Cordless Drill vs Corded Drill

The corded drill still remains a powerful drill tool in the market but technology has improved cordless drills turning them into an equally favorable choice. Choosing between corded and cordless drills is simply a question of choosing more power or more convenience. This has been a tough question for homeowners and expert handymen for years since the launch of cordless drills. Earlier cordless drills were not so famous because of weight and the NiCd batteries which were no match to the ever-improving lithium batteries now.

Our research involved DIY experts and construction specialists seeking their opinion on the best drill between the two but there was definitely no favorite. Circumstances differ when you get out in the field to drill and you may not be close to a wall or drilling on a site that has no electricity meaning you really need battery power to drill. On the other hand, when you need a stable powerful torque, corded drills will not disappoint as long as you get the longest cord with powerful extension cables.

We recommend that you get both a corded and a cordless drill in your collection if your budget allows it because you will need each at one point or another. However, if you chose to have only one, all of our recommended drills are thoroughly examined with approval by thousands of customer reviews to deliver on site.

How Do Cordless Drills Compare To Corded Drills?

Power

Power as a concern for cordless drills has been corrected over time. Lithium batteries have enough power to deliver equally high torque in cordless drills as any corded counterpart. Corded drills, however, have an advantage of constant power flow which means they deliver a constant torque for long compared to cordless drills which depend on the available charge. Any 4AH battery or higher will, however, give you runtime and stable torque rivaling any corded drill.

Portability

This is the main limitation of corded drills. You have to get more extension cables and longer cords to handle outdoor tasks or access high space drilling. Corded drills are also less maneuverable because you have to twist past the cable every time you change direction. This makes cordless drills a better portable option but then, a light and compact corded drill can still be easy to handle and carry.

Weight

Drilling becomes extremely tasking if you have to work overhead for long with a very heavy drill. This was once a major concern for cordless drills because of the additional weight from the batteries but this is hardly a problem anymore. The most significant weight on a drill comes from the motor but heavy drill have generally become unpopular which is why manufacturers have gone light even for cordless drills. Our recommended drills have an equal weight proportion for both corded and cordless.

Price

Corded drills are generally attractive because of their friendlier prices. Corded drills are a great choice if you are shopping on a budget as long as you select one with powerful features. Cordless drills, however, have a great value for the money considering the freedom to interchange batteries and work anywhere without incurring extra cost on extension cables. We also have some great cordless drills available under $50 which gives some cordless models an upper hand even on a budget.

 Durability

The score for durability was a 50/50 for both corded and cordless drills. Our experts agreed on an average life of 4 years for both types of drills as opposed to the common misconception of cordless drills having a shorter life. You have to be prepared to replace the lithium batteries because they run out of their charge cycles within 2 to 3 years depending on how well you maintain them.

Top  5 Best Corded And Cordless Drill Reviews

Cordless Drills

Cordless drills are now the most widely used power tool in the market. They are also the hardest tool to buy in the market because of the technical details and thousands of confusing reviews all over the internet which is why we had our professionals give their opinion on the top 3 20 volters that can handle both commercial and domestic projects.

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1. Black+Decker BDCDD220C 20V Max cordless drill

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill/Driver Variable Speed (BDCDD220C)

This is a compact 3/8-inch drill which uses a 20V battery, unlike its counterparts that tend to use 12V batteries which is why it can handle heavier tasks. It has a rugged design protected by a tough external case that keeps the motor and all the moving parts safe from the elements. It is designed for all day drilling with its ergonomic handle and lightweight of 2.6lbs preventing fatigue even in overhead drilling. The slim serrated handle is especially great for one arm operation allowing you to retain grip even in wet conditions.

It has an exceptionally narrow head that allows you to drill in closed spaces such as behind cabinets and tight corners. It has a variable speed trigger with a powerful drill torque that can make clean holes quickly. Its 20V batteries also last longer because the 3/8 is energy efficient.

Its mid grip handle has a great balance giving full control when drilling or driving. It also has a 10-point chuck that helps set an accurate torque for each bit to avoid snapping your screws. It also has a powerful LED light for Illuminating your workspace.

Pros:

  • A very light compact design
  • Premium external protection for durability
  • The slim 7-inch head is efficient for drilling narrow spaces
  • It has a strong metallic chuck grip for steady bits

Cons:

  • Short battery life, you have to get a back up for all day projects

 2. DEWALT DCD791D2 20V Max Cordless drill kit


This is our favorite heavy duty 20 Volter because of its ½ inch chuck that allows you to dig larger holes and work with larger bits. It features the latest DeWalt 4 pole brushless motor series which delivers higher torques and speeds allowing you to do the toughest drill/drive tasks in a short time. It is also compact featuring a 6.9-inch head that can drill through narrow spaces with ease.

The drill has excellent lighting with a flashlight mode that gives you 20 minutes of bright light even when you take your hand off the trigger.

This is an attractive package for heavy duty tasks featuring 2 2AH batteries with a quick charger that gives you all the runtime you need in day-long projects.

It is very powerful delivering 0-550 RPMs in high torque mode with a powerful 400lb torque that can drive your 3-inch screws through hard oak, concrete, and steel. It also has one of the highest drill mode speeds over 2000RPM which cuts clean holes in a short time.

Its premium steel chuck has a strong grip on both round and Hex bits with a 15-point chuck adjustment that allows you to set accurate torques for each task. Its rugged design can withstand the abuse of the hard tasks even on commercial jobs making this one of the most versatile drills in the market.

Pros:

  • A powerful LED light with flashlight mode for brighter workspaces
  • Made of premium material with a strong chuck grip on the bits
  • A highly breathable ergonomic handle
  • It comes with a quick charger and 2 batteries for backup
  • The tool comes in a durable waterproof case

Cons:

  • It is quite heavy (3.4lbs) likely to cause fatigue in prolonged overhead drilling.

3. Bosch DDB181-02 18V Cordless drillBosch Power Tools Drill Kit DDB181-02 - 18V Cordless Drill/Driver Tool Set with 2 Lithium Ion Batteries, 18 Volt Charger, & Soft Carry Contractor Bag

Bosch is famous for packages with the most powerful lithium batteries and this 20V drill comes with all accessories you need in a go-to drill. It comes with 2 1.5AH batteries, powerful with enough juice to last you all day. It has a powerful 1440W motor that can handle large bits drilling into concrete, steel, and hardwood. All these features are combined in a compact 3lb tool with an ergonomic handle and a narrow head allowing you to drill and drive into any narrow space.

Its powerful batteries also charge quickly giving you more runtime even when you are charging on site. It is designed for performance on tough heavy-duty tasks delivering 350lbs at a 400RPM speed in high torque mode which drives and recovers screws quickly. Its high-speed mode gives up to 1300RPMs for quick drilling.

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It’s premium steel chuck which is designed to grip sturdily onto bits with a 20-point setting for choosing a precise torque on each task. You also get a classy contractor`s bag from Bosch for loading all your gear.

Pros:

  • It comes with Powerful batteries with a backup
  • A bright LED light located at the base for a brighter workspace
  • It has a strong bit grip for efficient performance
  • Premium external protection with water and rust resistance
  • It has an ergonomic handle with a quick response variable speed trigger

Cons:

  • The batteries are tight taking long to interchange

Corded Drills

These are drills designed for all-out power delivery. Despite their distance and AC power dependence constraints, they have more power and zero battery juice limits which still makes them a great pal on any project site. Here are two top recommendations based on our thorough examination and professional opinion.

1. Hitachi D10VH2 3/8 inch Corded DrillHitachi D10VH2 3/8 inch Corded Drill, Variable Speed Trigger, Metal Keyless Chuck, 7.0 Amp, 0-2,700 RPM, 5 Year Warranty (Discontinued by the Manufacturer)

This is a great corded tool if you need power while retaining maneuverability for light drilling. It is small and narrow for drilling into narrow spaces featuring an ergonomic handle with a soft rubber grip to increase comfort. It has an optimized one arm operating design with a quick response variable speed trigger easily accessible on both sides. It also features an onboard holster for attaching when moving from place to place.

It is designed for light tasks delivering a stable 133lb torque for drilling into light steel, concrete, and wooden surfaces. It has an all steel body with a keyless chuck that offers a powerful bit grip for efficiency. This compact design gives you full control with reduced vibration at the high drill speeds. The on-board lock-on trigger also reduces the stress on your arm when doing long hours of continuous drilling.

Its high drill speed of 2700RPMs allows you to drill smooth holes quickly and efficiently. It is also protected by a hard-external casing to keep the metal components from the elements. Moreover, It comes with a 5-year warranty.

Pros:

  • It is very light and with a short head for maneuverability
  • A powerful keyless chuck with a strong bit grip
  • It has a soft slim grip for comfortable one arm operation
  • It has a powerful protective casing for durability
  • It has a powerful motor with a forward drill focus with little vibration

Cons:

  • It is not suitable for drilling on hard surfaces
  • The cord is short, it needs extension cables to access high spaces

2. Black+Decker DR260C 3/8inch corded drill

BLACK+DECKER Corded Drill, 5.2-Amp, 3/8-Inch (DR260C)
Black+Decker offers one of the best prices of drills in the market and this Corded model is one of the best-corded drills for the money in the market. It has a 5.5Amp motor with a 3/8-inch chuck which is both energy efficient and powerful enough to handle any DIY task. It has a long narrow chuck head for reaching into narrow spaces.

It has a variable speed trigger giving you more control of its high drill speed that allows you to complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Its rubberized handle is also exceptionally slim allowing you to operate efficiently with the strategically located forward and reverse button. It has a very bright LED light suitable for working in dark places as well.

The drill weighs 3.5lbs coming with a longer cable and more maneuverability especially when working on heights. It’s onboard bit storage also allows you to move with your backup bit with ease. It is suitable for light drilling tasks operating at high speeds of 0-1500RPM which makes a great choice for working on concrete, hardwood and light steel surfaces.

Pros:

  • It has an onboard bit storage
  • It has a long and narrow head for drilling into narrow spaces
  • Long cable, able to drill high places directly from the wall
  • It has a powerful energy efficient motor
  • A strong steel chuck with s sturdy bit grip
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Cons:

  • The 6-inch cord still needs extension cables for outdoor tasks

FAQs

Are cordless drills as powerful as corded drills?

Yes! Cordless drills are as powerful as corded drills as long as you get the right batteries. It is OK to be concerned about the power of a cordless drill because it largely depends on the type of batteries you have on board. Most cordless drills are delivered with 1.5ah or 2AH batteries which tend to have a shorter runtime and limited torque when it comes to drilling with large bits and driving large screws. We highly recommend buying a powerful 4AH or higher battery which ultimately delivers more power for long giving you a torque high enough to compete with a corded drill.

Which drill is more durable, cordless or corded?

Both corded and cordless drills are simply a combination of a motor and a chuck with powering features. Corded drills are however more vulnerable to abuse or blowing because of the environments they work in and their reliance on DC power. With proper maintenance, both drills can still last the same time but you have to replace lithium batteries on cordless drills when they run out of their lifetime recharge cycles.

Can a cordless drill be converted to corded or vice versa?

Yes! But this is a very risky procedure because the motor may not be designed for the type of current you are bringing on board. It may blow the drill or even harm you because you have to deal with naked wires at one point or another. It also interferes with the connectivity of the drill reducing its life.

How long do lithium batteries last?

Lithium batteries have an average life span of 2 to 3 years. They, however, require proper maintenance to deliver this long service. You should always keep them in a clean cool and dry case and avoid draining them totally before storage.

Can I take a drill on a plane?

Power tools are accepted on a plane which automatically includes your drill but this provision does not apply to batteries. You have to put your batteries in your cargo at check in because they are not allowed in the cabin.

Conclusion

The question of whether to go corded or cordless will depend on the type of projects you intend to accomplish and the circumstances surrounding your site. corded drills are still a popular power tool because of their high stable torque but their limits of distance and AC power hinder versatility. Cordless drills make up for most of these shortcomings but as this guide has proved, they don’t necessarily cover every gap you may have on site which is why we recommended both for full insurance on all your tasks. Whichever decision you make, whether you are making your first-time drill purchase or improving on your earlier purchase, we have recommended a range or reliable best sellers on both drill types to cover any DIY project.

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