Voltage in Power Tools Explained - 9.6V, 10.8V, 12V, 16V, 36V
Posted Mon 29th August 2011
How do you go about selecting a power tool with the right voltage for you? There are so many options to choose from. You can get: 9.6V, 10.8V, 12V, all the way up to 36V. There are many different things that you need to consider when deciding on the voltage that you need for your power tool.
The easiest way to make a decision about which voltage is right for you is to ask yourself these questions:
How much power are you going to need?
It’s pretty obvious that a higher voltage tool will give you more power. How much will you need? If you are using a tool for an easy job that does not require a lot of power you can stick to lower voltages. If you are drilling into drywall you do not need a tool that has a high voltage. If you are going to be drilling into concrete you may want to consider a tool with a higher voltage as you are going to need a lot more power to do it. When considering a proper voltage for a power tool you need to know what the tool is going to be used for.
What’s the voltage on your other tools?
If you already have a huge collection of tools that are all 12V then you might as well buy your new tool to match the rest of them. If you do this all your batteries will be interchangeable and you can switch them out when necessary. It can be useful to have extra batteries lying around when your batteries run out while you are in the middle of a job.
If you borrow and loan your tools out a lot it may be useful to consider what voltages your friends use. I wouldn’t necessary base my purchase on this but it is something that I would at least consider.
Are you going to be using the tool on a regular basis?
If you use your tool very rarely the weight of it might not matter much to you. If you are going to be using it on a regular basis the weight becomes much more important. The larger voltage tools require bigger batteries. These bigger batteries are heavier and more bulky. You should also check out what the Amp Hour rating is for the battery. The higher the Amp Hour rating the heavier that the battery is going to be.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a tool is the type of battery that it uses. You have choices like Nickel Metal Hydride, Nickel Cadmium, and Lithium Ion. Nickel Cadmium batteries are the heaviest, Nickel Metal Hydride batteries are a little lighter, and Lithium Ion batteries are the lightest.
Are you going to be using your tools for extended amounts of time?
If you are going to be using your tool for long periods of time you may want to consider getting one with a Lithium Ion battery. These tend to keep their charge a little longer than other battery types. A higher voltage tool will last a little longer than a lower voltage one. So if your going to need a tool that doesn’t run out of juice very fast you may be better off getting a tool with a higher voltage.
You should also look at Amp Hours here too. The higher they are the longer the tool will stay charged. If you need a tool that keeps it charge for a very long time try to find a high voltage one with a high Amp Hour rating as well.
What’s the primary use of this tool?
Are you going to be drilling holes into your ceiling? Are you going to be holding your tool over you head all day? If you are then having a heavy tool can get really strenuous. I would pick a tool with a lower voltage in a heartbeat if I knew that I had to keep the tool elevated all day.
The materials you are going to be working with are important as well. Say you’re working with a drill and you need to drill through drywall. You can get away with a much lower voltage than someone who needs to work with oak or even concrete. You are much better off getting a higher voltage tool if you are going to be doing really heavy duty jobs.
Will you be buying more tools in the future?
If you are going to be buying tools later you may want to familiarize yourself with what their voltages are. Some specialty tools like a cordless impact only come in voltages of 12 or 14.4. If you are going to be buying a specialty tool later you might as well buy something that will be compatible with it.
With so many tools to choose from it can get a little confusing about what voltage to buy. With a little planning you should be able to swap out your batteries in all your tools. It can be frustrating purchasing them all, but you will be glad you did it when all is said and done.
What price are you willing to pay?
Lower voltage tools tend to be more affordable than their higher voltage counterparts. If you are looking to save some money without giving up too much in quality you should consider purchasing a 12V or 14.4V tool. If you need a tool just for odd jobs and you are hardly ever going to use it a 9.6V tool may be the best option for you.
Keep in mind that buying a more affordable, lower voltage tool can come back to haunt you when you need more power. It can be a tough call and there really isn’t a definitive answer as to what voltage you need. Everyone is different, and they all use their tools in different ways.
When selecting a tool make sure you find one that suits your power needs while considering things like its weight, battery life, and its torque. Then find the perfect balance of all these
Safety in Using Power Tools
Posted Wed 10th August 2011
Power tools are necessary in the completion of a lot of tasks and repairs in any dwellings. Although a lot of these tools include safety accessories and some have built-in safety devices, specific steps should still be taken to ensure safety while handling and operating these power tools.
Accidents are never planned, they just happen! Even expert power tool users are not exempted from any form of dangers that these tools can cause. It pays to secure the work area before beginning work on a project or a repair.
Ensure safety by providing basic protection for yourself; wear goggles, gloves, etc. Make certain that there are no slippery surfaces around your work area. Make sure that ladders, if any, are firmly secures in place. Most importantly, be sure to keep the children and all pets away from the work area.
Let me give you some safety tips and the consequences that may be caused if you ignoring these simple tips:
DO NOT LEAVE THE TOOL ON TOP OF A LADDER! There was this person who was working with a belt sander on the roof sanding the eaves. He set the sander on the ladder because it was easier to just hold it that to lift it. He climbed down the ladder and left the sander on top of the ladder for a few minutes. He returned to move the ladder and forgot about the sander. Needless to say, as soon as he lifted the ladder...WHAM!!! Knocked out!
DO NOT HOLD THE SCREW WHILE GETTING THE DRIVER TO START! I have read of one who did this when the driver slipped and dug unto the head of his thumbnail! That is rather unsightly, isn't it?
ALWAYS USE A SAW BUCK WHEN SAWING FIREWOOD. Avoid the saw blade from popping out of the cut and landing on your hand. AWWW! This will surely leave a scar that will forever remind you of this carelessness.
WEAR GOGGLES WHENEVER NECESSARY! A construction worker forgot to wear his goggles while working with a drill. An 18-inch drill bit poked through his eye and went out the side of his skull! Gory, I know. This man was even lucky to have survived this kind of accident.
BE SURE THAT YOUR GOGGLE ARE IN GOOD CONDITION (DOES NOT FOG AND IS NOT SCRATCHED)! A worker using defective goggles was working with a drill bit on top of a tall building when his goggle got foggy. He put hid goggles on his forehead for a moment to check the bit that he was using and forgot to put the goggles down when he started working... YEOOWWW! A huge chink got into his eye and he had to rush himself to the hospital.
This article is not written with the purpose of scaring you. This is meant to help you remember that power tools are dangerous. This is a reminder to use these tools responsibly. Use them only under the best possible conditions, never compromise cause you can never be sure of accidents.
Playing With Power Tools and Other DIY Facts You Need to Know
Posted Wed 10th August 2011
In today’s economy when budgets are tight, some of the best ways to stretch your money is by doing things yourself. There is an ever-growing market out there for Do-It-Yourself or DIY projects. Primarily because, with a little research, many of these projects are a lot easier than they may first appear. That is not to say it will be easy, and you may have to put a bit of sweat equity in, but in many instances, a lot of DIY projects can be done at a fraction of the cost of most contractor’s estimates. In addition, because most of these projects will be for your house, you will take the extra steps to ensure the job is done perfectly whereas a contractor may not.
One of the best parts about DIY projects is that if you do not already have them, you get to either buy or rent power tools, and playing with power tools is AWESOME! A quick perusal of the “How-to” sites online or most home improvement store sites will show you the materials you need including power tools. Furthermore, there are a number of companies out there which will rent just about any power tool imaginable, big or small, for a reasonable fee. A good rule to adhere to when determining whether or not you should rent the tool or buy it, is knowing how often you anticipate using it. For example, a circular saw is something you may get a lot of use out of, so buying one for yourself makes more sense than renting one, but you may only need a jackhammer for your current project, and then never again, so with that one renting is probably the better option. Either way is fine, but the more you plan to use the power tool, the more it makes sense to buy it.
In addition, most DIY tools which you would probably want to purchase are relatively inexpensive, and in many cases come in a combo-pack with 3-4 other DIY tools. These are simple DIY tools such as a circular saw, jigsaw, sawz-all, power drill, potentially a power screw driver and flashlight. The other benefit to these combo-packs are all of the tools in the pack run off of the same battery which makes switching from DIY tool to DIY tool extremely easy, and eliminates the hassle of having to deal with extension cords and all that comes along with them. Most also come in a larger case, so keeping them organized and all in one place is a snap as well. In addition, a couple other DIY tools you may want which do not typically come in these combo-packs are a solid 25’ tape measure, a decent hammer, a laser level, and perhaps a 4’ level. There are always a number of uses for these tools in just about any DIY project you may undertake.
Having these tools at hand, and knowing where to find the information around how to do a lot of these DIY projects will save you a lot of money over a short period of time. In addition, the pride of knowing the well done job you will see before you upon completion of the project was done by you and not someone else will be more than worth the effort.
A Guide To Power Tools
Posted Mon 11th July 2011
Power tools have been making life easier for the professional as well as the do-it-yourselfer since the time of the invention of the lathe. What we now understand as real power tools came into their own with the harnessing of electricity in the latter part of the 19th century. Because these tools are so powerful, precautions must be taken around them to prevent injury.
Tools should only be used for the jobs they were designed to do. The instruction manual that comes with the tool should always be read and understood before the tool is used. The condition of the tool should be checked before it’s used and it shouldn’t be used if the cutting edge is dull or if the cord is damaged or frayed. Power tools shouldn’t be used if the user is tired or in a hurry, has indulged in alcohol or taken medication that makes operating power tools dangerous.
Goggles should be worn when using power tools, and the user shouldn’t wear loose clothing or dangling jewelry when operating them.
The safety mechanisms on the tool shouldn’t be tampered with or removed. Children shouldn’t operate power tools without adult supervision.
Power drills are used to quickly and efficiently drill holes in materials from wood to masonry. A good drill is a reversible, variable speed drill, and should pull about 3.5 amps. These are drills that have to be plugged into an electrical outlet, but their advantage over cordless drills is that they’re more powerful, and don’t have to be charged or have a change of batteries. They’re excellent for long term projects as long as there’s a source of electricity nearby.
Cordless drills are convenient and can be used anywhere. Their drawback, of course, is that their batteries have to be charged or changed. Buying a high end cordless drill will be worth the expense if the battery is longer lasting. A good cordless drill should use at least 9.6 volts, and it’s a good idea to buy one with an extra battery pack.
Powerful hammer drills are even more efficient at drilling holes in masonry.
How to Buy the Best Drill
A drill should be comfortable to hold and not too heavy, and should have a solid handle with a grip that keeps it from slipping. The buyer should check to see how long the battery in a cordless drill will last. They should also check the power rating, and any guarantee that comes with the tool.
Power screwdrivers do what hand screwdrivers do but with that extra punch of power that makes the job go that much faster.
Circular saws are meant to do crosscuts, angle cuts, lengthwise cuts and bevels. It should be able to take a 7 1/4 inch blade and allow the user to cut to the depth of about 2 1/2 inches. A good saw is rated at 12 or 13 amps and runs on ball bearings. Circular saws also come in cordless and corded varieties and are versatile enough to cut quickly and efficiently through all kinds of materials, including wood and masonry. As with a drill, a cordless circular saw is not as powerful and can be used for lighter work.
Miter saws and Jigsaws
Miter saws are used to make highly precise cuts in wood, metal and plastic, while jigsaws can be used to make curves and other kinds of designs in wood. It’s also used to make cuts in countertops.
A sabersaw lets the user cut quickly through almost any material. A sabersaw should have a firm and steady baseplate and should pull 3 amps or more.
Other saws include radial arm saws, tablesaws and reciprocating saws. Bench grinders sharpen tools and shape wood and metal workpieces.
Router and Biscuit Joiner
A router is used to hollow out or sculpt a piece of wood or plastic and is largely used in cabinet making. It should have a base that doesn’t warp with age and should have lots of power. A biscuit joiner easily creates strong joints.
There are several kinds of power lawnmowers, which utilize gasoline and spark plugs, much like motor vehicles, or even have electric cords. Rotary lawnmowers can do all purpose work on a lawn. Cylinder lawnmowers are more appropriate for fine work and can produce an elegant striped look like a fresh grass tennis court or baseball outfield. Hover lawnmowers do exactly that -- they hover above the grass. They’re good for areas of short grass.
For people who are very serious about their lawns, grass trimmers, long, wand like tools, are good for areas a mower can’t reach, like the edges of lawns around walkways or hedges. They can be cordless, electric, or powered by gasoline. Again, the cordless versions are not as powerful and are best for those smaller, hard to reach places in the lawn.
Hedge trimmers can also be cordless, electric or gasoline powered. Kept sharp and in good working order, they make precise cuts along the hedge without crushing the stems. After a treatment by a hedge trimmer the hedge is going to look rather sad for a while, but if the power trimmer’s been properly used it will grow back in as healthy and beautiful as ever.
Chainsaws have gotten a bad reputation thanks to certain horror movies! Still, they’re crucial in quickly and easily sawing through large pieces of wood, or pruning large tree branches. Chainsaws come in electric and gasoline powered versions, with the gasoline powered chainsaws best for heavy duty work. However, they tend to guzzle gas, so a supply of gasoline should be at the ready.
Sanders are for people who are serious about their woodworking. A detail sander, as its name implies, is good for sanding corners and other hard to get to places, while a belt sander is good for a large area of wood, like a door. A belt sander can also strip paint off an item. A random orbit sander produces a beautiful finish because it has rotating disks that don’t scratch. It’s best for fine furniture. Multi-sanders have the attributes of both detail and orbit sanders.
Cordless Drills and Voltage
Posted Fri 24th June 2011
Anyone who has ever used a cordless drill knows that they are handy tools to have around. For not a lot of money, you can save yourself some work. If you need to drill one hole or screw in a couple of screws, then nothing beats a cordless drill. But if you have ever had a large project that requires a lot of drilling or screwing, then you’ve probably experienced the frustration of having your cordless drill lose power, typically when you need it the most.
The reason behind this frustration of course is the battery powering, or in this case not powering, the drill. Cordless drills come with a variety of battery sizes ranging from a little over nine volts on the low end all the way up to 36 volts on the high end. The higher the voltage, the more power and usage time you have. At the same time, the higher a battery’s voltage, the heavier it is. This is important to remember if you have a lot of over-the-head work to do. Higher voltage drills also carry a higher price tag. Additionally, batteries have a rated usage life in terms of ampere hours. This means that one 18 volt battery may last for an hour and a half on a single charge, while another may last three. You should keep ampere hours in mind when selecting your drill regardless of the voltage you choose.
Another thing that makes a difference in the performance of your drill is the type of battery it uses. Traditionally, cordless drills have been powered by nickel/cadmium or NiCd batteries. These batteries are quite stable and operate well even when it’s very hot or very cold. Lithium-ion or Li-Ion batteries are also available for cordless drills. These batteries are lighter and have built-in electronics that help ensure the batteries are operating safely. If you try to overwork one of these batteries, it shuts down. Li-Ion batteries tend to be a little more expensive than NiCd batteries, but they charge up quickly and have limited discharge when left to sit. Li-Ion batteries also have a shorter charge time, meaning less downtime while you are waiting for power. Many drill sets also come with two batteries so that you can charge one while using the other.
Because they are so handy and economical, most people can afford to keep a cordless drill around their house. Choosing the right drill for you involves a little bit of thought on your part. If you are only going to use your drill occasionally, then a smaller battery will probably work for you. If you are a hobbyist who intends to use your cordless drill a lot, then investing a little bit more in a higher voltage battery or even going for a corded drill is the path for you
Power Drills Basics
Posted Fri 10th June 2011
A power drill is an essential tool for anyone who plans to take on home improvement tasks. While the value of such a tool is undisputed, the variety of drills currently on the market can make choosing a drill a complicated process. The basic factors to consider when purchasing a power drill are summarized below.
Corded or Cordless?
One of the first factors to consider when choosing a power drills is whether it should be corded or cordless. Corded drills have the advantage of being lighter weight, as they do not require a heavy battery. Cordless drills offer the ability to complete tasks in the absence of a electrical outlet and without the hassle of a clumsy cord. Although cordless drills used to be more expensive, there are now a number of affordable models on the market.
How Much Power?
Power is measured in voltage. Drills are available in many different voltages, with a range from 6 to 18V drills. While it may seem like a higher voltage is the way to go, the extra voltage comes with more weight. For example, a 9.6V cordless drill weighs about three pounds, while an 18V drill weighs ten pounds. As such, it is important to consider what projects the drill will be used for. If the drill will only be used for hanging pictures or other simple tasks, the 9.6V model is the better choice. If a drill that can bore the large timber or flooring is needed, the 18V model is the way to go.
Pistol Grip or T-Handle?
Before the advent of cordless drills, most electric drills came equipped with a pistol grip. In a pistol grip, the handle is like a gun, located behind the motor. Most of today's models use a T-handle. With a T-handle, the base extends outward in a flared shape, preventing slipping and providing a place for the battery. T-handles can be more comfortable and offer more balance, especially for higher voltage drills that require heavier batteries. With hands out of the way, T-handle drills can also fit into tighter spaces. However, there is still a place for pistol grips. Pistol grips allow for more direct pressure during heavy-duty drilling, allowing the operator to put more force behind their work.
What About the Clutch?
Most cordless drills come with an adjustable clutch. The clutch is located behind the chuck and serves to disengage the drive shaft when the drill meets too much resistance. When this happens, the drill's motor continues to run, but the drill bit ceases to turn. This is important to protect the drill's motor from burning out. Additionally, it can keep the operator from over-drilling or stripping screws. While most drills have clutch settings, the number of settings available varies. An operator who will desire to fine-tune this setting may choose a version with as many as twenty-four clutch settings, while this may be unnecessary for the average home user.
How Much Speed is Necessary?
The most basic drills have only one speed. However, most drills have at least two fixed speeds, 300 and 800 rpm. A drill with two speeds is fine for light use. In this case, the lower speed would be used for screw-driving, while the higher speed would be for hole drilling. Operators working on more refined or heavier projects should choose a drill with variable speed. Those working on very heavy projects that involve a lot of hole drilling should choose a drill with a top range of at least 1000 rpm.
What Kind of Battery and Charger?
Most cordless drills come with with either Nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) or nickel-cadmium (Nicad) batteries. NiMH represent the latest in battery development. These batteries are lighter than Nicad batteries, and may be more environmentally friendly.
Chargers vary in the duration of time they take. While it might be tempting to choose a drill that offers a fifteen minute charge, most home-users will not require this. This quick charges are typically reserved for contractors, while home-users can get by with hours-long charge times. This is especially true if two batteries are purchased, allowing the operator to swap them out.
Purchasing a Power Drill
While the descriptions above provide a lot of information to aid in decision-making, there are two factors that have not been covered: how the drill feels, and how much it costs. To handle a drill before purchase, most home improvement stores have model drills on display. As far as the cost, although it matters, this should be a minor factor. It makes no sense to buy an £300 drill to hang pictures, nor does it make sense to purchase a £50 drill that will burn out in a week. With a little comparing and thinking, the right drill for the job can be purchased at the right cost.
Types of Power Drills
Posted Mon 16th May 2011
Power drills are used in many areas. Carpenters, machinists, and mechanics all use power drills in some form or another. Power drills are useful for many things. Many today can be adapted for use as a power screwdriver, making them handy for everyone at one point or another.
Power drills are not only used in many areas of daily life, they are also available as battery operated or electrical plug in types. A carpenter may use a battery powered power drill every day in their job. Some may choose a plug in style to avoid having to change the batteries throughout the day. Rechargeable battery powered drills are very handy for use around the house too.
Because the power drill is so adaptable today, just about every tool box has one. Work around the home is much more simple with a power drill. A task that used to require a hammer and nails and smashed fingertips can now be easily accomplished with a power drill. Because of the variety of sizes it is available in, even ladies can use them around the house for small tasks.
High powered drills are available for very large jobs such as building a home or assembling a machine. Many mechanics have power drills for use on vehicles simply because the power drill is faster and more powerful than using a hand drill or a manual screwdriver. Mechanics also use air powered drills for quicker and easier completion of their jobs.
Whether choosing air, electric or battery powered drills, it's important to follow the proper safety precautions. One should always wear safety goggles when operating this type of tool. In some occupations it is also required that one wear hand protection as well as a helmet for protecting the head from falling objects. Power drills should be treated as a tool and not as a toy. They can be very dangerous is not used properly.
In addition to having the choice of air, electric or battery powered, these drills also are made by several different manufacturers in many different sizes and styles. For everyday household use, one will likely require only a small size whereas those who use the power drills for work will likely want to go with larger, more powerful versions.
Battery operated power drills usually can be purchased in their own carrying case which will include a spot for the battery, the charger and the drill unit itself. This helps to keep all of it together in one place. Carpenters especially like these units because they are powerful enough for the jobs that they are trying to complete as well as compact enough to carry with them up a ladder or into smaller spaces.
Air powered drills tend to be a bit bulky and also must be plugged into an air compressor in order to work. For this reason they are generally used in a shop where the air compressor is located. However, a portable air tank can be used for very small jobs away from an electrical source as well.
Types of Power Sanders
Posted Mon 16th May 2011
Sanding is probably the most repetitive and least pleasant task which confronts amateur woodworkers and professional carpenters alike. However, proper sanding is crucial especially for wood that will be finished or for surfaces that need to be free of splinters and other imperfections that cause discomfort or even injury.
While sandpaper or a sanding block might be sufficient for small tasks or for woodworkers who are only active occasionally and do not wish to invest in power tools, a power sander is practically a must for the serious amateur, and it is a mainstay of any professional carpenter's collection of frequently used power tools.
However, belt sanders, finishing sanders, random orbit sanders and disc sanders each are intended for specific tasks, and rarely can one type of power sander be substituted for another.
A belt sander is usually the most powerful type of power sander as it operates by moving a belt of abrasive against a wood surface at relatively high speeds. It is used for coarse initial sanding of wood that is often sanded again with a finishing sander before stain or another wood finish is applied. While most belt sanders used for woodwork are hand-held, stationary belt sanders are available for sanding metal and other materials.
A finishing sander is usually used after the wood has been sanded at least once with a more powerful sander. It usually operates as an orbital sander, in which the sandpaper vibrates in small circles. The pressure it produces on the wood, as well as the speed of its sanding action, is far gentler than that of a belt sander, especially when a typical fine grain finishing abrasive is used.
The random orbit sander differs from a finishing sander in that it uses disk shaped abrasives rather than the rectangles or squares used by typical finishing sanders, and this is so that its powerful motor can spin the sanding disk and move it in an ellipse pattern. Since no part of the abrasive sands the same part of the wood twice, the random orbit sander does not damage the grain of the wood and can be used in any direction as far as the grain is concerned. Therefore, those who own only one sander choose the random orbit sander for its combination of speed and precision.
A disc sander is either a bench mounted sander which is used for sanding small pieces of wood, such as those used in furniture making, or it is a disc attachment that is mounted on a drill or similar device that produces similar motion. The latter type of disc sander is usually used only for the roughest work, such as removing old finish from wood or removing rust from metal.
While a professional might well use a belt sander, finishing sander and random orbit sander at different times during the process of wood construction and finishing, most amateurs are well served with a high quality random orbit sander that can handle most sanding tasks.
How to Buy Power Tools
Posted Mon 16th May 2011
For those who are new to or inexperienced with the world of power tools, shopping for new power tools can be a real exercise. There is a specific jargon that must be known, and a familiarity with what is available is very helpful. To shop with confidence and know you are not being taken for a ride by unscrupulous salespeople. Arming yourself with options, features, and brands is a bare minimum for successfully buying new power tools comfortably.
Corded vs Cordless
Power tools come in two main varieties. The older types of power tools are corded and must be plugged in to get electricity. However, just because a power tool has a cord doesn’t mean it is old. Some tool users prefer corded tools because they can get an unlimited supply of high-amp electricity to deliver the power needed for greater performance. The more amps of electricity that can get to the tool, the more power it will have. This is especially important for some types of saws and when drilling through especially hard surfaces.
It was once a matter of size rather than the electricity source that mattered most. Modern technology has changed that because new smaller motors have been invented that can operate at extremely high power yet fit into a handheld tool. In those days, handheld power tools were limited to 5 or 6 amps. Today, many handheld power tools operate at 11 or 12 amps. Of course, you are limited to where such tools can be used and how far they can reach, but many contractors used a system of extension cords and generators to make sure they can get anywhere on the job site with their preferred power tools.
The next type of electricity used in power tools is from batteries. The most popular power tools are cordless, battery-operated tools. When considering a battery-operated power tool, the power it will have is measured by how many volts it can get from the battery. The first cordless power tools used 9.6 volts as a maximum. Through the years, voltage and durability of cordless power tools has increased. Batteries have also become smaller and more efficient. Common cordless power tools are now 12 to 14.4 volts. Industrial cordless tools can operate with 36 volts or more. It was once unthinkable to operate many types of power saws on batteries. Today, even a miter saw can run on a battery-operated system.
Every year new features are being added on to common power tools. Some of these features improve safety and the efficiency of the tools. Other features improve comfort and handling. Some features are just eye candy. One type of feature that is growing in popularity is the quick-change feature. It allows drill bits or saw blades to be changed rapidly. This is often a useful feature to consider.
Another feature available on some tools is a laser guidance control. This helps improve accuracy, but if you are coordinated and have good eyesight, it is not really necessary. When looking at features, a personal decision must be made as to whether the feature is worth it to you for the added expense it carries.
Knowing these few simple facts about the power tool market will improve any power tool shopping experience. This is just the beginning. It is a simple matter to delve deeper before making a final purchase
3 Power Tools to Start Off Your Collection
Posted Fri 13th May 2011
Power tools are supposed to make fixing and building things faster and easier. Stocking your tool shed or garage with the right ones makes a difference. Depending on the types of projects you do, you will probably need the three basic power tools: drills, sanders and saws. There are different types of each. Choosing the right one is sometimes a matter of personal preference; otherwise, it depends on what you want to accomplish.
The main purpose of a drill is to put holes in things. When you are contemplating power tools, this should top your list for basic needs. There two basic types of drills, with several subcategories in each. Read the packaging to find out what materials it works with and what drill bits are included. You may need to purchase additional drill bits to get the job done.
• Cordless Drills - The cordless drill is more versatile than an electric drill because you can take it anywhere without being limited by the power cord. On the other hand, the cordless drill is typically less powerful than its electric counterpart. Use it for driving screws and making holes in light materials, such as wood or thin metal. Some drills are simply battery-operated screwdrivers that make projects much easier and faster than manual screwdrivers. More advanced power drills, such as an impact driver, pack more torque for more solid surfaces. Hammer drills can make holes in concrete or heavy metals.
• Power Drill - Using a corded drill gives you more power and speed. You sacrifice the convenience of cordless power tools, but gain the ability to put holes into just about any surface. Consider what types of materials you will be using and find the right model. Some work best for light materials, like wood or plastic. Heavy duty models can go through nearly anything with the right drill bit attached.
Sanders help to shape things and take off the rough edge. There is no multi-purpose power sander and they are best-suited for wood.
• Palm Sanders - The palm sander is a light touch for soft and fine wood finishes. Use it for projects that will be stained or require no further finish.
• Disc Sanders - The disc sander is helpful for heavy duty projects. It is efficient in preparing round or curved wood surfaces for paint, such as fence posts, porch railings or siding.
• Belt Sanders - Perhaps the most versatile type of sanders, use the belt sander to prepare large flat planks or surfaces for painting projects. They can pare down and smooth a surface rather quickly for decks and tables.
• Orbital Sanders - The orbital sander is used for a clean finish on flat surfaces. It creates a nice transition for spot areas with peeling paint.
Simply put, saws cut. Depending on the type of project, they are used for reducing size or removing unwanted pieces and parts. These are a few of the more useful types of saws for a new power tools collection.
• Reciprocating Saws - The reciprocating saw is the powerful answer to the old hand saw. It moves back and forth, cutting through nearly any material, such as wood, plastic or metal.
• Jigsaws - Use a jig saw for following a pattern or curved line on thinner materials, especially wood.
• Circular Saws - Use this power tool for cutting straight lines through thick surfaces.
• Chainsaws - Use a chainsaw for cutting down trees and limbs. They are very powerful and can also work through hard surfaces, like car roofs and fallen telephone poles.
When choosing which power tools to buy first, consider how often they will be used and whether you have alternative tools to do the job in the meantime.
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Posted Sat 19th February 2011
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