Cordless Becomes More Comparable
Advancements in rotary hammer design haven't been limited to electrically powered models. Cordless hammers have also evolved. "Cordless technology has really come a long way in the past five years," says Jon Goebel at DEWALT.
The biggest change stems from the development of lithium ion battery technology. "If you go back a number of years, the best we had was 24-volt NiCad [batteries]. You had a lot of weight to generate an average amount of power," says Mitch Burdick, Bosch Power Tools. "What's happened with lithium ion is you now have the ability to generate more power for less weight. It's about transferring that energy to the motor so the tool can operate."
Today's cordless batteries maintain their charge significantly longer with better power output. "[Users] are actually using cordless rotary hammers throughout the day now, and - depending on what they're doing - they're getting either a full day's work out of a single charge if it's an average day, or if it's a heavy day, they get at least a half a day's work," states Eric Fernandes, Milwaukee Electric.
The hammers are also able to use the power from the battery more efficiently. "There's less wasted energy in turning the armature and translating that power through the hammer mechanism," says Fernandes.
All of this means longer run times with consistent power output. "As far as I'm concerned, if users haven't tried out the cordless technology that's available, they really need to consider it," says Goebel. "Because we now have cordless hammers on the market that perform near the level that they expect out of a corded model."