Once again, A.J. has provided me with food for thought. His post about cordless battery powered tools has prompted me to fulfill my apparently insatiable tendency to play devil’s advocate.

I should say, first off, that I like cordless tools, especially drill/drivers which were what started the whole thing in the first place. But I soon learned the folly of trusting battery life estimates. As long as one is within easy reach of a freshly charged battery, you are OK. But get more than a few dozen feet from one and you are in deep.

Batteries, like any other power source, have a devious way of knowing the most inconvenient time to poop out. Like when you are wrapped around a ridge beam or up against a high pressure timeline.

We are always talking about what we would do if we could “go back.” If it were me, I would have invested in batteries a long time ago, back when flashlights were the only thing they were good for. Who could have foreseen back in the early 50s that the day would come when everything ran on batteries? These days, even shoelaces and pens need batteries.

Today’s rechargeable batteries are able to run for a decent length of time. But they still wear out, give way to new technology, or won’t work with the new tools. We’re forever buying batteries!



  • Chuck says:

    Granted, battery operated tools are a convenience in the field, but extension cords weren’t all that bad for me either. Today, I work only in my own shop, but with the exception of drilling, I prefer the rest of my tools to be tethered to an electrical outlet.

  • Jerry jaksha says:

    Like most of us, I have several cordless drills in great shape with dead batteries.
    These drills now stay at the workbench, tied to 12v transformer cords. One has a square bit driver and one with phillips head.
    The other drill has a nut driver for assembling our “HoleClamps”.

  • Craig says:

    And…………. the cost of replacement batteries for these tools is so high, it merits buying a new tool rather than a new battery.

  • Bill Golden says:

    You’re so right. I worked in television production for a good many years. Every company has their proprietary battery style. It’s different between models & editions of equipment. All we had was Ni-Cads. YES! They do develop memory. My engineer devised a method for extending their life, but still they die. The cost is ungodly. The brick battery you see on the backs of TV cameras cost around $400/$500 a pop.


    I still have my battery operated drills & drivers. Everything else is corded. Having sold woodworking tools since my retirement the most inane battery tool so far is the nail gun with the little battery compressor on board.

    Bill “Pop” Golden

  • Bruce Huff says:


    Installing railing requires a great deal of drilling work. I drill more holes on site then 10 general contractors combined. That said I have 3 drills battery powered and impact drivers on site along with 2 chargers. I never run out of juice because I am always charging a battery while using one. But for power I have a 3/8 & a 1/2 in corded drill also.

    In addition I have a hammer drill to mount handrail brackets when needed.
    The rest of my truck is filled to capacity with every type of tool any of you can think of. I’m not bragging, I have to tote them in and out at every job site and I just hit 60. Welcome to my world LOL.


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