I'm looking to buy a new drill, but all of them seem to be corded or cordless. Why are there no drills that can either run cordless, or off the mains, depending on whether it's plugged in? It seems that would give the best of both worlds.
closed as primarily opinion-based by The Evil Greebo, Tester101♦ Oct 11 '13 at 10:55
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The main reason there is not a hybrid is the motor voltage. Corded drill use motors that run on 120 volts AC, (supplied by the grid). Cordless drills use motors that run on a lower voltage, usually between 12 and 18 volts DC (supplied by the batteries). A standard motor cannot run on both high voltage and low voltage. It also cannot run on both AC and DC.
To have a convertible or hybrid unit, it would have to run using a low voltage motor. There are three basic approaches to this that come to mind:
The disadvantages to these approaches make it impractical. There also may be limitations that have to do with torque, speed, etc. for low voltage motors, but that is beyond my knowledge.
A very subjective question, but I'll attempt an answer anyway.
Probably because there isn't enough sustained demand for something like this, for manufacturers to sit up and take notice.
Probably because this just might show up as the worst of both worlds. For it to be truly cordless, you need a beefy battery (and that adds weight). For it to be truly corded, you need a long-enough cord (and that's cumbersome). Add both, and the results may not match up with everybody's expectations.
I would really like such a tool, but don't know if a target market of two would make manufacturers scramble for our business.