Five things you need to know before selecting any 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.

    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

    Cordless Drill

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills Cordless drill buying guide The cordless drill will be the most used power tool you’ll own, so deciding which one to buy is an important decision. This guide will help you choose the cordless drill that’s right for you.

    install hinges and gass struts

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills 5 cordless power tools that will make your D.I.Y. projects easier 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.

    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.

    Man measuring project 01:57

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills How to calculate square metres Learn how to calculate in square metres to make sure you order enough materials for your renovations and D.I.Y. projects.

    circular saw

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills Five things you need to know before selecting any 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 out shopping for power tools.

    circular saw

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills Types of power saws and their uses Whether you want to slice through metal, trim your decking down to size or cut out a hole for a sink in your benchtop, there’s a power saw for the job. But how do you know which one to choose?

    multi function tool

    Tools & D.I.Y. Skills What is a multi tool? If you’re looking for a power tool that can take on practically any task, the multifunction tool is for you. So how does it work and what can you use it for?

    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 which 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.

    Top of the content