Price and Quality
How One Quality Affects the Other
The Link Between Price and Tool Quality
Cordless tools are much like any other consumer-grade product. They come in varying qualities, which in turn may influence how useful a particular tool is for completing any given task.
The problem with quality is that it is often linked to price, and determining how much quality there is in a given cordless tool based on price is a very difficult thing to do.
There are so many factors that can drive a price sky-high without you actively realizing why.
Let's examine some of the things that affect price but nto quality, and look at some links between higher prices and quality tools.
Factors Affecting Price but Not Necessarily Quality
The first thing to understand about the price of cordless tools is that price does not always affect quality. It may be the result of factors outside of things that you will find useful.
Let's examine a brief list of examples to better understand this.
1. Brand Names
The biggest cost of tools that does not necessarily affect quality is the brand of the tool. The brand name of a tool may affect the price.
The thing to understand about this is that this generally affects the price only by a small amount (generally less than 10 percent.)
The materials used in a cordless tool will generally be similar across similar tools. This is why media that tries to promote a tool based on "hardened steel" or another common material tends to be ineffective at describing usefulness, but may influence the price.
3. Pointless Proprietary Systems
Some tools may be advertised as having proprietary systems designed to potentially make the lives of end-users simpler. The problem is the seldom do these proprietary systems help the consumer.
They may actually limit them, or harm the overall lifespan of a given tool. These qualities tend to detract from the value of a cordless tool.
Factors that Influence Price and Quality
Now that we've covered the factors that don't influence price or negatively influence it, we can cover the qualities that affect both price and the overall quality of a cordless power tool.
1. Brushless Motors
Brushless motors are designed to be the most versatile type of motor. Not only are they lightweight when compared to their brush-bearing siblings, they also tend to require less energy and maintain longer lifespans.
This is the reason why better cordless drills under $100 will have brushless motors. This quality works purely in the favor of the consumer.
2. Hardened Frames
The ability to survive drops from modest heights is something most power tools display. This becomes invaluable to contractors, but may not be perfect for hobbyists.
You should weigh the cost of this feature against how much money it would save you, especially if you used a life-limited technology like lithium-ion batteries.
3. Battery Systems
Battery systems are important to inspect, but they can also add a substantial increase to the cost of a cordless tool.
20V battery systems tend to be substantially more expensive than their 18V or 12V cousins, especially when nickel-cadmium batteries are used. They may also be heavier due to the extra materials required to add more power.
Nickel-cadmium tends to be cheaper on average than lithium-ion systems, but you may derive more value from lithium-ion batteries because they last between 18 to 20 months without losing capacitance.
Accessories are another feature that should be inspected when it comes to cordless tools. Accessories will typically add an exponential value as more are added to a package.
You should, however, always weigh the use of these accessories to the accessories you may already have. Drill bits, a commonly found feature with cordless drills, can vary in quality greatly. What you have at home may be leagues better.
5. Add-On Features
The "least valauble" feature is the add-on features. Items like lights, lasers, levels and other features may be haphazardly added to cordless tools simply to get you to pay more.
The difference with these features is that they can sometimes be incredibly valuable to the right person. If you normally use your cordless drill to make holes in metal, then a level on the back of your drill may make jobs easier to perform accurately.
Quality Affects Price
The point you should take away about cordless tools is that quality should affect price, not the other way around. A more expensive tool does not necessarily mean that the tool is better.
When you are shopping for the perfect cordless tool for the job, make sure that you search high and low based on the features you need. Start with the necessities, such as a 1/2-inch chuck, then slowly expand to other features that you may use.
Anything optional should be considered as a way to break a tie between two comparable cordless tools.