The notion that powerful tools have to be big, heavy, and noisy with very high vibration levels has been deeply rooted in many power tool users’ mind. A tool without any vibrations can’t be powerful, right? Well, in the beginning of the modern power tool era that was in many cases true. The available technology together with the unawareness of the ergonomic impact from the daily use, these tools didn’t highlight the need of better designed tools.
Today, we know much more about the negative health effects of working with tools that are heavy, vibrates a lot and are noisy. This has led to great achievements when it comes to increasing the power of our tools but keeping the weight, noise and vibrations to a minimum level.
How power reduces vibrations?
As tools with high power do the job faster than tools with less power, the time needed to complete a certain task gets shorter. This results in less exposure to noise, vibrations, weight and other forces (e.g. feed force) since the time the tool is used is shorter. Twice the power - half the time to do the job.
The introduction of the turbine motors in grinders dramatically increased the power of the grinder. With cleaver design and the use of light-alloy materials, the weight could also be kept low. Today our small turbine grinders have the same power as our vertical grinders from the 70’s had, but with less than half of the weight and significantly lower noise levels.
Tools and power
Percussive tools have for many decades been known for high vibration levels. The power of the tool has been directly associated with the weight and a heavier tool meant more power. When vibration exposure became a hot topic in the 70’s, a lot of effort was put into reducing the vibration levels of our percussive tools. This lead to break through in different vibration reducing technologies. Not only were we able to reduce the vibration levels significantly, we were also able to reduce the weight of the tools with sometimes as much as 50% but keeping the power. All our vibration damped percussive tools today are lighter with much lower vibration levels compared to the conventional hammers with similar power.
When looking for tools with good ergonomics, don’t forget to look at the power. The power is the only thing that can reduce the exposure time of all the ergonomic factors at the same time!