Corded vs. Cordless Drill: How to Pick

Corded Vs. Cordless Drill How To Pick

When talking about electric drills, there are two main sorts of models available that you can choose from – corded drills and cordless drills.

The difference between the two is that while corded drills plug into a power outlet, cordless drills are typically battery-powered.

Generally speaking, carpenters, handymen, and contractors tend to use both models as and when required.

While both corded and cordless drills are performing more or less the same tasks, each can be used in a slightly different circumstance.

type of drills

Corded vs. cordless drills differ significantly in terms of convenience and power. Typically, corded drills are more powerful, while cordless drills are far more convenient to use, especially on DIY projects within your home.

Cordless drills are also particularly useful if you have to work in areas where the power supply is unreliable or limited, or if you are away from a power outlet. For example, if you are working on renovating a home and are away from any power outlet, then a cordless drill may be your only option.

Similarly, if you are working in a tight or confined space, a cordless drill can be more useful than a corded one.

Here are some major differences between corded vs. cordless drills that can help you decide which one is right for you, and when.

If you are simply trying to choose between two electric drills lying in your garage, or if you are deciding which one to purchase, this article can be useful for you.

When Should You Use a Corded/Cordless drill?

using cordless drill for wood screws

As discussed above, you need to choose between a corded vs. cordless drill based on the situation at hand.

If you are working on a heavy-duty project that requires a whole lot of power, more torque, increased efficiency, and the ability to work well with different materials, you should probably opt for a corded drill.

If however, you are in a situation that calls for convenience and ease, go for a cordless drill. A cordless drill does not need to be connected to a power outlet. Instead, it relies solely on batteries.

Generally speaking, corded drills are known for their durability and extreme power capabilities. They are therefore considered the more reliable of the two.

Certain situations however make it impossible to use a corded drill. For example, if you are renovating houses in a village far away from the city where there is no known power supply, you can opt for the conveniencve and portability of a cordless drill.

Differences in Power in Corded and Cordless Drills

drilling wall with corded drill

Many people talk about the various advantages of using a corded drill over a cordless one. The main reason for this is the massive difference in power capacity of corded vs. cordless drills.

Corded drills are far more powerful than cordless ones. They run on a never-ending 110-volt supply of electricity. In contrast, cordless drills run at 12, 18, or 20-volts, maximum.

Although generally speaking, corded drills run off the standard 110-volt power supply, the maximum power output of a corded drill ultimately depends on the size of the electric motor it has. This is usually measured in a unit called amps. For instance, a corded drill with a 7-amp motor will have a maximum power output of 770 watts.

However, the maximum power output or watts is not always the best unit to think about when deciding between drills.  In fact, more important than the power capacity is the speed and torque.

 Speed refers to how fast the drill spins, while torque measures how much rotation there is behind the spinning.

Corded drills allow for far greater consistency in torque, as compared to cordless drills. Nowadays, there are many superior quality cordless models available in the market, but even so, corded drills continue to hold a massive advantage over cordless drills.

In terms of driving and drilling, corded drills are still considered far more reliable over their cordless counterparts.

Perhaps the best thing about corded drills is that the twisting force in torque is powered through a reliable, consistent electricity flow. This allows for power to constantly flow without any sort of undesirable interruptions in voltage.

In fact, this is the reason most professionals rely on corded drills rather than cordless ones. It can be risky using a cordless drill because a cordless drill relies solely on battery power. If the battery runs out, you may be left with an incomplete project to tend to.

That being said, many superior quality cordless drills today do exhibit some very impressive speed and torque out of their 18-volt and 20-volt batteries, and can provide you with all of the power that you could ever need.

There are obviously many other reasons for why corded drills are preferred to cordless ones.  Corded drills tend to be heavy, bulky and inconvenient as compared to their cordless counterparts.

Furthermore, cordless drills rely on battery power, so if the batteries run out mid project, it can be pretty inconvenient for you.

Differences in Power Drain between Corded and Cordless Drills

man drills wall with cordless drill

The reason most carpenters and contractors opt for corded drills rather than cordless ones is that not only are corded drills far more powerful and have a consistent torque, they also have a more reliable, continuous supply of power.

A corded drill is simply connected to a power outlet. This means that power will consistently keep coming through the outlet and you never have to worry about not having enough power.

If you are working on any sort of heavy duty project, it makes far more sense to rely on a corded drill rather than a cordless one because with a cordless drill, the power never seems to drain or to run out.

Cordless drills on the other hand, work with batteries. Batteries run out, the more you use them. Suppose you are responsible for a large-scale home renovating project and halfway through the project, your batteries tend to run out.

You can be in a major fix if this were to happen. In terms of power drain, cordless drills have a much greater probability of running out of power as compared to corded ones.

Differences in Materials you can drill with a Corded vs. Cordless drill

If you are in search of an electric drill that can drill through almost any material, you should most probably opt for a corded drill.

A corded drill is the more powerful of the two types of electric drills. It has a massive power capacity and a consistent flow of power. A corded drill has no problem drilling through any sort of material, be it masonry, wood, concrete or even tough metals. In fact, a corded drill can power through almost any sort of material that is set in its path.

Cordless drills also don’t generally have a problem drilling through tough materials such as plastic, hardwood or even tough metals like titanium and concrete.

There isn’t too much of a difference in the sort of materials you can drill with a corded and cordless drill. The only thing you need to look out for when buying either is the power capacity and the torque settings of both.

When Should You Buy a Corded vs. Cordless Drill?

metal drilling with cordless drill

Corded and cordless drills are both useful in their own ways. For the most part, they perform pretty much the same way.

They are both capable of drilling into even very tough materials. If you invest in a good quality corded or cordless drill, they can both do a decent enough job. There are however differences in terms of power capabilities and power drain that you need to take into account.

If you are responsible for a large-scale, heavy duty project which requires a lot of torque consistency and also a continuous flow of power, you should opt for a corded drill.

If however, you care more about your convenience than about power, or if you are involved in a project that is relatively small, such as a renovation to your room, putting up paintings, fixing tiles, etc, you can easily choose a cordless drill.

A cordless drill is easy to grasp and to even carry around with you. If for example, the project you are assigned is far away from a power outlet, you will have no choice but to resort to a cordless drill.

At the end of the day, there are a number of factors to take into consideration before deciding which sort of electric drill to purchase.

For example, you need to think about what sort of size or weight electric drill you would prefer. If you are fonder of smaller, leaner, trendier looking drills than the corded drill should be your obvious choice. This is because, the cordless drill often ahs to make use of heavy hardware to fit in the massive batteries.

Corded drills don’t require batteries and as a result can end up being much smaller and leaner at times.

Many professionals tend to therefore carry corded drills with them even to certain work sites just so that they can fit in certain spaces where the bulkier, larger, cordless drill cannot fit.

That being said, the cordless drill has the massive advantage of being mobile and this makes it a very useful and convenient option. All you have to do is pop the battery in and voila. You can carry your cordless drill with you wherever you go.

The batteries of a cordless drill aren’t going to last forever so keep this in mind when choosing to opt for a cordless drill. A corded drill only requires a power outlet and it will never run out of power. In this way, a corded drill is more long-lasting and durable than a cordless one.

In terms of being economical, cordless drills may be much better than corded ones.

This is because you can use the same battery of your cordless drill in the circular saw, impact driver, and other similar equipment that you will need. If you’re only just starting out setting up your garage, this might be the best option for you.

brick wall drilling

When it comes to electric drills, contractors, carpenters, and handymen utilize both corded and cordless models. Each more or less does the same thing, but both are good to use in different circumstances. In terms of power and convenience, though, there is no question that they are in different leagues.

As you will learn, corded drills provide more power while cordless drills are very convenient for certain work and in places where a power supply may be limited. While that is true, having one of each type at your disposal gives you the best of both worlds.

As far as power is concerned, corded drills provide more consistent torque. Although very high quality cordless models are available, corded drills are a much more reliable means of drilling and driving.

The twisting force is powered by a constant flow of electricity, so there are no limitations in terms of voltage. If you ask a contractor or carpenter, if they have the option of using a corded drill, they almost always will.

In terms of convenience however, cordless drills almost always have an upper hand over corded drills. In addition to them being mobile and easy to carry around, cordless drills are designed to have a whole range of features.

Typically, most cordless drills come with a manually adjustable clutch and a reversible drive. The more advanced ones even come with features such as multiple speeds and magnetized drill bits.

The power of a cordless drill is derived from the battery that is used in it. Different batteries have different voltages stored within them.

Generally speaking, cordless drills range from 9.7-volts up to 28-volts. The lower the voltage of the battery, the less powerful the drill.

You can easily take your cordless drill with you wherever you go. So long as the battery of your cordless drill is charged, you can carry it everywhere without being bothered by a dangling cord

If you have to do a job that requires mobility in the drill, then this is the perfect option for you. Cordless drills ideally function as secondary drills for DIY artists and for contractors. 

A corded drill will always continue to be used for more heavy duty and serious drilling, however, if you have a quick fix to deal with, especially in places where the power supply is either limited or untrustworthy, you can resort to a cordless model.

The bottom line is, you should probably purchase both sorts of drills whenever you get the time and money, because both are useful in their own way.

Cordless drills are useful to even just keep around the house for run-of-the-mill household errands. Make sure that the extra battery of your cordless drill is always charging you you never run out.

Because you will use your cordless drill only for relatively less intense tasks, there will not be too much pressure on the motor of your cordless drill.

Make sure to leave all the high intensity, serious work for the more powerful, high-torque corded drill. The corded drill has a powerful motor and can take any degree of hard work.

What do Professionals Use?

corded drills for professional carpenter

Although corded and cordless drills are both similarly effective and can get the job done in most cases, there are differences between the two when it comes to power capabilities, reliability and durability.

Both corded and cordless drills can drill through a range of materials including hard metals, plastic and wood.  The only difference is the difference in power and convenience. It also depends on the sort of work that is required and the type of project.

Professional contractors and carpenters tend to rely mostly on corded drills. This is because most professional work is high-intensity and requires a great deal of power. Corded drills are especially designed for the level of power and durability that professional work requires.

Cordless drills tend to be better used for small DIY projects around the house and projects that require a lot of mobility. Cordless drills can be easily carried and taken with you wherever you go.

For professional work that requires a whole lot of intensive drilling, corded drills are the clear winner.

When deciding which electric drill to purchase, you need to take into account a number of factors. You must understand the necessity of the situation for starters. Different situations require different drills.

These comparisons of a corded vs. cordless drill should help you to make the right decision when purchasing your drill.

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