Corded or cordless power tools: which is best?
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Corded or cordless power tools: which is best?

Here at Fixings and Powertool Center, we like corded power tools and we like cordless power tools, but which is better? There’s only one way to find out …

No, not with a fight, instead we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each and come to a logical conclusion like the sensible adults we are.

Corded power tool advantages

Provided you have access to mains power the tool will run constantly. This means you can work for as long as you like without having to swap or recharge batteries.

Working off mains power also gives you a high power output, allowing you to use higher voltage tools on tough materials without a noticeable loss in performance.

And as they don’t rely on a heavy battery, corded power tools tend to be more lightweight than their cordless cousins, putting less stress on the user.

Corded power tool disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage of a corded power tool is its relative lack of manoeuvrability; even with an extension lead you’re still tethered to a plug socket somewhere, and then you’ve got the annoyance of tangles and storing your cable tidily.

As well as being time-consuming and frustrating, due to the safety risk of exposed wires and the trip hazard they pose, power cords are also more dangerous than batteries.

Finally, there’s the complete reliance on mains power; with a corded power tool you’re totally at the mercy of power cuts or any other situation that leave you without electricity.

Cordless power tool advantages

The obvious advantage is that you don’t need mains power, which can be extremely handy on sites where it has not yet been installed. Additionally, without the restriction of a power cord attached to a plug socket you are free to use a cordless power tool wherever you like. This makes them ideal for jobs in challenging conditions, for example where space is limited.

Without the need to trail cables throughout a worksite, health and safety is immediately improved. Say goodbye to people tripping over cords or receiving electric shocks from damaged wiring.

One of the great things about power tool batteries is their compatibility with other tools. As long as you’ve got the right spec you can swap your battery between different tools, saving you space and money. They’re also quick to set up – just whack in a charged battery and you’re ready to rock and roll.

And for those concerned about performance, thanks to advances in technology such as lithium ion batteries and brushless motors, many cordless tools can provide the same amount of power as corded tools.

Cordless power tool disadvantages

Depending on the type of technology they use, power tool batteries can run down quickly, which means not only will you need more than one, you’ll also have to make sure you’re disciplined with keeping them charged; there’s nothing worse than reaching for a spare battery only to find out you forgot to charge it. And if you’re using the type of battery that charges slowly, that equals even more wasted time.

Batteries can also be expensive when you need ones powerful enough to run a heavy duty construction tool.

So which is best…?

In general, it’s probably safe to say that cordless power tools have the edge over corded ones. Not only are they more user-friendly, they’re also a lot safer. However, due to their improved reliability and relative lack of maintenance, many people still prefer corded tools. Your preference will ultimately come down to which is best for your given situation; it’s a good idea not to rely on either type too much.

If you’re wavering over whether to go corded or cordless for your next power tool purchase, hopefully this guide has been helpful. But if you still have unanswered questions then remember we’re the power tool experts and we’re here to help, so just get in touch with our Redhill store.

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