Whether you’re a handyman, a contractor or a weekend warrior with a never-ending honey-do list, you probably can’t imagine life without power tools. How did our hand-tool-wielding forefathers ever build or renovate anything within a single lifetime?
Years ago, undertaking any major building project meant long hours of back-breaking work with an array of hand tools. Muscle was a must, calloused hands were the norm, and the stronger you were, the faster you got the job done.
Today, we can nail, cut, screw and drill pretty much anything with the push of a button. Muscle is nice to have, but the power and torque generated by modern power tool motors is more than enough to compensate for lack of brute strength.
Over the past few decades, job site tools have evolved and changed dramatically. We have gone from hand tools to corded power tools to cordless wonders that seem to be getting smaller and lighter with every passing year.
Take as an example the humble power drill. When it first came on the market it was heavy, bulky and somewhat awkward. It was also tethered to an electric cord, since cordless tools were still the stuff of science fiction.
Over the years the drill gained new and innovative features while losing the electric cord. Today’s drills are easier on the fingers with hand grips that offer cushioning and support. They also come with practical features like LED work lights, variable torque, an extended RPM. range, a multi-speed transmission and a space-age plastic housing that’s much lighter than the metal housings of yesteryear.
The latest leap forward in the evolution of the power drill (as well as most other power tools) is the advent of lithium-ion batteries, which are replacing the much heavier and bulkier nickel-cadmium batteries (still in use today). That means modern lithium-ion-equipped drills are more compact and much lighter than ever imagined possible, while offering more power and torque than their nickel-cadmium-powered counterparts.