The 10 Best Corded Drills
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in March of 2015. When you can't afford to stop working for an hour or two to recharge batteries, or you need the maximum power possible without a supply of compressed air, one of these corded drills will be your go-to choice. Capable of delivering strength to a variety of applications, they're versatile enough to do anything from mixing mortar to boring holes and installing anchors in wood, metal, and concrete. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 05, 2018:
Added a variety of drills that can be used for anything from simple projects around the house to more challenging jobs on worksites, including angled units for smaller spaces that are hard to reach and ones with side handles for stability to apply more pressure.
Why Corded Power Tools Make A Great Choice
A cordless drill tends to far outweigh a corded option due to the bulky weight of its battery pack.
There is an undeniable convenience that comes with using the modern battery powered tool. When a carpenter, plumber, electrician, or do-it-yourself hobbyist can grab his or her tools and move freely about their shop or worksite, untethered from a power cord, they can work more efficiently, spending more time sawing, drilling, or screwing and less time repositioning wires, connecting extension cords, and searching for the nearest generator or power outlet, at least until their battery gives out. The time you lose charging batteries rarely compensates for the minute or two you spent moving a power cord to accommodate your corded tool.
Efficiency matters little when sufficient ability is lacking in the first place, however. The fact is that a corded power tool is almost always going to be a stronger, more able option than its cordless counterpart, and, barring a power outage or a generator that runs out of fuel, a corded power tool is always ready to work, with no time wasted swapping and/or charging batteries.
Let's use the corded drill, one of the most common and versatile tools, as our test case.
Of course, a corded drill will never run out of power as a cordless unit can. But even beyond battery life, corded drills are also a superior choice for the person who will be using the tool regularly and for long periods of time based on weight and ergonomics. A cordless drill tends to far outweigh a corded option due to the bulky weight of its battery pack. Those added pounds contribute to excess operator fatigue, tiring out joints and muscles much faster than a lighter weight corded drill. Corded drills are lighter and often better balanced than battery-powered options, thus the more often you will use the drill, the better choice a corded option proves.
Corded drills also offer markedly more power than most cordless drills, boasting a higher top rotation speed and greater torque. That means better precision drilling with smaller bits and it means more raw power for those larger, heavy-duty projects.
And then there's the longevity of your investment. Corded drills tend to outlast cordless options by many years. This is in part true based on the fact that a corded drill does not rely on a battery that will eventually fail to hold and/or deliver a charge.
Choosing The Right Corded Drill For You
If you need a drill that can help bore holes in drywall and wood, or sink screws for hanging pictures or assembling furniture, then it will be hard for you to find a corded drill that won't suffice. In fact, your biggest error might well be in selecting a corded drill that offers more power than you need. There's no reason to spend top dollar and get a massive drill when all you need is a compact unit suitable for DIY projects and minor household repairs. When a drill with a six-amp motor will suffice, save your money and don't buy that nine-amp behemoth.
Many drills feature dual pistol-grip style handles, which allow you to bear down with maximum force while still holding the drill steady.
On the other hand, if you're a professional contractor or a serious hobbyist, it will be a pleasure for you to learn that even top-of-the-line corded drills are often reasonably priced. If you need to drive bits down into metal, concrete, and other robust materials, and if you need to sink screw after screw, then go ahead and treat yourself to a powerful machine.
When choosing a corded drill for industrial-grade applications, it's a good idea to consider design and ergonomics right after you have settled on the amount of power (AKA torque) and rotation speed you'll need. Many drills feature dual pistol-grip style handles, which allow you to bear down with maximum force while still holding the drill steady. Other corded drills feature large handles placed off their back sides, as well, which can be useful when drilling up above your head or when trying to stay well back from sparks sent flying by metal-on-metal drilling.
Unlike what you will find with so many products, when it comes to corded drills, price is really no obstacle, so one might even consider purchasing both a large, heavy-duty option and a smaller tool for those quicker jobs. Or, you might concede that sometimes cordless drills are indeed convenient, and choose to get one drill of each type.
The Surprisingly Versatile Corded Drill
Drills are, first and foremost, designed to bore holes in objects. Using the right bit for the job, a good corded drill can create a smooth hole through tile, ceramics, stone, wood of all types, plastics, metals, and even glass. And of course that's no revelation: drills are meant to drill holes.
And of course that's no revelation: drills are meant to drill holes.
The second most common use of the drill is as a screw gun, an application in which a drill is fitted with a screwdriver-shaped bit and used to rather effortlessly sink screws. Most drills can drive the right screw into its intended material without a pre-drilled hole, though pre-drilled holes make the process much easier and more precise.
Then there are the other uses for a drill. Drills can be used to help mix paint, mortar, or even concrete when fitted with the right mixer attachment, frequently known as a paddle. Using a powerful corded drill to mix materials such as these can help ensure you get an even, smooth finished product.
Many drills can also be used with polishing and buffing pads for use on cars, helping your vehicle enjoy a clean, high-shine look. Just be sure to select the appropriate pads and cleaners, and don't apply too much power or you risk damaging a vehicle's paint job. And always exercise caution in general around these and other power tools.