If you’re looking to upgrade your cordless tools or if you’re just starting out, there’s a few things to think about before you buy.
Here’s a guide to help you make the right decision for your next cordless tool purchase.
Look at the range.
As most brands have a huge number of tools that their batteries will fit, take a look at the range before you buy your first tool. When it comes time to add on to your cordless tool kit, you can just buy ‘skins’ of the same brand. These are the body of a tool without the battery or charger. This means you can expand your tool kit without having to pay for batteries you don’t need.
Check the batteries.
Apart from the tool itself, the battery is the most important part of a cordless tool. If you want a longer run time from your battery, go for one with a higher amp-hour rating. It is commonly seen as “ah” on the battery with a number before it. The higher the number, the longer the battery will last before it needs to be charged. The trade-off is that batteries with high amp-hours are larger - and therefore heavier- than those with low ones. It’s also handy to have a fuel gauge on the tool. At the press of a button you can see how much charge is left in the battery before you start work.
What’s brushless mean?
Brushless tools have a motor that doesn’t need an old feature of conventional motors - the brushes. The current drawn from the battery varies according to how hard the tool has to work. The motor in a brushed tool goes full speed no matter what it’s doing. This means a fully charged battery in a brushless tool will last longer, so you can get more done between charges. The motor in a brushless tool also has less moving parts meaning reduced wear and tear, so the tool lasts longer.
Which voltage to choose.
Most power tools use 18 volt batteries to power them, however there are drills and screwdrivers with lower voltages. The advantage of these is that they’re not so heavy. They’re a good choice if you prefer a lighter tool and aren’t looking to expand your range of cordless tools in the future. Larger cordless tools like lawn mowers, chainsaws and large saws use higher voltages. These heavy duty tools benefit from the greater power that higher voltages provide.