Cordless power tools are some of the most useful and convenient gear for the professional and handyman. No longer are you tethered to an extension cord with its tangles and twists? You just tote the tools to the workplace and get on with the task.
When they first came on the scene they left a lot to be desired, what with their short run time per battery charge and rather anemic motors. As with any new technology, the time has brought improvements on both fronts. It’s become commonplace to see tools offered in 18 volts, 19.2 volts, 24 volts and 28 volts designations. A few years ago 12 volt and 14.4 volts items were the real workhorses.
Battery technology has also kept pace with the more strenuous demands of the higher powered tools. The original nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd) is still widely used by the vast majority of cordless tool manufacturers. However, lithium ion (Li-Ion) and nickel metal hydride (Ni-Mh) batteries are now being introduced by some makers. These have definite advantages over Ni-Cds (longer run times and quicker recharging are just two).
Today cordless tools can perform tasks that would have been unthinkable when they were first introduced. There were jobs that demanded corded tools. These are now easily performed with a cordless equivalent. Who would have thought that there would be cordless hammer drills, reciprocating saws, jig saws or circular saws (Porter-Cable even have a cordless router)?
If you are considering purchasing a new power tool don’t dismiss the cordless offerings from the various makers. When brute force is needed there is still a place for the corded type. But cordless are definitely capable of doing a variety of jobs.
The name brand tools usually come with two batteries and a charger. Consider buying a third or even a fourth battery at the same time. Also, every maker offers a flashlight in the various voltages of their lineup. This can be an invaluable addition to your kit. And that’s where the third or fourth battery proves useful.