Best Corded Drills of 2020

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Categories Drills
Corded drills are cheaper, lighter and more powerful. Why buy anything else?

When it comes to tackling the day to day projects around your home, a corded drill is an ideal tool. Corded drills have one distinct disadvantage: they have a power cable that needs a plug socket.

This disadvantage is soon forgiven because, when you are working indoors, power is always available, and mobility is a lesser consideration.

We look at the best corded drills to see which one you should choose.


Should I Buy a Corded or Cordless Drill?

The answer to this question is a simple one. It depends on how and where you intend to use the drill. Corded drills are better when used inside the home, but the need to plug them in to get power restricts your mobility with the tool.

Also, corded drills are lighter and more powerful. If the project you are working on requires a drill that packs a punch, a corded drill should be high on your shopping list.

There is also the matter of power to consider. Corded drills never lose power, so you never need to worry about walking away from a half-completed task. Corded drills are also cheaper to buy, which is a significant factor for some people.

Cordless drills are better suited to remote or outside tasks because they are a go-anywhere tool. They are heavier and more expensive than the corded varieties, so unless you need a drill that you can take on your travels, you might be paying more but are getting zero benefits.

Remember

Cordless drills also suffer power loss as the battery drains. It means that you should always have a spare, which increases your costs. Don’t forget to charge it up before you begin the task.

Are Corded Drills More Powerful Than Cordless Drills?

On the whole, corded drills are more powerful. They also run continuously without the need to charge a battery, so not only are they more powerful, but you will also experience no loss of power during important tasks.

Because cordless drills have a finite amount of charge in the battery, it restricts you on the types of jobs you can complete. The more robust tasks drain the battery faster than lighter jobs like drilling through softwood and plastic.

Do Corded Drills Have a Clutch?

Corded drills generally do not have a clutch, because they suit heavy-duty tasks better, rather than drill driving. It’s the reason why cordless drills are more likely to have a clutch. The clutch stops the fastener from shearing or being overdriven by disengaging the gears when the drill reaches the preset torque levels.

Because corded drills are primarily for drilling rather than driving, there is little need for a clutch. However, a few models have a safety clutch that disengages the chuck should the bit get stuck. This avoids a sharp jolt as the bit comes to an abrupt stop.

How Do I Choose a Corded Drill?

There are many things to consider when choosing a corded drill. You need to think about how you intend to use the tool and for what purposes. Here is a handy list of things to look for.

Features

A variable speed trigger gives you better control when drilling. You can start the process slowly and build the speed by pressing harder on the trigger.

Look for other features like a reverse setting and hammer action. Also, depth gauges are useful when boring deeper holes. Some drills even have a light!

Other valuable features include spirit levels and trigger locks that enable you to continue operating the drill with your finger removed from the trigger.

RPM

Revolutions per minute (RPM) is a measurement of how many times your drill chuck rotates in a single minute. It determines how fast and efficiently your drill operates. It also indicates if the drill can bore into harder materials.

Torque

Torque is measured in Newton-meters (Nm) and relates to the tightening force. Torque is crucial to how your drill performs on robust materials. Corded drills generally have higher torque than cordless drills.

Impact Rate

The impact rate is the number of strokes per minute and determines how well your drill performs when drilling through harder material.

Weight

Remember that you will be using this drill, possibly for prolonged periods. The weight of the drill will impact the stress on your arms and wrists. If the drill is too heavy, it could cause hand fatigue, which affects your ability to complete the task.

Keyless Chuck

Keyless chucks speed up your work rate because they make it easier for you to swap bits and accessories in the chuck. Also, you don’t need to worry about losing the chuck key.

Amps

Most corded drills have around 6 to 9-amp motors. The higher the amperage, the more powerful the motor, although other factors also impact the power of your drill.

Hammer Setting

What was once a luxury is now a standard feature of most drills. Getting a drill with a hammer setting is easier than finding one without.

Additional Handle

An extra handle gives you better control when you need to increase the grip and pressure you place on the material you are drilling. For more robust stock like rock and concrete, the handle improves your accuracy and stops the bit from wandering in the hole.

Cost

Cost is always a factor that governs our choices. Expect to pay more for a good drill. You can get budget options, but they have lower quality parts and usually offer less power.


The Best Corded Drills of 2020

There are many options when it comes to choosing a corded drill, so we decided to put each contender in a category to make the choice easier.

1. DeWALT DWD210G Pistol-Grip Power Drill

Best Corded Pistol Grip Drill

DEWALT Electric Drill, Pistol-Grip, 1/2-Inch, 10-Amp (DWD210G)
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It had to be a DeWALT drill as the highest-ranked on the list.

This drill has an additional handle to give you greater control, especially when drilling through robust materials like metal.

The 10-amp motor delivers a maximum of 1,250 RPM, and it also has built-in overload protection to protect the motor and gears. The chuck is a keyed variety, and it also has a reverse setting.

Why We Love It

10-Amp Motor

The motor delivers 50 percent more power than similar motors, thanks to the clever design folks at DeWALT.

Overload Protection

This drill has built-in overload protection to stop the motor from burning out. It protects the drill and increases its longevity.

Lightweight

This drill weighs just 4.9 pounds to reduce hand and wrist fatigue associated with prolonged usage.

Keep In Mind

No Hammer Action

At first glance, you’d think this was a hammer drill, especially as it has a pistol-grip handle. However, looks can be deceiving. It is not a hammer drill and, therefore, has no hammer function.

Price

The price seems reasonable, but when you consider that this drill has no hammer action, on reflection, the costs seem high.

Additional Specs

RPM1,250
Used forWood, metal
Weight4.9 pounds
Length of cord8 ft
Warranty3-year

2. Bosch 11255VSR Bulldog Xtreme Corded SDS Hammer Drill

Best Heavy-Duty Corded Drill

Bosch 11255VSR Bulldog Xtreme - 8 Amp 1 Inch Corded Variable Speed Sds-Plus Concrete/Masonry Rotary Hammer Power Drill with Carrying Case, Blue
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This Bosch corded drill takes on the toughest tasks. For this reason, it employs an SDS chuck, so the bit never slips when under extreme pressure. It has a “D” handle for added grip as well as an auxiliary handle for greater control.

The 8-amp motor generates 1,300 RPM and 5,800 beats per minute. So, it will bore through hardened material with ease.

Why We Love It

SDS Chuck

The SDS chuck may limit your choice of drill bit attachments, but they grip hard. It’s the reason why this drill can do what it does. Most bits would slip in a universal drill chuck under this sort of pressure.

D-Shaped Handle

The D-shaped handle is comfortable to grip and makes the drill easier to control. It also makes drilling overhead a lot more achievable.

3 Power Modes

This Bosch has three power modes: rotary hammer, rotation only and hammer only. You can select the method to suit the task in front of you.

Keep In Mind

Price

This was never going to be a budget drill. Bosch doesn’t make cheap tools, but they do make quality ones. This drill is double the price of the DeWALT.

Limited Uses

If you are looking for a drill to smash through concrete, this will perform. However, aside from sheer force, this drill is limited to uses on other jobs. You wouldn’t have this drill for jobs around the home.

Additional Specs

RPM1,300
Used forConcrete, masonry, stone
Weight10.4 pounds
Length of cord8 ft
Warranty1-year

3. Makita Corded Hammer Drill

Best Corded Hammer Drill

5/8'' Hammer Drill
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This Makita hammer drill has a 6-amp motor that generates 2,800 RPM and 44,800 beats per minute.

It has two settings: rotation only and hammering with rotation. It benefits from a ball-bearing construction for extended life, and a lightweight design for increased comfort.

The drill also has a recessed lock-on button for continuous use.

Why We Love It

Soft Grip Handle

The handle is built for prolonged use. The soft-grip, ergonomic design means that there is less strain on your hand and wrist, which means you can drill for longer.

Depth Gauge

The depth gauge is useful because it tells you when you have reached the desired depth of the hole. It increases accuracy and speed.

Price

This drill is a quality tool, but the price tag is very competitive. When you compare this to the DeWALT drill, you are saving a significant amount of money.

Extended Motor Life

The brushes in this drill’s motor have an extended life, which means you can go longer between service intervals.

Keep In Mind

Short Power Cord

The power cord is half the length of the DeWALT, at 4 ft. A short power cord compounds your lack of mobility and makes it even less convenient.

Additional Specs

RPM2,800
Used forConcrete, stone, masonry
Weight4.4 pounds
Length of cord4 ft
Warranty3-year

4. Mertek 7.0-Amp Corded Drill

Best Corded Drill For Steel

Hammer Drill Meterk 7.0 Amp 1/2 Inch Corded Drill 850W, 3000RPM Dual Switch Between Impact Drill and Electric Drill, With Adjustable Speed for Drilling Wood, Steel, Concrete&Plastic DIY Drilling
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Mertek may not enjoy the pedigree that Bosch and DeWALT have, or have the same brand awareness, but this drill is still a winner.

The 7-amp motor produces 3,000 RPM, so you know this drill has power.

It also has a second handle, a speed regulator on the trigger and a depth gauge.

The other great thing about this drill is the price. It is half the price of the Makita, so it is also a great entry-level option for beginners.

Why We Love It

Depth Gauge

Having the ability to drill accurate depths means that you speed up your work rate by taking the guesswork away.

Robust Design

The all-metal gearbox increases the lifespan of the gears and can tackle tough jobs without fear of breaking.

Price

If we had a budget option, this drill would win. It is an excellent choice for novices looking to get their first combination drill.

Keep In Mind

Overheats

Many users have reported issues with the motor overheating when placed under pressure. It may be a design fault.

Price

We are aware that the price appears to be a pro and a con. Bear in mind that while this is a cheap power tool, at this price, something has to give.

Additional Specs

RPM3,000
Used forSteel, wood, concrete
Weight5.29 pounds
Length of cord6.5 ft
Warranty2-year

5. SKIL 6335-02 7.0-Amp Corded Drill

Best Corded Drills For Woodworking

SKIL 6335-02 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Corded Drill
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Like the Mertek, this Skil power drill is the perfect tool for novices. It costs a fraction more than the Mertek, so it is incredible value for money.

It has a 7-amp motor that delivers 950 RPM, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider this is the perfect drill for woodworking, you realize that RPM is just one of many considerations.

It has a 0.5-inch keyed chuck that accepts larger drill bits associated with woodworking, and the built-in spirit level helps to keep you drilling straight.

Why We Love It

Price

You cannot deny that the price is the main lure of this drill. It caters to the budget end of the market, or those starting on their drilling journey.

Auxiliary Handle

The multi-directional handle helps you grip the drill and guide it more accurately. It also adapts to different positions depending on the material you are working with.

Variable-Speed Trigger

Starting slowly when drilling through wood is crucial. You need a drill that can increase the speed when the task demands it.

Keep In Mind

Low RPM

While this isn’t an issue when you are working with wood, it does mean that a low RPM limits you to working on lighter tasks around the home.

Build Quality Issues

You get what you pay for, and in the case of this drill, the build quality is questionable. It is inexpensive, which may win it back some points.

Additional Specs

RPM950
Used forWood
Weight5 pounds
Length of cord8 ft
Warranty1-year limited

6. Black and Decker 6.0-Amp Corded Drill

Best Corded Drill For Driving Screws

BLACK+DECKER Corded Drill, 6.0-Amp, 3/8-Inch (DR340C)
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Black and Decker are like royalty when it comes to the corded drill. They invented the first portable electric drill with trigger control and an auxiliary handle (1). This drill is a real all-rounder in the home, but primarily as a drill driver.

It is compact, lightweight and it even comes with the screwdriver bit as part of the package. It runs at 1,500 RPM and has a keyless chuck for faster bit changes. This drill fulfills all your DIY and home maintenance needs.

Why We Love It

Compact

Driving screws is sometimes tricky because they aren’t always in the most convenient places. This compact drill enables you to get into tight spots.

On-Board Storage

Storing your screwdriver attachment, along with other bits, is useful if you want to keep them handy. It speeds up your work rate and stops you from losing them.

Price

How Black and Decker manage to make any money selling this drill is a mystery. It is so inexpensive; you could buy four of these drills for almost the same price as the DeWALT.

Keep In Mind

Limited Uses

While this drill will see you through years of home maintenance and light projects, it will not deal with heavy-duty tasks. It is a driver first and a drill second.

Build Quality Issues

As with most budget drills, the quality of the parts and materials is questionable. In a competition of “Who can get to the lowest price?” it’s the manufacturer with the cheapest materials.

Additional Specs

RPM1,500
Used forDriving screws
Weight3.44 pounds
Length of cord6 ft
Warranty2-year limited

7. DeWALT DWD460 11-Amp Right Angle Stud and Joist Drill

Best Corded Drill With Clutch

DEWALT DWD460 11 Amp 1/2-Inch Right Angle Stud and Joist Drill with Bind-Up Control
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This is an unusual drill because it has a clutch. Clutches are commonly found in cordless drills and rarely found in corded drills.

This DeWALT model is a specialty tool for drilling joists in wood at right angles.

It has an 11-amp motor that generates 1,300 RPM, which is handy when working with hardwood and steel. The mechanical clutch delivers gear protection at low speeds.

Why We Love It

Mechanical Clutch

The clutch gives this drill greater protection against the gears becoming damaged when placed under extreme pressure.

Bind-Up Control

DeWALT has a trademarked bind-up control system that senses if the drill is about to stall and protects the drill’s mechanisms against damage. It also prevents loss of drill control.

11-Amp Motor

The 11-amp motor is powerful. It means that it creates a lot of torque, which enables this drill to tackle robust applications.

Keep In Mind

Specialist Tool

You wouldn’t need this tool for general applications. It is a specialist device designed for use in professional settings.

Price

This drill is expensive. But you would only buy one if you were a professional and you were using it on commercial jobs.

Weight

This drill is not a lightweight option. It weighs 11.75 pounds, so unless you are a weight lifter, this drill will tire you out quickly and put added strain on your wrists and arms.

Additional Specs

RPM1,300
Used forStud and joists
Weight11.75 pounds
Length of cord8 ft
Warranty3-year limited

Corded Drill Comparison Chart

ProductBestRPMUsed forWeightCord LengthWarranty
DeWALT DWD210G Pistol-Grip Power DrillPistol Grip1,250Wood, metal4.9 lbs8 ft3-year
Bosch 11255VSR Bulldog SDS Hammer DrillHeavy-Duty1,300Concrete, masonry, stone10.4 lbs8 ft1-year
Makita Corded Hammer DrillHammer Drill2,800Concrete, stone, masonry4.4 lbs4 ft3-year
Mertek 7.0-Amp Corded DrillSteel3,000Steel, wood, concrete5.29 lbs6.5 ft2-year
SKIL 6335-02 Corded DrillWoodworking950Wood5 lbs8 ft1-year limited
Black & Decker Corded DrillDriving Screws1,500Driving screws3.44 lbs6 ft2-year limited
DeWALT DWD460 11-Amp Stud & Joist DrillClutch1,300Stud & joists11.75 lbs8 ft3-year limited
Jump to the Full Corded Drill Reviews

The Thrill of the Drill

Corded drills are workhorses that keep on going. If you want a drill that tackles tougher jobs, go for a corded drill. They are more powerful and produce more torque compared to their battery-operated cousins.

And best of all, you plug it in and away you go. No more waiting while the battery charges.

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.
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