The car is up on blocks, and after tinkering for what seems like a lifetime, you’ve finally diagnosed the problem. All that stands between you and your solution is a handful of screws. No problem. You put some elbow grease into it and start turning. No luck, the screws are stuck fast. Not a problem, you think, and you grab your ever-reliable power drill from the workbench and head back to handle those stubborn screws. With a jerk, the drill flies from your hand and lands on the garage floor. To your dismay, the cord is too short, and your trusty extension cord is nowhere to be found.
This scenario is all too common in garages across the country. Whether it be a corded drill, impact driver, or other commonly used power tool, the fact of the matter is that you’re at the mercy of your cord. The easy solution is to get an extension cord to widen your area of operation, but there is bound to be a day when that cord is tied up somewhere and you don’t have the time or capability to free it up when you need it. It may be a rare occurrence, but it only takes one or two instances for the drawbacks of a corded tool to become painfully obvious.
There are more advantages to be had from going cordless with your mechanic’s tools than just the rare chance that your extension cord goes MIA. Whether you’re a professional mechanic or just a weekend warrior who puts on their mechanic boots when the need arises, it’s common for work to be done away from an outlet. In the case of an unexpected breakdown away from home, or mechanical trouble with a piece of equipment like a tractor or generator, portability is the adjective you want to describe your toolbox. Cordless tools give you just that, and with the high quality of cordless technology available on the market, you don’t have to sacrifice power or reliability to get it.
Portability isn’t the only other advantage to going corless though. Losing the cord also brings to bear a greater variety in equipment size. Just because some of the more powerful models come equipped with large battery packs (an option that is variable depending on the battery life you’re looking for), doesn’t mean that is ubiquitous to all cordless tools. A wide variety of cordless tools are available on the market, with many coming in compact sizes that make them the perfect fit for when repairs are needed in a confined space.
A common criticism of cordless tools is that you’re beholden to the ever-fickle battery. While a corded tool is limited by its cord length, at least you’re aware of what that is ahead of time. It’s indisputable that a cordless tool will only work as long as its battery has juice in it, but the notion that this is a limiting factor is just not true (as long as you take the necessary precautions). The most obvious way to avoid running out of power during a repair is to always place your battery on its charger when you’ve finished using the tool.
Sometimes though, especially if you have a set of mechanic’s tools that use the same battery interchangeably, you can deplete the charge before you’re done with the repairs. A simple solution to this is to purchase a spare battery. By purchasing an extra battery, you’re able to keep one charging at all times, ensuring that you’ll never be caught searching for that extension cord again.
Next to the reliance on a battery, the next criticism leveled at cordless tools is that they are of a lesser quality than their corded peers. Whether it’s a lack of power, or a more fragile construction, detractors of the cordless genre are quick to point out what they perceive to be systemic shortcomings of cordless tools. The fact of the matter is simple: A quality tool is a quality tool. Without a doubt there are cordless tools that are far inferior to their corded versions, but this fact is true of the opposite as well. The durability and power of a tool are not dependent on whether they have a cord or a battery; each class has its share of quality products and lemons.
To be fair, a cordless tool will lose some of its power as the charge is depleted, but that can be remedied by the solutions given above.