Feeling the pinch

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There are many ways to secure batteries to cordless tools, but among the most common are the “pinch” type, with separate release buttons on opposite sides. I hate those.

I guess you could consider this a rant. I have several cordless tools from a number of manufacturers. Some have batteries that secure to the tool with a pair of release buttons placed on opposite sides of the battery. To remove the battery you have to push both buttons at the same time using a pinch motion with thumb and forefinger, much the way a master concert violinist grasps a bow.

For some reason, my fingers just don’t like to work that way and I find it extremely difficult to apply the proper amount of equal pressure on both sides of the battery at the same time. (This, I’m sure, is the only reason I’m not a master concert violinist today.) Changing a battery of this type is an ordeal for me, and it often takes me several minutes to get one off.

The worst of these is my older DeWalt drill. My newer DeWalt battery-powered tools aren’t as difficult but they still have the same two-button pinch scheme that keeps me fumbling at battery-changing time. Same thing with tools from other manufacturers that use the same arrangement.

This issue has nothing to do with hand strength – I have plenty – nor is it something that has appeared as I’ve gotten older. I’ve had this difficulty forming a strong pinch motion with opposing finger and thumb all my life; it’s just the way my hands are.

But if I’m having this problem now, what about the many woodworkers who are beginning to have difficulty with their hands as they age? I’m guessing there’s a growing number of woodworkers out there experiencing this difficulty.

Please, manufacturers – take this into consideration. Make batteries easier to change. A day will come when older woodworking consumers may turn away from tools they’d really like to buy in favor of others simply because they have batteries that are easier to work with.

Till next time,

A.J.

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