View Full Version : right angle drilling

08-28-2005, 02:12 AM
Recently, I've been installing running boards on my truck that involves drilling some holes for mounting brackets and such. Obviously, working in cramped quarters makes it quite difficult to drill an even reasonably straight hole due to clearance issues with my Dewalt drill.

I was wondering what you folks prefer. Not something I do everyday, but the capability definitely comes in handy from time to time. Anbody use a right angle drilling attachment like
If so, did it work well? Or are you better off buying a right angle drill (or one those "close-quarter" drills) Recommendations would be great. Do you sacrifice motor power (due to smaller size) for accessibility? Thanks.


08-28-2005, 03:13 AM
Well, if you hooked three of those together, you could drill a hole in the drill. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

I prefer to use a right angle drill instead, myself. I would still use the side handle. It helps to control bit breakage. I don't like the one at work because it doesn't have variable speed, or a clutch. It does have a much lower profile that that right angle attachment, but even then I wish it was less still. I suppose, though, it boils down to how much use you gonna get out of it, and will it fit to actually do the job.

Peter S
08-28-2005, 04:45 AM
I tried a 'Wolf' right angle drill about 25 years ago, I was surprised how little force you can exert while drilling. I have never wanted one since. So the one in HF ad, having a handle, might be better in this regard, although it's not very low profile.

One of my brothers needed a low profile drill in a hurry, so he modified a small drill chuck to fit on the threads of a small angle grinder. He got the (small) hole drilled, the chuck didn't explode, not sure if I can recommend this however...

08-28-2005, 08:47 AM
I bought one of those at either "Lowes or
Home Depot". I have used it about 6 times,
due to the problem of having to push sideways
I start with a smaller (1/8) drill and gradually work up to size needed. Max. drill
I have usrd is a 1/2" with a 1/4" shank.
Glad I own it for those rare jobs, I think
for $20.00 you can't go wrong. I was using mine in a 3/8" variable speed drill. Again you have to take it easy but for me it was easier to justify the cost for as little use
it gets.
Glad I have it.


Flatline's Up!
08-28-2005, 09:26 AM
The one in the link is plastic.

I've got a HF one that is all metal and has worked pretty well for the rare times that I've needed it.

Keep in mind that it takes two hands to drill with one of these. One to hold the Rt.Angle and one to work the drill motor, so
the space saving ability may be negated some.

08-28-2005, 10:01 AM
I went and bought a dedicated cordless Mikita 9,6volt right angle drill. Those attachments never seem to work out for me.
I;ve drilled 3/8 through half in ch thick steel. You only get about 1/2 dozen holes but it can reach in there.

08-28-2005, 10:12 AM
I got lucky when a friend gave me an aircraft air drill.
The one that takes the special drills with female hex end.
Some of those short drills allow it to get into some tight spaces.
1/4" is about the limit for it, at least with the drills I have.

I bought a right angle 3/8" air drill with chuck.
It takes regular twist drills and works well . . . except for being the loudest doggoned air tool I ever got hold of.
Including a muffler cutter.

I have ear protection, but don't like to use it much.
I don't care to offend the neighbors . . . it is that loud.

Anyway, I went to Home Despair and a couple of other places to buy a 120V corded right angle 3/8" drill and all I can find are cordless models.

Seems like I ought to be able to find a 3/8" capacity 120V angle drill for under $75. or so . . . or at the least not too far over.

Not so far....

08-28-2005, 11:30 AM
Well, I considered the options. I thought about spending $20 on the right-angle adapter, but as you noticed, it was plastic and my gut kept telling me that they probably built it with the intention of drilling through wood at most. I've got some steel drilling to do with it.

I checked my tool fund (haven't bought anything for awhile) and decided to splurge on the Milwaukee. Home depot even had it in stock, amazingly.


I'm young and I expect a number of situations will arise in the future to where I'll be glad I have it. (You can see I had to work at justifying it :-)

On the other hand, my only other 1/2" chuck drill is a HF POS that weighs half a ton that I purchased for a specific drilling job and I went the cheap route; now it hides in a corner, only in sight when needed. I have to admit it gets the job done when I absolutely need it to, but definitely not fun to use.


Edited, link didn't come out right

[This message has been edited by webbch (edited 08-28-2005).]

[This message has been edited by webbch (edited 08-28-2005).]

08-28-2005, 04:28 PM
Peter reminded me of the angle grinder- I made up an adapter to fit a drill chuck on one of the el cheapos, and that's my corded angle drill. It turns waaaaay toooo fast for safety, but it sure drills a hole in a hurry. I tone it down using a variac, but it really needs a speed control on it. I don't think you have to worry about the chuck exploding, but I would worry about broken pieces of drill bit, broken pieces of the angle grinder, and hand and arm damage are things I would worry about. Like I said, it turns way too fast and if something jammed, which is likely given the constraints of using such a thing, there could be trouble.

08-28-2005, 04:50 PM
I still have to fix my right angle Black and Decker... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif

This Old Shed (http://thisoldshed.tripod.com)

Peter S
08-28-2005, 06:29 PM

You used to be able to buy 4 1/2" angle grinders with a variable speed control. We had a few about 10 years ago, made by AEG. They were made, I think, so you could slow them down for some sanding work.

[This message has been edited by Peter S (edited 08-28-2005).]

08-30-2005, 09:05 AM
webbch - I've had one of those Milwaukee right angle drills for about 20 years. I've used it plenty and it still works as it did when new. You won't be sorry you bought it.


Your Old Dog
08-30-2005, 02:51 PM
Are all these drills Right Angle? If you need a Left Angle Drill do you just stand on the other side of the work? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

08-30-2005, 03:09 PM
I'd get one of these.