Lithium-ion battery-powered tools provide the kind of power and utility demanded by today’s homeowner, while being quite useful for the professional contractor, too.
Purchasing and caring for lithium-ion power tools is not entirely different from caring for corded power tools, but it can help to keep a few things in mind before shopping for, caring for, using and discarding lithium-ion batteries and tools.
Purchasing Lithium Ion Power Tools
Nearly all cord-operated tools, from jigsaws to drills and cut-off wheels, also have a lithium-ion battery-operated counterpart. Oftentimes, lithium-ion power tools are sold as either 12-volt or 18-volt varieties, with the 12-volt tools being less expensive and less powerful.
Tools rated at 12 volts are generally considered the right size for light-duty, occasional jobs around the house; 18-volt lithium-ion power tools are more expensive, more powerful and more common with professional contractors because they tend to see heavy daily service. When purchasing these tools, consider buying an additional battery so that one can remain charging while you use the other.
Using Lithium Ion Power Tools
Lithium ion power tools don’t work any differently from corded hand power tools except that they will discharge, sometimes within 20 to 30 minutes of continued use. If you need to use the tool throughout the day, you may want to keep a small bank of lithium ion batteries at your disposal to replace discharged batteries.