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Milwaukee Close Quarter Drill

One of the tools I've liked for a long time is the Milwaukee close quarter drill. Some people might call it a "right angle drill" but the bit is really at an angle (55 degress) to the body which allows you to have some clearance for your hand. They are a bit uncommon, but so useful that they are worth giving a try. In case you haven't seen one, they look a bit like a duck:


That black thing near the chuck is a plastic shield to keep your fingers from getting torn up. The paddle switch is allows you to control it with one or all of your fingers. One thing to note is that it is easy to accidentally turn it on while changing bits. Usually the manufacturer recommends disconnecting the power while changing bits, or perhaps if you are daring you can hold the body with your thumb underneath the switch. The reverse switch is that little black bump near the back of the drill. It may seem inconvenient a lot of the time, but when you have one hand stuck in a tight space, having it at the back where your free hand can reach it is actually a good idea.

There are several advantages of this type of drilll:

  • The clearance needed to drill is much smaller. Depending on the length of the bit you can drill or drive screws in spaces much smaller than you can with an ordinary drill. I recently used it to mount drawer slides in a space less than 9 inches wide.
  • Where you grip the drill is much closer to the bit that you are driving. This gives you added control.
  • It looks more like a duck

Milwaukee makes both a 3/8" version (Model 0375-6) and a 1/2" version (0379-1). UPDATED: The old version is discontinued. Click here for my review of the replacement model 0370-20 I have the 3/8" and find it powerful enough. I'd think that the 1/2" would be heavier and more likely to break my wrist if it gets hung up in a tight space, but I could be wrong. Most 1/2" drills have an optional handle so you can hold them with both hands, but this does not and it would likely feel awkward boring big holes with it.

Regardless of the version the design of the drill makes it great for anything you need close control of. This means it is great for all light drilling and screw driving applications. The perfect drill to have around the house. Pair it up with a heavy duty 1/2" drill and you have just about everything you need.

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  • Comments (1)

    Steve Malmberg:

    Milwaukee has gone one better since coming out with this drill. They now have a 90 degree extension for existing drills. I was able to remove 4 screws that were tight up against my car's dashboard in just one minute. Nothing I've found could get into such tight spaces and I've been looking for something for years.

    Those right angle attachments have been around for years, but I don't think that they are nearly as good or will last as long in frequent use. They are fine for occasional use though. -Jack

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