9 Best Corded Drills of 2022
Corded drills provide more power and performance than their cordless counterparts. Here's a roundup of some of the best options on the market.
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Buying a Corded Drill
Most DIYers choose a cordless driver/drill as their go-to tool. But that doesn’t mean there’s no place in your tool box for a corded model. They do the job quickly and effectively, and you’re never worried if there’s enough charge left in the battery. As long as you have access to an outlet, you’re good to go.
Here are some factors to keep in mind when buying a corded drill:
- Function. These are more likely to be specialty devices, like a hammer drill or mixer.
- Price. Many DIYers are surprised to find corded drills aren’t sold at a discount like cordless drill models. The sheer volume of cordless tools means their price has dropped. While you’ll find plenty of variety in price, most general-purpose corded drills fall in the $60 to $200 range.
- Chuck size and style. The drill chuck is what clamps drill bits in place. The chuck size indicates the largest diameter drill bit you can use. Traditional or keyed chucks are tightened with a specialized tool called a chuck key, while keyless chucks can be tightened by hand.
- Variable speed. Some drills kick on at full speed, but those with variable speed let you control the revolutions per minute (RPM) through trigger pressure. Variable speed isn’t needed for every task. But it’s a nice feature, and always better to have than not.
- Motor style. Drills with electric motors are brushed or brushless. The differences take up a full conversation on their own, but in general, brushed motors have a physical contact that brushless motors don’t. This means brushed motors generate more heat and require maintenance when the brush wears down. Motor style also encompasses build-quality issues, such as whether the gear housing is metal or plastic.
Best Overall Value Corded Drill for General Use
The D13CF Corded Drill from Metabo is a quality purchase for general use. Metabo (formerly known as Hitatchi) delivers a sturdy tool with variable speed, a 1/2-in. keyed chuck and aluminum gear housing.
It also comes with a removable side handle to support it while you’re working, a helpful addition for drills with a pistol-style grip. It’s covered by Metabo’s five-year warranty.
Best Pro-Grade Corded Drill
There’s a reason pros and DIYers alike prefer the DeWalt DWD215G Electric Drill. The 10-amp motor is definitely high-end, but this drill also has DIY-friendly features like a 1/2-in. keyless chuck. Its well-designed locking side handle rotates 360 degrees, allowing it to swivel out of the way while still providing support.
Note: The trigger on the DWD215G can be touchy. As Amazon reviewer Kyle Stein writes: “The lightest first contact in the trigger yields around 300 RPMs unloaded on my drill (I checked with my touch-tach) … If you need delicate low-speed operation such as fastener driving, look for a smaller drill.”
Still, if you want serious drilling power in a DIY-friendly package, the DWD215G is a great choice.
Best Corded Multi-Attachment Drill
For a range of corded power tools with minimum storage requirements, check out the Black+Decker BDEDMT Drill. This four-amp, 3/8-in. variable-speed drill made our list because the entire drill mechanism can be removed and replaced by a different tool.
Swap it out with a compatible item in the Matrix Quick Connect system and the BDEDMT motor will drive a collection of attachments, including a circular saw, reciprocating saw, impact driver, oscillating tool and jigsaw.
Best Corded Drill for Balance and Comfort
You’ll notice most of the drills on this list feature grips at the rear of the drill body. This “pistol grip” allows the user to put force directly in line with the chuck, useful when putting holes in heavy material. This results in a forward-heavy feel, however, which is why so many pistol-grip drills add side handles to provide balance.
For home use, you may find a “mid-body” grip, like on the DeWalt DWD115K, more comfortable. By balancing the weight directly above your hand, the drill is less fatigue-inducing and allows for easy positioning.
This variable-speed DeWalt DWD115K has a 3/8-in. keyless chuck and an eight-amp motor. The handle also features a soft, padded drill grip, making this one of the most comfortable drills we’ve come across.
Best Budget Corded Drill
If you simply want a corded drill on hand around the shop, swing by Harbor Freight and pick up a Chicago Electric 1/2-in. variable-speed drill.
It’s no-frills, with a keyed chuck and two-position side handle. It’s variable speed, but with no clutch and a quick ramp-up in RPMs, it’s not for driving screws. All that aside, at a starting price of $35, it can perform most drilling tasks at a fraction of the cost.
Best Hammer Drill
Hammer drills add a forward pulse to their spinning chucks, giving extra pressure on the drill bit and helping to get through stone and concrete.
We like the Ridgid R50111 Hammer Drill‘s balance of power and affordability. The durable all-metal gear case dissipates heat, and the vibration reduction makes operation less fatiguing. It comes with a 360-degree side handle, eight-foot power cord, keyed 1/2-in. chuck and a depth gauge to help you hit the exact hole depth you’re aiming for.
It’s backed by a three-year limited warranty and lifetime service coverage after the warranty expires. Be sure to register within 90 days of purchase to get the service coverage!
Best Pneumatic Drill
Corded doesn’t have to mean electric! A pneumatic drill is most often found in an auto shop, but it can also be used by anyone with a pancake compressor. We like the Husky H4310 because of the built-in silencing, making it less noisy than most pneumatic drills. It comes with a 3/8-in. keyed chuck and a rubberized handle.
Pneumatic tools aren’t for everyone. But if you like them, this drill is a nice addition to your tool chest.
Best Corded Drill for DIYers with Back/Knee Issues
Considering installing a deck but cringing at the thought of crouching down and sinking countless fasteners into those deck boards? Although not cheap, the Simpson Strongtie Quik Fastener Deck System is an absolute game changer. It lets you fasten boards while remaining upright.
Although we’ve mostly been talking about drills rather than drivers, this corded driver deserves a shout-out. The extension bar transfers power from the driver to the deck screws, and the autofeed mechanism lets you keep working without constantly setting new fasteners.
The system is available with a Makita or DeWalt base to use as a driver. Slightly modified systems are also available for drywall and subfloors.
To be clear, you don’t need one of these systems to install decking; they’re primarily used by pros who set thousands of fasteners a month. But if you’re a DIYer who suffers from knee or back issues, this tool will let you enjoy a pain-free installation.
Best Corded Drill for Mixing Thick Materials
Your DIY projects may include mixing things such as drywall mud, mortar or concrete. These thick, viscous materials are extremely difficult to mix thoroughly without mechanical help. Put away the concrete hoe and grab a drill made for mixing, like the Makita DS4012.
Sure, this Makita can drill holes. But it was made primarily for mixing. The spade handle on the back is great for adding pressure when drilling, but also works as a stabilizer when mixing.
The 1/2-in. keyed chuck handles almost any mixer or drill bit, and the variable speed lets you get mixing without spraying material everywhere the way a fixed-speed drill will. The Makita is also double-insulated, a wise move considering mixing usually involves working with water.