The difference between the two basically comes down to two things – mobility and torque. So if you’re the type of DIY’er that requires a steady stream of power, then buying a corded powered drill would be the best option for you. However, for the majority, purchasing a cordless drill is a win-win when you weight the pros vs the cons.
In this article, I’m going to discuss the differences between the two drills to help guide your decision on which is the best route to go.
This is the most important thing to check when buying a cordless drill. The torque defines how much torsion or twisting force is applied during the drilling process. It is measured in pound per inch or pound per feet. It is defined as N-m (Newton meter). You get more torque in a higher voltage drill. The level of torque you need depends on the type of material you are drilling through. Even a low torque drill will get the job done if you have the patience to drill longer. Occasional and light drilling jobs can be handled with the low torque cordless drills. You can drill holes in dry wall, put a new handle on the cabinet door, remove the door hinges and assemble small workpieces. Extensive repair and remodeling requires a medium power drill machine. For drilling holes in masonry structures, tightening bolts, frequent drilling and professional construction jobs, you need a cordless drill with high torque rating.
The speed of a cordless drill is defined in RPM (revolutions per minute). The inexpensive units have single speed setting. You press the switch and the machine runs at its maximum speed. More complex systems have dual or variable speed settings. Professional grade cordless drills have 1000 or higher RPM. In a variable speed machine, there is a knob, switch or trigger to vary the speed. A unit with 300-800 RPM is sufficient for common drilling jobs. The low speed setting is used to fix screws while higher speed setting is used to drill the holes. A variable speed cordless drill is good if you have to handle a variety of drilling jobs. High RPM drill lets you drill holes quickly.
A simple single speed drill does not have too many features. It is not a bad machine if you will need it only occasionally around your home. However, if you are into serious DIY or professional job, a cordless drill with multiple features and functions can be a big asset. When you have to do lots of drilling, you will come across different types of drilling jobs. Sometimes you need lowest speed while at other times higher speed is needed. A drill with multistage clutch allows you better control over drilling and fastening. You have to use slower speed and lower torque settings if you are drilling holes in softer materials. Some drill machines let you change the spinning direction. You can use this feature to pull out the screws and bolts easily.
It plays the most important role in a cordless drill. Latest models mostly have lithium ion batteries that offer long duration of power even when the battery size is quite small. This type of battery is lighter than nickel cadmium batteries. A lithium-ion battery can be recharged quickly and hundreds of times. It is better for environment because there are no toxic metals in the battery. At the same time, it is the main reason a cordless drill is more expensive compared to a corded electric drill of the same category. The type and size of battery you select depends on how long and how many times you will use your cordless drill. A bigger battery will give you more power but it will also increase the weight of the drill machine. The battery power is indicated in Ah or mAh which indicates how long the power will last. For professional use and outdoor jobs, it is a good idea to carry a spare battery. It helps reduce the weight of the drill machine during the operations while allowing you long duration of drilling.
Whichever tool you decide to purchase, be sure to read some cordless drill reviews to help further guide your purchase of a new drill. Many tool manufacturers off combo kits for a low cost that come with a compact impact driver for small and tight to reach areas and cordless drills for maximum torque for drilling out holes for cabinet type work.