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When was the first cordless driver or drill?

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  • When was the first cordless driver or drill?

    When was the first cordless driver or drill made?

    I had a nice little pocket size Skil back in the early 80s, I may have mentioned it in passing on here some time in the past. Today I came across the manual for it even though the tool itself is long gone as those early Ni-Cad batteries didn't last forever. I did have it and used it for over five years I know. Was very handy as it fit nicely in your pocket and back then I was working on my first house so lots of stuff to do on weekends and evenings.

    Here's a snapshot of the cover of the manual. Note the name of the parent company and also where i wrote the date I bought it and where.

    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by Bob D.; 06-20-2010, 09:49 PM.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

  • #2
    Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

    Bob

    I used to own the cordless screwdriver shown on the manual cover. I used it lots of times and found it super handy. When the Ni-Cad cells pooped out, you could get replacements from Skil service centers, but they weren't cheap so I used generic replacements. Finally the gears wore out and stripped. That was when it was trashed and I got a Makita 9.6 Volt Driver-Drill with 2 speeds and (fixed) and a slip clutch. After a long time and also having purchased several VSR and more powerful drill-drivers, the Makita was also trashed.

    The Ni-Cad cells/batteries were taken to be recycled.

    It's wild seeing that SKIL was part of Emerson Electric at one time.

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    • #3
      Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

      Do you remember the old Skill straight cordless driver? I think that pre-dates the one you show there by a couple of years.
      There was a time when skill made some pretty decent tools. I still have and use an ancient skill worm drive circular saw. the thing is a beast. It will plow through anything you can throw at it.

      Other once quality tools now not so much

      Wen
      Weller
      Black & Decker
      Porter Cable
      Delta
      Last edited by NHMaster3015; 06-20-2010, 09:56 PM.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

        Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
        Do you remember the old Skill straight cordless driver? I think that pre-dates the one you show there by a couple of years.
        I used to have one of them and it held 2 Ni-Cad sub C size cells inside the handle part of the case. Mine had a spindle lock so you could use it much like a regular person powered screwdriver to break loose screws or give them a final tightening by hand.

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        • #5
          Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

          Back in 1986 I was using a Pansonic Cordless screw driver for an electronics Job i had. Back in 1990 my father bought the same type of Pansonic cordless screwdriver and still using it till this day.
          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

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          • #6
            Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

            i still have that exact skill driver.

            probably the most interesting cordless drill i have is a black and decker aluminum body vintage look that was made to look like the drills of the 50's. i bought a case of them and gave some out as gifts. i think i still have a few that were never opened along with a set of matching drill bits.

            every now and then you see them on ebay.

            but as far as i remember the first decent cordless drill was a black and decker or skill that came out in the late 70's. the makitas showed up later.

            if i had a $1.00 for every cordless drill, cordless battery and cordless charger i own, i would have well over $100. to my name

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #7
              Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

              Black & Decker is credited for the first one in 1964
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

                I also had the Skil cordless screw driver. It was a handy little gadget. Great for taking screws out of radio covers etc.

                What ever happened to Black & Decker, may they RIP!
                Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

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                • #9
                  Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

                  actually Stanley and some others made a version, called the Yankee driver, or ratcheting screw driver, and they had drill bits that went with the system as well,

                  http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/Types-of-Y...00000013264096
                  History of the Yankee Screwdriver,
                  The first spiral ratchet screwdrivers were produced in 1898 by North Brothers in the U.S.A. The name Yankee was soon adopted as a description of all spiral ratchet screwdrivers, although none managed to attain the same level of performance and quality of the original Yankee by Stanley, Yankee was truly the first the first cordless power tool and remains a very worthy competitor for workshop, building site, or production line
                  Attached Files
                  Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                  attributed to Samuel Johnson
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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                  • #10
                    Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

                    we had a couple of electric cordless drivers at PBS in Dallas before i left in 1980. so it probably was late '78 when we got them. have no idea of the manufacturer. they were cool but somewhat cumbersome.

                    steve
                    In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

                      I have a old power screwdriver corded made by Emerson electric, very similar to the one showed in the picture, mine is black instead of yellow,

                      picture from http://www.techzonics.com/hand-tools-electric-tools.htm
                      Attached Files
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                      attributed to Samuel Johnson
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

                        Well Rick if you need a charger I have two of them but no drill so you are welcome to them, or anyone else for that matter if you need one.

                        Now I better go and dig through my junk boxes and locate them huh.
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                        ---------
                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                        ---------
                        sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

                          Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                          Well Rick if you need a charger I have two of them but no drill so you are welcome to them, or anyone else for that matter if you need one.
                          I absolutely need one... I know its been a while since you posted but drop me a line.
                          If I am a child of God, then God, being a father, expects me to be as much as He is or greater. I think Him and I can work on that together.

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                          • #14
                            Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

                            Curiosity "10 NASA Inventions You Might Use Every Day"

                            Handymen of the world, rejoice. NASA's Apollo mission led Black & Decker to refine their cordless power tools.
                            When you're sucking up bits of dirt or crumbs around the house with a handheld cordless vacuum, you are actually using the same technology that astronauts used on the moon. Although Black & Decker had already invented the first battery-powered tools in 1961 [source: NASA], the NASA-related research helped refine the technology that led to lightweight, cordless medical instruments, hand-held vacuum cleaners and other tools.

                            In the mid-1960s, to prepare for the Apollo missions to the moon, NASA needed a tool that astronauts could use to obtain samples of rocks and soil. The drill had to be lightweight, compact and powerful enough to dig deep into the surface of the moon. Since rigging up a cord to a drill in outer space would be a difficult feat, NASA and Black & Decker invented a battery-powered, magnet-motor drill [source: NASA Science and Technology Information]. Working in the context of a limited space environment, Black & Decker developed a computer program for the tool that reduced the amount of power expended during use to maximize battery life.

                            After the NASA project, Black & Decker applied the same principles to make other lightweight, battery-powered tools for everyday consumers.
                            We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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                            • #15
                              Re: When was the first cordless driver or drill?

                              Originally posted by Lyle View Post
                              I absolutely need one... I know its been a while since you posted but drop me a line.
                              Well, somehow I never saw this post back in 2011. I'll have to look and see if I can locate the chargers now.

                              I only happened across this as I found a reference on Google to the first cordless drill which was made by B&D in 1961.
                              Its on page 195 of the August 1961 issue of Popular Mechanics.

                              You'll get a kick out of reading the whole issue. Some of the ideas that have come and gone are amazing.
                              I found the article about the new 61 Fords interesting. The MPG reports shows we have not come far in 50 years.
                              That 4000 pound '61 Fairlane 500 with a 292 V8 and 2 speed automatic trans was getting ~17 mpg overall and 22 MPG at 50 MPH.



                              Click image for larger version

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                              Last edited by Bob D.; 12-27-2012, 09:19 AM.
                              ---------------
                              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                              ---------------
                              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                              ---------
                              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                              ---------
                              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                              Comment

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