Cordless Tools

In 1895, C&E Fein, a German company, invented the first electric tool. It was a handheld drill weighing 16.5 pounds. The drill was underpowered because it ran on DC electricity. It also required two people to operate.

In 1910, Duncan Black sold his car for $600 and used the funds to open a machine shop in Baltimore. His friend and business partner, Alonzo Decker, joined the venture.

Their first project involved improving the C&E Fein electric drill. They looked towards Colt’s pistol handle to envision a power drill small enough for one hand with a pistol grip. The 1916 Black & Decker power drill was vastly lighter, stronger, and required only one person to operate.

At first, Black & Decker only sold their power tools to other businesses. Eventually, they realized the consumer market was also interested in the convenience of power tools and built their business-to-consumer channel. By the early 1920s, the company was advertising power tools in popular newspapers and magazines.

Eventually, other companies created various tools. Over time, power tools became the norm.

In 1961, Black & Decker took the innovation one step further and invented cordless power tools. Like the original C&E Fein drill, the first cordless power tools were heavy and underpowered. However, even with these drawbacks, the benefits were obvious.

In 2005, Milwaukee Electric Tool Company released the first lithium-ion tools. These changed the industry, making cordless tools powerful, long-lasting, and easy-to-use.

Today, virtually every tool imaginable run on batteries. Drills, saws, sanders, chainsaws, and even lawnmowers utilize battery-driven electric motors.

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