Last Updated on September 11, 2020
You may think that you have to pay an arm and a leg to get a great cordless drill. And, since there’s been a lot of recent innovation in the cordless drill field, such as brushless motors and lithium-ion batteries, it might seem that way.
However, there are great cordless drills available for less than $50. Of course, regardless of the price, when you’re shopping online it’s not always easy to tell which drills are great value for the money and which will cause you buyer’s remorse.
Our reviews of the best cordless drills of 2020 under $50 are designed to help you cut through the advertising and misleading information and get to the heart of each of these great products. We cover the good and the bad so that you can understand each machine well before you make your purchase. We’ve even included a buyer’s guide, so you can learn how to evaluate these great tools, even if you’ve never owned one before.
|Best Overall||BLACK+DECKER LDX120C||
|Best Value||Hi-Spec DT30319||
|Avid Power MW316||
The BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V MAX is a great drill that does everything most people will need it to do. You can get incredible performance out of this tool, and frankly, it’s hard to believe that you can get a drill with this much power at such a low price. Some users report that they finished out their deck with this drill, which required driving six-inch screws, evidence of this drill’s durability and power. This model also comes with a great 11-setting clutch. That will give you more than enough control to safely work your way through more delicate materials like drywall or to increase the torque to drive into brick or other hard surfaces.
This model also comes from the great BLACK+DECKER 20V battery line, which is used across multiple tools, potentially saving you money. Unfortunately, this drill doesn’t come with their great fast charger, so you’ll have to wait on the battery to recharge. This model weighs just 3.3 pounds, making it a great inclusion in any tool kit, and the best overall model that can be found for less than $50.
The Tacklife PCD01B Cordless Drill Driver Set is the model you’ll want to get if you need new bits in addition to a great new cordless drill. This model comes with 12 new bits, an extender bar, and a plastic case, which puts it head and shoulders ahead of the competition in this area. While it doesn’t contain more esoteric bits, you’ll be able to take care of most projects that you’ll find around the house with this kit alone. It also comes with a fast charger, so you’ll be able to get back to work in as little as an hour when the battery dies on you.
This drill comes with two speeds, allowing you to choose between emphasizing torque or emphasizing speed on easier jobs. Such flexibility gives you a nice level of control and makes this a good choice for most domestic jobs. It also comes with a fantastic 19+1 position clutch, which allows even further refinement. Unfortunately, the bits do run toward the cheap side, and they sometimes break. However, this kit is a great price for the drill alone, so those parts are truly the icing on the cake.
The Hi-Spec DT30319 18 V Pro Combo Cordless is the model you’ll want to get if you’re looking for a good balance between value and performance. This drill comes with 30 accessories, including a ton of different bits that will allow you to do just about any job that you can complete with a drill. It also comes with one of the largest batteries that you can find at this price point, clocking in at a whopping 1000 mAh. This model also comes with a great clutch featuring 17 different positions, allowing you to fine-tune this model to the job at hand.
Since you can get this model for a fraction of what you’d pay for our top two models, it’s the best overall for the money on our list. What ultimately keeps this drill out of the top two is the fact that the bit quality is underwhelming and inconsistent. Generally, they seem more likely to break than those from the previous model. The drill itself makes for great value at this price point, however, especially given its large battery. If you’re looking for a great deal, you’ll be happy with this drill’s performance.
The Avid Power MW316 is an inexpensive model, but its value isn’t high enough to earn a top position on our list. This model does come with a large, 1.5 Ah battery, which will give you plenty of work time on a single charge. It also comes with a 16-position clutch, which enables you to use the right torque for the project at hand, whether you’re trying to remove a screw at risk of stripping or drive a screw into hardwood. Additionally, this model comes with around 20 accessories, including a flexible head, which will be useful for unscrewing screws in hard-to-reach places.
Unfortunately, this model suffers from quality control issues. Sometimes, it ships with an over-tightened chuck which is impossible to open. Other times, there are battery performance problems. Though these are solvable issues, it can be difficult to contact this manufacturer’s customer service. So, you can gamble on this low-priced drill, but there’s a chance you won’t be able to exchange a broken model for one that works. Some people may be okay with that risk. That said, this is going to be the wrong choice for most people looking for a drill.
The Stalwart 75-PT1004 20V Lithium-Ion isn’t the cheapest model on our list, but it does come with the most accessories—a fact that is sure to lead many people to consider it, even if they can get better value for their money elsewhere. This can serve as a good kit for people who are just starting their tool collection since it includes a ton of bits, as well as a great socket set. Also included are a flashlight and a T-handle driver, as well as Torx bits, which you don’t often find in starter sets. Additionally, the drill features a good, 18-setting clutch. Though some people don’t find the clutch very strong, it seems to perform fine on other models.
This drill also comes with two speeds, allowing you to optimize for the highest level of torque for tough jobs, or speed when you’re working easier ones. On the downside, this model comes with a battery and charger that requires three to five hours to recharge—a bad sign, since most lithium-ion batteries can fully charge in two hours or less. It also has quality control problems, especially with the accessories, which aren’t well-made. Ultimately, it’s not a good deal.
The three most important things to consider when shopping for a cordless drill are its power, battery, and included accessories.
The more power you can get in your drill, the better. While you’re not going to get a drill that can deal with concrete or brick at this price point, you should be able to find a model that performs well with common tasks that you find around the house. Of course, you need to keep in mind that the more powerful your drill, the faster it will drain the battery, which makes battery size an important feature.
Battery size varies widely in these drills, with some batteries being up to 50 percent larger than others, which leads to a great increase in run time. The batteries on our list are all lithium-ion batteries, which are the gold standard in tools. They should charge in two hours or less in most situations, though getting a fast charger can greatly decrease that time.
The final thing you should consider is the included accessories. Most of the time their quality isn’t going to be that great, but you can get them cheaply by buying them with the drill. If you really need bits that can stand up to the work you’ll be throwing at them, you can often get a name-brand bit set with more bits for around $10 to $20.
More top 5 drill pick guides on HealthyHandyman.com:
The best overall model on our list is the BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V MAX, which comes with surprising power, a great clutch, and a very light frame. In second is the Tacklife PCD01B Cordless Drill Driver Set which includes two speeds, a fast charger, as well as a case and bits, though the bit quality ultimately keeps it out of first place. The Hi-Spec DT30319 18 V Pro Combo Cordless is a model with a great clutch and large battery, as well as 30 accessories, and since you can get it at a low price, it’s the best overall cordless drill for the money. The Masterworks MW316 also comes with a large battery and great clutch, as well as a ton of accessories, though quality control issues and a hard-to-contact customer service mean this model can only take fourth place on our list. The Stalwart 75-PT1004 20V Lithium-Ion drill has the most accessories, a good clutch, and two speeds, but its extremely slow charging battery and quality control issues drop it to the last place.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you better understand cordless drills, and have helped you find the drill that is right for you.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!