Home News Kevin Rowles explores the shift towards cordless power tools | HiKOKI Power Tools

Kevin Rowles explores the shift towards cordless power tools | HiKOKI Power Tools

Kevin Rowles, Sales and Marketing Director at HiKOKI Power Tools, explores the dynamic shift towards cordless power tools, fuelled by advancements in battery and motor technology.

Cordless power tools now outsell their corded equivalents and look set to continue this trend for many years to come. In 2022, for instance, the sales of cordless power tools in the professional power tools market in the UK accounted for 81.1%, while corded tools made up just 18.9%, when as recently as 2018, the distribution between corded and cordless power tools was approximately 50-50 according to the European Power Tool Association.

The reasons for this growth are numerous. Cordless tools offer users an unparalleled freedom of movement, enabling wholesaler customers to work in environments where mains power may be impractical or restricted. This portability is particularly crucial in large construction sites, where the need to move swiftly between tasks demands tools that can keep up with the pace.

Extended use on site

One of the significant drivers of cordless tool popularity is the rapid advancement in battery technology. Lithium-ion batteries, in particular, have become the powerhouse behind cordless tools. These batteries boast higher energy density, longer lifecycles, and lighter weight compared to traditional alternatives. This makes cordless tools not only more powerful but also more practical for extended use on the job site.

Despite the benefits of mains-powered tools, certain construction sites enforce restrictions on their use. These limitations arise from safety concerns, logistical challenges, and the need for greater adaptability. Large construction sites, especially those in the initial stages of development, may lack a reliable and widespread power supply. This makes the use of cordless tools, powered by rechargeable batteries, a more viable option for maintaining workflow efficiency.

Moreover, the presence of multiple trades on a construction site can lead to a scarcity of available power outlets. The need for various tools and equipment makes the flexibility offered by cordless options indispensable. Additionally, safety concerns related to trailing cables, especially in busy and congested sites, further accentuate the advantages of cordless power tools.


Lithium-ion batteries have become the backbone of cordless power tools, driving efficiency and performance to new heights. These batteries are characterised by their high energy density, low self-discharge rates, and lightweight design. This combination of features ensures that construction professionals can enjoy longer operating times, reduced downtime for recharging, and less fatigue from handling heavy tools.

The ability of lithium-ion batteries to maintain a consistent power output until fully depleted sets them apart from traditional alternatives, ensuring that users experience reliable performance throughout the battery’s lifecycle. As the demand for longer runtimes and quicker recharge times increases, the continued innovation in lithium-ion battery technology will be a key driver of advancements in cordless power tools.

Brushless motors

Brushless motors represent another milestone in power tool technology, offering increased efficiency, durability, and reduced maintenance requirements. Unlike traditional brushed motors, brushless motors operate without physical contact between brushes and the rotor, minimising friction and wear. This leads to a longer lifespan and enhanced overall performance of the power tool.

The efficiency gains of brushless motors also translate into more power output for a given size and weight, contributing to the lightweight and compact design of modern cordless tools. This efficiency not only extends the runtime of cordless tools but also makes them competitive with their mains-powered counterparts, bridging the gap between the two and providing construction professionals with versatile options for their varied needs.

If we take nailers as an example of the transformation cordless has brought to this product sector, the advantages are stark. Nailers are a staple in construction, and the transition from corded or gas-powered models to cordless variants has been a game-changer. Cordless nailers, equipped with lithium-ion batteries and efficient brushless motors, offer performance on par with their mains-powered counterparts. This shift addresses longstanding concerns regarding the limitations of cordless tools in terms of power and reliability.

Electrical wholesalers have a significant opportunity to capitalise on the growing demand for cordless power tools, a market trend that shows no signs of slowing down. By stocking up on cordless power tools and related accessories, wholesalers can position themselves as one-stop shops for all their customers’ power tool needs.

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