is atoolpowered by anelectric motor , a compressed air motor, or agasoline engine. Power tools are classified as either stationary or portable, where portablemeans handheld. They are used in industry, in construction, and around the house for cutting, shaping, drilling, sanding, painting, grinding, and polishing. Stationary power tools for metalworking are usually called
is notusually applied to stationary power tools for woodworking, although such usage isoccasionally heard, and in some cases, such asdrill pressesand bench grinders, the exactsame tool is used for both woodworking and metalworking.Stationary power tools are prized not only for their speed, but for their accuracy. A tablesaw not only cuts faster than a hand saw, but the cuts are smoother, straighter and moresquare than even the most skilled man can do with a hand saw. Lathes produce trulyround objects that cannot be made in any other way.Common power tools include thedrill, various types of saws, therouter,theelectricsander,and thelathe.The term
is also used in a more general sense, meaning a technique for greatly simplifying a complex or difficult task.
Thelatheis the oldest power tool, being known to the ancient Egyptians (albeit in a hand- powered form). Earlyindustrial revolution-era factories had batteries of power toolsdriven 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 distributionnetworks) in the 1880s made possible the self-powered stationary and portable tools weknow today.
An electric motor is the universal choice to power stationary tools. Portable electric toolsmay be either corded or battery-powered. At present (2007) the limitations of battery life,energy capacity, and cost keep the corded versions on the market.Compressed air is thecustomary power source for nailers and paint sprayers. A few tools (called