Cordless drills offer the convenience of mobility and the ability to switch batteries whenever you need to for a consistent charge. In recent years, they’ve even matched the power of their corded counterparts. That being said, there’s no denying the weight added by a battery to the drill.
Typically speaking, cordless drills weigh between 3.5 to 10 pounds, which is quite a range. The weight is determined by several factors, including the battery size, manufacturer, materials, and more.
This article will cover the basics of weight, size, and batteries of numerous cordless drills. You’ll also learn why heavier doesn’t always mean more powerful, as well as how cordless tools compare with corded tools.
How Heavy is a Cordless Drill
When it comes to cordless drills, there isn’t a set standard weight that you can expect. As you’ve probably read above, the poundage can vary drastically. With a gap that goes from 3.5 to 10 pounds, you’ll have to do more research into the specific tool that you’re thinking about purchasing. The good news is that you can use the tips found below to help guide your decision.
Here are the five factors that impact the weight of a cordless drill:
- The size of the battery is the most influential variable. If you buy a drill with a 9.6V battery, you’ll reduce the weight quite a bit. On the other hand, 18V drills often weight quite a bit more. It should be noted that more voltage translates to more power with the sacrifice of added pounds.
- Next, the materials used in the drill are also very important. You’ll find cordless drills that use stainless steel parts, whereas others prefer to go all plastic. There’s no point in diving into the durability issues of plastic power tools, but the weight difference is rather significant.
- Some brands prefer to use heavier materials and bulkier cases to improve longevity. If you’ve ever dropped a power tool and seen a crack, then there’s a high chance that it used a plastic shell. That or the composite material wasn’t thick enough to withstand the fall. Added weight might seem like a hindrance, but it can protect your investment.
- The overall size of a power tool matters as well. Longer tools almost always weigh more because they use more materials, it’s as simple as that. The size of individual components also impacts the weight. For example, the clutch can increase the weight by a few ounces, as can numerous other parts.
- Finally, the drill bits that you’re using will add an ounce or two to the drill. It’s not too significant, but every ounce counts. If you use bit extenders, then you’ll find that it gets heavier. If you don’t need an extender, try a small adapter to reduce the weight.
Can You Reduce the Weight of a Drill?
If you’ve already purchased a cordless drill and you want to reduce the weight to prevent you from buying a new one, you’re in luck. There are quite a few different ways that you can lower the weight of a power tool. Let it be known that you won’t necessarily cut off pounds, but a few ounces here and there can make a noticeable difference.
In order to reduce the weight, you’ll have to make some modifications. There aren’t any shells or components that you can remove since they’re all necessary to keep the drill working properly. However, you can try a couple of the suggestions below to make a cordless drill a little bit lighter and easier to carry.
- Look for lightweight batteries that are compatible with the make and model of your drill. You shouldn’t try random batteries, especially since it can cause electrical hazards. Some of them might not even secure in place. Contact the company that made the tool to see if there are lighter batteries. You might have to reduce the voltage.
- If you’re mechanically inclined, rebuild the drill from the inside out. Clutches, chuck jaws, hand grips, and numerous other parts can add weight. If you’re comfortable without using a bulky rubber grip, then you can remove it and wrap electrical tape around the handle to cut out a few ounces.
- This might seem obvious, but make sure that you clean the tool regularly. Grime, dirt, dust, rust, and calcium buildup can add a bit of weight, but they can also cause problems throughout your drill. Not only that, but old batteries will start to expand, leak, and increase in weight.
- Finally, some people prefer to drill holes through their power tools to reduce weight and promote airflow. While this isn’t recommended by many professionals, there’s no denying that fewer materials equal less weight. If you go this route, wear safety gear and analyze the interior to prevent unwanted damage.
Are Lightweight Drills Weaker?
Since batteries are the most influential part of the weight of a drill, you might think that a lightweight drill must be weaker. You could even suggest that, as they get heavier, drills become more powerful. In most cases, this statement is true. However, there are a few suggestions.
Remember that battery weight is only one of the five variables that determine the weight of a cordless drill. For example, Black + Decker sells a 20V cordless drill that weighs less than 6 pounds. There’s also the KIMO 12V drill that’s the same weight. Despite the 8V difference in the favor of the Black + Decker drill, the weight remains the same.
But how is this possible if powerful batteries are heavier? The answer is simple: Black + Decker uses plastic parts wherever they can without reducing the integrity of the tool. Many other companies prefer to use an aluminum casing, but a composite plastic casing works just as well without all of the added weight.
Before you go off and buy a lightweight, high-voltage battery-powered drill, you should consider the company, features, and longevity of the tool. Some batteries are high-voltage, upwards of 20V, but they run out in under half an hour of usage. On the other hand, low-voltage batteries can sometimes last for days of usage without ever having to be recharged.
Try to find the happy middle-ground between the powerful voltage that you’re looking for and the battery life that you need. With thousands of cordless drills on the market, you’ll definitely find the one for you. The takeaway from this section is that lightweight drills aren’t always better, but they can definitely be more powerful.
Are Cordless Drills Heavier than Corded Drills?
Now that we’ve gotten the voltage-to-weight rumor out of the way, it’s time to find out the difference in weight between corded and cordless drills.
Much as with the previous section, it all depends on the internal components. Many corded drills use steel and heavyweight parts because they can draw much more power from the wall than they could from a battery.
Unfortunately, this means that corded drills usually weigh more than cordless drills. Something to keep an eye out for is the weight before and after the battery is attached. Some companies don’t add the battery weight, which makes the tool look lighter than it is.
Cordless drills have put behind the lack of power that they used to have in favor of heavy-duty frontrunners in the power tool industry. With an average weight between 3.5 to 10 pounds, there are many variables determine the specs of your next drill. Using the information found throughout this article, you’ll be able to pick the perfect make and model for you!