Cordless vs. Corded Drills: Comparison

Cordless vs. Corded Drills: Comparison
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Are you a home DIY guru? Do you love tackling those home maintenance tasks that others dread? Cordless power tools can do the job that much more straightforwardly. A drill is one of the most versatile and convenient power tools you could own. There are various drilling options available, from boring holes to drilling through rigid materials. How do you choose the best drill? Are cordless drills better than corded or electric drills, or vice versa? 

Cordless Vs. Corded Drills: Which has the most power?

While you cannot deny the convenience of a cordless drill, the corded drill is still the most powerful type of drill that you could possibly buy. A good quality corded drill can last you for decades. 

The power output of a drill is directly related to its power source. In the case of cordless drills, they receive their power from a battery pack that is usually between 18 to 20 volts. This can deliver quite a punch for your smaller DIY jobs but is limited in how long their batteries last. 

Corded drills receive power from a never-ending 110-volt supply such as an electrical outlet. This uninterrupted power supply is ideal for any drilling job, no matter how big or small, and can be used absolutely anywhere that has an electrical outlet. 

While both have an electric motor, the main difference lies in the power supply each would rely on to function. 

Let’s look at cordless and corded drills in more detail to assess drills on all their factors.

Cordless or Electric Drills

Cordless drills are convenient, popular options and can be used anywhere as they run on battery power. You can enhance the lifespan of your cordless drill by purchasing a set of good-quality rechargeable batteries or extra batteries to keep your drill charged and ready to use. They are great for getting into tricky places and are the better drill to use for hard-to-reach drilling jobs. 

Use a cordless drill for any small home DIY job like putting up a framed picture, fixing the odd drawer or shelf, or even building up furniture like cribs and bookshelves. They are the ideal drill for softer materials and do not need fussy power cords to function.

Disadvantages of Cordless Drills

Cordless drills are bulky and heavier than their corded counterparts as they require large battery packs to power the drill. These batteries do not last too long, and if you do not have another battery pack charged and ready to use, you could find yourself having to stop whatever drilling job you are currently busy with to recharge your battery. This could set you back a good few hours, depending on the charge time. Cordless drills do not have the power output that a corded drill has.

Corded Drills

Corded drills are an excellent choice for their intense power output and are lighter than cordless drills. However, these drills need to be connected to a power source to function correctly. Corded drills are known for their reliable drilling action and have higher torque than other drills. 

Corded drills are ideal for any drilling job, no matter how big or small. Drill into concrete, wood, or a wide range of more rigid materials using the correct drill bit for the job and a suitable, high-energy voltage for the best drilling job possible.

Disadvantages of Corded Drills

A corded drill requires an electrical supply to function. It is rendered useless if the power is out or there are no electrical points to connect your drill to. While lighter than a cordless drill, the cord or cables needed to complete any drilling job can create a tripping hazard. 

Comparison Between a Corded and Cordless Drill

  • Power supply

Corded Drill

With more electricity, you get more power. The corded drill offers more amperage, hence more power supply for continued operation. Nonetheless, the power supply is only compatible with a single tool.

Cordless Drill

Cordless power drill might drain as you continue with your task. However, the batteries are rechargeable and may be shared with multiple other cordless tools.

  • Torque

A Corded drill produces extra torque, which makes the drill more efficient and powerful tools. On the other hand, a cordless drill packs less power, reducing torque. The drill is thus less effective.

  • Mobility

Corded drills require plugging into electric outlets or sources. Therefore, you will need to have your workstation close to the outlets to use the drill. With a cordless drill, you can have your workstation anywhere without knowing where the nearest power source is. 

  • Weight

A corded drill typically does not pack heavy and bulky batteries, meaning they are much smaller, lightweight, and lean. Cordless drills are, however, battery-dependent. The batteries make them heavier than their corded counterparts and more exhausting to use for prolonged durations. 

  • Usefulness

A corded drill usually offers a consistently high torque. You can complete almost any task using the drill, be it wallboard installation, drilling holes, or screwing. On the other hand, cordless drills will not produce sufficient torque for various applications like hammering.

A man is holding a drill

How To Choose the Ultimate Drill for Your DIY Drilling Needs

Before you head out to the hardware store and grab the first drill you see, it is vital to assess what you will be using the drill for and what you would expect from the drill. While this might seem like a tricky task, it can be made simple by focusing on things like the speed of the drill, how long it will last you, and of course, how convenient it is to use. 

The most common factors considered when choosing a drill are:

#1: Speed/Torque Settings

If you need a drill for more than just small DIY jobs around the home, you should choose a corded drill. Cordless drills do not deliver as much power as corded tools and rely on a battery as an energy source. The higher the electrical input, the higher the output’s speed would be. 

A constant energy source like that of a corded drill can deliver much more torque and speed than a cordless drill battery pack. The “speed” of a drill is always measured in RPMs and is directly dependent on the power source. 

Drill power is an important consideration, as well as drill speed. 

#2: Convenience 

It’s no secret that cordless drills are the more convenient option for choosing a drill. Fully portable, a cordless drill does not require an electrical supply to function and can be used both at home or on the go. If convenience is an essential factor, you will likely want to buy a cordless drill. 

The size and weight of your drill should also be considered when thinking about convenience. A corded drill can be lighter and sleeker than a cordless drill that relies on a heavy battery pack to function. If you need a light drill for even the trickiest of DIY jobs, a corded drill is more convenient in this regard.

#3: Lifespan

Corded drills are designed to last forever. Requiring only a cable and a power source, corded drills will last you for a few decades at least. Cordless drills, however, are powered by a battery pack and are affected by battery life. Batteries should not be left to stand unused for long periods. If you would like a drill that will more likely be the only drill you would ever need to buy, a corded drill is the best option for you. 

There are, of course, many more factors that would influence your decision on which drill to buy, like your budget, how often you use the drill, and if there are any fancy extras that you can get for your drill. 

While there is no wrong or right choice when it comes to buying a drill, you should continually assess your drilling needs, the intended use for the drill, as well as your budget. Personal preference regarding convenience, the lifespan of the drill, and the preferred size and weight should also be essential factors taken into account when choosing a drill for your toolbox. 

Shop around, read product reviews online, and choose a drill that will meet all your needs. Customer reviews are a great way to assess the performance of a drill based on the feedback from previous customers. Who better to recommend a product than those who have bought it themselves?

 If you ever need more information, you can speak to the sales representative at your nearest hardware store for advice on which drill would serve you best. 


A drill is possibly the most essential power tool you will ever own. While cordless power tools are ideal, they might not be the best choice. Choosing a drill is not always an easy task, but it can be made much easier by first identifying your drilling needs, what you will use a drill for most, and which option is the most convenient. If you are buying a drill based on which is more powerful, the corded drill is a winner.


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