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Old 22-08-2015, 21:52   #1
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Corded 12 VDC power tools?

Was wondering in anyone has any sources for 12 VDC corded power tools.

I have 2 good 12vdc batteries, and a charging system for them, on my boat now, and would like to avoid the expense, inconvenience and redundancy of storing individual batteries and chargers, (not to mention the ridiculously high price of replacement tool batteries after they wear out)

I've not been able to find any on the web...
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Old 22-08-2015, 23:19   #2
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

I spent a long time looking for 12VDC tools.. In the end, I realized I had 2 choices. I could buy an "off-Shelf" 12VDC LION tool and modify it. Or I could suck it up and run a conventional 18V lion and use an inverter to charge them.

In the end, I went for the 18V lion (ryobi) and haven't looked back.. Takes 1 hour to charge a pack and I get 2 days of "average" use (driving screws, drilling holes). If I run the impact driver, I only get 2 hours or so on a pack, but I always have at least 3 packs charged at a time.

I'm soo glad I didn't waste time trying to modify 12V stuff to run directly. Even if I did get them modified, 12V doesn't have the torque of 18V stuff...
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Old 23-08-2015, 04:00   #3
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

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Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
Was wondering in anyone has any sources for 12 VDC corded power tools.

I have 2 good 12vdc batteries, and a charging system for them, on my boat now, and would like to avoid the expense, inconvenience and redundancy of storing individual batteries and chargers, (not to mention the ridiculously high price of replacement tool batteries after they wear out)

I've not been able to find any on the web...
The super low cost route wil be to buy off eBay a 12v cordless tool for bugger all and make up a lead and fasten it on the terminals. I'll bet you can find a tradesman to give you his old one for free. I have some I would give away. A modern lithium 18v cordless tool is better than an AC powered tool and as powerful as all but the monster size corded tools. No comparison with the last generation, so the pros are upgrading and cheap old stuff abounds.
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Old 23-08-2015, 04:57   #4
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

Ryobi have a 12 vdc input charger, too. Waste of time adapting 12 volt tools to corded operation these days, imo.

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Old 23-08-2015, 05:17   #5
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

Dont waste your time with a search for 12v tools. The market potential is so small that the only players manufacturing in this market is small untested manufacturers.

I have worked in this industry for 30 years and am a manufacturer of tools for the commercial construction industry. Battery technology is now capable of producing equal performance of corded tools in both torque, speed, durability of components, and through most temperature ranges. Chargers are available with 12v inputs. If you look at commercial quality battery tool manufacturers, you will find a good, better best positioned market. I am not speaking of secondary companies that say they sell to pro's but really sell to very small light use contractors.(like Ryobi) These companies that actually play in the heavy use commercial market include but are not limited to DeWalt, Milwaukee, and Hilti. The first two sell multiple lines addressing the homeowner but then have true professional quality tools (you can identify them by price). Hilti only addresses the heavy use market. There are a few more manufacturers that are different in Europe, but I can suggest these three even there (battery use started in commercial work in the US and Canada). I think Hilti has a warranty on the battery for 12 or 24 months(not sure) that if it dies, they give you one for free (but they are not cheap up front)

I will not say the name of my company to appear biased. But what I will say is that for the typical cruising owner who wants a battery platform that will be around for many years (same battery and charger for many many tools), take a look for them but not in the big box stores in the US or in retail stores in the UK or France, but places that cater to Commercial contractors. These are places in the US if you do a search that sell commercial construction fasteners, tools, and construction chemicals. In Europe, look at some the Hire/Rental stores and see the battery tools they pick (in the US this has not taken off yet)

All these companies offer a range and battery voltage platform. You should expect to pay around $350-$400 US for your first drill/impact driver, battery, and standard charger. After that, you will be able to buy an extra battery, and the differing tool. You can buy angle grinders, screw guns, lights, scrapers (for paint, old glue, etc), and the list goes on. I will say that even I as a homeowner/boat owner, I did not buy one of my companies own tools, and was using a cheap $80 drill (Ryobi) for years because I did not need anything better and was too cheap to spring for my own companies tools. But, if you want something that absolutely will last and will perform for series work (repetitive and long duration) then go this route.

For you, in your question to find 1)not too expensive and 2) multiple tools you have a decision to make. Buy low use battery tools on a common platform (like a Ryobi) and expect meh performance and understand that it does not perform like a corded tool, and understand that the battery should be considered a consumable (replace after 200 charges) or spring for the real tools but shell out as much as a nice set of lines.
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Old 23-08-2015, 07:30   #6
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

If you have an inverter onboard that can produce 5 to 10 amps of 110 volt, why waste your time and dollars on buying a battery powered tool?

You can buy a 25 or 50-ft extension cord and a Black & Decker 3/8" drill motor for $50 and have unlimited usage time without having to re-charge a battery pack and still reach every location on the boat.

I have always used the Wally World $25 B&D 3/8" drill with the keyless chuck on my boat and I would hate to think how many hundreds of hours of use and abuse it has gone thru. And when it dies, for $25 your back in business.

Same for saber saws and mini grinders. Take a cheapo - they work fine for emergency repairs or some small project. Your not going to be putting in an entirely new interior to Swan or Hinckley standards, so why spend a zillion dollars on a bunch of battery powered power tools?

True, you may have to run your main engine to re-charge the ship battery you are using to run the inverter, but the alternator will be charging the other ship's battery at the same time - so sort of a win-win situation.

If you have solar or wind generation and aren't going to be using the power tool for hours at a time, they should be able to keep your ship battery charged up and you might not even have to run the main engine.
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Old 23-08-2015, 07:49   #7
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

I think I'm a pretty typical boat owner and I've gone with Ryobi 18v tools. The first ones I bought had NiCad batteries that sucked. The new lifepo batteries are wonderful. The first Ryobi drill I bought more than six years ago is still going strong. Ryobi also makes several 18v nailers / staplers which work very well. I have a large screened porch on my house. I hired a contractor to replace the screen. He showed up with a manual stapler. I loaned him my Ryobi. When he finished the job he went out and bought a Ryobi stapler.

Ryobi also makes a great searchlight that runs on their 18v battery.
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Old 23-08-2015, 10:48   #8
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
Was wondering in anyone has any sources for 12 VDC corded power tools.

I have 2 good 12vdc batteries, and a charging system for them, on my boat now, and would like to avoid the expense, inconvenience and redundancy of storing individual batteries and chargers, (not to mention the ridiculously high price of replacement tool batteries after they wear out)

I've not been able to find any on the web...
Buy any good self contained unit with it's own battery you can charge. Line lose would be a bitch with anything corded at twelve volts or even 24V DC.
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Old 23-08-2015, 10:56   #9
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
I think I'm a pretty typical boat owner and I've gone with Ryobi 18v tools. The first ones I bought had NiCad batteries that sucked. The new lifepo batteries are wonderful. The first Ryobi drill I bought more than six years ago is still going strong. Ryobi also makes several 18v nailers / staplers which work very well. I have a large screened porch on my house. I hired a contractor to replace the screen. He showed up with a manual stapler. I loaned him my Ryobi. When he finished the job he went out and bought a Ryobi stapler.

Ryobi also makes a great searchlight that runs on their 18v battery.
Yup, love the light. Recently bought the angle grinder and damn was I surprised how well it worked.

If you are in the USA, Home Depot sells a 12V quick charger for the Ryobi batteries. Saves you the losses of the inverter. My charges are so infrequent, I don't worry about the looses.
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Old 23-08-2015, 11:47   #10
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

You can find old 12 tools at flea market and yardsales, the price is normally a dollar or less. Then modify the old battery or go directly into to tool and install a 120 volt power cord then modify a 120 volt power cord with large alligator clips to hook to a battery, make sure you label the tool with a 12volt tag, I used heavy 2 wire extension cord and the label was a flag of paper inside of clear packing tape around the cord end. You can then use 120 volt extension cords to get you up the mast or such. You have to pay attention to polarity to get the motor to run the right direction, a 3 wire cord could take care of that, but it's probably no problem to run it backwards until you figure out what the problem is and fix it. Works great and the price is right. But I must admit I do want to get an 18 volt LI-ion angle grinder.

Just a quick thought if you wire it up backwards, put the normal out end of the extensions cord on the tool, then the drill will have a power outlet on it and less chance of getting 120 into it, but then the 12 volt pigtail that goes on the battery will have hot exposed terminals that could short it it was unplugged, not a good idea. I normally keep the clip lead pig tail plugged into the tool for storage. A pigtail made up for the other end would be useful when you need to get 12 volts to something for testing and such.
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Old 23-08-2015, 12:20   #11
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
I think I'm a pretty typical boat owner and I've gone with Ryobi 18v tools. The first ones I bought had NiCad batteries that sucked. The new lifepo batteries are wonderful. The first Ryobi drill I bought more than six years ago is still going strong. Ryobi also makes several 18v nailers / staplers which work very well. I have a large screened porch on my house. I hired a contractor to replace the screen. He showed up with a manual stapler. I loaned him my Ryobi. When he finished the job he went out and bought a Ryobi stapler.

Ryobi also makes a great searchlight that runs on their 18v battery.
Agree on all the above. If you're a pro and use tools all day, every day, then buying pro grade tools would make sense. For the average boat owner you can buy a single tool and charger for $300-$400 or buy a whole Ryobi set; drill, circular saw, saber saw, flashlight or a similar combination for the same price or less.

I have a set of Ryobis I've had for over ten years and use them a lot. Built a pole barn with them, several large home projects and a complete new interior on a boat and not a failure in the lot.
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Old 23-08-2015, 12:27   #12
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Brown View Post
If you have an inverter onboard that can produce 5 to 10 amps of 110 volt, why waste your time and dollars on buying a battery powered tool?

You can buy a 25 or 50-ft extension cord and a Black & Decker 3/8" drill motor for $50 and have unlimited usage time without having to re-charge a battery pack and still reach every location on the boat.

I have always used the Wally World $25 B&D 3/8" drill with the keyless chuck on my boat and I would hate to think how many hundreds of hours of use and abuse it has gone thru. And when it dies, for $25 your back in business.

Same for saber saws and mini grinders. Take a cheapo - they work fine for emergency repairs or some small project. Your not going to be putting in an entirely new interior to Swan or Hinckley standards, so why spend a zillion dollars on a bunch of battery powered power tools?

True, you may have to run your main engine to re-charge the ship battery you are using to run the inverter, but the alternator will be charging the other ship's battery at the same time - so sort of a win-win situation.

If you have solar or wind generation and aren't going to be using the power tool for hours at a time, they should be able to keep your ship battery charged up and you might not even have to run the main engine.
I agree with Mr. Brown, spend the money on an inverter and 120V tools unless you have a great need for cordless tools . As mentioned the other option is to located some cheap 12V tools with no batteries and fabricate your own cords. I did that with a 12V drill when the battery went bad and I decided it would be better in the long run to invest in a 14V tool system, so after a while I cobbled up a cord for the other drill.

However, since you are hooked to a cord you have the same versatility as a 120V drill and the 120 drill will run circles around the 12V, both in terms of power and also when using it continuously for any amount of time. For example, a regular drill will drive 100 screws in a row and not be phased, and that was what ultimately killed my 12V drill doing about half that.

As mentioned, if you are at a garage sale and find a $5 12V drill you might as well cobble up your own cord for it but harbor freight has new 120V drills starting at $20.

Anyway, just my 2 cent opinion based on my experiences and those are going to be different than anyone else's, so best of luck in whatever you choose.
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Old 23-08-2015, 12:40   #13
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

I think the problem with corded 12V tools would be that in order to run well, they need the full 12 volts. And unless you have a very heavy gauge power cord, and something better than a ciggy lighter socket to plug them into, they won't get it. Most likely the ciggy socket will overheat and then someone will complain about the fire.


So, possible? Sure. If you know how to DIY and DIY properly, all the way back to the ship's battery. And consider that 12V will be 14.4 if the engine is running and everything wired up properly in that case.
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Old 23-08-2015, 13:09   #14
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

Interesting to see the differing opinions and personal solutions, though I was really just wondering if there were any quality 12v tool manufacturers, because it seems there would be a market for them if they were available.

Was cleaning up the shop last week and found the tools and batteries in the picture below. That's about five years of batteries (don't know how many I've recycled), about 900.00 worth (not counting the cost of the tools), and only two of the drills are still operational. Granted they've seen a lot of use and abuse, but I've got 30 year old AC tools that still work fine, changed cords and brushes and switches on most of them....

Inverters good enough and powerful enough to run a 10-12 amp AC power tool are not very expensive, and I'll most likely be getting one, but I'm a big fan of simple, and to me a 12v battery that I already have, running 12v tools, were they available, would be the simplest route.

Even though batteries should be looked at as 'consumables', it just goes against the grain for me. While battery powered tools may be somewhat more convenient, sometimes, the cost, energy inefficiency, limited life and toxic properties seem to me to make their advantages over corded tools a wash.

And by the way, one of the drills in the picture is a 12v variable speed drill. I tried running it with a 12 volt car battery, but if you run it through the switch, there is apparently some kind of circuitry in the switch that prohibits it. I was able to get it to run forward and reverse, but only by taking the switch out of the circuit and reversing the polarity manually, and there is no variable speed.

Oh well, guess I should be glad I don't have to use the tools in the second picture...


And...thanks for the replies.
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Old 23-08-2015, 13:22   #15
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Re: Corded 12 VDC power tools?

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Originally Posted by jimbunyard View Post
Was wondering in anyone has any sources for 12 VDC corded power tools.

I have 2 good 12vdc batteries, and a charging system for them, on my boat now, and would like to avoid the expense, inconvenience and redundancy of storing individual batteries and chargers, (not to mention the ridiculously high price of replacement tool batteries after they wear out)

I've not been able to find any on the web...
Just find a 12 V battery drill and wire it up with a cable. But nothing beats the new Lithium battery drills. I have an AEG and its impressive like any other good make.
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