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Old 05-10-2013, 05:47   #1
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Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Hello all,

I have an engineless (+outboard) Pearson Triton. Currently all power is supplied by a 100w solar panel and 2 AGM batteries.

This winter the boat is out of the water. The yard apparently shuts electricity off from Thanksgiving through March. I'm hoping to get a good bit of work done on rebuilding the interior in the meantime.

I'm trying to figure out if I should invest in a battery powered tool set, or use a generator and corded tools. With the battery tools I'd be able to use them at sea without any problem. Some tools, particularly a sawzall and a drill, would be really helpful in an emergency.

I've also pondered buying a small generator for use charging the batteries when there is no sun. If I had the generator anyway, I could run regular corded tools.

I'm not sure, but it seems like corded tools with the generator are way more dangerous than battery tools if one of them went overboard?

Corded tools: stupid cheap, relatively. I might end up buying harbor freight junk just because any tool is probably going to have a limited life span on a small boat anyway.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:54   #2
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Cordless all the way. I've been using Ridgid tools but they all are pretty good. I like the sets with a drill, sawzall, circ saw, and flashlight.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:55   #3
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Chordless is the way to go with an decent inverter and spare batts.. and of course a good recharging approach for the ships batts. At dockside you can recharge your chordless with shore power.

Generators annoy everyone and take fuel. YUCK.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:53   #4
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

If you get 12 volt cordless tools you can make an adaptor to drive them off your boat batteries ... just a thought.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:07   #5
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Name brand cordless tools these days tend to be pretty darn good performers. Lately I've been having good luck with 18v stuff from Royobi. Of my older ones, only my Makita drill is still any good. Both Dewalt & Milwaukee brand tools worked well when new, but the batteries did not last as long as I would have hoped.

The one coredless tool that I bought from Harbor Freight is junk. It has little power when the battery is fresh & the battery life is very short.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:17   #6
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Depends, on the type work you'r doing ? cordless will go for days doing short burst of work but start drilling large holes ,making long cuts with a saw and they will die fast nothing like a dead tool to stop the work!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:20   #7
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by jannw View Post
If you get 12 volt cordless tools you can make an adaptor to drive them off your boat batteries ... just a thought.
Interesting...buy an old battery pack, connect the terminals to a cigarette lighter cord?
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:48   #8
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Cordless tools require extended recharging (a couple of hours) using 120 V A/C. So you have to have an inverter to power the recharger. Or take them home to recharge them. Some brands of tools use a common battery pack that you move from tool to tool. But they are usually expensive.

But if you have to have an inverter anyway, then corded tools can run directly off of the inverter connected to your AGM bank. For the short time you will be using a drill, saw, etc your solar panel will be able to replace the amphours that you draw from your battery to run the inverter.

A 1,500 watt Chinese made inverter which costs about $150 at your local auto parts store, Wall Mart, etc will do the job nicely. Hook up the inverter to the batteries with heavy #2 wire. Put a 150 amp fuse in the positive wire located near the battery.

And I wouldn't worry too much about electrical risks if you drop a tool overboard. It will immediately short out and trip the inverter's breaker or the 150 amp fuse. Just don't try immediately pulling it out of the water before the power trips or you shut it off.

David
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:01   #9
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

hahahahaha i have both and i use only those with cords and i only use at dock, seems...even when i do winter repairs, err, sailing season repairs, not in a marina. my repair guy doesnt likee my cordless wimpiness tools. he likee burlee, knuckle drag on floor tools....
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:37   #10
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

I have both. Cordless for quick short projects and cord for the longer. Also I buy all the tools at harbor tool.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:52   #11
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

I am back to corded after going through a few cordless tools. I think my problem was buying the cheap ones. I use a drill more than any other tool and for the short time I use it, the inverter is fine. The op has no power so a small generator should be in order. Other than Hondas, the price on these little generators is really reasonable.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:56   #12
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

I build small stitch and glue boats. Over the years I have accumulated a bunch of the Ryobi 18 volt cordless tools. The only corded tools I use to build these boats are a small table saw and a bunch of sanders. The table saw gets very little use as I make most of the cuts with the little Ryobi circular saw. I've drilled thousands of holes and run thousands of screws with the battery tools. I love the cordless tools. I think Ryobi has the largest selection of battery tools. I've switched to all lithium batteries as my original batteries died.

That said if you're going to need to sand something, the cordless tools just don't do the job.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:07   #13
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Hi everybody,

It strikes me that the OP is lookiing at the easiest way to have power tools to work on his boat during the winter season when there is not any electricity provided by the marina. Based on this notion, might not a gasoline powered genset make sense? Otherwise, I see him having to go home or something to keep up all the battery packs he's going to go through in a day. He doesn't have a large battery bank, and in winter, with short days, his normal charge availability simply won't be there. His good solaring hours will be less than in summer.

If he wants to use the tools in summer, perhaps an inverter and away he goes! We surely do love our cordless electric drill, but have also delayed completion of jobs waiting for the battery to re-charge.

Having the stored electricity to be able to do all your jobs is wonderful, but maybe this situation will benefit from a completely separate energy source.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:10   #14
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

I have Makita 12 volt tools that came with both a 120 volt charger, and a 12 volt cigarette lighter plug in type. On one of my cruising boats I used a 50 year old 12 volt drill that had a long cord and alligator clips . It was great. One of the troubles with the modern cordless tools is that if you dont keep the batteries in good shape, they tend to die young. I plan to take an old battery , remove the guts, and put a long cord on it. I can then slide it into several different tools. Running straight off of the ships battery will be far less drain than running an inverter to run a 120 volt charger, to charge a 12 volt battery. I also got great service off of a 12 volt 1 gallon shop vac that I bought at an auto parts store. I had a 12 volt extension cord that I bought at Radio Shack, that allowed me to get anywhere on my 37 foot boat, including up to the spreaders. Just some things to think about. _____Grant.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:18   #15
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Re: Cordless tools vs. Corded Tools + Generator

Have to agree with Ann. On board we carry Dewalt 12v stuff and the dremel will run off our inverter. However, for big jobs a mains angle grinder or polisher is the business. Plus a genny means heat on board during the winter, (how will paint or epoxy set otherwise. A second hand 2KW would be useful then kept at home, or a smaller 1KW kept on board would be a solution. Honda being the gold standard and this side of the pond Kipor, as the cheaper solution.

The only reason we sold our Honda 20i was I installed solar plus diesel heating and have access to mains electric via the local yacht club, so the Honda was no longer used.

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