Understanding Battery Economics
A significant portion of the expense of cordless tools is the battery and battery charging system. Batteries are not interchangeable between brands. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a mixture of different brands of cordless tools.
It is far more economical to buy bare tools of the same brand and use the batteries you already own. In other words, it is cheaper to buy into a cordless-tool system.
How This Impacts Our Tool Picks
The existence of battery economics means that instead of recommending a specific cordless tool, we feel we should be recommending cordless-tool systems along with the individual tool.
Let’s say we have a carpenter and an auto mechanic. These two people need a cordless drill recommendation. We might recommend the following:
- The carpenter may be better off with a Makita 18V drill. The reason why is because Makita makes a super-nice 36V cordless circular saw that uses 2 of the same 18V batteries that goes in the drill.
- The mechanic may be better off with an Ingersoll Rand 20V drill. The reason why is because Ingersoll Rand has a great line of cordless mechanic tools that use the same battery system.
So instead of just putting together a blind list of individual tools, we try to take into consideration the primary goals of the end user and choose tools and tool systems that fit those unique goals.
How Do We Determine The Final Top Picks?
This is where things get subjective. Things like style, ergonomics, ease of use, and balance are almost completely subjective.
Sure, there are measurable specifications like torque, rpms, battery capacity, weight, etc. But even these measurable specs are valued differently by different people.
Our stance is that the Top Picks are based on our opinions of what we believe would be the best tool for most people with the stated usage goals. These are tools that we would buy based on performance, price, warranty, durabilty, build quality, and ergonomics.