Deciding on going cordless is easy. However, choosing a cordless battery platform may prove to be much more difficult. There are several things that you need to consider and there are several options for you to choose. Here is a guide that will help you choose the right battery platform for your power tools.
What type battery is becoming obsolete?
The first thing to do is to narrow down the categories of battery voltage. Since there are several of them, you should consider eliminating those that does not quite fit your needs. For instance, the 14.4V is becoming obsolete. Thus, this goes down first. On the other hand, the 36-Volt, as well as the 24-Volt are used on professional grade power tools. Moreover, there are limited opportunities to expand beyond those types of tools. Considering these concepts, this leaves the choice between the 18V battery platform and the 12V battery platform. These battery platforms are the most commonly used in cordless power tools today.
Battery selection can be narrowed down further by eliminating nickel metal hydride or NiMH batteries and nickel cadmium NiCd batteries. Lithium-ion or Li-ion batteries are the most preferred type as they are lighter in weight and they offer more runtime. Nickel type batteries in power tools are becoming obsolete. Thus, it may be best to consider the battery type that will not limit your options.
Determine the Voltage Based on the Power Tool Usage
In choosing the battery platform, it is important to consider its usage. For those who make a living using their power tools, it is essential to choose those that do not break while on the job. Professionals can benefit more if they opt for better battery technology as well as better tool construction. However, if you use power tools for home projects and other DIY projects, you can choose something much more affordable that fits the tool’s purpose. For instance, a 12olt-V tool is best to use for handy types. This tool can already install garage hooks or a screen door. While this tool may not drive many deck screws, this is small and light in weight for many users to handle. Moreover, a 12V battery is the most expendable when it comes to usage. This type of battery can be utilized in radios, drills, vacuums, lights, impact drivers and circular saws.
For bigger projects like building sheds and cutting several plywood sheets, however, the best battery to use is an 18-Volt battery platform. While such projects can happen a few weekends per year, you can definitely save money by opting for corded tools for such projects. If you have planned more of these types of projects, an 18-Volt battery is an ideal investment. If you do not have any problems with the cost, the 18-Volt battery offers you the most flexibility. This battery can handle smaller jobs as well as larger ones including cordless impact drivers, impact wrenches, grinders, hammer drills, and saws.
Choose a Tool Platform from One Manufacturer
It is ideal to invest in a tool and battery platform from one manufacturer. Thus, it is important to choose the manufacturer that you can expand on. You should not blow everything on one tool that is too expensive that you will not be able to keep up in the long run. It is important to remember that cordless tool batteries are often incompatible with tools from other manufacturers. For instance, if you already have several NiCd tools, it is ideal to stick that manufacturer. However, a lot of premium tool companies are selling their tools without the battery. This way, you can expand on the tools without having to pay for expensive battery platforms every time you make a purchase.
Shop for Tools and Try It On
Tools with the highest ratings are not always the best fit. When shopping for power tools, it is best to get your hands on the tools to find the perfect fit. You should try twisting them with your wrist and be squeezing the grip. You should also try to handle it as if you are using it. You should take note of the balance, weight of the tool with the battery attached, and trigger pull of the tool. Moreover, you should check the tool’s features like LED placement, belt clips, and battery style. You have to make sure that you are comfortable in handling the tool. If the tool is too awkward to use, then you have to choose another one.
There is also a debate on brushed versus a brushless tool for both professional users and those working on DIY projects. You can opt to pay the premium for the technology. However, the return on investment is not that noticeable when you are working on smaller projects. You can also opt for bundled power tools as they are a great way to start your own collection. Buying a combination of two or perhaps more tools is less expensive compared to purchasing power tools one at a time.