It used to be that if you got a drill under £50 it would be worse than useless. This is no longer the case though, cordless drills have gotten better and better, especially down here in the lower price bracket.

You can now get a very functional, useable cordless drill for under £50. But you can also get stung and end up with a piece of Chinese crap that couldn’t drill a hole in chalk. So it’s a good thing you’ve come here to do your research first.

Unlike most of the other junk websites covering this topic we actually bought these drills and put them through their paces. That means when I recommend a drill you know that I have used it and tested it before recommending it, scouts honour.

My Reccomendation

So here it is, my best cordless drill under £50.

Everybody knows Black and Decker, they have been creating power tools for over a century, patenting the handheld electric drill with a pistol grip and trigger all the way back in 1917.

For a long time now their products have been firmly targeted at the DIY consumer, and this latest drill is no different. Coming in at under £50 with a battery and charger it really is brilliant value. But how does it perform?

My Top Pick!
Black & Decker 18 V Cordless Combi Hammer Drill
£50.00
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So let’s get this started by stating the obvious, this is a DIY drill and as such will not be competing with your DeWALT’s, Makita’s or Milwaukee’s. But that was never its job, this drill is designed to be affordable and capable enough to perform DIY jobs around your house. When you view it in that context I think this is a fantastic drill. I was pleasantly surprised by just how much this drill could do and the quality of the battery (more on that later).

The Black and Decker Drill
The Black and Decker Drill

The Black and Decker Drill Features

This is a combi drill, which means it has a hammer mode for drilling into masonry as well as a regular drill mode for wood, metal, plastic etc. It is also two speed, which is changeable with a large switch on the top. This is a method used by nearly all power tool manufacturers and it works really well. The drill also has a toolless chuck, meaning you don’t need a special key to change drill or driver bits, you simply give the chuck a twist.

Two Different Speed Settings
Two Different Speed Settings

The Black and Decker Battery

This is one of the strong suits of this drill and an area I was really pleasantly surprised at. I have recently become a bit of a battery nerd, you might have seen my video about Makita batteries on YouTube.

So with this battery deep dive still recent in the memory, I was excited to see what batteries Black and Decker are using in these tools. There’s only one way to know, and that’s to open a battery pack up.

Inside a Black and Decker Battery Pack
Inside a Black and Decker Battery Pack

So after opening it up this is what you are greeted with. This is the main control board for the battery and looking at the extra connections in the middle of the pack it looks like it may have load balancing. Which if it does would be a really great feature to expand the life of these batteries.

Samsung 18650 Cells
Samsung 18650 Cells

So after talking about the board let’s have a look at the cells. This is a real strong point for this Black and Decker drill, as you can see in the photo above they are using Samsung 15J cells in this pack.

While I don’t know too much about the 15J individually, it looks like it could be made just for Black and Decker, Samsung make some of the best 18650 cells available.

At this price point, I am really surprised they have managed to squeeze in such high-quality cells. What does this mean for you, the consumer? Well, high-quality cells will last longer and degrade at a much slower rate than cheaper cells. Meaning your battery will not quickly degrade and lose power.

The battery is an important feature on any cordless drill and for under £50 I don’t think you will be able to find a battery as good as this. This is obviously a result of the sheer size of Stanley Black and Decker and their purchase power, getting these cells from Samsung at what must be a knockdown price.

Rubber Grip And Battery
Rubber Grip And Battery

The battery is 1.5Ah and consists of 5 x 3.6v cells in parallel which adds up to a combined 18v battery pack.

Runner Up

If the Black and Decker is not for you then how about my runner up choice, the Mylek.

Great Value
MYLEK Cordless Drill Driver
£39.95

The cheapest drill in our test but more than held its own. Great value and perfect for little jobs around the home.

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Mylek is a power tool brand that I had never heard of before I got my hands on this drill to test. The ethos behind the brand is to produce really affordable drills aimed at the DIY market.

How The Drill Arrives

On test today I have an 18V (21V Max) cordless drill driver. The drill comes in a plastic carry case, complete with battery, charger and toolset.

Everything That Comes In The Box

Above you can see everything that comes included in the carry case. We have the drill, charger and battery off to the left.

Then on the right, we have a mini toolset. This toolset features socket bits, drill bits, driver bits with adapter and even a gimmicky tool for driving around corners.

None of these are high quality, I mean what did you expect when the entire tool costs around £40!!

But just because they are not high quality does not mean they won’t get the job done. They still work just fine and serve as a good starter set. Just don’t expect them to last forever.

Should You Buy It?

In all honesty, I was really surprised by this drill. At this price, I thought it was going to be useless. I use drills that cost £200-300 for the drill only without even any batteries. So how could a £40 all in tool even remotely stack up?

But it’s actually decent. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t come near to my Makitas, but no one is expecting it to.

It works well and has ample power for any job around the home. If you are a DIY’er you wants a drill to put up a few shelves and do jobs around the house then I have no trouble recommending this drill.

We did tons of testing to come to this conclusion. I tested the Mylek against a range of other drills including Black & Decker, Ryobi, Bosch and Stanley Fatmax.

Testing

So how did I come to these conclusions about these drills? Well, the simple answer is I tested them.

I put these drills through their paces, testing them thoroughly. This was all part of my best cordless drills under £100 article.

So for this testing, they were up against some fierce competition, including drills from Bosch, Ryobi, Stanley Fatmax and more!

Test One – Auger Into Solid Oak

We start off with a fierce test, I happened to have a piece of solid oak lying around that is not much use for anything, so why not auger into it? This will surely test the power of these drills. I know, I know, this is not something you are ever likely to do, but it is a great way of testing and separating these drills. If all I did was drill a 6mm hole into pine then it would be much tougher to separate the drills out. So with that out of the way, onto the test.

The run order is as follows:

  1. MYLEK
  2. Ingco
  3. Black and Decker
  4. Ryobi
  5. Bosch
  6. FATMAX


So that’s test one done. As you can see on the video it was quite close between a few of the drills with some others a ways behind. Here are the full results.

Results of the auger into oak test
Results of the auger into oak test

The FATMAX, Ryobi, Ingco & Bosch drills were all closely matched. This is probably what you would expect, after all these are all the more expensive drills in this test and if you were to pick a winner it would definitely be out of this bunch. The FATMAX though did manage to open a gap to the rest of the competition and took the win for the first test.

Both the Black and Decker and the MYLEK were a little further behind, but truth be told I am surprised that either of them even completed this task. Augering a hole into solid oak is a hard task for any drill, never mind ones that cost under £50 with batteries and chargers included!

Test Two – Forstner Bit

For the second test, I attached a high-quality Forstner bit to the drills and had them drill through some framing timber. Watch the video to see all of the drills in action.

The run order is as follows:

  1. MYLEK
  2. Ingco
  3. Black and Decker
  4. Ryobi
  5. Bosch
  6. FATMAX

Another test down and another close finish let’s see the full results.

Results of the Forstner test
Results of the Forstner test

A strong performance from the Ryobi, just clinching the win ahead of the FATMAX. Everything else was a long way behind which is disappointing for the Ingco and Bosch.

Again I would say a good performance from our two cheaper drills in the test with the Black and Decker only just coming in behind the much more expensive Bosch.

Test Three – Drilling Into A Concrete Block

So next up it’s time to drill into some masonry, more specifically a concrete block. I chose a concrete block rather than just concrete as it should be more consistent throughout. With concrete, you may be drilling straight into a chunk of aggregate which would unfairly slow one drill down.

This could still be a lesser issue though even with a concrete block so to try and make it fairer I drilled five separate holes with each drill and then took the average time.

Again in the pursuit of fairness, each drill used a brand new 6mm DeWALT masonry drill bit, so there could be no issue with it going blunt by the time it reached the last drill. This test should be interesting as two of the drills do not feature a hammer mode, these are the Ingco and the MYLEK.

It’s really hard to tell who won that one, but we can definitely see who lost with three drills failing to drill all the way into the block. For the results I scored all the failed drills as 0 points, this will show in the final results tally.

Results of the Concrete Block test
Results of the Concrete Block test

This test is a real disappointment for the Bosch and Ryobi. neither of them seemed to have the power to finish the job, despite being some of the most expensive drills in this test. The Black & Decker also recorded a DNF but with the price point of this drill that is more expected.

What wasn’t expected was the performance from the MYLEK, managing to complete the job where more expensive drills failed.

At the top of the results, the FATMAX once again came away as the winner but it was very close between that and the ingco with only 0.6 of a second in it. I did find it strange how only the FATMAX of the hammer drills managed to complete this test. I repeated it again and again but the Bosch, Ryobi and Black & Decker always ran out of power. I will say that the batteries were fully charged before each test to give all of the cordless drills equal footing, so this was not a battery running out of juice issue.

Test Four – Battery Test

So a big part of any cordless drill is the battery. If the drill is excellent in every respect but the battery dies in five minutes then it is a crap cordless drill. So with that in mind, I knew my test had to include a battery portion.

For this test, I got a large piece of softwood timber and some chunky, long screws. I charged all the batteries up to full before driving the screws into the wood. I would then count how many screws the drill could drive in before dying.

A note for this test is that not all of the drills have the same capacity of the battery. So we should be expecting strong results from the FATMAX and INGCO which both have 2Ah batteries whereas the rest of the drills all have 1.5Ah batteries.

The Battery Test Setup
The Battery Test Setup

So, onto the results of the battery test.

Results of the Battery test
Results of the Battery test

This is a great result for the Bosch, showing it has a great battery in there, despite having a smaller battery than the Ingco and FATMAX it came out on top. Then the two 2Ah batteries were closely matched and again all of the other 1.5Ah batteries were again closely matched.

For me, the biggest surprise here is how well the Black and Decker and MYLEK batteries performed. With cheaper tools, one of the common ways to cut costs is cheap batteries but seemingly these two still contain good quality cells.

So we have seen how the batteries performed, now it’s time to see what’s inside of them! You can tell a lot about a battery by the quality of cell used, so I decided to open up all of the battery packs and see what was inside. (note that I couldn’t open up the Bosch to see what was inside. The bosch was kindly lent to me by bosch so I didn’t feel comfortable opening it up)

Inside the MYLEK pack
Inside the MYLEK pack

Above is the MYLEK pack. Unfortunately, we don’t get much info on the cells themselves as there is nothing printed on the wrapper at all. One interesting thing though is the temperature sensor that you can see. This will cut the battery off if it gets too hot to prevent damage and even potentially fire. I would expect this on the more expensive drills but I am pleasantly surprised that it features here on the cheapest drill in the test.

Inside the FATMAX pack
Inside the FATMAX pack

So the Stanley FATMAX contains Samsung 20R cells. This is fantastic news if you are planning on getting on the FATMAX V20 platform. Samsung makes some of the best 18650 cells out there and the 20R are great cells.

The pack consists of five cells in series. This is what turns it into an 18v battery as each cell is 3.6v (3.6 x 5 = 18) so to make the battery capacity bigger you will need to add another 5 cells in parallel which would double the capacity, this is why bigger capacity batteries soon get very expensive.

Test Five – Drilling Into Brick

Next up is another drilling test. This is one that will really affect you though if you were to buy one of these drills. You could need to drill into brick for lots of reasons and you want to know that your chosen drill is up to the task, so let’s see how they get on.

So again we have the 6mm DeWalt bits from the concrete test so each masonry bit is equally worn and nearly new. This will just help ensure that it is the drill that we are seeing the difference in and not the drill bit.

There was one clear winner here and again it was the FATMAX. All of the drills managed this test quite easily even the two without a hammer mode. So if you are planning on getting one of these drills you can be assured that you will be able to drill holes in brick walls.

Results of the brick test
Results of the brick test

A surprise showing for the Mylek here, performing very strongly. I would have expected more from the Bosch and also the Ingco going off its other performances.

Test Five – Drill Race

This one is a head to head race to drive some long screws in and out of softwood. I have included this as part of the test as it is a great illustration of the difference in power between the drills. Nothing quite shows the gap between them as much as seeing them go up head to head.

There was one clear winner in this test with the FATMAX absolutely destroying the competition. Honourable mentions for the Ingco, Black & Decker and Mylek which all put in brave performances.

Related Posts

If you have a slightly large budget and want to go for a better drill then why not check out my article on the best cordless drills under £100.

Author

Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!

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