When and How to Use a Right Angle Drill

A right angle drill isn’t a tool that’s found in all tool collections, but there are a whole lot of people who could use one. It did cross my mind to wonder why these marvels aren’t in use more often, but then I realized that I didn’t even know there was such a thing until recently, and I couldn’t be the only one.

A right angle drill is, to my mind, an absolute wonder. I mean, how many times have you found yourself trying to drive a screw into a small area and had to look around for one of those really short screwdrivers so you could do it by hand because the electric screwdriver or drill/driver was just too big? I know it’s happened to me a million times. Ok, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, I have about half a dozen of those short screwdrivers in both standard and philips head because I seem to need one on a pretty regular basis just for things around the house. So, in case you are like I was a short while ago and you aren’t sure what a right angle drill actually is, let me introduce you to one of the world’s modern marvels.

What the Heck is That?

Bosch Right Angle DrillA right angle drill is really quite self explanatory, but please bear with me. A right angle drill does the same thing a regular drill/driver does, but instead of having a relatively short handle and a long head, it has a rather long handle and the head is very short and set at a 90 degree angle to the handle so it can drill or insert screws in tight areas. Some of them can be rather amusing looking to look at, as they really don’t look like any other tool I’ve personally come across. But I don’t really care what a tool looks like as long as it does the job I need it to do.

Who Would Use One of Those?

Now, I’ve seen it said that these tools are used mostly by professionals in construction related trades because they are the ones who most often get into these kinds of situations. They were actually designed for these folks to help them in their jobs. During construction of commercial buildings and homes, hundreds if not thousands of holes have to be drilled through flooring, floor joists, wall studs, and sometimes even roofing material in order for electricians and plumbers to run wire and pipes. Sometimes these holes have to be drilled in the tight spaces behind existing joists or beams where a regular drill would never fit.

While they were originally designed for the construction industry, they are making their way into less specialized tool collections. Cabinet builders and installers, carpenters, wood workers, hobbyists, and even mechanics have found uses for a right angle drill and added one to their toolbags or workshops. Any kind of drill accessory that can be used on a conventional drill can also be used with a right angle drill and the great thing is, this is a tool I think just about anyone could find a use for.

We’ve Gotta Hand It to Them

One thing which is really nice about these drills is the grip. It can be quite a challenge to get a drill into small spaces and maintain the control you really need, the handles are designed to be used with both hands so presure can be distributed evenly, and some even have a grip and trigger which twists, making it easier to maintain control in various situations.


There are a couple of options that can make right angle drills really versatile for all sorts of uses. For starters, you can get drill bit extensions which open up a whole new world of opportunities. Yes, you can get drill bit extensions for conventional drills as well, but if you put a 30 inch extension on a right angle drill, you can get into just about any space you can think of.

Here’s my favorite option and not all of them do this, but some right angle drills offer the ability to remove the drive head and use the chuck as a conventional drill. It will cost a few more dollars, but if you can get one of these that can be used as a right angle or conventional drill, you’ve got two drills in one. Could it get any cooler? I don’t think it can.

Is a Right Angle Drill Right For You?

As I said earlier, I think just about anyone could come up with uses for one of these tools. But if you’re thinking about getting one, I highly suggest going to your local home improvement center and try a few out before making a purchase. If you want it for around the house or hobby use, getting one made for professionals might be more than you need, so do some comparison shopping and find the one that fits you and your needs the best.