Power tools include a wide range of devices for fabrication, assembly, construction, and repair. They are usually motor-driven and designated as electrical, battery-powered, hydraulic, or pneumatic. Most power tools are constructed for long service under heavy use. Pneumatic power tools include drills, fastening tools, impact tools, material removal tools, reciprocating saws, and torque wrenches. By design, a torque wrench sets the torque or rotational force applied to a nut or bolt. Cordless power tools run on 7.2, 9.6, 12, 14.4, 18, 19.6, or 24-volt batteries. Many are lightweight. Portable power tools can be carried to a job and may be hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical (corded), or battery-operated (cordless).
Selecting Power Tools
Selecting power tools requires an analysis of both product specifications and features. Because power tools may be used for hours at a time, ergonomic products are often recommended. Features that are common to power tools include a comfortable grip, directional exhaust muffler, vacuum-ready dust evacuation, materials such as composites that combine strength with light weight, lubrication-free motor package, vibration-free design, and built-in silencers. Specialty power tools are also available.
Power tool accessories include adapters, batteries, battery chargers, bits, blades, cases, organizers, and wrenches. Power tools can be designed for specific purposes. For example, a power sander called a rasper is suitable for marine applications because it is designed for fairing hulls and plugs and stripping bottom paint, leaving a smooth surface. A power drill can have a one-speed or variable speed motor, a reversible motor, and be mounted on a powered drill stand. Suppliers of power tools can provide additional information.
Several organizations maintain standards on power tools. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 29 maintains standards on small tools. ISO Technical Committee 39 maintains standards on machine tools. ISO Technical Committee 118 maintains standards on pneumatic tools and machines. The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) maintains standards on hydraulic tools such as ANSI/(NFPA) T3.20.15 on quick-action coupling. In conjunction with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) maintains ANSI/NEMA MG 1 (on the selection and application of motors and generators), which can be used in the manufacture of power tools.