When you find yourself in a tight space where a regular drill doesn’t fit, a stud and joist drill might just do the trick. The best stud and joist drills will help you avoid awkward maneuvers so you can drill anywhere you need to drill.
Stud and joist drills often called right-angle drills or hole hawg drills, are portable and handheld power tools that offer added versatility. Whereas a regular drill has a long head and a short handle, a stud and joist drill has a short head and long handle (Source).
This nimble and lightweight design makes it simple to drill in hard to reach areas. A right angle drill is particularly handy for framing, thus the name stud and joist (Source).
Stud and joist drills can be battery-powered or corded. They typically have a comfortable, ergonomic grip and come with their own drill bits. While most right-angle drills come with a 3/8” chuck, some might come with a 1/2” inch chuck. The chuck can also vary between keyed or keyless.
Right angle drills are perfect for contractors and builders but are also easy enough to use for DIY enthusiasts looking for a household drill. Prior to purchasing a stud and joist drill, you’ll want to consider its maximum torque and variable speed. You’ll also want to consider its weight, and whether it requires a battery or needs to be plugged in.
Before your next framing job, make sure you equip yourself with one of these top-rated stud and joist drills.
What is a Stud and Joist Drill?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Stud and Joist Drill?
- 2 How Much Does a Stud and Joist Drill Cost?
- 3 Comparing the Top 5 Products
- 4 1. Bosch GSR12V-140FCB22 Cordless Electric Screwdriver Kit – Best Overall
- 5 2. Hitachi DS18DBFL2 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion Brushless Driver Drill – The Most Heavy-Duty Cordless Stud and Joist Drill
- 6 3. SKIL 6445-04 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Hammer Drill – The Best ½-inch Stud and Joist Drill
- 7 4. Makita Right Angle Drill – The Best 3/8-Inch Right Angle Drill
- 8 5. DEWALT DCD460T2 60V MAX 2 Battery FLEXVOLT Stud Joist Drill Kit – The Most Portable Stud and Joist Drill
- 9 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Stud and Joist Drill
- 10 Top Stud and Joist Drill Brands
- 11 Our Final Verdict
These are power drills that have been designed to drill holes and drive screws within confined spaces, which screwdrivers (best ones on this list) and regular drills can’t easily reach. They are particularly beneficial when used in the tight spaces around studs, joists as well as the surrounding wall framings.
Commonly referred to as right-angle drills, the various stud, and joist drill models will make it easier for you to dive screws as well as drill holes in tight spaces.
Whether corded or cordless (here’s a list of top-rated cordless drills), these tools come in varying power options, meant to suit an array of applications. They are often used by DIY enthusiasts and professionals in the plumbing and woodworking industries.
For plumbers, the best stud and joist drill will allow the professional to fit plumbing systems where they fit the best. Electricians may also use such a tool to drill hoops, through which to run cables.
How Much Does a Stud and Joist Drill Cost?
The cost of a stud and joist power drill mainly depends on its make and model. Most stud and joist drills are priced between $50 and $100. However, high-end electric stud and joist drills can cost as much as $500.
The pricing of these tools also depends on their power, chuck size and type as well as on additional features.
Comparing the Top 5 Products
|Bosch GSR12V-140FCB22 Cordless Electric Screwdriver Kit|
|Hitachi DS18DBFL2 18V Cordless lithium-ion Brushless Driver Drill|
|SKIL 6445-04 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Hammer Drill|
|Makita Right Angle Drill|
|DEWALT DCD460T2 60V MAX 2 Battery FLEXVOLT Stud Joist Drill Kit|
1. Bosch GSR12V-140FCB22 Cordless Electric Screwdriver Kit – Best Overall
This makes the tool sited for most tight space drilling and screwdriver applications. At only 1. 8 pounds, it delivers 265 In. Lbs. of torque. For enhanced versatility, it comes with four attachments, a locking bit holder, a keyless chuck, an offset angle, and a right angle. Each has been proven to attach to the tool securely and easily with its intuitive One-Click interface.
The right-angle attachment is meant for use in tight spaces and is compatible with all three other adapters. The offset angle attachment is designed to drive screws more precisely, especially close to edges. Both of these attachments rotate to 16 positions without having to remove them.
2. Hitachi DS18DBFL2 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion Brushless Driver Drill – The Most Heavy-Duty Cordless Stud and Joist Drill
Managed by a micro-processor chip that efficiently delivers current flow to the motor, the brushless tools deliver longer run time between charges. This technology also delivers more power and extended durability with minimal or no maintenance. Hitachi’s signature ergonomic design for the tool body makes it extremely well-balanced and comfortable for extended use.
This Hitachi stud and joist drill model is suited for drilling into wood, plastic, mild steel and aluminum. It features a 22+1 stage clutch with 22 torque settings and a drill mode, all of which allow for precision and control based on the application.
3. SKIL 6445-04 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Hammer Drill – The Best ½-inch Stud and Joist Drill
It features a ½-inch keyed chuck that is capable of holding even the larger hammering and drilling bits. The larger diameter chuck is essentially designed for woodworking and cutting. Its ergonomic design includes a side-assist handle, offering you the additional support whenever you need it.
It is equipped with a variable speed trigger that has been proven to accelerate the motor smoothly from low speed to the high-speed setting. The two-finger speed trigger also features a knock-on option for enhanced control, especially when using the drill for extended periods.
4. Makita Right Angle Drill – The Best 3/8-Inch Right Angle Drill
It is fitted with a white LED light that is meant to illuminate your drilling area with a bulb that never needs replacing. The model is also lightweight, weighing about 3.1 lbs. and compact in design. The head height in this model has been reduced considerably and measures about 2-5/8 inches. This makes it highly efficient in drilling and driving screws into cramped working spaces.
This drill has a variable speed setting, allowing you to adjust the speed to between 0 and 2,400 RPM. Its paddle switch has a speed-limiting to ensure that you do not overtighten fasteners. This also allows for easy, one-handed operation. The ball bearing construction will ensure a long tool life and smooth operation.
5. DEWALT DCD460T2 60V MAX 2 Battery FLEXVOLT Stud Joist Drill Kit – The Most Portable Stud and Joist Drill
The FLEXVOLT battery used in these tools is backward compatible with 20V MAX tools by the manufacturer. This concept is meant to offer you up to four times the run time offered by drills in the same category. The battery is essentially designed to change its voltage automatically when you change tools.
The 60V brushless motor used in this drill is controlled by 2 variable speed settings. The low-speed setting operated within a range of 0 to 300 RPM while the high-speed setting delivers speeds of up to 1,250 RPM. For enhanced control and precision, the unit is fitted with an adjustable bail handle as well as a two-position side handle.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Stud and Joist Drill
Different right-angle drill models are suited for different applications, based on their design as well as supported attachments. The tools come in a myriad of shapes and sizes and different models are known to work at different angles.
As such, you just have to get one that is best suited for the intended application. If you are shopping for the right stud and joist drill, these are the important considerations you need to make:
Depending on what you will be using the drill for, the tool is expected to experience a considerable amount of resistance.
The power of any right angle drill model mainly depends on its power source, with corded models being more powerful as compared to cordless stud and joist drill models
The power of a battery-operated stud and joist drill depends in its Amp rating. While corded drills are more powerful, they tend to be heavier and their range is limited by the length of their cords.
Cordless right angle drills, on the other hand, are more portable and easier to maneuver. The right stud and joist drill power rating will depend on the intended application.
Most of the leading stud and joist drill models com with a ⅜” chuck. This is actually the standard Chuck size in more than 80 percent of drill models in the market. This ⅜” chuck size has been proven to allow for easier fastening of larger bits, sending on the shank size.
As such, you may use such a chuck to secure bits as large as ¾”. However, you also need to understand that larger bits require more torque, hence are suited for the more powerful drill models. For professional applications, a chuck of up to ½” may be required.
Just as is the case with ⅜” chucks, the ½” chuck can fasten bits that are larger than its gauged size. However, it will require more torque to drive a larger classed bit. For instance, a ⅜” Chuck’s are suited for right-angle drills with at least 3 variable speed settings. This way, you can preset the unit to the required speed and torque do each bit.
This is a component on almost any modern hole hog power drill that is designed to restrict drilling to the required depth and no further. In most cases, it comes as a set of adjustable dial settings, often situated on the end of the tool next to the chuck.
These settings determine how much resistance the drill will accept before disengaging automatically. This will help keep the motor in good working order as well as prevent you from stripping the drill screw. Although experienced professionals may not require this feature, it will come in handy for DIY enthusiasts.
In addition to size, you Al’s need to consider the type of chuck used on your preferred stud and joist drill. Basically, the crime in four main types, as discussed below:
- HEX Chuck Drills
This type of chicks may only be used to hold screwdriver bits, hence are less common. Regardless of their size, Chucks cannot be used to fasten drill bits, hence it cannot be used for drilling applications.
- SDS Chucks
There are commonly used in hammer drills, but may also be found in a few traditional right-angle drills. This type of chuck is suited for drills that will be used for hammering applications and occasional drilling.
- Keyed and Keyless Chucks
Both keyed and keyless stud and joist drill chucks may be used with both drilling and screwdriver bits. With keyed chucks, you will be required to fasten the chuck using a key. As such, changing bits on a keyed chuck drill model will take more time. However, this design allows for enhanced durability.
Keyless chuck models, on the other hand, allow for tool-less bits change on the drill. This has been proven to allow for rapid change of drill bits of different types and sizes. Such models are often fitted with a convenient trigger for loosening and tightening the chuck.
As compared to keyed chuck models, keyless drills do not offer a firm grip. This may lead to faster wear and tear of components.
The ergonomics of a stud and joist drill mainly depend on its weight, grip and handle design.
The grip on your preferred model needs to be comfortable enough for you to use the tool for extended periods. As for the handle design, these are the three common options you should consider:
A considerable number of the heavy-duty stud and joist drill models are equipped with a larger D-shaped handle on their rear ends. Such handles are designed to offer users a comfortable and controlled grip when working on heavy-duty drilling tasks.
D-handles in some of the leading products, such as the best Milwaukee stud and joist drills, feature durable glass-reinforced nylon construction. Such a handle will give you superior handling and control as well as allow for smooth operation.
These are the most common type of handles used on right angle drills. As compared to other handle types, barrel grip handles are the least comfortable to use over long periods. They are suited for an array of general-purpose applications as well as for drilling in tighter spaces.
These are much like a hybrid of a D-handle, with the trigger at the base of the tool, and a barrel grip, a handle type commonly used in other types of drills. Sidewinder designs also feature a handle near the head for additional stability.
While this improves precision and control, it renders the unit inefficient for use in tighter spaces.
Top Stud and Joist Drill Brands
Buying a drill by the renowned and established brands guarantees you quality construction, better performance, and enhanced durability. This will save you time and money while shopping for the right unit.
These are some of the brands you should consider:
Bosch is renowned for developing a new generation of power tools, accessories and measuring tools. power tools by this provider are known to offer unmatched performance, reliability, and safety.
Bosch Stud and Joist drills are some of the best in the industry. they are designed to deliver professional quality results, thanks to their power, torque, and precision.
Recently rebranded into Metabolism HTP, Hitachi power tools is one of the best American tools manufacturers. The brand is popular for producing some of the most reliable, and durable professional tools, including stud and joist drills.
Our Final Verdict
Whether it is for drilling holes or just driving a screw in a tight space, the right stud and joist drill will come in handy. The right tool for this application should be powerful, versatile, adjustable, durable and safe to use.
Just like the five hole hawg drill models reviewed above, your preferred model should have the right chuck type and size as well as ergonomics. This guide will help you choose the best stud and joist drill for whichever application.
For another helpful drilling tool, discover the best drill press vises on this buying guide.