Carpentry, Home, Repairs

How to choose the best power tools for your DIY projects

power tools

This guide outlines how to select the best power tools brand, looking at quality, cost, voltage, motor type, batteries and charging.

Power tools are one of the single greatest inventions known to man. Next to the printing press and sliced bread, power tools have done more to make our lives easier and more convenient than anything else.

Clearly, we love power tools around here. Although they may not hold the clout and significance of other tools, the reality is the power tools can significantly decrease the time it takes to complete a renovation/home improvement project. They’re easy to use, safe as long as you’re utilizing proper personal protective gear, and incredibly.

How to choose power tools

If you’re getting ready to do a DIY project or start-up some renovations, here are a few power tools you might want to consider for your next project.

Quality and Cost

Any time you purchase tools, it’s unlikely that you’ll go into it blindly without any kind of research. Assessing the quality and cost of your tools should probably be the first step to buying them. It’s like buying whole life insurance; you need to find out the terms of the contract (how long the tool will last), the cost over time (how much money you’re saving by purchasing this particular tool), and its lasting benefits (does it have good battery life? Is it easy to use? Will it work for multiple jobs?).

Quality power tools should be compact, last a long time, and stand up well to repeated use. If the tool gets dropped or falls, it should be able to withstand the impact. Durability is a must! If it uses batteries, it should come with a charger at the very least. Extra batteries are just a bonus.

Ultimately, paying a little extra for a high-quality power tool is better than buying an inferior one that’s going to require a costly replacement soon after. So performing this assessment makes a big difference in the long term. 

Voltage Range

An important thing to remember about power tools is they all have different power supplies and unique voltage ranges. Voltage is simply a measurement of a battery’s energy. Amps measure the current. Higher voltage batteries are more powerful. So a 9.5V drill is going to be less powerful than a 12.5V. More voltage provides more torque.

Whether you’re using a drill, circular saw, impact driver, or another cordless tool, be sure to pay careful attention to the voltage. That way, you can ensure you’re selecting the right tool for the job and getting the most out of your cordless power tools.

Manufacturer Reputation

Any business manager will tell you that reputation is important. The same goes for power tools. A manufacturer’s tools are only as good as its reputation. Buying cheap tools can be nice for the wallet, but they tend to break more often—and end up costing more over time to replace.

Looking for the right tool manufacturer can be challenging in a world where there are so many options. But consider going with an established brand that’s basically an institution: DeWalt. Using awesome Dewalt power tools are twice as powerful as most other tools, more compact, and offer a ton of unique options for everything from cordless circular saws to multi-purpose toolsets. Adding some to your toolbox and workshop can mean the difference between a series of successful projects and broken tools lying in the corner. 

Motor Type

Along with the voltage, the motor drives how efficiently a tool is going to operate. There are brushed and brushless motors. Power tools use the power of magnetism to get their motors going. Brushed motors use tiny metal brushes while brushless motors use a circuit board and sensors.

Getting tools with brushless motors might be a better bet for most projects. Consumer Reports studied the difference between brushed and brushless power drills, determining that brushless models offer more efficiency, response, and power. They’re also lighter due to fewer materials used in their construction and can be maintained with ease. 

Batteries and Charging

Every DIY enthusiast, craftsman, and contractor understands the value of having some extra accessories for their power tools. This includes carrying cases, tool belts, extra charges, and the most important of them all, batteries.

Check out three most common types of batteries below:

Nickel-cadmium (NiCd)

It is the oldest type of battery there is and, therefore, it has some disadvantages. Produced with nickel-cadmium, they are heavy. In addition, they have a short shelf life. If the charging is not complete, they will lose performance.

Remember the old phones that worked something like this? They were equipped with nickel-cadmium battery. The first battery drills, launched around the 1980s, were equipped with this type.

Another important point about nickel batteries is that they contaminate the environment when not disposed of in the correct way.

Metal nickel-hydride (NiMH)

After nickel-cadmium, the batteries came to metallic nickel-hydride. The great advantage, compared to the former, is that they could be lighter, smaller and produce the same amount of energy. In contrast, however, they were more expensive.

Lithium ion (Li-ion)

This is the most widely used type of battery today. Because they are made with lithium ions, they can store more charge and are also lighter. This modeling appears on digital cameras, notebooks, mobile phones and, of course, tools. Other positive points are that they do not need a complete life cycle to be used and also do not need them to be zeroed to be recharged.

In addition, it has a much slower unloading rate, which makes it much easier to perform longer work. Over time, however, they can wear out and this is one of the factors that make them have a short life cycle.

Impact tools usually use this battery model. This is the case with screwdrivers, impact wrenches, grinders, among others. Do you know what’s best? Sometimes batteries in this model can be shared with different types of tools. Therefore, it is a way to generate savings.

Lithium-ion batteries are used for most cordless power tools due to their high energy density, long life, and quick rechargeability. Li-ion batteries quickly supplanted Nickel Cadmium and nickel-metal hydride batteries in cordless power tools over the past ten years or so. They’re safer, discharge slower, and last a lot longer than the other types of batteries. It’s always prudent to keep a few extras around as you work on your projects.

Power tools are wonderful, but they tend to lose their gumption after significant use. The ability to quickly swap a battery, throw the old one on the charger, and keep chugging along is one of the great boons of using power tools for your work. So be sure to pack a few extra Li-ion batteries and chargers for your next project—you’ll be glad you did.