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Corded Vs Cordless Drill | Which One Is A Better Choice?

What’s the differences between a corded vs cordless drill? The obvious reason will be portability. If you set the battery in the cordless drill, you are free to move anywhere you like. On the other hand, most of the DIY’ers will not like the extension cord of a corded drill.

In this article, I will take you through the difference between a corded and cordless drill so that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of these two major types of drills. After the read, it will help you decide on the appropriate type of drill that is most suitable for your specific projects. Therefore, whether you are thinking to buy the both type of drills or sticking to any specific one, this article is going to be a great help for you.

Differentiating Attributes


Although power is not everything to measure the drilling capacity, it is a very useful determinant. We always expect a power tool to be more powerful. Corded drills get the advantage of 110-volt alternating current as they are powered by our electricity line directly. On the contrary, cordless drills use the battery as a power source. The usual voltage rating of the batteries varies from 12 volts to 20 volts.

What is the relationship between voltage and power? In general, if the amperage of the motor is constant, a higher voltage will generate more power. For example, if the amp rating of the motor of a corded drill is 8A, then the calculated power will be 110V X 8A or 880 watts. We know that power is calculated from the multiplication of voltage and ampere. As the voltage of a cordless drill is 20V at most, therefore, the power we get from it will be substantially lower than the corded counterpart.

Today’s cordless drills are designed in a way that you get the maximum power out of the resources. For example, the maximum watt output of a DeWalt cordless drill is 300. It is way less than the power of our previous example. Although power is not the only measure of the performance of a drill, a more powerful drill will increase the speed and torque.

Other differentiating attributes between a corded and cordless drill

Power is not the only determinant when we choose a drill machine. Let’s find out some other important features that differentiate these two types of power tools.


Cordless drills are convenient over the corded ones. You just need to carry the charged batteries and the drill is ready to work. There is no need to think about the dangling wire and power socket. With a cordless drill, you will get almost the same facilities of the corded cousin such as magnetic bits, different speed options, and so on. It is more suitable for DIY projects. Contractors like the cordless drills for easy jobs.  

Long term use

If you want more power for doing something consistently for a long time, then the corded drill will be a perfect choice. Corded drills are more durable. Therefore, these are suitable in the long run. The juice is never-ending as you will get a power grid everywhere. On the other hand, a battery-powered drill will be useless until the battery is charged properly. Because of the consistent power, you will get a consistent and uniform torque with the corded drill. Therefore, it will be a better choice if the projects are with harder objects such as metal and concrete. It will give you more confidence when dealing with hard nuts.


Although a cordless drill is suitable for small and quick works, it is not suitable for infrequent projects. If you anticipate that you will use the drill only a few times in a year, then you should prefer a corded one. When we keep the battery idle for a long time, it gets permanently damaged that can not be fully recovered. On the other hand, battery-powered drills are not suitable for very frequent projects. A battery has a certain limited charge and discharge cycle. Therefore, if we use it too often, then the limited cycle life gets decayed quickly. Hence, if you want a longer lifespan with your cordless drill, then the usage pattern should be moderate. Otherwise, you should go with the corded one.

Cordless drill in detail

Types of cordless drill

We can divide the cordless drill into four different categories. The first one is the drill or driver. It is the primary or standard type of drill that we use for making holes or driving screws on objects. Standard cordless drills can only handle simple and light objects such as plastic, wood, and metal sheet.

The second type of cordless drill is the hammer drill. The working principle of this kind of drill is similar to the previous one. The difference is that it has an in-built ‘hammer’ setting that allows it to work on tough materials such as concrete, wall, stone, and so on. To give it extra power, hammer drills are heavier than a regular cordless drill.

A rotary hammer is another type of hammer drill that uses air pressure to produce sufficient power. These are also heavier and bigger and produce more power than hammer drills. The cost of this kind of drill is more than a regular hammer drill.

Impact drivers are the last types of drills that are used to fasten and loosen the bolts and screws. You can also use these to make a hole in soft surfaces.

Battery options

As you know that the cordless drill will use batteries to power it up, there are two different types of batteries that the manufacturers use these days. Lithium-ion and Nickel-Cadmium are the two types of batteries that you will find in the market for cordless drills. I would prefer the first one that is more environmentally friendly and less toxic.

Voltage is a clear indicator of the torque of a drill. Therefore, if you expect more torque, then choose the drill that has a battery with a higher voltage. You will also find batteries with different AH rating. I would suggest choosing the higher AH to get longer battery life and consistent torque.

Features of a cordless drill

A battery-powered drill has no wire. It is one of the major reasons that people like this type of drill so much. Because it has no cord to connect it with the power supply, it has a powerful battery as a source of power. The ergonomic handle is another important feature of a cordless drill.

With speed control, you can change the speed with the help of the trigger. Whatever the speed is, you should grip the handle firmly. Because of the absence of wire, it is portable. You can fit different bits and accessories with it as per the requirement of the project.

What are the benefits of a cordless drill?

I would say that mobility and portability is the greatest advantage of a cordless drill. Mobility has made it the best option for contractors and electricians for simple projects where no electric socket is available. Because a cordless drill is operated by battery, you will have a lot of power options to choose from. Therefore, you can control the drill more accurately and precisely as per the need of the project. The lack of cord also makes the drill easy to handle and store. The variable speed option makes it more suitable for specific projects.

Disadvantages of a cordless drill

A cordless drill is less powerful than a corded one. Therefore, these are not a suitable option for projects that need to deal with robust objects. Once the charge of the battery is gone, you can not use it until you recharge the battery. Therefore, you can not use it for a longer time. You can not leave the drill unused for a long time either because the battery will get permanently damaged if it is not under operation often. Another drawback of a cordless drill is the price. It is usually more expensive than the corded counterpart.

Corded drill

Types of the corded drill

Corded drills can be divided into four different categories. Standard corded drill or drivers are the regular types that you can use for drilling most of the projects. But for cracking the hard nuts, you need the hammer type corded drill that can deal with concrete and stone. The rotary drill is a specialty drill that we use for heavy-duty projects. If you want to reach the corners or angels, then the corded angle drill is the perfect tool to use.

Features of a corded drill

Wired drills are the tools that we use for making holes or demolishing objects such as wood, concrete, metal, or stone. Instead of the battery, a wired drill is powered by electricity. It has different grip options so that we can firmly handle it during operation. You can use additional accessories with a corded drill to get the required output as per the needs of a specific project.

Advantages of a corded drill

Corded drills can generate more power because of the higher voltage electricity supply. We know that torque is a factor of power. If you need more torque, you need to supply more power. Wired drills are ahead of wireless drills in terms of robustness. You do not need to think about going out of the juice as the power you get from the source is never-ending. Corded drills are better for projects that have angles and difficult to reach. The price of this kind of drill is relatively cheap.

Disadvantages of a wired drill

Precision and control of a wired drill are not as good as the cordless one. Therefore, if you are a beginner, then a corded drill will not be suitable for you. Contractors or mechanics who need mobility, may not like a wired drill because you will not find an electric socket everywhere. It is not convenient to store. A corded drill is not easy to handle, hence, it is more prone to injuries.  

Corded vs cordless: which one is suitable for you?

After the discussion above, it is clear to us that cordless drills are suitable for beginners. If you do not use a drill too often, then you can go for it. But remember the battery health always. Do not leave the drill unused for more than a month. Although the manufacturers may claim that the drill can hold the charge for a longer time. For mobile contractors or electricians should also go for a wireless drill. But for a fixed job, a corded version is most suitable. If you do the same project on and on again, then a wired drill is the perfect tool for you. Battery power is limited. Therefore, for a constant and frequent job, a wired drill is more suitable. If power is your concern, then the corded drill is a batter deal. Therefore, the demolishing of stones and concretes should be done by this kind of drill.

Our suggested drills

Now as you know about the pros and cons of wireless and wired drills, I’m sure that you know about which one is suitable for you. You cannot straightway tell any specific type as good or bad. The selection of the type of drill is dependent on the type of project. Below is the suggestion of some popular corded and cordless drill to help you choose the right tool accordingly.


It is a great deal for you if you like it to be inexpensive but still effective. You can change the speed during you are operating it. The chuck size of this unit is 3/8 inches. The motor of this unit has an amperage of 5.5A. The variable speed of this unit is up to 1500 rpm. There is an on-board bit storage system. Therefore, you can get access to the bits instantly without any delay.

DEWALT VSR Electric Drill

Another good example of the corded drill is DEWALT VSR. It is more powerful than the previous one with an 8A motor. You will get the maximum speed of 2500 rpm with this unit that makes it suitable for tough projects. For bit retention, it has 3/8 inches metal and keyless chuck. Although powerful, it is small and lightweight. It weighs only around 4 lbs. Therefore, you can store and carry it comfortably.

DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Drill

If you are looking for a good suggestion for a cordless drill, then DEWALT is the obvious name. This 20V wireless drill is one of the most powerful in the battery-powered category. There is a 3-mode spotlight option to guide you during operation. It also has a variable speed option for different project types. The type of motor is ‘brushless’. Therefore, it will consume less power to provide you around 57% more run time. Although it is one of the most powerful wireless drills in the market, it is lightweight and handy.

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Matrix Cordless Drill/Driver

If you are looking for an inexpensive cordless drill, then this BLACK+DECKER 20V model is for you. This unit has a 20-volt battery to power the machine up. It is lightweight and compact to allow you to work in confined places. It uses a lithium-ion battery as the power source that is environmentally friendly and less toxic. Overall, it is a great option to choose for the beginner for infrequent projects.

FAQ – Questions that people ask frequently regarding cordless and corded drills

Can I make a hole on a metal object with a drill?

It depends on the type of metal object you are dealing with. A thin metal sheet is good to go for any kind of drill machine. But if the metal object is thick, then you should go with a powerful corded drill because this type of drill is more suitable for heavy and hard objects.

Which type of drill is better for the beginner?

I would say that wireless drills are more suitable for beginners. The reason is the toughness of the corded drill. A wired drill is powerful and not easy to handle. If you do not need to deal with objects such as concrete and stone, then you should go with the wireless type as this type of drill is easy to handle, lightweight and handy.

For a mobile technician, cordless or corded, which type of drill is preferred?

Wireless drills are preferred for mobile technicians. For wired kind of drill, you need a power socket to power up the drill. You do not know for sure that you are going to get the electric supply near your workplace. For this reason, if the nature of the job suits, then an itinerant worker should go with a wireless drill.

Is cordless drill more powerful?

As the voltage of the AC current is higher, the ultimate power is higher for the wired drill. We know that power is the function of voltage and ampere. Therefore, the cordless drill will be more powerful because of the nature of the fuel we use for it. On the other hand, the voltage of the wireless drill is not constant. With the decay of the battery capacity, the voltage declines. Therefore, power and torque are not always constant. To get the best output, a cordless drill should be fully charged before use.

Bottom line

The corded vs cordless drill debate is never-ending. We can not declare any specific type as the winner. In one short sentence, if power is your concern, then go for corded one. But in most home and outdoor mobile projects, cordless drills are a more suitable option.