Cordless drills: pros and cons

A power drill can be infinitely useful - it can make small or big holes; drive in just about any type of screw or bolt; mix materials like paint, concrete, or grout; sand various surfaces; remove rust; straighten bent wires; and more. A power drill is an essential item for your toolkit or workshop.

So it goes without saying that you want to pick one that is the best for the jobs you do most. The two main choices in power drills are cordless and corded power drills. Cordless power drills have many advantages over corded power drills, but they’re not the perfect beast either.


The fact that the drill doesn’t have a cord is huge. First of all, you’re not limited by a nearby electrical outlet. You can go anywhere with a cordless drill, which is a major plus. You can take it out to the backyard or lend it to a neighbor without worrying about untangling the cord and plugging it in.

Also, the lack of cord makes it easier to maneuver the drill into tight spots. If you’re trying to drill something under your sink, for example, a cordless drill will be easier to get in there than a corded drill.

Because the cord does not need to be stored with a cordless drill, the storage needed for a cordless power drill is much less and a lot neater. When you’ve got a small space to work in, like a garage workshop or even just a toolbox, this can make a big difference.

Another nice thing about a cordless power drill is that they normally require universal batteries, meaning their batteries can be used with other power tools you have. No more having ten different types of batteries lying around - you can get away with a lot less. Less batteries means less clutter in your work space or toolbox.


The problem with the batteries for a power drill though is that you need to have at least two around. Once the first battery runs out of juice, the drill is useless unless you have another battery charged and ready to go. The good news is that most cordless power drills nowadays come with two batteries. You’ll definitely want to check on how many batteries come with the cordless drill you’re considering before you buy it.

Another disadvantage that a cordless power drill has over a corded power drill is that where the battery is located on the drill can make it heavier and off-balanced. If you’re going to need to hold it up high for long periods of time, a cordless drill might be more cumbersome.

One last tip for you - no matter what type of drill you end up buying - you seriously should consider getting the best drill you can afford, even if it’s more expensive than the basic drill. The reason is that many cheaper drills don’t last as long and burn out much easier. A great drill can last you a lifetime and save you lots of headaches.