Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Cordless Power Tools - Amps Vs Volts

Once upon a time, cordless power tools were a pure luxury, very expensive and not very powerful. Nowadays they are common place and can be found in most trade vans, toolbags, workshops or garages.

Cordless power tools are based on their mains powered counterparts, they have similar abilities but lack one thing, continuous power. Over the years, power tool manufacturers have worked hard to design the perfect balance of power to battery ratio. The simple problem is, charging a battery quick enough to continue carry out the task in hand.

Batteries for power tools have come along way in the last few years, NiCd, NiHM and now Lithium Ion, all improving on the overall weight of the tools and how long the tool lasts in operation. The later, Lithium Ion, has greatly added to the success of the cordless power tools industry. With the weight of the battery reduced and a greater amp capacity, the Lithium powered tools are becoming more and more powerful with each passing year.

Battery powered tools are measured in two ways, volts and amps. The voltage is what provides the raw power (torque) for the tool and determines how powerful it can drill, cut or grind, the amps are what defines how long the power will last. Some of the latest Lithium-Ion batteries have a 3 amp capacity and can run for far longer than its equivalent NiCd battery.

Charging has always been the biggest problem facing cordless power tools, use it for 20 - 25 minutes and then charge for an hour. This problem is fast being overcome with the new lithium ion batteries which can hold a charge longer and can charge in as little as 15 -30 minutes.

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