5 Best Corded Drills for 2020

Lets be honest.
For the past 20 years, cordless tools have been getting more press, better gigs and seeing more of the action. Hanging, fixing, screwing and just drilling are jobs routinely completed by our cordless cousins, and that’s great but when the going gets tough, when the opposition is really stubborn or battle-hardened the tough get called in.

And the tough are corded drills.

Why Corded Drills?

When you demand more torque, sustained power or higher speeds its the drill of choice. Hands down. 
And the fact its ‘always ‘on’ you can really get stuck into dirtier, more demanding jobs without worrying about running out of juice. And having a thuggish hammer action in the locker is very reassuring.

I also find keyed chucks are still relevant. They are tough and you have slightly more control when tightening the chuck. Ratchet tightened chucks have improved immensely though slippage happens from time-time and I’ve had a few bits fall out or get stuck in holes.

My current Bosch superseded two Black & Deckers’ inherited from my dad. 
THE classic orange, no frills keyed chuck with a hard plastic shell and no-grip handle. Durable, well used and very reliable. 
I needed something with more torque however so an upgrade was due.

My formidable Bosch hammer drill.

Corded come into their own

A recent installation of armored cable and a grounding rod reminded me of the value of having a corded drill.
I had to remove a good 10 inches of concrete slab before attacking the earth to lay the cable plus needed a good few feet for burying the rod. 
Thus the corded drill came into its own, relentlessly brutalising the stone like no cordless could. That concrete was humbled, rumbled and systematically destroyed. It was a tough job but achieved it with raw, relentless power.

Best Corded Drills 2020

Speed (RPM)

Torque (lb-in)

Weight (lbs)

Black & Decker BDEDMT

0-1200

128

3.31

$

SKIL 6445

0-3000

290

5.0

$

Bosch 1006VSR

0-3000

127

3.4

$$

Makita 6302H

0-550

unavailable

4.8

$$

DeWalt DWD112

0-2500

100

4.0

$

#1 Black & Decker BDEDMT

Never had anything but good service from my own or inherited Black & Decker tools.
The BDEDMT is a modern version of its grandparents.
This drill is lightweight and compact. Its ergonomic, comfortable despite looking dressed for a fight.
And the beauty of this particular drill? It’s part of the excellent MATRIX system. Want to sand, saw, pump or route? Swap the head and off you go. Simple.
It’s outer shell is mainly constructed of metal & rubber giving reassurance to the driller that its a solid product that can take a knock or ten.

Key features

  • Weight – 3.31lbs
  • Speed – 0-1200 RPM
  • Motor Power – 4 AMP
  • Voltage – 120 volts
  • Torque – 128 in/lbs

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x drill
  • 1 x double-ended but tip
  • instructions

Who’ll use this drill? Occasional users/DIY Enthusiasts

Black & Decker maintain a high standard of consumer/prosumer products and overall, this drill performs well though you will get what you pay for. 
Its a competent entry level drill. The price reflects that. Costlier drills are more refined with cleaner mechanisms and more power. This isn’t a black mark on build quality, just a reflection on the class of product. 

Summary

The drill has an 11-point clutch to prevent stripping of screws
Personally I prefer a chuck key for a bit more control however many reviews have given the thumbs up for the keyless chuck on this model so thats always a plus. If you are an occasional user, drilling holes for mounting shelves or boring holes into concrete, it will be fine. 
It’s comfortable, light and of robust build quality. Excellent value and MATRIX versatility for a well made drill

#2 SKIL 6445

When I moved into my new home, I had one drill. A well used but fading Black & Decker from the 80’s.
My brother-in-law took some pity on me and donated his cordless SKIL drill. Never having used a SKIL drill I was a tad skeptical. It looked like a value drill with failure imminent but I couldn’t complain – I was grateful for the hand-me-down.
8 years and with several additions to the arsenal later I can confidently say the SKIL drill is going strong and still used.

The 6445 is a no-frills workhorse with a powerful motor and old-skool keyed chuck, that I appreciate. It has a 1/2″ chuck so larger bits can be used. Always good to have a side handle giving better control and balance.

Key Features

  • Weight – 7.0 lbs
  • Speed – 0-3000 RPM
  • Motor Power – 7 AMP
  • Voltage – 120 volts
  • Built-in level

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x drill
  • instructions

Who’ll use this drill? DIY Enthusiast/Prosumer

At 7 lbs its means business and will probably pound most things thrown in front of it.
Will easily perform many jobs around the home. Its spec suggests its a capable beast and is well on par with its bigger name rivals. I’m sure my mother and missus would find it too heavy though my dad would be happy blasting into walls for a good while.

Summary

From the experience with my SKIL drill, this newer, clearly well built drill should be as productive if not more so. Compared with other drills in its range, its cited as one of the smaller corded drills, however it comes highly recommended with many buyers praising its build quality and value for money. Level, depth gauge, moulded handle & grips and variable speed trigger. Based on this alone, its a beast of a drill.

#3 Bosch 1006VSR

I’ve had my Bosch GSB 212 RE for about 6 years and what a drill it is.
I originally needed it for a large studio build, which required a hell of a lot drilling into wood and concrete.
Durability and power were top of my list, and was more than prepared to pay for the privilege. The Bosch didn’t disappoint.
This Bosch 1006VSR is less powerful than my drill but in terms of build quality and ergonomics its similar and thats important.

Key Features

  • Weight – 4.35 lbs
  • Speed – 0-3000 RPM
  • Motor Power – 6.3 amp
  • Voltage – 120 volts

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x drill
  • instructions

Who’ll use this drill? DIY Enthusiast/Prosumer

At 4.35 lbs its a good couple of pounds lighter than the SKIL yet boasts a load of power that will tackle tough jobs.
Will easily perform around the home – its smaller form & weight makes it appealing a wider audience.

Summary

Is more expensive than the Black & Decker and SKIL. Best in its class for weight to power ration, which is an attractive purchase point for anyone doing home improvement. As described, weighs less than the SKIL but as powerful. Solidly built and will withstand bang or two so no worries in that department.
Performance-wise it will get through the majority of domestic jobs however understand its not a tool for continuous, hardcore drilling i.e. let it cool down if boring into concrete for 5 minutes but thats common sense regardless. Doesn’t come with 360 handle but for what you get in the drill its worth considering.
Build quality and proven, reliable German engineering.

#4 Makita 6302H

Makita don’t mess around when making power tools.
I’ve not encountered a bad experience using any of their products, and I have a few. That’s not to say my inductive reasoning is a sound way to buy tools but its simply an observation of consistency.
Like any excellent footballer, a time will come when they need replacing but its the the initial investment that makes the difference to long term success. Successful seasons usually come down, not from one-off game changing tackles but an ability to remain consistently effective.
Drills from Makita are consistently effective.

Key Features

  • 1/2″ chuck
  • 6.5 amp motor
  • side handle
  • Variable speed 0-550 RPM
  • Weight – 4.8lbs

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x drill
  • instructions

Who’ll use this drill? DIY Enthusiast/Prosumer/Professional

The 6302H is durable, as you’d expect from Makita. Its a drill to suit any environment. Mom, dad, friend or contractor will benefit from it ruggedness, low weight, smaller form and simple ability to perform time and again. Its not the prettiest of drills but who cares about that. It does the job. Inside and out. Metal gear housing is great protection. Variable speed trigger for versatility. 

Summary

As introduced, its a bread and butter drill from a serious manufacturer of high quality tools. The side handle is such a handy addition, especially when complaining of awkward angles. Control is vital. 
I can’t speak highly enough of the Makita drills I’ve used and this is no exception. Many reviews have endorsed this model for sheer reliability and performance. You cant argue with that. Its a bit pricier than its class rivals is an all-rounder at home or on site – thats important.
T
icks all the boxes for me- tough, light, powerful, comfortable, versatile, always ‘on’ and of course, in fetching turquoise.

#5 DEWALT DWD112

The main rival to Makita for power tool dominance in my workshop is DeWalt. 
Another consistently excellent manufacturer that we’ve invested heavily in

From drills to routers, DeWalt have earned their place at the top table.
They produce tough, uncompromising and reliable power tools that last years and years. My DeWalt cordless drill has the bitter sweet title of being the most dropped tool and most used tool in the workshop.   
The DWD112 will do what you want, where you want and as many times as you want.
Muscle is the key to this beast, boasting a 8 amp motor that leaves surfaces cowering when the yellow and black is present.

Key Features

  • 8 amp motor
  • Speed – No Load 0-2500 RPM
  • Weight – 4.0lbs
  • keyless chuck

Whats in the box?

  • 1 x drill
  • instructions 

Who’ll use this drill? DIY Enthusiasts/Prosumers/Professionals

Its light weight to high power ratio makes it useful around the house and is a capable player on site. 
DeWalt tools are not intimidating, making them appealing to anyone. Ergonomic grip ensures comfort coupled with the drill being light. Its got the right bits in the right places with everything in relative proportion to the form. 

Summary

You’ll have no issues with many building projects or making holes with this one.
Benches, cupboards, entire kitchens have been built with DeWalt drills and I’ll buy again when the times comes.
Reliable is the one word that does it for me.
The DWD 112 is very well priced for DeWalt drill.
Be tempted. You wont complain. Solid drill.