Essential Battery Power Tools for Tradesmen and DIYers
It’s a debate that’s sparked a lot of heated discussion and disagreement: which are better, cordless or corded tools? Different opinions have been thrown around on the topic, but one thing is certain – battery powered cordless tools are surely making their presence felt. They’re the tools that you’ll first see in any hardware store and the ones in the hands of most workers at any construction site. Cordless tools are steadily replacing big, corded tools in many areas, and there are countless reasons why.
Advantages of Using Cordless Tools
- Mobility – Without any cords in the way, cordless tools can be used anywhere. There doesn’t need to be a nearby outlet for them to work. Just switch on and they’re up and running. This is good at new worksites without a power connection and where extension cords just don’t cut it. Also, no cords means you’re not tied up in one particular place, but can move around freely. Workplace safety improves as a result. There won’t be any of the hazards that go with long cables, like the possibility of tripping, or accidentally cutting the cord while at work.
- Size – A battery power tool is generally smaller and lighter than a comparable corded tool. This helps in many ways. It puts less strain on your back and arms, and gives you more precision where it’s needed. Also, consider storage. If you’ve got a few tools around, they start piling up and leave less space for anything else in the boot or tray.
- Battery Power – Batteries have been significantly improved since the first versions of battery powered tools from a few decades ago. Today, almost all use beefy Lithium-Ion batteries, with a high power output that should last a whole day’s work. These drive brushless motors, and give just about the right balance between efficiency, speed and overall power. In addition, batteries can be swapped from one tool to another, meaning functionality plus versatility.
Types of Battery Powered Tools
Almost all corded and air tools have comparable cordless variants. Battery powered tools are used by carpenters, construction workers, plumbers, electricians, welders, landscapers, and any serious DIY-er. They’re also the tool you’ll want in small repairs around the house or any type of renovations.
Drills are some of the most flexible tools and are used in countless jobs. There are heaps of different drill bits, not to mention all the available attachments. You can drill into plastics, gyprock, brick or concrete to attach any kind of fixtures, mix paint, polish your car, clean engine parts, and plant a few trees all with the same battery power tool. Then there are impact drills for heavy-duty demolitions and hammer drills for getting into thicker materials. And let’s not forget the small reversible drill you’ll use to tighten or loosen a few screws in kitchen cabinets or bedroom wardrobes.
Saws come in a close second. They’re used for cutting into all kinds of stuff. A circular saw can make easy work of wood planks or metal sheets, a jigsaw will give you detailed precision cuts in a range of materials, and reciprocating cordless saws cut into plasterboard, wood or do a fine job at pruning. Mitre saws give the best angled cuts. Using different blades with the same type of saw can speed things up, or provide for cleaner cuts.
Sanders are the bread and butter of carpenters. They give the finest wood finishes in bulk timber, wood floors or pieces of furniture. Belt sanders grind chips in hardwood flooring, orbital sanders are great at multi-tasking, while palm sanders tend to have delicate and detailed woodwork. Sanders like drills can use various attachments. You can grind out imperfections in metal or plastic objects and swap out the battery in the drill and use a sander and brush attachment for a finer polish to the car bodywork or any furniture that’s just been painted.
Grinders are used by metalworkers, mechanics, panel beaters, welders, and construction workers. Angle grinders are used to deburr wood, metals, plastics or ceramics. With larger circular attachments they can even slice through thick concrete, marble and granite. Smaller die grinders can remove rust in metal, sharpen blades, or shape different types of metal objects.
Nail Guns are used in wood flooring to drive nails in individual wood planks, to join wooden beams in frames and for delicate wooden fixtures in windows, doors, furniture or a DIY project to make the kids happy. They can also attach upholstery in chairs or car seats, and are readily used in carpeting.
Garden and Landscaping Tools
You’ll also have some type of battery power tool that you use in the garden. Blowers are good in the autumn and for keeping the lawn clean, hedge trimmers for perfect natural fencing, and whipper snippers to get any nasty weeds out. Chainsaws can replace reciprocating saws for bigger branches and when time is short. Strong lithium-ion batteries mean even larger gardening equipment is now cordless. Battery-powered lawn mowers can fit up to four 18V batteries and can handle lawns of a few acres at a time.
Buying Battery Power Tools
If you’re a tradie or serious DIY-er, a power battery tool is a worthy addition to your toolbox. In fact, it might be the only power tool you’ll need. Tools are sold either as bare units excluding the battery, or you can purchase packaged kits that also include a charger. You’ll also find combo kits, consisting of two or more tools regularly used in your line of work, along with more batteries and a handy case to carry all your gear. Accessories like drill bits, discs and blades are tailored for specific materials and tasks, though complete combos are also sold.