Bauer 20V Drill Review

Bauer 20V Drill Review

It’s amazing when you talk to people about Harbor Freight and the wide range of attitudes you get.  You get some people who love the store and think it’s a great value, you get others who have heard of the store but have never been in one and then those who heard about it, visited a store and have no desire to return. Which category do you fall into?  Today we are going to cover the Bauer 20V Drill Review.  No matter how you feel about Harbor Freight, I would suggest checking this out and letting me know how you feel about this drill and if I am off the wall or this is something you expected.

Bauer 20V Drill Review Overview

Bauer is the house brand for Harbor Freight.  If you are not familiar with Harbor Freight, they have inexpensive products.

For me, Harbor Freight is the last place I think of when I think of power tools.  I am not sure why, maybe it’s just my previous experience or something else.  Either way, I never thought much about them.

However, after seeing this drill and learning a little more, I think my mind has changed.

Before we jump into the Bauer 20V Drill review, I want to talk about the line.  The one thing you can say about this 20V line is they offer many more tools than just a drill. For me, this is huge because I don’t want to own multiple battery platforms.  I want one battery platform that has good tools, at a good value and I can buy other tools that run off that battery platform, which the Bauer meets all those criteria.

Right now Bauer has around 25 different tools for this line.  You can check out more on the Harbor Freight website.

Bauer 20V Drill Review Features

The Bauer drill, model 1791C-B1 is a drill/driver.  The kit comes with a tool, a battery, a charger, and a tool bag. The drill delivers 450 in-lbs of torque and only weighs 2.63 lbs.  The size of this drill is what is impressive and is only 7-1/2″ in height, 8-1/4″ in length and 3-1/16″ wide which makes this one of the most compact homeowner drills we have seen.

The drill is powered by a 20V Lithium-Ion 1.5Ah battery. The system uses a slide pack battery which also features a rapid charger with a side pack.

On top of the drill is where you will find the two-speed setting.  Speed 1 provides a 0-450 rpm while speed 2 provides 0-1,700 rpm’s.

The drill offers a 0-21 clutch setting to match the drill to the application.  If you are drilling, there is also a drill mode only where it will not clutch out.

Bauer 20V Drill Review

One impressive feature of this drill is the 1/2″ all-metal chuck, something you never see on a homeowner drill.

Bauer 20V Drill Review

One of the biggest surprises was how comfortable the grip was.  I wouldn’t think a homeowner budget drill would feel so much like a professional tool in regards to weight, balance and especially grip.

Bauer 20V Drill Review

On the bottom of the drill, there is an LED light to help light up dark areas.

Bauer 20V Drill Review Performance

For a homeowner drill, this is one of the best we have seen in regards to size, power and features.  Most homeowner drills are big and bulky, but the Bauer is more of a compact drill and just feels great in your hand.

We drove a wide variety of screws into a 4×4.  As you can see we took this 3-1/2″ screw and ran it as far as we could go which went all the way through.  We could have kept going but the chuck is bigger than the hole so we had to stop.  Sinking this screw was effortless and this would be one of the biggest fasteners you would be using so for the other smaller items, this drill is an easy winner.

Next, we ran a 5/8″ drill bit which is a good size to run.  Yes, it wouldn’t drill on speed 2 but speed 2 is for speed, while speed 1 is for torque.  Once we switched to speed 1, it easily drilled through the wood.

After the drill bit, we took a 1-1/2″ spade bit and repeated the application.  Again, it went through the wood without a hiccup on speed 1.

Overall we were impressed with the power, the size, and ease of use with this drill.

Bauer 20V Drill Review Value

You can pick this drill up with a 1.5Ah battery from your local Harbor Freight for about $70.  Considering you also get a battery and a charger, how can you go wrong?  I have seen other drills of lessor quality and power sell for more and that is without a battery.  So for $70, this drill is a steal.

Bauer 20V Drill Review Wrap Up

If you would have asked me 5 years ago would I ever buy a Harbor Freight drill, my answer would have been no.  Until about two or three years ago, my experience with Harbor Freight hadn’t been the best.  But after going there and seeing this drill and the Bauer 20V line up, I am sold.  I love how this battery can power many more tools.  I like the design of this tool, the toughness and feel and all for under $70.  So in the end if you need a good homeowner brand, I am a solid believer in Bauer.


  1. Great drill, zero issues, extremely strong and reliable for its compact size..I also have the Bauer reciprocating saw, and it’s really powerful and consistent.. and best part is it came with a 3ah battery and charger,, I use the 3ah in my drill as well, all batteries are interchangeable… these tools are an absolute steal for the money..

  2. Bought it a year ago and it is fantastic. Holds its charge well, is very powerful, easy to handle. Not sure that I could have done much better with any other brand of tool. I highly recommend it.

  3. We have had two Bauer drills and both of them began to spark soon after initial use. Is this normal or should we return the second one and hope the third is not defective?

  4. I have this drill/driver and it seems to quit at unexpected times. It will just stall, especially when used continually, so maybe an overload/protection feature or just “cheap”, which it waddn’t ($). Sometimes the battery will be low, other times, not. Any ideas what this is?

      • Cordless tools will stall when the battery is running down. At some point, my guess is the tool shuts off to prevent overheating. A motor controls internal current as part of the speed it is running. When loading down and running slower, it is going to draw more current, and generate heat. I have had this happen with my Porter Cable and other cordless tools.

        Recharge the battery and see if the problem goes away. If it does, the issue is partial charge, not a problem with the tool.

    • I have the same problem. What I have to do is pull the battery out a little and push back in and repeat every 10 seconds. It is very frustrating. It’s way past the 90 day warranty, probably 1-2 years old. It doesn’t used hard and I use 2 at a time, one drilling and the other driving.

  5. I work in the audio video field so we mount TV’s, pre-wire home/businesses, etc and literally use my Bauer every day. Simply put, best drill for the money period. I have a Milwaukee and have used Dewalt, Makita, and Ridgid. While they are decent drills overall, I’d pic my Bauer over any of them. Great drill and great price.

  6. I have a class 2 Bauer 20v 1.5 lithium battery pack but my charger is a 1.7A rapid charger. Will this 1.7 charger charge my 1.5 battery or do I need a 1.5 charger. Both red and green power indicators blink during the potential charging process so I’m not sure if Im getting my charged or not.

  7. For the average homeowner who might have to bust out a drill a few times a year.. You can’t beat this drill.. I and about 85-90% of the other people out there fall into this category.. But because they’ve been told by the tradespeople that you got to have Milwaukee,Mikita,DeWalt and what not for use in there particular trade…people think they got to have those makes for home use too and I’m telling ya you don’t.. Tradespeople grab those brands because they’re hammering on them tools all day,day in,day out,all week long,all month long and all year..they beat the hell out of them..I don’t care how well they try to take care of them, their tools take a lot of abuse that the average homeowner is not going to have happen at home..So save some money and grab this drill…might as well grab the driver too,it’s a good driver for what you’re going to use it for around the house.

  8. I just bought one and I’m not sure if it will drill holes in a tree trunk so I can kill it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.I’m a disabled ole lady trying to finish what someone started and I need the trunk to die so I can ax it away and have my plastic with rocks put over it. Others I believe the tree trunk is going to start growing in the winter or rains.
    Please advise

    • Yes it should be fine to drill holes in a tree trunk. I cut a tree down and then drilled holes into the stump and poured bleach in the holes. In about a year, it was easy to break a part as it just broke off by hand.

  9. Bought my Bauer in 2018 and used it solely for the purpose of raising/lowering jacks on my travel trailer. ‘Worked’ great until last week when I sold my trailer—drill would barely turn after a complete charge when raising the jacks. At most, probably 3 hours total use of the drill. It’s in pristine condition. Any ideas on what could be wrong with it?

  10. I bought this drill as well, and echo the same praise. I also bought a Bauer 8 Amp angle grinder that performs well. Unfortunately Bauers 20 v vacume, which I used infrequently started to grind and then stops. It seems like junk. It’s dust filter is poorly secured. This Bauer universal battery system is flawed by a much used tool ( the funky vacume). My Ryobi 1+ vacume is pretty good, so I use that system.


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