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Reader Poll: Do you still use a corded drill?

comments (11) March 23rd, 2011 in Blogs
JFink Justin Fink, Senior Editor

I've gone almost totally cordless when it comes to drilling and driving, but I still can't manage to let go of my trusty 1/2-in. corded Milwaukee drill, passed down from my grandfather, mind you. It's indispensible for mixing both setting- and drying-type joint compound, thinset, and grout.

I can't be the only one. Are people still using corded drills in their daily work? Electricians? Plumbers? Enlighten me. Is this a tool category that you would like to see tested?

Vote below:


posted in: Blogs
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Comments (11)

DonAtlGa DonAtlGa writes: I still use my Milwaukee 1/2" angle drill that I bought in 1980 for professionally drilling rough in holes for plumbing - can't say how many houses it has done, but it is still at it! Not quite as strong as it once was, but I've slowed down a bit too.

And I have a Dewalt 3/8 corded set up for pocket screwing cabinets that I have had for at least 20 years. And a milwaukee hammer drill. And a screw gun for drywall - does that count?

All of them run circles around the tail-less bunch that I have, and have never had the stripped gears, dead batteries, power, good thing they are handy!

Posted: 10:10 pm on April 1st

bobbacin bobbacin writes: I'm still using my corded drill built in the 60's & 70's but I use and have replaced 5 cordless drills in the last 25 years.The early cordless Makita's (around 1980) held up the best. Go and try to buy a replacement trigger switch for a drill, almost 1/2 the cost of a drill.

My Milwaukee 3/8 corded drill aquired in 1982 has seen days of extreme operation. I bored a 1 1/2" hole 10" deep with a spade bit into 70 or so peeler poles cores, where the drill motor was so hot gloves were no match to contain the heat. Twenty years later,with no repairs besides a worn cord, the drill still kick's ass.

Posted: 2:46 pm on March 31st

berferdt berferdt writes: Anybody seen a battery-powered replacement for my 14 year-old Hole Hawg? It would need to be just as durable. I wouldn't mind changing the batteries every couple hours.
I also have three cordless drills that are not put to the same use as the Hole Hawg.
Like so many other tools, broad comparisons like corded vs cordless drills are rarely worth the time.
Posted: 6:13 pm on March 30th

rwotzak rwotzak writes: The last time I used a corded drill was when an auger bit got stuck in a beam I was mortising, spinning the drill out of my hands and yanking the cord right out of the back of the drill. (being a lefty, the darn trigger lock would always get pressed by accident).

If I ever take on another timber-framing or large masonry project, I might rent a heavy duty corded drill, but my 18v NiCad cordless Ridgid has done fine for virtually every task over the 7 years that I've owned it.
Posted: 10:16 am on March 29th

Mikey Mikey writes: It wouldn't be that hard to build an AC-to-DC converter into a battery-pack-sized module; in fact, I'm somewhat surprised that no 3rd-party has done it. But if you continually ran the cordless tool at corded-tool loads, it wouldn't last very long. It's not just a matter of the power surce -- it's bearings and, most important, I suspect, the tool's ability to dissipate the heat generated by the high power consumption. All that beefiness adds weight, negating one of the positive aspects of most cordless tools.

The good news is that the new breed of lithium-ion batteries last a lot longer and are a lot lighter than their NiCad predecessors. My tiny lttle Milwaukee 12V drill is probably my most-used tool now, but I'll never give up it's 1/2" corded D-handle big brother.

An unintended consequence of the more powerful cordless tools is their use in crime. A neighbor of mine had his gazillion-dollar gun safe sawed open by an (assumed) battery-powered demolition saw recently, and it doesn't take much imagination to come up with other uses. It's a lot faster to saw a nice big hole in a car door than to use a slim jim.
Posted: 5:48 am on March 28th

Dreamcatcher Dreamcatcher writes: That was supposed to read:

"These days you gotta have one corded for full time use and one cordless for quick jobs."

Posted: 10:55 am on March 27th

Dreamcatcher Dreamcatcher writes: It's the extended jobs that EthanB commented about which are the reason for my gripes. Why must I have TWO of everything? 2 circ. saws, 2 drills, 2 recip. saws, and 2 rotary tools. These days you gotta have one corded for full time use and one corded for quick jobs. I think THAT's how they make most of their money.

Worse is that in comparison, cordless tools suck. No cordless tool that I know of has the same power or speed of it's corded cousin. Aside from the field of drivers, I don't think much effort really even goes into increasing the technology of making cordless tool performance match that of corded tools.

If I am right, that that's how they make a major portion of their money then why would they want cordless to be just as good as corded? For that matter, why would they offer cordless/corded hybrids? Then everyone would just buy cordless or hybrid and the manufacturer would lose an entire tool line of profit.

Posted: 10:52 am on March 27th

EthanB EthanB writes: @Dreamcatcher
Dewalt made a 24volt cordless/corded recip saw. I think one of their intended markets was first responders as you could use the saw in cordless mode to start cutting up a car and then switch to corded once they had a generator running. But also nice for contractors who want a more flexible tool that would do both a quick cut in a tight space with limited outlet access and corded for more extended jobs. They discontinued it awhile ago...
Posted: 8:52 am on March 27th

Wood_Sculptor Wood_Sculptor writes: I’m not through venting.

Cordless tools are a manufacturer’s dream-come-true. Designed obsolesce!

Corded drills made in the 50s and 60s were passed down from father to son over the years. They were designed to last and if they did quit working you repaired them: new brushes, cords, bearings, switches, etc.

Now-a-days you’re lucky if your corded tool outlasts the battery that came with it much less be able to afford or find a replacement battery.

Posted: 1:09 pm on March 24th

Wood_Sculptor Wood_Sculptor writes: "It still boggles me that no major power tool manufacturer has been able to produce a tool that can run off batteries and/or corded power."

That’s not going to happen:

Think about it—if you could still use your cordless drill by attaching an AC cord, would you fork over the ridiculous price manufactures want for replacement batteries?
Maybe—if you require the convenience and portability of cordless.

Manufactures need you to buy new tools.

That’s why they design batteries to fail after a period of time and price replacement batteries close to the price of new tools so that you go ahead and by the new tool rather than take a chance with the old tool failing. They also discontinue making replacement batteries so that your cordless tools are rendered useless—so that you’ll have to buy new tools.

Posted: 12:40 pm on March 24th

Dreamcatcher Dreamcatcher writes: It still boggles me that no major power tool manufacturer has been able to produce a tool that can run off batteries and/or corded power.

Why not pose the question to your readers if they would be interested in that?

Posted: 10:01 pm on March 23rd

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