Best Budget Drill

Best Budget Drill

Those searching for a cordless drill to add to their workshop on the cheap need look no further. In this guide, we’ve researched and tested some of the best budget drills available. These drills offer excellent bang for the buck, whether you need a drill for the occasional odd job or one that will carry you through a larger home improvement project.

Best budget drill

Ratings methodology
18 models tested

Milwaukee M18 2607-20

Milwaukee 2607-20 Angle 5
TestRank
Drilling speed9
Driving speed11
Torque8
RPM10
Bare weight14
Drilling Noise18
Brand Milwaukee
Platform M18
Motor Brushless
Speeds 2
Torque in-lbs 500.0
BPM 28,800.0
Clutch settings 18
Chuck size 1/2"
Same as N/A

Rating

4.21 / 5 ⭐️’s

Recommended configuration

2607-22

Includes (2) M18 Red Lithium XC 3Ah battery

While the Milwaukee M18 2607 may not make the cut for the professional job site, there are plenty of reasons to add it to your home workshop. For starters, it produces enough power to handle most drilling or driving tasks you throw at it.

And while it may lack the raw speed and power of higher-end drills, its two speed settings allow you to drop it to a lower gear to improve torque for drilling or driving into denser materials, such as masonry or metal.

We also like the build quality of this hammer drill. While most in this price range have plastic construction, the 2607-20 features an all-metal chuck sleeve, which increases its durability and gives it a stronger and, hence, more reliable grip on drill bits.

Yes, the 2607-20 has its shortcomings. Its longer-than-average head limits its ability to fit into tight spots. And it doesn’t impress as a hammer drill, with a low BPM that makes drilling through denser materials a slog.

That said, given this tool’s low price tag, impressive warranty, and ability to handle most jobs a DIYer will tackle, it’s a great budget option for the home workshop that won’t break the bank like some of Milwaukee’s best drills.

Dewalt 12V Xtreme DCD706

Dewalt DCD706 Angle 5
TestRank
Drilling speed15
Driving speed15
TorqueNot ranked
RPM16
Bare weight2
Drilling Noise15
Brand Dewalt
Platform 12V Xtreme
Motor Brushless
Speeds 2
Torque in-lbs Not advertised
BPM 25,500.0
Clutch settings 15
Chuck size 3/8"
Same as DCD706B

Rating

4.16 / 5 ⭐️’s

Recommended configuration

DCD706F2

Includes (2) Max 12V 2Ah battery

The Dewalt 12V Xtreme DCD706 differentiates itself from other hammer drills by looking little like one. With a bare tool weight that puts it just a hair over 2 lbs. and a tip-tail length of just 6.625 inches, it’s lighter and more compact than most of the best hammer drills.

These qualities not only make it easier on your arm to use, but they also mean you can fit it into tighter confines than most other hammer drills.

The tradeoff for that compact size is its performance. While it comes equipped with a brushless motor, it produces speed and power that’s below average. That’s not to say that you won’t be able to drive in larger structural screws or drill large diameter holes with it, it will just take you longer to do so than with other speedier and mightier hammer drills.

While these qualities mean the DCD706 won’t pass muster regarding the professional job site, it’s plenty qualified for a spot on the DIYer’s workbench.

It is easier to handle than bulkier hammer drills and will easily drive in most fasteners and drill most holes. While it’s not designed for drilling into masonry and other dense materials or driving in lag bolts, it can substitute for those jobs when your impact driver isn’t handy.

Ryobi 18V One+ PBLHM101

Ryobi PBLHM101 Angle 5
TestRank
Drilling speed7
Driving speed16
Torque7
RPM8
Bare weight12
Drilling Noise14
Brand Ryobi
Platform 18V One+
Motor Brushed
Speeds 2
Torque in-lbs 515.0
BPM 28,000.0
Clutch settings 22
Chuck size 1/2"
Same as N/A

Rating

3.74 / 5 ⭐️’s

Recommended configuration

PBLHM101K2

Includes (2) One+ 18V HP 2Ah battery

The Ryobi 18V One+ PBLHM101 has notable shortcomings with power, but it has enough positives to make it a worthy choice for a home workshop. Given its low price, the PBLHM101 is especially impressive as a drill. During our in-house testing, it was reasonably fast as a conventional drill and also impressed as a hammer drill.

We also liked the build of this model. It’s one of a handful of budget-priced drills equipped with an all-metal chuck, which enhances its durability and helps it lock tightly onto bits with little to no loosening during use.

While the PBLHM101 impressed during drilling, it struggled as a driver. It can handle smaller fasteners with ease but struggles to drive in larger structural screws and bolts. We found during testing that it is prone to bogging down when given the task of driving in these larger fasteners.

The Ryobi is also a bulky hammer drill. It is long from tip to tail and ranks as one of the heavier drills we’ve tested, with a bare tool weight of nearly 3 pounds.

These qualities rule the PBLHM101 out for pro use. However, it performs so well for common drill applications around the house that it’s one of the best budget cordless drills for the home workshop.

Ryobi 18V One+ PSBHM01

Ryobi PSBHM01 Angle 5
TestRank
Drilling speed17
Driving speed17
Torque10
RPM12
Bare weight5
Drilling Noise10
Brand Ryobi
Platform 18V One+
Motor Brushless
Speeds 2
Torque in-lbs 400.0
BPM 27,200.0
Clutch settings 22
Chuck size 1/2"
Same as N/A

Rating

3.55 / 5 ⭐️’s

Recommended configuration

PSBHM01K

Includes (1) One+ 18V 1.5Ah battery

Ryobi’s 18V One+ PSBHM01 is designed for weekend warriors, making it the perfect choice for a home workshop. While the PSCHHM01 lacks the power and speed required for the professional worksite, it can certainly handle most jobs that a DIYer will likely throw at it.

Plus, it has a useful hammer functionality, which you won’t usually find on most drill drivers. While it struggled to drive in lag screws and longer structural screws during testing, it can handle those tougher jobs in a pinch.

The PSCHM01’s size is one of its biggest pros. Its short tip-to-tail length puts it among the best compact drills we’ve tested, so you won’t have a problem fitting it in close quarters.

At about 2.2 lbs, it’s also one of the lightest hammer drills we’ve tested, making it easier to use over longer periods. While its build quality isn’t great—it comes equipped with a plastic chuck—it’s durable enough for home use.

Are cheap drills worth it?

Whether an affordable drill is worth it depends on how you plan to use it. If your job requires you to use a drill on a regular basis, then going with one of the best cheap drills probably doesn’t make sense.

Inexpensive drills lack the performance and build quality to handle heavy-duty tasks and everyday use. In that case, you’ll want to invest in one of the best cordless drills you can afford.

That said, if you plan on using a cordless drill to handle DIY projects in your home, a good cheap drill is certainly worth it.

These drills are designed to meet the needs of homeowners and home workshops. Depending on the types of projects you’re working on, it may make better financial sense to go with a budget drill than spring for a high-end drill that is overkill.

What size budget drill should you buy?

You have some options regarding voltage, the drill’s physical size, and the chuck size. Budget drills come in 18-volt and 12-volt varieties. With its larger motor and battery, an 18-volt drill has greater torque and speed, making it capable of driving in larger fasteners and drilling bigger holes than a 12-volt drill.

While a 12-volt drill is less powerful than an 18-volt model, it’s lighter and more compact. This smaller size makes it more agile to use and better able to fit into tighter spaces.

Budget drills also offer different chuck sizes, including 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch chucks. A 1/4-inch chuck is ideal for light-duty use and smaller fasteners and bits. A 3/8-inch drill offers the most versatility for handling a wide variety of projects, while a 1/2-inch drill is ideal for bigger projects that use larger fasteners or require you to drill bigger holes.

If you truly only need a cordless drill to handle light-duty applications, a 12-volt drill should suffice. However, if you plan on using your drill to complete larger projects, you’ll probably want to go with an 18-volt model, which gives you more power and versatility.

FAQ

  • Are cheap drills powerful?

    While a budget-priced drill won’t match the top-of-the-line models’ torque and speed, they can still be quite powerful. Many of these budget drills produce very respectable RPM under load and are capable of driving in larger structural screws and bolts (just not that quickly).

  • Are cheap drills long-lasting?

    A cheap drill’s durability depends on its build quality. Some budget drills have all-metal chucks, which gives them a longer lifespan than those made with plastic chucks. While a cheap drill may not have the longevity of a high-end model, you can still expect plenty of use from a budget-priced drill.

Tony Carrick
Tony Carrick
Tony is a recognized expert in the home and DIY space, as well as outdoor recreation. His articles have appeared on websites such as Bob Vila, U.S. News and World Report, Angi, Popular Science, and Popular Mechanics. He can be emailed at awcarrick@gmail.com. His online portfolio is available at https://www.tonycarrick.com/.

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