Power Tool Design is Timeless

One of the things we enjoy most about visiting the likes of Bosch and Makita is their respective power tool museums; each company has collected and archived a wide range of their power tools over the decades.

Vintage Makita Power Tools

Power tool history is, understandably, important to these companies, and you can only marvel at how power tools have moved from beingunyielding, metal-clad hulks to thesveltealuminium and plastic, lithium-ion powered machines littered around our job sites.

Makita Retro Drill

One element that's consistent, however, with good quality power tools, regardless of age or era, is design. And while ergonomics is one of the key design elements that influence our buying decisions, over-all good quality, functional design is timeless. That would include how the tool's motor is designed, not just how it fits in your hand.

You can imagine, then, that we were excited to find a 1982 vintage Black & Decker rotary hammer drill (model P 80-38), lying forgotten on a rack in the Toolstop warehouse!

Vintage Power Tool - Black & Decker P80-38 Rotary Hammer Drill

Vintage Power Tool - Black & Decker P80-38 Rotary Hammer Drill

See all of the photos on our Flickr stream
Still in the original box were the instructions, including an exploded view drawing of the drill, and the packing note. It's a beast. The drill still has grease on it from the last time it was used. Obviously it's not as old as some of the kit we've seen in Bosch and Makitas' premises, but it still harks back to a time when, firstly, Black & Decker still put their name on such heavy duty pieces of power tool, and secondly, before battery technology was absolutely ubiquitous, even in heavier appliances such as rotary hammer drills. For example, compare this Black & Decker rotary hammer from 1982;

Vintage Power Tool - Black & Decker P80-38 Rotary Hammer Drill

to this 2010 Bosch rotary hammer;

While the functionality of power tools have changed (more power, batteries, longer-lasting batteries, even more power etc etc), good quality design is still essential. In fact, we're sure you'll agree, when it comes to your power tools, design is timeless.

What power tools antiquities are in your workshop or tool bag? Let us know in the comments!


UPDATE: Neil and Mark talk about the Black & Decker tool on edition 47 of the podcast. Listen here.

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