There are quite a few appealing advantages to switching to cordless, battery-powered tools in your facility or on your jobsite. As you can probably guess, though, the mission underpinning each of them is improving workplace safety. From reducing tripping hazards to lessening the impact of demanding labor on the human body, cordless power tools are here to help you work smarter and safer.
Improves Your Versatility and Mobility on Any Jobsite
As a contractor or tradesperson, or anybody who relies on tools to get their work done, you probably like keeping an eye on all the activities associated with your projects and maintaining your visibility and versatility. But when you want to get involved and get your hands dirty, the last thing you want is to be tethered to a wall outlet or an air compressor. You want real mobility — and cordless tools can give it to you.
Of course, in addition to various workers moving around the jobsite, the tools themselves tend to move about and change hands frequently, too. Because modern battery-powered tools favor modularity and standardized batteries and other parts, you’ll find yourself handing off tools and battery packs to co-workers all over your facility or site as needed. The absence of cords and other supporting equipment promotes easier teamwork and more efficient workflows.
Better Safety and Fewer Jobsite Injuries
We’ll talk more in a moment about some of the specific features of cordless tools, but first it’s worth acknowledging what each of those features actually serves: vastly improved safety compared with previous-generation tools.
Corded power tools are some of the worst tripping hazards you’ll find anywhere. Depending on the jobsite and the work you’re doing, such an accident could mean injury — and that means legal troubles, fines and workers’ comp payouts.
There are several lesser-known safety benefits of cordless tools as well. Repetitive or long-lasting vibratory motion, especially coupled with working in corners or at difficult angles, can be a recipe for carpal tunnel syndrome, Raynaud’s syndrome and “white-finger disease” — all conditions associated with working with heavy, high-power, constantly vibrating power tools. Cordless power tools tend to be lighter, easier to carry and far less stress-inducing for the human body in terms of the vibrations they produce.
Highly Ergonomic and Convenient Design
Beyond reducing worker fatigue by being easier to carry and less jarring for the body, cordless power tools deliver convenience and thoughtful ergonomics in an abundance of other ways. For a start, battery-powered cordless tools, in some cases, deliver 50 percent more power than a conventional tool, even while running cooler, thereby presenting a lower risk of burns and other injuries.
But their dedication to ergonomics doesn’t end there. Stroll down the cordless drill aisle at your local home improvement warehouse, and you’ll find an assortment of appealing colors, thoughtfully molded rubber grips and, in general, an obvious appreciation for tradespeople and the real-world applications of these tools.
When you find yourself bending, crouching, reaching into corners and generally putting your body in weird positions to get the job done just right, you’ll be glad you have a compact, lightweight, cordless tool to reach for that fits nicely in the hand and helps you get your work done even in uncomfortable or inconvenient surroundings.
Power, Mobile Charging Capacity, Less Equipment
For the most part, you should find you don’t have to compromise between the portable convenience of cordless power tools and the raw power of corded ones. By and large, technological improvements have overcome that shortcoming — battery-powered tools are now every bit as powerful as their corded counterparts, and are sometimes even more powerful still.
But even if you did have to make such a compromise, you’d likely find the other benefits worth the tradeoff. Mobile power comes with the ability to charge your tools anywhere, from any outlet. Instead of running extension cords all over creation, you can bring two batteries: one in your tool, and one plugged into a charger. You can leave the charger and extra battery at any power outlet and go about your business until you need it. Or, you can just leave several charged batteries back in your truck.
You’ll likely find yourself lugging around way less equipment after you go cordless. Plus, all the setup time you associate with carrying, unspooling and winding extension cords and hunting down outlets is time you could be spending getting actual work done.
Lets You Keep a Spare in Your Toolkit
After you switch to battery-powered cordless tools, you probably won’t want to go back. Having said that, though, you might find yourself glad to be able to choose between, or switch back and forth between, cordless and corded tools. Corded tools are excellent to keep around as backups — but they might also be your tool of choice for messier jobs you wouldn’t want to put your newest equipment through. Some engineers, contractors and technicians get involved with things like cutting or repairing sewer piping, and prefer to use older tools they’re not as attached to.
At the end of the day, though, we can’t say enough how much cordless tools are likely to improve your life and positively impact the work you do. Even if you don’t switch over your entire toolkit at once, a little bit of battery-powered convenience can go a long way.
Megan Ray Nichols
Freelance Science Writer
Megan Ray Nichols is a STEM writer and the editor of Schooled By Science. She regularly writes for IMPO Magazine and American Machinist. For more from Megan, follow her on Twitter, @nicholsrmegan, or subscribe to her blog.