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The Electric Drill: A Revolution in Power Tools

by | Feb 10, 2023 | Tools | 0 comments

The electric drill is one of modern society’s most valuable and versatile power tools. It has revolutionized how we work, build, and create, thanks to its ability to bore precise holes fast in wood, metal, concrete, and virtually any other material.

In honor of Inventors Day (February 11th), Anawalt Lumber, Hardware, and Nursery is celebrating the contributions of tool innovators all month. Since 1923, Anawalt has introduced new tools to our neighbors and contractors on the Westside of Los Angeles via our five stores.

C. & E. Fein Invents the First Breastplate Electric Drill

In 1886, employees of C.& E. Fein company in Hamburg, Germany invented the first electric drill to make factory work easier. The drill operator gripped handles on either side while pressing into the drill’s chest plate to help the drill bit penetrate the work surface.

This invention brought convenience and precision to many trades. But while an improvement over stationary drills, it was large, cumbersome, and weighed around 22 lbs.

The original electric drill significantly improved productivity by allowing factory workers to penetrate surfaces faster and more accurately than ever before. It became an essential tool for construction sites, woodworking centers, and steel mills.

Electric Chest Plate Drill

Black and Decker Invents the Pistol Grip Portable Electric Drill

In 1914, S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker revolutionized the power drill with their innovative handgun-style pistol grip design. This allowed for more precise control and greater comfort. Complex tasks could be completed faster and more safely.

The original pistol grip electric drill weighed half as much as its predecessor. It was smaller and easier to maneuver in tight spaces. This new design had an adjustable trigger for variable speeds. It could be used for a much greater range of applications.

Another revolutionary feature of the Black & Decker drill was the introduction of chuck keys, which locked bits into place, reducing the chances of slippage or breakage. The ability to rapidly change bits significantly reduced downtime compared to older models that required manual tightening every time a new bit was used.

Today, electric drills are ubiquitous tools for tradesmen and hobbyists alike — all thanks to S. Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker’s revolutionary designs over a century ago!

Nowadays, we take power drills for granted. But back in the day, they were revolutionary advancements that changed how we work forever! A drill could be controlled with one hand and held in the other, making drilling much easier and more efficient. This design quickly became the standard tool for drilling holes.

Black & Decker pistol grip drill

Black & Decker Invents the Cordless Electric Drill

In 1961, Black and Decker revolutionized the power drill again by introducing the first cordless electric drill powered by a nickel-cadmium battery. This new technology was a breakthrough, providing users with even greater mobility and convenience. It made the drill easier to operate in multiple locations without worrying about an electrical outlet nearby. Furthermore, the cordless design reduced user fatigue since it eliminated the need to constantly adjust and manage a long plug-in cable while drilling.

The nickel-cadmium battery used in the cordless design had several advantages as well. Its small size allowed for portability and ease of use, while its reliable performance enabled it to be recharged hundreds of times without significant power loss. Moreover, these batteries were relatively inexpensive compared to their contemporary counterparts, such as lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries, making them an ideal choice for tool enthusiasts.

The cordless electric drill marked a watershed moment in the history of power tools, as many other manufacturers followed suit with their own versions. It also opened up new possibilities for workers who could now take on projects that may have been otherwise impossible due to limited space or access to a power source — paving the way for more efficient and cost-effective construction processes throughout society.

Black & Decker Cordless Drill

Black & Decker Invents a Cordless Drill for the NASA Space Program

In 1963, Black and Decker innovated yet again with their invention of a cordless drill designed for NASA for use in space. This groundbreaking piece of technology was created to enable astronauts to complete various tasks outside the spacecraft during spacewalks and collect rock samples on the moon during the Apollo missions.

The Black and Decker NASA cordless drill employed a modified nickel-cadmium battery capable of operating in extreme temperatures ranging from -200°F up to +400°F. This allowed it to be used in multiple environments, such as space and on the lunar surface, without any decrease in performance. Moreover, its lightweight form factor made it easy for astronauts to maneuver and operate even while wearing bulky space suits!

In addition, this tool was also equipped with various safety features, including an automatic shutoff feature that prevented accidental deployment in outer space. A special power regulator was also included, enabling users to precisely adjust their drilling speed depending on the material they were working with. Overall, this made it one of the most reliable and sophisticated power tools ever developed by mankind.

The cordless drill had significant implications for many industries, not least the space exploration sector. It enabled astronauts to obtain samples from distant planets or moons more efficiently and accurately than ever before — setting the stage for numerous future discoveries throughout our solar system.

Furthermore, its portability and robust design opened up new possibilities for astronauts working inside and outside the spacecraft regarding repair and maintenance activities that may otherwise be impossible using conventional tools.

Astronaut using a Black & Decker drill

How LA Does More With Anawalt

For over 100 years (since 1923), Anawalt Lumber, Hardware, and Nursery stores have been a trusted source for Black and Decker’s most iconic innovation, the portable pistol grip electric drill. Anawalt offers the latest Black and Decker drills at their five locations in the Los Angeles area.

Whether you’re a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, Anawalt has the power tools you need to get the job done. The electric drill is a remarkable invention that has changed how we work and create.

Celebrate Inventors Day by visiting Anawalt Lumber to see the latest electric drill technology.