When are corded power tools the best choice? Cordless tools have made leaps and bounds in terms of capability and price over the past decade or so, but there are still a few situations where you’re more likely to want a cord connected to the wall in order to get the job done in the most effective and efficient way.
Let’s take a look at three scenarios when being plugged in is your best power tool bet.
1. Impact Drivers
In the world of fasteners, torque is king. For impact drivers, being able to provide enough instant-on torque to un-snug a locked nut is non-negotiable. The same goes for ensuring that you have enough torque available to properly tighten the fastener you are working with.
In general, corded power tools like impact drivers offer better instant-on torque than their cordless counterparts. More importantly, if you’re working on a lengthy project — say, removing multiple sets of wheels from a vehicle, for example — then you’ll start to notice that the torque available from a cordless tool begins to diminish as the battery pack starts to run out of juice. You simply won’t have this type of problem with a corded impact driver, which makes it ideal for longer duration projects.
2. Angle Grinders
Again, torque is an important consideration when using corded power tools like an angle grinder. Grinding and cutting are two activities that require a constant rotational speed for the cutting disc in order to do the best job, and this is something that a cordless tool has difficulty providing. If you are in a situation where you can run multiple batteries through your tool, while keeping one always on-charge, you can most likely do a full day’s work with a cordless grinder. Otherwise, a corded tool is the better choice here.
Cutting with a saw is not like grinding with a disc — you need maximum power, immediately, to make the cleanest and safest cuts. Using a cordless saw is often OK for smaller projects, but if you’ve got a full day of cutting ahead of you, then you’re going to notice a power drop and difficulty slicing through tougher materials as time goes on. This goes for rotary saws, chainsaws, miter saws, and sawzalls.
Sometimes, it’s best to be plugged in! So grab an extension cord and consider these corded power tools next time you are tackling a long project.
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Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.