Use?

This BLACK+DECKER cordless drill operates on 20V. It only produces 750 rpm, so it is not the most powerful option, but it is perfect for tasks that need to be done around the house.

It includes a lithium-ion battery that can store a charge for up to 18 months and has 24 clutch positions. A starter accessory kit consisting of thirty different pieces is included with the purchase of this drill.

Is an Impact Driver Better Than a Budget Drill?

An impact driver is usually the more powerful choice when it comes to drilling and driving. It delivers higher levels of torque than most budget drills while also being lighter and easier to use.

Impact drivers are handy for more challenging applications that require high-powered performance, such as drilling into hardwoods, driving long screws through thick materials, or loosening rusted bolts.

However, a cheaper power tool might be your best bet if you’re on a tighter budget and only need a basic drill for occasional use.

What Is the Best Budget Drill to Buy for DIY?

The Bosch PS31-2A is the best budget drill for DIY enthusiasts. It is ideal for use while working in tight quarters around the house because of its small design. Even though it is only a 12-volt drill, Bosch asserts it can generate up to 1,300 RPM and 265-inch-pound torque.

It weighs only 1.8 pounds, making it quite portable. You won’t feel discomfort even after using it for an extended period.


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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.