5 things to know before selecting a power tool

If you’re looking for a new power tool, there are few terms you need to know that may influence which one you buy. Here’s a look at five of the most common things you’ll hear when you’re shopping for power tools.

Corded or Cordless?

The main difference here is power versus convenience. Corded tools are more powerful but need to have a nearby source of electricity. You can use a cordless tool anywhere but they may find the heavier duty jobs a struggle.

Tools that benefit from the power of being corded are the hard working ones like circular saws, sanders and angle grinders. Smaller tools such as drills and impact drivers are easier to use if they are cordless as the power cord can get in the way. Battery technology in cordless tools is getting better all the time and is now being used in tools that were traditionally operated by other means, for example chainsaws and lawnmowers.

What are Brushless Power Tools?

Brushless tools use a different type of motor that unlike conventional motors doesn’t require brushes. The current, drawn from the battery in a brushless tool, varies according to how hard the tool has to work, while the motor in a brushed tool goes full speed no matter what it’s doing. This means a fully charged battery in a brushless tool will last longer so you can get more done between charges. The motor in a brushless tool also has less moving parts meaning less wear and tear, so the tool lasts longer.

drill

Lithium-ion Powered Tools

All new cordless tools are powered by Lithium-ion (also Li-ion) batteries, which use lithium to store the charge in the battery. They have a number of advantages compared to earlier batteries:

  • Less weight – Lithium-ion batteries are lighter so carrying and using the tool is a lot easier
  • No memory – Lithium-ion batteries can be charged at any time. You don’t have to wait for the battery to be fully drained first, like you did with older batteries
  • More power – newer Lithium-ion batteries run with a higher voltage meaning higher draining devices can use batteries instead of mains power
  • What Does Amp-Hour Mean?

    Amp-hour is the term used to rate how much charge a battery can hold. It is commonly seen as “ah” or “Ah” on the battery with a number before it. The higher the number, the longer the battery will last before it needs to be charged. The trade-off is that batteries with high amp-hours are larger – and therefore heavier – than those with low ones.

    drill

    What's a Skin?

    A “skin” is the term for a cordless tool without a battery. The range of tools that one type of battery will fit is huge and getting bigger all the time. Once you’ve bought a tool that comes with a battery and charger, you can just buy the “skin” of your next tool and the same battery will fit it. This enables you to expand your tool box without paying for batteries you don’t need.

    Our Tip

    Get some great advice on how to select tools for your tool box.

    Ozito Power X Change 18V 5 Piece Kit

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills 10 best gifts for D.I.Yers If you know someone who loves to D.I.Y., we’ve got the perfect gift for them. From tools to garage storage, here are some ideas to help you choose something from our wide range.

    install hinges and gass struts

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills 5 essential cordless power tools for DIY projects Cordless power tools offer you the flexibility and freedom to work just about anywhere. They’re portable, light weight and easy to handle. Here are our top five cordless tools that will help make your D.I.Y. dreams a reality.

    how to calculate square metres 01:57

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills How to calculate square metres Calculating the size of a space is an important step in any construction or DIY project. Learn how to calculate squares metres with this guide from Bunnings.

    power of drills

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills Types of power drills and their uses With several power drill types on the market, it’s important to choose the right one for your D.I.Y. projects. Bunnings Tools Buyer Paul outlines the benefits and some project examples for each type of drill in your ultimate power drill guide.

    Coregas

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills How to buy gas the easy way Trade N Go Gas makes buying gas easy, convenient and flexible. The team at Coregas share how it works and why you’ll never need to pay for cylinder rental again.

    How to restore wooden furniture 03:36

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills How to restore wooden furniture If you’ve got old wooden furniture that’s seen better days, you’d be surprised how easy it is to restore it and give it a new lease of life

    garage

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills Seven handy tool storage ideas Keeping your tools safe, secure and in easy reach makes it so much easier to get your projects done. Whether you need tool storage for work or around the home, there’s a huge range of handy options in all shapes and sizes.

    Hire Shop at Bunnings 02:03

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills Tips for using a nail gun Framing Guns are suitable for framing, joists and trusses.

    Health & Safety

    Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

    Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
    Top of the content