6 Handy Lithium-ion Power Tools – Our Recommendations
Cordless power tools are constrained by the tool technology of the day. Tool manufacturers have innovated to increase power, but only recently have lithium-ion cordless tools have begun to match their corded brethren. In many cases, they are outperforming corded tools. Cordless tools are emerging from the stigma that they are only a supplement to corded tools or in the realm of the non-professional. In many cases they are now the professional’s main tools (when was the last time you used a corded drill for anything other than mixing?). Manufacturers now offer entire suites of tools that accept the same battery pack. This makes it easy to liberate oneself from the cord. Here are 6 handy lithium-ion power tools that we find ourselves using all the time.
By the Power of Lithium
1. The cordless circular saw. Use the circular saw in nearly any application in the shop or on the jobsite. Cross cut lumber, plunge cut, rip sheets of plywood, and add different blades for different materials. The circular saw is remarkably useful. We’ve checked out lots of models, but particularly like the Milwaukee FUEL circular saw, Makita brushless 6-1/2″ circular saw, and are anxious to test the new DeWalt FlexVolt 60V circular saw.
2. The cordless drill. It’s a mainstay of the shop tools junkie and the jobsite. The need for a cordless drill is clear. Lithium-ion power is available in hammer drills for concrete drilling, so wood and metal don’t stand much of a chance. Higher-end drills almost ubiquitously include LEDs to illuminate the work, and most have torque that matches the corded tools of yesterday.
3. The cordless impact driver. The cordless impact driver is a relative newcomer to the tool world, but now we wonder how we lived without it. The impact driver will loosen the over-torqued fastener and drive lag bolts and screws with great force. You don’t have rely on your drill to attempt the double-duty of drilling and driving. Leave the driving to the impact driver. Our recent favorites include the Ridgid Stealth Force impact driver and the Makita XDT09M impact driver. Of our 6 handy lithium-ion power tools, this is an essential one.
Only Halfway Through 6 Handy Lithium-Ion Power Tools
4. Reciprocating saw. Who doesn’t like a little reciprocity? Cut through metal, wood, drywall, and whatever you please with the back-and-forth blade action of the reciprocating saw. Limb up a tree. Rough out an outlet box. Cut off dangerous metal pieces. This is one versatile tool that’s extremely handy in a cordless format—and you should have (at least) one.
5. The oscillating multi-tool. Much like the impact driver, we had a “where have you been all our lives” moment with the oscillating multi-tool. They are already quite versatile and able to get jobs done that other tools cannot. Now, manufacturers have begun to make multi-tools with interchangeable heads, so they are even more functional. Make small plunge cuts, cut wood and pipes off flush with little lateral space, sand, rough out drywall, and much more. In addition, check out our article 5 Ways to Use an Oscillating Multi-Tool.
This Will Blow You Away
6. Cordless leaf blower. Getting untethered from a corded blower and never have to fuss with a finicky pull-start again is a joy that’s hard to describe. Clean up after using your lithium-ion trimmer and even lithium-ion mower. Then walk around the corner and clean up your neighbor’s place while you’re at it. Blow the dirt and sawdust out of your garage in just a few minutes. Larger, more powerful, models like the EGO brushless 530 cfm blower will let you blow leaves, grass, and just about anything else out of your yard or driveway.
Be sure to take care of your lithium-ion batteries. We like to set a reminder in our phones to be sure we charge our batteries so they are ready when we need them. We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of 6 handy lithium-ion power tools. If you’re a Pro and you have lithium-ion tool tips, add them in the comments below—or contact us with your own Pro tips.