I Love My Battery-Operated Power Tools! There it is for the world to see. This is a bit of a big deal since the agency has been representing the continents largest gas can manufacturer for the past seven years and felt compelled to support them. No sooner than the agency concluded the agreement (amicably) with our client, I went out and bought new battery-operated power tools.
Not Your Father’s Cordless Drill
Seventeen years ago, I began working with several power tool brands including Ridgid, Ryobi, and Milwaukee, and later DeWalt, Porter Cable, and Delta. Cordless drills were just then entering the marketplace using lithium-ion batteries. The technology was new, and the drills were heavy mainly due to the batteries.
I still have an early generation Milwaukee 18v cordless drill and it is a heavy one. Today, the cordless drills are much lighter weight, have significantly longer run times on the batteries, and the chargers work faster (or the batteries charge faster). No matter how to slice it, today’s cordless drills are better than your father used.
Shhh. I’m Mowing
The first new power tool I recently purchased was an EGO POWER battery-operated lawn owner (thanks to unreliable lawn service providers in town). As is typically the case, I spent hours reading any and all reviews I could find to learn which of the new battery-operate lawn mowers was deemed the best.
I bought the EGO POWER mower with a 21” cut, variable speed, self-propelled, clipping bag, and three different blades. The mower included a battery the size of a loaf of bread and a charger. This mower is the quietest, easy to use mower I have ever owned or operated. No one, neighbors, visitors, or wife, can hear me cutting the grass. The mower is light weight, powerful, runs for well-over an hour, clean-up is simple, and the cut is near perfect (sans occasional operator error). This battery-operated mower is amazing.
The Start of a Bromance
The battery-operated mower meant I had to purchase a cordless string trimmer and leaf blower for my personal lawn service business. Once again, back to the online research to make certain I purchased the quietest, best performing cordless leaf blower on the market. The frequency of the motors in leaf blowers is typically brain piercing to me, so the fewer decibels the better. My choice, a Ryobi leaf blower that met my specifications based on online reviews. The leaf blower is quieter than most, light weight, has two speeds (quiet and loud), and uses the One+ battery systems. This system allows you to use the same battery for more than 200 different power tools. As a result, I bought a highly rated string trimmer, and the bromance began.
Cordless batteries and chargers are expensive. I own two of the Ryobi One+ systems. This also allows me to interchange batteries between different tools and always have a fully charged battery available when at work. The system is easy to use, and it is creating very real brand loyalty to Ryobi.
Return to Woodworking
I once owned a pretty complete woodworking shop of tools for home improvement projects and few low skill woodworking projects (think kindling boxes and Angel Gabriel decorations). After our second renovation, I swore off this type of hobby and sold all my power tools right down to by tool belt. I was content hiring a trained professional for any of the home improvements we needed.
Upon moving into our new house, I saved a couple of small projects to complete once we lived in the house for a while. I would ask one of the finishing carpenters to help me out. I received promises for months but no one to do the work. My friend Russ and his wife, Jackie, visited us. He is a professional woodworker that creates some of the finest woodwork in the Twin Cities. Russ said if we had a circular saw we could complete my projects in a weekend. I did not have a saw, but now I had a challenge or maybe an inspiration.
I bought a Ryobi One+ circular saw and finishing nail gun to complete my first project in decades – storage shelves in my office closet. I have been planning this project for months including drawing out the design, laying measurements, and writing a materials list. This weekend I stopped at Lowe’s to buy the materials and build the shelves. I no longer have a workbench which makes the work more difficult from the floor and not having a toolbelt means back tracking for tools a special task. I am proud to say I built the four shelves, caulked, and painted them this weekend. The work is a little rough, certainly nowhere near what Russ would have done, but I did the work, and it was fun.
As I finished building the closet shelves, my beautiful wife generously praised my work and said, “Will you build a set of these in the guest closet?” I cannot say no to her, so I have a chance to improve on building these closet shelves. I am also inspired to build storage shelves and a work bench in the garage. Of course, I will need a few more battery-operated power tools.
One of the things we do at Draper DNA is take on the work of the clients we serve. Our team is lead my people that have been managers, directors, and department leaders with national building products manufacturers. We know what it is like to sit in your chair and the responsibilities that come with that. We also make it a practice to get our hands dirty with our client’s products. Yes, we have stripped and shingled a roof, hung drywall, and mudded seams, hung cabinets, set tile, and so much more. We are not professional contractors, but we have invested in learning to understand the work and how we can help our clients connect with their customers.