Power tools are a niche industry, but a large one – and, undeniably, a growing one. In the UK, the power tools market in particular has expanded by nearly a third since 2015, thanks in large part to the growing availability of tools in retail environments.
As more people undertake their own DIY, the target audience for power tools widens. This newfound ubiquity was made possible by technological advancement – but what further advancements are due to impact the industry?
One of the defining technological leaps experienced by power tools has been that of the shift towards cordless tools. Larger power tools were once commonly powered by petroleum products, and electric alternatives required cables and mains access to work.
Recent developments in battery technology have expanded the operating life of batteries, and improved the systems by which they hold charge. As such, there has been an explosion of power tool products that share bespoke battery designs, for modular use and convenient swapping between tools.
Sustainability in Practice and Principle
The revolution in battery-powered power tools is in service not only of improved versatility and convenience, but also a larger central mission that has become increasingly important in construction industries internationally: sustainability. The global climate crisis continues to worsen, as anthropogenic pollutive practices threaten to irreversibly change our atmosphere.
As both public and legislative pressure grows on businesses to directly reckon with their own climate burden, the construction industry’s contributions to carbon emissions are laid bare. Contractors and large-scale outfits are approaching the issue of sustainability equitably, with practical and administrative shifts led by ESG strategy.
All of this to say that construction companies are listening, and taking heed of carbon targets set by government and clients alike – with power tools an essential part of the equation. Dale McElveen, the UK and Ireland General Manager atpower tool and equipment manufacturer Milwaukee Tools, recognised this market shift:
“Contractors require equipment that supports them in meeting client carbon emission targets as the industry moves towards net zero, while ensuring they deliver their projects safely, on budget and on time. Our new range is designed to help businesses meet these priorities with a zero-emission operation, low running costs and reduced vibration exposure.”
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (or IoT) technology is by no means new, but it continues to find its way into new and innovative use cases – with power tools being no different. Dramatic leaps in the precision control of motor systems have enabled their control via digital instruction. This, coupled with app integration, enables users to take their own tool presets from tool to tool via app functionality.
This same app functionality can be used for tool location, which can be useful not just for finding equipment in cluttered job sites but also for tracking down stolen goods. This functionality is just the beginning, too, as more development will yield more potential uses.