Corded vs. Cordless Drill – Comparison Guide

You may not have to be a professional contractor before you buy a drill, your reason may fall with the range of some home repairs, a woodwork project or as simple as hanging a painting on the wall.

Whether you are buying your first or a backup drill, one of the important consideration you have to make is either to get a corded or a cordless drill. Comparing a corded drill to a cordless drill is a massive debate on the internet, so it is almost impossible to pick out the differences between them in one click. To make it simpler, we would describe the contrast between these tools as a comparison between power and convenience.

The type of drill you should choose to buy would be the one that suits the purpose of your purchase, although if you run a technical workshop, then it would be preferable for you to own both as they could come handy in various situations. So we would make a comparison guide that would help you make an easy decision when you are buying your drill for professional use or a do it yourself project.

Let’s break them down

Although there are other features of drills like the LED light, Chuck size, bits and baubles, spindle lock and electric brakes, for this guide, we would divide the comparison into Power, Build-up, and Lifespan.

We would then further compare the corded and the cordless drill by briefly explaining some aspects like voltage, speed, torque, convenience, weight, speed, how they perform and how they relate to the tools in these aspects.

Power

The first consideration we would take when buying a drill is the power it can supply, and make it simpler; we would begin by pointing out that corded drills are most times a more powerful tool than the cordless drills. We say this mainly because of the abundant 110-volt electricity supply, while the cordless have batteries with a minimum and maximum of 6 volts and 36 volts respectively.

While you are trying to make your purchase, you need to know that there is a dual gear control on the top of the cordless drill to select the transmission speed of the machine and for more accurate and efficient drilling, a lower speed rate would be preferable.

To explain further comparing their power, we would talk a little bit about voltage, speed, and torque.

Voltage

Although a cordless drill with 6 volts battery can puncture a hole for a wall picture, and 12 volts to 18 volts can handle an average job, but you would need more power than these if you are attempting a more intensive project.

Asides from the voltage power supply, the maximum power output of a corded drill would still be different from another, in as much as the size of the electric motor would also be a determinant factor.

The size of the electric motor would be measured in amps, and the maximum power output would be gotten by multiplying the volts by the amps. For example, an 8 amp corded drill would have a maximum power output of 880 watts.

Speed and torque

handyman working with drillYou have to know that the maximum power output alone wouldn’t be the best factor to consider when making a comparison between these tools, the speed, and the torque would also be a better way to determine the power of a drill.

The speed is how fast the tool can spin, and it is measured in RPM (Rotation per Minute), while the torque is the force that drives the rotation and it is estimated in Nm (Newton meter).

Even though there are now some top quality cordless drills with impressive torque and speed good enough to take on your various DIY projects despite their limited battery, the corded drill would always take the win due to the larger power supply.

Build-up

It would be difficult to conclude by selecting one of the drills as a winner when it comes to a better build up quality, so we have separated these section into convenience, weight, and size.

It would be up to you to compare these features to the reason you are buying a drill, but if you are a contractor or a construction hobbyist, with a cordless drill, it would be preferable to take your corded drill also to your job site so it would make working in tight corners easy.

Convenience

Another thing we would use to compare these drills is their conveniences, and the most obvious difference between them is the extended electrical wires of the corded drill which would be a hindrance to your mobility.

If you are planning on buying a corded drill to work on a longboard where you would have to move around frequently, you may have some limits with your tool.

If you are working in a yard or a job site where the is no access to electrical power supply, you should buy a cordless drill. You may only have to fit in some batteries, and then you get enough mobility to work well, even when there is no power outlet nearby, but it still cannot be compared with the power of a corded drill.

You may want to buy a cordless tool to save on your budget with the additional toolkit that comes with it and also some batteries.

Weight and size

Even if corded drills have electrical wires attached to it that may disturb your movements, the cordless drills have heavy and bulky batteries as part of its build-up, and the weight could be a significant disadvantage if you plan to make a lot of movement with it.

Most times the handling of tools is determined by their size and weight, and how it can comfortably fit into tight spots. When you consider the weight and size of both drills, the corded drill wins, and even though the corded drill has wires that may stress your movement, the size and bulkiness of the cordless drill could be a disadvantage too.

Lifespan

The lifespan of the drills is another concern, and one thing that may affect the lifespan of the cordless drill is that as good as their batteries may be, they wouldn’t last forever.

Also, when the battery-powered machine is abandoned and unused for a long period, the batteries may get damaged and in turn damage the tool. So if you are buying a drill that is not going to be frequently used, then a corded drill would serve you better. Apart from the battery, other parts may determine the lifespan of your drill, one of them is the blade.

When you want to drill a large hole into a large board, you should use a corded drill because the blades of cordless are smaller compared to the corded saw and they do not have enough power to cut through thick or chunky boards; an attempt could damage reciprocating and shorten the lifespan of your drill.

But one advantage of the cordless drill is that you may not have to worry about instances like a poor electrical source or a damaged plug or wires of the corded saw. Even with these, a corded saw would still assure you of a longer lifespan compared to a cordless saw.


Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

Corded Drill

  • More power to drill through tougher surfaces
  • No need to charge batteries
  • Constant drilling power all through the work process
  • Easy usage, all you do is plug the toll into an outlet.
  • Longtime usage
  • It cannot work without a power supply
  • Electric wires can be tripped over and may cause accidents.
  • The required power may increase your electrical bill

Cordless Drill

  • Portable, can be carried anywhere
  • No need for an electrical power supply
  • No hindrances of extension wires limit during the work process
  • No situation of tripping over trailing cables.
  • Batteries may run out of charge and stress the working process.
  • Not powerful enough to accomplish tougher drilling jobs without running the battery down so quickly.
  • Batteries are expensive to replace, and they must always be charged.

Final Verdict

Apparently, from this comparison guide, you can already see that there are advantages and disadvantages of both drills, but when it comes to determining whether you buy a cordless or a corded drill, your purchase would still depend on your intending usage of the tool.

An extra addition is that if you decide on getting a cordless drill, you can also get some top quality battery chargers for your cordless drill to add more convenience to your tool.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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