Let’s face it – power tools take a lot of effort away from humans and make it easier to do jobs with better efficiency.
How did power tools increase productivity?
In the late 1800s, a German company combined a manual drill with an electric motor to create the first handheld electric drill. This electric drill was popular, but it was also heavy, bulky, and required more than two people to operate.
In 1917, the first portable hand drill was introduced by Black & Decker. It was more compact and could be used by just one person. This company also created the first rechargeable battery-operated drill made with a nickel-cadmium battery.
During the 20th century, there was an explosion in manufacturing initiated by the introduction of power tools. They were more effective, efficient, and durable than their manual predecessors.
Power tools help us accomplish what we could not accomplish manually. They make life simpler and get things done more quickly. We have been relying on power tools for more than a century. As they continue to evolve, they gain capability and efficiency.
It wasn’t too long ago that only professionals used some power tools, but today, these tools are available to the hobbyist and home mechanic.
Chop saws, cordless drills, orbital sanders, and other electric tools are powered by air, battery, or electricity. Let’s look at how some of these tools have increased productivity and made every handyman’s life much easier.
Top 5 Power Tools that Increase Productivity
Whether sanding a floor, assembling a new piece of furniture, or creating something from scratch, using the right power tools will make things quicker and easier.
1. Cordless Drill/Driver
Cordless drills and drivers feature a pistol-grip-style handle and a trigger switch. When cordless drills were made available to the consumer in 1978, they featured a 4.8-volt rechargeable battery. As technology developed, a 9.6-volt nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery was introduced in the 1980s, followed by the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack created by Milwaukee Tools in 2005.
Lithium-ion batteries are the favorite choice for most cordless power tools. They offer greater capacity and are less sensitive to maintenance and storage issues. The voltage has steadily increased over the last 30 years for cordless drills and drivers. The 18-volt system has remained popular, despite the availability of the 20V Max sold by DeWalt. High-voltage levels in cordless drills have enabled high levels of torque output while improving the amp-hour (Ah) ratings that allow for longer run times.
Those who go the cordless route enjoy the benefits of committing to a particular system or brand for all of their cordless tools. This allows the use of batteries and chargers to be utilized for all of your cordless power tools.
2. Chop saw
For thousands of years, the hand saw was the only option for cutting wood and with that came several problems. Cuts were rarely straight, wood would often buckle in the middle of a cut, saw teeth might become misaligned or broken, and handles would crack and splinter.
An electric chop saw will enable you to make fast, precise, and uniform cuts. To use a motorized chop saw, just line up the wood and drop the blade. This will enable the user to create perfect squares and angled cuts. The standard chop saw is becoming a thing of the past, while an economical standard or compound chop saws have become more popular.
3. Angle Grinder
An angle grinder can easily clean up spots off welds and cut through metalwork. It can be a dangerous tool if misused, and operators should be aware of the noise and dust associated with grinding metal. A disc guard attachment can help prevent sparks and debris from hurting the operator. Angle grinders are available in battery-powered, air-powered, or electrical options.
This power tool can perform multiple tasks with various attachments, such as a wire wheel, flap wheel, brush cup, or disc. With these special attachments (ranging from 4-9 inches in diameter), an angle grinder can remove dirt and rust and prepare metal for welding or painting. Many of these attachments are worn out quickly because they can handle tough jobs like removing layers of rust.
4. Orbital Sander
Sanding may not be everyone’s favorite task, but it produces professional results. Using an electric orbital sander is the right tool for reducing the amount of time and effort it takes for a project.
Orbital sanders have a square pad and clips that hold a piece of sandpaper. When operating an orbital sander, it is crucial to keep the tool flat when in use. Otherwise, it creates waves on the surface of which you are sanding.
These sanders are easy to control and can be operated with one hand. They are a better choice than sanding by hand, which can leave blisters and take much longer to accomplish even the simplest project.
Orbital sanders are often very light and utilize a sanding motion that creates a swirl-free, smooth finish, no matter which direction it’s moved. These sanders use electricity but typically have extra-long cords that make for easy maneuverability.
5. Pin Nailer
There is a large variety of sizes and styles of nailers. While most nailers are geared towards woodworking, some are highly specialized, such as roofing, flooring, and metal nailers. Pin nailers have the unique quality of creating such tiny holes that you can barely see them. To operate, simply hols the nailer against the surface of the piece and pull the trigger. This power tool uses a tiny, headless 23-gauge nail.
Pin nailers are the perfect tool for attaching trim, edging, modeling, wood appliques, and temporarily holding wooden pieces as they are glued together. The most common pin lengths are from 3/8″ to 13/8″. Very few pin nailers go up to a full 2″ pin. There are battery-operated pin nailers, but most models are pneumatic (air-powered), which are much lighter than the battery-powered option.
With power tools comes potential danger if not used properly. When it comes to power tool safety, there are five basic rules to remember.
- Keep all tools in good working order.
- Only use the tool for what it was designed to do.
- Before each use, examine the tool for damage.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to operate the power tool.
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when operating any power tool.
Maintaining a safe environment is crucial in effectively using power tools.
If you think you need one of these products, it is the best time to buy power tools.
Electricity and battery-operated tools have increased productivity in the workplace and at home. Today, the global power tool industry has reached over $33 billion. We have the privilege of accessing power tools that our ancestors could only have dreamed of. Over time they have changed drastically and will continue to evolve into more powerful, lightweight, and efficient tools in the future.