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Corded vs Cordless Hammer Drills: Buyer’s Guide 2020

by Jenny Mae Talaver January 13, 2020

Corded vs Cordless Hammer Drills: Buyer’s Guide 2020

Hammer Drills

Aside from a saw, a hammer drill is one of the most essential tools for any workmen or DIYer. It is very versatile through attaching different drill bits that cater to different tasks and applications. Most DIYers, hobbyists, and construction professionals use this to drill concrete, stone, brick, hardwood and other hard materials.

Hammer drills work with a hammering feature that pushes the bit into the material while the bit turns. This makes drilling on hard and tough materials easier than using a standard drill.

Depending on the way you work and how much work you perform, you can choose to buy either a corded or cordless hammer drill. Corded hammer drills are plugged into a socket, offering more power and higher drilling speed. On the other hand, cordless drills provide convenience and more maneuverability beyond electricity.

Corded vs Cordless

Hammer drills come in corded and cordless varieties. Both are very useful and efficient for worksmen. But to choose which one to use, you need to evaluate your work habits and tasks.

How long are the tasks you are working on?

If the work takes a long time to do, then you need more power to support the drilling operation. That means using a corded drill. With a corded drill, you can work on heavy duty tasks for hours on end.

But if you just need to fix something quick, get a cordless hammer drill. They are a better fit for all-purpose drilling that includes occasional jobs for the hammer function. 

Are you working away or near from an electrical source?

If the task requires you to work away from an electrical source, you can use a cordless drill. This is where the convenience of using the cordless models comes in. You are not limited by the length of the cord, unlike when using a corded model.

But if you have an electrical outlet near your job site, go for a corded drill. As long as you have constant flow of electricity, you can rely on the corded drill’s continuous durability and efficiency.

Does your task require more torque and detail?

If you need to drill a lot of holes in masonry, get a corded hammer drill. It provides more consistency in torque. With continuous power from electricity, you work with more consistent torque, better boring and handling through harder materials like concrete, and more longevity with the life of the drill.

But if you are just doing a quick fix such as drilling one or two holes into wood, you can use simply a cordless drill.

Above all, when you choose the drill you will use for work, you need to decide based on the work you will do. You’ll know your drill best once you take your work situation into account.

The Rock Hard Toolz team presents this handy guide on Corded vs Cordless Hammer Drills. This aims to teach beginners about the difference of corded and cordless drills and how to choose their hammer drill. Also included here is a buyer’s guide on the top 10 best corded and cordless drills in the market today.

Best Corded and Cordless Drills for 2020

The Rock Hard Toolz team researched and personally tested hammer drills. From our thorough tests, we have identified five best drills for corded and corded models.

Best Corded Hammer Drills for 2020

BLACK+DECKER DR260C

PORTER CABLE PC600D

Best Overall

Best Budget

Weighs 3.5 pounds

Weighs 4 pounds

See price at Amazon

See price at Amazon

 

1.     BLACK+DECKER DR260C

About the Black+Decker DR260C

The Black and Decker DR260C 5.5 Amp 3/8" Drill/Driver is another top quality drill from Black and Decker, a brand name long trusted in the line of industrial power tools. Born from the brand well established for quality, ingenuity, and value, any professional workman can be assured of great work performance with this corded hammer drill.

The Black & Decker DR260C drill operates from 0-1,500 rpm, features a keyless chuck for quick and easy bit changes, along with variable speed for controlled drilling and driving. The on-board bit storage allows for quick access to screwdriving bits. This drill is perfect for drilling holes in wood, metal and plastic, and driving screws to fasten a variety of material. Includes: (1) DR260 Drill/Driver, (1) Double-Ended Screwdriving Bit.

It also boasts the following features:

  • Variable Speed for control during drilling/driving
  • On Board Bit Storage for convenience
  • Chuck Size: 3/8 in; Included Components: (1) DR260 Drill/Driver, (1) Double-Ended Screwdriving Bit
  • Lightweight at 5 pounds
  • 3/8-Inch Black/Orange body
  • Protected with 2 year limited manufacturers’ warranty

What we liked about the Black+Decker DR260C

  • Powerful 2 amp motor to get the job done
  • Variable speed for optimum drilling and driving control
  • Keyless chuck for providing greater bit retention, increased productivity, and a more convenient way to drill, delivering a sturdy performance.
  • Compact size allows for operation operate at a much cooler temperature
  • Lightweight And Convenient at only 3.5 pounds
  • Has an ergonomic handle grip to ease long-term fatigue.
  • Extra-added protection with the anti-fray housing, which helps prevent wear and exposure of the power cable.
  • Backed by a 2-year Warranty with a 30-day money back guarantee

What we disliked about the Black+Decker DR260C

  • Chuck is too tight and cannot be opened at first use
  • No pre-drilled holes
  • No electric brake
  • Drill bit at the bottom handle can poke your hand

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

Black and Decker provides great value with all its products – no less here with the Black+Decker DR260C. This corded drill packs a lot of power with its easy-to-use features. Amongst all corded drills reviewed on Amazon and in the Web, this is constantly renowned in Best Corded Drills list. Amid its minor flaws, we at Saws Expert highly recommended as the top corded drill for anyone to buy.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10 (Excellent!).

2.     PORTER CABLE PC600D

About the Porter Cable PC600D

Coming from a household name in top quality power tools for over a century, the Porter-Cable PC600D is designed to deliver the best work performance for affordable value. The PORTER-CABLE PC600D 3/8-inch variable speed drill provides reliable power and durability for projects requiring extended tool usage. With a high-output, 6.0 amp motor capable of 0 to 2, 500 revolutions-per-minute (RPM), the PC600D 3/8-inch drill is designed to provide the speed needed for a variety of drilling applications. The high-torque gear design makes the drill ideal for metal and wood fabrication, pilot hole drilling in deck building or frame construction, and other applications requiring the extended run-time of a corded drill.

It also boasts the following features:

  • 5-Amp motor delivers power in demanding applications
  • Keyless 3/8-inch chuck provides fast and easy bit changes
  • 0-2500 RPM variable speed trigger provides the best results for drilling and driving
  • Lock-on button provides easier control during prolonged use
  • Weighs at 4 pounds
  • Secured with 3 year limited; 1 year free service; 90 DayMoney Back Guarantee

What we liked about the Porter-Cable PC600D

  • Powerful 6.5 amp motor
  • Smooth, 0-2500 rpm variable speed reversing trigger for more precise drilling
  • Belt clip for securing the drill
  • Six-foot-long, high-grade power cord
  • Soft, pistol-grip handle for greater comfort and control
  • High-torque gear system
  • Lightweight at 4 pounds
  • Backed by a three-year limited warranty and one-year free service contract, where Porter-Cable will maintain the tool and replace worn parts caused by normal use—free of charge.

What we disliked about the Porter-Cable PC600D

  • Chuck is too tight and cannot be loosened at first use
  • Works noisily
  • Rusts easily
  • Speed trigger only locks at full speed

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

Porter-Cable delivers consistent powerful work performance with its PCC600D Corded Drill. With easy-to-use controls and high-powered gear system, you can use this to work on everything from from screw driving into wood to delicate tile drilling. Some customer complaints include its keyless chuck, noise level, and speed trigger. But those can be remedied with the secure warranty policy of Porter-Cable. All in all, this is a great corded drill for heavy duty applications.

Rating: 9 out of 10 (Great!)

3.     BLACK+DECKER BDEMT

About the Black+Decker BDEMT

The Black+Decker BDEDMT Matrix AC drill/driver is another solid offering from the Black and Decker brand that has loyal trusted users worldwide since 1910. It is even made versatile with a seamless system of attachments for more applications. It works well for home improvement tasks and general masonry.

It also boasts the following features:

  • Matrix Quick Connect System allows for tool-free change of a variety of tool attachments
  • Powerful 4.0 Amp Motor provides enough power for a full range of applications and attachments
  • Compact and lightweight design allows users to carry out drilling/driving tasks in confined spaces and with ease
  • 11 Position Clutch provides extra level of control to prevent stripping and overdriving screws
  • Chuck Size: 3/8" in; Clutch Setting: 11; Included Components: (1) Double Sided Bit Tip
  • Lightweight at 3.1 pounds

What we liked about the Black+Decker BDEMT

  • Compact, lightweight body
  • powerful, robust 4.0 amp motor
  • Doesn’t overheat
  • 11-position clutch
  • Transforms well for different applications with its Matrix Quick Connect system
  • Comes with a 10-piece Drill Bit Set with the most popular drill bits and sizes
  • Backed by a 2-year Warranty with a 30-day money back guarantee

What we disliked about the Black+Decker BDEMT

  • Screwdriver bits can scratch a bit while working
  • Chuck freezes up
  • Does not have built-in lighting
  • No trigger lock

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

The Black+Decker BDEMT’s versatile design has led to its nickname as “Swiss Knife” or “Transformer” of hammer drills. It offers a lot of useful features in its compact, lightweight body, including attachments for different applications, variable speed and ergonomic controls. However, customers also complained of some design flaws that kept them from working to the fullest with this tool. Nevertheless, know that this is all covered under Black and Decker’s solid warranty policy.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (Very Good!)

4.     BOSCH 1006VSR

About the Bosch 1006VSR

The Bosch 1006VSR is a 3/8-inch drill powered by a 6.3 amp variable-speed motor that delivers up to 2,600 RPM for impressive drilling performance. This lightweight and powerful tool works with a cozy 2-finger trigger for comfort and precise speed control. It’s also made secure with a lock-on switch that helps prevent accidental actuation.

It also boasts the following features:

  • Best in class power-to-weight ratio with maximum power at a minimum rate
  • Jacobs ratcheting 3/8-inch keyless chuck holds accessory exceptionally well with minimal slipping
  • Improved lock-on switch design is recessed in handle to prevent accidental lock-on
  • Over-sized 2-finger trigger greatly increases comfort when frequently changing drilling speed
  • Sturdy belt clip frees up hands to do other tasks
  • Lightweight but tough 4-pound metal body

What we liked about the Bosch 1006VSR

  • 3 amp variable-speed motor
  • Jacobs ratcheting 3/8-inch keyless chuck
  • Improved lock-on switch
  • Ergonomic design for easy controls
  • Up to 2,600 RPM
  • Lightweight, durable body
  • Backed up with a one-year product and service warranty from Bosch

What we disliked about the Bosch 1006VSR

  • No trigger lock
  • Cord is too short
  • Rattles loudly while working
  • Heavier than other power drills
  • Speed trigger only locks at full speed

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

Built by the German brand, Bosch, that has become a household name for top quality tools, the Bosch 1006VSR is a solid power tool for any worker to have. You can benefit from its comfortable grip and powerful variable-speed motor. It’s also built to be tough and durable. It’s not ranked higher on this list due to low ratings on Amazon. Compared to other corded drills on this list, it sits at less than four stars.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Good!)

5.     DEWALT DWD115K

 

About the Dewalt DWD115K

Versatile and easy to handle, the DEWALT DWD115K 3/8-inch VSR mid-handle drill kit with keyless chuck delivers the power you need in a light-duty drill for all your drilling and fastening projects. Enjoy the drill's variable-speed trigger, convenient reversing switch, and comfortable mid-handle grip so you can work smarter for longer. You can use this for woodwork, metalwork, mechanical work, crafts, and DIY projects.

It also boasts the following features:

  • 8-amp motor delivers high performance in heavy-duty applications
  • 3/8-inch all-metal ratcheting keyless chuck for greater bit retention
  • 0-2,500 RPM VSR trigger for versatility in drilling and fastening applications
  • Mid-handle grip design with soft grip provides increased balance and comfort
  • All ball-bearing construction provides greater durability and longer tool life
  • Weighs 55 pounds

What we liked about the DeWalt DWD115K

  • Powerful 8-amp motor
  • 3/8-inch all-metal ratcheting keyless chuck
  • Ergonomic design reduces hand fatigue
  • Comes with a DEWALT warranty package that includes a three-year limited warranty, a one-year free service contract, and a 90-day money-back guarantee..

What we disliked about the DeWalt DWD115K

  • Sensitive trigger
  • A bit bulky
  • Case is a bit flimsy
  • Chuck is problematic when it comes to release
  • Very low torque
  • Drill wobbles a bit during use

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

This is the most expensive drill on this list. It provides great valuable features on its 6-pound built. However, it is outperformed by less costly models and brands.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Fair!)

 

Best Cordless Hammer Drills for 2020

BLACK+DECKER LDX120C

DEWALT DCD771C2

WORX WX176L

Best Overall

Best Heavy Duty

Best Budget

Weighs 3.4 pounds

Weighs 2.6 pounds

Weighs 2.9 pounds

See price at Amazon

See price at Amazon

See price at Amazon

 

1.     BLACK+DECKER LDX120C

About the Black+Decker LDX120C

This Black and Decker cordless drill is great for entry level workers. This is ideal for drilling into wood, metal plastic and all screw driving tasks. It is a lightweight, tough drill with a long-lasting Lithium Ion battery. Its compact built enables its use on tight spaces such as drawers and smaller cabinets.

It also boasts the following features:

 

  • Chuck Size: 3/8 inch; Clutch Setting: 11;

Included Components: (1) LDX120 Drill/Driver, (1) LBX20 20V MAX* Lithium Ion Battery, (1) LCS20 Charger, (1) Double Ended Bit

  • Lithium Ion Technology & 20V MAX: Lighter, more compact, no memory, longer life
  • 11 Position Clutch: Provides precise control for drilling into wood, metal, plastic, and all screwdriving tasks
  • Compact and Lightweight: Less fatigue and allows users to drill / screw in confined spaces.
  • Variable Speed: Allows countersinking without damaging material

What we liked about the Black+Decker LDX120C

  • Powerful motor
  • Ergonomic design for easy controls
  • LED work light
  • Lightweight for easy maneuverability
  • Has enough torque to drill through cable
  • Great value for a beginner’s budget

What we disliked about the Black+Decker LDX120C

  • Comes with only a single battery
  • Chuck always needs re-tightening
  • No carrying case
  • No fast charger
  • Overheating a bit when used too long

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

Black and Decker delivers solidly even in its cordless models. This black-and-orange little drill can work for professionals, woodworkers and tradesmen. With its ergonomic design, built-in LED lighting, and durable lightweight body, the Black+Decker LDX120C will be a great addition to any workman’s toolkit. It’s the number one bestseller in power drill drivers in Amazon.

Rating: 9.8 out of 10 (Excellent!)

2.     DEWALT DCD771C2

About the DeWalt DCD771C2

The DCD771C2 20V Max Lithium Ion Compact Drill/Driver Kit is lightweight and compact for working in tight spaces for long periods of time. This is built to work on tough jobs and high-powered applications on a regular basis. At a compact body weighing 3.6 pounds, this packs a lot of functionality for long-lasting work performance.

It also boasts the following features:

  • Compact, lightweight design fits into tight areas
  • High performance motor delivers 300 unit watts out (UWO) of power ability completing a wide range of applications
  • High speed transmission delivers 2 speeds (0 450 & 1,500 rpm) for a range of fastening and drilling applications
  • 1/2 inches single sleeve ratcheting chuck provides tight bit gripping strength
  • Ergonomic handle delivers comfort and control.Tool Width:1.9 inch
  • Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18. Battery capacity: 1.3 Ampere hour

What we liked about the DeWalt DCD771C2

  • Lightweight but built strong
  • Two-speed trigger
  • Built-in LED lighting
  • Fast-charging and long-lasting batteries
  • Ergonomic design for balance
  • Secured with a 90 day money back guarantee and a limited 3 year warranty

What we disliked about the DeWalt DCD771C2

  • No drill bit holder
  • Some users originally got bad batteries in their order

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

The DeWALT DCD771C2 drill is one of the best-reviewed hammer drills on the market. With its impressive power output and two-speed trigger, it will serve any worker well on any task desired. However, some users complained of getting bad batteries in their order, which is easily remedied by the money back guarantee and DeWalt warranty policy.

Rating: 9 out 10 (Great!)

3.     CRAFTSMAN V20 Hammer Drill

About the Craftsman V20 Hammer Drill

Craftsman V20 Hammer Drill is relatively the new kid on the block. Recently been brought under the banner of the reputable Stanley Black and Decker, Craftman has launched a cordless line of tools, including the hammer drill. The Craftsman V20 Hammer Drill has a 1/2in. Chuck to fit a variety of drill bits for different applications. The 320 UWO provides the power needed to complete your tasks.

It also boasts the following features:

  • Part of the V20 cordless system
  • Brushless motors provide up to 25% more runtime and improved durability
  • 1/2in. Cordless drill/driver with brushless motor produces 350 unit watts out for completing a variety of heavy jobsite applications
  • 2-speed gearbox with speeds of 0600/01, 900 for speed of fastening
  • 1/2in. Ratcheting chuck provides improved bit retention
  • LED light improves visibility in dark work areas
  • Included V20 20V MAX* Lithium Batteries with high performance cells provides ample runtime and increased performance

What we liked about the Craftsman V20 Hammer Drill

  • Proudly made in the USA with global materials in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful 2-speed brushless motors
  • Forward/lock/reverse rocker switch
  • Built-in LED light
  • Reversible belt hook
  • Comes with 2 batteries

What we disliked about the Craftsman V20 Hammer Drill

  • Doesn’t come with dual bits and bit holder
  • Carrying bag is too big
  • Costlier than other cordless models

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

The Craftsman V20 is a sturdy cordless drill, comparative to similar cordless models from Black and Decker, DeWalt and Porter-Cable. It offers a lot of useful features that help workers perform well on their drilling tasks. Still, it comes with some downsides. This includes the lack of dual bits for Phillips and flat-head screws and bit holder, a case that could be leaner, and a price tag higher than cordless models of other brands. All in all, if you follow Craftsman’s instructions to the letter, you will find the Craftsman V20 a fast and efficient hammer drill.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (Very Good!)

 

4.     WORX WX176L

About the WORX W176L

The WORX WX176L.1 is a cordless hammer drill that offers a lot of comparative features to other similar cordless models. This lightweight sturdy tool packs a lot of functionality for the busy tradesman. It makes drilling work effortless with its switch-driver feature.

It also boasts the following features:

  • Rotating dual chucks let you switch between bits faster than ever
  • Precise electronic torque control prevents the stripping of screws
  • Variable 2-speed gearing tackles all common drilling & driving functions
  • 1/4" hex quick-change chucks for easy bit change-out. Maximum Drilling Capacity: 3/8 inch Steel
  • Includes 2 Max-Lithium 20V batteries – part of the 20V Power Share platform of DIY yard and power tools that share batteries, saving you time and money

What we liked about the WORX W176L

  • Lightweight but powerful, sturdy power tool
  • Variable 2-speed gear train for all popular applications
  • Ergonomic design with rubber grips for seamless controls
  • Built-in LED light
  • 12-Torque control settings for damage prevention
  • Rotating head that switches bits instantly

What we disliked about the WORX W176L

  • Chuck breaks after some use
  • No belt clip or hook, as is standard on cordless drills
  • No carrying case
  • Torque control is faulty at times
  • Chuck only takes ¼” hex bits
  • Bits swinging while drilling
  • Problematic charger

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

The WORX WX176L is a handy drill that is energy-efficient and packed with a broad range of features. However, it also lacks a lot of standard features, such as dual bits, belt clip, and carrying case, that most cordless models of other brands have. Nevertheless, this is great for entry-level workers.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (Very Good!)

5.     BOSCH DDB181-02

 

About the Bosch DDB181-02

Bosch once again delivers quality in its cordless line of tools, particularly the Bosch DDB181-02. This is the brand’s lightweight, sturdy 18 Volt 1/2 inch drill/driver. Its compact design is appealing to professionals who want to work on overhead tasks or in tight spaces. This makes it great for electricians, plumbers and HVAC workmen. Each DDB181-02 drill set  comes with: (1) DDB181 02 1/2 inch compact drill/driver, (1) screw driving bit, (2) 1.5 Ah slim pack batteries, (1) charger, and (1) contractor bag.

It also boasts the following features:

  • Compact: Most compact cordless 18 Volt power drill driver, 3 pounds Of lightweight design allows for optimal handling in even the tightest spaces
  • Light Weight : Lightest weight 18V electric battery powered compact drill driver for more efficiency and less fatigue during the toughest impact drilling or screw driving applications
  • High Torque & Speed: High torque and speed at only 3 pounds, The Bosch DDB181 02 Provides 350 pounds Of optimized torque for powerful fastening and 1,300 RPM for fast, efficient power drilling
  • Convenience: Includes LED Light illuminating the darkest work spaces and contractor bag for portability making it the complete power tool
  • Variable Speed: 2 speed transmission, one for heavy duty projects and one for speed, both provide optimized torque and efficiency for powerful screw driving and precise drilling

 

What we liked about the Bosch DDB181-02

  • Lightweight at only 3 pounds
  • Ergonomic hand grip
  • Two-speed transmission
  • Built-in LED work light
  • Delivers up to 350-In.lbs of optimized torque
  • Comes with two Lithium Ion batteries

What we disliked about the Bosch DDB181-02

  • Motor can burn out
  • Problematic chuck
  • Drill bits can slip and slide while working
  • Not for heavy-duty work
  • Slow-charging battery compared to similar drills

Saws Expert’s Verdict:

Like any Bosch product, the DDB181-02 is designed with innovative features for the busy professional. It is very lightweight and compact, enabling easy maneuverability. However, some users complain of tool longevity, problematic chuck and slow-charging battery. Nevertheless, this is a great tool if you need a handy drill.

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Good!)

 

Conclusion

A hammer drill is one of the most versatile and powerful tools any worker can have in their toolkit. There are two variants of this power drill: corded and cordless. Each drill type has its advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, corded drills are more powerful, leaner than cordless ones. But they’re also noisier and you’re restricted to how long the cord of the electric drill is. On the other hand, cordless drills are convenient but can be bulky and dependent on the charge of their batteries.

But all in all, your choice depends on the type and depth of the work you do. For quick fixes, a cordless model would do. But if you work long hours on a more detailed task, you should get a corded drill.

For the tradesman who wants to work on all-purpose drilling, we recommend the cordless hammer drill - particularly the Black+Decker LDX120C. But if you’re more of the heavy-duty mason, you can partner with a corded hammer drill – particularly the Black+Decker DR260C.

Hopefully this guide will help you create an informed decision and choose the right hammer drill to work on.

Jenny Mae Talaver
Jenny Mae Talaver



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