Wattage is one of the most important features to look at, whether you’re using a corded or a cordless drill.
This can directly determine the power usage, which impacts how strong it is and how much electricity it uses from your house.
Electricity and electrically operated devices are an integral part of our lives, and yet many of us have only a vague understanding of how electricity works.
While virtually everyone uses amps, volts and watts every day, most of us don’t know what these terms mean.
So today, we are going to talk about how many watts a power drill uses and the meaning of these terms.
A watt is a unit of power. Power is a measure of energy/time. A watt is equal to one joule (the basic unit of energy) per second.
Any electrical device will draw a given number of watts, which will vary depending on the amount of power the device requires.
A big electric saw will use more energy in a given period of time than a small hand-held drill. It requires more power and, therefore, has a higher wattage.
Amps and Volts
The most common analogy used in describing electricity is water current. You can think of voltage as water pressure.
Amperage is akin to the amount of water flowing at that pressure. If you double the voltage but amperage remains fixed, twice as much electricity will move through the circuit in a given period of time.
If you double the amperage, and the voltage remains the same, this will also double the amount of electricity that flows through in a given time interval.
Either of these will double the power, which is energy per unit time, measured in watts.
How Many Watts Does A Drill Use?
It depends on several factors, but the average cordless drill charges with a battery that needs 25 to 100 watts, whereas most corded drills need 800 to 1,200 watts to operate.
The reason that corded drills require so much more is that they draw a constant current.
Corded drill power is measured in amps, with power increasing as the amperage rises. An 8-amp corded drill is great for home use.
Drills, depending on size, draw 4-8 amps. Those are max amps, like long rips, or drilling steel or hard woods.
Wattage for Common Power Tools
Below are the most commonly used power tools with their typical amperage, based on the American standard of 120 volts, and the corresponding wattage.
Remember that the wattage will be approximately the same outside the U.S., but the voltage will be higher, and the amperage lower.
|Power Tool||Amps / Watts|
|Circular Saw||12-15 Amps / 1440-1800 Watts|
|Jigsaw||4.5-7 Amps / 540-840 Watts|
|Reciprocating Saw||4-12 Amps / 480-1440 Watts|
|Hand-held Drill||3.5 Amps / 420 Watts|
|Drill Press||4-12 amps / 480-1440 Watts|
|Orbital Disk Sander||3-4 Amps / 360-480 Watts|
|Router||6-12 Amps / 720-1440 Watts|
|Table Saw||15 Amps / 1800 Watts|
|Bench Grinder||2-6 Amps / 240-720 Watts|
|Small Angle Grinder||7-10 Amps / 840-1200 Watts|
It’s important to remember the simple calculations used to determine the wattage of your drill.
If you already have one at home, all you have to do is find the tag or the specs on the battery charger.
The equation looks like this: Watts = Amps x Volts
What this means is that you only need to find the amps and volts of a drill to determine the watts.
For example, the Black + Decker 20V MAX Cordless Drill uses 20 volts and 1.3 amps.
The equation goes like this: Watts = Amps (1.3) x Volts (20), which means that Watts = 26.
Factors that Changes a Drill Wattage
Voltage is often known as the power factor. Higher voltage usually equates to more power, which is typically what we all desire from our tools.
However, it’s important to remember that you don’t always need tons of power. In fact, too much can sometimes cause screws to strip and surfaces to chip.
Cordless or Corded
Battery-powered or corded? The answer changes the wattage drastically.
Corded drills use a constant power draw from the main source, which is usually your house.
On the other hand, cordless tools that use batteries slowly store power into the battery, which means that it doesn’t need to power the tool while it’s charging.
For Corded Drills
If you’re using a corded electric drill, lower settings use less wattage.
It’s no surprise that pulling less power requires less wattage, so it’s easy to see how important it is that you always adjust the settings.
Some old drills don’t have adjustable settings, which means you’re stuck with the steady wattage pull that they use.
The weight of the drill is crucial as well. Think about it this way; When you’re driving a large car, it requires much more gasoline (power) than a small vehicle.
It works the same with power tools. Lightweight tools that are small or made with lighter materials don’t use as much wattage as heavyweight tools.
Factors to Consider when Choosing between High or Low Wattage Drills
More wattage equals higher voltage
More wattage generally indicates a higher voltage, which gives you more room to increase or decrease the output.
If you have a drill with adjustable settings, high wattage is often a welcome luxury.
Not only that, but it broadens the number of tasks that you can take on whenever you need to.
If you can’t adjust the settings on your drill, you might end up having to buy multiple drills.
Unfortunately, high wattage (and mostly voltage) can be a bit overwhelming in the hands of someone who’s inexperienced with power tools.
Again, you won’t really notice such a problem with cordless power drills.
If you’re concerned about electricity bills, then lower wattage might be a better alternative.
You can get a high voltage drill that’s cordless if you want power without paying more monthly.
20V cordless drills are about as good as most corded drills, but you won’t be using 800+ watts to operate them.
Certain types of hard material, hardwood and many kinds of metals can’t be drilled into if you’re not using enough power.
This means that you’ll have to opt for heavy-duty drills that come with more wattage since they typically have more voltage.
Before you buy one or the other, consider what materials you’ll be working with.
As you can see, there are many reasons to choose low or high-wattage drills.
If you’re working at home on small projects, you could get away with a cordless drill that uses low watts.
On the other hand, those who work with power tools for a living might require more electrical power, which means higher wattage and voltage.
You should also take a look at a drill’s durability and maximum battery power, if cordless..
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a high-wattage drill have an impact on electricity bills?
High wattage can still have an impact on your electricity bill. It might only be $10 or so, but you shouldn’t overlook the possibilities.
Your concerns about wattage used by a drill should be directed towards the power that you can use rather than the bill at the end of each month.
In short, the voltage is more noteworthy than wattage.
What is a good wattage for a drill?
Typically ranging from 450 watts for basic models to around 1500 watts for the more powerful hammer drill. A higher wattage is better for drilling masonry.
While if drilling into plasterboard, a lower wattage will suffice. For most basic home DIY jobs, a 550 watt drill is adequate.
An average cordless drill charges with a battery that needs 25 to 100 watts, whereas most corded drills need 800 to 1,200 watts to operate.
The power of corded electric drills, on the other hand, is measured in amps and depending on size, it can draw about 4-8 amps
It’s important to mention that, while 800 to 1,200 watts might sound like a huge number from a small tool, it refers to the wattage used per hour.
Unless you’re running the drill constantly without any breaks for 60 minutes straight, then the total wattage isn’t as big of a deal.
Although, wattage is only one part of the equation. Mathematically speaking, you should keep an eye out for amps and volts.
You should also think about whether or not it’s adjustable, corded, cordless, and the durability of the drill.