Choosing Power Tools: Corded Or Cordless?

If you are looking at purchasing power tools, you may be wondering whether to buy corded tools or cordless, battery powered ones. The answer is, it depends. Here are the factors to consider when deciding between the two.

A few years ago, if you had big projects to do that required a lot of power, corded tools were the way to go. Cordless tools were weaker and would require frequent recharging to get through larger jobs. These days though, cordless tools have more power, battery life is improving, and batteries are getting lighter.

The greatest improvement in batteries has been the introduction of a lithium battery for cordless tools. They are much lighter than older batteries and can last twice as long per charge as the others. Also, tools using traditional batteries lose power as the battery loses its charge. The new lithium batteries will run a tool at full power until the charge is depleted. Finally, lithium batteries allow tools to have a higher voltage and more power while still weighing the same as their corded counterparts.

Now that the power gap is narrowing between corded and cordless tools, the deciding factor may become price. While the lighter and more powerful cordless tools are available, they are also more expensive. If you are comparing tool quality across the board, you will be able to purchase a higher quality corded tool than you will for a cordless tool at the same price. The next question you need to ask yourself then, is how much tool do you need and where are you going to use it? If you are using your power tool for small projects around the house that may include places that are tough to reach if you are attached to an electrical outlet, a less powerful cordless tool might be the best investment for you. If power is important, you are doing larger projects, and will be more stationary with your tools, the corded tool is probably the best way to go. Given these considerations, your best route may be a combination of corded and cordless tools. For example, you may need a powerful saw, but not a very powerful drill. When you are looking at cordless tools, you can also find kits that come with many tools, one or two shared batteries, and a charger. You’ll want to pick your brand carefully in this case, because batteries will be different for each tool brand and for the most part will not be interchangeable.

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