Tools have been used for so long that it’s impossible to imagine a time without them. They are used across a range of industries to help workers from just about any discipline. Modern tools are automated to eliminate some of the dangers of manual labor and they are only continuing to evolve. Here are the top 5 trends in the tool market.
1. Cordless power tools
Just about everything is available in a wireless format and soon power tools will be a part of that list. Corded tools are still selling well, but there has been a substantial shift to the cordless market. This includes battery powered circular saws, band saws, hammer drills, impact drivers, and more. Cordless tools are used for cutting, welding, sanding, metalworking, and more. Other advancements in the market mean that modern cordless tools are able to last much longer than they used to as well. Cordless power tools are hardly a new invention, they’re just finally beginning to become better than the corded alternatives.
2. More DIY than ever before
One of the biggest trends in the tool market has been that more and more people are buying tools for themselves and taking it upon themselves to do the work. All the advances to tools have made them easier to use and there are plenty of online resources to learn how to do just about any job. This, along with the drop in available professionals working on household jobs, has stimulated growth in the “do it yourself” market. Even the most powerful of tools, such as the best table saw blade, has become accessible enough for the Average Joe to learn how to use and master. User-friendliness is sure to be a key trend in power tools as the DIY market develops and expands.
3. Smart tools
You know how they say there’s an app for anything? Soon power tools will be on the list of things there’s an app for. A key reason these smart tools exist is because of another innovation in the tool market; the brushless motor. These motors are more efficient for cordless tools and they allow for better control over the torque and speed of a motor. They use a different kind of motor technology that allows them to be controlled by electronics. Given that different tool applications require different speeds and torques, it was a natural step to program a tool for those applications.
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Some current tools have speed ranges, but this is primitive compared to the power of a smart tool. They take all the guesswork away. For example, a smart tool could be programmed to use the exact torque and speed needed to drywall screws. They can also be programmed to vary their speed by starting out slow and speeding up, which is just what is needed when driving a self-tapping screw into sheet metal.
There’s an almost endless amount of possibilities when it comes to what this control can do for tools and users. The reality is that it’s now possible to configure a tool for a specific application. Tools used to come with generic settings – if any – programmed into them and now users themselves have the ability to customise their tools for applications through a smartphone or tablet.
4. Batteries are evolving
Battery manufacturers are constantly dealing with the challenge of making batteries last longer and produce more power. It turns out that the way a battery is wired has a lot to do with this. The advancement of lithium-ion batteries means that manufacturers have new ways to increase battery life and power.
Manufacturers have essentially rearranged how the cells inside a battery are wired together to produce more power. There has also been an increase in power density per cell, so manufacturers can get more power out of a battery the same size. This means that modern batteries are more powerful and are able to keep even larger power tools running, including the best table saw blade.
5. Product developments
As well as sales increasing for current power tools and batteries, new products are being developed all the time. Research and Development departments are working hard to boost tool strength and life-span. One of the latest developments is the Flexvolt battery from Dewalt. This battery is capable of changing its voltage depending on which tool it is used with and it’s the first battery in the world to be able to do this.
The cordless movement is really taking shape in Milwaukee, with the development of 9.0Ah battery packs. They last up to five times longer than a standard lithium battery and maintain around 35% more power when used in heavy applications. It’s also capable of recharging much faster than a conventional lithium-ion battery.
Grinding tools are being developed at the German tool manufacturer Matabo, who recently released a new collection of flat head grinders. The grinders are made to work with small spaces and narrow angles. It makes metalworking in a tight angle safer than the previous generation of flat head grinder models.
The modern tool market is all about going cordless, increasing battery life, and becoming more user-friendly. People are taking it upon themselves to do their own DIY work and they need tools that can accommodate that. Tools are also becoming “smarter” in the sense that they can be controlled precisely through an app. Different applications require different things from tools, and now tools can be programmed with this in mind. Tools are becoming more efficient and effective every day, and it’s interesting to see what the future holds for the tool market.