Corded vs cordless drills

Corded vs cordless drills: pros and cons

If you want to widen your collection of tools, buying a new drill is a smart idea.  But what should be your pick, corded or cordless drill – what is the difference?

Well, corded drills are much more powerful and deal better with heavy-duty tasks. Corded drill are also usually a lot lighter than cordless drills as they don’t have the added weight of the battery. On the other hand, cordless drills are more portable (there no need for a power outlet nearby) are preferred by contractors because of their portability, convenience, and ease of use, of course, until your battery runs out.

However, there is a lot more than this. In this article, I will make a brief analysis of both type of drills as well as their pros and cons.

Without any more hesitations, let’s go.

Corded drills

The main reason why operators choose corded drills is that they are much more powerful compared to cordless ones. By power, I refer to torque or the spinning.

Going for a corded drill rather than a cordless one means that you require heavier tasks that can’t be achieved without the right amount of power.

Is the difference huge?

Well, it is actually. Corded drills have continuous electricity supply of 110 V, while the cordless drills have several times less – up to 20 V.

Although volts aren’t the only thing that defines the power output, I won’t get into detailed information. You will just need to know that the maximum power output is determined by the voltage and amperage (and the second one varies between different models).

In addition to this, you will never run out of power and you can use it for a period of time getting the same amount of torque.

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But is using the corded drill convenient?

The first thing to talk about is mobility. The cord is long several meters, but sometimes that won’t be enough. You can use an extension cord, although this is not always a solution.

Generally, corded models are bulkier, so they can’t fit into tight places. They can’t fit everywhere in your garage as well, and you need to pay attention to the cord – as you don’t want to damage it.

And finally, corded drills are more durable tools. A corded drill will last for decades, even if you decide to use it daily.

Pros Cons
Powerful Portability (needs an extension cord)
Continuous power supply Difficult to store
Bulky
Durable

Cordless drills

On the other hand, cordless drills get the power from a battery, so the maximum voltage here is 12-20V. However, the innovation is the lithium-ion batteries that have more run-time and the power won’t diminish if you don’t use the drill for a while.

Batteries can weigh more, which should be considered as a possible downside of the cordless drills. But, lithium-ion batteries don’t weigh much so that results with lightweight drills as well.

When we talk about convenience, cordless drills have a lot more to show. They are portable and can be taken to a job site without thinking of a power supply. Since they are small, you don’t have the possible issue of getting stuck in tight spaces or cable tangling around.

You can store the cordless drill easily – just look for an empty spot on your shelf in the garage and leave it there.

What about the lifespan?

Batteries can last for several years, maybe a decade, but the lifespan of a cordless battery cannot be compared to a corded one. If you are not sure what type to go for, this is something that requires deep thinking.

On the other side, you can use the battery for other tools from the same manufacturer. This can be very useful as you won’t need to buy a new battery for each tool.

Pros Cons
Lightweight Shorter lifespan
portable Less power
Easy to store
Batteries can be used with other tools

Corded drills vs cordless drills

As you can see, both types of drills have pros and cons, so it is just a matter of perspective. Which one should you go for?

It depends on what are you going to do with the drills. Simpler tasks can be done with a cordless drill, but you will hardly drill through a concrete with that drill.

RelatedCorded vs cordless tools

However, you won’t be able to maneuver with a corded one, cables all around you, bulky tool – this would make working in tight places a very bad experience.

Additionally, this video below will give you more details about which type will suit you the best.

Top picks

In this section, you will find several recommendations for both corded and cordless drills.

Here are my top picks:

Corded drills

Cordless drills

Keep reading for more information on these drills.

BOSTITCH BTE140K

I am not sure if you are familiar with this brand, however, this model should convince you that this manufacturer is at the rang of the most famous power tools companies.

The BOSTITCH BTE140K is a beast drill – it can drill through a variety of materials, including concrete as well. It has a motor of 7 Amps which provides outstanding performance.

You can measure the holes with the built-in depth rod and it has 1/2 inch metal chuck. You get it with a hard carrying case and a warranty of 3 years.

Check the latest price and customer reviews of the BOSTITCH BTE140K here on Amazon.

Features:

  • keyed metal chuck
  • 7 Amps motor
  • built-in depth rod
  • side handle

Porter-Cable PC600D

If you are looking for a reliable and durable model, plus you don’t want to spend a load of cash for it, then this model is for you.

It has a 6 Amps motor that deals up to 2500 RPM, which is enough speed for a huge range of drilling applications. It is ideal for metal and wood fabrication, hole drilling in deck building or frame construction.

It is a lightweight, handheld drill that deserves a place in your garage. It comes with a 3 years warranty in case of any defects.

Check the current price and customer reviews of the Porter-Cable Pc600D here on Amazon.

Features:

  • 6 Amps motor
  • 2500 RPM
  • lock-on button
  • belt clip

Festool 574708 PDC Set

Festool succeeded in creating a monster drill that is capable of many drilling applications. It has a four-speed gearbox for drilling materials.

With an amazing 3800 RPM, you can drill through hardest materials very quickly. You can choose the right speed according to the material you are about to drill.

The FastFix chucks along with the Centrotec bit system is enough to prove you that this drill should be your pick if you decided to go for a cordless one.

You can read the full review here, or continue to buy the Festool 574708 PDC Set here on Amazon.

Features:

  • four-speed gearbox
  • FastFix chucks
  • Centrotec system
  • 18 V battery

DEWALT DCD 771C2

A list wouldn’t be complete without a model from DEWALT – and this one is a symbol for durability and quality.

It is a lightweight and compact drill, ideal for working in on the job site. This handy tool is the best pick for contractors and DIYers that work for hours in tight and dark places.

The 20 V battery is not one of the strongest sides of this model, but DEWALT found a solution for this too – it has 2 batteries included. If you run out of power, you will just put the other battery and continue working.

For a detailed review of this drill, take a look at the full review, and if you already made your choice, buy the DEWALT DCD771C2.

Features:

  • 20 V battery
  • sleeve trigger
  • 2-speed transmission
  • 1/2 inch sleeve ratcheting chuck

In case you didn’t find your favorite, there are other cordless tools to consider as well, check the best cordless drills in several price categories.

Conclusion

To sum up, both corded and cordless drills have pros and cons. I hope that this article would be a guide in making the right pick. Based on the power and portability, you will need to make your choice.

What is your choice? Do you use a corded, or a cordless drill? Feel free to leave a comment and share this article with your friends.

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Comments 1

  1. Hi, Nigel! I have a Bosch cordless drill and it did its job really good for some time, but battery life got pretty short though first 12 months. Still a good drill for the money and for beginners, but professionals need something much reliable for sure. Festool sounds like one to pick for sure.

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