ToolCrowd is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Best Cordless Drill Under $50:

The Complete Buyer’s Guide 2020

Cordless drills form a staple part of most peoples’ tool collections.

From drilling holes and driving in screws, to spinning sanding pads and polishing bonnets, there’s no doubting just how useful a drill can be when it comes to DIY, home improvement, or even cleaning.

There’s just one problem, though. Take a browse down the tool aisle at your local hardware store, or have a look on Amazon, and you’ll see that in a lot of cases, cordless drills don’t come cheap.

Which begs the question, do you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a cordless drill?

Thankfully, the answer is no, especially if you’re only looking for something to handle general DIY tasks like inserting screws, drilling holes in wood or drywall, or putting up furniture.

To prove this point, we’ve spent countless hours researching and whittling down the power tool market to find the best cordless drill under $50 in 2020.

So, regardless if you want a basic drill that’s easy-to-use, one that offers considerable value for money, or a heavy-duty cordless drill that’s capable of tackling tougher projects, we’ve got you covered thanks to our detailed advice and recommendations.

Let’s get stuck in…



Summary: The 3 Best Cordless Drills Under $50
BLACK+DECKER LDX120C – The Best ‘Back to Basics’ Cordless Drill Under $50 (Read More)
#1
Back to Basics

image of the Black and Decker LDX120C, winner of the best cordless drill under $50 in the ToolCrowd Back to Basics category Check Price
Avid Power MW316 – The Best Value Cordless Drill Under $50 (Read More)
#1
Best Value
image of the Avid Power MW316, winner of the best cordless drill under $50 in the ToolCrowd Best Value category Check Price
DETLEV-PRO G8104-Li – The Best Heavy Duty Cordless Drill Under $50 (Read More)
#1
Heavy-Duty Pick
image of the DETLEV PRO G8104-Li, winner of the best cordless drill under $50 in the ToolCrowd Heavy Duty category Check Price

The Full List: The Best Cordless Drills Under $50 in 2020

1
BLACK+DECKER LDX120C 20V MAX 3/8″ Cordless Drill / Driver

Winner – Back to Basics

Our Thoughts

Kicking off our list is the BLACK+DECKER LDX120C.

In all honesty, we didn’t expect to find a cordless drill under $50 from a well-known brand, and so we’re pleasantly surprised to have come across this model.

If you’re looking for a basic drill from a reputable brand, without any accessories, the LDX120C could be just the model for you.

Now, at first glance, the drill’s lack of accessories might sound like a negative, and if you’re starting out growing your tool collection, it probably is. For us, though, we prefer the idea of investing our hard-earned dollars into the tool itself, as opposed to into a probably mediocre-at-best ‘value add’ accessories set.

You can pick up a good set of drill and screwdriver bits relatively cheaply, anyway, so the lack of accessories shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

The LDX120C might not have the highest speed output of any drill on this list (650 RPM), but what it lacks in a blistering pace, it more than makes up for with its powerful 20V motor and lithium-ion battery. It also has a small stature that, while not small enough to compete with the likes of a right angle drill, make it much easier to wield in tight or confined spaces.

Best-suited to DIYer tackling lighter tasks to drilling into wood and drywall, driving small fixings, and assembling furniture, the LDX120C is a worthy recipient of our ‘Back to Basics’ award.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCordless
Chuck TypeKeyless
Chuck Size3/8″
TransmissionSingle Speed
No Load RPM0-650
Clutch Settings11
Torque (in-lbs)115
Motor TypeBrushed
Weight3.4lb
Battery20V Lithium-Ion
Battery Capacity1.5 Ah

Includes

  • 1x BLACK+DECKER LDX120 Drill/Driver
  • 1x LBX20 20V MAX Lithium Ion Battery
  • 1x Charger
  • 1x Double Ended Bit

Reasons to Buy

  • It’s from a brand name you can trust.
  • It can be used for drilling into wood, metal, and plastic.
  • The LDX120C’s driving function is capable of handling a variety of screwdriving tasks.
  • The output speed is variable between 0-650 RPM, allowing you to adjust the speed to best suit whatever task you’re completing.
  • It features an 11-position clutch, allowing for more precise control when drilling into different material types, or when completing screwdriving tasks.
  • The keyless chuck allows for quick and easy bit changes.
  • The drill’s lithium-ion battery provides is capable of holding its charge for longer, and has better power efficiency versus other battery types.
  • The drill’s compact and lightweight design makes it ideal for working in tighter spaces.
  • A built-in LED light lets you use the LDX120C in low-light conditions.

Reasons to Skip

  • Unlike the other budget drills on this list, the LDX120C does not come with any accessories other than a double-ended bit.
  • The LDX120C’s clutch settings do not include a hammer function, meaning it could struggle with drilling into tougher materials like masonry.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
BLACK+DECKER LDX120C


2
Avid Power MW316 20V MAX Lithium Ion 3/8″ Cordless Drill with 22-Piece Accessories Set

Winner – Best Value

Our Thoughts

Next up is our ‘Best Value’ winner; the Avid Power MW316.

You could argue that every drill on this list offers value for money, and seeing as how they’re all under $50 with countless positive reviews backing up their quality, you’d be right.

There are a few areas where the MW316 stands out from a price perspective, though.

Firstly, it comes bundled with a 22-piece accessory set, saving you money on the various drill and screwdriver bits that you’ll need to get started tackling household DIY tasks. It’ll also give you a better selection of bits to choose from to avoid issues like cam out.

Not only that, but the MW316 is frequently available for under $40. When you consider that it comes with most of the features you’d expect to see on a premium drill, for example, a 20V motor, lithium-ion battery, and enough torque to drill up to 3/8″ into steel plate, it’s tough to argue with that price.

Throw in nice-to-haves like an LED light, sixteen clutch settings, and a lightweight design tipping the scales at just 2.2 pounds, and you could do a whole lot worse than the Avid Power MW316.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCordless
Chuck TypeKeyless
Chuck Size3/8″
TransmissionSingle Speed
No Load RPM0-550
Clutch Settings16
Torque (in-lbs)177
Motor TypeBrushed
Weight2.2lb
Battery20V Lithium-Ion
Battery Capacity1.5 Ah

Includes

  • 1x Avid Power MW316 Cordless Drill Driver
  • 1x 20V Max Lithium Ion Battery
  • 1x Charger
  • 10x Drill Bits
  • 10x Driver Bits
  • 1x Flexible Extension Bar

Reasons to Buy

  • Use it to drill into wood, lighter metals, and plastic with ease.
  • The MW316’s sixteen clutch settings let you easily adjust the level of torque to best-suit whichever drilling or driving task you’re completing.
  • It features a variable speed output between 0-550 RPM, letting you increase or decrease the speed depending on your needs.
  • You can easily adjust the output speed depending on how hard you press the trigger.
  • You can change drill or screwdriver bits quickly and easily thanks to the MW316’s keyless chuck.
  • It comes with a lithium-ion battery for longer battery life versus the likes of NiMH batteries, for example.
  • The MW316’s built-in LED light improves visibility while working in darker areas.
  • At only 2.2 pounds, it’s one of the lightest drills on this list, making it easier to maneuver and less of a strain to use over long periods.

Reasons to Skip

  • There’s no hammer setting included, meaning the MW316 could struggle with drilling into masonry.
  • The drill’s speed is capped at 550 RPM, which is less than most of the other budget drill models on this list. We can’t complain too much considering the price of the MW316, but a larger speed range would provide greater flexibility in terms of matching the optimal speeds recommended when working with different material types and when drilling different diameter holes.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
Avid Power MW316


3
DETLEV PRO G8104-Li 21V Max Cordless Drill Driver with 43-Piece Accessories Set

Winner – Heavy Duty

Our Thoughts

If you’re after a heavy-duty budget drill, the DETLEV PRO G8104-Li gets our recommendation.

There are several areas where the G8104-Li stands out not just against the other drills on this list, but versus other premium models costing $100+.

Firstly, it has the highest battery voltage of any drill on this list (21V), something which no doubt contributes to its list-topping torque output of 372 in-lbs.

If you needed further proof of G8104-Li’s heavy-duty credentials, though, look no further than the fact that it’s the only budget drill featured which
has a hammer setting built into its clutch settings.

The hammer function provides a series of concussive blows behind the drill bit during use, making it easier to drill into sturdy materials like brick or masonry.

As if that wasn’t enough value from the drill’s sub $50 price tag, it also comes paired with a 43-piece accessory set loaded with drill bits and screwdriver bits, in addition to a particularly handy flexible extension bar.

Throw in the drill’s dual-speed gearbox, 1,400 RPM maximum output, and lithium-ion battery, and the DETLEV PRO G8104-Li would be our go-to choice in general from this list, not just from a heavy-duty perspective.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCordless
Chuck TypeKeyless
Chuck Size3/8″
TransmissionDual Speed
No Load RPM0-400 / 0-1,400
Clutch Settings19
Torque (in-lbs)372
Motor TypeBrushed
Battery21V Lithium-Ion
Battery Capacity1.5 Ah

Includes

  • 1x DETLEV PRO 8104 Cordless Drill
  • 1x 21V Max Lithium Ion Battery
  • 1x Charger
  • 1x Carrying Case
  • 8x Drill Bits
  • 33x Driver Bits
  • 1x Flexible Extension Bar

Reasons to Buy

  • It’s capable of drilling into a variety of materials (it’s rated to 13mm in cement, 10mm in metal, and 30mm in wood).
  • The G8104-Li is the only drill on this list to feature a hammer setting, an internal mechanism that drives concussive blows behind the drill bit to improve performance when drilling into brick and masonry.
  • The drill’s 19-position clutch provides you with precise control over its torque output. For example, you can choose lower torque or higher torque for small and large fixings respectively.
  • At 372 in-lbs, the G8104-Li has the highest torque output of any budget drill on this list (likely a result of its 21V battery, which is also the highest battery voltage of the models featured here).
  • It features a dual-speed transmission and a maximum output speed of 1,400 RPM, making it particularly well-suited to a wide-range of drilling and driving tasks.
  • It comes with a 43-piece accessories set which includes both drill and screwdriver bits to help get you started.
  • It features a built-in LED light for maximum visibility in low-light conditions.

Reasons to Skip

  • The motor is brushed as opposed to brushless.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
DETLEV PRO G8104-Li


4
BLACK+DECKER LD120VA 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories Set

Our Thoughts

The list price of the BLACK+DECKER LD120VA is $99, but because it’s regularly available for under $50, we’ve decided to include it here.

In our opinion, the LD120VA has more than enough features and benefits to warrant a $99 price tag, and so, it’s an absolute steal if you can get it for less than half that price.

From a features perspective, it’s clearly the big brother to the LXD120 that won our ‘Back to Basics’ award above.

Firstly, the no-load speed has increased from 650 to 750 RPM, while the clutch settings have more than doubled from eleven to 24, giving much greater flexibility to match the drill’s output speed and torque to whatever task you’re completing. It even comes bundled with a 30-piece accessory set for added convenience.

For us, the area where the LD120VA most stands out though is its overall torque output. At 300 in-lbs, there’s more than enough turning force available to tackle wood, metal, and plastic, in addition to drilling larger diameter holes and driving larger fixings in each.

It’s not a huge negative, but we would have liked to see a built-in LED light for improved visibility, but that would simply be the icing on the cake for an otherwise excellent budget cordless drill.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCordless
Chuck TypeKeyless
Chuck Size3/8″
TransmissionSingle Speed
No Load RPM0-750
Clutch Settings24
Torque (in-lbs)300
Motor TypeBrushed
Weight4.25lb
Battery20V Lithium-Ion
Battery Capacity1.5 Ah

Includes

  • 1x BLACK+DECKER LD120 20V MAX Lithium Drill/Driver
  • 1x LB20 20V MAX Lithium Ion Battery
  • 1x Charger
  • 6x Brad Point Drill Bits
  • 10x 1″ Screwdriving Bits
  • 9x 2″ Screwdriving Bits
  • 4x Nut Drivers
  • 1x Magnetic Bit Tip Holder

Reasons to Buy

  • BLACK+DECKER is a well-known brand when it comes to power tools.
  • Thanks to its torquey output (300 in-lbs), the LD120VA is more than capable of handling wood, metal, and plastic with ease, as well as drilling larger holes and driving larger fixings.
  • It features a powerful 20V motor.
  • The drill’s lithium-ion battery leads to increased runtime, and less time charging versus tools powered by NiMH batteries.
  • The LD120VA features more clutch settings than any other drill on this list (24 in total), providing greater flexibility to match the drill’s torque output to whatever task you are completing.
  • The LD120VA comes with a 30-piece accessories pack which includes a variety of drill bits and screwdriver bits to get you started.

Reasons to Skip

  • It doesn’t have a built-in LED.
  • It’s one of the heaviest budget drills featured here.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
BLACK+DECKER LD120VA


5
Hi-Spec DT30319 18V Pro Combo Cordless Drill Driver with 30 Piece Accessory Set

Our Thoughts

In all honesty, if it weren’t for the fact that the Hi-Spec DT30319 receives such good reviews online, it probably wouldn’t appear on this list.

We’re not saying that it’s a bad cordless drill by any means, because the countless positive reviews posted online prove that it’s very good. It’s more the fact that it struggles from a features and benefits perspective versus the other drills on this list.

You’d assume that you’d have to compromise a lot when it comes to buying a cordless drill for under $50, but as the other drills on this list show, and the main problem for the Hi-Spec DT30319, is that you don’t.

The degree of compromise needed is actually minimal.

For example, bearing in mind that this model sits very close to $50 (much closer than other models on this list, in fact), you’d expect it to come with a lithium-ion powered battery and a reasonably high-capacity battery at that. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t.

The DT30319 comes with a 1.0 Ah NiMH battery, something that pales compared to the 1.5 Ah lithium-ion batteries featured on most of the other drills on this list.

Perhaps we’re too picky. After all, the drill performs very well and handles the needs of countless reviewers just fine, and there are plenty of reasons to buy it as we point out below.

For us, though, there are too many other drills that offer more nice-to-haves either at the same price or better yet, at a lower price, for us to choose the DT30319 over them.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCordless
Chuck TypeKeyless
Chuck Size3/8″
TransmissionSingle Speed
No Load RPM0-550
Clutch Settings17
Torque (in-lbs)159
Motor TypeBrushed
Battery18V NiMH
Battery Capacity1.0 Ah

Includes

  • 1x Hi-Spec DT30319 Cordless Drill
  • 1x 18V NiMH Battery
  • 1x Charger
  • 18x Drill Bits
  • 10x Screwdriver Bits
  • 1x 50mm Bit Connector
  • 1x Counter Sink

Reasons to Buy

  • The drill’s clutch has 17 different settings for maximum flexibility in terms of matching the torque output to the task-at-hand.
  • Easily vary the drill’s speed depending on how hard you press the trigger.
  • The keyless chuck makes it quick and easy to change out drill or screwdriver bits.
  • Save money thanks to the DT30319’s 30-piece accessory set, which means you don’t need to buy additional drill or screwdriver bits to get started.
  • The drill features a handy magnetic bit and screw holder to hold bits in place securely and to make changing bits quicker and easier.
  • The built-in LED light improves visibility when working in dark or confined spaces.
  • It comes with a 3-year warranty for maximum peace of mind.

Reasons to Skip

  • The battery is NiMH, as opposed to the more-favored lithium-ion type.
  • At only 1.0 Ah, the battery’s capacity is relatively low, which could lead to less usage and more charging time.
  • The motor’s torque (159 in-lbs) is relatively low compared to similarly priced budget drills featured here.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
Hi-Spec DT30319


6
Ultra Steel AQ75020G 20V 1.3Ah Lithium-Ion 3/8″ Cordless Drill Driver

Our Thoughts

It’s always good to end on a high, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with the Ultra Steel AQ75020G.

It might not come with an accessory set like the majority of drills on this list, but what it lacks in freebies in the box, it more than makes up for with the kind of features that make capable of handling any DIY drilling and driving tasks you can throw at it.

Before continuing though, we recommend that you go ahead and check the deals section below because you’ll see that it regularly sits around the $35 mark.

So, inspired by this, we thought it more appropriate to change the name from Ultra Steel to…you guessed it…Ultra Steal. Because, at that price, that’s what it is – a steal.

We’re particularly impressed by the drill’s dual-speed gearbox; something you’d expect to see on models at twice the price. Throw in the punchy 20V motor, and the almost list-topping torque output (248 in-lbs), and it’s no surprise that the AQ75020G ended up on this list of the best cordless drills under $50.

Is it perfect? No. Our main disappointment is the 1.3 Ah battery, which falls short of the 1.5 Ah that is commonplace across the other models on this list. It certainly isn’t a dealbreaker though, and you could always put the savings you’ll get from buying the Ultra Steel towards purchasing another battery, anyway.

Key Specs

Cordless/CordedCordless
Chuck TypeKeyless
Chuck Size3/8″
TransmissionDual Speed
No Load RPM0-350 / 0-1,350
Clutch Settings18
Torque (in-lbs)248
Motor TypeBrushed
Weight3.7lb
Battery20V Lithium-Ion
Battery Capacity1.3 Ah

Includes

  • 1x Ultra Steel 20V Cordless Drill Driver
  • 1x 20V Lithium Ion Battery
  • 1x Charger

Reasons to Buy

  • It features a dual-speed transmission capable of delivering up to 1,350 RPM, making it well-suited to a larger range of drilling and driving tasks.
  • The drill’s 18-position clutch provides you with precise control over its torque output. You can choose a lower torque for small fixings, and higher torque for large fixings, for example.
  • The AQ75020G has a powerful 20V motor capable of delivering a maximum of 248 in-lbs of torque. It mightn’t be the highest torque output on this list, but it’s more than enough to meet the needs of the average DIYer.
  • The drill can handle a variety of different bit sizes, and you can swap them out with minimal fuss and hassle, thanks to its 3/8″ keyless chuck.
  • The drill’s LED light will improve visibility when working in darker areas.

Reasons to Skip

  • The capacity of the battery supplied with the AQ75020G is only 1.3 Ah.
  • It doesn’t come with any accessories.

Click Here for Pricing, Reviews, & More Images of the
Ultra Steel AQ75020G


Research and buying tips
  1. What features can I reasonably expect to get on a cordless drill under $50?
If we’ve learned anything from putting together this list, or better put, if one thing has surprised us, it’s that the compromises needed from a features and benefits perspective when trying to find the best cordless drill under $50 is relatively small.

Other than BLACK+DECKER, you’ll struggle to find a brand name on the list that you’ve heard of, so that’s probably the main compromise needed.

Here are a few things to look out for:

Realistic Expectations

  • Lithium-Ion Battery
  • All models above, bar the Hi-Spec DT30319, come with a lithium-ion battery, and it’s a must-have option in our opinion.
  • Higher Voltage Capacity
  • The higher the voltage capacity, the more torque the drill will have and the better it will be at handling larger holes, larger fixings, and tougher materials. As the list shows, 20V appears to be the norm for budget cordless drills, so we’d be reluctant to compromise further by choosing a less powerful drill, for example, an 18V model.
  • Accessory Sets
  • Almost all of the kits come with an accessory set featuring drill bits and screwdriver bits to get you started. Don’t expect premium quality here, and we’d recommend that you eventually invest in an aftermarket accessories kit, but they’re a good way to get started without initially having to spend more money.
  • Built-in LED
  • Several models on the list feature LED lights, and having used cordless drills both with and without a dedicated job light, we’d always try and choose a model with one. The first time you use the drill in a cupboard under the stairs, or somewhere away from proper lighting, you’ll be glad of a built-in LED light to aid visibility.
  • Hammer Functionality
  • While only one drill on our list has a hammer function included in the available clutch settings (the DETLEV PRO G8104-Li – our heavy-duty pick), it isn’t the only drill under $50 with this functionality.

    Although different from a dedicated hammer drill, the G8104-Li’s hammer function will make drilling into tougher materials like masonry easier, so it’s a feature we’d recommend.

Unrealistic Expectations

  • Brand Name
  • As mentioned, you’ll more than likely have to put up with buying a non-brand name when choosing a drill under $50.

    Yes, BLACK+DECKER appears on our list, but based on our research, finding a brand name in this price point is rare.

  • Multiple Batteries
  • You’re unlikely to find a model that offers more than a single battery in the sub-$50 price category.
  • Brushless Motor
  • Drills with brushless motors usually command a premium. Hence, you’re unlikely to find one on a drill priced below $50.

    If you’re in the market for a brushless model specifically, we’d recommend checking out our full write-up of the DEWALT DCD777C2 drill driver.

  1. What kind of tasks are these budget cordless drills capable of handling?
Here a few example tasks:

  • Drilling holes in lighter materials, for example, wood, drywall and plastic.
  • (The only model we’d recommend above for drilling into denser materials, for example, concrete, is the DETLEV-PRO G8104-Li, as it’s the only one with a hammer setting included in the clutch settings).
  • Driving fasteners, for example, screws
  • Loosening fixings
  • Assembling furniture
  • Rotating sanding bits
  1. Can you explain the difference between a brushed and a brushless motor?
A so-called brushed motor has carbon brushes through which the electrical charge travels. Brushless motors, however, as per their name, don’t use brushes, with the power instead being generated by magnets.

By removing the brush element, a brushless motor generates far less friction during use, which in turn leads to less heating and better performance metrics when compared to a traditional brushed motor.

The brushes are also an issue from a maintenance perspective, as they tend to wear out, meaning brushless motors are far more convenient from a maintenance perspective as the lack of brushes provides one less thing to worry about.

  1. What does no load speed mean?
No load speed is the measurement of a motor’s output speed in RPM while spinning freely, in other words, when it doesn’t have a drill or screwdriver bit attached, and it isn’t completing a drilling or driving task. It isn’t a particularly useful metric when looking at a single drill in isolation, but it does allow for a handy comparison between the motor speeds of multiple similar tools.

Round up of today’s best deals

Read Next

Leave a Comment

×