Worx Nitro 20V Compact Brushless ½ inch Drill Driver review – All the power in a much smaller package!

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Worx Drill 4

REVIEW – A cordless drill/driver is one of the most useful and versatile tools available. I use mine for drilling holes, driving screws, tightening bolts, and even with a brush attachment scrubbing soap scum from the shower walls!  My “go-to” for cordless tools has typically been “old yeller,” DeWalt.  My current main cordless drill/driver is a DeWalt 18V that is a few years old.  And it’s full size, or what I alway just thought of as “drill size.”  When the Worx Nitro showed up and I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised by how small and light it was. If it was at least as powerful as old yeller, this could be a game changer (hint – it was!).  

What is it?

The Worx Nitro 20V Compact Brushless ½ Inch Drill Driver is just that – a smaller version of what most people are already familiar with. It’s small and light but just as capable. 

What’s in the box?

  • Worx Nitro 20V drill driver
  • One double-ended screw bit
  • Belt Clip
  • Carry Bag
  • 2 20V batteries
  • Battery Charger
  • (specifications on the web site indicate a bit holder is included, but there was not one in my package)

Worx Drill 1

Hardware specs

  • Battery Capacity: 2.0Ah
  • Motor: Brushless
  • Chuck Size: 1/2 in.
  • Clutch Settings: 18+1
  • No-Load Speed: 0-500/2100 RPM
  • Number of Speeds: 2
  • Drilling Capacity: Wood: 1-1/2 in. | Steel 1/2 in.
  • Max Torque: 500 in-lbs.
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs.

Design and features

The design and features of the Worx Nitro 20V Compact Brushless ½ inch Drill Driver are similar to most other high-end cordless drill drivers on the market.  What sets the Worx Nitro apart is that it’s about ⅓ smaller and lighter than the rest of those drills.

Worx Drill 2

 The size has already proven very handy. While testing this drill, I had to install a bracket behind my dishwasher, and my DeWalt could not fit. 

 But the Worx Nitro did. 

Worx Drill 3

Features include a brushless motor with 2-speed switch, an 18+1 position clutch to ensure you don’t over-torque screws, a LED work light that is very bright and aimed well, and a rubberized grip that provides a secure feel.  

Worx Drill 5

Worx Drill 6

The Worx Nitro 20V Compact Brushless ½ inch Drill Driver overall is very well balanced and very comfortable to use.  The grip is a bit more narrow than most, so if you have smaller hands or just prefer a smaller grip, this drill might be a good choice.  

Worx Drill 12

The two included batteries are lithium ion, meaning they have a higher charge density than older nickel metal hydride batteries, thus are smaller and lighter.  

Worx Drill 9

Additionally, they should last longer as they don’t have a memory and can be recharged more times. One note about lithium batteries is not really mentioned in the manual – they can be damaged if recharged below freezing, so if you keep your drill in an unheated shed or garage, take note. The most considerable feature of this tool is it’s size.  Absent a bit, it’s only 6 inches from the end of the chuck to the back of the drill.  It’s about the same height as a “regular” drill, but considerably more narrow.  It’s lighter too.  My DeWalt with battery weighed in at 2064g (4.6 lb). With battery, the Worx Nitro weighs in at 1393g (3.1 lb), or 1.5 pounds less than the DeWalt.  That makes a difference when using it for a long time, such as building a deck or other project that involves heavy drill use. 

A nice feature that I had not previously had on any cordless drill is a button on the battery to show the remaining capacity.  I’ve always just guessed on capacity when starting a job.  Now, I’ll know for sure!

Worx Drill 7

My main gripe with the Worx Nitro 20V Compact Brushless ½ inch Drill Driver has to do with an absent feature.  The package includes a double-sided screwdriver, but there is no place on the drill to store that bit, meaning it’s almost guaranteed to be lost immediately.  One of the most common uses of a drill driver is to drill a hole, and then drive a screw.  Every other cordless drill I’ve owned had a clip on the drill to store the bit.  Not so on this one.  The web site specifies that a bit holder is included, but there was not one in my package, unfortunately. 

Another odd design choice is the red cap on the back of the motor.  Most of the drill is an attractive mix of black and orange. But smacked on the back of the motor is a clashing red piece that says “brushless motor.”  I know this is purely an aesthetical gripe, but it clashes with the rest of the drill, and is an odd choice. Orange and red don’t go together.  It’s like they had a bunch of red parts left over and needed to use them somehow. 

Worx Drill 11


When I first unpacked the drill, I thought there was no way this little thing could hold up to old yeller.  It was just too small and felt like a toy. But I jumped right into a side-by-side test driving ¼ inch lag bolts into a piece of white ash firewood – a tough test for any drill.  I started with the DeWalt, which drove the bolt in completely, but not easily. Then I extracted the bolt and drove it in again with the Worx, expecting it to bog down quickly.

Worx Drill 8

To my surprise, the Worx drove the bolt faster than the DeWalt, When I reversed the motor to extract the bolt with the Worx, the torque tore the drill from my hand, which was really surprising.  So, it seems more powerful than a full-size DeWalt!  Another area of surprise was battery capacity.  I kept doing this test over and over until the battery died.  The battery included with the Worx is a 2 Ah battery.  While DeWalt does not publish capacity numbers for its battery packs, a quick web search indicated the DeWalt pack was 1.2 Ah.  So on paper, the DeWalt should have died first, which it did.  After 11 rounds of putting the lag bolt in and out of the ash firewood, the DeWalt gave up.  The 2 Ah battery in the Worx kept going until I gave up at 22 rounds.  It should be noted that the battery in my DeWalt is a NiMH battery that is a few years old.  It was fully charged, but is probably no longer at full capacity. 

Worx Drill 10

The short version on the performance of the Worx Nitro 20V Compact Brushless ½ inch Drill Driver is that, given the compact form factor, you don’t lose any performance at all. In fact, you may be gaining performance depending on what you are replacing.  

What I like

  • I REALLY like the compact size and light weight
  • Well balanced and comfortable grip
  • The LED light is useful and bright
  • Charge indicator on the battery 

What I’d change

  • No bit holder on the drill (maybe that’s changed now, according to the web site)
  • Odd red plastic cap on the back clashes with the rest of the colors on the drill

Final Thoughts

Drills are used for many things, and in general, smaller and lighter are better. It seems that all drills for the last few decades have largely been the same size. The Worx Nitro compact 20V drill driver breaks that mold, producing a very powerful and useful tool that is smaller, lighter, and thus easier to use. Also, be sure to check out all of our other Worx tool reviews.

Price:  $119.99
Where to buyWorx or Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Worx.

4 thoughts on “Worx Nitro 20V Compact Brushless ½ inch Drill Driver review – All the power in a much smaller package!”

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  2. If you like this drill, check out Worx switch driver! It has a rotating head with 2 chucks; 1 for drill and the other for bit. Drill the hole..push the button to rotate the head and use the bit!! You won’t go back to a regular drill after trying it.

    1. Considering the price sometimes it is better to buy just about three drill drivers at Harbor freight that will last a longer time 😁

    1. Yes – as long as it’s 20V. The nitro system works on a 20V battery, and most of the 4 Ah powershare batteries are 20V, so it should be compatible.

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