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Power Tools History
- Jul 15, 2018 -

what is power tools

A power tool is a tool that is actuated by an additional power source and mechanism other than the solely manual labor used with hand tools. The most common types of power tools use electric motors. Internal combustion engines and compressed air are also commonly used. Other power sources include steam engines, direct burning of fuels and propellants, or even natural power sources like wind or moving water. Tools directly driven by animal power are not generally considered power tools.

Power tools are used in industry, in construction, in the garden, for housework tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and around the house for purposes of driving (fasteners), drilling, cutting, shaping, sanding, grinding, routing, polishing, painting, heating and more.

Power tools are classified as either stationary or portable, where portable means hand-held. Portable power tools have obvious advantages in mobility. Stationary power tools however often have advantages in speed and accuracy,and some stationary power tools can produce objects that cannot be made in any other way.Stationary power tools for metalworking are usually called machine tools. The term machine tool is not usually applied to stationary power tools for woodworking, although such usage is occasionally heard, and in some cases, such as drill presses and bench grinders, exactly the same tool is used for both woodworking and metalworking.


History[edit]

The lathe is the oldest power tool, being known to the ancient Egyptians (albeit in a hand-powered form). Early industrial revolution-era factories had batteries of power tools driven by belts from overhead shafts. The prime power source was a water wheel or (later) a steam engine.The introduction of the electric motor (and electric distribution networks) in the 1880s made possible the self-powered stationary and portable tools we know today.The global market for power tools is $33 billion (in 2016) and estimated to reach $46 billion in 2025.

Energy sources[edit]

Currently an electric motor is the most popular choice to power stationary tools, though in the past they were powered by windmills, water wheels and steam. Some museums and hobbyists still maintain and operate stationary tools powered these older power sources. Portable electric tools may be either corded or battery-powered. Compressed air is the customary power source for nailers and paint sprayers. A few tools (called powder-actuated tools) are powered by explosive cartridges. Tools that run on gasoline or gasoline-oil mixes are made for outdoor use; typical examples include most chainsaws and string trimmers. Other tools like blowtorcheswill burn their fuel externally to generate heat. Compressed air is universally used where there is a possibility of fuel or vapor ignition - such as automotive workshops. Professional level electric tools differ from DIY or 'consumer' tools by being double insulated and not earthed - in fact they must not be earthed for safety reasons.


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