Corded vs Cordless Drill Debate

corded vs cordless drill
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Corded vs. Cordless Drill

If you have recently been looking to buy a drill, you might be at a bit of a crossroads with this whole corded vs. cordless drill debate. Yes, both are drills and they are both meant for the same jobs, but they do differ in their power source. Of course, a corded drill is one that uses a power cable that is plugged into an AC outlet to draw its power.

On the other hand, a cordless drill uses a mobile battery pack for power. Now, you might think that one of these is radically better than the other, but the truth is that they both have their advantages and drawbacks to speak of. We personally like both of these tools, but it depends on the specific location, situation, and type of work involved.

The corded vs cordless drill debate is one that we are here to talk about right now. Keep in mind that we probably are not going to end this by saying that neither one is better than the other, because better is subjective here. It really depends on what your needs and preferences are. So, let’s get to it and talk about the main differences between a battery powered drill and a corded drill.


One of the first differences to keep in mind between the corded and cordless drill has to do with size. Generally speaking, a corded drill will be significantly smaller than a cordless one. This can come in quite handy if you are working in a tight area where space needs to be considered. Sometimes a smaller tool is better.

The reason why cordless drills tend to be bigger and bulkier than the corded counterpart is because of the battery. It takes a bigger battery and quite a bit of hardware to accommodate that battery, making the cordless variety a bit bigger and bulkier. This might not make a big difference to you, but for some people it does.


Another difference between the corded and cordless drill has to do with the weight. The battery in the cordless drill weighs quite a bit and tends to make the cordless drill a little bottom heavy and annoying to hold. The added weight of the battery does make a pretty big difference. The cord does weight a bit on a corded drill, but not very much.


Based on the weight and size difference between these two types, the corded drill tends to be a bit more maneuverable than the cordless ones. Yes, the cord on a corded drill does limit the distance you can move from the power outlet, but that is different. Here we are talking about maneuverability in terms of being able to fit into tight spaces and being able to us the drill with one hand. The smaller size and lower weight of the corded drill makes it more maneuverable in this sense. However, you might run into problems with cord length and where the cord sits while you drill.


Related to the previous point, cordless drills tend to be much more mobile than the corded variety. Simply put, you don’t always have to be beside a power outlet and have an extension cord to use a cordless drill. You have a battery that powers the drill so there is no concern about a power outlet. On the other hand, the battery-powered drill variety does have issues with battery life, but in terms of being able to use it without a power cord, it is much more mobile. Many models come with 2 batteries: one to use, and one to be charging to use when the first battery runs down.

Power and Consistency

One of the biggest differences between these two types of drills has to do with their power and the level of power consistency. The reason for this is because the cordless drill uses a battery runs out of energy and needs recharging. First off, batteries are not going to supply as much power to the drill as a direct power source will. Therefore, a corded drill has a lot more power to begin with. At the same time, as the battery in a cordless drill starts to die, the power goes away as well. Therefore, in terms of power and power consistency, a corded drill is much better and more reliable.


In terms of the cost, a corded drill is going to be a bit cheaper than a cordless drill. The battery for a cordless drill costs quite a bit, and may even have to be bought separately. At the same time, the hardware in the drill required to support the battery is going to cost something as well. Furthermore, the battery requires a charger which also costs more. All of this said, the corded drill is going to cost less due to not needing any of these things. However, to be honest, when it comes to quality, we never pay attention to cost, because at the end of the day, we want the job do be done well.


Another big difference between the corded and cordless drill has to do with the lifespan. The increased amount of power and consistency of a corded drill, combined with less internal hardware (battery accommodation), plus not having a battery that wears down over time, means that corded drills tend to last a lot longer than cordless ones. Batteries die over time and need to be replaced, and also the connecters for the batteries can degrade. Therefore, a corded drill is going to last longer than a cordless one.

Battery Uses

The other difference to keep in mind is that the batteries for cordless drills can often be used for other cordless tools. This is definitely true if you have several battery-powered power tools from the same brand. Being able to use batteries interchangeably is a bonus.

Corded vs Cordless Drill Conclusion

At the end of the day, we cannot really say that one of these is better than the other. Both the corded and cordless drills have benefits and drawbacks that you need to keep in mind before you make a final purchase.  You can check out reviews on some of the best top rated cordless power drills

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