Battery glut

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I have both corded and cordless tools, but I’ve never made any secret of the fact that whenever possible I prefer cordless.

Cordless tools are among the most convenient technologies ever devised for woodworking. Non-woodworking cordless tools are a boon, too, as evidenced by my cordless weed trimmer and yard blower. They don’t last a long time on a charge, but the size of my weekly landscaping chores means they don’t have to. They’re lighter than gas-powered yard tools, and you never have to wrap up a 50-foot extension cord when you’re done.

The benefit of not getting tangled in a cord would be enough, but the list of assets is a long one: Assuming a charged battery, they work anywhere. They’re way easier to use when on a ladder. Many fit in spaces a corded tool won’t. And of course, no outlet needed.

But there is one thing they all need, and that’s a battery.

My old cordless yard blower died last week and I replaced it with a new, identical one. I kept the old battery, but the new one came with two more. I have a large battery/charger drawer in my shop, and when I went to add the new ones it occurred to me that I had a lot of batteries in there.

On a whim, I counted them. And since I only keep my most-used batteries in that drawer, I also counted those kept in the cases of tools I don’t use often. I then counted all the other batteries already mounted on cordless tools around the shop. And then the ones on the tools I almost never use.

I was stunned at the total: 57 cordless-tool batteries. I quit counting then, but I could easily have added all the internal batteries in the rechargeable stuff around the house, like that tiny driver in the kitchen drawer, or the rechargeable flashlight in my nightstand, or our five cordless phones, or my cell phone, or laptop, or iPad, and on and on.

I suppose if I were an inventing sort I could make a point of some kind by wiring them all together, hook them up to my car and drive around the block. But I’m not an inventing sort, so I guess I’ll just be content in the knowledge that if the Mayans prove to be right that I can keep working long after the lights go out.

Until I need a recharge.

A.J.

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