Every year we see huge improvements in battery storage life and battery power. Battery-powered Cordless tools and home appliances are rapidly becoming more efficient and easier to use than their corded counterparts. For me, I can’t wait for the day when we have a cordless Mig Welder, surely someones working on that! My whims aside, take a look at the cordless vacuums that are now on the market, Dyson, for example, have several models that compete directly with the corded version and are simply taking over the market.
Why Cordless Tools Deserve a Place in Your Home
When it comes to cordless power tools the advances are spectacular. New (in 2020) are the 48v cordless drills, saws, and garden tools. They have massive power and battery life that was unthinkable a year or so ago.
Getting started just requires the base setup set for a cordless drill combo, generally consisting of a cordless drill and perhaps an impact driver or torch. Regardless of the brand, these combo sets come with a charger plus two batteries.
From this cordless combo kit, you are able to add ‘skins’ or other power tools that take the same battery that comes in the combo kit. Note that these skins are brand consistent so you cant use a Milwaukee battery with a Dewalt skin for example.
To this end, the add on tools you can buy to suit your drill starter kit is just fantastic. Milwaukee, for instance, you can buy a grinder, circular saw, reciprocal saw, jigsaw, palm sander, impact drill, compound miter saws, nailers, multitools, and renovators. Amazingly just on the market are 48volt table saws that are capable of generating power similar to a 15A corded table saw.
It doesn’t matter if you aren’t particularly into hobbies like woodworking or gardening, you still need to have tools in your home. Because inevitably, something will break, repairs will have to be made, or you may want to assemble flat-pack furniture. Now if you are someone considering picking up one of those aforementioned hobbies or doing odd jobs around the home and you still don’t own a toolset, then read on.
At this juncture, you can still make a decision regarding which specific tools you are going to invest in. If your plan is to dive fully into crafting or gardening, there’s a case to be made that tools that are not attached to cords should be the ones you get.
Benefits and uses of cordless tools in the workshop, small business, and garden.
So why should you consider purchasing battery-powered tools instead of their more conventional counterparts? There are some good reasons and they are listed below.
1. Tools without cords simply make working easier.
That’s reason number one for why tools that don’t come with cords are so nice to have around for working on projects or completing repairs. You can pick one up, switch it on, and immediately go to work, the portability of cordless tools is a game-changer.
A cordless tool does not require you to work a set amount of distance from a power socket because there is no lead for you to worry about. That means you are free to work wherever you want and move in whichever way you desire as long as you stay safe of course. The portability is the key, you can simply be anywhere and put your drill or saw to use without looking for a power lead or wall socket.
2. Tools without cords enable you to work comfortably
Depending on what kind of workstation you may have or which item in your home needs repairs, a tool with a cord may not always be suitable for that job. You obviously don’t want to tug on the cord too much because something might break. So you will likely compensate for that by positioning your body in weird angles while working.
Getting into tight spaces without a power cord hanging around makes life so much easier, there’s nothing worse than hauling a power lead from room to room.
Cordless tools as a rule also are smaller and lighter than conventional power tools.
The weight of a battery power tool can also be determined by the battery size. For instance, if you require a moderate amount of power in a cordless screwdriver then you should be ok with a 12volt battery-powered tool, which is lighter than an 18 or 20volt tool. Generally the more power you need the heavier the battery will be. However, with new advances in battery storage, they are getting lighter.
3. Tools without cords take up less space
If you’re only getting started with your woodworking hobby, it’s highly likely that your workshop is going to be on the smaller side. You could have some issues if you try to bring a bulky tool in there, and it just so happens that many electric tools can be described that way.
Within cramped quarters, your best bet is to use a cordless tool. As long as you can hold the tool comfortably in your hand, you will be able to work.
Battery types, voltages, and which type is best
Lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, and nickel-metal hydride are the types of batteries used for pieces of cordless equipment and they feature varying strengths and weaknesses.
1. Lithium-Ion batteries
Lithium-Ion batteries are easy to find these days. They are highly useful due to their ability to provide plenty of power, while still not draining quickly when in use. They also don’t add a ton of weight to a tool, which only adds to their appeal. These are the main type of batteries found in most of the top brand cordless tools.
2. Nickel-cadmium batteries
Nickel-cadmium batteries aren’t the easiest to use or the best for the environment, but they are capable of remaining functional for a long time. You’ll be able to save quite a bit of money, in the long run, using nickel-cadmium batteries, but that may cost you in some other ways.
3. Nickel-metal hydride batteries
There’s a lot to like about nickel-metal hydride batteries, ranging from their capability to provide plenty of power to them being an environmentally-friendly option. According to Essential Home and Garden. The issue with them is their maintenance. You will have to do a lot to make sure these batteries remain functional, so they probably won’t be ideal for you if you’ll only be using your tools sparingly.
If I could only choose one battery type to use with my tools long-term, I’d probably go with the lithium-ion batteries just because of all the positive features they bring to the table.
Also, before getting any cordless power tool, make sure to check battery voltages as this dictates how much power these energy sources will be able to supply. For average use 12volts should be fine, for more frequent use such as a small business would use, go for at least 18volt equipment.
Lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, and nickel-metal hydride batteries can be used in a wide array of power tools. Examples of tools that make use of the aforementioned batteries include drills, grinders, multi-tools, nailers, saws, and screwdrivers. Lithium-ions have become more popular recently, so it’s easier to find them being used in newer power tools.
Cordless tools in the workshop
You can put all kinds of power tools in your workshop and be confident that you will use each and every one of them at some point. However, the cost of fully stocking your workshop as a beginner may prove steep, so go with the essentials.
The cordless drill is without a doubt the number one tool you should have, period! This is the main item and will come with the batteries and charger that will interchange with all the addons. Advances in technology for battery drills is huge and they now will easily compete with their corded counterparts.
A manual saw will always be useful inside a workshop, but when tackling projects that demand going through plenty of pieces of wood, they are no longer the ideal choice. Cordless saws provide more power and can serve as the more efficient tool in your workshop. Find one you’re comfortable wielding for an extended period of time and give it a home.
More elaborate cuts are harder to pull off with normal saws. During instances when you need to make contoured cuts through wood, a cordless jigsaw is going to be more useful. This tool will also help reduce the amount of waste material in the workshop.
Woodworkers value rotary tools for their versatility. If you have a good one in your possession, you can use it for cutting, engraving, and even sanding.
To be clear though, just because you have a rotary tool in your workshop, that doesn’t mean you can forget about purchasing a sander. Try to find room in your budget for both an orbital sander and a detail sander. The former works great for quick sanding, while the latter is ideal for finer work.
Cordless tools for gardening and horticulture
To make your gardening duties easier than ever, consider investing in a cordless lawnmower. Getting a cordless mower is an even better idea if you have a bigger idea. Not being tethered to a power supply means you’ll be able to get your yard work done faster.
Detailed trimming typically requires you to use garden shears, but working with those can take plenty of time. Let modern technology help you out and get cordless shrub shears that will enable you to trim the plants in your garden more efficiently.
On days when the yard gets especially messy because of the wind, cleaning up can be tiresome. Cordless leaf blowers ease your burden by shortening the amount of time you will need to clear your yard.
The future of battery-powered tools
Batteries are likely to be the main elements of household tools that will evolve the most in coming years. Expect batteries to feature greater capacities in the future, and their life spans also figure to rise as more innovations are made. The continuing pursuit of producing more environmentally-friendly items should also lead to the development of “greener” batteries sooner rather than later.