Cordless

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There are proponents of corded hand-held tools, but I’m not one of them. I’ll choose cordless every time.

When a new woodworker asked me several years ago for some tool recommendations I told him that if you hold it in your hand, get it without a cord. Yeah, I realize there are some specific jobs in specific trades for which the run time of battery-powered tools is counterproductive – drywall installation, for example – but for just about every other task in a woodshop, a cordless tool with an extra battery does the job faster, easier and with less weight.

I tackled a job yesterday I’ve been putting off all season (and by “all season,” I mean 2011 and the first five months of 2012): trimming the two-dozen or so bushes in my landscaping. To do that, I needed to give my corded hedge trimmer a four-hour workout. No battery-powered trimmer could handle that, and while there are gas-powered trimmers out there, I can’t budget the cash for a tool I’ll only use once every 18 months. So I was stuck with the cord.

Note the use of past tense in that last sentence. The cord is no longer a problem, because it’s in the trash. Before I severed it, I managed to sever another extension cord first. (As an aside, cutting power cords doesn’t happen in Real Life like it does in the movies and on TV: no explosion, no fireball, no shower of sparks or hot plasma. Just a single, dull “pop.” Very disappointing.) When I wasn’t cutting them, I was tripping with them constantly wrapping around my ankles. When I wasn’t tripping, I was snagging the cord on bushes or simply stepping on it. And don’t even ask me how many times the plug pulled out of the outlet. What a pain.

In one respect, cutting all those cords has prompted a decision. Since I have to go shopping anyway to replace them, I’ve decided that maybe it’s time I got a gas trimmer. Expensive, yeah, but I’m beginning to think that the next time I trim bushes that it’ll be a good investment.

But, that’s something I can worry about in 18 months.

A.J.

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