Tools

Review: Comparing the Milwaukee and DeWALT Right Angle Adapters

When you do enough DIY home improvement projects, there is a likely chance that a right angle drill and driver will be needed in low clearance situations.

Our benchmark right angle driver, the Bosch 12V MAX I-Driver, may not serve everyones needs. Instead of investing in a much more expensive right angle drill, which also requires larger storage space, look to these compact right angle adapters as a great accessory for your regular drill or ¼-inch hex screwdriver. Plus they’re much smaller than a full-size drill and driver; allowing access into confined spaces even a right angle power drill and drivers cant fit.

Applies to all the listed right angle adapters:

  • There is no locking mechanism that allows any of the listed adapters to be used on their own. The free spinning ¼” hex input shaft must be turned by another tool.
  • Both hands are required. One hand on the adapter to hold it firmly and safely in place and the other hand on the drill driver or screwdriver; contrary to what some of the manufacturer images may show with just a single hand.
  • For achieving the lowest clearance when addressing fastener hardware, use a 1″ insert bit
  • For drilling purposes, use a hex shank drill, e.g. Insty Bit and Montana Brand.

Milwaukee Offset Adapter
(48-32-2100)

Specifications
5.435″ Total Length
1.15″ Head Width
105° Offset Angle
400 Maximum RPM
100 in-lbs. Maximum Torque
Magnetic Bit Holder
 
Material
Die-Cast

Speaking with a long time tool store owner, he said, “the Milwaukee Offset Drive Adapter (48-32-2100) is the original right angle hex adapter”.

Milwaukee says, “Use the power and speed of your Cordless Screwdriver to fasten or remove screws in light applications up to 400 RPM.”

Thumb Flange Adjustment: Slide flange down  »  Rotate handle to the desired position and set of notches  »  Push back up.

Pros

  • Thumb flange goes around the adapter 360-degrees and allows 12 positions for best thumb placement.
  • Strong magnet securely holds bit.
  • Low width clearance head: 1.15″ without bit and 1.4″ with 1″ insert bit.
  • Notched head allows another thumb placement.

Cons

  • Low rpm and torque rating.
  • Short body allows hand contact with the hex shaft as it’s turning.
Milwaukee Right Angle Drive Adapter 49-22-8510

Milwaukee Right Angle
(49-22-8510)

Specifications
6.2″ Total Length
2″ Head Width
90° Offset Angle
1750 Maximum RPM
235 in-lbs. Maximum Torque
Magnetic & Locking Bit Holder
 
Material
Steel & Cast

The Milwaukee Right Angle Attachment (49-22-8510) is a big step up from their 48-32-2100 model. Weighing twice as much as the other adapters in this list, the heavy-duty construction makes you feel confident in having a durable tool.

Handle Angle Adjustment: Loosen handle  »  Lift handle up or down to the desired position and set of notches  »  Tighten handle.

Pros

  • Durable all metal housing and steel gears.
  • Quick release lock and magnetic bit holder.
  • 2.75″ long grab bar adjusts up and down as well as 360-degrees.
  • Online reviews rave about it’s impact durability, although Milwaukee makes no mention of impact readiness.

Cons

  • Cost is substantially more than all other right angle attachments.
  • With the widest head and protrusion of the quick lock bit mechanism (another .5″), this is the least compact adapter to fit into the smallest places.

DeWalt Right Angle
(DWARA50)

Specifications
5.95″ Total Length
1.25″ Head Width
90° Offset Angle
3000 Maximum RPM
N/A Maximum Torque
Magnetic Bit Holder
 
Material
Plastic & Metal

DeWALT offers their DWARA50 right angle attachment as an entry model into the right angle attachment market.

1″ Insert Bit Removal: The DeWALT packaging shows the use of a pliers to grab hold of short bits for removal, but the magnet is so weak, I find using just my fingers an easy solution.

Pros

  • The plastic body and head combination provide a large area for comfortable hand grip and placement.

Cons

  • Weakest magnetic hold of all models listed.

DeWalt Right Angle
(DWARA100)

Specifications
5.96″ Total Length
1.4″ Head Width
90° Offset Angle
3000 Maximum RPM
N/A Maximum Torque
Magnetic Ring Bit Holder
 
Material
Plastic & Metal

DeWALT classifies their DWARA100 right angle attachment as impact ready.

What’s the main difference between the DWARA50 and DWARA100 models? A response from DeWALT says, “The DWARA100 is just a heavier duty version of the right angle attachment plus the addition of the magnet”. But, unlike the very noticeable difference in weight and build quality between the two Milwaukee models, the DWARA100 is actually slightly lighter than the DWARA50 model.

1″ Insert Bit Removal: Locate another fastener bit or drill bit shank  »  Push through the access hole in the backside of the tool head to release short bits (ref. gallery).

Pros

  • Impact ready
  • Ring magnet securely holds bits, and when 1″ insert bits are used, the magnet is also close enough to the fastener to securely hold it as well.

Cons

  • Some reviews question the long term durability for impact use.
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