Cordless tools are powered by tool batteries. They are utilized to add batteries to bare tools, switch to a different battery series, or swap out damaged or defunct batteries. Tools with the same brand, battery series, and voltage can use the same tool batteries. Voltage is a measurement of the battery’s output power. Tools with lower battery voltages are smaller, lighter, and less powerful than those with higher battery voltages. Learn more about the voltage that is available as well as how to choose your cordless tools.
Different amp-hour ratings are typically available for batteries with the same voltage and series. The capacity of a battery is measured in amp-hours (Ah), which determines how long a fully charged battery can operate before needing to be recharged. The battery’s capacity to store energy increases with its Ah rating. The weight and size of the battery and the tool it powers increase as voltage and Ah ratings do as well.
What is a Power Tool?
A power tool is activated by a mechanism and additional power source in addition to the manual labor alone used with hand tools. Electric motors are used in the most popular kinds of power tools. Steam engines, the direct burning of fuels and propellants, such as in powder-actuated tools, or even natural power sources like wind or moving water are examples of other power sources. Power tools are typically not those operated directly by animal power.
Drilling, cutting, shaping, sanding, grinding, routing, polishing, painting, heating, and other tasks are all done with power tools around the house and at the office. Additionally, they are utilized for household tasks like cooking and cleaning as well as in the garden.
Power tools can be either portable or stationary, whereas portable refers to hand-held. Portable power tools have clear mobility benefits. However, stationary power tools frequently offer advantages in terms of speed and accuracy. For instance, a typical table saw produces cuts that are smoother, straighter, and squarer than what is typically possible with a hand-held power saw. It also cuts faster than a typical hand saw. Some stationary power tools can create things that can’t be created any other way. For instance, lathes create truly rounded objects.
Typically, machine tools are stationary power tools used in the metalworking industry. It is uncommon to hear stationary power tools for woodworking referred to as “machine tools,” but it does happen occasionally. In some instances, such as with drill presses and bench grinders, the same tool is used for both metalworking and woodworking.
What Are the Different Battery Types?
Batteries used in various battery-operated power tools are frequently incompatible between brands and models. If the battery, charger, or power tool component fails and needs to be replaced, this could lead to vendor lock-in and poor sustainability.
Battery differences can be seen in the battery technologies used; whereas nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel-cadmium batteries (Ni-Cd) were once popular, lithium-ion batteries have since taken over as the de facto standard for new power tools. One of the most crucial elements for battery compatibility is the voltage. If all else is equal, a power tool with a higher voltage rating will typically be able to produce more power. Using a battery with the incorrect voltage rating runs the risk of harming the tool, people, or the environment. By 2021, all new power tools will use 18-volt battery packs as the industry standard.
Ampere-hour indicates how long a power tool can run before requiring a recharge. A battery with twice the amp hour rating should last roughly twice as long when comparing two batteries with the same battery technology and voltage rating. There might be some variations to this, though. Additionally, because they can deliver a higher current, batteries with a higher amp hour rating in actual use frequently enable the power tool to produce marginally higher peak power.
The interface of batteries for power tools is frequently not compatible across different manufacturers, and in some cases, not even within the same brand or product line, even when using the same battery technology, voltage rating, and amp hour rating. While there are examples of aftermarket adapters that allow users to mix and match batteries from well-known brands, the use of these is at the user’s own risk because they frequently do not fully implement the tools’ battery safety and monitoring systems.
Initiatives exist to make it possible to use the same battery in products made by various manufacturers. A manufacturer-overlapping system for rechargeable batteries known as the Cordless Alliance System, or CAS, was presented in June 2018 by nine companies. It is based on the 18 Volt battery system from Metabo. Bosch launched the Power for All Alliance in 2020. Specifically, the Gardena, Gloria, Wagner, and Rapid brands are part of the alliance.
The Bosch Home & Garden and Bosch Home Appliances lines are the only ones that will use the Power for All Alliance batteries. The battery and charger system for the Bosch professional Blue tools is incompatible with the Power for All batteries. Furthermore, it is unlikely that other manufacturers will adopt the Power for All tool-to-battery interface because it is not an open standard. However, the initiative could be viewed as a crucial first step toward establishing a standard for battery interfaces on contemporary power tools.
Understanding Which Battery Type Is Best for Cordless Tools
Since the introduction of the Li-ion battery, the market for cordless tools has expanded rapidly, largely because of the vast improvements over the previous battery types. Although some of the other battery types listed in this article are dated, they are still sold with some cordless tools, such as cordless lawn mowers and grass shears, and they still have their uses. Additionally, learn here about woodworking project safety tips.
What does Ampere-Hour or AH Means?
The total charges your battery can deliver in an hour are measured in Ah, or amperes. E.g. Under ideal circumstances, a cordless lawn mower that continuously consumes 2.0 amps (amps) will deplete a 2.0Ah battery’s entire charge in 1 hour. According to that reasoning, a 4.0Ah battery in the same electric mower ought to last two hours. All of this is presuming, of course, that the mower draws a constant 2.0A and that the battery is in perfect conditions, which never occurs in real life.