Advice on How to Choose the Best Cordless Tools in Todays Crowded Marketplace
The indispensable cordless tools, how did we ever get along without them? If your cordless tools are more than a few years old maybe it is time to take a look at the new breed of tools available.
The most noticeable advancements have been in the battery life, charging time, ergonomics, and torque. If your cordless tools are more than a few years old, maybe you should consider taking a look at what’s new in the market. Over the years it’s been my experience that when it comes to cordless tools, you actually get what you pay for! This does not mean you need to purchase the most expensive tool on the shelf.
So maybe you have decided to take a look for yourself? There are many factors to consider when it comes to cordless tools. Will it be used all day long or only once in a blue moon? If you are a homeowner and only use cordless tools around the house for minor projects and repairs, there is no need to buy the top of the line tools. However as I stated before you actually get what you pay for, with this in mind I would strongly recommend staying away from the cheaper tools.
Let’s just pretend you are driving past the local Mega-lumber/roofing/tool store when you suddenly remember you have been wanting to stop in and check out a new cordless drill. You arrive in the tool aisle and you see a 25 ft. long shelf, three levels deep, with nothing but cordless drills. Aqua blue, black, bright orange, light green, putrid green, red, yellow, amongst others which I can not identify. Where does a person start?
Here are a few ideas to help get you started. Ask your dad, brother, brother-in-law, co-worker, father-in-law, or local handyman. Still do not have an answer, then please read on.
Battery strength is one of the most important factors when choosing any cordless tool. Be wary when evaluating battery strength, higher voltage batteries are not always the best. The type of battery plays a big factor in how the drill will perform over a period of time Nick-Cad (Good), Lithium-Ion (Best). Amp/hr is where the cheaper tools fall on their face 1.4 (bad) 2.4 (good).
Chuck size is another factor in determining the purchase of a cordless drill. For the average homeowner a 3/8″ should be fine, however for heavier work a 1/2″ drill should be considered.
Torque means how hard can the drill twist, the higher the better.
Weight of the drill can actually give you a good idea of how well its built, after all, steel gears are heavier than plastic ones.
Color can also tell you quite a bit about a drill, specifically, where it is manufactured. Aqua blue (Switzerland), red (Czech), yellow (Mexico), and sometimes the name will even give it away, Nissan etc.
Aqua blue is my color of choice. I realize there is no comparison between a watch and a cordless drill, but by the same token, there is no comparison between a Swiss watch and a Chinese watch either.
I purchased a cordless tool combo-kit of the 18-volt aqua blue variety in the late summer of 2006. The bag contained a quick 30 minute charger, two 2.4 amp/hr batteries, sawzall, circular saw, flashlight, drill, and a jigsaw. I took it home and fully charged the batteries as the manufacturer recommended. Within a couple of days I had to drive approximately 1,500 3″ screws in treated lumber. My new aqua blue drill performed this task with room to spare, something that would have sucked the blood out of my yellow drill. As of this writing I have no complaints about my aqua blue tools, and would recommend them to everyone.
As far as I know there are no longer any cordless tools manufactured in America and until such a time my hat is off to the Swiss and aqua blue! More information is available on my website. http://www.constructiontoolstore.com
Rickie Bell of this article has 28 years experience working in the highly competitive housing market of the west and southwest suburbs of Chicago as a carpenter. His job titles have included Master Roof Cutter, Apprentice, and everything in between. Most of his experience is in the high end custom home marketplace, including all aspects of fine homebuilding. For more information go to my website.