I'm planning to buy a corded drill but after shopping I have some questions about features. I'm not a contractor, just a DIY'er. I'll be drilling holes from the smallest size to several inches in diameter and installing/removing fasteners - mostly in wood but would like the ability to drill concrete and thin metal.

  1. What size chuck? I have no idea about this one
  2. Keyless or keyed? I've had problems with keyless - I can't seem to tighten the chuck enough by hand so was thinking keyed might be better. Or would a chuck designed for hex-shaped bits be better?
  3. Do I need to be concerned about power or any other features? (I don't kneed an impact drill).
  • How often will you need to drill into concrete and how big will the holes be? You may find that a hammer drill saves you time and effort.
    – Johnny
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 0:21
  • Pretty rarely. Not sure it would justify the extra cost
    – StepByStep
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 0:27
  • I have at least 3 cord drills I don't use but several battery 1/2" 3 function drills they can drill at 2-3 speed ranges variable through the range selected, they are 1/2" keyless chucks. They can drive screws with a clutch maybe 10 settings, standard drill and hammer drill. One is 18v and 1 is 20v the 20v worked so well bought another To use at work. I do have 2 large batteries 5amp hour and almost never bring out a corded drill. I know you said corded but you may consider a dewalt DCD 985 I can drill 2 ea 2-1/2" holes through 3/4" I beam and still have power left.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 0:36

1 Answer 1


It's tough to say all your future needs will be met, but:

  1. 1/2". So, you don't run into problems with larger straight bits fitting.

  2. Keyed. If you've had problems with slippage or spinning on smooth shanks it's the only answer. If you had spinning on hex bits, then you did something wrong. However, keyed will also fix pull-out of both smooth & hex shanks.

  3. No, but maybe later. For what you mentioned the cheapest drills will handle it all. But, if you get into mixing 5-gallon buckets of Joint Compound or Concrete Resurfacer then you'll kill a smaller motor. However, the bigger the motor the considerably heavier the tool & you won't enjoy that at all for what you're currently doing.

  4. Hammer Action. Not needed if you're only doing infrequent small holes & have a set of masonry bits...for most situations.

  5. Adjustable clutch. Not needed as long as the drill is variable speed & all of them should be that you'll be considering.

  6. Impact Action. As you say you don't want it. But, it's really-really nice. Are you sure? Have you actually tried it for 3-inch & more screws? Yummy-yummy you'll want one.

Actually, except for the 1/2" chuck & I think also for Keyed, but the Corded might be Keyed. I'd recommend the Black & Decker Matrix, it comes in Corded & Cordless. The interchangeable head will make your life so much better. I got a cordless one & all of the attachments I've got actually work better than I expected & quite well overall.

  • Are there impact guns where you can turn off 'impact', or chuckable drills where you can turn it on?
    – Mazura
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 1:44
  • I know it's common for Hammer Drills, but I haven't seen it yet for Impacting.
    – Iggy
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 1:50
  • What's the difference between hammer and impact?
    – StepByStep
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 2:18
  • Hey Webby. Hammer literally punches the chuck & bit at the work piece...like a super tiny pissed-off hammer (like a 32nd of an inch), it's very effective & typically just applicable to masonry. Impact is similar but the hammer works on the twisting of the chuck & bit...like hitting (impacting) the end of your wrench with a hammer to bust a stubborn nut. Impact can very weakly duplicate Hammer's Action, but impact is still best at driving & extracting stuff. Putting your full bodyweight & more on a 3-inch Phillips head is gone & there's almost no evidence let alone damage to the screw head.
    – Iggy
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 2:39

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